Vivint vs. Traditional Home Security Systems: A Comparison

Vivint vs. Traditional Home Security Systems: A Comparison February 2, 2024

Home security systems have evolved a lot over the past decade. What used to just be standard alarm systems with motion detectors and entry sensors has expanded into full smart home ecosystems. This growth has been fueled by companies like Vivint, which provide robust home automation and monitoring services beyond ...

Home security systems have evolved a lot over the past decade. What used to just be standard alarm systems with motion detectors and entry sensors has expanded into full smart home ecosystems. This growth has been fueled by companies like Vivint, which provide robust home automation and monitoring services beyond traditional security.

Vivint stands in contrast to old-school home security companies in a few key ways. By integrating with other smart devices and providing mobile access, Vivint aims to make homes safer, more energy efficient, and more convenient for homeowners. However, traditional security systems still have their benefits despite lacking some of the high-tech features of newer companies. 

When deciding between Vivint and a conventional security provider, homeowners must weigh factors such as equipment, monitoring services, integration, customization, and cost. This guide will compare Vivint to traditional home security and help homeowners determine which system is the best fit for their needs.

What is Vivint Smart Home?


Vivint Smart Home is a home automation and security company founded in 1999 in Provo, Utah. Unlike traditional home security systems, Vivint offers comprehensive smart home packages that integrate security monitoring with products like surveillance cameras, video doorbells, smart thermostats, and more. 

Vivint uses wireless equipment that communicates through cellular signals, so there’s no need to have a phone landline. Their services also include professional installation of all equipment by Vivint technicians, rather than DIY setup. Once installed, Vivint systems are monitored 24/7 by professional security personnel at Vivint monitoring centers, who can dispatch emergency responders if an alarm is triggered.

Customers have access to controls and alerts through the Vivint Sky mobile app and Vivint SkyControl panel. Overall, Vivint provides an integrated smart home experience with home automation, energy management, and home security in one package.

What are traditional home security systems?

Traditional home security systems have been around for decades and are what most people picture when they think of home security. These systems typically require running wires and drilling holes to mount sensors, cameras, and a control panel inside your home.

Traditional systems can be self-monitored or professionally monitored. Self-monitored systems alert you of activity through an app on your phone or tablet. Professionally monitored systems have a 24/7 monitoring center that contacts authorities in the event of an alarm. 

Some of the major traditional home security providers include ADT, Brinks Home Security, Vivint, and SimpliSafe. These companies offer equipment like door and window sensors, motion detectors, control panels, sirens, smoke detectors, and security cameras. Systems can also be customized with options like garage door control, flood sensors, glass break sensors and more.

Monitoring plans for traditional systems tend to range from $20-60 per month if professionally monitored by the provider’s monitoring center. The main drawback of traditional systems is the hassle of installing the wired sensors and control panel neatly throughout a home. However they have proven to be reliable and effective security options for decades.


Vivint and traditional home security systems differ significantly when it comes to equipment and devices.

Vivint uses wireless equipment while traditional systems rely on wired devices connected through the home. It installs a wireless panel and wireless sensors on doors, windows, motion detectors, cameras, and more. These devices communicate wirelessly to the panel, removing the need to run wires through the walls. Traditional systems require professional installation of wired contacts and sensors with cables running to the control panel.

The wireless advantage gives Vivint flexibility and scalability. New devices can be added wirelessly at any time without rewiring. Vivint offers a wide array of wireless devices from door and window sensors to indoor and outdoor cameras, smoke detectors, thermostats, doorbell cameras, flood sensors, glass break detectors and more. With a traditional system, adding devices means running additional wires. 

Vivint focuses on home automation, security, and energy management. They integrate devices like cameras, lights, locks, and thermostats into their smart home platform. Traditional companies offer more basic security sensors and keypads without robust smart home capabilities. Vivint also designs and manufactures their own equipment to seamlessly work together, whereas most traditional systems use third-party devices that may lack integration.  

Overall, Vivint’s wireless equipment and customized smart home devices give it an advantage in flexibility, scalability, and advanced features compared to the basic wired sensors of traditional security systems. Vivint’s equipment portfolio is wider and more modern than what most traditional companies can offer.


When it comes to monitoring your home security system, there are two main options: professional monitoring or self-monitoring. 

Professional monitoring means your security system is monitored 24/7 by an alarm monitoring company. If your alarm goes off, the monitoring company receives the alarm signal and can dispatch emergency responders on your behalf. Professional monitoring usually results in faster emergency response times compared to self-monitoring. Many traditional security companies like ADT require professional monitoring, while DIY systems like SimpliSafe offer it as an optional upgrade.

With self-monitoring, you monitor your own security system using a mobile app and connected devices like cameras and doorbells. If your alarm goes off, you’ll get a mobile notification and can take action by contacting emergency services yourself. While self-monitoring gives you more control, response times are slower since you need to call for help after receiving an alert. Self-monitoring is generally less expensive than professional monitoring.  

Vivint offers professional monitoring standard with all packages, while traditional companies like ADT charge extra fees. Vivint highlights their monitoring center’s faster response times compared to competitors. However, for many homeowners, self-monitoring is sufficient if they want a more affordable option. Overall, professional monitoring provides an extra layer of security, while self-monitoring gives homeowners more autonomy at a lower cost.

Smart home integration


Vivint shines when it comes to integrating with other smart home devices and technologies. The Vivint Sky system works seamlessly with products like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Nest thermostats, August smart locks, Philips Hue lighting, and more. 

The Vivint mobile app allows you to control your entire smart home from a single dashboard. You can arm and disarm your security system, view doorbell and security cameras, lock/unlock doors, adjust the thermostat, turn lights on/off, and much more. Vivint makes smart home automation incredibly convenient.

Traditional home security systems offer some level of smart home integration, but it is much more limited compared to Vivint. Most traditional systems integrate mainly with Z-Wave devices and have limited support for newer smart home tech. The integration experience is also not as seamless and requires using multiple apps rather than a single unified dashboard.  

Overall, if you want a security system that acts as a control hub for the rest of your smart home, Vivint is the superior choice over traditional systems. Vivint builds integration with major smart home brands directly into their platform for a truly unified smart home experience.



Vivint stands out for its flexibility and customization options compared to traditional home security systems. With Vivint, you can select the specific devices, monitoring options, and smart home integrations you want rather than choosing a pre-set package. 

For example, Vivint offers over 20 different smart home devices like doorbell cameras, smart thermostats, and automated door locks. You can pick and choose to create a custom system tailored to your home and lifestyle. In contrast, most traditional home security providers offer set packages with limited equipment options.

Vivint also provides options like month-to-month contracts and financing plans to customize your payment method. Traditional home security typically requires long multi-year contracts.

When it comes to monitoring, Vivint gives you choices like video monitoring, environmental monitoring, and medical monitoring to meet your specific needs. You can also customize aspects like response protocols and notification settings. Traditional systems tend to have fixed monitoring packages and policies.

Overall, Vivint stands out with its flexible options to customize your smart home security system. You’re not limited to predefined packages. Instead, you can tailor Vivint to match your budget, home layout, and lifestyle for more personalized protection and automation.

Installation and Setup


When it comes to installing and setting up a home security system, Vivint and traditional systems take different approaches. 

Vivint uses professional installation for all of its equipment. The company sends out its own technicians to install everything, including the control panel, sensors, cameras, and other devices throughout the home. Vivint techs are well-trained and will make sure the system is properly set up and optimized for each home. This eliminates the hassle and complexity of DIY installation. Vivint also provides full customer support if any issues arise after installation.

With traditional security systems, customers typically have the option of professional installation or DIY installation. Professional installation is usually available for an added fee. If going the DIY route, the system components are shipped to the customer’s home and they must install them according to instructions. This can be complex, especially for those without technical expertise. However, DIY does allow more customization and control over the setup process for those who are able. Traditional systems generally provide phone and online support if customers run into trouble during DIY installation and setup.

So in summary, Vivint removes installation challenges through mandatory pro installation, while traditional systems offer both professional and DIY options.


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