Vivint vs SimpliSafe: Which home security brand is best?

If you’re a homeowner or renter, having a reliable home security system is a must if you want to keep your property safe.

In this Vivint vs SimpliSafe breakdown, we’ll compare two such systems that offer 24/7 video surveillance, smart home compatibility and more to see which home security system will help you sleep better at night.

Vivint vs SimpliSafe – Quick Comparison

Naturally, no two home security systems are the same, and that goes for Vivint and SimpliSafe as well.

As a company, Vivint has a few years on SimpliSafe, being founded in 1999, while SimpliSafe started in 2006. While both companies offer 24/7 monitoring and video surveillance solutions for your property, there are a few differences to note before deciding on one or the other.

Let’s first look at a few key similarities and differences of Vivint vs SimpliSafe:

Vivint vs SimpliSafe: Similarities

  • Smart home integration – Both Vivint and SimpliSafe can integrate with Amazon Echo and Google Home.
  • Self monitor option – Both systems have a self-monitoring option that you can opt for if you don’t want to purchase a more expensive professional monitoring plan.
  • Basic security equipment – Vivint and SimpliSafe offer standard security equipment such as indoor and outdoor security cameras, entry and motion sensors, doorbell cameras, glass break sensors, etc.

Vivint vs SimpliSafe: Differences

  • Installation – Vivint offers professional installation, while SimpliSafe is geared toward DIY installation.
  • Professional monitoring cost – While both companies offer professional monitoring, Vivint is more expensive in that regard.
  • Trial – Vivint’s trial period is much shorter and lasts for only 3 days, while SimpliSafe offers a much more relaxed 60-day trial period.
  • Contract length – With Vivint, your contract is indefinite if you purchased the equipment upfront, while SimpliSafe operates on a month-to-month basis.
  • Cost – Vivint is the more expensive of the two overall.

With that in mind, let’s go over the pros and cons of both Vivint and SimpliSafe:

Vivint vs SimpliSafe: Pros and Cons

Vivint Logo

Vivint Pros

  • More equipment options
  • Professional installation
  • Financing options
  • High quality equipment
  • Smart home automation

Vivint Cons

  • Expensive equipment unless you go for a 60-month financing plan
  • No DIY installation
  • No online shopping option
SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe Pros

  • More affordable packages and equipment
  • Longer trial period
  • Online shopping option
  • Don’t have to sign a contract, you can cancel at any time
  • Setup is generally easy, and you don’t need special tools

SimpliSafe Cons

  • The standard plan doesn’t have mobile app access
  • Fewer equipment options
  • Home automation isn’t the best

Vivint vs SimpliSafe: Key Features

Now, let’s look at the key features that Vivint and SimpliSafe offer and how they compare in this regard.

Vivint Key Features

Vivint Home Security Components
Vivint Home Security Components

Let’s start with Vivint’s features. With this home security system, you can customize your package to your liking and get only the features you really need without paying for something you don’t.

Here are some of the features included in a Vivint home security system:

Professional Installation

Installing a security system in your home is not for everyone, so Vivint offers a professional installation service for a flat fee to take your mind off that problem. Once the system is installed, the Vivint techs will even show you what’s what and how to use the security system effectively.

Live Stream Video

If you’re out of town you can monitor your home’s security cameras 24/7 thanks to Vivint’s mobile app.

Push Notifications

Speaking of the mobile app, you can also receive push notifications through it when you’re away from home.

1080p HD Cameras and Person-Detection

Unlike some other systems where the camera offers a “potato-like” image quality, both indoor and outdoor Vivint cameras have 1080p image quality in HD. In addition, the outdoor camera has a person-detection so it won’t go off every time a bird flies by.

(Also, find out here can your neighbor point a camera at your house legally?)

Video Recording

Video is recorded 24/7 and you can review footage minute-by-minute for the past 30 days that the footage is saved.

Smart Lock

A great feature especially for those that keep losing their keys. With the smart lock, you can set a unique access code for everyone in the household, including any visitors you are expecting.

Two-Way Talk

There is someone at your door but you don’t know who they are or what they want? With Vivint’s two-way talk feature built into the indoor, outdoor and video doorbell cameras you can easily find out and decide for yourself if you want to open the door for them or not.

Infrared and Night Vision

Normal cameras don’t help much during nighttime, but this is when the vast majority of burglaries are committed. Thankfully, Vivint cameras have an infrared feature that lets you see what is happening outside or in your house and whether someone is sneaking around or if the kids are in bed.

SimpliSafe Key Features

SimpliSafe Home Security Components
SimpliSafe Home Security Components

Although it is missing some of the features that Vivint offers, SimpliSafe doesn’t fall behind much and includes:

Easy Installation

Typically, it takes just around 20 minutes to install SimpliSafe at your home, and you can do it yourself.

Water and Fire Protection

Thanks to its water and heat sensors, SimpliSafe doesn’t just protect you and your family from forced entry but also in case of a fire or water damage caused by a pipe leak or flood.

Power Outage Protection

Since security systems require power to function, any power outage is a problem as it can render the system inoperable. Luckily, SimpliSafe solves this problem with a backup battery which kicks in whenever you experience a power outage at your property.

Long-Lasting Battery

Speaking of battery, SimpliSafe entry sensors possess a battery with a lifespan of up to a decade which means you won’t have to worry about changing it every month or year.

Vivint vs SimpliSafe: Installation

Here, we have one of the most significant differences between Vivint and SimpliSafe home security systems.

While Vivint is professionally installed, SimpliSafe is DIY. Neither method is inherently better or worse; it all comes up to your preferences.

For instance, you don’t have to be discouraged with SimpliSafe’s DIY installation as it is relatively simple, takes no tools and will typically last about an hour (or less if you have some previous practice).

If this is your first rodeo installing a home security system and you want to ensure everything is tip-top, or you simply don’t have the time to deal with it yourself. In that case, you can avail yourself of Vivint’s professional installation.

Vivint vs SimpliSafe: Packages and Pricing

Both Vivint and SimpliSafe have several plans or packages that you can choose from. Before you choose a package, you’ll need to consider:

  1. An installation fee (only for Vivint as SimpliSafe is DIY)
  2. Monthly monitoring fee
  3. Equipment fee

Vivint Home Security Packages and Pricing

The installation fee for a Vivint security system is a flat $99, regardless of the package or the equipment.

When it comes to the monthly monitoring fee, Vivint offers three plans:

Monitoring PlanPrice
Smart Security Monitoring$29.99
Smart Home Monitoring$39.99
Smart Home Video Monitoring$44.99

SmartSecurity – $29.99/month

Includes: 

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Smoke and CO monitoring
  • Medical alert system support
  • Mobile app for remote access

Smart Home – $39.99/month

Includes: 

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Smoke and CO monitoring
  • Medical alert system support
  • Mobile app for remote access
  • Smart home features and integrations

Smart Home Video – $44.99/month

Includes:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Smoke and CO monitoring
  • Medical alert system support
  • Mobile app for remote access
  • Smart home features and integrations
  • Video monitoring support

Finally, you also need to consider what equipment package you are going to get. Vivint has five different equipment packages to choose from:

Equipment PackagePrice
SkyControl Starter Kit$599 upfront or $9.98/month
Home Security System Bundle$709.98 upfront or $11.83/month
Smart Home Control Bundle$1,049.95 upfront or $17.50/month
Video Security Bundle$1,379.95 upfront or $23/month
Smart Complete Bundle$1,789.92 upfront or $29.83/month

SkyControl Starter Kit – $599 upfront or $9.98/month

The SkyControl Starter kit comes with 2 entry sensors, 1 motion detector, 2 Google Home Minis, 1 Smart Hub touchscreen control panel and the SkyControl panel and companion mobile app for remote access.

Home Security System Bundle – $709.98 or $11.83/month

The Home Security System bundle includes everything from the SkyControl Starter kit (2 Google Home Minis, 2 entry sensors, 1 motion detector, touchscreen panel, etc.). 

It also includes an additional smart smoke detector which, when activated, will automatically unlock your door to allow firemen to enter your home in case of an emergency and turn off your HVAC system to prevent oxygen from feeding the fire further.

Smart Home Controls Bundle – $1,049.95 or $17.50/month

The Smart Home Controls bundle includes everything from the Home Security System bundle, plus a smart door lock and a smart garage door lock controller on top of that.

Video Security Cameras Bundle – $1,379.95 or $23/month

This package comes with everything from the SkyControl Starter Kit, but also includes a Vivint Doorbell Camera, Indoor Ping Camera and Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, which is around $750 worth of home video surveillance cameras in total.

Smart Complete Bundle – $1,789.92 or $29.83/month

Finally, the Smart Complete Bundle includes all the equipment listed in the lower tier packages.

SimpliSafe Home Security Packages and Pricing

First of all, SimpliSafe doesn’t offer professional installation, so there is no installation fee like with Vivint. If you hire someone to install the system for you, that will cost you out of pocket.

When it comes to monitoring fees, SimpliSafe offers two professional monitoring plans, a self-monitoring plan, and an option to forgo a monitoring plan altogether.

Monitoring PlanPrice
Unmonitored$0.00/month
Self-Monitoring with Camera Recording$9.99/month
Standard Monitoring$17.99/month
Interactive Monitoring$27.99/month

Unmonitored – $0 monthly fee

If you forgo a professional monitoring plan and instead opt to track the system yourself, you will still retain access to the basic Self-Monitoring features but will need an internet connection to access them.

This includes:

  • Lock/unlock Smart Lock via the SimpliSafe app
  • Live video feed of your cameras via the app
  • Ability to control the system via your phone using the app
  • System timeline (up to 7 days)
  • View/change system and device settings

Self-Monitoring with Camera Recording – $9.99/month

This monitoring plan does not include professional monitoring and is for up to 5 video cameras.

Besides that, it includes:

  • Access to video recordings for the past 30 days
  • Manual recording when viewing a live stream
  • Option to download video recordings from the SimpliSafe mobile app to your computer or phone
  • Full system control from your mobile phone via the SimpliSafe app

Standard Monitoring Plan – $17.99/month

Includes:

  • Ability to control the system from your phone via the SimpliSafe app
  • Lock/unlock Smart Lock with the mobile app
  • Push notifications for the alarm, camera and errors
  • Live video feed from your video surveillance cameras from the SimpliSafe mobile app
  • 24/7 medical response, police and fire dispatch
  • Water leak detection
  • Fire and dangerous temperature detection
  • Built-in cellular connection
  • System timeline for the last 7 days in the app
  • View and change system and device settings

Interactive Monitoring Plan – $27.99/month

Includes:

  • Email and SMS notifications
  • Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa
  • On-demand video recording
  • 24/7 medical response, police and fire dispatch
  • Emergency medical response & dispatch
  • Smart person detection 
  • Smart home and family and friends alerts
  • Private notifications for things like safes and cabinets access
  • Visual verification and priority police dispatch
  • Unlimited camera recording and evidence capture
  • Water leak detection
  • Fire and dangerous temperature detection
  • Home insurance discounts
  • Camera subscription
  • Built-in cellular connection
  • System control from your phone via the SimpliSafe app

Finally, there are five different packages to choose from:

Equipment PackagePrice
The Foundation$183.72
The Essentials$206.21
The Hearth$292.43
The Knox$348.65
The Haven$378.64

The Foundation – $183.72

Includes: 

  • 24/7 alarm monitoring
  • Base SimpliSafe station
  • Keypad
  • Motion sensor
  • Entry sensor

The Essentials – $206.21

Includes:

  • 24/7 alarm monitoring
  • Home security basics
  • Base station
  • Motion detector
  • 3 entry sensors

The Hearth – $292.43

Includes:

  • 24/7 alarm monitoring
  • Security and smoke detection
  • Base Station
  • Motion sensor
  • 3 entry sensors
  • Smoke detector
  • Key Fob
  • Keypad
  • 105dB siren

The Knox – $348.65

Includes:

  • 24/7 alarm monitoring
  • Security and smoke detection
  • Base Station
  • 2 motion sensors
  • 6 entry sensors
  • 1 Key Fob
  • Keypad
  • 105dB siren
  • Smoke detector

The Haven – $378.64

Includes: 

  • 24/7 alarm monitoring
  • Security and disaster monitoring
  • Base Station
  • 2 motion sensors
  • 4 entry sensors
  • Key Fob
  • Keypad
  • 105dB siren
  • Water sensor
  • Freeze sensor
  • Smoke detector
  • Panic button

Conclusion

So which home security system is better? Vivint vs SimpliSafe?

Vivint offers more smart home integrations and a wider range of equipment, plus professional installation. However, that comes at a higher cost and a short trial period to test the equipment.

On the other hand, SimpliSafe is cheaper and offers a more generous trial period (60 days) and you can also get it online (Vivint doesn’t have an online shopping option).

The choice is yours, but because of the better equipment options and additional payment options to choose from, our choice here is Vivint, but you won’t make a mistake with either brand.

About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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