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SimpliSafe vs. Vivint Smart Home: Which is Better?

Is SimpliSafe cheaper than Vivint? Yes.

Is SimpliSafe better than Vivint? No.

Here’s why.

SimpliSafe

Pros

  • No Contracts
  • Affordable
  • DIY

Score

7.9

Price

$15.00/mo

Cons

  • Mediocre Reviews

Vivint Smart Home

Pros

  • No Contract Option
  • No Upfront Fee Option
  • Excellent Customer Reviews

Score

9.7

Price

$29.99/mo

Cons

  • No DIY Option

Key Takeaways

  1. Vivint Smart Home is Ranked #1 and SimpliSafe is ranked #7.
  2. Vivint has a higher price but better value.
  3. Vivint has excellent customer service.
  4. SimpliSafe has mediocre customer reviews.
  5. SimpliSafe has mediocre equipment and a high number of false alarms.

Vivint v. SimpliSafe: Overview

Vivint Smart Home vs SimpliSafe

Best Overall

Vivint Smart Home

SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe
Overall Score

9.7

7.9

Cost

$29.99

$15.00

Contract

None

None

Experience

22 Yrs

15 Yrs

Vivint Smart Home

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Choose between no contract OR no upfront fee.
  • Excellent equipment packages (more quality and quantity for price).
  • High customer review rating (4 out of 5 stars).
  • Free installation with promo code BESTCOMPANY.

Cons:

  • No DIY Option

SimpliSafe Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Affordable home security system.
  • No contracts required.
  • DIY or professional installation.

Cons:

  • Basic equipment offering.
  • Mediocre customer reviews.
  • Faulty equipment and false alarms.

Vivint v. SimpliSafe: Comparison Guide

  • Security Equipment Quality
  • Professional Monitoring Quality
  • Smart Home Technology Quality
  • Customer Reviews & Service
  • Monthly Price
  • Upfront Price
  • Contracts
  • Installation

Security Equipment Quality - Winner: Vivint

Though SimpliSafe has the better equipment warranty, Vivint has higher quality equipment with the customer reviews to prove it.

We would like SimpliSafe’s equipment offering if it weren’t for the negative feedback via customer reviews.

Here’s what we found:

Quality

If you look around the web, you’ll see many review sites rank SimpliSafe as having a high-quality security system; we’re not sure why, because customer reviews give the company’s equipment mixed reviews at best.

And at BHSC, we prefer to look at customers' reviews to determine true quality.

If we look solely at how customers have reacted to the equipment provided by each company, Vivint provides much better equipment than SimpliSafe based on four primary evidences:

  1. More false alarms with SimpliSafe.
  2. More faulty equipment complaints with SimpliSafe.
  3. More customer praise for equipment with Vivint Smart Home.
  4. Vivint takes care of customer complaints better than SimpliSafe.

Equipment Offering

In this section, we’ll compare the most basic equipment offerings from Vivint and SimpliSafe.

Looking at the amount of equipment that is offered, Vivint allows for customization, but offers more quantity and quality in its basic package. The price ends up being about the same, but SimpliSafe does offer more affordable security equipment.

Take a look:

Vivint Starter Package (customizable - Price Changes):

  • Door/Window Sensor
  • Key Fob
  • Recessed Door Sensor
  • Motion Sensor
  • Tilt Sensor
  • Glass Break Sensor
  • Medical Pendant
  • CO Detector
  • Smoke Detector
  • Temperature/Flood Detector

SimpliSafe Starter Package (The Foundation - $229):

  • Door Sensor
  • Base Station
  • Keypad

Warranty

Vivint has an initial 120 day warranty on all installed equipment. After that period, service calls cost $49 and each call includes a 30 day warranty afterward.

SimpliSafe has a 3-year warranty on all of its equipment, beginning on the original order date. This is much better than Vivint’s 120-day warranty.

Professional Monitoring Quality - Winner: Vivint

Choosing a home security system based primarily on professional monitoring is very difficult.

The industry is in a spot where most home security systems are at an acceptable level of quality. For the purposes of this comparison though, we take into account home automation and customer service.

No matter the topic, Vivint Smart Home takes the prize when it comes to customer satisfaction regarding monitoring. In the rare case that there is a complaint, Vivint is quick to respond and resolve said complaint.

Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about SimpliSafe’s customer service.

As far as smart home automation is concerned, Vivint again is the better option. It is afterall, Vivint’s bread and butter. SimpliSafe focuses more on making its equipment easy to set up and install for DIY installation.

Smart Home Technology - Winner: Vivint

As I mentioned above, Vivint’s whole mission is to provide smart home automation for the average household.

Another caveat is that Vivint Smart Home was named one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies by Fast Company in 2017.

Vivint Smart Home was one of the first home security companies to introduce an AI into their smart home systems. Vivint’s Sky assistant analyzes user behavior (locking doors, turning on/off lights, etc.) and can automatically adjust temperature, lighting, door locks, and other home appliances.

Customer Reviews & Service - Winner: Vivint

Vivint Smart Home is ranked #1 on Best Home Security Companies mainly because of its customer review score.

At the time of this article (November 2020), Vivint had a 4-star rating out of 5 on Best Company with over 5,000 verified customer reviews.

SimpliSafe, on the other hand, has received only a 3.5-star rating out 5 with barely under 200 customer reviews. We understand that there are few reviews for SimpliSafe, that’s why we recommend customers speak with friends and families before making a final decision.

Yes, we realize that there are many review sites out there that do provide customer reviews for both Vivint and SimpliSafe.

The reason we trust Best Company’s customer reviews most is because they make sure to check whether the reviewer was an actual customer or not.

Monthly Price - Winner: SimpliSafe

Though we do believe that Vivint provides better professional monitoring overall, SimpliSafe wins this category purely based on its affordability.

Here’s why.

Plan Features

Vivint’s cheapest professional monitoring plan is $29.99/month, but includes mobile access (Vivint Smart App), entry, smoke, and CO detection, medical alert support, and 24/7 professional monitoring.

SimpliSafe’s cheapest monitoring package is the Standard Monitoring Plan and costs $14.99/month, and includes 24/7 professional monitoring, cellular connection, and all self-monitoring services.

Upfront Price - Winner: Tie

SimpliSafe takes the cake when it comes to upfront fees whether or not Vivint customers choose to purchase their equipment upfront.

This is because Vivint does not offer DIY installation and therefore requires a relocation fee in all cases.

Take a look at the other reasons SimpliSafe is more affordable than Vivint:

Equipment Fee

With both SimpliSafe and Vivint, you need to buy your equipment upfront to take advantage of their no contract options.

SimpliSafe doesn’t have a contract length, but Vivint does have a contract length of 36 months if customers choose not to purchase their equipment upfront.

So you can see why the winner of this category depends. Vivint customers have the option to forgo the upfront equipment fee.

Cancellation Fee

Normally, we’d call this one a tie, because neither Vivint and SimpliSafe require contracts in most cases.

However, some Vivint customers do choose to sign contracts with Vivint. Those who don’t purchase their equipment upfront (and instead choose to finance their equipment) must sign a 36-month contract.

The cancellation fee for Vivint is $300. SimpliSafe does not require a cancellation fee since there is no contract to cancel.

Relocation Fee

Again, SimpliSafe wins in this category because it allows DIY installation and does not require contracts.

Because Vivint representatives must install your equipment, there is a $129 relocation fee.

Installation - Winner: Vivint

Normally, Vivint would have an installation fee since it requires professional installation. But all BHSC customers can get free installation if they use the promo code “BESTCOMPANY”, so Vivint wins this category.

SimpliSafe does have an installation fee of $79 if you choose professional installation.

Contracts - Winner: Tie

This one is rather easy. Neither company requires a contract in every case.

The one stipulation is that Vivint does have a 36-month contract if customers choose not to purchase their equipment upfront. 

You’d think this means SimpliSafe wins this category, but on the other hand, if you don’t purchase your SimpliSafe equipment upfront, you can’t even use the company.

The Results: Vivint Wins

In the end, Vivint beats SimpliSafe with three main advantages: free professional installation, superior smart home technology, and excellent customer service ratings.

However, SimpliSafe is a good DIY option for interested customers. Our final assessment of Vivint Smart Home comes mainly as a result of customer satisfaction.

No matter how much more affordable one company is over another, we will always side with higher customer ratings — they are the single largest indicator of value.