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Vivint Review

Sunday, October 1st

2023 Home Security System Reviews

Vivint Review 1.5 Star Rating


1.5 Star Rating
  • Professionally-installed home security system
  • Must order through a representative, not online
  • Monthly monitoring fees of at least $29.99/month
  • Minimum equipment purchase of $599.99
  • Installation fees of $49 to $199
  • Contracts may range from 42-60 months (when not purchasing equipment upfront)
  • Offers smart home integrations

Vivint is a well-known home security brand with over two million customers across North America. If you've had a sales pitch from a door-to-door rep, it's likely they were from Vivint. And yes, most of the positive feedback for these security systems comes from customers who gushed about how pleasant their salespeople and installers are, and how easy they make the process of ordering the equipment.

Top smart home integrations

Vivint's popularity in the home security industry can also be partially attributed to the integration of its systems. The company's home security systems allow customers to connect all of their locks, cameras, lighting, and thermostats through a hub or smartphone app. In addition, these systems are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Can only buy over the phone or in person with a rep

Getting a clear idea of the cost of a Vivint home security system can be difficult as they require you to purchase it through a representative either in-person or over the phone. This is a lot less convenient than other home security services in our review that allow you to purchase online and maybe even install it yourself. Furthermore, a professional installation is required for your Vivint system, which can cost you up to $200 in fees. The company's lack of transparency may leave you feeling uncertain about what you're really getting into.

Contracts and fees and minimum packages, oh my...

What will your Vivint home security system cost? You'll have to call for a quote - their site doesn't let you price anything out in advance. However, if you sneak a peek at their Terms of Use page, it tells you right away that you should expect a $29.99/month service fee and a $599.99 equipment package - and those are just the minimum requirements. Contracts? Plan on one that lasts five years if you use any kind of financing for your Vivint system. You'll also pay an installment fee of $49 to $199, along with a monthly cellular network maintenance fee of $1.48. The costs just keep racking up, don't they?

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You'll pay for service calls after the first four months

Another not-so-pleasant detail from the Terms of Use page: while defective equipment is covered by their service plan as long as you're a paying customer (great), you're responsible for a $99 visit/service fee after the first 120 days (not great). In other words, if your camera goes on the fritz or your doorbell stops working after the first four months, you're on the hook for the service call to take care of it.

Still too many complaints filed with the BBB

Unfortunately, even though the Better Business Bureau upgraded Vivint from an "F" to a "C" , there were still more than 2,000 complaints filed with the BBB over the last 12 months alone - not to mention the $20 million that Vivint wound up agreeing to in a 2021 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for sketchy sales tactics.

Poor performance over time

Maybe some of that could be overlooked at least a little if Vivint offered a best-in-class home security system that functioned with no problems for the full length of the service contract. But, when you look at what clients say about their experience with Vivint, you find comment after comment like "equipment barely works after three years" , "gets outdated quickly" , "hounded by collection agencies even after we paid in full" , "no longer makes house calls to fix inoperable equipment" ... are you getting the picture? Sure, they've got over 19,000 five-star reviews there - but scroll through those and you'll notice that they're all about the technician and the install, and almost never from long-term customers who have had no problems after the first year or two (or four).

Not worth the money you'll spend

Vivint's home security system is not the best option for most people. There are too many uncertainties, and you might end up paying a lot of money for something that doesn't work properly over the course of your lengthy contract. We strongly recommend that you look at other providers before committing to Vivint for your home security system.

Which Home Security System is the Best?

Home security systems have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people seek to protect their homes and families from potential threats. With a wide variety of options available on the market, choosing the right system for your needs can be overwhelming. We can help you take the stress out of the decision-making process and ultimately select a home security setup that's perfect wherever you live.

Let's get started. As you already know, a home security system is a network of electronic devices designed to secure your home against theft, vandalism, and other possible dangers. A typical system may include sensors, cameras, alarms, and monitoring services.

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Home Security System FAQ

There are more than 2 million break-ins every year in the United States alone. Home security systems are the most logical way to give yourself the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you, your loved ones and your property are being watched over.
The most important feature is 24/7 monitoring, which most services offer as part of your monthly fees. At a minimum, you'll want to have sensors for all of the exterior doors in your residence.
There are many add-ons that can offer additional security and protection. Your home security system could have smoke and CO2 detectors, flooding sensors, motion detectors, night vision cameras, and much more.
You'll find plans both with and without required service contracts. The tradeoff is usually in the price of the equipment vs. the monthly service fees. (See the next question for more on that.)
That depends. You should expect two costs: equipment and monthly service charges. Some providers of home security systems give you the equipment "for free", as long as you sign a contract (usually 2-5 years). Others have you pay for the equipment upfront as a one-time charge, but their monthly fees tend to be lower. And, with most services, you'll pay more for monthly monitoring if your system has all of the bells and whistles.
One of the most customer-friendly aspects of today's home security systems is DIY installation. While there are still a handful of companies that require you to sit down with a sales rep and then wait for a professional to come and set up your system, the vast majority are designed to be easy and fast for you to install yourself. You'll have ample support via phone or online chat if you need extra guidance during the process.
Yes, most of the time. You'll typically have a 30-day window to use your home security system and decide if it provides the protection and service you need. Terms vary, however: you may get a full refund for all fees paid, or you may only be allowed to break your contract without getting any money back. Be sure to understand the details of any plan you select, before you sign up.
Usually, yes. Because of the do-it-yourself nature of most of today's systems, you can uninstall and move your equipment just as easily as you set it up the first time. You'll just need to update the company with your current address, so that emergency responders have the right location in the event of an alarm.
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Continued from above...

Sensors are the backbone of a home security system. They detect any unusual activity in and around your home and alert the system. The most common types of sensors are door and window sensors, motion sensors, and glass-break sensors. Door and window sensors are placed on the frames of doors and windows and detect any movement when the doors or windows are opened or closed. Motion sensors detect movement within a room, while glass-break sensors detect the sound of breaking glass. Pretty self-explanatory.

Cameras are an essential component of many home security systems. They provide visual evidence of any unusual activity around your home and can help identify intruders. Most cameras are connected to the internet, allowing you to view the footage remotely from your phone or computer.

Alarms are designed to alert you and your neighbors to any potential threats. When a sensor is triggered, the alarm will sound, and a notification will be sent to your phone or monitoring service. These companies monitor your home security system 24/7, and if a sensor is triggered, they will usually contact you to verify whether there is a genuine threat. If they are unable to reach you, they will contact the authorities on your behalf.

Now that you have a solid understanding of the basics of any home security system, what other factors might have an impact on your decision? Here are some criteria to consider:

  • Professional install vs. DIY. Professionally-installed systems are designed for those who want a more comprehensive setup, often including cameras, sensors, alarms, and monitoring services. The professional install makes these systems more expensive than DIY systems but provide a higher level of security. DIY systems are designed for those who want affordability and are willing to install and maintain their home security system.
  • Cost. Will you pay upfront for the service and/or equipment? What monthly fees are involved? Contracts can often range from 3-5 years, but not every home security system requires one.
  • Portability of service. Can you take your home security system with you if you move, either by taking the equipment itself or transferring your contract and having a new install?
  • Cancellation. What happens if you decide you don't need a home security system anymore? Many providers have hefty cancellation fees, especially if you signed a lengthy contract in exchange for no upfront equipment costs.
  • Trial period. The best home security providers give you a grace period to see how the system works. After all, there's a pretty steep learning curve involved, and you want to make sure your system gives you the coverage and peace of mind you're paying for.
  • Satisfaction guarantee/refund policy. Can you get your money back if you don't like how your security system works once it's installed?
  • Customer feedback. What do other homeowners have to say about the home security system? Is the customer service team responsive? How often does the system register false alarms?

Top Consumer Reviews brings you the ultimate guide to the best home security systems on the market today. Our comprehensive review and ranking system is designed to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and protect your loved ones both now and in the future.

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