Update: Vivint now offers 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup for $39.99 a month plus $5 per camera for 14 days of cloud storage. Without this plan, your system will be a local alarm only.
First Alert Professional and Vivint both offer a variety of strong home security options. Both use excellent equipment, offer Z-Wave home automation options and provide professional installation. Both also have mobile management capabilities.
Vivint users should note customer service complaints, while First Alert Users should note potential variance in details among local dealers.
- Strong equipment options
- Available Z-Wave home automation
- Professional installation
- Mobile management capabilities
- First Alert Professional typically has an installation fee
- First Alert Professional monitoring contracts average two years, Vivint has month-to-month or 42- and 60-month options
- First Alert Professional details vary by local dealer
- Vivint has notable customer service complaints
Packages, Equipment and Pricing
Both Vivint and First Alert Professional offer strong equipment options.
First Alert Professional sells systems through independent dealers, leading to varying local experiences. Though equipment prices can vary highly, First Alert Pro is owned by Honeywell and offers high quality technology. There are also a large selection of offerings and available customizations. Prices for monitoring contracts, installation and activation vary by dealer.
Vivint has notably high prices compared to many other competitors, but does offer comprehensive, customizable packages with excellent technology options. Vivint offers top-of-the-line, modern equipment, with cameras included in its two more advanced package options.
First Alert Professional contract lengths can vary but the average length is reported to be two years. Vivint offers very short and very long-term contracts: month-to-month contracts and 42- and 60-month contracts.
Both First Alert Professional and Vivint have reportedly strong mobile apps, though with slightly different connections to packages.
First Alert Professional users have the mobile app Honeywell Total Connect available as an option, but it is not included in the basic package. Vivint has a well-reviewed mobile app included in its packages.
First Alert Professional offers professional installation at approximately $289, though prices can vary.
Vivint also requires professional installation, though as of February of last year, the company does not charge extra for it. (Outdoor cameras still come with a $99 installation fee and doorbell cameras come with a $29 installation fee.) Activation fees will likely also apply.
Both First Alert Pro and Vivint have available Z-Wave home automation options.
Winner: First Alert Pro
Vivint scores notably low in customer service. The company has had issues with aggressive sales tactics, with multiple lawsuits filed on behalf of consumers against the company. Common complaints are misrepresentation and deceptive sales tactics. Users also report unanswered customer calls, a lack of support after contracts are signed, and issues with billing.
Who First Alert Professional Might Be Better For:
- Users who don’t mind local variance in options
- Users fine with installation fee
- Users wary of customer service issues
- Users interested in Honeywell equipment
Who Vivint Might Be Better For:
- Users interested in 2Gig technology
- Users hoping for free installation
- Users not prioritizing customer service
Both First Alert Professional and Vivint offer options to meet your home security needs. Those fine with local variance and installation fees, interested in Honeywell equipment and prioritizing the customer service experience will likely prefer First Alert Professional. Those looking for free installation and specifically 2Gig technology may prefer Vivint.
Related: The Best Security Systems of 2019