Vivint Security Reviews: Smart Home, Camera, Customer Reviews, Thermostat, App, And More

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Vivint home security devices on a gray background
The Vivint home security lineup is extensive and the technology is sleek looking and hi-tech. But how does the company’s offering measure up to the competition?

Vivint is known for its smart home features and has a great app to go along with it. But is it worth the equipment prices, potential financing you’ll need and extra long contract lengths?

Visit Vivint’s Website | 833-277-6361

Vivint Review
Vivint Logo

Product Name: Vivint

Product Description: Vivint invested in smart home technologies from the get-go, and they have been one of the top providers of home security systems that offer seamless automation.

Summary

Vivint got in on the smart home game early, and has provided some of the best and most seamless smart home technologies. But you’ll pay for it, and competitors are quickly catching up. We’ve also gotten some horrendous feedback on customer service.

Overall
2.9
  • Customer Service
  • Technology
  • Ease Of Use
  • Overall Value

Pros

  • Has two monitoring stations
  • All plans have cellular monitoring
  • Excellent home automation options
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • If you pay for the equipment upfront, a month-to-month monitoring plan is available

Cons

  • Requires professional installation
  • 3.5 to 5-year contracts if you finance equipment
  • If you want cameras, you must purchase the highest monitoring plan
  • Expensive monitoring plans
  • Only 4-hour battery backup
  • Has one of the shortest equipment warranties we’ve seen (only 120 days)
  • Must provide written notice 30 days prior to your desired cancellation date

Consumer Reviews

2 2 votes
Reader Rating

This is the aggregate score of reader reviews we’ve received. Have a good or bad experience with Vivint? Feel free to leave your own review in the comments. Please note that only ratings with valid review content will be published and counted.

Vivint home security equipment on a white background.
Vivint smartphone app, doorbell camera, door and window sensors, smoke detector, keyfob, and touchscreen control panel.

Alternatives To Vivint

Don’t like the score you’re seeing? Our home security experts have reviewed over a dozen home security providers, and in our best home security systems showdown, you can see our top three and category winners for this year.

Key Features

  • Two monitoring stations, so if one goes down (e.g., due to a natural disaster), another is there as a backup
  • Cellular monitoring for all plans with broadband (internet) as a backup
  • Customer service options: phone, live chat, email and FAQs
  • Vivint app is one of the best and lets you monitor your system while away
  • BBB rating: D+ (and not accredited)
  • Z-Wave connectivity (a wireless communication protocol) to home automation equipment
  • Equipment is under warranty as long as you have a monitoring plan
  • You can get a medical alert system through Vivint (or consider one of these third party medical alert providers we review)
  • Cancellation policy
    • Must provide written notice 30 days before your desired cancellation date
    • You can find a qualified candidate to take over the remainder of your agreement, or you must pay the remaining balance in full
  • Vivint Car Guard can be installed on your dashboard and will let you know if someone is trying to steal your car
  • Vivint Smart Drive (previously known as Space Monkey) is a way to store your photos, video recordings and more

Battery Backup

If the power goes out in your home, battery backup will keep your Vivint system on and your home protected. However, Vivint’s battery backup only lasts four hours, which is drastically less than the standard 24 hours most home security companies have.

Vivint sends you a notification when there’s a power outage. The backup battery is rechargeable, so once power is restored, the battery will recharge back to four hours, so it’s ready for any future needs.

Vivint’s 4-hour battery backup is the worst we’ve seen. It’s not uncommon for homes to be without power for greater than four hours, especially when a natural disaster is the cause.

Price

Note that you pay the equipment cost monthly until you pay off the balance. It was difficult to find transparent Vivint pricing, so we recommend you confirm before you purchase.

SkyControl Starter KitHome Security SystemSmart Home ControlVideo SecuritySmart Complete
Price Per Month (Total)$10.00 ($599.99)$11.83 ($709.98)$17.50 ($1,049.95)$23.00 ($1,379.95)$29.83 ($1,789.92)
SkyControl Panel
$399.99
Green checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Door/Window Sensors
$34.99
44444
Motion Detector
$69.99
11111
Smoke Detector
$69.99
Green checkmark
Garage Door Controller/Sensor
$99.99
Green checkmarkGreen checkmark
Smart Door Lock
$159.99
Green checkmarkGreen checkmark
Element Thermostat
$169.99
Green checkmarkGreen checkmark
Doorbell Camera
$249.99
Green checkmarkGreen checkmark
Ping Camera
$199.99
Green checkmarkGreen checkmark
Outdoor Camera
$299.99
Green checkmarkGreen checkmark

Additional Equipment

Cameras:

  • Smart Drive $249.99

Home Security:

  • Recessed Door Sensor $34.99 | Tilt Sensor $34.99 | Glass Break Sensor $69.99 | Key Fob $34.99

Life Safety:

  • CO Detector $69.99 | Temperature/Flood Sensor $69.99 | Panic Pendant $34.99

Monitoring Plans

After you’ve chosen all of your equipment, you can then choose your monitoring plan.

Smart SecuritySmart HomeSmart Home Video
Price Per Month$29.99$39.99$44.99
$49-$199 Installation FeeGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
24/7 Professional MonitoringGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Entry, Smoke & CO DetectionGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Medical Pendant SupportGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Smart Home IntegrationGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Live Video FeedGreen checkmark
14 Days Storage Of 30-Second Clips For Up To 2 CamerasGreen checkmark

If you have more than 2 security cameras, you’ll have to pay an additional $5 per month for the camera monitoring (3 cameras = +$5/month, 4 cameras = +$10/month, etc.).

Consumer Feedback

Praise

He was very knowledgeable, pleasant, and quick. He explained everything. He took time to answer all our questions. And explained carefully and thoroughly the system. All in all, it was a very professional installation.

Mary Sue, Consumer Affairs 5/19/2020

Vivint is the most HELPFUL company ever. They always meet my needs, and the quality of the video are amazing. Everyone should sign up for Vivint. If you have a problem with a contract… Buy upfront! I was able to go month-month doing that.

Savannah D., BBB 5/15/2020

Complaints

DO NOT GET TRICKED!!! I was tricked into the agreement which I specifically asked the salesperson if there will be any early termination fee or penalty fee, he said NO. I decide to cancel the services due to horrible experiences, months later, I received a collection letter for ~ $2.5k. I called collection company A, made arrangements, paid whatever they wanted, and again, I received ANOTHER collection letter which for an additional $1.3K from collection company B!!! I have no clue how many hidden fees they have and want me to pay off!!! I called into Vivint, they don’t have an answer, they blame everything on the collection companies. There are two different collection companies and this customer services person has been repeating on the same one I have made the payment, not the one I called in about. Horrible services, DO NOT RECOMMEND!! DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!

Angel, Consumer Affairs 5/20/2020

Worst company I have ever dealt with. Predatory business practices, especially with the elderly. If I had read these reviews prior to having Vivint’s services, I would have stayed away.  Sent a salesman at 8:00 p.m. to talk me out of cancelling – scary. Very poor customer service, five-year contracts only agreed upon by “phone call”. I can’t say enough about their predatory practices.  Stay away.  There are many other home security companies that are less expensive, secure, and do not scam people.

Marcia W., Yelp 5/26/2020

Thorough Home Automation Lineup

Vivint is known for its home automation equipment. See how you can integrate it all into your home.

Vivint App Review

The Vivint Smart Home app lets you connect all of your Vivint smart home and security devices directly to your smartphone or tablet so you can remotely monitor and manage your entire system.

Vivint’s latest app works with the SkyControl Panel as well as their newest panel model, the Smart Hub Panel. The original app, Vivint Classic, is still available for users who have the Go!Control Panel.

Visit Vivint’s Website | Android App | iOS App

Features

Vivint Smart Home App screenshots
Four features of the Vivint app on display.

The Vivint Smart Home App has six features that allow you to get the most out of Vivint technology:

  1. View video: View live and recorded video at your convenience. You will need additional equipment to store recorded video since Vivint cameras record 24/7, vs other providers like Ring that only record motion-activated footage.
  2. Customize routines: Create routines by linking devices. You can set timers for lights and locks and sync your security alarm to turn lights on/off and lock doors.
  3. Two-way audio: You can use the two-way audio feature of your cameras directly through the app.
  4. Multiple users: Create up to 6 user accounts and set them up with specific limits and permissions unique to each person’s user needs.
  5. Alerts: Security alerts go to your app. You can also set up customized alerts for other devices such as smoke detectors and locks.
  6. System control: You can connect and access all of your security and smart home devices through the app.

What’s The Vivint Smart Drive?

There’s been a lot of confusion about the Vivint Smart Drive. Originally called the Space Monkey, this Vivint DVR was rebranded in 2018 as the Smart Drive. It also originally had it’s own app, the smart drive app, which is no longer available.

Currently, the Smart Drive is an external storage device that, for an additional fee, is used to record all of your cameras’ video for the last 30 days. You can use the Playback feature on the Smart Home app to retrieve all the videos that the Smart Drive records.

Below are functions you can control within the Vivint home security app. Please know that to use some of the features you must have certain equipment. For example, you cannot lock/unlock doors unless you have smart locks in place that are compatible with your security system.

System

  • Arm/disarm entire system or individual sensors
  • Geo-services, which automatically adjusts your security and automation equipment after you’ve left a set radius of your home or “geo-fence”
  • View detailed event history and alerts
  • Updated weather forecast

Smart/Remote Controls

  • Lock/unlock doors (including opening/closing garage door)
  • Control thermostat
  • Control and schedule lights

Cameras

  • Remote control cameras, including pan/tilt/zoom (if supported by camera)
  • View live stream
  • View recorded video
  • View doorbell camera
ProsCons
  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Dependable
  • More advanced than competitors’ apps
  • Not compatible with Vivint Go!Control Panel
  • Additional equipment needed for some features
  • May use location when app isn’t open and can drain battery

What Do People Think Of The Vivint Smart Home App?

Vivint Smart Home app users seem generally pleased with the app.

Praise

I love this app. It is always working work no lag time or glitches. The options that are available are very helpful and there are dozens to choose from. I can leave the house for the night or weekend and know exactly when my mom comes and goes, out of which door and that she’s home safe when she sets the alarm. I think the best option on the app is the setting to arm and disarm the system automatically on specific days and specific times. We don’t ever have to worry about the alarm being set when we’re home at night if we forget to set it manually. And there’s no more panicking when we’re not fully awake yet in the morning if we open a door and forget to disarm the system first, because it’s already disarmed when we are ready to leave the house for the day! Thank you so very much VIVINT, your security system and app gives us one less thing to have to worry about!

PennyLaneCook, App Store 01/26/2020

Fabulous so convenient and easy I love how quick i get notifications when someone’s at the front door and the picture pops up on my phone in love door absolutely wonderful experience!

Master Will, Google Play 3/28/2020

Complaints

I’ve intentionally held back from leaving a review for months just so I could fully evaluate this app. I got their service in January. So, now let me share my experience. The app and cameras go offline every 1-2 hours per day. I’m very tech savvy, but my experience thus far takes the cake. I’m not impressed and I spend more time I. The phone troubleshooting the issue. Only to discover that I end up with a solution vs the reps. You guys have to hire a more competent staff and fix this app!!! Goodness, it’s so unstable. I can’t even look at the live view after updating to the percentage buffer when the video is loading via my doorbell. I met with constant error messages. Do more testing or get better beta testers to ensure the app will work before releasing it. This is ridiculous. I’m beyond annoyed at this point!!!

Sey Wha?!, App Store 11/02/2019

This app is trash. Sometimes it works, most times it doesn’t. When my doorbell detects a visitor, it takes at least 20 seconds for the camera to load. By this time the visitor is gone. This happens on all of the cameras, by the way. The thermostat option sucks as well, not changing when we want it to. When we change it from the wall thermostat, it still shows the previous temp or mode on the app.

K Cross, Google Play 3/26/2020

Compatible Devices

  • iPhone
  • iTouch
  • iPad
  • iWatchOS 4.0 or later
  • Android phones and tablets

See The App In Action

This quick video from Vivint shows you what the app looks like and some of the features too.

Vivint vs Other Companies

See the key differences between Vivint and other leading home security companies.

Vivint vs ADT

  • Vivint’s control panel has only four hours of battery backup, while ADT’s has 24 hours.
  • All of Vivint’s plans use cellular monitoring, while ADT requires you to upgrade for cellular monitoring.
  • Vivint requires a minimum four-year contract (ADT’s is the standard three years) and has higher equipment fees than ADT.

Compare Vivint and ADT

Vivint vs SimpliSafe

  • SimpliSafe has a DIY installation, and Vivint’s installation requires a professional.
  • Vivint has a more extensive list of equipment options with more advanced technology than SimpliSafe has.
  • Vivint requires a 4-year contract, and SimpliSafe has no longterm commitments.

Compare Vivint and SimpliSafe

About Vivint & Its History

Keith Nellesen and Todd Pedersen founded APX Alarm Security Solutions in 1999. In 2011, APX Alarm Security Solutions rebranded as Vivint. Also in 2011, Vivint Solar launched, a solar energy company.

In 2012, The Blackstone Group acquired Vivint for more than $2 billion. Vivint acquired Smartrove and began wireless broadband in 2013. In 2020, the company merged with Mosaic Acquisition Corp. to be a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we gather (and respond to) questions we commonly receive from our readers. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments.

Can I Sell My Vivint Equipment?

Yes you can. You’ll note that Vivint customers have successfully been doing so on platforms like Ebay. But make sure you factory reset your Vivint equipment before you do.

How To Factory Reset Your Vivint Equipment

Your Vivint router can be reset to factory defaults via the reset button on the back of the router, or within the software interface. The LED lights on the router will flash indicating the router is resetting.

  1. Hardware reset – press and hold the reset button on the back of the router for 10-15 seconds.
  2. Software reset – In the Configuration Interface on your router, select the “Administration” menu, followed by the “Advanced” tab. You should see a “Factory Defaults” setting on the left-hand side. Select that, and then click the “Restore Factory Defaults” button on the right (as pictured below).
This is the screen you'll see when resetting to factory defaults within your Vivint router's software interface
This is the screen you’ll see when resetting to factory defaults within your Vivint router’s software interface.

Was Vivint Involved In An FTC Settlement?

Yes, and it was just settled in 2021. Details below.

On April 29, 2021, Vivint Smart Home, Inc. (Vivint) entered into a Settlement Agreement with The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to settle a complaint filed alleging Vivint violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by improperly obtaining credit reports in order to qualify potential customers for financing for its smart home monitoring and security products. The FTC also alleged that Vivint violated the FTC’s Red Flags Rule by failing to implement an identity theft prevention program, which is required of certain companies that regularly use or obtain credit reports. 

The FTC alleged that some Vivint sales representatives used a process known as “white paging”, which involved finding another consumer with the same or a similar name and using that consumer’s credit history to qualify the prospective unqualified customers. Vivint sales representatives sometimes asked customers to provide the  name of someone they knew who had better credit, such as a relative, then added that innocent third=party as a co-signer to the account without their permission, and used their credit history to qualify the prospective customer. If customers qualified using these deceptive tactics later defaulted on their loans, Vivint referred the innocent third party to is debt buyer, potentially harming that consumer’s credit and subjecting them to debt collectors, the FTC alleged. Many consumers whose credit reports were misused by Vivint sales representatives complained to the FTC that they were victims of identity theft after being contacted by Vivint’s debt collectors. 

The FTC alleged that Vivint was aware of the problem, and in fact terminated many sales representatives for misconduct only to rehire some of them shortly thereafter. 

The Settlement Agreement requires Vivint to implement an employee monitoring and training program, as well as an identity theft prevention program. The company must also establish a customer service task force to verity that accounts belong to the right customer before referring any account to a debt collector, and must assist consumers who were improperly referred to debt collectors. In addition, Vivint must pay a $15 million civil penalty and an additional $5 million to compensate injured consumers. 

People who did not sign up for Vivint’s services but were contacted by debt collectors or found Vivint accounts improperly listed on their credit reports may be eligible for compensation from this settlement and can sign up for email updates here.

Full details on Vivint’s FTC settlement

How Does Vivint Compare?

Visit Vivint’s Website | 833-277-6361

If you spend a lot of time away from your home and want ways to automate your home, Vivint is among the best. The app has some of the best reviews we’ve seen from its users, and the equipment lineup is extensive. With the appropriate equipment in place, you can adjust the thermostat, lock doors, view camera footage and more through the Vivint app.

However, if you just want security and don’t plan on using any home automation equipment, there are other companies with lower prices and great reputations. Read our home security systems reviews to see which company comes out on top.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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