SimpliSafe vs. Vivint

SimpliSafe, the ultimate DIY system, goes head-to-head with Vivint’s professionally installed system. After hours of research, we found a winner.
Winner: Vivint
Vivint
Vivint
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7
Starts at
$29.99/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Large equipment selection
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Professional installation
  • Icon Cons  Light
    High equipment prices
Runner up: SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.45
Starting from
$14.99/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Basic equipment
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No professional installation option
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Midrange equipment prices

Info current as of 10/04/21. 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 Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet More equipment options
Pro Bullet Professional installation
Pro Bullet Financing options
Pro Bullet High-quality equipment
Pro Bullet Smart home options
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Expensive packages
Con Bullet No online-shopping option
Con Bullet 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 with one 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: Shopping problems and no DIY

Okay, so Vivint is a bit on the expensive side, but the real problem is its shopping experience. Its website doesn’t list prices or let you order online. You have to call their customer service department for prices and equipment orders. 

If you don’t know what you want, a representative can help you plan out your package. But it would be nice to at least know prices before you make the call.

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 Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Price transparency
Pro Bullet Affordable monthly monitoring
Pro Bullet Easy online shopping
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No financing option
Con Bullet No professional installation option
Con Bullet 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 simplicity goes beyond basic equipment choices and easy installation. It also has complete price transparency and easy ordering on its website. We love that with just a few clicks, you can get your new security system on its way to you.

Cons: Money issues and no pro help

While SimpliSafe is more affordable, you still need to pay up front for all your equipment. If you don’t have a few hundred bucks saved up, you’re out of luck. 

We wish there were a pro installation option too. Some of us need in-person professional instruction when learning a new system. Sometimes YouTube videos or app instructions just won’t cut it.

Read more in our SimpliSafe review.

Company
Star rating
Monthly monitoring price
Equipment price
Features label
Smart home capabilities
Learn more
Best for equipment and compatibility
Vivint logoVivint
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.45
Starts at
$29.99
/mo
$599.00
Icon No  LightNo
Amazon, Google, Z-Wave
Best for simplicity
simplisafe logo[Brand logo]
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
Starts at
$14.99
/mo
$229.00
Icon Yes  LightYes
Amazon, Google

Info current as of 10/04/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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 monitoring starts around $15, and Vivint’s starts around $30.  This is one of those cases where you get what you pay for. SimpliSafe’s $15 plan doesn’t include access to the SimpliSafe app. Yep. It is the only security company in our top 10 that doesn’t give you access to the app with the lowest monitoring package. You have to boost up to the $25 plan. Even at the second tier, though, SimpliSafe is still a bit cheaper.

Lowest monitoring
Highest monitoring
Learn more
Vivint
$14.99
/mo
$44.99
SimpliSafe
$29.99
/mo
$24.99

Info current as of 10/04/21. 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.

Contract

Even more importantly, SimpliSafe doesn’t let you finance your system, and Vivint does. If you don’t want to pay up front, Vivint is the winner.

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. 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.

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.

Winner: Vivint

While we like SimpliSafe for its simplicity, Vivint wins this one. It just gives you more options overall. You can choose to finance or pay up front. 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

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 has been reviewing the latest tech for more than a decade and has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. She specializes in smart home and security technology, working to make gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification. 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.

Recent Articles

Large craftsman style house at twilight with lights on
Best Home Security Systems of 2021
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...
Vivint App: A Complete Guide to Features and Use
Tour the Vivint app and discover its features, navigation, and customization capabilities. Learn how to...
couple sitting on floor with moving boxes and a dog
Best Home Security Systems for Renters
These renter-friendly home security systems keep your house or apartment safe and require less commitment...
security system being installed on wall
Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2021
DIY install home security systems are cost-efficient, effective, and easy to install. See which DIY...