The Home Security System You Need: Vista 20p vs 21ip


As the field of home automation rapidly progresses, more devices are coming to the market. Almost all of these devices are decked with fun features and gimmicks. 

Anyone who researches security systems knows Honeywell is one of the best security system developers. While the models are fun to browse, it can be hard to choose one for yourself. 

Thus, we’ve discussed which might be the best security system for you – Vista 20p vs 21ip. We’re going to look into the nitty-gritty of the two devices. We’ll help you choose which one is perfect for you.

Quick Look at Vista 20p VS 21ip

Before diving into the discussion, here’s a handy chart of the feature comparison. 

Take a look at it to get some idea of their differences and similarities.

PriceComparatively LowerComparatively Higher
SensorsWired + WirelessWired + Wireless
Backup Battery12 V 4.5 Ah12 V 4.5 Ah
GSM CommunicatorsExternalGSM Included
Dual-Path Communicator DeviceNot includedIncluded
Communication ChannelTelco terminalEthernet + Cellular

Now, these were just some basic features of the two. There is more to discover. Especially if you want to purchase one for yourself.

Similarities between Vista 20p and 21ip

Before diving headfirst into the comparisons, let’s look at the few similarities between the Vista 20p and 21ip.


Most wired systems go out once your electricity is down. But the Vista 20p has an amazing backup battery that keeps it running. Even when you aren’t connected to the internet.

The 21ip device has both ethernet and cellular connectivity options. It makes sure your home is always under surveillance. If your ethernet connection fails, the system automatically switches over to a cellular connection. 

Security Zones

Apart from being user-friendly and smart, Vista 20p gives you the luxury of expanding security zones. 

A security zone is a part of your home that is under the surveillance of certain sensors and cameras. 

Separate zones help the system identify which part of the house is actually in danger. This allows the security system to notify you precisely and fast. 

Most standard home surveillance systems offer 10-15 zones at a time. But the Vista 20p is a few steps ahead of the game. They offer a total of whopping 48 zones.

You can use as few as 8 zones or expand it to its full capacity. It is completely up to you. 

Vista 21ip also has the capacity of supporting up to 48 zones. You can easily program and change up the settings. The zones are upgradable. So, it gives you overall flexibility and ease of use.

Head to Head between Vista 20p vs 21ip

Now that we’re done with the basic comparison, let’s get a more detailed look. Both these models are very closely developed, meaning they have very similar features.

For anyone wanting to upgrade their system, even the slightest detail matters. So, we’ll decode their features and paint a clear picture here.


The Honeywell Vista 20p is priced at a cheaper margin than the 21ip. Initially, you might be tempted to go for the Vista 20p. Since they are very similar. 

The 21ip is priced under $330 and the 20p is priced within $250.

As 20p has the added cost of the communicator. 21ip seems like a much better choice.


The Vista 20p is a smart home security system. It is equipped with many modernistic features that make it reliable. Features such as expandability, alarm net, and digital layout make it stand out from its competitors.

Its system is very user-friendly. You do not need to invest in a separate installation for it. You can install the device yourself. You just need a few handy tools. If you follow the user manual, it is pretty easy to figure out.

Here are our recommendations for smart drills you might need to install the device-

DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch...
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* POWERECONNECT Cordless Drill/Driver + 30 pc. Kit...
DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch...
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* POWERECONNECT Cordless Drill/Driver + 30 pc. Kit...
1500 RPM
750 RPM
530 Inch Pounds
300 Inch Pounds
DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch...
DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch...
1500 RPM
530 Inch Pounds
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* POWERECONNECT Cordless Drill/Driver + 30 pc. Kit...
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* POWERECONNECT Cordless Drill/Driver + 30 pc. Kit...
750 RPM
300 Inch Pounds

The 21ip offers better service straight out of the box. It does not need external communicators. You can do much more versatile programming with this one. 

Communication Channel 

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two security devices comes with their communication channels. In this regard, the Vista 21ip is far superior.

Let us explain why.

To have remote access to your home security and IP cameras, you need to integrate them into a network. The most preferable network is a cellular network. This feature allows security services to remotely program your device for you. 

The 20p natively has a Teclo terminal only. That means it only connects to phone lines. It loses all remote accessibility without a separate communicator device.

However, you can attach a separate communicator device to your 20p. There are communicator boxes that allow you to either have a cellular network or ethernet. 

Most people use a GSMX4G to get a moderate cellular connection. If you want dual connectivity, try a dual-path communicator. 

But the Vista 21ip has the connectivity issues solved. The panel comes with an RJ45 jack that connects to a wired ethernet connection. It also has a cellular connection. Plus, it has the Teclo support available in the Vista 20p.

In terms of accessibility, Vista 21ip definitely stands out.


The Vista 20p is essentially a bridge between older and newer home security systems. It works with both wired and wireless devices. 

That means you don’t need to change out a whole system. You can add Vista 20p to your home security network to get the wireless devices going.

This can save you a lot of money on completely swapping an existing home security system.

The Honeywell Vista 20p is a wired system but 21ip can be programmed to use different wireless sensors and cameras. This will expand your network in a more sustainable way. 

Which System Should You Choose – 20p vs 21ip

To sum it up, the Vista 20p and 21ip are pretty similar. But with the 20p, you’ll have to buy a separate communicator for better functionality. The 21ip can do a lot on its own.

If you want to adapt your old system, go for 20p. And, if you’re just now buying the first setup for your home, choose the upgraded 21ip.

Now you should be clear on which to pick, according to your needs.


Question: How to enter the programming mode on Vista 20p?

Answer: You can enter programming with your 4-digit installer code. Or you can press down * and # together within 50 seconds of powering up the panel.

Question: How do I reset my Vista alarm settings?

Answer: Enter programming mode and press *97 to perform a factory reset.

Question: How to disarm a vista panel?

Answer: You can do this with the installer code. Or, you can power off the backup battery and then unplug the panel to shut it down.

Final Verdict

If you have read this far, thank you so much for coming along. As our final word of advice, we suggest that you make a pro and con list based on the article. 

This will help you decide which one is the better security system for your home – Vista 20p vs 21ip.

We hope this article helped you. Good luck!

Alex Dantas

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