Vivint costs a lot, but it offers smart home automation alongside security
How Much Does Vivint Cost?
If you’ve been eyeing Vivint for a while but aren’t sure how much it will cost, Reviews.org is here to help.
We’ve rounded up figures for Vivint equipment, monitoring, and fees to give the most accurate cost estimate possible. (Hint: you’ll pay at least $30 a month for monitoring and at least $600 up front for equipment.)
Let’s dive in!
How much is Vivint Smart Home equipment?
Previously, Vivint used the term “Vivint Sky” for some security system offerings. For instance, the Vivint smart hub was called the Vivint Sky Panel, and the Vivint app was called the Vivint Sky app. Vivint has since phased out the term.
For the most part, Vivint equipment is pretty costly.
The equipment is unique to Vivint, which is nice in that you’re getting something special for your money. We’ve tried Vivint’s equipment, and pieces of it really impressed us, like the smart, unique Deter feature on the video doorbell.
But because the equipment is proprietary, you likely won’t be able to get it monitored by another, cheaper security company when your Vivint commitment expires.
If you don’t want to pay a lump sum up front (and we don’t blame you), you can choose to finance. You’ll pay back the equipment a little bit at a time, which will result in an additional charge on top of your monthly monitoring fee.
If you want to finance your Vivint equipment, the company will run a credit check on you. It’s annoying but understandable.
Vivint sells the following security equipment at the following prices:
- Key fob: $34.99
- Door/window sensor: $50.00
- Recessed door sensor: $34.99
- Glass break detector: $100.00
- Motion sensor: $100.00
- Flood sensor: $69.99
- Freeze sensor: $69.99
- Tilt sensor: $34.99
- Garage door controller: $99.00
- Door lock/smart lock: $159.99
- Carbon monoxide detector: $100.00
- Smoke detector: $100.00
- Element thermostat: $169.99
- Nest L thermostat: $249.99
- Nest E thermostat: $169.99
- Appliance control module: $49.99
- Lamp module: $50.00
- Indoor camera: $199.99
- Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro: $249.99
- Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro: $299.99
- Smart Drive: $249.99
- Medical pendant: $34.99
- Car Guard: $199.00
If you're looking for Vivint Solar, that's a whole other thing. There's currently no way to combine a Vivint Solar subscription with a Vivint home security system subscription.
Vivint has a few unique offerings with oblique names, such as the Vivint Smart Drive (which allows you to record video 24/7) and the Car Guard (which lets you track your car if it’s stolen, among other things).
Some of these prices sound reasonable, while some of them seem prohibitively expensive. The glass break and motion sensors, for instance, are disproportionately costly compared to other sensors on the market.
The starter pack (a touchscreen panel, two door or window sensors, a water sensor, and a motion sensor) is $599. And, because most homes have more than one door or window, you’ll likely want to add some more devices to the starter kit.
That all adds up to quite a bit of cash, especially when compared to DIY systems. Ring, SimpliSafe, and Abode each charge less than $300 for a starter kit with a similar equipment roster. They also charge less money to add extra devices, like additional sensors.
As for other professionally installed systems, we suspect the Vivint equipment prices are pretty on par with ADT. But it’s hard to say because ADT doesn’t like to share how much things cost until you’re deep into the buying process.
How much is Vivint Smart Home monitoring?
Vivint’s monitoring service is not quite as expensive as ADT, but it’s not exactly cost-saving either.
Data effective 07/26/2022. Offers subject to change.
To clarify what you are and aren’t getting, we’ll break down the plans a little bit further.
- With the Smart Security plan, you can access the Vivint mobile app, but you can’t connect any home automation devices or security cameras.
- The Smart Home plan provides home automation access and support. That includes connectivity with things like smart locks and Nest thermostats.
- The Smart Home Video plan includes video support and recording. You can add up to six cameras to your system, as long as you pay $4.99 per month per additional camera. (The monthly costs for the first Vivint camera are already included in the plan.)
- If you choose to fill all six camera slots, you’ll pay a grand total of $69.94 every month for monitoring.
How much are Vivint fees?
Vivint has a few different fees that you’ll need to pay in addition to monitoring and equipment costs.
As we showed earlier, you’ll pay a flat $49 installation fee for a Vivint system. That’s about half of what ADT charges, so it’s not terrible, but it’s still a few months of Netflix.
Vivint requires a contract only if you finance your equipment. If you buy everything when you start, there’s no contract, and you’re free to walk away whenever.
But if you finance instead of spending $600+ right out of the gate, you’ll pay Vivint back over an extended period. (Read: as many as five years.) And if you get tired of your system and want to break free, you first have to pay 100% of what you still owe on both equipment and monitoring.
Word on the street says Vivint will waive the contract in extenuating circumstances, such as death or bankruptcy. Other than that, though, you’re stuck paying the full amount even if you realize Vivint’s not for you. So you might as well just stick out the contract.
Not sure that you’ll stay in the same place? Vivint’s moving system is complex but more customizable than many companies’ offerings.
When you move, you can choose to get a little Vivint help, a lot of Vivint help, or start completely over with your home security system.
Get a little help
If you do a hybrid move (DIY with a little Vivint help), you’ll move your panel and any plug-in components, like a smart light module.
You’ll then pay Vivint $129, which covers professional reinstallation plus the following new equipment:
- 4 door/window sensors
- 1 smoke detector, motion sensor, or glass break sensor
- Up to 3 replacement door locks, thermostats, or doorbell cameras if you had them in your previous residence
You’re also welcome to buy more Vivint stuff during installation if you want something this deal doesn’t cover.
Vivint recommends this partial DIY option if you have a small system of fewer than 10 products. If you have more than 10, the company recommends having its techs remove everything (the next option we’ll cover).
Get a lotta help
If you have an extensive Vivint system, Vivint is happy to send out a professional to remove everything—except, apparently, door locks, thermostats, or doorbell cameras. As with the previous option, Vivint will replace up to three of those for you if you had them at your old place. If you had more than three, it’s up to you to replace the additional pieces.
This option costs $129 for removal and $129 for reinstallation: $258 total. That’s not too high (and is definitely cheaper than replacing your system, let’s be real).
Again, if you find your previous security setup doesn’t quite work in your new home, Vivint is happy to sell you some additional devices during reinstallation.
Start from scratch
If you pick this option, you’re more or less starting over. You can bring your plug-in items, but everything else will stay affixed to your walls.
Once you arrive at your new home, you’ll buy new equipment and start a new contract. (The other two options allow you to keep your existing contract length, prices, and terms.)
If you still want a Vivint alarm after you move, we think the other two options are better deals. But if your current contract has run its course, or you want more updated and better equipment anyway, we can see how this might be an easier option.
Is Vivint worth it?
Vivint is the best option if you’re looking for the couture of smart home and security services. You’ll pay a lot, but you’ll get professional monitoring and some of the fanciest proprietary gadgets on the market from a name that’s becoming synonymous with home luxury.
In short, if you just want security, period, you’ll find Vivint a little overpriced. But if you want a security company that takes care of all the tech setup and offers smart home automation, you may find that the premium price is worth it to you.
If cost is your main concern, a Vivint security system wouldn’t be the right fit for you. Instead, we’d recommend going with a DIY alarm system for the best savings.