Vivint vs. Protection 1

Vivint is owned by one of the largest financial firms in the world, the Blackstone Group. Protection 1 has an extensive market presence throughout North America.  Each company works with local installers and sales personnel.

Protection 1 vs Vivint

We use a wide-range of corresponding data points to compare Protection 1 vs Vivint, including contracts, customer satisfaction ratings in multiple areas, costs and service. Protection 1, 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 the advanced packages
  • Neither company has a do-it-yourself (DIY) option
  • Each company charges substantial penalties for early contract termination
  • Smartphone apps are available free of charge
  • Both companies charge installation and/or activation fees
  • No money-back guarantees

Differences

  • Vivint requires five-year and Protection 1 offers a three-year monitoring contract
  • Vivint has a B- Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, and Protection 1 has an A+
  • Vivint provides a home and cloud photo storage device with their premium package
  • Protection 1 offers only landline connection for the least expensive package
  • Protection 1 offers Geo-fencing
  • Protection 1 uses Honeywell sensors and Vivint uses GE and 2Gig

Comparison Overview Chart of Basic Packages

 Protection 1Vivint
PackageSecureSmart Protect
Monthly Monitoring Fee$34.99$53.99
Equipment Costnonenone
Activation and/or Installation Fee*$99.00$199.00
Contract Length3 years5 years
Equipment ManufacturerHoneywell2Gig and GE
CellularNoYes
Number of Door/Window Sensor33
Motion Sensor Included11
Smoke DetectorNoYes
BBB RatingA+B-

*Can vary depending upon the local dealer and promotions

Comparison Overview Chart of Top Packages Offered

 Protection 1Vivint
PackageVideoSmart Complete
Monthly Monitoring Fee$54.99$69.99
Equipment Costnonenone
Activation and/or Installation Fee*$99.00$199.00
Contract Length3 years5 years
CellularYesYes
Smartphone and Remote Access ManagementYesYes
Z-Wave ControlYesYes
Outsourced or Proprietary Monitoring CentersProprietaryOutsourced
Two-way VoiceYesNo
Number of Door/Window Sensor44
Motion Sensor Included11
Geo FencingYesNo
Glass BreakYesYes
Key FobNoYes
Indoor Camera*YesNo
Smart Home Devices03
Touchscreen ConsoleYesYes
iTune App Rating2.5 stars3.5 stars
Android App Rating3.5 stars4 stars
Blackberry App Rating4 stars5 stars

*Vivint considers cameras a smart home device

Comparison Overview
The quality of equipment offerings from Protection 1 and Vivint is excellent. GE, 2Gig, and Honeywell produce some of the best sensors and detectors available on the market. The pricing for each brand offered by Vivint and Protection 1 is very similar too.

Both companies have a variety of Z-Wave, smart home devices for. Vivint includes the option of choosing Z-Wave devices with your initial package.

Protection 1 offers a camera as part of their high-end package. Vivint considers cameras part of their smart home controls offerings and with their most expense package, you get your choice of three Z-Wave devices.

Their monitoring services have excellent ratings from users.

Winner and Loser Categories

Company Reputation

Winner: Protection 1

Vivint has had numerous complaints lodged against it by disgruntled customers with the Better Business Bureau. Vivint has a reputation for aggressive salesmen who use deceptive sales tactics and misrepresent what is and is not offered with their different systems. A few years ago, several lawsuits filed against the company by several states on behalf of their citizens.

Protection 1 has much fewer complaints and higher ratings from users than Vivint has.

Pricing

Winner: Protection 1

Protection 1 has a lower activation fee and lower monthly monitoring costs than Vivint.

Contract

Winner: Protection 1

Vivint has a five-year monitoring contract while Protection 1 has a three-year contract.

The terms and conditions of both contracts are virtually identical. Each charges the amount total monthly amounts remaining on the contract if you cancel the contract before the end of its term

Packages and Contents

Winner: Vivint

Vivint provides much more equipment with their packages than Protection 1 provides. Customers who purchase Vivint’s premium package can choose three smart home devices. There are several other additional items provided by Vivint in their premium package that Protection 1 does not include.

Ease of Installation

Winner: Tie

Vivint and Protection 1 receive high marks from users for the service provided by the installation technicians.

Equipment Quality and Technology

Winner: Tie

The pricing and quality of GE, 2Gig, and Honeywell components are about the same.

Warranty

Winner: Tie

Neither company offers any return policy. Since both companies essentially lease you the equipment, any malfunctioning items will be replaced at no charge.

Service

Winner: Tie

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

Comparison Summary

Except for packaging and contents, Protection 1 wins or ties in all other categories. Overall, Protection 1 costs less to own and the service and quality of the equipment are about the same as that provided by Vivint.  Learn more about Protection 1 in our full Protection 1 review.

If you do not mind five-year contracts, and want a high-end package that provides lots of equipment, then Vivint may be a better choice for you.  Learn more in our full Vivint review.

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