SimpliSafe vs Vivint
We compare DIY SimpliSafe with premium security provider Vivint to see which stands out in a variety of business scenarios
SimpliSafe and Vivint offer business security systems with cameras, door locks, and multiple sensors, all managed from a central application. Both made our list of the best security systems for business, but each has unique features that will appeal to different businesses and use cases.
In this SimpliSafe vs Vivint comparison, we look beyond pricing to see which product stands out for which business situations. After reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of SimpliSafe and Vivint’s offering and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each regarding installation and setup, user interface, business features, and more.
What we compared
SimpliSafe and Vivint both made their names in home security, but business security needs are a little different. We’ve compared the following elements for a better understanding of how SimpliSafe and Vivint differ on key business features:
- Installation and setup
- Apps and user interface
- Users and groups
- Sensors and cameras
- Access Control
Installation and setup
This is one area where SimpliSafe and Vivint differ significantly.
SimpliSafe offers a DIY business security solution. The various elements have been designed for simple, straightforward installation. Sensors and monitors, for example, come with an adhesive backing to be fixed to windows, doors, and walls. All the products are wireless and pair with the central SimpliSafe Home Station.
DIY installation has a few advantages. It’s less costly, of course, but it can also be a more flexible solution, as you don’t need to make and honor an appointment. It’s especially practical for small businesses with just a few rooms, like a small restaurant or local shop. SimpliSafe does offer a $99 professional installation option but notes that 97% of their customers choose to do their own installation.
For larger businesses, Vivint’s professional installation may be better suited. When securing a large working space, professional experience and expertise can be invaluable (knowing where to place sensors and cameras for the greatest coverage, for example). The larger and more complex your business space, the longer it will take to set everything up, too. In that case, paying for a professional to come in and do the job quickly without taking time away from your own staff can be well worth the additional cost.
When purchasing a business security system, there are three main costs to think about: hardware, installation, and ongoing costs.
Because Vivint offers custom-built solutions to businesses, you’ll need to call for a quote. Prices may vary by region. However, based on our research and as demonstrated by the table below, Vivint is more expensive when it comes to hardware than SimpliSafe and other competitors. Additionally, certain Vivint products, like cameras and door locks, only work with certain plans (see below).
|Glass break sensor||$100||$34.99|
|Carbon monoxide sensor||$100||$49.99|
Installation costs for Vivint start at $49, but may be higher depending on the size of your business area and the complexity of the system. SimpliSafe, as mentioned, is designed for DIY installation, so for most users there are no costs unless they choose the $99 professional installation option.
Vivint offers three monitoring plans, and it’s not possible to purchase a Vivint system without monitoring. The first, Smart Security, costs $29.99 a month and supports a variety of sensors. Smart Home, at $39.99 a month adds support for smart devices like door locks and thermostats.
Only the Smart Home Video plan at $44.99 a month allows for the use of video surveillance with one of Vivint’s inside or outside cameras. Each additional camera costs $4.99 a month (in addition to hardware costs).
SimpliSafe offers two monitoring packages. The Camera Recordings Only plan costs roughly $10 a month (33¢ a day) and includes unlimited camera recording for up to five cameras. The 24/7 Professional Monitoring package costs $25 a month (83¢ a day) and includes 24/7 police, fire, and medical dispatch, unlimited camera recording, and 24/7 flood and extreme temperature monitoring).
Overall, Vivint is significantly more expensive than SimpliSafe. The quality of the products and the professional installation make this a good option for businesses with larger budgets and more complex security needs. Vivint contracts start at four or more years. Smaller, budget-conscious businesses may want to opt for SimpliSafe’s less expensive service.
Apps and user interface
The Vivint and SimpliSafe apps are similar in features. Both enable you to arm and disarm your security system, lock and unlock smart doors, open and close garage doors, view live camera feeds and record footage, use two-way audio through cameras, and control smart devices like lights and thermostats.
Both apps have good ratings from iOS users (4.6 for Vivint; 4.8 for SimpliSafe) and Android (4.4 for both) and support basic security notifications for alarms, motion detection, and two-way cameras.
Vivint has some additional features that businesses may find useful. For example, the app will notify you if the lights have been left on or if the temperature can be lowered because nobody is in the office. It will also alert you if doors or windows have been left open. In addition, you can add custom rules to, for example, unlock all your doors when the fire alarm goes off for easier evacuation or turn on the lights when motion is detected.
The SimpliSafe app, however, has better support for multiple locations. Its Property Management Dashboard gives you a quick overview of all your work sites, plus the ability to arm and disarm systems or individual elements.
Users and groups
SimpliSafe and Vivint each have basic support for additional users; neither supports user groups (something offered, for example, by ADT Commercial).
SimpliSafe differentiates users into two levels: Master and User. The PINs for both types allow users to arm and disarm the system or specific elements, but only the Master PIN grants access to the home station’s settings. Each PIN can be assigned a name or unique identifier (like an employee number). A third PIN can be used in duress to send an instant notification to SimpliSafe for help (it also disarms the system to fool anybody who might be coercing you).
In much the same way, the Vivint app allows you to add users and create personalized PIN codes to unlock doors and disarm security systems. Users can be made Admins to have full control over the system.
Sensors and cameras
The SimpliCam records at 1080p, 30 frames per second (FPS) and includes night vision, which makes it a perfectly good camera for most business security needs. It lacks a microphone for two-way communication, though, and its field of vision is only 120º, which means you’ll need a greater number of cameras to cover a given surface area when compared to Vivint’s 155º field of view for indoor cameras and 140º for outdoor cameras. Vivint also sports 1080p resolution and 30 FPS recording.
Beyond cameras, both Vivint and SimpliSafe offer a wide variety of sensors, including motion sensors, fire, CO, smoke, leak, temperature, motion, and glass break detectors.
Vivint and SimpliSafe support access control in a rudimentary but effective fashion. This is one area where the home-security roots of each are apparent. Smart door locks are available from both providers, although only Vivint supports a garage door opener. Mechanics, car shops, and small businesses that receive deliveries from semi-trucks can all benefit from this feature.
As mentioned above, individual employees can be assigned their own codes for more granular access control, and both Vivint and SimpliSafe offer keyfobs. In both cases, however, they can only be used to arm and disarm an entire system, and not to grant access to a specific area.
Which security system is best for me?
SimpliSafe is budget-friendly and offers a variety of sensors. It’s simple to set up, with inexpensive monitoring, and you can personalize your system or buy a package for more savings. It’s a good choice for small businesses with just a few rooms and uncomplicated security needs.
Vivint offers a more premium service. Its security products are top of the line, with useful features for businesses, and it comes with professional installation. It’s well suited to medium-sized or larger businesses with more complex security needs.
|Installation and Setup||DIY||Professional|
|Apps and User Interface||Some business features||More business features|
|Users and Groups||Basic support||Basic support|
|Sensors and Cameras||Decent camera, multiple sensors||Wide-angle camera, multiple sensors|
|Access Control||Basic (door locks)||Intermediate (door locks and garage opener)|
What our reviewers said
- Very easy to set up and use
- No contract required
“SimpliSafe is an excellent choice for small to medium business premises and offices, and would suit places like restaurants, medical practices, law firms, home offices, and smaller retailers.”
- Score: 4.5/5
- Central smart hub for easy access
- Wide range of features and devices
"For a complete system that enables you to connect with every smart security device in your premises from a single point, you probably won't find it better than Vivint.”
- Score: 4.5/5
Alternatives to SimpliSafe and Vivint
For larger businesses and those with industry-specific needs such as hospitals, warehouses, and food preparation facilities, ADT offers more advanced business features, including sophisticated access control and user groups.
Frontpoint is a good alternative to SimpliSafe which also features DIY installation. Individual elements are slightly more expensive, but it has some inexpensive security packages starting at just $99. It also boasts a 5-star TrustPilot rating and an A+ rating from the BBB.
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