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SimpliSafe vs. Vivint (2021)

SimpliSafe and Vivint are two popular security systems used by homeowners and renters in the U.S. Find out which system is the better fit for your home in this SimpliSafe vs. Vivint comparison.

Security System on grey backdrop Courtesy SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe and Vivint are two home security systems that homeowners and renters often consider when deciding on a home protection device. Both companies offer 24/7 professional monitoring, smart home compatibility, and video surveillance.

In this SimpliSafe vs. Vivint breakdown, the This Old House Reviews Team examines the two security providers to help you find the best home security for your home.

Our Take

SimpliSafe is much cheaper than Vivint and offers a much longer trial period. However, Vivint provides more technologically advanced equipment and more opportunities for smart home integration than SimpliSafe.

Compare SimpliSafe vs. Vivint

Provider SimpliSafe Vivint
Provider SimpliSafe Vivint
Get Free Quote Visit site Visit site
This Old House Rating 9.9 / 10 8.5 / 10
Trial Period 60 days 3 days
Contract Length Month-to-month None if equipment is purchased upfront
Monthly Monitoring Cost $14.99–$24.99 $29.99–$44.99
Installation DIY or professional Professional only
24/7 Monitoring
Motion Detection
Smart Home Compatibility
Mobile App Access ✔ Available with interactive monitoring
Video Surveillance ✔ With SimpliCam purchase
Video Streaming Capability ✔ With SimpliCam purchase

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint Overview

SimpliSafe Overview

SimpliSafe was founded in 2006 to provide renters with a way to secure their apartments. The company now protects over three million homeowners and renters across the U.S. and U.K. SimpliSafe is known for its easy installation, and we consider it to be one of the top home security companies in the industry.

Best Features:

  • Inexpensive monitoring plans
  • Easy installation
  • Offers significant discounts on equipment

Vivint Overview

Vivint is a home security company with over 20 years of experience and excellence in the area of smart home integration. It was named among Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2017 and offers in-house professional monitoring services.

Best Features:

  • Integrates with a wide variety of smart home devices
  • Advanced security equipment
  • Free professional installation

What Do SimpliSafe and Vivint Have in Common?

SimpliSafe and Vivint are very different home security systems, however they share a few commonalities including the following:

  • Types of security equipment: Both companies sell common security equipment such as security cameras, motion sensors, and entry sensors.
  • Self-monitoring option: Homeowners can use some features of Vivint and SimpliSafe without purchasing a professional monitoring plan, and can instead opt for a self-monitoring system.
  • Smart home integration capabilities: Both Vivint and SimpliSafe are capable of integrating with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

How Are SimpliSafe and Vivint Different?

There are many differences between these two home security companies. Here are some of the most significant differences:

  • Professional monitoring cost—Vivint charges considerably more money to professionally monitor a home than SimpliSafe charges.
  • Trial period—SimpliSafe’s trial period is much longer than Vivint’s trial period.
  • Smart home integrations–Vivint is capable of integrating with many more smart home devices than SimpliSafe.
  • Method of installation—Vivint offers free professional installation, while SimpliSafe is primarily designed for DIY installation.
  • Equipment complexity and cost—Vivint’s equipment is considerably more advanced and expensive than SimpliSafe’s equipment.

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint Packages

SimpliSafe Packages

Packages The Foundation Package The Essentials Package The Hearth Package The Knox Package The Haven Package
Packages The Foundation Package The Essentials Package The Hearth Package The Knox Package The Haven Package
Base Station
Keypad
Entry Sensor ✔ 1 included ✔ 3 included ✔ 3 included ✔ 6 included ✔ 4 included
Motion Sensor ✔ 1 included ✔ 1 included ✔ 1 included ✔ 2 included ✔ 2 included
Siren - -
Key Fob - -
Smoke Detector - -
Panic Button - - - -
Temperature Sensor - - - -
Water Sensor - - - -

SimpliSafe offers five different security packages: The Foundation, The Essentials, The Hearth, The Knox, and The Haven. Most of the company’s security products can also be purchased on an a la carte basis.

SimpliSafe also offers additional equipment such as extra motion sensors and entry sensors, glass break sensors, smart locks, and a SimpliCam indoor security camera.

Vivint Packages

Feature "Vivint Smart Hub Starter Kit" Package "Home Security System" Package "Smart Home Control" Package "Video Security" Package "Smart Complete" Package
Feature "Vivint Smart Hub Starter Kit" Package "Home Security System" Package "Smart Home Control" Package "Video Security" Package "Smart Complete" Package
SkyControl Panel
Smart Entry Sensors (2)
Voice Control
Motion Sensor
Smart Smoke Detector - -
Element Thermostat - - -
Smart Lock - - -
Smart Garage Door Opener - - -
Doorbell Camera - - -
Outdoor Camera - - -
Ping Indoor Camera - - -

Vivint offers five different equipment bundles. Below, we discuss each of the company’s equipment bundles.

  • “Smart Hub Starter Kit” Package: Vivint’s most basic equipment package, the Smart Hub Starter Kit, includes the Smart Hub—the touch-screen command center of the security system. It also includes one water sensor, one motion sensor, two smart entry sensors, and $100 toward additional sensors.
  • “Home Security System Bundle” Package: Designed for homeowners who subscribe to the company’s Smart Security plan, the home security system bundle includes all of the items contained in the Smart Hub Starter Kit plus a smart smoke detector.
  • “Smart Home Control Bundle” Package: The Smart Home Control bundle is designed for homeowners who subscribe to the company’s Smart Home Control plan and contains everything in the home security system bundle plus a smart thermostat, a smart door lock, and a smart garage door opener.
  • “Video Security Bundle” Package: Vivint created the Video Security bundle for homeowners who subscribe to the company’s Smart Home Video plan. It includes everything in the Smart Hub Starter Kit, plus a video doorbell, outdoor security camera, and an indoor camera.
  • “Smart Complete Bundle” Package: Vivint’s premium bundle, the Smart Complete Bundle, includes the security devices in the Video Security bundle plus everything in the Smart Home Control bundle.

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: Doorbell Comparison

Provider SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro
Provider SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro
Pricing $169 $249
Subscription fees Included with the Interactive monitoring plan $39 per month
Installation DIY or professional Professional
Video quality 1080p 1080p
Night vision Yes Yes
Range of motion 162 degrees 180 degrees
Connectivity options Wi-Fi connection Wi-Fi connection
Additional features Two-way audio, motion alerts, pan and zoom Motion alerts, package and person detection, two-way audio

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint Pricing

SimpliSafe Pricing

Pricing "The Foundation" Package "The Essentials" Package "The Hearth" Package "The Knox" Package "The Haven" Package
Pricing "The Foundation" Package "The Essentials" Package "The Hearth" Package "The Knox" Package "The Haven" Package
Equipment Cost $229.00 $259.00 $374.00 $449.00 $489.00

The cost of SimpliSafe’s services consists of the cost of its security equipment and the cost of its optional professional monitoring services. SimpliSafe sells a Standard Plan and an Interactive Plan.

Here’s a breakdown of SimpliSafe’s monitoring plans and their cost:

  • The Standard Plan ($14.99/month): This plan only connects the base station to the company’s monitoring center, without access to alert notifications and the company’s mobile application.
  • The Interactive Plan ($24.99/month): This plan does provide access to alerts through SimpliSafe’s mobile app in addition to connecting the base station to the company’s monitoring center.

The cost of SimpliSafe’s equipment is dependent on whether a homeowner signs up for professional monitoring—SimpliSafe provides a 20% discount on equipment for homeowners who purchase a professional monitoring plan. The table below breaks down these costs.

Vivint Pricing

Pricing "SkyControl Starter Kit" Package "Home Security System" Package "Smart Home Control" Package "Video Security" Package "Smart Complete" Package
Pricing "SkyControl Starter Kit" Package "Home Security System" Package "Smart Home Control" Package "Video Security" Package "Smart Complete" Package
Equipment Cost $599 $709.98 $1,049.95 $1,379.95 $1,789.92
Optional Monthly Financing Cost $9.98 $11.83 $17.50 $23.00 $29.83

The cost of Vivint’s services depends on whether a homeowner purchases their security equipment upfront or not. If they do, Vivint allows them to pay month-to-month for monitoring services. Homeowners who want to finance their equipment will need to bundle it with monitoring services and sign a five-year contract with a monthly payment.

Vivint’s professional monitoring plans and prices include the following:

  • Smart Security Plan: $29.99/month
  • Smart Home Plan: $39.99/month
  • Smart Home Video Plan: $44.99/month

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: How It Works

How Does SimpliSafe Work?

SimpliSafe’s wireless sensors are designed to detect events such as motion in the home, a door being opened, or glass being shattered. When one of the sensors is triggered, a representative from SimpliSafe’s monitoring center will receive an alert and promptly call the homeowner. If the homeowner does not respond to the phone call or confirms that the sensor being triggered was not an accident, SimpliSafe will contact an emergency response team.

Homeowners who choose to self-monitor will not receive alert notifications when a sensor has been triggered, and they are responsible for calling an emergency response team themselves. If the homeowner purchased a siren with their equipment package, it will sound off to alert anyone in the home when one of their wireless sensors has been triggered.

How Does Vivint Work?

Vivint offers free professional installation for your security equipment. When an event triggers one of your sensors, the system will contact the Vivint monitoring station. A representative from the Vivint monitoring station will then call you to confirm whether it’s an emergency. If you confirm with the monitoring center that you are in trouble or the company’s representatives cannot reach you, the police will be dispatched to your home.

Our Conclusion

SimpliSafe and Vivint are two of the most popular security systems in the U.S. Our Reviews Team named both companies among the best home security companies of 2021. If you’re looking for a provider with low prices and a simple but effective security system, consider SimpliSafe. If you’re seeking a provider with many smart home integrations and technologically advanced security equipment, consider Vivint.

To get a free quote or obtain more information about SimpliSafe or Vivint, use the tool below.

If you’re not sure whether SimpliSafe or Vivint is right for you, compare them to other top-rated security providers in the industry like Abode, ADT, and Frontpoint.

Compare Top-Rated Home Security Providers

Provider Abode ADT Frontpoint
Provider Abode ADT Frontpoint
Get a free quote Visit site Visit site Visit site
Monitoring prices (per month) $6.00-$20.00 $29.00 and up $44.99 to $49.99 per month
Contract required No 36 months Month-to-month
24/7 monitoring Available Included Available
Professional installation $99.00 and up $99.00 and up Not available
DIY installation Available Not available Available
Mobile app access Yes Yes Available
Motion detection Yes Yes Available
Smart home compatibility Yes Yes Yes
Video surveillance Yes Available Available
Video streaming capability Yes Available Available

More Comparisons

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for home security providers is on a 100-point scale based on 10 factors:

  • Number of systems (5)
  • Special features (10)
  • Installation options (5)
  • Connectivity and smart home automation (15)
  • Pricing (15)
  • Contract period (5)
  • Warranty (15)
  • Trial period (15)
  • Usability (5)
  • Trustworthiness (10)

Our team reviewed 32 companies and spent 744 hours researching and testing out products to help us compare home security systems on key factors such as package options, cost, reliability, and ease of use. Read more on our methodology here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, Vivint vs. ADT?

Vivint and ADT are both excellent choices for homeowners seeking professional monitoring and installation. We named ADT as the best overall home security provider and Vivint as the best home security provider for smart home integration.

Is Vivint worth the money?

Vivint may be worth the money for homeowners who want a security system capable of many smart home integrations or who want top-of-the-line security equipment.

Can Vivint be hacked?

Vivint uses 1024-bit encryption, and its cameras have the ability to hide IP addresses of connected devices, so Vivint homeowners are unlikely to be hacked.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.