Photo: istockphoto.comBoth SimpliSafe and Vivint feature among the best home security systems in the industry. Choosing between Vivint vs. SimpliSafe can be tough, especially since both systems are well worth the investment.
This comparison guide breaks down the two companies on a point-by-point basis, comparing each individual aspect to help readers decide which of the two home security systems would best fit their needs.How We Compared Home Security SystemsPhoto: istockphoto.comAlthough security systems differ from company to company, there are a few traits that remain the same across the board. Comparing two companies' reputations, equipment and monitoring options, pricing, and more can allow customers to fairly evaluate which of the two options is objectively better for them.Reputation: A company's reputation is the easiest measuring stick. Outlets like the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot allow consumers to express their opinions, and those takes on a company say a lot about the user experience.Equipment options and quality: Different companies offer different types of equipment.
Some are more compatible with third-party devices than others. All these factors play a role in determining the versatility and overall user-friendliness of a company.Packages and plans: Are features locked behind a specific plan, or is everything available to customers from the outset? How many plans are available, and what sort of versatility do they offer?Pricing and fees: Not everyone has the same budget. When a company offers a variety of pricing options, as well as customization regarding what features are required, customers can build a security system that suits their specific needs.Installation: While many security companies offer professional installation, the costs of this installation are often high.
Optional DIY installation helps customers cut down on security camera installation costs and gives customers more options.Monitoring: Professional monitoring is one of the features that sets a high-end system apart from a singular security camera, but not all monitoring plans are created equal. What features are included with monitoring, as well as the cost of that monitoring, can be the deciding factor between two different systems.App user experience: Any home security app should be intuitive, easy to install, and fast to load. The last thing someone wants when unexpected motion is detected is to spend 10 or 15 seconds waiting for the app to open.Trial period: Although a security system might look great on paper, the day-to-day experience can often be quite different.
A trial period gives users time to decide whether the system actually works for them or not.Warranty: Just as a trial allows a user to test out a system, a proper warranty protects against manufacturing defects or accidents at installation.Home automation and device compatibility: In the modern world, a home security system should provide as much convenience as it does safety. Many home automation features can enhance the efficacy of a security system.1. SimpliSafe vs.
Vivint: Reputation and Customer ReviewsSimpliSafe doesn't have the greatest reputation with the Better Business Bureau, averaging a 1.3 out of 5 rating based on 191 customer reviews. The company's Trustpilot score is actually quite a bit better, with a 3.9 out of 5 rating after more than 16,000 reviews.On the other hand, Vivint's BBB rating averages only 1.07 based on just over 1,300 reviews, and there's also an alert regarding an FTC Settlement agreement. Trustpilot once again shows a higher rating, with an average of 4.0 out of 5 after more than 29,000 reviews.
Vivint also seeks out reviews, replies to negative reviews quickly and with helpful feedback, and seeks to correct problems that customers face.Verdict: SimpliSafe and Vivint both have excellent reputations as two options among the best home security systems on the market. Customer reviews reflect that these good reputations are well-earned, with an abundance of positive customer reviews for both companies. However, a closer look reveals that Vivint's overall rating is slightly higher.Winner: VivintPhoto: istockphoto.com2.
SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: Equipment Options and QualitySimpliSafe offers multiple equipment options, including indoor and outdoor cameras, glass- break sensors, and more. There is even optional equipment including a 105-decibel siren (about the same volume as a nightclub), key fobs, and more.Vivint offers much of the same type of equipment, including a Vivint key fob and Vivint motion detector, but takes it a step further with in-house smart-home devices like the Vivint Smart Hub, easy integration with Nest thermostats, and smart alarm sensors for windows and doors.
Additionally, Vivint has an optional add-on called Car Guard that syncs with the Vivint system to track the vehicle's location, get disturbance alerts, and diagnose mechanical issues. It also offers combined smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as other useful pieces of equipment that SimpliSafe just doesn't bring to the table.Verdict: Both SimpliSafe and Vivint have a long list of high-quality equipment options, but Vivint offers additional pieces such as vehicle protection, combined smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, and various smart-home systems.Winner: Vivint3. SimpliSafe vs.
Vivint: Packages and PlansSimpliSafe not only allows customers to create a custom package with only a couple of starting elements, but it also offers seven premade packages: the Beacon, the Lighthouse, the Haven, the Knox, the Hearth, the Essentials, and the Foundation. Each package varies in price and equipment options, but the wide selection gives customers a range of items to choose from.Vivint offers three packages: the Starter Package for basic security, the Premium Package for complete security, and the Premium Plus Package that offers both security and automation. Vivint also lets customers build their own package, but it's not as easy to do and requires a phone call to a customer representative.Verdict: Both companies offer fully customizable packages to allow customers to tailor their system to their specific requirements.
However, while Vivint offers three equipment packages, SimpliSafe offers seven, giving customers more options.Winner: SimpliSafe4. SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: Pricing and FeesHome security costs can vary drastically between companies.
SimpliSafe isn't exactly cheap; the most advanced package is almost $700, but the company offers a steep discount if customers pair professional monitoring with their purchase. For example, the Beacon drops in price from almost $700 to $385. Considering those plans start at around $18 per month (or $10 per month if a customer has cameras), that's a great perk and an easy way to save.On the other hand, Vivint's monitoring prices start at $30 per month and only go up from there.
These plans don't offer much besides the expressed monitoring, although they do include a longer warranty for as long as the plan is in effect.Verdict: Both Vivint and SimpliSafe have a variety of pricing options to suit a range of customers, but SimpliSafe's overall cost is lower than Vivint's—especially for customers who choose the less-costly options of DIY installation and self-monitoring.Winner: SimpliSafe5. SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: InstallationIf someone is particularly tech-savvy, they might prefer to install their own security system.
SimpliSafe makes this possible, offering a choice between professional installation and a DIY security system. SimpliSafe also offers easy-to-follow instructions through its website for how to install a system. If someone decides they want help, though, SimpliSafe's professional installation fees start at $79.Vivint doesn't give customers a choice and instead requires all equipment to be professionally installed.
While that reduces the chance for error, it also increases the startup cost for these systems. The installation fee is a flat $99, and this is on top of the often-high cost for equipment.Verdict: SimpliSafe offers a choice between DIY and professional installation to appeal to a variety of customers, while Vivint does not offer a DIY option.Winner: SimpliSafePhoto: istockphoto.com6. SimpliSafe vs.
Vivint: MonitoringAlthough professional monitoring almost always comes out ahead of self-monitoring, there are times it isn't necessary, and customers should have the option to choose. SimpliSafe provides customers with a self-monitored option for just $10 per month, as well as Standard Monitoring for $18 per month and Interactive Monitoring for $28 per month.Vivint offers Smart Security Monitoring for $30 per month, Smart Home Monitoring for $40 per month, and Smart Home Video Monitoring—the most advanced of the three options with the widest range of features—for $50 per month. Although the cost is slightly higher than that of SimpliSafe, there are more features to choose from.Verdict: Vivint offers three professional monitoring plans designed to meet the needs and budgets of a wide variety of customers.
SimpliSafe has three professional monitoring plans, but it also offers a self-monitoring option to cater to customers who don't want professional monitoring.Winner: Tie7. SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: App User ExperienceWhen it comes to apps for smart security systems, many companies offer virtually the same experience.
Customers can view live feed from their cameras, arm and disarm the system, and often contact authorities straight from the app. However, there is one area that sets these apps apart: smart-home functionality.While Vivint and SimpliSafe have many of the same features, Vivint also offers more smart- home integration that takes it a step beyond what SimpliSafe provides.Verdict: Both the SimpliSafe and Vivint apps are simple to use and allow customers to monitor their home security systems from their smartphones, but Vivint's app is the more comprehensive of the two and also allows customers to control smart-home devices.Winner: Vivint8. SimpliSafe vs.
Vivint: Trial PeriodWhile it's not exactly a free trial, SimpliSafe gives customers the chance to try out their security system for 60 days, risk-free. If customers aren't satisfied, SimpliSafe promises a full refund—including shipping.On the other hand, Vivint has no free trial and no real cancellation window. Customers report that they have a 3-day window in which to cancel their Vivint account without penalty after signing the contract, but this information isn't available on Vivint's website; it appears that this 3-day window applies to only after the contract is signed, not after the equipment has been installed.Verdict: SimpliSafe offers a generous 60-day trial, during which customers can get a full refund if they are not 100 percent satisfied.
In comparison, Vivint's 'trial period' only lasts for 3 days.Winner: SimpliSafePhoto: istockphoto.com9. SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: WarrantyAll SimpliSafe equipment comes with a 1-year limited hardware warranty, but anyone who signs up for SimpliSafe's Interactive Professional Monitoring (a $28 per month expense) will receive a limited lifetime warranty for the duration of their subscription.Vivint offers a warranty that lasts throughout the service contract.
Since so much of Vivint's equipment is leased rather than purchased, this gives customers a virtually unlimited warranty that can cover accidents and damage well into the life of the product.Verdict: Vivint's warranty lasts for the duration of the service contract. SimpliSafe's basic hardware warranty lasts for 1 year, though customers who opt for professional monitoring will get an extended warranty for the lifetime of their subscription.Winner: Vivint10. SimpliSafe vs.
Vivint: Home Automation and Device CompatibilitySimpliSafe is capable of integrating with a wide range of smart-home devices, although this feature is locked behind the Interactive Monitoring plan or the Self-Monitoring with Camera Recording plan. SimpliSafe doesn't work with HomeKit, but it does work with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It also works with August-brand smart locks.On the other hand, Vivint produces its own lineup of smart-home equipment, while still leaving the door open for easy integration with other brands like the Nest thermostat.
As an example, the Vivint motion sensor can communicate with the home's smart thermostat to keep the temperature at an optimal level with no required input from the residents. The fact that Vivint has its own in-home brand of smart devices sets it a step above SimpliSafe, as does the ease of use and integration.Verdict: Vivint produces its own line of home automation devices that integrate seamlessly with its home security system. SimpliSafe doesn't offer home automation devices, but its products can integrate with some third-party smart-home systems.Winner: VivintVerdict: Vivint is our choice for customers looking for a comprehensive home security and smart-home system, but SimpliSafe has many impressive features that make it a good option for customers looking for a lower-cost or DIY system.Vivint is a higher-end system than SimpliSafe on multiple fronts, but that also comes with a higher cost.
It's not the most budget-friendly, but its list of features more than makes up for the added expense. Vivint is especially appealing to customers who want a home security system that seamlessly integrates with their smart-home system, as the two different systems together can make quite an impressive sight.Buy a Vivint home security systemSimpliSafe lacks some of the bells and whistles, but it still provides enough security to keep any home safe. Where SimpliSafe excels is in choice; not only can customers choose to install their own equipment, but they can also opt for a self-monitored plan without losing out on a lot of features.
Many customers choose SimpliSafe as a lower-cost alternative to Vivint.Buy a SimpliSafe home security system