Vivint vs. Protect America

Vivint, after rebranding itself in 2011 and being acquired by one of the largest financial firms in the world, the Blackstone Group, makes no secret that it hopes to be the biggest home security company in North American and the world. Vivint uses local installation companies whereas Protect America is strictly DIY.

Vivint vs Protect America

Our extensively researched comparison provides you will a good overview of each, highlighting each similarity and difference. We use a wide-range of corresponding data points, including contracts, customer satisfaction ratings in multiple areas, costs and service. Protect America, in our view, comes out ahead, but many homeowners and small businesses may find that Vivint suits their individual needs better depending upon their circumstances.

Similarities

  • Cellular transmission for all advanced packages
  • Both companies use GE or 2Gig sensors and detectors
  • Each company charges substantial penalties for early contract termination
  • Smartphone apps are available free of charge
  • Protect America and Vivint provide the equipment free

Differences

  • Vivint requires five-year and Protect America three-year monitoring contracts
  • Vivint has a B- Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, and ADT has an A
  • Protect America is DIY and Vivint requires professional installation
  • Vivint charges an installation/activation fee
  • Vivint allows users to choose a particular number of smart home control items, based on the package bought. Protect America does not offer Z-Wave control items with any package
  • Vivint does not offer a money-back guarantee
  • Vivint provides a home and cloud photo storage device with their premium package

Comparison Overview Chart of Basic Packages

 Protect AmericaVivint
Package NameCopperSmart Protect
Monthly Monitoring Fee$41.99*$34.99
Equipment Costnonenone
Activation and/or Installation Feenone$199.00**
Contract Length3 years5 years
Equipment Manufacturer2Gig and GE2Gig and GE
CellularNoYes
Outsourced or Proprietary Monitoring CentersOutsourcedProprietary
Number of Door/Window Sensor33
Motion Sensor Included11
Smoke Detector01
BBB RatingAB-

*A landline only system is available for $19.99 per month
**Fee can vary depending on local dealer and online specials or coupons

Comparison Overview Chart of Top Packages Offered

 Protect AmericaVivint
Package NamePlatinumSmart Complete
Monthly Monitoring Fee$54.99*$69.99
Equipment Costnonenone
Activation and/or Installation Feenone$199.00
Contract Length3 years5 years
Equipment Manufacturer2Gig and GE2Gig and GE
CellularYesYes
Smartphone and Remote Access ManagementYesYes
Z-Wave Control YesYes
Video AvailabilityYesYes
Door/Window Sensor Included143
Motion Sensor11
Key Fob01
Smoke DetectorNoYes
Smart Home Services Devices03
Touchscreen ConsoleYesYes
iTunes App Rating2.5 stars3.5 stars
Android App Rating3 stars4.3 stars
Blackberry App Rating3.2 stars3.9 stars

*Landline only $42.99

Comparison Overview
The quality of equipment offerings from Protect America and Vivint is excellent. Most experts agree that GE and 2GIG produce some of the top quality sensors and detectors available.

Since each uses the same equipment, so availability is the same for both companies. The pricing is very similar too. Each has Z-Wave, smart home devices, but only Vivint offers smart home devices as part of their mid-range and premium package offerings.

Their monitoring services have excellent ratings from users. The centers have the appropriate ratings and licensing and provide an adequate response. Some prefer companies like Vivint, which have proprietary monitoring stations devoted only to their clients.

Winner and Loser Categories

Company Reputation

Winner: Protect America

Vivint had over 3500 complaints lodged against it with the Better Business Bureau. Vivint’s reputation has suffered from aggressive salesmen that resulted in several lawsuits filed against the company by state’s attorney general’s offices for misrepresentation and deceptive sales tactics.

Protect America has a good though not perfect record with the BBB. Users on various sites generally rate Protect America highly in comparison to Vivint.

Pricing

Winner: Protect America

Vivint charges substantially more for all of their packages than Protect America charges. If you add the extra two years for their service contracts, the cost of Vivint is much more.

Contract

Winner: Protect America

Vivint has one of the longest contractual agreements of any home security company. Protect America’s three-year contracts are industry-standard.

Packages and Contents

Winner: Vivint

Vivint provides much more equipment with their packages than Protect America provides. Vivint packages are very comprehensive. The premium package allows consumers to choose three smart home devices, which includes cameras. This allows Vivint customers more flexibility in their essential equipment without outlaying more money to supplement the offerings.

Ease of Installation

Winner: Tie

The installation service by Vivint and the DIY system used by Protect America receive equally high ratings. It is a matter of whether or not a homeowner wants to take the time to install a system themselves, or not be bothered.

Equipment Quality and Technology

Winner: Tie

The pricing and quality of the components are the same.

Warranty

Winner: Protect America

Vivint, however, has a no return policy. Protect America will allow you to return their equipment at no charge within two weeks.

Their equipment warranties are essentially the same, and any sensor or detector that goes bad due to a manufacturing defect will be replaced at no charge.

Service

Winner: Tie

Both companies receive high user marks for service. Vivint’s home service technicians are well-trained and according to most users do an excellent job.

The DIY instructions and support provided by Protect America have few consumer complaints registered.

Comparison Summary

Protect America wins or ties our comparison review in every category except one. The company has a solid reputation and provides good, basic home security systems for the average DIY consumer.  Learn more in our Protect America review.

Many people may still choose Vivint if they are not worried about price or contract length. They may also prefer Vivint if they are not interested in DIY systems.  Learn more in our Vivint review.

Comments

1 COMMENT

  1. Correction: Protect America cellular base plan is $31.99, not $41.99. Also, if you buy from one of their dealers, they will install for free.

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