It’s rare that a home security company is worth billions, but given the Blackstone Group’s acquisition of Vivint for $2 billion1, it’s definitely a company you should consider. With top-of-the-line cameras and video doorbells and free installation, Vivint sets the standard in many ways, and you get what you pay for. Well, we’ve done the research and testing and we’re here to share exactly how much Vivint costs, how it fits into your smart home, and the most important question— is it worth it?
What We Like About Vivint
- Free, professional installation: Vivint professionals will install your security system for you, although you will need to pay $129 if you move and need it re-installed.
- Smart home integrations: Vivint works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Philips Hue smart lighting and Nest thermostats, allowing for some convenient automated actions.
- Outdoor camera and video doorbell: The company’s most recent products are among the top of their game in terms of video quality and artificial intelligence.
- App: The Vivint Smart Home app makes it easy to monitor and control your home’s security from anywhere in the world.
Vivint Pricing vs. The Competition
At Security.org, we’re all about options, and Vivint has a ton of them. If you want to avoid monthly fees, you can self-monitor your system, although you won’t have use of the Vivint Smart Home app. This essentially turns your system into a local alarm system only, which someone less tech-savvy might prefer. But for those of you that want the smart home security Vivint is known for, Vivint offers an all-encompassing monthly payment program which can range from $29.99 to $59.99 a month, not including cloud storage fees.
This range is typical of the more traditional security companies out there, although of course, we have seen some disruptive companies charge a lot less. However, Vivint is certainly more established than these start-ups with over 20 years in business2, so again, you’re paying partially for their trustworthy reputation.
In terms of equipment, Vivint’s prices are also up there, although some components’ pricing is negotiable. Take the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, for instance. It costs $399, and although it’s at the top of the line in terms of quality, most outdoor cameras cost around $200. Similarly, the Vivint Doorbell Camera costs $249.99, a bit more expensive than the industry average is around $188. So if you’re considering Vivint, expect to pay hundreds for equipment and at least $29.99 more per month, again, typical of the more established security companies in the United States currently.
How Does Vivint Fit Into Your Smart Home?
Aside from working with Philips Hue smart lighting and Nest thermostats, Vivint primarily works with Alexa and Google Assistant, the two most popular voice assistants. Let’s talk about the commands you can use with each.
The Vivint.SmartHome – Complete Alexa skill lets users control their connected device using their voices alone, making for a much more convenient home. Here are some sample commands:
- Alexa, turn on my lights.
- Alexa, army my security system “away”.
- Alexa, set the heat to 70 degrees.
- Alexa, I am cold.
- Alexa, close my garages.
- Alexa, lock my front door.
- Alexa, show me the doorbell camera.
This is a super comprehensive list of capabilities, so those in the Amazon ecosystem will enjoy integrating their Vivint system into the mix.
The Vivint Smart Home Google Assistant action is also super comprehensive, allowing control for cameras, garage doors, lights, locks, thermostats, and of course, security systems. Here are a few commands:
- OK Google, turn up the thermostat.
- Hey Google, unlock the front door.
- Hey Google, arm security.
- OK Google, show the front door camera on living room TV.
Users will be able to view their Vivint footage on smart displays like the Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max, so Vivint is a great choice for those already in the Google ecosystem as well.
Vivint also offers a number of add-on equipment pieces that integrate into your smart home so you can control them with your voice, such as:
- Kwikset Smart Lock: In addition to using a key, the Kwikset Smart Lock can be controlled remotely or opened via a numerical code. That means the chances of you getting locked out of your house just went way down. Plus, you’ll be notified if the door is left unlocked, relieving you of that anxiety. On top of that, the lock can be programmed to trigger other connected devices, for example, having the security system disarm when the door unlocks. To let people in when no one is home, users can create up to 30 unique codes, much more secure than leaving a key under the welcome mat.
- Garage Door Controller: Got a garage? This controller lets users open and close their garage doors remotely and get notified if it’s less open. This device is super useful for packages, as users can let delivery people into the garage to guard packages from theft. Plus, it has a tamper alarm so that the user will get alerted if anyone tries to mess with it. Let’s be honest: your garage is part of your house, and Vivint understands that it needs protection, too.
- Vivint Element Thermostat: Smart thermostats are some of our favorite types of connected devices. The reason? They can save you money on heating and cooling costs by using schedules, sensing your location using the GPS on your phone, and even incorporating information about the weather outside of your house. Obviously, you’ll be able to control your home’s temperature through Vivint’s app or voice commands, but you can also be alerted of any temperature changes (like if your wife turned the dial up again). The Element Thermostat even detects humidity, not just temperature, as this can be a major factor in how hot the room feels.
- Nest Thermostat E: Vivint also offers a smart thermostat from Google Nest, one of the best smart home companies on the market. Over time, the Nest Thermostat E can learn your schedule without you even having to program it, a rare feature when it comes to smart thermostats. By sensing motion as well as passive infrared heat, this thermostat knows when someone is home and even what room they’re in! Aside from that, you’ll be able to hook it up with the GPS on your phone, control it manually through the Vivint or Nest apps, or use your trusted voice assistant to control your home’s temperature. With so many easily accessible options, it’s no wonder that Nest thermostats can save you an average of 10-12% on heating and up to 15% on cooling, according to an independent study3.
- Philips Hue Smart Lighting: Philips Hue is perhaps the best-known lighting brand in the country, and smart lighting is no exception. Take the Philips Hue White and Color Bulb, for example. Not only will you be able to dim it and set it to 16 million different color options, but you can also schedule your lights just as you did your thermostats. Or, you can sync them to other connected devices, like having your mudroom’s lights turn on when your garage door controller is used. You can even sync your lights with the sunrise and sunset, or the GPS on your phone!
Although many of Vivint’s smart home products are made by third parties, the beautiful thing is that you’ll be able to control everything in the Vivint Smart Home app as well as through the voice assistants. Vivint is more than just a security company; they’re a smart home brand that’s passionate about making your life easier, and with so many connected devices, your life just got a whole lot more convenient.
Vivint’s Equipment Pricing
Quality smart home security means investing in trusted devices that have been tried and tested by our experts. With Vivint, you can choose exactly what equipment you want, which will determine your monthly fee. But don’t worry; if you don’t have all the money upfront, Vivint does have financing plans so you can pay over time. We recommend choosing a package, as that’ll save you money compared to buying each piece of equipment individually, but for your convenience, we’ll share the pricing for both.
Vivint Package Pricing
When it comes to any of Vivint’s equipment, you can either pay for it upfront or pay over a 60-month period, with prices lower than $10 a month. This is a great option for someone on a budget, but keep in mind that you will have to pay for your equipment in total, just in small doses over a longer period of time.
Vivint’s Package and Pricing Breakdown
|Name of Package||SkyControl Starter Kit||Home Security System Bundle||Smart Home Control Bundle||Video Security Bundle||Smart Complete Bundle|
|Learn More||View Package||View Package||View Package||View Package||View Package|
|60-Month Financing Option Monthly Price||$9.98||$11.83||$17.50||$23.00||$29.83|
|Touchscreen Control Panel||1||1||1||1||1|
|Google Home Mini||2||2||2||2||2|
Sure, Vivint isn’t the cheapest option around, but when it comes to your home’s security, that’s an area you don’t want to skimp on. Make sure to check out our review of Vivint before making any hasty decisions either way!
Vivint’s Monitoring Pricing
Like we said above, technically, Vivint doesn’t require any monthly fees; however, if you don’t pay any fees, your system will turn into a local alarm system only, meaning you won’t be able to control it remotely, livestream footage, receive mobile notifications, etc. In other words, if your alarm goes off and no one is home, it may not do you much good in the end…but that’s where smart security comes in! With WiFi-connected cameras, sensors, and other devices, you can know as soon as any of your alarms go off, or if your camera detects a person when your system is armed. They don’t call it smart home security for nothing!
For those that want smart home security, the fees will depend on the equipment you buy, ranging from $29.99 a month to $49.99 for the first two cameras. Keep in mind that this fee includes 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup, keeping your system on in the event of a power outage. We like that Vivint includes professional monitoring and cellular backup with all of its paid plans, as these two features are essential for keeping your home secure at all times. After all, no one has time to stay on top of it all 24/7, especially with obligations from work and beyond.
Breakdown of Monitoring Packages
|Package Name||Smart Security Service||Smart Home Service||Smart Home Video Service|
|Price||$29.99 per month||$39.99 per month||$49.99 per month|
|Google Home Mini||✓||✓||✓|
|Recessed Door Sensor||✓||✓||✓|
|Glass Break Sensor||✓||✓||✓|
|Garage Door Controller||x||✓||✓|
|Nest Thermostat E||x||✓||✓|
|Nest Learning Thermostat||x||✓||✓|
|Vivint Element Thermostat||x||✓||✓|
If you have more cameras, the cost will go up to a cost of $59.99 for four cameras, the maximum number of cameras you can have with one account. However, most people won’t need this many cameras, so it really depends on the size of your home and your personal preferences.
|Number of Cameras||Monthly Price|
|Four (maximum on one account)||$59.99|
Keep in mind that this doesn’t include video storage fees, which is an additional $5 a month for 14 days, or $249 for the Vivint Smart Drive which allows for 24/7 continuous recording. If you’re looking to save money, go with the $5 a month option, a very reasonable fee.
Do you like flexible contracts? We do too, so for users that pay for their equipment upfront, Vivint has flexible, month-to-month contracts, allowing users to avoid long-term contracts. However, for users that financed their equipment, the contract length will be equal to the time of the loan, 60 months. Some Vivint customers complain that they weren’t aware of the contract length when they signed up for Vivint, as there’s no way to get out of it once you’re signed up, so make sure to ask your salesperson exactly what your term length is. This is always a good practice, whether you’re buying a security system or signing up for a new streaming service!
Tip: Tip: Pay upfront with Vivint so you can get monthly versus long-term contracts.
Having tested and used Vivint for over a year now, we love how it helps keep our home secure, and with 24/7 professional monitoring, we know that someone is always there for us in case of an emergency – that is why Vivint continues to be one of our top home security systems each year. While Vivint may not make much sense as a local alarm system only, for those that want 24/7 professional monitoring, remote control, notifications, and other features of a smart home security system, Vivint is a viable option.
Forbes. (2011). Home Security Firm Enters Solar Market With $75M Fund.
New Zealand Herald. (2013). City business secures huge US linked deal.
Nest Labs. (2015). Energy Savings from the Nest Learning Thermostat: Energy Bill Analysis Results.