ADT vs. Frontpoint Security
Sure, ADT is the biggest name in the home security industry, but does that mean it’s the best? Not necessarily. Frontpoint gives you similar equipment backed up by excellent customer service, and—best of all—it won’t make you sign a contract like ADT will.
Plus, if you want a system that supports home automation and cameras, then Frontpoint is cheaper than ADT on both equipment and monitoring. Just keep in mind its monitoring plans are still pretty pricey compared to other security companies out there.
|Provider||Monitoring price||Contract length||Installation type||Learn more|
|Frontpoint||$44.99–$49.99 /mo.||None||DIY||View Plans|
|ADT||$36.99–$62.99 /mo.||36 mos.||Professional||View Plans|
Data effective 1/30/20. Offers subject to change.
ADT vs. Frontpoint: Quick comparison
ADT has a big name but Frontpoint has cheaper monitoring prices for similar features.
The low down on ADT
ADT gives you lots of options for home security. You can choose a basic landline connection with a button keypad or go high-tech with ADT’s Command plans and equipment. (Formerly known as ADT Pulse.)
But more choices can also mean more confusion for you, the buyer. ADT uses multiple providers and distributors across the country. It’s hard to know in advance what type of equipment you’ll get or even how much you’ll pay for it.
It’s 2020. Home security shouldn’t be that complicated. We want to know exactly what equipment we’re getting, exactly how much it will cost, and exactly who we’re getting it from.
On the plus side, ADT does have multiple monitoring centers across North America, which makes its system super reliable. Even if one center goes down, it has multiple backups so someone always has an eye on your system.
What about Frontpoint?
Frontpoint keeps things much simpler. You can call in to order if you want, or you can shop online. You know what equipment you’ll get, and our experience with its customer service rep was great.
All of Frontpoint’s equipment works via a cellular connection, which is the type we recommend. And while ADT’s systems require a professional to come out and install them, Frontpoint just sends you everything in a box, and you put it up yourself.
Professional installation is not necessarily a downside. Who wouldn’t rather sit back and let someone else do the work? Plus, that way you know you didn’t put a sensor on upside down or mess up the wiring on your doorbell camera.
But we think the DIY installation is easy enough, and we like not having to wait around for someone to show up. Frontpoint includes pretty good tutorials, and we got our test system up and running with no problems, minus some confusion on wiring our doorbell camera.
For the most part, Frontpoint’s installation process is peel-and-stick, and the equipment package comes with paper instructions if you don’t feel like pulling them up online. From start to finish, our system installation took us about an hour.
Plus, DIY installation is free. ADT charges at least a $99 installation fee. (We’ve seen that fee run as high as $199.)
ADT’s Command plans offer equipment with some of the latest technology and functionality, but Frontpoint’s good customer service and lower monthly price gave it the win.
How do ADT and Frontpoint pricing compare?
Both ADT equipment and monitoring will cost you more than Frontpoint, unless you go for a super basic system.
As far security providers go, ADT is on the more expensive end of the spectrum. While its landline monitoring prices are lower than Frontpoint’s, ADT’s Command monitoring plans are substantially higher.
And not just higher than Frontpoint—ADT’s top Command plan is more expensive than almost every other provider we’ve reviewed.
|Plan name||Monthly price||Camera support||Smart home support||Learn more|
|Complete Monitoring Bundle||$36.99/mo.||No||No||View Plan|
|Premium Bundle II + Cellguard||$44.99/mo.||No||No||View Plan|
|ADT Command Tier I Remote Access||$52.99/mo.||No||No||View Plan|
|ADT Command Tier II Video Security||$58.99/mo.||Yes||No||View Plan|
|ADT Command Tier III Video Security + Home Automation||$62.99/mo.||Yes||Yes||View Plan|
Data effective 1/30/2020. Offers subject to change.
The ADT Command plans give you the best technology and home automation features ADT offers—but clearly it comes at a price. And if you want to control your security system through a mobile app, you must have at least the ADT Command Tier I Remote Access plan. Otherwise you have no mobile control over your system whatsoever.
Frontpoint’s monitoring plans are also pretty expensive by industry standards. (The average price for professional monitoring is around $40 per month.) But compared to ADT, Frontpoint’s a budgeter’s dream on the whole.
|Plan name||Monthly price||Mobile app access||Camera support||Learn more|
Data effective 1/30/2020. Offers subject to change.
Frontpoint gives you mobile control over your entire security system with its lowest priced plan, which we like.
We don’t like when any provider requires a high monthly subscription cost for mobile control. Newer security providers like Nest and Abode give you full access to their mobile app, and mobile control of the system, even if you have no monthly plan at all—let alone an expensive one.
That said, even Frontpoint’s lowest priced plan is still quite expensive compared to other security companies. But it looks pretty cheap compared to ADT’s cellular options.
ADT requires you to sign a contract while Frontpoint does not.
Nobody (us included) really likes signing a multi-year contract for a service. And a number of newer security companies (like SimpliSafe, Scout, and the aforementioned Nest and Abode) have abandoned them entirely. Frontpoint followed suit in 2019 by ditching contracts completely and letting all its customers do month-to-month monitoring agreements.
If you opt for ADT, be prepared to sign on for 36 months. And if you need to cancel early, you’ll still have to pay 75% of your remaining contract.
ADT contract length: 36 months
Frontpoint contract length: None
Frontpoint has cheaper equipment and cheaper monitoring than ADT, which is really expensive—especially for its ADT Command plans.
Which has better equipment and integrations, ADT or Frontpoint?
ADT and Frontpoint have similar home automation features, but ADT Command has the best tech.
If what you want is the best-looking equipment alongside home automation support, we recommend ADT Command.
ADT Command and home automation
The ADT Control mobile app also makes it easy to arm and disarm your system no matter where you are, and you can set specific rules for home automation. For example, if you want the lights to turn on when you arrive home from work, the system can do that for you.
Frontpoint and home automation
Frontpoint’s equipment does not look as high-tech as ADT Command devices, especially if you opt for the standard button keypad instead of a touchscreen control panel. However, Frontpoint does have Z-Wave capability, so you can add in a lot of the same third-party smart devices you can with ADT Command.
Frontpoint also gives you full mobile control via the app, and you can set similar rules for smart home devices as you can with ADT Command.
ADT Command is undeniably impressive. But Frontpoint still gives you full home automation capabilities.
ADT and Frontpoint are both reliable providers, but Frontpoint takes the lead for affordable equipment and monitoring.
- ADT and Frontpoint both offer a full range of security equipment, although ADT’s buying process makes it difficult to tell exactly which equipment you’ll get.
- Both ADT and Frontpoint offer home automation capabilities and have Z-Wave functionality.
- ADT is substantially more expensive than Frontpoint, especially for its ADT Command plans and its equipment.
- Frontpoint lets you install the system yourself, while ADT requires professional installation.
- ADT requires a 36-month contract while Frontpoint lets you take it month by month.
- Frontpoint wins our overall recommendation because of its lower prices, excellent customer service, and reliable equipment.
ADT Command (formerly ADT Pulse) has impressive equipment and home automation functionality, but Frontpoint gives you a much lower monthly price. If you’re really invested in having the top technology, then ADT Command might be worth it to you, but even then, it’s not our top tech pick.
If all you want is a decent security system with home automation options, Frontpoint wins the day. Check out our stand-alone Frontpoint review for more information on the company’s home security system.