If you’ve been researching home security systems, chances are you’ve heard about Frontpoint. According to their website, Frontpoint’s aim is to make selecting, installing, and using a home security system “safer, smarter, and simpler.” Let’s take a detailed look at the Frontpoint system to determine whether they have truly uncomplicated the process.
For the purposes of this review, we will rely on the three categories we laid out in our guide, “How to Find the Best Home Security System Online” — price, features, and customer service.
Frontpoint’s Price Point
When calculating the cost of a home security system, you have to include upfront costs — equipment, installation, and activation — as well as monthly fees. When combined, Frontpoint’s pricing is on the higher end compared to other monitored DIY systems. Over the course of three years, you can expect to spend a little more than $1,800 to install and operate the base system.Here’s the breakdown:
Typical Frontpoint Equipment Cost
Frontpoint offers a variety of home security packages, ranging in price from about $130 to $1,035. To get the lowest prices, you must have a credit score of at least 600, and you have to sign up for a three-year monitoring contract. Packages are completely customizable, so you can add or remove equipment to suit your needs.
Frontpoint Installation Fees
Frontpoint keeps it simple (and free!) by offering self-installation for all systems. Average installation time takes about 30 minutes with the assistance of a guided app, and you can access help over the phone or via the web anytime. You won’t need your toolbox, either. No wiring is required, and equipment either stands alone or attaches to walls and doorways with a removable adhesive.
Frontpoint Activation Charges
You’ll pay zero dollars to activate your Frontpoint system.
Frontpoint Monthly Fees
Customers may choose from the three monitoring packages listed below, each of which comes with a price lock guarantee. This means your monthly rate will not go up for the entirety of your agreement. There are some features, like flood sensors, garage door sensors, and panic buttons/pendants, that are not included with any of the packages and must be purchased separately.
- Protection Plan – For $34.99 per month, you receive standard intrusion protection and 24/7 monitoring. This includes fire, environmental, and medical.
- Interactive Plan – For $44.99 per month, you can control your system with your mobile device. This plan also includes email, text, and push notifications, tamper protection known as “Crash and Smash” protection, geolocation services, and access to your sensor history.
- Ultimate Plan – For $49.99 per month, you get video and automation features — real-time video streaming, video history, motion-activated alerts, automatic door locks, and smart home connectivity.
The types of features and functionality you require from a home security system will vary depending on the size and layout of your home, your use patterns, and your personal preferences. Frontpoint offers a comprehensive list of features, and their system components are manufactured by General Electric (GE). That means it can be monitored by another provider, if you would ever like to switch. However, the system components cannot be self-monitored.
Read on for information on additional features and how they compare to those of other systems.
Frontpoint’s product packages include a keypad control panel that can handle up to 80 sensors and 40 users. If you prefer, you can upgrade to a touch screen control panel. The seven-inch, full-color screen can be set to show a photo when not in use. It also allows you to:
- Arm/disarm the system
- View weather
- Check sensor status
- See images from the onboard camera and other image sensors
- Access settings
- Test the system
- Add devices and users
Both control panel choices feature a battery backup so the system remains operational in the event of a power outage. With either of the two more expensive monitoring plans, you can also count on Frontpoint’s Crash and Smash protection, which alerts authorities when the control panel is tampered with or damaged.
For this basic function, users report an immediate response by the system when a sensor is triggered. Alarms are of ample volume and can be heard throughout the home.
Frontpoint offers video monitoring via indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, and doorbell cameras. Image sensors, units that take still photos when they detect movement, are also available. While not crystal clear, users describe video and image quality as sufficient for identification. To utilize video cameras and image sensors, you must have a wireless internet connection, and you must pay for the highest-tier monitoring plan.
Frontpoint’s sensor offering is vast. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another system with more options. In addition to the sensors that come with your equipment package, you can choose from the following selection of intrusion and environmental sensors:
- Door and window
- Recessed/hidden door and window
- Garage door
- Glass break
- Carbon monoxide
Users reported that the units were easy to install and, upon testing, all sensors worked as they should, triggering the appropriate response from the system. Not all sensors are supported with all monitoring plans, so be sure to pick the right plan for your sensor needs.
Personal Security Devices
Customers may purchase a keychain remote control and/or a panic pendant to conveniently control the system or to trigger a response in the event of a medical emergency.
You can access and control the system from an internet application or, with the Interactive or Ultimate Plans, via a mobile app for iOS or Android. In addition to allowing you to monitor your home from virtually anywhere, the app allows you to use your phone as a remote control for your security system and your smart devices. You can even set geolocation rules that remind you to arm your system when your phone reaches a certain distance from home. However, you must use the web-based app for certain activities, like setting up automation rules for your smart home devices (thermostats, ligcameras).
You must have access to a cellular network to use this system. While cellular systems are easily the most reliable when compared to landlines and broadband, they will not work in rural areas without cell service.
In addition to the automated devices Frontpoint offers, like door locks, garage door controllers, and lights, you can use your system to automate your existing smart home features with the top-tier monitoring plan. Set up rules using the web portal, and use your phone on the fly.
A Frontpoint system is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, so you can control your system with voice commands. You can also set up rules, known as scenes, to apply certain security and automation settings at the same time. For example, you may want to turn on lights, disarm doors, and turn up the thermostat upon waking. Two-step authentication and the use of a PIN ensure your security.
In review after review, the Frontpoint customer experience stands out. The company maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and they have received the Angie’s List Super Service Award every year since 2011. Users have access to a 24-hour emergency line and a US-based customer service center, located in Virginia and staffed by English- and Spanish-speaking agents from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST on weekends.
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee – You have 30 days to try your Frontpoint system. If at any point in that 30-day trial period, you decide the system isn’t right for you, you can return it with a prepaid shipping label. The company will refund you the cost of your equipment and monitoring.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty – Each Frontpoint component comes with a 3-year warranty. In the event your control panel, camera, or sensor stops working due to a manufacturer error, Frontpoint will repair or replace it at no charge to you.
- Relocation services – The great thing about Frontpoint’s system is how easy it is to pack it up and take it with you to your next home. As long as you have cellular service, you can install and use your system. Just call Customer Service to update your account information, and they’ll send you a free moving kit to safely store and transport each component.
There is a reason Frontpoint is consistently one of the highest-ranked security systems out there. Though the equipment and monitoring services are slightly more expensive than that of other, similar DIY home security systems, the quality and customer service is considered by most users to be worth the investment.
Images via Frontpoint.com