Reviews

Vivint vs. Ring Home Security System: Which One Should You Buy in 2023?

Both Vivint and Ring offer top-notch home security, but shoppers who are debating Vivint vs. Ring will want to consider which company has the best equipment and monitoring options for their needs.
Vivint vs. Ring
Photo: istockphoto.com

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Even homes located in seemingly safe neighborhoods can benefit from a home security system. Vivint and Ring are two of the best home security systems in the industry, but deciding between the two companies can be a confusing process for potential customers. There are many technical terms thrown around in discussions, but in the case of Ring vs. Vivint, customers really only need to think about a few key factors.

Understanding what terms mean and why they matter when choosing a home security system can help make the decision easier. With the many similarities between the Vivint security system and the Ring security system, it can take a closer examination to see what sets the two companies apart.

How We Compared Home Security Systems

Vivint vs. Ring
Photo: ring.com

We looked at factors that are common across both companies and can easily be laid side by side to determine whether Vivint or Ring is the best option for a home security system, including elements that are more subjective, such as reputation.

  • Reputation: A company’s reputation is determined by customer satisfaction. We use customer reviews, ratings on the Better Business Bureau, and other factors to determine a company’s overall reputation.
  • Equipment options and quality: Different customers will have different needs when it comes to the type of home security equipment they need, so it’s important that these companies offer a range of options to suit the needs of various customers.
  • Packages and plans: The equipment expense, both up front and in the long run, helps determine whether a company caters to all customers or only those with a bit more to spend. A company that allows customers to more accurately customize their packages will always be favored.
  • Pricing and fees: Pricing and fees are an important factor. Though a company may offer inexpensive equipment, that benefit can be offset by very high monthly fees.
  • Installation: Many customers who want a home security system lack the knowledge or skill to install it themselves, and some lack the physical ability. It’s important for a company to offer a variety of installation options.
  • Monitoring: Professional monitoring makes a home security system more effective. The quantity and cost of monitoring plans plays a role in determining which of the two companies is a better pick.
  • App user experience: In the modern world, nearly everything is app controlled, but not all apps are created equal. We look at whether a company’s smartphone app is intuitive and easy to learn, or whether it presents a hurdle in and of itself.
  • Contracts and trial period: Something that looks good on paper might not work in practice. It’s important for a company to provide sufficient time for customers to try out equipment before committing. Additionally, some home security companies require customers to sign a contract, while others offer contract-free systems.
  • Warranty: No matter how well-constructed a system is, accidents happen. If a storm, break-in, or other disaster damages a home security system, customers should have the ability to return it for replacement or refund within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Home automation and device compatibility: Home security systems aren’t just about security, but are also about convenience. If a company makes it easy to integrate its system into the smart home, it will be a better choice for customers overall.

1. Vivint vs. Ring: Reputation and Customer Reviews

A company’s reputation can signal to potential customers whether it will be a good fit for their needs. Both Vivint and Ring are highly regarded in the home security industry, though each is designed to cater to a slightly different customer. While Vivint security has a reputation for being one of the best professional home security systems, Ring has a reputation for being a solid choice for customers looking for a DIY option—in particular with the widely known Ring Doorbell.

It’s true that most people who leave reviews do so out of a sense of anger. It’s more likely that fewer people leave positive reviews than negative, but despite that, both Ring and Vivint have quite a few happy customers. Vivint leads that with a solid 4.0 rating out of more than 29,000 Vivint reviews on Trustpilot, while Ring has only a 1.3 Trustpilot rating out of more than 4,000 Ring security system reviews at the time of writing.

Vivint responds to as many as 94 percent of negative reviews, and usually does so within a week, while Ring does not appear to reply to reviews. The ratings for each company are more positive at Consumer Affairs: Ring has a score of 3.6 out of 5 at Consumer Affairs, while Vivint’s Consumer Affairs rating is an impressive 4.7 out of 5.

Verdict: Vivint and Ring are both highly reputed security companies that have their share of satisfied customers, but Vivint’s positive reviews on sites such as Trustpilot push it ahead.

Winner: Vivint

Vivint vs. Ring
Photo: vivint.com

2. Vivint vs. Ring: Equipment Options and Quality

Vivint home security equipment tends to be on the higher end compared with Ring’s, which accounts for the higher price point.

  • Firstly, Vivint offers a wide variety of cameras to appeal to renters as well as homeowners, including an outdoor camera, doorbell camera, and indoor camera. All Vivint cameras offer night vision, motion detection, video recording, two-way audio, and a high field of view to capture even more of their surroundings. This can help customers feel confident that their security cameras will capture footage when needed, such as when an unexpected visitor knocks on the door or a suspicious person is lurking outside the home.
  • Vivint also offers smart door and window sensors and motion sensors for an added layer of protection, and a smart hub to give customers control of their smart-home devices from one location, which helps keep things simple.
  • Finally, Vivint provides customers with security signs to help deter intruders from approaching the home.

Ring home security also has a wide range of equipment options. When comparing the Vivint doorbell vs. Ring, the two are similar in the equipment they offer, though Ring is known in particular for this device. Ring’s selection of video doorbells include wired and wireless versions with features ranging from the basic (two-way talk and motion detection/alerts) to the advanced (built-in Alexa greetings and package alerts). In addition to video doorbells, Ring equipment options include:

  • Indoor and outdoor Ring cameras
  • Several types of window alarm sensors
  • Door and window contact sensors
  • Motion detectors
  • Panic buttons
  • Safety equipment such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and flood detectors.

Like Vivint, Ring offers security signs for customers to display in their yards or windows.

Verdict: Vivint and RIng both have a wide selection of equipment to choose from, but Vivint’s equipment is generally higher quality and includes smart-home automation. However, Ring has very decent equipment to choose from, including the widely known Ring Doorbell.

Winner: Vivint

3. Vivint vs. Ring: Packages and Plans

Vivint offers three main packages for customers to choose from:

  • The Starter package offers basic home security equipment, including 24/7 monitoring, intrusion detection, a touch-screen control panel, mobile app access, a flood/water damage sensor, and four break-in security sensors. This package is designed for customers who want to dip their toes into home security but aren’t sure they need all the bells and whistles that come with higher-tier package options.
  • The Premium package includes everything in the Starter package, but adds video security and theft deterrent features including a doorbell camera and outdoor camera, smart lock, and Vivint key fob for easier control of the system. This package caters to customers who want a basic video security system that’s easy to use.
  • The Premium Plus package has all the features of the Premium package but adds an indoor camera, voice control, stored video clips, smart-home automation, and vehicle protection. The top-tier package includes just about everything a customer could need from a home security system.

Each package is catered toward a specific home size and price point, but Vivint also offers useful customization tools that allow customers to build a package designed specifically for their home. This means fewer extraneous devices that someone doesn’t really have any use for, like an included garage door opener in a home without a garage.

Ring offers two packages for customers looking to purchase a home security bundle:

  • The Ring Alarm Security Kit 8-piece package features a base station, keypad, four contact sensors, a motion detector, and a range extender. It’s designed to cover the main areas at risk for intrusion, such as the front door, bedrooms, or living room. Customers can also choose variations of this package, such as one that includes a video doorbell, and a 5-, 10-, or 14-piece package that adds extra equipment.
  • The Ring Alarm Pro Security Kit 8-piece package offers the same equipment as the Alarm Security Kit, but adds a built-in eero Wi-Fi 6 router for increased coverage. Similarly to the Alarm Security Kit, this package offers customers the ability to upgrade to a 13- or 14-piece package, or one that includes a video doorbell and an Echo Show.

Although Ring offers more variety in its packages, most of these are variations of one another with only one or two devices added or removed. Further, Ring doesn’t offer the same level of customization options as Vivint.

Verdict: Vivint’s equipment packages include a wide range of features, and customers can add on products based on their needs. Ring’s plans don’t quite offer the same level of customization.

Winner: Vivint

4. Vivint vs. Ring: Pricing and Fees

Home security cost is an important factor when choosing a home security company. Vivint pricing isn’t advertised up front; it takes a bit of digging to find out what a system will actually cost. Even starting a quote requires a customer to enter their name, phone number, and email address. The equipment packages start at $997.99, but that’s only for the base system; most customers will add more to customize it, spending an average of around $2,000 in total.

Vivint customers can finance their equipment rather than paying for it up front, which can decrease the initial cost but increase the monthly cost. Vivint advertises 0 percent financing for a total of 60 months, which means qualified customers may be able to avoid paying interest but will be locked into 5 years of payments. Vivint also offers frequent discounts on equipment that can lower the total costs. The costs for Vivint’s equipment packages are as follows.

Equipment PackageMonthly CostTotal Cost
Starter Package$16.64$997.99
Premium Package$31.30$1,877.96
Premium Plus Package$47.14$2,827.92

Vivint’s monthly monitoring fees are also not clearly displayed on the company’s website, but authorized retailer sites report them as follows:

Monitoring PlanMonthly Cost
Smart Security MonitoringFrom $29.99
Smart Home MonitoringFrom $39.99
Smart Home Video MonitoringFrom $49.99

Ring’s prices are clear from the outset, and the equipment is more affordable. Customers can choose from two main packages: Alarm Security Kit (starting at $199.99) and Alarm Pro Security Kit (starting at $299.99). Each kit has several options based on the number of equipment pieces included. The cost for these options is as follows:

Equipment PackageTotal Cost
Alarm Security Kit 5-Piece$199.99
Alarm Security Kit 8-Piece$249.99
Alarm Security Kit 10-Piece$279.99
Alarm Security Kit 8-Piece + Indoor Cam$239.99
Alarm Pro Security Kit 8-Piece$299.99
Alarm Security Kit 14-Piece$329.99
Alarm Security Kit 8-Piece + Video Doorbell$339.99
Alarm Pro Security Kit 13-Piece and eero 6 Wi-Fi extender$379.99
Alarm Pro Security Kit 14-Piece$379.99
Alarm Pro Security Kit 8-Piece + Stick Up Cam Battery + Echo Show 5$474.98
Alarm Pro Security Kit 8-Piece + Video Doorbell 3 + Echo Show 5$524.97

Customers can also opt to purchase their Ring security equipment by piece at the following price points:

  • Ring Video Doorbells cost from $64.99 for a basic wired version to $259.99 for the Video Doorbell Pro 2, which includes 3D motion detection, built-in Alexa greetings, and HD+ video.
  • Security cameras range from $59.99 for a compact plug-in indoor camera to $229.99 for the Spotlight Cam Pro, which includes two LED spotlights and Bird’s Eye View for clearer video footage both day and night.

Ring monitoring is also typically cheaper than Vivint monitoring:

Monitoring PlanMonthly CostAnnual Cost
Basic$3.99$39.99
Plus$10$100
Pro$20$200

A Ring customer who chooses a basic package and monitoring will pay $199.99 up front and $3.99 per month, while a customer who chooses the priciest package and monitoring will pay $524.97 up front and $20 per month. As a result, Ring tends to be the better option for those looking to spend less.

Verdict: Ring’s typically lower-cost packages make it ideal for a variety of homeowners, no matter their price range. In contrast, Vivint’s high-tech equipment comes at a price that pushes it out of budget for many homeowners.

Winner: Ring

5. Vivint vs. Ring: Installation

Vivint home security systems require professional installation, which is included in the customer’s chosen smart-home package. Once the customer has chosen their system, a Vivint Smart Home Pro will come to the customer’s home and install the equipment. Vivint promises that its Smart Home Pros will schedule around a customer’s needs, listen to their concerns, and follow any health protocols to keep the customer healthy and their home safe during the installation. The Pro will also show the customer how to control the system to help them feel confident in using it, and customers can reach a Vivint representative by phone 24/7 if they have any questions.

While the initial installation must be done by a professional, Vivint customers can install their own additional equipment as they expand their system. Smart-home devices, flood sensors, and other components don’t require professional installation.

Ring is mostly a DIY system, making it ideal for customers who are comfortable with installing their equipment, or those who only want the basic equipment in their package. It’s designed to be installed by the customer, though, and the equipment is built with ease of use in mind. Customers can refer to Ring’s setup guides and help center, or contact Ring customer support for assistance while installing their home security system. For customers who prefer to have their system installed by an expert, Ring offers professional installation through OnTech Smart Services. This service costs extra, ranging from $129.99 for a Ring security camera installation to $259.99 for a 13-piece Pro Security Kit installation, so customers will want to keep this added cost in mind if they’re looking for a professionally installed system.

Verdict: Vivint’s professional installation is included in the price of the system, whereas Ring’s optional professional installation can add quite a bit to the total cost. However, Ring’s option for a DIY installation appeals to savvy customers looking to save money on their home security system.

Winner: Ring

Vivint vs. Ring
Photo: ring.com

6. Vivint vs. Ring: Monitoring

Vivint is built with professional monitoring in mind. Many of the benefits offered by the security system are built into a monitoring plan, as is the entire pricing structure. Vivint’s specialists respond quickly to situations and can be reached by phone or through the Smart Hub in the home. According to Steve Siems, security and smart home expert and owner of the YouTube channel Steve DOES, “I have had a couple of Alarms go off with Vivint over the years and they are very responsive.”

Vivint has three monitoring plans for customers to choose from:

  • The Smart Security Monitoring plan includes mobile app access; entry, smoke, and carbon monoxide detection; medical pendant support; and 24/7 monitoring.
  • The Smart Home Monitoring plan adds smart-home integration to the Smart Security Monitoring plan.
  • The Smart Home Video Monitoring plan adds video surveillance to the Smart Home Monitoring plan.

Ring is designed as a self-monitored system, but it does offer professional monitoring through the Ring Protect Pro plan. The monitoring service works like any other, alerting customers when there’s a problem. After that, Ring will call to confirm there’s an emergency before reaching out to first responders. Customers who don’t want professional monitoring are able to opt out of it with Ring, although one of the Ring Protect plans is necessary to take full advantage of the system.

Ring’s three monitoring plans are as follows:

  • The Ring Protect Basic monitoring plan includes video recording for one doorbell or camera within the home, plus 10 percent off select products at Ring.com and Amazon.com.
  • The Ring Protect Plus monitoring plan includes video recording for all Ring home devices, as well as extended warranties for all devices.
  • The Ring Protect Pro monitoring plan includes video recording for all devices, plus professional monitoring, cellular alarm backup, Alexa Guard Plus, and local video storage.

While Vivint doesn’t offer self-monitoring options, it offers customers robust protection through its three available professional monitoring plans, so customers can choose the option that works best for their needs and budget.

Verdict: Vivint’s monitoring options are comprehensive, and specialists are fast to react if an alarm is triggered. While Ring offers self-monitoring, its professional monitoring services don’t quite meet the same standards as Vivint’s.

Winner: Vivint

7. Vivint vs. Ring: App User Experience

When it comes to apps, user experience is often subjective. It can be hard to define exactly what makes an app stand out, and both Vivint and Ring have user-friendly apps with a lot of features.

Vivint gives users the ability to check live video feeds and recordings, receive alerts and notifications, speak through doorbells and cameras, arm and disarm their system, lock and unlock doors, control lights, open and close their garage door, and even set up custom routines. It also lets users set up multiple profiles for different members of the household. The Vivint app is well-rounded and puts control of the security system and the smart home directly in the customer’s hand, no matter where they are. However, customers will want to note that the Vivint app is only available for those who opt for the Smart Home Monitoring or Smart Home Video Monitoring plan.

The Ring app offers many of the same features as the Vivint app, including two-way talk through video doorbells and cameras, live video monitoring, smart light control, and instant alerts. Ring also includes an SOS button for customers who have professional monitoring. Ring users can control all their devices from within the app, while the optional Neighbors app makes it easy to stay informed about any suspicious activity in the neighborhood. However, the Ring app lacks some of the more advanced features of the Vivint app—most notable, smart-home control beyond smart lights.

From a ratings standpoint, Vivint and Ring have similar customer ratings on the Apple App Store, while Vivint’s rating on the Google Play Store is very slightly higher than Ring’s—but both apps have an overall positive rating on both platforms.

Verdict: Both Vivint and Ring have highly rated and user-friendly apps, but the Vivint app offers extra features, such as the ability to set custom routines, that push it slightly ahead of the Ring app.

Winner: Vivint

8. Vivint vs. Ring: Contracts and Trial Period

Neither Vivint nor Ring require customers to sign a contract when purchasing a home security system. However, Vivint customers who choose to finance their equipment will be locked into a 60-month contract. But if customers can afford to purchase their Vivint system up front, they can enjoy a contract-free agreement with the company.

“Like with any trial period, [a home security system trial period] will give you a good idea of what the system is capable of before you make a final decision,” says Siems. A trial period gives customers the chance to get hands on with a security system and try it out for themselves. Though Vivint stands out from the competition in many ways, its trial period is not one of them. Vivint doesn’t have the standard 30-day trial associated with many home security companies. Instead, customers who wish to cancel will be required to call Vivint customer service directly for assistance. In certain circumstances, such as a death, bankruptcy, or transition to an assisted living facility, Vivint may release customers from their agreement with no penalty. Other customers may cancel within 3 days of installation for no charge, but after that period a cancellation may incur an additional fee.

Ring offers a 30-day trial period on Ring Protect plans, as well as a 30-day return period. At the end of the 30 days, customers’ video footage will be deleted if they do not sign up for a Ring Protect subscription. Additionally, if the customer does sign up for a Ring Protect plan during the trial period, they won’t be charged for their subscription until after the trial period is over. Ring is much more customer-friendly in that regard, and it allows people to actually test the system in real-world scenarios.

Verdict: Ring offers a 30-day trial period of its Ring Protect plan, as well as a 30-day return policy on its equipment. Vivint customers can only cancel their plan within 3 days of installation.

Winner: Ring

Vivint vs. Ring
Photo: vivint.com

9. Vivint vs. Ring: Warranty

If any part of a security system breaks within the first year of use, customers want to be able to replace it. Ring excels with a 1-year warranty starting from the purchase date, which applies to new and certified refurbished devices purchased from Ring, Amazon, or authorized resellers. This is a limited warranty, though, so it doesn’t cover damage caused by the customer. However, it will repair any manufacturing defects or malfunctioning parts. Ring also offers an extended warranty on all devices for customers who choose either the Ring Protect Plus or Ring Protect Pro plan.

Vivint has a much more limited warranty, with a period of only 120 days. During that time, Vivint will repair or replace any defective part of the system without a charge to the customer, excluding batteries and Vivint alarm screens. After that period is up, Vivint will still replace a defective part for free, but will charge the customer a service fee and any applicable taxes.

Verdict: Ring devices come with a 1-year warranty from the purchase date. Vivint’s warranty only lasts 120 days; after that, customers will need to pay a service fee for any repairs or maintenance to their equipment.

Winner: Ring

10. Vivint vs. Ring: Home Automation and Device Compatibility

One of the most convenient aspects of modern security systems is the ease with which they integrate into a smart-home or home automation system. Vivint excels in this regard, offering everything from a smart thermostat to garage door openers. “Vivint has some of the best smart home automations already available for their users to just tack on if they want to use them,” explains Siems. “They are also customizable to their needs too.”

Since Vivint offers its own products, there is near-seamless integration between the security and home automation sides. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. A common question is, “Can I use Vivint equipment with Ring?” While some Vivint equipment, such as the thermostat, door lock, and light switches, will work with Ring, home monitoring devices will not. And for those wondering, “Does Ring doorbell work with Vivint?” the answer is no; Vivint has its own doorbell that’s designed to work with the system.

Ring does work with smart-home systems, which should come as no surprise since it’s a subsidiary of Amazon. According to Siems, “The Ring ecosystems allows you to integrate with the Amazon Alexa app and that brings a lot of added options for smart home automations.” Customers can purchase Ring-branded smart lights, including pathlights, spotlights, floodlights, and light bulbs. Additionally, Ring customers can purchase certain third-party smart-home devices directly from Ring.com, such as smart locks, garage door openers, and smart thermostats. However, the integration process is not quite as seamless. While someone can do nearly everything with Ring that they can do with Vivint, it requires a bit more know-how.

Verdict: Vivint’s equipment is designed to work together seamlessly and includes several smart-home features, but it can also work with automation products from other companies such as Google and Amazon. While Ring is compatible with some smart-home devices, it’s not quite as seamless.

Winner: Vivint

Verdict: Vivint is the most comprehensive of the two home security systems, but Ring is still a good choice for customers looking for a lower-cost option or who prefer DIY installation.

Vivint is the clear winner, with higher-quality equipment, better monitoring options, and better home automation integration. However, those features come with a higher price tag. Vivint is the ideal choice for a security system in a home where pricing isn’t much of a concern and the homeowners want only the best of the best. “When you invest in a more expensive system you get the advantage of everything being enclosed in their ecosystem,” says Siems.

Ring is still a tremendous security system that offers many of the same benefits of Vivint, and at a much lower price, too. The trade-off is a lack of customization, less-efficient monitoring, and a less-seamless smart-home experience. That said, if someone is shopping for security on a smaller budget, Ring is a solid choice. The bottom line is that a home security system is well worth the investment, and both Vivint and Ring are excellent choices for homeowners to consider. Customers considering a DIY home security system may also want to compare SimpliSafe vs. Ring to see which is the best option for their needs.