Frontpoint Security and ADT Pulse are leaders in wire-free home protection. When these companies are compared in various ways, both tend to fare well. This article reviews similarities and differences to help shoppers find their best match.
Quick Tips: For many shoppers choosing between ADT Pulse and Frontpoint, installation is the deciding factor: ADT security systems get professionally installed, and Frontpoint security systems are easily set up by customers. Other shoppers are swayed by Frontpoint's excellent customer service.
Similarities and Differences between ADT Pulse and Frontpoint
ADT Pulse and Frontpoint security systems are most similar in terms of equipment. That is, both companies can provide and monitor wireless equipment of comparable quality and with similar functionality. An important difference is professional installation versus DIY or do-it-yourself installation. Here are overviews of similarities and differences. We follow up with details below.
- Wireless equipment for clean installation
- Standard and advanced options
- A monitoring contract is required
- Installation (professional or DIY)
- Monitoring contract length
- Monitoring cost per month
Similarities Between ADT Pulse and Frontpoint
ADT Pulse and Frontpoint are among the best security companies for homes and small businesses that prefer a choice of basic or advanced wireless equipment plus professional monitoring.
Wireless, Not Hardwired
Frontpoint and ADT Pulse both use 100% wireless equipment. Their control panels and sensors communicate with radio waves instead of through wires. Wireless systems allow for quick installation and don't require drilling or cutting into walls. ADT can also install hardwired systems, by the way, but ADT Pulse is specifically wire-free.
Are wireless security systems reliable? Yes, in most cases. A small minority of homes aren't suitable for wireless because of electromagnetic interference from items such as fluorescent lights, baby monitors and nearby power lines. Large metal objects in the home, such as filing cabinets, can also pose problems. For most shoppers a wireless system is trouble-free, and both Frontpoint and ADT have long trial periods.
Standard and Advanced Equipment
Whether you're seeking a basic security system or one with “the works,” both Frontpoint and ADT Pulse offer effective solutions. Many other home security companies are limited to standard equipment. Both Frontpoint and ADT Pulse also allow customers remote access to simpler and advanced equipment, letting smartphones serve as mobile alert systems and secondary control panels for arming/disarming, controlling lights and more.
Standard security systems from Frontpoint and ADT Pulse use modern touchscreen control panels. They guard against home invasions and also warn against environmental threats such as carbon monoxide and fire.
Advanced systems allow for home automation such as programmable lighting and electronic door locks. The advanced systems support indoor and outdoor video cameras as well, and each company has a doorbell camera in their lineup.
While equipment from both companies can fill the same roles, customers might receive more equipment from ADT Pulse without needing to pay up-front. Frontpoint customers might want to supplement what's provided, especially if their homes are especially spacious. In the long run the cost could be the same though, as explained below.
Pro monitoring of emergency alerts is mandatory with both ADT and Frontpoint. In both cases it's high quality and has redundancy in case of natural disasters. ADT maintains four monitoring centers nationwide. Frontpoint is partners with Rapid Response, a monitoring agency with two stations in California and New York. Prices for monitoring are explored below.
Differences Between Frontpoint and ADT Pulse
Frontpoint and ADT Pulse Security systems are most different in terms of installation. Other important differences are their contract lengths and pricing.
Installation is the clearest difference between ADT and Frontpoint.
- ADT Pulse wireless systems, just like ADT's hardwired systems, are professionally installed.
- Frontpoint systems are designed for set-up by customers.
Only Frontpoint's systems are portable too, making this company a better choice for renters or others on the move.
ADT Pulse wireless systems, just like ADT's hardwired systems, are professionally installed. Frontpoint systems, on the other hand, are designed for set-up by customers. Only Frontpoint's systems are portable too, making this company a better choice for renters or others on the move.
ADT Pulse installation is low-priced. The deals vary over time, but a typical scenario is $49 installation and $25 for activation. Frontpoint equipment is installed by the customer, so obviously there's no fee for set-up. Ideally the installation just takes about an hour of your time. There's typically a $99 activation fee.
Comparing home security contracts, Frontpoint has an edge over ADT. Frontpoint offers a choice of 12-month and 36-month monitoring contracts. (Monthly prices are lower with longer contracts.) ADT only has a 36-month contract.
These contracts help the companies cover the cost of equipment they supply. When the contracts are through, ownership of the equipment transfers to the customer.
Pricing for Frontpoint monitoring is straightforward. Customers choose from three plans and can see the prices on Frontpoint's website: $34.99, $44.99 and $49.99. The simplest plan isn't comparable to anything from ADT Pulse, as it doesn't include remote access. The mid-level plan adds a mobile app and automation of lights, and the top plan supports video cameras along with digital door locks and other home automation.
Prices for ADT Pulse, in contrast, are somewhat mysterious. Their simplest plan costs $19.99 but that is if you have existing equipment. If you buy equipment from them it is most similar to Frontpoint's mid-level ($44.99) plan. But pricing for other ADT Pulse plans is determined on a case-by-case basis. Getting a quote from ADT requires a phone conversation of about 45 to 60 minutes. (You won't get an answer through their online chat feature, which essentially collects leads for the sales team.) A ballpark figure for their top-tier plan, Live Video ADT Pulse, is $56.99/month. Many customers also pay another $7/month to keep the equipment under warranty. See how their lowest price packages matchup head-to-head.
+ Upfront Costs*View Package
- 100% Wireless & Cellular
- Intrusion Protection
- Fire Protection
- Environmental Protection
- Life Safety
- 24/7 Professional Monitoring
- Touch Screen Control Panel
- Door/Window Sensors
- Flood Sensor
- Garage Door Sensor
- Glass Break Sensor
- Panic Pendant
+ $125 Upfront Costs*View Package
- 24/7 Professional Monitoring
- Cellular Connection
- QSP Warranty
- 6 Mos. Money Back Guarantee
- Fire, Carbon Monoxide & Flood Monitoring
- Wireless Keypad
- 4 Door/Window Sensors
- Remote Secure Video
- Home Automation
- Remote Web & Mobile Access
- Email & Text Notification
Overall, ADT Pulse monitoring is more expensive per month, but it may include more equipment compared with Frontpoint.
Frontpoint and ADT Comparison Summary
Frontpoint is an all-around favorite for wireless home security. If you don't mind installing security equipment yourself, then Frontpoint is our top recommendation. Besides the quality of Frontpoint DIY security equipment, we appreciate the company's clear pricing and excellent customer service.
If you prefer professional installation of wireless security, then ADT Pulse can expertly meet your needs. Possible drawbacks are that ADT security pricing is determined case-by-case (shopping takes longer) and the monitoring contracts are for 36 months.