We don’t throw around the word “innovation” lightly. So when we say Frontpoint is a leader in innovation, we mean it. And not in a corny marketing way either. We rigorously tested their products and monitoring service, and we discovered some nice features and technology that we think you’ll like. With that said, Frontpoint isn’t for everyone. Although they offer reliable DIY home security and home automation, the monthly monitoring prices are high compared to the competition, and the video options aren’t the best.
But… to balance things out, Frontpoint recently began offering month-to-month monitoring, with no contracts. Now you can enjoy quality customer service, wireless DIY systems, and GE devices, without being stuck in a long-term contract. Still, it begs the question: do Frontpoint’s features and tech justify the higher-than-average monthly costs? Let’s find out!
Co-founders Aaron Shumaker and Chris Villar started Frontpoint back in 2007, in Virginia. The fledgling company quickly rose in stature, and by 2011 Frontpoint had won the Angie’s List Super Service Award.1 Since then, they’ve had their challenges and we’ve noticed some bad reviews. Frontpoint’s customer service is almost back on track. They currently hold an A+ rating from the BBB.2
FYI: Customer service is more important than you may believe. If you have a security system for several years, there will certainly be times you need to call for tech support, billing questions, etc.
Since Frontpoint did away with long-term contracts, and now sells packages at only $99 (cheaper than some DIY competitors), it stands to reason that they’re storming into the DIY market. Whether this is a smart move on their part, or a mistake as far as branding/positioning goes, time will tell. We mention this because it’s important to know that Frontpoint has had some identity issues as of late.
There are two pricing considerations with Frontpoint. First, you will have to purchase their equipment up-front, but these costs aren’t too shocking. They also offer 0% financing on equipment for qualified buyers. One look at our Frontpoint Pricing chart below, and you’ll see that the company is currently offering full setups for under $100 — which is quite low compared to much of the competition. But there’s always more to the story.
|Frontpoint Systems||Safe Home Everyday||Safe Home Plus||Safe Home Select||Safe Home Preferred|
|Size of System||9-Pieces||9-Pieces||12-Pieces||14-Pieces|
|Type of System||Intrusion||Intrusion||Intrusion + Environmental||Intrusion + Environmental + Video|
You also have to consider the monthly monitoring price. Now, we’ve tested hundreds of home security systems over the years, so we know what’s fair and what’s not. Frontpoint offers two plans that cost $44.95 or $49.95 per month for 24/7 professional monitoring. The premium plan offers video and automation. Frontpoint partners with Rapid Response Monitoring Services,3 which we’ve found to be fast and reliable. They claim to offer 23x faster response times using LTE technology, but there’s really no way of verifying this. It was pretty fast, but not that fast.
|Frontpoint Monitoring||Interactive Plan||Ultimate Plan|
|Price||$44.95 per month||$49.95 per month|
|Type of Coverage||Intrusion + Environmental Monitoring||Intrusion + Environmental + Video + Home Automation|
|Connection Type||LTE Cellular Monitoring||LTE Cellular Monitoring|
|Mobile App Controls||Yes||Yes|
|Contract Length||No Contract||No Contract|
Frontpoint’s monitoring prices are slightly more expensive than the industry average. For instance, Alder Security offers DIY home security with monitoring priced at $34.99 per month. With Frontpoint, the plans start at $44.95 per month, but you’ll spend about $50 per month if you want all the fixins’.
Thankfully, there aren’t any hidden fees or activation fees. Also, since Frontpoint offers DIY installation, there are no installation fees to worry about. Just pay for the equipment upfront (or finance it), and choose your monthly plan, and that’s it. When all is said and done, you’ll likely be paying $50+ per month, which isn’t exactly cheap.
Our latest round of Frontpoint testing started on their website.4 They make it fairly easy to choose a system, along with accessories and a monitoring plan. If you don’t have the cash to buy the equipment upfront, you can finance the equipment at no-interest for 3, 6, or 12 months. Well, that’s if you qualify after a credit check. But don’t get lost in the details. Just know that Frontpoint lays it out in simple language, making it pretty easy to choose a system and slide through the checkout process.
We went with the Safe Home Preferred Plan, a 14-piece package that includes the Frontpoint hub, entryway sensors, motion sensors, a glass break sensor, a smoke and heat sensor, and an indoor camera. We liked how robust this package seemed, and with a 2,500 sq. ft. home, we figured it would do the trick. We also purchased an outdoor security camera. Of course, there are a few kits to choose from (see chart above). And each kit is customizable with environmental sensors, cameras, smart locks, etc. It’s also worth noting that all of Frontpoint’s equipment comes with a 3-year warranty.
Pro Tip: We often recommend purchasing a base package and expanding on your system over time with add-ons and upgrades. Depending on your budget, this might be a great approach.
Like most DIY systems, Frontpoint was easy to install on our own using removable adhesives (no drilling or wiring). It took about 25 minutes, but that’s with camera mounting and everything. For the most part, these systems are plug-and-play easy; and they come preconfigured from the factory, which is always nice. While the installation was fast and easy, it wasn’t nearly as easy as other DIY kits like Ring Alarm or SimpliSafe — which can both be installed in about 10-15 minutes with no tools.
From what we’ve seen, DIYers shouldn’t have a problem getting their Frontpoint system installed and set up. But if you do experience hiccups, you can usually get Frontpoint on the phone to bail you out. As you’ll see, their service team is great, although they’ve had a checkered past. Frontpoint also has online troubleshooting and installation guides to help you along. All in all, we satisfied with the ease of installation.
Once our Frontpoint system was in place, it was fairly easy to manage and control. Using their mobile app, we could toggle through the modes to arm and disarm our system. All fairly standard. But Frontpoint also has a mobile app that we used to manage our system on-the-go via their app.
FYI: Using Frontpoint’s mobile app, you can control your home security system and smart home features from pretty much anywhere in the world. And if you install cameras, you can check in on your live video feed with Frontpoint’s Ultimate Plan.
We touched on it already, but it’s worth repeating that Frontpoint received Angie’s List “Super Service” award back in 2011. However, that was a decade ago; so how does Frontpoint measure up to the competition today? Well, each time we called in, we got a real human on the line (that’s already better than a few brands we won’t mention). And they were pretty nice humans, too. We found Frontpoint agents to be highly-trained with a friendly phone-side manner, if that’s a thing.
But digging through user reviews online, we did come across some not-so-positive experiences. These were mostly about Frontpoint’s long-term contracts, which they no longer have, but it became clear that their customer service isn’t what it used to be. Finally, it’s worth noting that Frontpoint staffs English- and Spanish-speaking agents from 8am to 11pm EST on weekdays, and from 10am to 7pm on weekends.
We opened this review raving about Frontpoint’s innovation, so we won’t leave you hanging any longer. We do like the forethought and engineering that goes into their features and tech. For instance, did you know that Frontpoint was the first company to introduce a self-guided setup app? But really, it’s nothing above and beyond what brands like Vivint and ADT have been doing for years.
One of our biggest gripes was with the Frontpoint security cameras. Now, don’t get us wrong, they have a few devices to choose from. But they didn’t really measure up to the quality standards that we’re used to seeing — especially when it came to features and technology.
FYI: Keep in mind that you’ll need to sign up with Frontpoint’s Ultimate Plan if you want camera monitoring and live-streaming.
This camera came with our Frontpoint Safe Home Preferred package. It was ultra-simple to set up, and it gave us decent surveillance of one room. Also, with 1080p HD video quality, the resolution was crystal clear for us.
Now this is a step up from the standard indoor cam, with 1080p HD video quality, built-in Bluetooth speaker, an echo-canceling mic, pan & tilt, 180-degree viewing angle, two-way talk, mobile app, and enhanced zoom capabilities. We recommend this camera for indoor use.
This wireless camera offers night vision and a weatherproof design that’s built to last. It’s also pretty easy on the eyes, with a sleek and modern aesthetic. But unfortunately, it doesn’t have two-way talk (which we just established is a favorite feature of ours). Also, the 720p HD video quality leaves something to be desired. All in all, not recommended.
Frontpoint also sells the Slimline doorbell camera (made by SkyBell). We7ve tested this doorbell several times in the past, and it’s actually pretty solid. It just might help to fend off porch pirates7 and give you a little extra peace of mind.
|Frontpoint Cameras||Indoor Camera||Premium Indoor Camera||Outdoor Camera||Doorbell Camera|
|Resolution||1080p HD||1080p HD||720p HD||1080p HD|
Although Frontpoint is a bit pricey compared to some of the competition, and although they’re lacking in the security camera department, there are some redeemable qualities about this brand. First off, we’re impressed with Frontpoint’s customer service. In our experience, their team was helpful and friendly. Also, they now offer a handful of packages at deeply discounted prices. We were happy with the $99 price tag on their standard kit (which includes a doorbell camera!).
However, these low prices probably aren’t sustainable; and they likely won’t last. But one thing we liked about Frontpoint is their new month-to-month monitoring plans. Sure, this is a given with most DIY security companies out there. But Frontpoint required 3-year contracts for the longest time, so it’s nice to know they’ve jumped on the no-contract bandwagon. Overall, we think Frontpoint is a decent DIY system, but it certainly needs some work to be our favorite.
Angie’s List. (2020). Super Service Award. Local service provider review site. https://www.angieslist.com/
Frontpoint: Better Business Bureau® Profile. (2020, April 3). BBB. https://www.bbb.org/us/va/vienna/profile/burglar-alarm-systems/frontpoint-security-solutions-llc-0241-213917567
Rrmc.com. (2020). Rapid Response Monitoring Center. Alarm and Security Monitoring Company. https://www.rrms.com/
Frontpoint.com. (2020). Home Security System. https://www.frontpointsecurity.com/
GE.com. (2020). Industrial Manufacturing Company. https://www.ge.com/
Z-Wave. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 3, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z-Wave
C+R Research. (2020). Independent Research Company. https://www.crresearch.com/blog/2019-package-theft-statistics-report