Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro review: Your driveway’s best friend

No matter where you live, there are security risks. For someone like me who lives in a typical suburban area, the risks are low but still exist. Just recently, I heard about someone who was trying to sneak into the garage of a neighbor, walking right up the front driveway.

In terms of the places to protect on any property, the most obvious one is right at the front of your house, where you park your cars, and the place that’s closest to the street. That would be your driveaway. Mine is quite short, which is both good and bad. It’s nice for shoveling in winter, and the entire area is easy to see at a glance. (A previous house had a driveway that was about a quarter mile long.) On the downside, a short driveway means it is close to the street and also close to the garage. It’s where we park our cars, and it’s the most obvious entry point.

That’s why I like the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro. I’m testing and reviewing one that is installed right above my garage door. It also has a motion sensor with a light, so there are two deterrents. Here’s what I like about it so much. For anyone who happens to walk up the driveway at night, the camera and motion detection work in unison. When the camera detects motion, a bright light emanates across my (short) driveway and on any cars parked there.

Using my phone, I can easily respond to an alert and watch live or recorded video captured by the camera. This can happen during the bright sunshine in the middle of the day, when I’m working at home or away, and also works at night using the night vision technology.

I can also set zones for surveillance. I used the app to select an area that covers mainly the driveway but a little outside of that area around a tree and my mailbox. The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro can then send me an alert if it detects motion, but also turns on the light instantly when someone walks within that zone (it’s usually my wife coming home from work).

The Smart Deter technology is also interesting. The camera and motion sensor are doing double duty in recording activity and shining a light, but the camera can also whistle or sound other chimes as a way to discourage someone from coming up closer to the house. The whistle is the most interesting, because — in testing it with a friend — I noticed how the person would almost always look up at the camera when the whistle sounded. That means, smile — you’re on candid camera. The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro will record the person in question.

I like how it all works, especially since I don’t have to do anything. Once I set the Zone and enabled Smart Deter, I didn’t have to think about the camera again. No batteries to replace (it is wired to an electrical outlet unlike many of the DIY security cameras), no complicated apps to use. The alerts arrive right on my phone using the same Vivint app used for arming the security system and locking the doors. It’s all pretty slick, easy to use, and robust.

We always like to mention one thing we don’t like about a product in our reviews, and I will say some of my family members don’t like the whistle or the lights. I typically just disable the camera when I know they are visiting, and that’s easy to do as well. I can also disable the Smart Deter feature but keep the recording and lights activated, so there are workarounds.

The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro costs about $400 or you can pay monthly, and the camera  can be configured as part of an overall security package. It’s a great system, and my driveway is now protected by a camera, a motion detector, bright lights, and a whistle.

Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon or another affiliate.