Vivint FAQs

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Vivint Smart Home Security generally costs more compared to DIY security brands, but its high-end equipment paired with advanced smart home features makes Vivint the best wireless security system available—complete with pro installation and 24/7 monitoring.

Below, we’ve answered frequently asked questions about Vivint to help you decide if it’s right for you. If you want to know what we think about this brand after years of testing, head over to our Vivint Home Security review

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How does the Vivint alarm system work?

The Vivint alarm system has three primary parts: the control panel, the sensors and detectors, and the monitoring station. Once a sensor is tripped, it will signal the control panel that will, in turn contact the monitoring station. At this point, you’ll receive a call from the monitoring station to verify that you need help.

Learn more about how security systems work.

Am I getting the newest and most up-to-date equipment?

Yes, with Vivint you’ll always get the most up-to-date equipment when you sign up with the service.

Do I own or lease Vivint’s home security system?

You own the equipment. You can either pay for all the equipment up front or pay for it over the course of a few years. If you decide to pay for it over time, Vivint offers 0% APR so there’s no added interest.

Does Vivint service its equipment?

Yes, Vivint services its equipment. If you sign up for Vivint’s Premium Service, the company will repair and replace and parts of the security system free of charge.

If you decline the Premium Service, you’ll have 120 days of warranty on your equipment. After that period, the replacement and repair on equipment will be free, but you’ll incur a service charge. Vivint also states that the warranty doesn’t cover repairs for accidents, acts of God, or any other reason except defective equipment.

How often does Vivint check its systems?

Vivint’s system does an automatic self-check every 255 seconds. This is a set ping time that checks the signal to ensure everything operates correctly.

Are batteries required?

Yes, Vivint’s security equipment requires batteries. The only device that doesn’t need battery replacement is the control panel. This battery automatically charges when your panel is plugged in. However, if for some reason the battery is bad, simply contact customer support for assistance.

Below is a list of Vivint’s equipment and the replacement batteries you'll need to buy:

  • The Vivint Smart Thermostat uses four AA batteries.
  • The smoke detector uses three AAA batteries.
  • The carbon monoxide (CO) detector uses a R123A or DL123A battery.
  • The door locks use four AA batteries.
  • The door and window sensor uses two CR2032 batteries.
  • The glass break sensor uses two CR123A batteries.
  • The motion sensor uses a CR123A battery.
  • The recessed door sensor uses a CR2 battery.

Does Vivint have cameras?

Yes, Vivint offers three security cameras. Read our review of Vivint cameras for a high-level summary of what to expect, or take a deep-dive with our individual reviews:

Does Vivint have cloud storage?

Yes—it’s called Vivint Smart Drive. This convenient service, once known as Space Monkey, provides secure storage much like an external hard drive. It allows you to stream and seamlessly upload all security camera clips with little to no effort. So you can forget about losing any important security recordings or even family photos once a device has kicked the bucket.

Can I take my Vivint security system with me when I move?

Yes, Vivint allows you to take your security system with you when you move. If you’ve been a customer with Vivint for a year and sign a new contract when moving, the company will waive the moving fee. If you choose to keep your current contract or have been a customer for less than a year, the company will charge you a $99 moving fee.

Learn more about reactivating your security system.

Is Vivint’s service transferrable?

Yes, Vivint allows you to transfer your service, as long as the person you’re transferring it to is a qualified candidate. If the person signs a new agreement, the transfer is free. If they don’t sign a new agreement and instead finish out your contract, then there’s a $99 transfer fee. If you’re interested in transferring your service, call Vivint’s Customer Loyalty team at 1-800-216-5232 ext. 5025.

Why is Vivint bad?

Overall, we don't think Vivint is bad. It does have some drawbacks: 

  • If you choose to sign a contract to finance your equipment the contract is lengthy (42 or 60 months), but you can get out of your Vivint contract.
  • Its equipment is on the pricier side, but that makes sense because it's high-end.
  • Many customers have reported trouble getting help from customer service.

Is Vivint also a solar energy company?

Yes and no. Vivint Solar is the second-largest solar installer in the US, but it's a completely separate company from Vivint home security. They may share a name (and their beginnings) but both Vivint entities are independent companies that offer different services to homeowners.

How much internet speed do I need to use a Vivint system?

According to Vivint, you need upload speeds of at least 2 Mbps per camera. So if you have four cameras, you need an upload speed of 8 Mbps—and that's on top of requirements for any other devices connected to your home network.

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General capabilities

Can Vivint’s system detect gas leaks or smoke?

Yes, Vivint has detectors for both gas and smoke.

Will Vivint dispatch for fire, smoke, and co?

If Vivint’s fire, smoke, or CO detectors sense danger, they will send a signal to the monitoring station. The monitoring station will then contact you to verify the emergency and send help if needed.

Does Vivint’s system work if the power goes out?

Yes, if the power goes out, Vivint’s 24-hour backup control panel battery will kick in.

Does Vivint’s system require manual resetting in the event of a power failure?

Vivint’s control panel doesn’t require manual resetting if the power failure lasts for more than 24 hours. Your settings will automatically reboot and reconnect to your smart devices.

How long is Vivint’s response time?

Response times can vary widely. And although there’s no response time guarantee, Vivint boasts average response times of less than ten seconds.

Does Vivint offer systems with advanced safety features?

Yes, Vivint has a lot of advanced safety features, including two-way voice communication, tamper sensors, and a duress code that allows you to put in a different code to stop your alarm while letting Vivint know that you need help.

Do I need a landline phone to use Vivint’s system?

No, you won’t need a landline phone to use Vivint’s home security system. Vivint uses a wireless connection to communicate with its monitoring centers, so you don't have to worry about a cut phone line interrupting your alarm service.

Will Vivint work without Wi-Fi?

It sure does. Vivint works with a wireless cellular connection like your smartphone, so it keeps working if the internet goes out.

Device capabilities

Can I control Vivint’s home security from my phone?

Yes. The Vivint Smart Home app lets you control your home from your phone anywhere and at any time. You can arm and disarm your home, receive alerts and notifications, and adjust temperature, locks, and lights without being home. Vivint’s app works with iOS and Android devices and is one of the best home security apps we've ever used.

Nest smart thermostat on wall

Does Vivint have a smart garage door opener?

Yes. A Vivint door lock for your garage is another security feature you can tack onto your alarm monitoring plan. Smart garage door openers can increase your home’s value and safeguard valuables in your garage.

Can I use the Vivint Car Guard without a full security system?

Yes, you can use the Vivint Car Guard without signing up for a full-fledged Vivint security system.

Integration capabilities

Does Vivint’s system integrate with z-wave devices?

Yes, Vivint’s security system integrates with Z-Wave devices. With Vivint’s Z-Wave devices, you can control your lights, locks, thermostat, and appliances. The SkyControl panel will learn your habits over time and automatically adjust settings to suit your preference.

Does Vivint’s hardware sync with other security systems?

Vivint’s equipment can be monitored by other security companies. However, according to Vivint's customer service representatives, how well equipment syncs will depend on your new provider.

Can I mix and match the components?

Vivint allows you to mix and match security components, depending on the equipment you want to add and what company manufactures the devices. Learn more about third-party devices compatible with Vivint.

Does Vivint work with Google Home?

Yes, Vivint works with both Nest products and Amazon Echo. With Amazon Echo, you can use voice commands to lock your doors, turn off your lights, adjust the temperature, and arm your security system.

And with the Nest integration, not only can you adjust the temperature from your mobile app, but also the thermostat knows when you’re away and adjusts accordingly to save you money.

Check out our Vivint compatibility guide to find out more about what works with Vivint.

Alarm capabilities

Does Vivint charge for false alarms?

According to Vivint, some cities charge a false alarm fee. For more detailed information about false alarm fees, give Vivint’s Customer Care team a call at 855-298-7730.

What do I do in the event of a false alarm?

If you accidentally set off a false alarm, enter your code to turn it off. Also, make sure to have your verbal passcode ready when Vivint’s monitoring station gives you a call to verify that it’s a false alarm. You can also give them a call at 800-216-5232 with your code to let them know it’s not a true emergency.

Can Vivint’s alarm system connect to a TV?

Vivint doesn’t currently have an app that allows you to hook up to a TV. But you could log in to the internet using your TV to access your system.

Will the police automatically be notified if my alarm is triggered?

Before the monitoring center notifies the police of an emergency, it will contact you to verify that it’s not a false alarm. If you verify that you’re in trouble or if you don’t respond when the monitoring center tries to contact you, the police will be dispatched to your home.

Does Vivint’s alarm sound a siren when activated by an intruder?

Yes, if a sensor or detector is triggered, an alarm will sound to let you and your family know that there’s an emergency.

What happens if I need help with my alarm system after hours?

Vivint provides customers with 24/7 technical support so no matter when something happens, there will always be someone there to help. And if you have a defective device, Vivint will replace it under the Premium Service Plan.

You can also view our Vivint Troubleshooting Guide for solutions to common problems.

Will my children be able to operate the alarm system?

Whether or not your children are able to use the alarm system will depend on their ages. Vivint’s representative assured us that the system has a very simple interface with touchscreen features for ease of use.

Will I be provided alarm yard signs and decals to put up around my home?

Vivint provides a yard sign and window decals to customers. The number of decals will vary depending on your house needs.

Monitoring capabilities

Who does professional monitoring call first?

Professional monitoring always calls you first to verify the emergency. Once a representative has made contact with you or if you don’t pick up the phone, they’ll call the police if you’re in danger.

If I have an emergency, who should I call first?

Whether you have a security system or not, it’s always advised to call 911 for help in an emergency.

Will somebody be monitoring my home at all times?

Vivint monitors your home 24/7 and 365 days a year, so there’s never a time where you’ll be without monitoring protection.

Who monitors Vivint’s security systems?

Unlike some security companies that outsource monitoring centers, Vivint has its own proprietary monitoring centers.

What are my monitoring options?

Vivint is 100% cellular, so you won’t have a broadband, VoIP, or landline option. Cellular connections are considered to be the fastest and safest, and they’re quickly becoming the industry standard.

How long does it take for my security system to notify Vivint of an intrusion?

Vivint will usually receive an alarm within seconds and contact you within about ten seconds after your alarm has gone off.

$100 bills in hand


How much does Vivint cost?

Vivint’s Smart Home Security package starts at $39.99 per month and includes 24/7 monitoring, customizable equipment options, remote access to your security system, and automation features.

Vivint’s Smart Home with Video starts at $49.99 per month and includes everything the Smart Home Security package has plus video monitoring options.

Learn more about Vivint costs.

Does Vivint offer automatic payments and paperless billing?

Vivint offers both automatic payments and paperless billing. If you set up automatic payments, you can see the amount due and when the payment is being processed by logging in to your account. If you want to opt out of automatic payments, you’ll need to contact Vivint’s customer support via chat, email, or phone.

What additional fees does Vivint charge?

Vivint charges a monthly monitoring fee, service fee, cancellation fee, and installation fee. The service fee can be waived if you sign up for Vivint’s Premium Service. If you want to cancel your service, you can email, mail, or fax a written notice that includes the date, the service number, an explanation that you want to cancel, and your signature.

Can I save money and install Vivint equipment myself?

No, Vivint requires professional installation. It usually costs $49 and can take about four hours or longer, depending on the amount and type of equipment being installed.

Does Vivint charge early termination fees if I cancel?

Yes, if you cancel before your contract is up, you’ll have to pay off the remainder of the balance. However, Vivint does offer a special cancellation service that allows you to be released from your contract early for unfortunate and unexpected circumstances, such as a death in the family, filing bankruptcy, and more. Vivint requires that you provide proof to qualify for this policy. The company also states that each cancellation is reviewed on an individual basis.

Does Vivint offer any customer discounts or services when I move?

Vivint doesn’t offer any discounts for moving. However, if you sign a new agreement with the company when you move, the moving fee will be waived. If you decide to keep your current contract or have been a customer for less than a year, you’ll be charged a $99 moving fee.

Can Vivint’s system qualify me for a homeowners insurance discount?

Yes, most home insurance companies offer a discount for having a security system. However, how much of a discount you receive will depend on the insurance company as well as your security features.

Will I be provided with a certificate to show my home insurance company?

Vivint makes it easy to obtain a certificate that proves you have a home security system installed. Simply log in to your account, go to the resource page, and download your Insurance Certificate.

What contract lengths does Vivint offer?

Vivint’s contracts range from forty-two months to sixty months. The company also allows you to pay for your equipment up front if you want to avoid a long-term security contract.

Does Vivint integrate with other smart home platforms and devices?

Yes, Vivint offers a lifetime guarantee on its equipment. As long as you’re a Vivint customer and have signed up for the Premium Service plan, the company will cover your repair and service for any defective equipment.

Does Vivint offer a referral program?

Yes, Vivint offers a referral program: The referrer as well as the new customer both receive $50 toward their bills after the Vivint system has been fully installed for fifteen days in the new customer’s home. There’s a referral limit of twelve people per year.

Comparing Vivint to the competition

Which security companies are similar to Vivint?

With proprietary equipment and monitoring centers and a heavy focus on smart home features, Vivint's in a league of its own. But you can check out our Alternatives to Vivint page for some other recommendations.

Which is better, Vivint or . . .?

We'll stop you right there: Vivint beats them all and is our number-one pick for best home security system. It even tops the charts as the best security system in Canada.

But it's not right for everyone. See where other companies have Vivint beat in our one-on-one comparisons:

Can I get Vivint if I rent?

You'll need to contact Vivint to discuss your situation. Vivint told us they don't typically install their equipment in multifamily homes like apartment buildings,  but may be able to work with you if you rent a single-family home and have your landlord's approval. 

See our recommended home security systems for renters.

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Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.
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Celeste Tholen
Written by
Celeste Tholen
Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and reviews that help people make well-informed decisions. She oversees editorial strategy and production for SafeWise, with a goal to help everyone find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to SafeWise, she worked as an editor and reporter for KSL and Deseret News. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism. In her free time, she volunteers at the local botanical garden and writers for the community newspaper.

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