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Thursday, December 8th
Vivint is pretty well known for its pleasant, door-to-door sales reps offering professionally-installed alarm systems that come with many smart home bells and whistles - like connecting to your favorite Nest, Amazon or Google tech.
Customize or look at packages
One of the reasons Vivint alarm systems are so popular is their integration: you can have all of your locks, cameras, lighting and thermostats connected through your hub or smartphone app, and they work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa too.
Equipment and monitoring is usually costly
We did some poking around, though, and found that you can expect monthly monitoring fees to start at $19.99/month (though most customers wind up paying at least $29.99/month with the equipment they select). In terms of the equipment, the Starter package tends to retail for about $599, which you can either pay for upfront or finance for up to five years interest-free; you'll probably get one motion sensor, one leak sensor, two door/window sensors and possibly a credit towards additional devices of your choice. You can predict that your equipment costs go up from there; we saw quotes for fully-featured systems with a base price of $1,700 just for the gear, not to mention the monitoring fees.
Unique video doorbell
On a positive note, we're really intrigued by Vivint's Doorbell Camera Pro. In an era when porch pirates seem to be more active than ever, having a video doorbell that not only notifies homeowners when a package arrives but also fires up an LED ring and a 65dB speaker when someone is spotted trying to remove a delivered package sounds like a pretty smart idea. Helpfully, you can create a surveillance zone too, so that your alerts don't go off every time someone walks a dog past your home.
Professional installation required
All of Vivint's systems require professional installation. When you call or go online to get your quote, you'll set an appointment with one of their "Smart Home Pros" who will give you a free in-home consultation. When you've chosen your system, expect installation fees of $99 - though the authorized retailer of Vivint in your area may have promotions that give it to you for free.
Vivint makes a lot of promises, but it's difficult to get past the company's reputation: an "F" with the Better Business Bureau and over 1,600 complaints filed there in the last 12 months alone. We're not seeing any signs of improvement in that regard, either, with Vivint entering yet another settlement agreement with the FTC due to fraudulent sales practices. Not so great, folks, especially for a company that's supposed to help consumers be more secure - not less.
Least recommended for alarm systems
Beyond sales, Vivint regularly disappoints with respect to service. Customer after customer describe systems that stop functioning for weeks or months at a time, with no-show technicians - yet ongoing payments. Spending money month after month, under contract for financed equipment, for home alarm systems that doesn't actually work? No thanks. You won't have a hard time understanding why Vivint once again earns our lowest ranking among alarm system providers.
There are so many options today, from well-known providers that have been around for fifty years or more to brand-new companies selling DIY-installed, wallet-friendly home alarm systems and automation all in one.
You've got plenty of reasons to use an alarm system, whichever route you choose. Not only can they protect you against break-ins while you're away, but they can also give you extra peace of mind if you're one of the millions of Americans who find themselves working from home on a regular basis. Need to know who's at your door before you open it? Many systems will send live video right to your smartphone, letting you decide if you should interrupt that conference call with your team!
What are the basics of an alarm system? Most packages come with a few window/door sensors and some kind of control panel. You can still find traditional equipment that includes a wall-installed panel, but most of today's systems have a portable tablet used to arm and disarm it. From there, the options are nearly limitless and can include indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbells, smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and many other features to keep you feeling secure.
Beyond safety, alarm systems now give you plenty of choices for home automation. What might have seemed like space-age tech just ten years ago is commonplace: use your smartphone to turn down the thermostat before you get home from work, arm your system with a voice command even when you're already in bed for the evening, or sign into your system from your computer at work to make sure you really did remember to lock the front door (and take care of it if you didn't!).
With so many options, it can feel overwhelming to choose an alarm system. There are several things to keep in mind that can help make the decision clearer and lead you to the package that will meet your needs:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best alarm systems available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the right protection to keep you, your loved ones, and your property safe and sound!
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