SimpliSafe vs. Vivint Home Security 2022

SimpliSafe is the affordable underdog of systems, but Vivint can give you a better experience.

Best Value
Vivint
4 out of 5 stars
4
Price:
$29.99–$44.99
/mo
  • Icon Blank
    Monitoring price: $29.99–$44.99/mo.
  • Icon Blank
    Starter equipment price: $229.00
Best Professionally Installed
SimpliSafe
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Price:
$9.99–$27.99
/mo
  • Icon Blank
    Monitoring price: $9.99–$27.99/mo.
  • Icon Blank
    Starter equipment price: $244.96
Mindy Woodall
Managing Editor, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
February 02, 2022
9 min read

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Waffling between SimpliSafe and Vivint? You’ve come to the right place!

SimpliSafe is a great choice for almost everyone. It’s not too expensive and the equipment is easy to use, but in terms of smart home automation, it has almost none. In contrast, smart home enthusiasts will love Vivint’s home automation devices and super-cool app (but their wallets might not).

SimpliSafe pros and cons

pro
Pros
pro Affordable
pro No contracts
con
Cons
con No outdoor camera
con Less-than-optimal home automation

Vivint pros and cons

pro
Pros
pro Amazing home automation
pro Advanced doorbell camera
con
Cons
con Expensive

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: Prices and monitoring plans

Winner: Draw

It’s hard to make a black-and-white comparison between these brand's prices because their offerings are so different.

If you’d like to save some money (who doesn’t?), then SimpliSafe will have a lot of appeal for you. But if you're okay with paying more money to get the best tech, then Vivint's features are worth the big bucks.

SimpliSafe and Vivint comparison
Home security company
Monitoring price range
Base equipment price
Camera price range
Details
SimpliSafe

$9.99–$27.99/mo.

$244.96–$504.86$99.00–$179.99
Vivint $29.99–$44.99/mo.$599.00+$199.99–$299.99

Data effective 09/06/2022. Offers and availability are subject to change.

SimpliSafe monitoring pricing

Even if you’re not hurting for cash, you may not want to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on home security when you can get a perfectly reliable system for a fraction of the cost.

Enter SimpliSafe. It’s one of the most affordable systems out there, both in terms of equipment and professional monitoring costs. There are no contracts, either, so you won’t be locked into a long-term commitment.

And if you need to move, no sweat. You’ll take everything down, pack it up, and reinstall at your new place.

For SimpliSafe equipment, you’ll pay a minimum of $245 for a basic starter kit. That includes a base station, keypad, entry sensor, and motion sensor.

Your price will increase as you get more sophisticated kits or add on extra pieces. But the most expensive ready-made SimpliSafe kit is still less than $550. We can’t say the same for Vivint, which has all the smart home things and the prices to match.

For monitoring, you’ll pay a minimum of $9.99 and a maximum of $27.99.

SimpliSafe price
Bullhorn

(Although SimpliSafe is a bargain compared to traditional security systems like Vivint, its monitoring prices are significantly higher than some easy-install competitors.)

SimpliSafe monitoring plans
Plan
Price
Mobile app access
Smart home support
Learn more
Self-Monitoring + Camera Recording$9.99/mo.
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Standard$17.99/mo.
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Interactive$27.99/mo.
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 09/06/2022. Offers and availability are subject to change.

Although the Standard plan is cheaper, it’s not the best value here. You won’t be able to use the SimpliSafe app or hook up a single smart device to your security system.

Instead, we recommend paying that $10 more a month to get the most out of your money. The Interactive plan includes mobile app access, smart home support, and cloud storage for any cameras you might choose to get.

Check out a more detailed analysis with How Much Does SimpliSafe Cost?

View SimpliSafe Plans | Read the SimpliSafe Review

Vivint monitoring pricing

If you love top-notch equipment and a good home automation experience, it’s time to break into your nest egg. Vivint costs a lot, but if you dig what it’s offering, it’ll be worth every penny.

A lot of big-name security companies make you sign a long-term contract, but Vivint lets you off the hook. As long as you pay for all of your expensive equipment up front, that is. Vivint is notoriously tight-lipped about exact equipment prices, but in the past it’s been said that its equipment starts at $600. Ouch! 

If you’re more comfortable with a payment plan than spending all that money up front, you’ll be locked in for five years. And you won't just be paying off your equipment over those 60 months. You’ll also pay a monthly monitoring fee on top of what you owe for the hardware.

Yup, that’s right; we haven’t even added monitoring to your expenses yet. Whether you choose to buy your equipment up front or not, you’ll need to pay Vivint each month for its monitoring service. (And it’s going to be a lot. Vivint monitoring starts at $5 more than SimpliSafe’s most expensive plan.) 

Vivint monitoring plans
Plan
Price
Mobile app access
Smart home support
Learn more
Smart Security$29.99/mo.
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Smart Home$39.99/mo.
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon No  DarkNo
Smart Home Video$44.99/mo.
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 09/06/2022. Offers and availability are subject to change.

As  far as Vivint plans go, we’re partial to the Smart Home Video plan. You’ll miss out on Vivint Smart Deter and lurker detection if you get anything less than full smart home and video capabilities.

For more info, you can read How Much Does Vivint Cost?

View Vivint Plans | Read the Vivint Review

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: Security equipment

Winner: Vivint

SimpliSafe’s equipment is more affordable, but Vivint’s innovative smart home setup gets our vote.

Let’s look at it this way: SimpliSafe laser-focuses on simplicity. These affordable pieces are peel-and-stick for maximum ease. (If you haven’t heard that term before, it basically means you attach your equipment to the wall with glorified stickers .)

But while simplicity is great when it comes to installation, it’s not always as desirable for things like features and home automation. SimpliSafe cuts back so much that it doesn’t provide many smart devices, and the smart home section of the app is best described as “underdeveloped” compared to other brands.

That said, here’s a list of what you can get with SimpliSafe:

  • Base station
  • Wireless keypad
  • Entry sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • SimpliCam
  • SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro
  • Glass break sensor
  • Panic button
  • Smoke detector
  • Carbon monoxide sensor
  • Temperature/freeze sensor
  • Water/flood sensor
  • Key fob
  • Smart lock
  • Siren
  • Yard sign

In contrast, Vivint is all about that tech. It designs its own home security devices, and they both look good and work well. With Vivint, you’ll get things like a touchscreen control panel and fancy cameras with some artificial intelligence features.

Vivint’s equipment outstrips SimpliSafe’s in basically every way, and it also offers better smart home support. If you’re looking for the best smart home-security combo, this is it. Whether you want smart lights, locks, plugs, or garage door openers, Vivint’s got you covered. Here’s a complete list of what you can expect:

  • Vivint Smart Panel (control panel)
  • Door sensor
  • Security sensor
  • Motion detector
  • Vivint Indoor Camera
  • Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro
  • Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro
  • Vivint Smart Drive
  • Glass break detector
  • Smoke detector
  • Freeze sensor
  • Flood sensor
  • Smart lock
  • Smart garage door opener
  • Smart thermostat
  • Smartbulb
  • Smart plug
  • Lamp module
  • Vivint Car Guard

And if you’re too busy to install your own security equipment (honestly? same), then Vivint’s professional installation is going to be a lifesaver for you. You just have to be at home while the installer puts everything in place.

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: Cameras

Winner: Vivint

SimpliSafe makes perfectly good cameras that are fairly easy to set up, but you’re going to get more features and smart home capability if you pick Vivint’s more expensive, professionally installed cameras. 

SimpliSafe cameras

SimpliSafe cameras complete your security setup. Whenever one of your alarm sensors goes off, all your SimpliSafe cameras will record. And if you go with the Interactive monitoring plan, SimpliSafe provides video verification of alarm events.

What’s video verification?
Light Bulb

Video verification is when the security company uses your camera’s video clips to verify that there’s a genuine security threat to your home, not just a strong wind or stray cat.

SimpliSafe camera prices
Camera
Price
Resolution
Human detection
Learn more
SimpliCam$99.001080p
Icon No  DarkNo
SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Security Camera$179.991080p
Icon Yes  DarkYes
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro$169.001080p
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 09/06/2022. Offers and availability are subject to change.

But SimpliSafe cameras are also lacking in some ways. You won’t get vehicle detection or customizable motion zones with any of SimpliSafe’s cameras. That makes it more difficult to track what your camera is seeing and where.

SimpliSafe now offers an outdoor video camera, although if you don’t want to spend the extra money, you can always put a protective skin on the indoor SimpliCam camera that makes it work for outdoor use. Still, the protective skin won’t give the indoor camera all the features we like in outdoor cameras, such as advanced motion detection. We’d use the outdoor camera or pick a separate outdoor camera from a different brand over the weatherproofed SimpliCam. 

Vivint cameras

Ain’t no camera like a Vivint camera. But seriously—the indoor and outdoor cameras are pretty darn good, and the video doorbell camera is one of the best ways to combat package-stealers that we’ve seen yet.

The indoor camera has night vision, person detection, and a one-button video call feature that lets you check in with the folks at home and vice versa. The outdoor camera features a unique lurker detection system that bleats at loiterers once they’ve outstayed their welcome. But our favorite is the video doorbell.

We’ve been testing the Doorbell Camera Pro for six-plus months now, and we’re a little bit in love. The camera lets you know as soon as a package arrives so that you can either bring it in or turn on an intruder-deterrent feature that whistles when someone approaches your porch. While we’re not sure the whistle will necessarily prevent all would-be parcel snatchers, it’s definitely startling and could spook an inexperienced package thief.

Once Vivint cameras are installed, you can use them in custom smart home actions via the Vivint app. For instance, you can create an action where if your Car Guard senses someone disturbing your car, all your cameras will start to record. Pretty neat, huh?

Vivint camera prices
Camera
Price
Resolution
Human detection
Learn more
Indoor Camera$199.991080p
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Outdoor Camera Pro$299.991080p
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Doorbell Camera Pro$249.991080p
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 09/06/2022. Offers and availability are subject to change.

Like most Vivint devices, these cameras aren’t cheap. The indoor camera’s extremely overpriced compared to other indoor cameras, and the outdoor camera’s somewhat overpriced. The doorbell camera, at least, is in the typical price range for what it is. But it’s definitely quite costly compared to SimpliSafe.

Still, we think the high prices don’t erase these cameras’ value. We think that if you’re going with Vivint, you should go whole hog. The smart home tricks are worth it.

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: Smart home integrations

Winner: Vivint

Do you dream of a fully connected smart home with lights, locks, thermostats, the works? Then SimpliSafe isn’t the system for you. 

SimpliSafe smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Echo
  • Google Home/Google Nest
  • August smart locks

When paired with Alexa or Google Assistant, SimpliSafe has voice control, which is a plus. And you’ll never run out of smart lock options. The system’s compatible with both August locks (some of the top smart locks out there) and SimpliSafe’s own branded lock (it’s self-made and works with everything SimpliSafe).

But that’s all you get. Unlike M. Night Shyamalan movies, security systems don’t have unexpected plot twists. You won’t wake up one day and discover your system mysteriously has more integrations.

And while some brands make up for a lack of compatibility by offering in-house smart equipment,   And even when you have every smart home device SimpliSafe has to offer, you can’t do a whole lot with them in the SimpliSafe app. You can lock your doors and, well, that’s pretty much it.

But if you go for Vivint, you’ll get one of the most innovative security systems out there. For starters, Vivint works with Z-Wave, one of the top smart home protocols.

Vivint smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Z-Wave

That Z-Wave connectivity makes all the difference. Many of the popular smart home products, like thermostats, lights, and smoke detectors, use Z-Wave. That means a lot of the smart things you throw in your Amazon cart on Prime Day will work with Vivint.

But there’s more. Vivint offers many smart home devices that you can purchase directly from the brand. Bulbs, plugs, lamp modules, even a Car Guard device that tells you when your car needs maintenance or gas. Some of these items are Vivint-made, while some are third-party, but they’re all available straight from Vivint for a one-stop shopping experience.

Finally, the smart home experience in Vivint’s app is incredible. You can create lots of custom smart home actions that are comparable to the IFTTT protocol.

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: Customer service

Winner: SimpliSafe

Right now, we think SimpliSafe customer service is miles better than Vivint.

That’s not to say that SimpliSafe offers the most amazing service of all time. Though we’ve had a good experience with the brand, we’ve heard complaints about super-long wait times and unresponsive reps.¹ However, those seem to be the worst things people are saying about SimpliSafe. Vivint’s another story.

We want to trust Vivint. We really do. But Vivint keeps acting like that toxic friend who promises to do better yet never does. While we haven’t had significant service snags in our dealings with Vivint reps, that’s not the case for a lot of folks. Folks have frequently called out the company for mismanaging representatives who use deceptive sales tactics to sell its systems.²

A court order from a 2021 lawsuit settlement ruled that Vivint needs better oversight of its salespeople so this won’t happen again. We’ve got our fingers crossed, but the burden of proof is on Vivint.

  • SimpliSafe customer service number: 1-888-910-1215
  • Vivint customer service number: 1-801-377-9111

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint: Which is better?

Between SimpliSafe and Vivint, we think Vivint’s the best choice.

SimpliSafe is definitely more affordable, and for that reason, it’s always going to be the better option for some people. But it’s not the best or smartest system you can get.

We really value smart home integrations in the systems we review, so Vivint wins out for us here. And it might win for you, too. If you want the highest quality system and the best smart home automation, and money isn’t much of a concern, then Vivint is right for you.

  • Prices and monitoring plans: Draw. SimpliSafe is a fraction of Vivint’s cost. About ⅓ to ½, to be exact. But although Vivint charges a ton, it gives you a lot of features and smart home connectivity that potentially make the prices worth it.
  • Security equipment: Vivint. SimpliSafe’s peel-and-stick equipment is appealing in its own way, but there isn’t as much of it (or as much functionality) as Vivint’s.
  • Cameras: Vivint. SimpliSafe’s cameras are pretty standard while Vivint’s have innovative features.
  • Smart home integrations: Vivint. SimpliSafe equipment works only with Alexa, Google, and August. Vivint’s equipment works with Z-Wave, and the Vivint app has advanced smart home capabilities.
  • Customer service: SimpliSafe. SimpliSafe has a better customer experience reputation than Vivint, which has some well-publicized issues with its sales reps.
SimpliSafe and Vivint comparison
Home security company
Monitoring price range
Base equipment price
Camera price range
Details
SimpliSafe$9.99–$27.99/mo.$244.96–$504.86$99.00–$179.99
Vivint$29.99–$44.99/mo.$599.00+$199.99–$299.99

Data effective 09/06/2022. Offers and availability are subject to change.

Methodology

To rank security systems, we consider the following:

  • Price
  • Equipment
  • Home automation
  • Cameras
  • Customer service

We’ve also used both the SimpliSafe and Vivint systems at tester homes for almost a year plus conducted additional internet research to write this review.

We think that the folks who buy SimpliSafe are very different from the folks who buy Vivint, and we tried to address both ends of the spectrum while comparing these very different brands.

Mindy Woodall
Written by
Mindy Woodall
Mindy has been writing about technology for seven years. She covers all things smart home for Reviews.org, and keeps track of the latest robot gadgets. Mindy attended the University of Utah and her work has been featured on the likes of Parents.com, Digital Care, Hostfully, and more.

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