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.
Fortress and Vivint offer home security systems that will likely appeal to different consumers.
Vivint offers equipment and monitoring services, professional installation, home automation and mobile management. Users can opt for month-to-month or long-term contract options. Vivint notably adjusted package and monitoring service offerings as of 2017, and no longer charge standard installation fees.
Fortress offers DIY installation of pre-programmed equipment-only packages. No monitoring services are available.
- One type of available installation
- Departures from industry-standard 36-month monitoring contracts
- Only Vivint has combined equipment and monitoring package options.
- Fortress has no monitoring contracts.
- Only Vivint offers home automation.
- Vivint has more comprehensive mobile management.
- Vivint has professional installation. Fortress is DIY.
Winner and Loser Categories
Packages, Equipment and Pricing
Vivint takes the win here for its combination of equipment and monitoring options.
Vivint offers comprehensive, customizable packages with excellent technology options. In addition to equipment costs, monitoring rates run from $40-$50. You can either purchase equipment upfront for flexible month-to-month payments, or commit to a longterm contract and pay for equipment and monitoring services over time. Vivint offers top-of-the-line, modern equipment with video capabilities.
Fortress offers equipment-only packages with no monitoring options. Packages are all pre-programmed, and range in cost from $99-$570, depending on customizations. Available equipment includes sensors, sirens, and an HD security camera. Fortress technology is reported to be inexpensive compared to the industry standard. Because only self-monitoring is available, Fortress systems rely on sirens, strobe lights, and autodial to alert users to issues. Alarm delays have been reported.
Vivint has 1.3 million customers in the U.S and Canada, plus professional monitoring and the highest-rated app of any security company.
Fortress and Vivint each offer only one type of installation. Choice will depend on whether you are seeking DIY or professional services.
Fortress offers only DIY installation of pre-programmed packages.
Vivint requires professional installation, though as of February of this year, does not charge extra for it. (Outdoor cameras still come with a $99 installation fee and doorbell cameras come with a $29 installation fee).
Only Vivint offers home automation capabilities.
Vivint offers mobile management — including of smart home features — in its two main packages.
Fortress offers a mobile app that is only available with specific package options.
Vivint offers contract options to appeal to different consumers. Low-commitment seekers can buy equipment upfront and proceed with month-to-month monitoring payments. Those looking for a longterm option can choose a 42- or 60-month contract.
Fortress notably offers no monitoring packages.
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 Fortress is Better For:
- Users who want to avoid any monitoring contracts
- Users not prioritizing mobile management
- Users seeking DIY installation of preprogrammed equipment
Who Vivint is Better For:
- Users who want professional installation
- Users interested in home automation
- Users seeking either month-to-month or long-term monitoring contracts
- Users looking for comprehensive mobile management
Fortress and Vivint both have a variety of offerings to meet home security needs. Consumers looking for home automation, mobile management, monitoring services, and professional installation will likely prefer Vivint, but should note the company’s history of customer service complaints. Those looking for a DIY pre-programmed equipment package with no monitoring commitments will likely be pleased with Fortress.
Related: The Best Security Systems of 2019