SimpliSafe vs Vivint: Battle of the Top Home Security Systems

SimpliSafe vs Vivint: Battle of the Top Home Security Systems February 21, 2024

Home security systems have become more technologically advanced and accessible over the years. It's now easier than ever for homeowners to install DIY systems that provide reliable monitoring and protection for their property. Two of the top home security companies are SimpliSafe and Vivint Smart Home. They both offer modern ...

Home security systems have become more technologically advanced and accessible over the years. It’s now easier than ever for homeowners to install DIY systems that provide reliable monitoring and protection for their property. Two of the top home security companies are SimpliSafe and Vivint Smart Home. They both offer modern equipment, wireless connectivity, and mobile app access, but there are significant differences between these providers and their systems.

This guide compares SimpliSafe and Vivint based on key factors like customer service, equipment, smart home capabilities, monitoring options, contracts, and overall value. We’ll provide an in-depth look at what each company offers to help you determine which is better for your home security needs. With pros and cons of each system detailed, you’ll be able to make an informed decision when choosing SimpliSafe or Vivint. Read on for a breakdown of these two industry leaders and what sets them apart.

Equipment & Features

SimpliSafe and Vivint both offer a wide range of security equipment to protect your home. Here’s an overview of the main devices available with each system:


  • Entry sensors – Detects when doors or windows are opened. SimpliSafe has smaller, more discreet sensors compared to Vivint.
  • Motion sensors – Detects movement and can activate the alarm. SimpliSafe has basic motion sensors as well as more advanced pet-friendly sensors.
  • Smoke detector – Integrated smoke detector sounds an alarm and alerts monitoring center of fire.
  • Carbon monoxide detector – Alerts to dangerous CO levels.
  • Security cameras – Indoor and outdoor cameras with HD video. Streaming via app but no continuous recording option.
  • Keypad – Arm and disarm the system. No touchscreen.
  • Key fob – Arm/disarm from a keychain remote.
  • Panic button – Triggers alarm from portable device.


  • Door/window sensors – Wireless, detect opening and closure.
  • Motion sensors – Detects motion up to 70 feet away. Pet immunity available.
  • Smoke detector – Photoelectric sensor with wireless connectivity.
  • Carbon monoxide detector – Detects CO levels and alerts monitoring.
  • Security cameras – HD outdoor and indoor cameras with DVR, cloud storage, and smart assistants.
  • Touchscreen panel – Central hub to control system and view cameras.
  • Key fob – Arm/disarm and has panic button.
  • Glass break sensor – Listens for the sound of breaking glass.

So in summary, Vivint offers more advanced equipment like glass break sensors, touchscreens, and continuous video recording. SimpliSafe has more flexibility with a la carte options. Both provide core security basics plus extras like smoke detection and keypads.


Both SimpliSafe and Vivint offer professional monitoring services to keep an eye on your home 24/7.

With SimpliSafe, monitoring packages start at $14.99 per month with no annual contract required. Monitoring is provided by a UL-certified monitoring station that will dispatch emergency responders if an alarm is triggered. You can choose to have alarms monitored by sound, video, police, fire, and more. A keypad and base station connects wirelessly to sensors to provide monitoring coverage for the entire home.

Vivint offers monitoring starting at $29.99 per month with a 3-year contract required. Monitoring services are provided by Vivint’s own UL-listed monitoring station. When an alarm is triggered, Vivint can visually verify the alarm with in-home cameras before dispatching emergency responders. This helps reduce false alarms. Vivint also offers advanced monitoring features like smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring, flood sensors, and panic buttons. Their SkyControl panel provides 24/7 professional monitoring over cellular and broadband internet for uninterrupted coverage.

Both systems offer professional monitoring with emergency dispatch services to help keep your home protected. SimpliSafe provides flexible, contract-free monitoring at a lower monthly cost. Vivint requires a contract but offers advanced verification and monitoring features.


Installing a home security system can be a big undertaking, and a key decision is whether to do it yourself or hire a professional. SimpliSafe and Vivint offer different installation options.

SimpliSafe is designed for DIY installation. The components are wireless and connect to a base station. SimpliSafe provides detailed online instructions and videos to walk you through installing the sensors, cameras, and other devices. Many customers report that SimpliSafe can be installed in under an hour, even if you’re not highly tech-savvy. However, lack of professional installation means you could miss optimal sensor placement or connections.

Vivint requires professional installation by a Vivint technician. The tech will assess your home, advise on equipment selection, and properly install, connect, and test all components. Vivint installation averages 2-5 hours. Pro installation ensures correct setup and positioning for maximum home coverage. However, it comes at a cost – Vivint typically charges $99-199 for installation fees.

Overall, SimpliSafe is the better option if you’re comfortable with a DIY project and want to save on installation costs. Vivint is preferable if you want the assurance of expert installation. Both systems can provide robust protection for your home once set up, regardless of DIY or pro installation. But the process and costs do vary between the two providers.

Remote Access

Both SimpliSafe and Vivint offer ways to control your security system remotely through mobile apps and web portals. This allows you to arm and disarm your system, control smart home devices, view live video feeds, and more from anywhere.

SimpliSafe’s app and web portal provide full control and monitoring of your system. You can view sensor status, receive alerts, activate devices like lights and locks, and watch live camera feeds. SimpliSafe’s app is available for both iOS and Android.

Vivint also provides robust remote access through mobile apps and web access. You can arm and disarm your system, control smart home devices, and view cameras. Vivint offers a proprietary SkyControl panel for enhanced control. The Vivint app is available on iOS and Android.

One advantage Vivint has is integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, allowing you to control your system with voice commands. SimpliSafe does not currently offer native voice assistant integration.

Overall, both SimpliSafe and Vivint provide excellent remote access and control through mobile and web apps. Vivint has more advanced integration with voice assistants, while SimpliSafe offers a simple, intuitive interface. Both systems allow you to monitor and control your home security from anywhere.

Smart Home Integration

Both SimpliSafe and Vivint offer some smart home integration, allowing you to connect other smart devices in your home. However, Vivint currently provides more robust integration.

Vivint partners with major players like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and Philips Hue. This allows you to use voice commands, automations, and remote access across a wide range of compatible devices. For example, you can lock your Vivint deadbolts using an Alexa voice command or set your Vivint thermostat through your Apple Home app. Vivint also offers its own SkyControl app for controlling your system and smart home devices from anywhere.

SimpliSafe has more limited smart home capabilities. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant for basic voice control. SimpliSafe also recently added Apple HomeKit compatibility for remote access and automations through the Home app. However, it does not integrate with other major smart home ecosystems like SmartThings or Hue lights. SimpliSafe’s app allows you to control its own devices but does not connect other brands.

So Vivint currently provides much broader integration with leading smart home platforms. SimpliSafe offers basic voice assistant connectivity but lags behind Vivint in terms of overall smart home capabilities. If you want full smart home functionality, Vivint is the better choice today. However, SimpliSafe may continue expanding its integrations over time.

Customer Service

Both SimpliSafe and Vivint offer decent customer service options, but overall SimpliSafe tends to receive more positive reviews for support.

For quick assistance, SimpliSafe offers phone, email, and live chat support. Phone support is available 24/7. There is also an online knowledge base with video tutorials and guides. SimpliSafe does not outsource its monitoring, so customers always speak with U.S.-based representatives. On review sites like ConsumerAffairs and Trustpilot, SimpliSafe consistently receives high marks for helpful and friendly customer service.

Vivint also has 24/7 phone support as well as email ticketing for more extended issues. Customers can access online resources through the Vivint Sky app and Vivint website. One downside is that Vivint uses third-party authorized dealers for sales and installation, so experiences can vary. Some customers report pushy sales tactics from dealers and inconsistent support once the system is installed. Vivint’s customer service tends to receive more mixed reviews than SimpliSafe.

Overall, both companies offer around-the-clock support. But SimpliSafe seems to have an edge when it comes to reputation, with a focus on in-house monitoring and support staff. This helps provide a more seamless, helpful experience for customers.

Pricing & Contracts

Both SimpliSafe and Vivint offer equipment at competitive prices, although SimpliSafe is generally the more budget-friendly option if you want basic security features.

For SimpliSafe, starter packages begin at around $200-$300 for the basic equipment you’ll need. This includes the base station, keypad, motion sensor, entry sensors, and yard sign. Then you can add on extra cameras, smoke detectors, water sensors, and more for additional fees. In total, a full SimpliSafe system with cameras and advanced sensors usually costs $300-$1000.

Vivint tends to be more expensive upfront. Packages start at $599 for basic equipment and range up to $1,000 or more for larger homes decked out with cameras and sensors. Vivint uses high-end name brand equipment from companies like August smart locks and Kwikset deadbolts. So you are paying a premium for quality.

When it comes to professional monitoring, SimpliSafe charges $15/month if paid annually, or $25/month if paid monthly. No long-term contract is required. Vivint has three monitoring package tiers ranging from $30-$45/month, and the contract lasts 36-60 months depending on the package. So Vivint does lock you into a longer commitment.

Overall, SimpliSafe clearly prioritizes flexibility and affordability, while Vivint offers premium equipment and monitoring at a higher cost. Vivint also has more complex pricing options including leasing and financing equipment, whereas SimpliSafe pricing is simple and straightforward. Consider your budget and desire for contract flexibility when choosing between the two systems.

Reviews & Reputation

When it comes to expert reviews and customer satisfaction, SimpliSafe and Vivint get mixed results.

SimpliSafe frequently earns recommendations from professional review sites like CNET, The Wirecutter,, and more. Reviewers tend to praise SimpliSafe’s easy DIY installation, straightforward pricing, and reliability. However, some note that the lack of professional monitoring and smart home capabilities leave something to be desired. Most customers appear very satisfied with SimpliSafe overall, though a handful complain about connectivity issues.

Vivint earns positive feedback from professionals as well. PCMag, Safewise, and other outlets compliment Vivint’s broad smart home integrations, high-end equipment, and fast response times. Some reviewers caution that Vivint’s upfront costs and long contracts may not be ideal for every home. Customers seem largely pleased with Vivint’s services, though a portion express frustration with pushy sales tactics, hidden fees, and difficulty canceling contracts.

Overall, both SimpliSafe and Vivint earn generally favorable reviews, with a few caveats. SimpliSafe excels for easy set-up and transparent pricing, while Vivint stands out for advanced smart home capabilities and fast monitoring response. Depending on specific priorities, one system may be more suitable than the other.

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