ADT vs. Frontpoint Security

ADT is well known and reliable, but Frontpoint will save you money—and you can install it yourself.
Best Customer Service
Easy DIY installation
Pricey monitoring
Best Monitoring
Full home automation support
Expensive equipment and monitoring

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.

Frontpoint’s also cheaper than ADT on both equipment and monitoring. Just keep in mind its monitoring plans are still pretty pricey compared to other security companies.

ADT vs Frontpoint: Price and feature comparison
ProviderMonitoring priceContract lengthInstallation typeLearn more
Frontpoint$44.99–$49.99 /mo.NoneDIYGet a Quote
ADT$27.99–$59.99 /mo.36 mos.ProfessionalGet a Quote

Data effective 12/6/2019. 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 Pulse plans and equipment.

Source: ADT

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.

Source: Frontpoint

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.

The takeaway:

ADT’s Pulse 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 Pulse monitoring plans are substantially higher.

And not just higher than Frontpoint—ADT’s Pulse + Video plan is more expensive than almost every other provider we’ve reviewed.

ADT monitoring plans
Plan nameMonthly priceConnection typeLearn more
Basic Security$27.99LandlineGet a Quote
Basic Security + Wireless ADT Connect$48.99CellularGet a Quote
ADT Pulse Monitoring + Video$58.99CellularGet a Quote
ADT Pulse + Smart Home Connect$59.99CellularGet a Quote

Data effective 12/6/2019. Offers subject to change.

The Pulse 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 either ADT Pulse or ADT Pulse + Video.

Otherwise, ADT will still let you pay your bills through an app, but you have no mobile system control 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.

Frontpoint monitoring plans
Plan nameMonthly priceMobile app accessLearn more
Interactive$44.99CellularGet a Quote
Ultimate$49.99CellularGet a Quote

Data effective 12/6/2019. 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.

Contracts

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 recently followed suit 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

The takeaway:

Frontpoint has cheaper equipment and cheaper monitoring than ADT, which is really expensive—especially for its ADT Pulse plans.

Which has better equipment and integrations, ADT or Frontpoint?

ADT and Frontpoint have similar home automation features, but ADT Pulse will give you the best equipment and features.

If what you want is the best-looking equipment alongside home automation support, we recommend ADT Pulse.

ADT Pulse and home automation

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Tech tip
If what you really want is the best technology, then we actually recommend Vivint over ADT Pulse.

ADT Pulse gives you a tablet-like control panel with Z-Wave compatibility, which means you can add in a bunch of smart home devices like lights, locks, and garage door controls.

The ADT Pulse 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 Pulse devices, especially since you get just a standard button keypad instead of a touchscreen control panel. However, Frontpoint does have Z-Wave capability, so you can add in the same third-party smart devices you can with ADT Pulse.

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 Pulse.

The takeaway:

ADT Pulse is undeniably impressive. But Frontpoint still gives you full home automation capabilities.

Recap

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 Pulse 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 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 Pulse 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.

  • Evan Keal

    Frontpoint is an extraordinarily fraudulent company. I have been without a working system for a long time. My Frontpoint system has over 60 components totaling more than $12,000. I will be contacting the United States Corporation Commission’s Consumer Affairs Division and developing a case for “Deceptive Advertising” practices which falls under the Federal Trade Commission. I have plenty of evidence to show the issues with the system dating back 7 years.