Some security systems are better than others, and sometimes it just depends on where you live. Check out our comparisons below.
What You Need To Know
Home security can monitor fire and carbon monoxide
Smart security provides home automation
Select home security can provide video evidence
Determining which security system to sign a long-term contract with can be a bit intimidating. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of reviewing some of the top security providers out there, one at a time—hopefully, making your choice a little easier. Keep reading for our Vivint Home Security Review.
I can personally attest to Vivint. I had them for 3 years, and the entire time I never could say anything bad about their customer service. If you’re looking for a company that will work with you during a PCS, they will make it easy for you. When I left my duty location, I couldn’t take Vivint with me because they weren’t servicing the area I was going to be living. They let me out of my contract, didn’t charge me any extra fees, and I was a happy customer in the end. It was so easy and the customer service was exceptional.
- Professional will come to your home and give you a quote—it’s free
- You also have the option of online quotes, which is simple to navigate
- Easy to break the contract when PCSing due to orders
- You can transfer your system from one home to the next
- They have a no-contract option (if you’re willing to pay up-front costs)
- Unlike most companies who have a 3-year contract, Vivint has one of the highest at 5-years
- Must pay for equipment up front if you don’t want a contract, and it’s expensive
Main Concern with Vivint
“Vivint contracts are too long and too expensive.”
If this is one of your concerns, don’t worry you aren’t alone. You can pay off your contract up-front, by paying for the equipment, in which case you won’t be bound by a contract. Instead, you pay monthly, and when you don’t want to use the system anymore, you don’t have to worry about breaking a contract. However, the equipment can be costly. In this case, you can select the length of your contract by financing and paying a portion of your equipment off, so that you don’t have a 5-year contract. However, if you choose not to pay the equipment off up-front, or pay off a portion, you will be stuck with the 5-year contract.
Make sure you take a look at Vivint’s disclaimers when it comes to contracts. We’ve taken the liberty and listed them below. (We’ve quoted directly from their main website)
“Minimum $49.99/month services agreement required. Minimum $599.99 equipment purchase may be financed subject to an agreement with one of Vivint’s financing partners. $49 to $199 installation fee applies.
“Financing eligibility and terms subject to credit approval.
“Month-to-month service agreement available when equipment is purchased upfront. Additional equipment may be purchased and financed.
“Financing options require monthly services agreement coterminous with applicable financing agreement (for example $49.99/month for 60 months = total services cost $2,999.40). The system supports up to four cameras subject to sufficient WiFi speeds.
“Without a Vivint services plan, product and system functionality is limited (including loss of remote connectivity). Offer not available in all states or provinces. Taxes and local permit fees may apply. New Vivint Customers only.”
Also, Vivint has small hubs all over the country. Depending on where you live, you may get different deals, different equipment, and different features. Keep this in mind when making your phone call or when requesting an online quote.
Interested in Vivint’s competitors, read our 7 Best Home Security Companies blog, here.
Vivint Smart Hub
Vivint’s “Smart Hub”, also known as the main panel, is pretty nice. Not only is it a touch screen, revamped from their old system, but it also has an instant two-way talking feature. It also continues working when the power goes out with its backup battery and it’s connected via an encrypted cellular Wifi, so you’re on a secure network.
Vivint offers three different cameras, an indoor, outdoor, and doorbell camera. For the most part, their cameras are too different from any other security company out there. The biggest difference, is in your doorbell camera, with a two-way conversation capability. Also, Vivint’s security cameras are wireless, meaning you don’t have to worry about people cutting wires and preventing their detection. If the wireless bit worries you, they tell us it’s monitored under a secure network.
Each of the cameras come with night vision capability, so you know what’s going on, even when the lights are out—they probably work better than the cameras at your local gas station, at least we’d sure hope so.
Ping Indoor Camera
What’s better, when the cameras detect something, you’ll get a notification sent to your smartphone, where you can see the action. And your indoor and outdoor cameras have smart clip capabilities so you can record and go back to watch the clips at a later time if need be.
Oh, is someone at the door? Not only can you see who’s on your doorstep with the doorbell camera, but also you can conduct a two-way conversation. “Hello UPS, you can leave the package at the door,” Meanwhile, you’re still in your pajamas watching old western reruns, until you’re actually ready to get up off the recliner.
Vivint Smart Drive
Prior to the Smart Drive, Vivint had something called the Space Monkey, in case you’re reading this as a prior customer. The drive gives the homeowner the ability to store more than just security videos. In fact, you can store up to 1 TB of materials, including photos or other things you want to be saved. As far as video storage goes, it’s equivalent to having 30-days of 24/7 video recordings.
This is one of the features that stands out amongst other security providers. So, if you want to ability to record what’s going on around your home without having to worry about deleting other recordings after a few hours, Vivint might be a good security company to look into.
The Vivint Nest or Element Thermostat is a smart thermostat, which you can control with your smartphone. And if your hands are full, try the voice feature and just tell your thermostat what you want it to do. If that’s not cool enough for you, how about the custom notifications? If your thermostat self-adjusts, you’ll get a notification. Or what about when your kid gets up and turns the temperature up to 80? You’ll get a notification saying the temperature is set too high, and even too cold, meaning you can keep from worrying about the temperature dropping so low inside that your pipes burst while you’re gone on Christmas vacation.
Vivint’s app is pretty much just like everyone else’s, in that it controls your smart home features. The app gives you the ability to lock and unlock your door when you aren’t there—in case you wanted to let your friend in while you’re out of town. What it does differently from the rest of the guys, it lets you control your smart home via voice control.
Other Vivint Products and Services
Vivint is all about customizing your home security desires. You can pick and choose from a variety of products. If you want less, that’s an option. If you want more, you can do that too. If you want a package, they have it available. All of their products are meant to keep you secure, from fire protection to breaking and entering, Vivint has what you need.
- Burglary Detection
- Smart Locks
- Garage Door Control
- Smoke Alarm
- Flood Warning
- CO Detector
- Indoor and Outdoor Cameras
- Playback DVR
- Doorbell Camera
- Vivint Smart Home App
- Sky Control Panel
- Nest Thermostat
- Element Thermostat
- Phillips Hue (Lighting Control)
- 24/7 Monitoring
- Professional Installation
Remember to keep in mind, depending on where you live, some services and products may not be available.
Vivint Professional Installation
Vivint prides themselves on their professional installation. From personal experience, I can say my installer was knowledgeable, courteous, and quick. For the most part, professional installation is going to happen if you go with Vivint. However, if you forgo the smart home features and decide you want basic security without home automation, you can choose to do a self-install.
As mentioned before, Vivint is well aware of your duties to the military. They understand you don’t always have control of where you’ll live, and you most definitely don’t have control of when you’ll have to pack up and go. With that being said, they’ll work with you when your military obligations come up.
If you are PCSing, you have the option of terminating your service without any penalties. If for some reason, your contract is listed in the name of a non-military spouse, they will still consider your military service. You simply need to provide a copy of your orders.
However, if you are getting out of the military, this does not mean you can get out of your contract. They will, however, help you move through their “Movers Program” to help get you set up at your new location.
What Cameras work with Vivint?
Vivint has its own cameras. Their devices work with Amazon Echo, Alexa, and Google Home. They also work with Nest, to give you a thermostat you can control through the Vivint app, which by the way lets you control your smart home, and that smart thermostat with your voice. And if that’s not enough, they’ve partnered with Phillips Hue, to let you take control of your lights through your smart home app. So, while you might be paying more for Vivint overall, you’re also getting more than you do with the other companies, at least from what we can tell.
How to use Vivint Camera Without Service
For some reason, this seems to be one of the most asked questions on the internet when it comes to using Vivint home security, so we’ve decided to address it. However, it’s doesn’t come with the answer you might be seeking. Unfortunately, you cannot use Vivint cameras without service. You also can’t use Vivint cameras with any other security company. According to Vivint’s website, they were built to be used specifically with them and are incapable of working under another company’s supervision. Now, this doesn’t take into account all the people out there who are smarter than me, who might be capable of getting around the system. But, for the rest of us, this just isn’t meant to happen.
If you’re interested in DIY home security, read about one of Vivint’s competitors, LifeSheild, here.
Vivint Customer Service Number
Table of Contents
- What You Need To Know
- Home Security
- Vivint Security
- Main Concern with Vivint
- Vivint’s Disclaimers
- Vivint Smart Hub
- Vivint Camera
- Outdoor Camera
- Ping Indoor Camera
- Doorbell Camera
- Vivint Smart Drive
- Vivint Thermostat
- Vivint App
- Other Vivint Products and Services
- Vivint Professional Installation
- Military Families
- What Cameras work with Vivint?
- How to use Vivint Camera Without Service
- Vivint Phone Number
- Vivint Customer Service Number
- Protect America