If you’re new to home security or aren’t totally committed to hosting a system in your home, Frontpoint has you covered. Not only does it offer a generous 30-day trial in which to test out the product, but it also boasts highly-rated customer service to help you out every step of the way. This is particularly important given that Frontpoint operates solely through DIY installation. While this may pose an issue for less-technologically-savvy buyers, attentive representatives are on call to help walk you through building and using your security system. We had our own system up and running in 15 minutes.
Unfortunately, home automation features aren’t available until Frontpoint’s highest-tiered plan, Ultimate. In addition, Frontpoint only sells a few smart products; the rest you’ll have to purchase through a third-party seller. Because of this, anyone aspiring to a smart home may want to consider a more tech-focused company like Vivint.
Frontpoint centers its service around making things simple and offering the support you need to set up your system. Its mission statement is: “We believe home security should make you feel great. That's why everything we do revolves around enhancing your sense of security and happiness. In other words, we got you.”
Is it True?
In our experience, yes.
In our review of the best home security systems, we tested the systems in our own homes for eight months. And from the attentive first sales call to the 15-minute guided DIY install, we found Frontpoint to be a breeze. When we stumbled on a step, Frontpoint had several options to assist: a helpline, an extensive online FAQ, and video tutorials.
Even while shopping around, Frontpoint makes things simple with clear and accessible pricing. ADT and Vivint, by comparison, don’t readily offer specific equipment or monitoring prices. Instead, you have to call a representative to get the details to budget your system.
Once you’ve installed the system, Frontpoint gives you a long 30-day trial period to evaluate how the system fits into your life. All of these conveniences make Frontpoint’s customer service really feel like it's “got you.”
Those new to home security
People looking to build a smart home
Easy DIY install
Unlike its competitors, Frontpoint operates with DIY installation, which means no extra fees and no inconvenient install appointment windows. DIY installation can be a daunting task for those less inclined to tech or handywork. However, the instructions are clear, and the mobile app walks you through the whole process.
If at any point you get stuck, the app will notice that you’ve stalled on a step and offer up a service line you can call. Alternatively, Frontpoint has vast online resources for troubleshooting yourself. Whether you’re a visual learner or like to follow written steps, Frontpoint provides video guides and digital manuals on nearly every equipment piece and install step.
While the company wasn’t reviewed by J.D. Power, it does have an A+ from the Better Business Bureau, and 84% of the 187 customer reviews are positive. It’s easy to see why: When we were setting up our system, Frontpoint’s customer service was attentive and dedicated. During our initial phone call, the rep asked us detailed questions about the layout of each room in our home, safety concerns, and our experience with home security. The rep answered every question we had and was completely understanding when we ended the call without a sale, stating we needed more time to shop around.
Crash & Smash Protection
Frontpoint’s Interactive and Ultimate plans come with a feature called Crash & Smash, which you won’t find with ADT. If a burglar tries to disable your alarm by smashing (or unplugging) your control panel, the system will continue to work while alerting the monitoring center. With this system in place, you don’t have to worry about installing your control panel in a place an intruder can’t intuitively spot or contacting the alarm company if your control panel is destroyed.
If you’d like to remotely control your system and receive notifications on your phone, you need at least the Interactive plan to unlock the Frontpoint app. With the app, you can arm/disarm your system and receive alerts for events you select. Upgrading to the Ultimate plan allows you to also control your smart tech.
This kind of functionality isn’t rare for security brands, but Frontpoint’s interface is notably easy to use. It features big, color-coded buttons that are clearly labeled, and its menu bar is simple to navigate. Vivint’s app, in contrast, has more customizable rules and alerts, but it gets complicated — you could spend a lot of time customizing it or trying to reset those options if you receive too many notifications.
Unlike the competition, Frontpoint clearly states package options, the features of those packages, and monthly prices. You don’t have to hunt for equipment pricing and add-on options, either. There are three packages to choose from — the Protection plan for $35, the Interactive for $45, and the Ultimate for $50. Each tier unlocks more features like mobile alerts, home automation, and video storage.
Pricing partially depends on which contract you choose, with the 36-month contract offering higher savings than the 12-month contract. Either way, Frontpoint gives you 30 days to return the system if its not for you — a huge step up from Vivint’s three-day window, and perfect for those who are still debating their home security purchase.
Lack of smart equipment
If you’re looking to build in a smart thermostat, doorbell camera, or controlled garage door, you’ll have to purchase third-party Z-Wave products and integrate them independently. Z-Wave is the wireless language that smart products use to communicate with each other. It’s the most universal and widely used protocol by companies like Philips and Nest. Unfortunately, the only equipment available through Frontpoint is a smart lock and light bulbs. Anything else will have to be purchased separately and integrated yourself. Other providers, like ADT and Vivint, offer a wider range of equipment to build out your system directly through the company.
Expensive home automation
While its basic security plans are cheaper than those of ADT and Vivint, home automation capabilities are only available with the $50 tier, the Ultimate Plan. That’s $10 more than Vivint’s most basic plan, which has no smart tech limitations. You can’t integrate third-party smart equipment without the Ultimate plan, either. If your sole priority is home automation, Vivint is better equipped and more affordable for that technology.
Vivint outshines the competition when it comes to home automation and smart tech. If you want to add video surveillance, smart thermostats, and lights, Vivint is the most affordable for outfitting a smart home. Its basic monitoring plan grants access all home automation features, while both ADT and Frontpoint require you to upgrade to the highest tier for those options. Vivint also ranked highest of security brands in J.D. Power’s 2017 Home Security Satisfaction Study, earning a five out of five for its ease of use, problem resolution, and clarity of information.
And while its customer service rivals that of Frontpoint, it isn’t as forgiving toward newcomers. You have only three days after installation to try out the system, a stark contrast to Frontpoint’s 30-day trial. If you aren’t set on signing Vivint’s hefty five-year contract, Frontpoint offers more flexibility.
If you don’t know it by name, you probably recognize the blue octagonal logo. ADT has been around since 1890, and that kind of legacy doesn’t come without an effective product. The company has remained relevant, offering trending smart tech like smart locks and thermostats, plus the ability to integrate your own Z-Wave technology. The ADT Pulse app, which allows you to control home automation and monitor your smart system, also speaks to ADT’s ease of use. The app has a 4.7 out of five on the iOS app store, a notable improvement over Frontpoint’s 3.1 out of five.
However, ADT has a high number of complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s website and an overall poor customer service reputation. Customers cite billing issues and faulty equipment as sources of grief. You also can’t order online as you can with Frontpoint, forcing you to give ADT a call for a quote on your service. ADT may have the edge on proven reliability, but Frontpoint could be the better choice if customer service is a big priority.
How much does Frontpoint security cost?
Frontpoint has three monitoring plans. The Protection plan is $35 per month, the Interactive $45 per month, and the Ultimate $50 per month. Each tier unlocks new and more advanced control features like the mobile app, home automation, and video history. Equipment packages start at $200, but you can customize something simpler with a phone call to a Frontpoint rep. Adding on entry sensors costs about $30, and video cameras reach $100.
Will Frontpoint still work if the power goes out?
Yes. Frontpoint’s control panel has a 24-hour battery backup to keep the system running when the power goes out. If you have a monitoring plan that includes mobile alerts (the Interactive or Ultimate), you’ll receive notifications when the power goes out and comes back on.
Can I take my Frontpoint with me when I move?
Taking your Frontpoint system with you when you move is simple. Just let Frontpoint know when your system will be offline, then reinstall the system in your new home. Frontpoint will even send you new adhesive tape for your sensors. Once your system is set up in your new home, call Frontpoint again to turn the monitoring back on. The whole process is completely free.
The Bottom Line
Frontpoint’s customer service, online resources, and simple install make it a great home security provider for consumers who want to keep it simple. The system is basic enough to integrate seamlessly into your life; even if it doesn’t, you’ll have 30 days to decide. And even though Frontpoint doesn’t offer the same affordable home automation features as tech-dedicated companies like Vivint, it’s great for basic needs. Regardless, we recommend getting a couple of quotes and comparing packages for your specific needs.