Vivint Smart Home Review (2024)

Do-it-yourself smart home security systems are great for frugal homeowners who want to save money by monitoring their homes themselves, but these systems leave it up to you to take action when an alarm is triggered. They don't check in to see if everything is OK when your smoke alarm goes off or when your front door alarm is tripped, and they don't call the local authorities. For that kind of response, you need a subscription-based service like the one that comes with the Vivint Smart Home security system.

With Vivint, you get around-the-clock home monitoring with an incredibly swift response when an alarm goes off, as well as a variety of optional home automation services, all of which can be controlled from your smartphone or a 7-inch touch-screen control panel. Vivint Smart Home systems and components aren't cheap, but once you decide on a plan you don't have to lift a finger; Vivint technicians come to your house, install everything, and give you a comprehensive tour of how it all works. ADT Command offers superior customer service but costs more than Vivint, so both earn our Editors' Choice award for professional-install home security systems.

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Vivint Plans and Pricing

When you order a Vivint system, you purchase whatever hardware you need such as door/window sensors, motion sensors, cameras, and thermostats. A $599 Vivint Starter Kit comes with a Smart Hub, a pair of door/window sensors, one motion sensor, and one water sensor. You also get a $100 credit toward additional components.

Vivint Smart Home Review (1)

(Credit: Vivint)

The Vivint service plan is $39.99 per month and gives you 24/7 professional monitoring and full use of the mobile app, including alert notifications. It also lets you control smart home devices such as door locks, video doorbells, and thermostats, and it provides support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. Other benefits of the service plan include 30 days of recorded video storage for clips of up to 90 seconds in length, 10 days of continuous storage with the purchase of a Vivint Playback DVR ($299), 24/7 online and telephone technical support, in-home technician services, and an expanded equipment warranty.

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A Vivint service plan isn't mandatory, but without it you’ll have to monitor the system yourself and forgo use of the mobile app as well as remote access to the system and 24/7 tech support.

For comparison, the $599 ADT Command System Starter Kit includes a Command panel, three door or window sensors, and a motion detector. ADT's standard monthly monitoring fee, which includes all of your smart home and video services, starts at $59.99. For additional peace of mind, ADT’s top-tier Command Custom Home package comes with a Gold service package that gives you multiple ways to contact human support, including a dedicated 24/7 phone support number with sub-two minute wait times.

Vivint Components

Additional component prices are significantly higher than what you get from the competition. Door/window sensors go for $50 each, while SimpliSafe charges $14.99 and FrontPoint charges $34.99. A Vivint glass-break detector will set you back $100, while Cove charges $35 and Brinks charges $79. Vivint’s Smart Thermostat costs $199.99, which is a bit more expensive than what you can expect to pay for a typical smart thermostat such as the Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat ST75 ($169).

The Vivint Indoor Camera Pro does not come cheap at $249.99, and it now requires professional installation. This indoor security camera captures sharp video at 1080p but it lacks color night vision and its third-party integrations are limited.

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Vivint Indoor Camera Pro (Credit: Vivint)

The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro ($399 plus installation) is an outdoor security cam that not only lets you see what's happening outside, but uses Vivint's Smart Deter technology to let intruders know that they are under surveillance. The camera also provides clean two-way audio and works well with other installed Vivint components.

One of our favorite video doorbells, the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro ($249 plus installation) also uses Smart Deter technology to deter package thieves and offers stunning HDR video quality with an ultra-wide viewing angle. Vivint recently announced that you can purchase this doorbell separately without having to purchase a full security system.

The Vivint Smart Lighting System ($299 plus installation) comes with a bridge, two switches, and eight bulbs. It allows you to create automated lighting schedules and interactions with other installed Vivint devices.

The Smart Hub is the Vivint Smart Home's nerve center. It has a 7-inch full-color touch screen that makes it easy to lock and unlock doors, view live and recorded video, adjust heating and cooling temperatures, and activate emergency services including Panic and Burglary alarms that go straight to the local police department. The panel also lets you assign and edit user codes, adjust alarm volumes, tweak camera settings, arm or disarm the system, and run diagnostics. However, you can't change the sound of the alarms, which can be problematic (more on that later). The hub uses several types of wireless technologies including Wi-Fi, RF, and Z-Wave to control cameras, sensors, door locks, and more.

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Vivint Smart Hub (Credit: Vivint)

Vivint App and Performance

You can control the Vivint system remotely using free Android and iOS apps. It also supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and works with Nest Thermostats and Philips Hue smart light bulbs.

With the mobile app, the home screen displays how many doors and windows are currently open and which doors are unlocked. It also contains a big button for arming and disarming the system and buttons for locking and unlocking your doors. The task bar at the bottom of the screen contains icons for Security, Cameras, Devices, Cars, and Activity. If you have a thermostat installed, its icon will replace the Cars icon.

Tapping the Security icon takes you back to the home screen and tapping the Cameras icon takes you to a screen where you can view live video from each camera and see clips from recorded events such as person or vehicle detection or when someone rings the doorbell. The Devices icon takes you to a page where you can turn wall outlets and light switches on and off.

If you have a Vivint Car Guard installed in one or more vehicles, you’ll see a Cars icon that takes you to a screen where you can view information on each car such as battery and fuel levels and any mechanical issues. Tap a car to view its current location and status (parked, driving, offline). If the car is currently driving, you can tap the map to see where it is and follow its journey in real time. Here you can also view trip history maps and see things like harsh braking and rapid acceleration events and total distance traveled.

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(Credit: Vivint)

The Activity icon takes you to a screen where you can view information such as which windows are open and which doors are unlocked, and there’s a running history of events such as door openings and closings, motion detection, and car trip start and end times. Motion-triggered video clips can be viewed here as well.

The Security Settings (gear) icon is where you go to configure sensors, enable notifications, and create rules. For example, you can have lights turn on and off at specific times or when an event occurs, have your doors lock or unlock automatically at a certain time or as the result of an event, and have the cameras record video when an alarm is triggered. You can use any of the numerous preset rules or you can create your own.

The system performed admirably for home automation tasks. It never failed to manually lock or unlock doors, and the thermostat followed my weekday and weekend heating schedules without issue. I created custom rules to have the system lock all of my doors at 11:00 p.m. daily and turn off my living room lights at 11:30 p.m. and it followed those rules without fail.

Vivint's home security performance is equally impressive. The window and door sensors worked perfectly in testing, as did the motion detectors. The system followed my rules to have lights turn on when a camera detected motion, and when a door was opened after a certain time of day I received a notification. Live video from the doorbell camera is crisp, with rich colors and sharp black-and-white night vision out to around 15 feet. Recorded video quality is also top-notch. The interior and exterior cameras deliver excellent day and night video as well.

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Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro (Credit: Vivint)

I unwittingly put Vivint's emergency response prowess to the test, which it passed with flying colors. While heating up a slice of pizza, a chunk of cheese landed on the heating element in my toaster oven, filling the kitchen with smoke and triggering the smoke alarm. I was out in the backyard and could hear what sounded like birds chirping; it was loud, but it took a minute or two to figure out it was the alarm (I had no idea what it was supposed to sound like). I ran inside, turned off the oven, and turned on the house fan. But before I could enter my code on the control panel, a Vivint representative called and informed me that the fire department had been notified since I failed to answer their first call and did not enter my code in time. Sure enough, a fire truck and the fire chief pulled up a few minutes later. The response time from the initial alarm to the fire department's arrival was less than 10 minutes.

This brings me to my only real performance gripe. The smoke alarm, while loud, doesn't really sound like a smoke alarm. I'd much prefer the annoying beep or the shrill siren that I normally associate with an urgent alarm. As of now there is no way to change the sound of the alarm, but Vivint may add custom sirens in a future update.

A Powerful Security System for Professional Monitoring

With Vivint Smart Home, you get a full-blown home security system that is constantly being monitored, and a comprehensive home automation solution you can control from just about anywhere, including cameras with Smart Deter, a high-resolution video doorbell, and a device to monitor your cars. Granted, you can save a lot of money on components with a DIY home security system from Abode or SimpliSafe, but that means you're responsible for the installation and maintenance of each component. As with most fully monitored home security services, the Vivint Smart Home system isn't cheap, but if you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your home is secure and protected 24/7, it's money well spent. If you're willing to increase your budget for better customer service, check out ADT Command, our other Editors' Choice winner for smart home security systems.

Vivint Smart Home


Editors' Choice

Check Price


  • Speedy event response

  • Offers remote control of door locks, cameras, thermostats, and sensors

  • Responsive touch screen

  • Supports Alexa and Google voice commands

  • No lengthy contract required



  • Requires a monthly subscription for remote access

  • Some components can be pricey

The Bottom Line

The excellent Vivint Smart Home system offers 24/7 security monitoring and remote control of your cameras, door locks, heating system, and more.

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Vivint Smart Home Review (2024)


Is Vivint a good home security system? ›

Bottom Line. Vivint is one of the strongest smart home security systems. From its smart touchscreen control panel called the Vivint Smart Hub to its AI-powered security cameras, Vivint delivers a unique smart home security experience that no other security system on the market can match. We're big fans of Vivint.

What is the lawsuit against Vivint? ›

What was the settlement about? The FTC alleged that Vivint helped unqualified customers get financing for home security products by misusing other people's credit reports. As a result, people who had never interacted with the company found Vivint accounts on their credit reports.

What is better, ADT or Vivint? ›

While ADT has better professional monitoring than Vivint, Vivint wins for customer support and its app. So, the choice is truly going to come down to your personal preferences.

Does Vivint only record when motion is detected? ›

Some security cameras only save motion-activated footage, but Vivint video monitoring records 24/7 (sometimes the context leading up to a break-in is just as relevant as the event itself).

Who is the number one smart home security company? ›

Summary: Compare the Top Home Security Companies
CompanyForbes Advisor RatingBest For
Frontpoint4.0Best for Simplified Security Solutions
Link Interactive4.0Best for Customized Equipment Selection
eufy4.0Best for Affordable Monitoring
Cove4.0Best for Budget-Friendly Security with Flexible Payment Options
6 more rows
May 15, 2024

What credit score do you need for Vivint? ›

Vivint is notorious for its misleading door-to-door sales process. The company's installation technicians are paid on commission, so they aim to upsell you on more equipment than you might actually need. To qualify for financing, you need a minimum credit score of 600.

Is Vivint in trouble? ›

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal jury has found Vivint Smart Home infringed on patents for doorbell camera technology and ordered the Provo-based company to pay the plaintiffs $45 million. A statement from a Vivint spokesperson says the company plans to appeal.

Can I cancel my contract with Vivint? ›

Policy Cancellation. If you wish to cancel your agreement with Vivint, call 1-800-216-5232 for assistance. At Vivint, we understand that sometimes the unexpected happens. We also know that when the unexpected happens, changes must be made in your life.

Why was Vivint fined $20 million? ›

Vivint Smart Homes Inc. has agreed to a $20 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations of misusing credit reports to help unqualified customers secure financing for its smart home security products and services.

Where does Vivint rank? ›

Vivint was picked as the best overall home security company based on a number of factors by Forbes Home, including strong recommendations and customer testimonials on leading review platforms, a variety of plan options, and the company's 24/7 alarm monitoring and support.

Can Vivint see my cameras? ›

Your camera feed is private and not monitored or accessible by Vivint.

How much is Vivint per month? ›

Vivint security pricing and packages start at $29.99 per month for monthly monitoring. The Premium Package is $34.99 per month, and Premium Plus Package is $39.99 per month. But what about the cost of equipment? That will depend on the devices you want.

Do you own your equipment from Vivint? ›

Do I own Vivint equipment once it's paid off? Yes, this equipment is yours once you pay for it in full. If you use the financing option to pay over time, you typically pay off the equipment within three to five years.

How far back do Vivint cameras go? ›

Events are stored for 30 days. Note: You need to be signed into the app in order to access these features. Pictures of the Android are on the left, iOS are on the right. On the home screen, tap on the camera icon.

Can you still use Vivint equipment without monitoring? ›

Vivint cameras are best for surveillance purposes because of their reliability and advanced features, making them popular among homeowners. Although to use Vivint cameras and access all its features, like professional monitoring, or live streams, you must have a service subscription.

How much does Vivint cost a month? ›

Vivint security pricing and packages start at $29.99 per month for monthly monitoring. The Premium Package is $34.99 per month, and Premium Plus Package is $39.99 per month.

What are the top five home security systems? ›

Who Made the Cut? The Best Security Systems of 2024
  • ADT - Best Equipment and Professional Monitoring.
  • SimpliSafe - Best Video Security Monitoring.
  • Vivint - Best Professional Installation.
  • Alder Security - Best Professional Monitoring Response.
  • Cove - Most Affordable DIY System.
  • Frontpoint - Best Customer Service and Support.
4 days ago

What is the best home security system brand? ›

Ring Alarm comes in as our best overall system and has an edge on the competition when it comes to self-monitoring, DIY installation, and other features. Vivint and ADT follow Ring in our rating as top home security choices.


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