One of the most popular vehicle smart systems taking the world by storm is the remote start system. There are several brands that offer their own take on this security option, but Viper Smart Start is the one that is creating a lot of buzz. We wanted to find out if this system is as impressive as it is marketed to be, so we dug deep to find out the answer. The result may be surprising to you!

What to Expect From the Viper Smart Start

As the name suggests, the Viper Smart Start is a remote start system engineered for your vehicle. However, it offers a whole lot more than that. It also provides an alarm system to keep your precious car, truck, or SUV safe, no matter where you leave it. Using your smartphone or a tablet, you are able to unlock or lock the car, start the car remotely and even locate the vehicle in a crowded parking lot. The last comes in handy if you have grown accustomed to forgetting where you parked ten minutes after you leave the vehicle. In essence, it’s a car starter with plenty of bells and whistles built in that evolves the traditional idea of a remote starter.

What Makes the Viper Smart Start Stand Out?

A neat feature of the Viper Smart Start is that you can use it for multiple cars. You add each vehicle to your account and then choose who controls each one. You can access your account details from your phone and control every part of the system in the same way. It is an excellent choice for a family that has multiple drivers and more than one car in the driveway on a regular basis.

On top of that, we found that this starter works on almost any car. It does not require the car to have a remote start system installed beforehand. You also don’t need to add any hardware to use the system on your favorite mobile device. This makes it convenient and easy to use, even for someone who may be a bit less technologically literate.

Exciting Features

Here are some of the features that the Viper Smart Start makes available in its security and remote start system:

  • Bright LED lights that flash to show onlookers your vehicle is secure and protected
  • Ability to pop the trunk with a single press of a button
  • Voice announcements that deter would-be thieves who approach the car
  • Detection if windows are broken
  • Creation of an invisible sensing field around your vehicle
  • Detection of any attempts to tow the vehicle
  • Ability to sound a siren, even without a battery being connected

Most starter systems have a graphical interface that gives you control over the starter, opening the trunk, turning on the engine and even tracing your vehicle. This makes it a rather popular choice for those out there who want an easy-to-use security and starter system.

Available Systems and Plans for the Viper Smart Start

At this time, there are three options when it comes to choosing a Viper remote start system. The first is a remote start, the second is a remote start combined with a security system and the third is a smart key function. We take a look at the differences among the three below.

Remote Start System

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If affordability is key for your purchase, the base model might be the best option for you. It offers many excellent features including keyless entry, remote start, vehicle alerts, trunk release and GPS. You do not get the advantages of sirens or a shock sensor, but otherwise, you’re set up reasonably well. This system can be customized to meet your needs to ensure it works with your particular vehicle model and year. The most basic unit is available for under $100, while more advanced models have a slightly higher price.

Remote Start with Security Features

The Viper Smart Start with security has all of the excellent features mentioned above, along with others. This is the model you want if you need to have a shock sensor on the car or you wish to have sirens that play when someone is getting a bit too close to your vehicle. The unit is going to be slightly more expensive, but the extra features make that worthwhile for many individuals. The fact that it has a range of up to a mile makes it a solid choice for any driver concerned about safety and security.

Smart Key

Viper VSK100 SmartKey Bluetooth Module Connects your smartphone to...
  • compatible with iOS (version 6 or later) and Android (SDK 2.3 or newer) devices
  • works with most Viper, Directed, and Python remote start and security systems
  • Bluetooth connectivity

The newest option from Viper is the Smart Key, which is a basic module that allows you to unlock your door and turn off the system as you get close to the car. It also locks the doors and turns on the system as you walk away. This system does not require a service plan but does have limited features. You will not have the car starter, trunk release, speed alerts, and other things that the two services mentioned previously provide. That said, the price is also cheaper than those alternatives, especially when you factor in not having to carry a service subscription. This system does come with a one-year warranty and often carries a money-back guarantee.

Service Plans

After purchase, the remote start and remote start with security system do require the user to choose a service plan. Keep in mind that you have to pay for this plan in advance, either as a yearly payment or a three-year payment. If you choose the three-year Secure plan, it works out to only $5 a month, while the yearly plan is priced at just under $6 per month. The GPS Premium plan is nearly $7 each month for a three-year plan and over $8 monthly for a yearly plan.

Public Perception of Viper Vehicle Products

The reviews for the various products from Viper tend to be positive. In many cases, they are discussed favorably, even when compared to more expensive remote start systems. People appreciate the fact that Viper is a well-known company that excels in car security. Users often mention that the extended working range is useful in many situations and that being able to add more than one car to an account is a unique perk that stands out. People note that the system is easy to use and being able to control it via phone adds an additional aspect that is helpful in some situations.

The only negative reviews tend to relate to misunderstandings about which systems offer which features. A few users also mention that the distance stated on the packaging does not live up to what they experience in real-life use. 

How Viper Smart Start Compares to the Competition

There are a few different brands out there that offer the same sort of technology that Viper does in their remote start products. In order to provide the best possible information for you, we looked at how the Viper stacks up when it is compared to the alternatives on the market.


Avital 4103LX Remote Start System with Two 4-Button Remote
  • This unit requires a BYPASS Module for installation
  • Remote Start Vehicle System
  • Includes (2) remote transmitters

Avital offers a budget-friendly remote start system with quite a few useful features. As with the Viper, some of the options are not available on the least expensive model. However, with a modular platform, additional capabilities can be added later if that is something a driver desires. It has the ability to lock your doors and adds a kill switch to prevent your vehicle from being stolen. The installation is not overly complicated, and the price is certainly right. The 4103LX model is only $40 on Amazon.

That said, the primary model only has one-way communication, whereas most of the Viper models incorporate two-way. You will also need to purchase any additional features you want for an extra cost, making the low price of the base system less impressive. It is also not the most user-friendly option, as there are only a handful of buttons that control everything offered in the system.


Compustar has a reasonably priced remote start system with a few features that make it fierce competition. The problem is that it does not include other features that will be missed by some users. One unique feature of this system is that it can work with diesel engines, something not a lot of other remote starters prioritize.  It can also be integrated into use with your smartphone, but unlike Viper, this requires an additional purchase.

All in all, you will find the price is a high point for the brand, as is the ability to work with diesel engines. It is reasonably easy to use, even for beginners. However, the signal range is far less than most people will find acceptable, and it also only has one-way communication. The nail in the coffin is that it has many fewer features than the Viper or the Avital system. You can pick up the basic model for around $40 at online retailers.


Bulldog Security 2 Way Remote Vehicle Starter Kit 1/2 Mile Range with...
  • 2 Way Remote Start your vehicle from 1/2 mile away
  • Keyless LCD entry & Vehicle Locator
  • Easy installation

If what you really want is merely a remote start, Bulldog is an exceptional option. The problem is that Bulldog does not pack anything else in. It only has one remote, but it does come with everything you need to install it (tape, test light, cutter, instructions, and diagrams). That means no costly installation fee, at the very least. It has a handful of security features but doesn’t compete with some of the other starters.

As far as glaring cons with Bulldog go, the remote is one-way, and as mentioned, you only get a single remote with your purchase. It also has a range of only around 400 feet, which pales in comparison to some of the alternatives available to the discerning customer. The do-it-yourself RS82 model will cost approximately $50 on Amazon and other marketplaces.


Crimestopper RS7-G5 Cool Start 2-Way Remote Start System
  • Universal on all types of vehicles, especially those with larger ignition wires with high current ignition switches;...
  • Rapid response 2-way and 1-way transmitters (instant lock and unlock like the factory system); 2-way twin data ports to...
  • New style, 2-way transmitter with brushed aluminum and titanium finish, includes standard USB and wall charger for LCD...

The final brand we compared to the Viper is Crimestopper. The most interesting fact about this starter is that it offers more than 30 programming options, which means that it is compatible with nearly anything. However, the downside is that this system is a remote start system and not much more. There are options for adding modules, but the process is more tedious than for other brands. It requires Crimestopper to make the change as the receiver only allows transmission from other products by the brand. It is a simple solution for those who simply want to start their vehicle in a convenient manner remotely.

Another thing that makes Crimestopper less competitive is the lack of buttons available. There is only one, which is excellent for starting the car, but if you add other modules, this might turn out to be a hassle. However, the option is there for those who are interested in a unit from this company. As an example of price, the RS7-G5 clocks in at about $50 on Amazon.

Our Thoughts: Viper Smart Start Review

The Viper Smart Start is an excellent option for nearly anyone looking for a remote start unit. The availability of extra features on either unit is a factor that carries a lot of weight. While some of the actual systems are pricier than others on the list, for someone who values quality, the Viper may be the better choice out there. The more full-featured models have a graphic screen and numerous buttons, so usage is more straightforward than with many competitors’ products.

viper smart start review

For those who want a budget alternative, the other choices on the list should fit your needs. It is just a matter of determining what features are the most important to you and selecting the remote start system that provides those. If only the starter matters, try the Crimestopper. If price is the defining factor, look at the Avital remote start system.

In this Viper Smart Start review, we determined that purchasing this product is an excellent option for anyone who cares about the security of his or her vehicle.

Discounts & Coupons

There are often deals floating around to make the initial purchase of the Viper a bit more feasible for those of you who may have a tight budget. You can visit iFunBox or CouponOkay to see what’s available right now. Sometimes you can also find discount prices if you buy through Amazon or eBay.

Last update on 2023-04-15 at 07:41 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API