Zmodo Security System
Zmodo security was founded in China in 2009 and has since spread throughout the world. Zmodo security systems have a growing number of customers and offers a lot of super-modern features, including wireless equipment, adjustable alarms and alerts, door and window sensors. Zmodo also features fully integrated smart-home options, two-way audio and very impressive cameras. Zmodo security systems have rightfully developed a very strong reputation in the field of home security, but are they the best in their field? We took some time to do some comparisons between Zmodo security systems and another leading home security provider, Vivint, to see which would come out on top.
Round 1: Pricing
Probably the most important thing to a lot of people is the bottom line- how much is this going to cost me? First off, be aware that cheapest isn’t always best, especially when dealing with something like home security. Do you really want to go cheap on something that may be the only thing keeping your family safe from a home intruder, fire or other emergency? Because I assure you, you will get what you pay for.
That being said, let’s compare prices between Zmodo home security and Vivint.
Zmodo’s prices are set up around the amount of time the customer will have available to store and record camera footage- Notice there is no monitoring of any kind, meaning you, the customer, are on your own. Zmodo’s basic plan is completely free- you get 60 hours of storage with it and not much else. They offer a so-called “7 day plan” for $4.99 a month, which gives you 7 days of 24 hour camera storage, but once again no form of monitoring. If anything happens, you’ll have it recorded in high definition, but no one is coming to help. Their “30 day” plan for $9.99 / month records everything and stores it for 30 days, so if you’re away for a while and come back to a wrecked up house and stolen valuables, you’ll be able to examine the video evidence and turn it over to the police, though it may be difficult to find the perpetrators after much time has passed.
Vivint’s lowest priced package comes in at $29.99 / month, but that comes with 24/7 home monitoring, meaning anytime Vivint’s award winning home security teams detect an unauthorized entry or any unsafe condition in your house (smoke, heat, water, CO2, etc), they not only alert you, they will alert the authorities immediately, saving vital seconds or even
minutes that could make the difference in life or death. Vivint also offers $39.99 and $44.99 packages that come with more features, but both also include 24/7 monitoring.
So technically, in terms of monthly subscription prices, Zmodo’s security system comes out on top. But once again, I advise you that you will get what you pay for.
Round 2: Installation
One of Zmodo’s “selling points” is “easy DIY” installation. And in some cases, it does appear to be pretty easy. Much of the equipment is completely wireless and there are numerous available videos out there, both from Zmodo and from customers. As in all things, of course, a lot of these installations are only “easy” if you’re handy with tools, don’t mind working with low voltage cables or cutting holes in your walls. But that’s just it- this is DIY- do it yourself. If you aren’t good at that sort of thing, or just don’t trust yourself to cut holes in your wall or set up the equipment correctly, you’re just out of luck.
Vivint, on the other hand, offers completely free professional installation for all new customers. You don’t have to do one single thing- a qualified Vivint installation technician, certified with the equipment and in electrical wiring will come to your house by appointment and handle the entire thing. The technician not only installs everything, but they ensure that everything is working properly and that you know how to operate it, as well as making sure you know what to look for in terms of possible problems.
This, of course, is huge. Not only do many people not feel comfortable working with electrical wiring and equipment, but even if you do manage to get it installed in what you believe is the correct way, it’s hard to know with complete certainty that it’s working correctly unless you are an expert with the equipment and software- which you most likely are not. But Vivint’s technicians are.
So right here, we have to give the advantage to Vivint. DIY installation is great and everything, but a lot of people just don’t feel comfortable with it. Vivint on the other hand does everything except hold your hand- in fact, what they do is better. They don’t even have to hold your hand. You can watch TV and eat a sandwich while they do all the work.
Round 3: Customer Service
A quick web search reveals a lot about a company’s customer service, because if there’s one thing people on the internet don’t mind doing, it’s sharing their opinions. Zmodo’s customer
service, strangely enough, turns up very few results whatsoever in a simple google search, and the one real result it does turn up is shockingly bad. According to Trustpilot, Zmodo’s customer service comes up with a dismal 1.5 stars out of 5 possible, with 86% of all reviews rating their customer service as “bad”.
Vivint customer service, on the other hand, consistently rates highly across multiple platforms. One simple google search returns a 4 / 5 star rating from reviews.org, a 4.1 / 5 star rating from usnews.com, and a 7.7 / 10 from Cnet.com. In fact, it’s very difficult to find any website that gives their customer service any kind of negative rating.
Overall, Vivint’s customer service is obviously light years ahead of Zmodo. Zmodo may make fine security systems but they have a long way to go to compete in the customer service department.
Round 4: Equipment Quality & Variety
Zmodo’s equipment is some of the best and most advanced on the market. They both manufacture, sell and distribute it all, so they are able to provide a very strong home security system completely in-house, which is a big advantage over many other companies. It allows them to assure a quality product while keeping costs comparatively low. But is their equipment any better or worse than their competitors?
Here’s the facts- Plenty of companies offer state-of-the-art equipment. Zmodo’s security equipment is great, but they don’t have anything that nobody else offers. Furthermore, while some of Zmodo’s security equipment requires you to drill or cut holes in your walls, other companies, such as Vivint, offer a completely wireless experience.
Lastly, Zmodo’s security equipment selection is extremely limited. Zmodo offers indoor and outdoor cameras and door sensors, and that’s it. And that’s great, those are your core components to a security system, but if you really want to elevate your home through smart home technology, let’s look at Vivint. Vivint not only offers a wide selection of quality cameras, both indoor and outdoor, as well as door and window sensors, Vivint also offers everything you can think of to automate a home- thermostats, lights, door locks, two-way doorbell cameras, you name it. In addition to all that, Vivint also offers every kind of home monitoring sensor imaginable, from smoke and heat detectors, flood detectors, C02 detectors- and all of it is easily controlled and monitored from your smartphone.
So essentially it comes down to this- Zmodo has great security equipment, but no matter how high quality it might be, the average user isn’t going to notice any significant difference from the other industry leaders. On the other hand, Vivint is miles and miles beyond Zmodo in terms of home automation and smart home technology. The choice here is clear.
Round 5: Reviews
Reviews tell the whole tale in a lot of cases, and home security is a very user-focused industry. If the users are happy, it says a lot about the company. And if they aren’t, then… Well, let’s take a look at a few quotes.
First, let me say that while reviews for Vivint exist all over the internet, there just aren’t a lot out there about Zmodo. I will use what is available and try to be as fair and objective as possible with what I have to work with.
I’m not going to put you through a lot of long quotes, so instead I’m just going to give you a few snippets of the kind of reviews I’m seeing out there about Zmodo. All reviews about Zmodo from https://www.trustpilot.com/review/zmodo.com
The titles of the most recent 5 reviews about Zmodo from this website go as follows:
“Worthless” Dec 14, 2021
“Aweful (sic) products – HORRIBLE customer service” – Oct 7, 2021
“Beware there (sic) no good…” – Sept 7, 2021
“Don’t do it!” – Aug 13, 2021
“THIS IS A TERRIBLE COMPANY TO DEAL WITH” – Aug 5, 2021
So… That’s rough. To be fair, there are only 162 reviews for Zmodo on Trustpilot, so the sample size may not be large enough to make a fair assessment, but they currently have a score of 1.5 / 5 stars, and Trustpilot is the only website where I can find any number of reviews about Zmodo. Vivint, on the other hand, gets a very solid 4.0 / 5 on the same website, not to mention having over 24,000 reviews.
Seeing as how Trustpilot is the only place I can find a substantial amount of reviews for Zmodo all in one place, we’ll have to stop the comparison of reviews there, but that probably tells us what we need to know.
So what have we learned?
● Zmodo offers some of the cheapest subscription packages on the market. If you are willing to forego monitoring other features, they are going to be your least expensive option. But if you’re going cheap, what’s the point?
● Zmodo offers “easy” DIY installation, which is to say if you’re familiar with electrical wiring and feel comfortable with drilling/cutting holes in your walls, while Vivint offers free installation done by a certified professional who is expertly familiar with Vivint’s equipment and how to make it function properly, plus they show you how to use the equipment and make sure it is working correctly before they leave your home.
● Zmodo’s customer service doesn’t have a whole lot written about it on the internet, but what little is written is largely negative. Vivint on the other hand has been poked, prodded, examined and reviewed across a myriad of sites and the results are overwhelmingly positive across a number of sources.
● Zmodo makes very good cameras and door sensors, but that’s all they make. And while there’s nothing wrong with specializing, Zmodo’s lack of variety severely limits those who are looking for full home automation. Vivint offers a wide variety of products including cameras, sensors of all kinds, safety monitors, two-way communication devices, etc.
● Zmodo’s cameras and cloud storage options are fine, but they offer no form of monitoring. What happens when your house actually gets broken into? Zmodo can definitely confirm that it happened- Yep, while you were gone to Disney World your house was broken into, ransacked and robbed. Definitely happened. Zmodo has your footage. Great. Can Zmodo alert you and the authorities to maybe prevent that? The answer unfortunately is no.
● No matter how you look at it, Zmodo’s reviews are bad. There aren’t many out there and those that are are largely negative. Vivint on the other hand has largely positive reviews, and a whole lot of them. This tells us two things- One, that Vivint has a whole lot more people using it than Zmodo, and two, that the small number of people using Zmodo are not too thrilled about it.
So how can I put this plainly? Zmodo has great equipment- that much is obvious. The reviews for their cameras are almost unanimously positive, and that’s great. If you just really demand the highest quality camera available and you aren’t worried about 24/7 monitoring and customer service, Zmodo might very well be the company for you. I think people who think they’re more tech savvy and better with DIY projects than others and who aren’t really concerned with their camera footage actually being monitored are likely to be good with Zmodo.
Vivint on the other hand is the clear choice for the majority of people who are less worried about the clarity of their camera feed and are more concerned with their home and family actually being watched out for. Free professional installation goes a long way for most people who may want to know for sure that their equipment is set up and working properly, and Vivint’s highly rated customer service department will probably seal the deal for people who want to know when they have a problem that someone will have an answer.
So which choice is right for you? Only you can answer that question, obviously, but if you want a nickel’s worth of free advice here’s what I’ll tell you: Zmodo looks flashy, their equipment is great and has the most impressive specs, and they’re the cheaper option. But Vivint has proven consistently that they’re one of the industry leaders in all the little things that add up to big things, like customer service, 24 / 7 home monitoring, free installation, customer satisfaction, etc. The majority of people are going to have a better experience with Vivint due simply to those facts, and in the end, that’s the bottom line.