Vivint is first and foremost a reliable and solid connectivity system. Its control panel is easy-to-use and the mobile apps are fun. Vivint puts a lot of effort into customer service. They have the perfect selection of products to provide you with a complete home security and automation solution.
However, the price is higher for better quality. Vivint costs more than comparable professionally installed systems. However, it is not as expensive as DIY solutions that are less high quality. The payments can be spread over 42- 60 months and there is no interest. Vivint also offers the option to pay for equipment in one lump sum. This allows you reduce your monthly expenses and keeps you from getting locked into long-term contracts.
You can read our full review below to learn more about the service, from ordering, installation, functionality and other details.
The first step to buying a Vivint security system is usually a call. A sales representative will need to know about your house and whether you are interested in automated features like a smart lock, thermostat, or controllable light. The sales representative will ask about the layout of your home and discuss your needs for automated features such as smart locks, thermostats, controllable lighting, and monthly monitoring plans.
Vivint will also send a Smart Home Pro to your home to provide a free consultation. This allows you the opportunity to carefully plan your purchase of the appropriate equipment. Please note that both the Vivint Smart Home Pro agent and Smart Home Pro earn commissions. Customers have 30 days from installation to return their entire system.
Vivint has an authorized dealer network that supports its sales team. Vivint dealers are authorized to sell equipment and services at the exact same price as what is offered by Vivint. Vivint stands out from other security companies in that it is the sole responsible for all aspects of the customer relationship.
The technician arrived about 15 minutes before the scheduled time for the installation. The technician spent an entire hour walking us through how to install the equipment. “My job it to secure your home.” he stated. “Let’s put in security and toys afterward,” he said, referring to optional smart locks or voice assistants.
We went through each room and checked which windows and doors should be protected. The installer suggested what he called a “smart secondary line of defense” which included the placement of a glass break sensor that would prevent someone smashing a window instead of prying open a door.
The rigorous education of Vivint technicians, employees of the firm and not contractors is a requirement.
Vivint components have a solid construction. They look great. We only had one complaint. The door sensors were only available in white. We would have preferred a color that blended in with our natural wood. There are three options for smart door locks: bronze, satin nickel and polished brass.
Vivint intentionally doesn’t have a huge catalog of sensors cameras locks thermostats, cameras, locks and other technology. It’s what Jeremy Warren (Vivint’s Chief Tech Officer) told us is a “curated eco-system” for tight integration.
I was led by the installer through the process to name each device (e.g., bedroom slider, dining room light, etc.). The installer also gave me a tutorial on how everything works. However, the majority of his time was spent diagnosing to ensure that the control hub sensors, cameras and smart locks have strong communications.
Vivint assigns scores to each system’s various radio frequencies, WiFi and cell signals in a mature, formal process. To ensure that everything is working properly, the hub provides additional diagnostics and self-testing tools. In two months, several notifications were sent to our app when a device had to have its battery replaced or was offline for any other reason. We find these messages comforting, as we have heard horror stories from consumers who discovered that the alarm system wasn’t working after an intrusion.
We believe lighting is an integral part of home security. Vivint offers a plug-in device for controlling outlets as well as Hue smart lights bulbs. These devices won’t work if an appliance’s (or wall control) switch is accidentally turned off. It is possible to replace the current light control by a smart switch from Lutron or Wink. Vivint technicians cannot be licensed electricians. While they are able to mount cameras and doorbells in holes, they cannot change the switches inside walls. An electrician or DIY consumer will be able to do this.
How it Works
Vivint’s users have two main ways to interact with their system: the Smart Hub and a mobile phone app. Some prefer to use the smartphone app, while others prefer the control panel near the front doors. It’s up to you.
Both the control panel as well as the app have a home screen labeled “Security.” This allows you to quickly see if your system is set up to Disarmed or Armed Staying or Armed Abroad. You will also be able to see which doors and windows are currently open. This screen allows you to move around the house closing all windows and doors until you receive a message that “Everything looks fine.” The alarm is set to go off for the duration of the session. You can also view the status of smart locks. With a single touch you can lock or unlock doors.
The app’s Security screen allows you to instantly sound the alarm. The hub also has a similar button called “+”, which can trigger an emergency, panic, or fire alarm immediately.
Holding down the Fire button for two seconds will instantly dispatch the fire department. By holding down the Panic key, the Smart Hub siren sounds and contacts the monitoring station. The Emergency button contacts the monitoring station without sounding the siren.
Vivint recommended that we use the Emergency button in order to test the monitoring center’s response times. We performed this test twice. In each case, we spoke with the monitoring centre via the hub in 10 to 15 second intervals. (We explained that the representative was wrong and it was a false alert.
The Cameras navigation icon is next. It allows you to see recorded and live video events, and also to adjust privacy settings. A clock icon for Activity will link to a running log, which includes door opening and closing, motion sensor picking up movement, and people walking in front.
The hub lets you personalize the notification sound for each action, including a door-chime, piano riff or other sounds. This allows you to see the door opening without having to look up. When all doors and windows are closed and locked, a subtle green light emits from the hub. The system is now ready to arm.
Vivint is all about creating “Custom Actions” which connect different devices. This is where the power and fun of Vivint comes in. Here are some examples of functions you could set up:
- Turn on the lights you need when you enter your house.
- After entering the code for the smart lock, the system will be automatically disarmed.
- Alarm the system to disarm or alarm it at a certain time or sunset/sunrise.
An outdoor camera with a siren can be used as a custom action when an alarm is set. This is one of the most clever uses of a customized action. In addition to sounding your hub’s 100 decibel siren inside, the siren built into an outdoor camera will also blast a warning signal to the nearby residents. It is one example of multiple devices that can be combined. Vivint recently launched a Car Guard which can be easily plugged into a car’s USB port. Car Guard will notify your outdoor camera if it detects a car in your driveway.
These “custom actions”, again, are already built-in. They don’t require complex if-this-then statements. These devices are powerful and can be set-up quickly and easily.
Vivint is praised for its ability to run quickly and become second-nature.
The Best Features
Reliable Communications It’s easy for people to get distracted when shopping for home security systems. All of this is important for security, but it doesn’t count if there are reliable, lightning fast connections between your devices to the monitoring centre.
Our favorite Vivint feature? The company’s redundant, underlying communications strategy. Many competitors use your Wi-Fi network’s backbone. Vivint is a different kind of system. But how do you go about it? Vivint also added ports to our router for Power Line Communications (PLC), allowing us to connect the Vivint smart hub and the Internet. PLC transmits data by using electrical wiring from a home. PLC can also be linked to an outdoor camera, creating a wired system that allows devices to connect far from the hub.
Vivint sometimes uses Ethernet connections to reduce interference with cameras that are placed near the perimeter of a house. The additional ports also created hard links to a 24/7 hard-drive that can be used for video recordings as well as a bridge for Philips Hue lightsbulbs. The Vivint smart hub uses its own Wi Fi network, rather than piggybacking from yours.
These are the reasons these steps are so important. After the installation was complete, we found that unlocking or locking our Kwikset smartlock took just 20 seconds. Vivint technicians returned to the site to add repeaters for both 345-MHz radio signals at the hub and the Z-Wave network (the protocol that connects many third party devices). Based on these strategies the response time to the smart lock decreased to approximately one second. The firmware was also updated by the Vivint Outdoor cam. This improved the talk function, allowing for easier conversations with those at the door.
Vivint Smart Sentry and Outdoor Camera Pro: AI-Based
Vivint launched a new outdoor camera in April 2019, and it is fantastic. It can record 4K Ultra HD video with high dynamic range. The field of view is 140°. The zooming was very quick and we could see the scene in a pinch. Two far-field microphones, with echo cancelling, provided clear audio. It was also equipped to allow for two-way communication and a siren.
Smart Sentry allows the camera to send a notification to a smartphone when someone is lurking in the driveway. We used the app’s Smart Sentry function to set boundaries so that the camera would not be able to see or ignore certain areas. The camera’s built in intelligence can distinguish between a human being, a passing car, or a swaying tree. When it senses a person, the camera emits a sound and illuminates the surrounding area with a red glow. It is possible for intruders just to glance up in time to snap a photo that can be sent to our phones.
The notification brought us into the camera section. Because we had the Smart Drive, it was possible to rewind footage to see all of the scene of someone approaching and departing. Every detected action is identified on the timeline by a little white dot. The Smart Drive is not required to store the clip for 14 days in Vivint’s cloud. Vivint Outdoor Cameras can store clips up to 90 seconds. Clips from the Ping indoors and doorbell cameras are 30 seconds each.
Prices and Fees
Vivint starts at $599 It includes the Vivint smart hub, two door/window sensors, a motion sensor, and $100 in credit for additional sensors. We added the following security gear to our system:
- 7 additional door/window sensors $350 ($50 each).
- 1 additional motion detector: $100
- 2 glass break detectors, $200 each ($100 each).
- Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro: $399
Our order would have cost us $1,650 if it had been left there. It is very similar to an average Vivint purchase. Our order grew to $3,173 when we added these items.
- 2 Vivint Ping indoor cameras: $398 ($199 each)
- Vivint Doorbell Camera – $249
- Vivint SmartDrive: $249
- 1 CO detector: $100
- 1 additional water sensor: $50
- 1 smoke detector: $100
- Kwikset smart door lock: $179
- 4 lamp modules for $200 (50 each)
Vivint smart Home monthly service plans are $39.99 plus $5 per Camera, which includes 14-days of clip storage per Camera. You can record up to four cameras at a time 24/7 with a Vivint Smart Drive. Even though the Smart Drive is expensive at $249, we recommend it because it offers quick viewing and rewinding.
Vivint also offers $19.99 monthly Smart Security monitoring, which requires the purchase of all equipment. This basic system does not include home automation or cameras. Vivint estimates that about 5% choose this option.
The competition: Vivint vs. ADT
Vivint security systems are professionally installed. Vivint should be compared to full-service systems such as ADT and Brinks. It is not a DIY product. Vivint makes almost all of the products it sells. Vivint is not like ADT, which is the most well-known home-security company. ADT bundles its equipment with its services. In most cases, a high monthly fee is charged. Vivint on the other side, however, charges a monthly fee for equipment and separates it after all gear has been purchased.
Final Verdict of TheSpruce.com
The best system to protect your home.
Vivint is your best bet for the best home security system. Vivint is a worry-free home security system that offers smart features and customized security actions like the ability to sound alarms via exterior cameras. It also has near-failproof power line communication from the Hub to the Internet.
Images sources TheSpruce