Vivint and Nest are two of the top wireless home security systems available. You won’t need a phone line for either system to work, thanks to their wireless, cellular-based systems. Nest is owned by Google and is designed to be extremely user-friendly with DIY installation. Vivint is closer to a traditional home security system requiring professional installation and in many cases, contracts. We will weigh both companies across several key categories so you can make the best choice for your needs.
Nest is more affordable. Vivint requires a minimum of $599.99 worth of equipment to start service, along with professional monitoring service which starts at $29.99/mo. On the other hand, the Nest Secure system starts at $399 for equipment and $29.99/mo. for monitoring (or $19.99/mo. with a 3-year contract). With Nest, professional monitoring is optional. You can save money by using the mobile app to monitor the system yourself.
Security Equipment Options
Both Nest and Vivint offer top-of-the-line smart security products, but Vivint offers more options for intrusion protection, environmental monitoring and home automation with a convenient build-your-own-package approach. We also appreciate how the Vivint alarm panel doubles as a Z-wave smart home hub, so it’s compatible with a huge variety of devices from other manufacturers.
Even the best home security system won’t work if it’s not set up right. Professional installation takes this burden off the homeowner and into the hands of skilled technicians. Vivint requires professional installation for all customers, but you’ll have to pay an install fee and take time to schedule the appointment. If these are deal breakers, stick with a do-it-yourself option like Nest.
Vivint recently loosened up its contract requirements but Nest is still more flexible. With Nest, there’s a 30-day no-risk trial period. Professional monitoring is optional and plans are month-to-month, unless you sign up for an annual plan to lock in a lower rate. Vivint customers qualify for month-to-month plans only if equipment is paid for up front. If the $599+ equipment cost is financed, the monitoring contract matches the length of the financing terms (usually five years).
In-House Monitoring Center
Vivint operates its monitoring centers in-house, so you can be confident that the agents who monitor the alarms are well-versed in Vivint systems. Google Nest partners with Brinks Home Security to provide monitoring for Nest Secure alarms. Both Vivint and Brinks monitoring centers are certified and accredited, but some people prefer in-house monitoring for greater peace of mind.
If you want a home security system for more than just burglar protection, Vivint is a better choice. Nest’s monitoring services do not include response to environmental problems like smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. As long as you have the proper equipment, Vivint’s monitoring centers respond to environmental alarms. Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and flood/freeze/heat sensors are all available through Vivint.
Vivint vs. Nest: The Final Call
Vivint systems cost more than Nest’s, but it has more equipment options and a more robust monitoring service. Overall, that makes Vivint a safer choice for comprehensive home protection. Still, Vivint’s expense and professional installation requirement are major drawbacks for some people. A Nest Secure system could be a better choice for renters, frequent movers and those operating on a tighter budget.
If you’d prefer to save on the professional monitoring fees, Nest allows you to self monitor your system for free. Vivint systems only work with professional monitoring, which starts at $38.99 per month.
Do Vivint or Nest require landlines?
No. Both systems have cellular connectivity so there’s no need to have a separate landline. With Vivint, you can use a landline as a backup connection if desired.
How much will a Vivint vs. Nest system cost me?
The Google Nest Secure starter package costs $399 for equipment. After that, professional monitoring is optional and starts at $29.99/mo. Vivint requires a minimum of $650 worth of equipment; monitoring is required and starts at $38.99/mo.
Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.