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      January 19, 2019

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Vivint vs SimpliSafe

Best Wireless Security Systems

To help you find the Best Wireless Security Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Vivint and SimpliSafe.

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Now more than ever, homeowners are looking for ways to protect themselves and their property. With more than 2 million burglaries each year - and an average loss of $2,000 per incident - wireless security systems are at the forefront of safeguarding against intruders.

It is true that there are other ways to make your home safer from burglary and invasion. For example, a well-lit exterior can discourage criminals from approaching your property, and high-quality deadbolts make it more difficult to enter your home. Unfortunately, even these measures will not prevent a determined criminal from picking the lock, smashing a window or slider door, and entering your home to steal your belongings or worse.

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Best Reviews

2019

Wireless Security System Reviews

3 stars
Vivint

VIVINT Visit Site

Features:

FREE equipment and installation with some packages

Up to $198 in activation fees

Packages start at $53.99/month

Customer Information: 1-855-881-3071

If you're looking for a wireless security system with all of the latest technology bells and whistles, Vivint should be on your list of candidates. From Nest thermostats to Amazon Echo, Vivint's home security packages make it possible to change the temperature of your home, watch your kids playing in the living room, or even lock your front door from anywhere you have internet access.

All of Vivint's packages include the following:

  • SkyControl Panel: described as "like having an iPad on your wall", it displays video, controls temperature, manages system options, and provides an intuitive smart home experience. Users can also talk live with a monitoring professional through the panel in an emergency.
  • Sky App: puts control in the palm of your hand through Vivint's smartphone app. Control your home's temperature, locks, lights and more, remotely arm and disarm your wireless security system, even see live video of your front porch from the Vivint Doorbell Camera.
  • Home Security sensors and controls: all packages include 3 wireless door/window sensors, motion sensor, key fob, control panel, power adapter and battery, and cellular card that installs into the control panel. Other available products for Vivint's monitoring include doorbell and outdoor cameras, Ping cameras, 24/7 video recording, garage door controls, smart locks, Amazon Echo, and Element thermostats.
  • 24/7 monitoring

There are three main packages that Vivint offers:

  • Smart Protect, which covers the basics of door and window sensors, motion detectors, and smoke detectors. This plan starts at $53.99/month.
  • Smart Protect & Control, which includes monitoring of two additional smart home services. These services include a doorbell cam, door lock, thermostat, garage door controller, outdoor video, and HD video recording indoors. This plan starts at $60.99/month.
  • Smart Complete, which includes monitoring of three additional smart home services, as well as 1 Terabyte of secure cloud storage (known as "Space Monkey", for some reason). Call for pricing.

We like that Vivint offers free equipment and installation with certain packages. Be sure to read the fine print on the offer, however: depending on which state you live in, you'll need to commit to a hefty five-year contract (four years in a handful of states) with a plan of at least $60.99/month in order to qualify. We weren't able to find anything on Vivint's site to indicate that they have any sort of customer satisfaction guarantee, so making a five-year commitment (or paying the remaining contract balance) may be too much for many people. Also, if you move, you'll be charged a $99 moving fee if you've been a customer of Vivint for less than a year; the fee is waived if you renew your contract and you've been a customer for at least a year.

Vivint does have a warranty and service plan. For customers who choose Premium Service ($10/month), Vivint will repair and/or replace any defective part of the wireless security system at no charge. For all other plans, the warranty period is only 120 days after installation; beyond that point, Vivint will provide replacement parts at no extra charge, but you'll have to pay a $49 fee for the service call as well as taxes.

So, what will it cost to protect your home with Vivint? The easiest answer is "it depends". Vivint makes it very difficult to find out their package pricing, insisting that customers speak directly with a representative. We even tried using the chat function on the website but were told that pricing is only done over the phone or in person. Numerous customer reviews describe pushy salespeople knocking on their doors at late hours and signing people up for 5-year contracts without being explicit about the length of the commitment. You can be certain that for every feature added, you'll pay more - so with base packages starting at $53.99, Vivint is undoubtedly one of the costliest wireless security systems in our review.

We were glad to see that Vivint does have an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau. On the other hand, we were stunned to see that there have been nearly 4,000 closed complaints with the BBB alone in the last three years.

Overall, Vivint is a mixed bag. If having the latest technology in wireless security is a priority and you have an ample budget, Vivint should be on your list of possible companies. Just be prepared for the longest contract terms in the industry, and be proactive with contacting Vivint's customer support if you have issues with any of the equipment after installation.

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3 stars
SimpliSafe

SIMPLISAFE Visit Site

Features:

$229.99 for equipment starter kit

No installation fees

No monthly contract

Monitoring plans cost $14.99-$24.99/month

Touted by celebrities like Dave Ramsey and others, SimpliSafe provides wireless security systems that can be installed easily by the average consumer and that have no contracts to sign. As with most no-contract systems, SimpliSafe requires that customers purchase equipment outright, starting at $229.99 for the starter set, but their low monthly monitoring costs - less than $25/month - definitely result in savings over time.

So, what's included in the starter package? Ideal for small homes and apartments, this set includes one base station and wireless keypad, one entry sensor, one motion sensor, and one keychain remote for $229.99. Larger packages include the Economy package, which adds two more entry sensors for a total cost of $259.99; the Classic package, which adds a smoke detector and siren to what's included in the Economy set, for a cost of $349.99; the Master package that has a total of two motion sensors and six entry sensors, along with the smoke detector and siren, for $449. 87; and, finally, the Ultimate package for $539.85, which has a total of two motion sensors, four entry sensors, the siren and smoke detector, along with a panic button, water sensor, carbon monoxide detector, and freeze sensor.

And, for additional savings, SimpliSafe is the only wireless security system we found that has refurbished equipment for sale. This could save you as much as 30% on the purchase of your wireless security system.

SimpliSafe breaks their monitoring into two easy-to-understand plans:

  • Standard, which includes round-the clock protection.
  • Interactive, which allows you to access the app to monitor your home activity and control settings directly from your laptop or smartphone. We also saw information promoting a Secret! Alerts bonus that can alert you when someone opens a private area such as a gun safe or liquor cabinet, but we couldn't find more details as to which sensors would be required or how that feature is set up.

We like that SimpliSafe offers free shipping on all products, a 3-year product warranty, and an exceptional money-back guarantee for 60 days after purchase.

On the other hand, we felt that SimpliSafe falls short in two significant ways. First, most wireless security systems are based on the concept of using technology to control everything from arming the system to changing the temperature in the home, and it seems stingy of SimpliSafe to charge extra just to be able to use their app to change the system features. SimpliSafe doesn't currently offer thermostat controls, door locks, or camera monitoring, while many of their competitors do.

Also, we were discouraged to see a considerable number of customers who said that they were awakened by false alarms on more than one occasion, and that the monitoring service took as long as five minutes to contact the homeowner. Those same customers often had difficulty in getting a timely response from SimpliSafe's customer service department when trying to resolve the issues (which often required switching the system's cellular coverage from T-Mobile to Verizon or vice-versa).

We strongly recommend that customers start with one of the smaller, less expensive equipment packages - possibly refurbished or purchased second-hand - and giving it a thorough testing in the first two months, in order to take advantage of the 60-day return policy if needed.

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Continued from above

For that reason, experts in home protection strongly recommend that you invest in a wireless security system, particularly those that have round-the-clock monitoring, to give you the greatest possible peace of mind. Most criminals will bypass homes that have a monitoring system, simply because it puts them at greater risk of being caught in the act.

Compared with traditional home security systems, wireless versions allow you to install them on your own and can easily be moved from one location to another - a convenient advantage for those who move frequently, such as students living in dorms or those who move around the country for work reasons.

Having a wireless security system can also save you money. Many homeowners insurance policies will give you a discount on your annual premium - as much as 20% - with an installed home protection package.

Wireless security systems can vary widely with respect to the protection they offer, the equipment provided, and the overall cost. Also, some offer 24-hour live monitoring of your system, while others leave that responsibility to you.

What should you look for in a wireless security system? Be sure to consider the following aspects:

  • Equipment Costs. What is included with your wireless security system compared to the number of sensors you need? How much does it cost to add extra sensors or other equipment that may be appropriate for your living situation?
  • Monitoring Service. Does the company monitor your system around-the-clock? Are the fees reasonable? Will the company contact local authorities in the event of a break-in or other emergency?
  • Guarantee. Does the company offer a satisfaction guarantee or a refund if there are any issues with the service or the equipment?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best wireless security systems available today. We hope these reviews will help you find the ideal wireless security system to protect your home and your loved ones! 

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