SimpliSafe vs. Vivint

DIY system SimpliSafe goes head-to-head with Vivint’s professionally installed system.
Winner: Vivint
Vivint
Vivint
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$29.99/mo.
  • pro
    Large equipment selection
  • pro
    Professional installation
  • con
    High equipment prices
Runner up: SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starting from
$17.99/mo.
  • pro
    Basic equipment
  • con
    No professional installation option
  • pro
    Midrange equipment prices

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Vivint is our choice for the best home security system. It provides more equipment variety, smart home devices, and payment options than SimpliSafe. While Vivint is the winner, don’t discount SimpliSafe. It’s a great solution for folks wanting basic devices that are easy to use.


Vivint pros and cons

pro
Pros
pro More equipment options
pro Professional installation
pro Financing options
pro High-quality equipment
pro Smart home options
con
Cons
con Expensive packages
con No DIY installation option

Vivint: Best for equipment and compatibility

Vivint is for people that want full-coverage security, from smoke detectors to garage door sensors. It’s also a smart pick for folks that want full home automation with a security system, thermostats, appliances, and lights controlled from the same place: the Vivint app.

Pros: Financing and pro installation

As we mentioned before, in addition to Vivint’s impressive device lineup, it also offers financing options. Yes, going this route will put you in a dreaded contract that can run from around three years to a whopping five years. This is a helpful option if you’re in it for the long haul and don’t have the funds to pay up front.

While DIY installation is popular right now, some people just want professional installation. It saves time and that last thread of your patience if you hate setting up tech.

Cons: No DIY

Okay, so Vivint is a bit on the expensive side. If you're on a budget it could be restrictive.

We also would like a DIY installation option. Why can’t all security system companies offer both DIY and professional options? Getting the system you want and the installation you want shouldn’t be an issue.

Read more in our Vivint review.

SimpliSafe pros and cons

pro
Pros
pro Price transparency
pro Affordable monthly monitoring
con
Cons
con No professional installation option
con Limited equipment options

SimpliSafe: Best for simplicity

SimpliSafe is for people that like things, well, simple. It has a limited amount of devices, but that’s a good thing if you’re looking for basic home security at an affordable price. You also don’t need to worry about scheduling a time for a professional installation since it’s all DIY.

Pros: Simplicity

SimpliSafe’s nails simplicity with basic equipment choices and easy DIY installation. No fuss, no muss.

Cons: Limited smart home options

When it comes to smart home automation, there's not much you can do with SimpliSafe. You can pair SimpliSafe with Alexa and Google Home, but you can't use it in home automations alongside your smart lights and such.

Read more in our SimpliSafe review.

How Vivint vs. SimpSafe compare

Company
Best for
Star rating
Monthly monitoring price
Equipment starts at
Smart home capabilities
Learn more
Best for equipment and compatibility
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$29.99
/mo
$599.00Amazon, Google, Z-Wave
Best for simplicity
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starts at
$17.99
/mo
$229.00Amazon, Google

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Video: SimpliSafe vs. Vivint | DIY vs. pro-installation showdown

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SimpliSafe vs. Vivint similarities

SimpliSafe and Vivint have very few similarities:

  • Neither offers smart home integration in their base monitoring packages.
  • Both base monitoring packages offer very few features.
  • The security systems offer three camera options: an indoor camera, an outdoor camera, and a video doorbell camera.
  • You need their most expensive monitoring plans to get full camera functionality.

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint differences

At first glance, the differences are immediately apparent. The two systems look nothing alike. SimpliSafe’s equipment has almost a space-age feel, while Vivint looks like most other security devices.

Aesthetics may not mean much to you when it comes to security devices. We get it. You want to know how the security system will work for you. The biggest differences between these two systems come down to price, installation, device options, and money-back guarantees.

Pricing

There’s a substantial difference between SimpliSafe and Vivint when it comes to price. SimpliSafe has cheaper monitoring plans and more affordable equipment, but Vivint’s value still wins out in the end.

Monitoring

SimpliSafe's monitoring fees start around $18, and Vivint’s start around $30. This is one of those cases where you get what you pay for. SimpliSafe’s $18 plan includes limited access to the SimpliSafe app: remote arming/disarming, some notifications, and the option to change system settings.

You have to boost up to the $28 plan if you want security camera recordings, extra notifications, an extended warranty, and smart home integration in the app. Even at the second tier, though, SimpliSafe is still a bit cheaper.

Company
Lowest monitoring
Highest monitoring
Video alarm verification
Learn more
$29.99
/mo
$44.99
/mo
N/A
$17.99
/mo
$27.99
/mo
$27.99/mo.

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Packages

Their starter package prices are worlds apart. With SimpliSafe, you can snag a starter package for around $230, while Vivint charges around $600. Like with the monitoring plans, there’s more than meets the eye with these prices.

Vivint starter pack

  • Touchscreen panel
  • 2 door sensors
  • Water sensor
  • Motion sensor

SimpliSafe starter pack

  • Base station and keypad
  • Entry sensor
  • Motion sensor

Vivint offers more equipment in its starter pack, and the equipment goes beyond the basic devices that just about every security system company offers. Instead of a keypad and base station, you’re instantly upgraded to a touchscreen. SimpliSafe doesn’t even offer touchscreens.

Plus, Vivint gives you a water sensor, which is helpful if your washer or dishwasher tends to overflow from time to time—getting alerted means quick cleanup and preventing expensive floor repairs.

Installation

Other than price, the most significant factor in SimpliSafe vs. Vivint is installation: SimpliSafe is DIY, and Vivint is professionally installed. Now, there are benefits to each type of installation, so it’s just a toss-up on what you’re looking for in this area.

SimpliSafe installs in less than an hour and takes no tools (unless you're installing the SimpliSafe doorbell). We found it easy to set up. But you may not have an hour, or maybe you just don’t want to fool with it. In that case, Vivint may be for you.

Device options

vivint equipment

Vivint devices

SimpliSafe Equipment

SimpliSafe devices

Read our SimpliSafe equipment guide and Vivint equipment guide to learn more about each device.

Camera quality

There's really no contest when comparing Vivint cameras to SimpliSafe cameras—Vivint's high-tech cameras crush SimpliSafe's run-of-the-mill offerings.

One of the things we love about Vivint's cameras is the SmartSentry feature, which lets trespassers know they've been spotted. It tells potential burglars that your home is protected and can help decrease package theft. 

SimpliSafe's cameras get the job done for an affordable price, but don't expect any fancy extras. Vivint's in-house designers stay on the forefront of camera tech, but SimpliSafe didn't even have an outdoor camera until recently. We're glad they caught up, but Vivint's still way ahead in the camera race.

That said, SimpliSafe does one-up Vivint by offering video alarm verification in the Interactive Monitoring Plan. This means professional monitors can access the camera's live feed for a short amount of time during an alarm event. Vivint doesn't offer this service. 

Money-back guarantee

No one likes to feel stuck with a decision, so we like that SimpliSafe gives you 60 days to change your mind from the day you order your equipment. Vivint only gives you three days after your installation.

Cancellation fees

Because SimpliSafe is a month-to-month, no-contract security system, you don't have to worry about cancellation fees. You can stop the pro-monitoring service and switch to self-monitoring at any time.

The only time you might be in hot water is if you financed your SimpliSafe equipment through Affirm—you still have to pay back that loan even if you cancel monthly services with SimpliSafe.

On the other hand, Vivint's cancellation penalties are steep. You don't get any wiggle room—Vivint expects you to pay 100% of your remaining balance if you cancel. 

Customer service, reputation, and troubleshooting

Customer service ratings for both companies run the gamut. Depending on who you talk to, you'll hear glowing praise or scathing remarks. To us, that means both companies need to work on offering a consistent customer service experience.

With Vivint, you deal with technicians and sales reps in-person, whereas SimpliSafe's customer service reps interact with you over the phone or online. If you have a strong preference for in-person assistance, Vivint's the way to go.

In fact, the hardwired, professionally-installed equipment makes it difficult to troubleshoot Vivint yourself. It's the opposite scenario when troubleshooting SimpliSafe—with no in-person techs available, you have to rely on your own gumption and clear instructions from service reps.

To learn more about helpline hours and the service channels available to you, read our Vivint customer service and SimpliSafe customer service guides. 

Winner: Vivint

While we like SimpliSafe for its simplicity, Vivint wins this one. It just gives you more options overall. And it offers a large selection of security and smart devices to choose from. 

  • Vivint: the ultimate choice for payment options, professional installation, and equipment options
  • SimpliSafe: a great pick if you want a basic system and DIY installation

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint FAQs

Is SimpliSafe compatible with Vivint?

No, you can't mix and match Vivint and SimpliSafe equipment. 

What are some other alternatives to Vivint and SimpliSafe?

If you're on the fence about Vivint and SimpliSafe, check out our guide to Vivint alternatives and guide to SimpliSafe alternatives to find a better match.

I don't live in the US. Can I use Vivint or SimpliSafe?

If you need home security in Canada, you can use Vivint but not SimpliSafe.

If you need home security in the UK, you can use SimpliSafe but not Vivint. Read our SimpliSafe UK review for accurate pricing and features.

Have more questions? Head on over to our Vivint FAQ and SimpliSafe FAQ pages for the full scoop.

How we decided: SimpliSafe vs. Vivint

We decided the winner of SimpliSafe vs. Vivint through hours of hands-on testing, decades of safety expertise, and hundreds of reviews by real customers. To learn more about how Safewise reviews products and services, take a look at our methodology page.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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