Frontpoint Hidden Features
Previously, I made a review about the Frontpoint security system. Today, I thought I would dive into some more tips and tricks for you to get more out of the system. If you are somebody who has had the system for a little while, you may not be aware of some of these features.
Starting off, I want to talk about Frontpoint’s Customer Portal. Now, they have two portals. One is the mobile app; the other is the web portal. I’m going to be going over some hidden features you may not know about using their web portal.
There are a lot more features you can benefit from using the web portal than you can through the app.
For example, I was having some issues with my camera shooting at really low quality. I found that I wasn’t able to adjust those qualities in the app—I had to go to the website and log into their web portal. I noticed that, by using the web portal, I have so many more features I can take advantage of. Here are a few I discovered:
- Being able to increase the resolution of my cameras from 320p all the way up to 1080p quality
- Adjusting frame rates
- Adjusting record times
- Viewing cameras
So, if you haven’t checked it out, I would recommend going to the web portal and adjusting your settings there for those features.
On the Frontpoint website, it says that notifications are highly underutilized, meaning that a lot of you are not taking full potential of the notifications (yes, you!).
Now, when you first set up your system, you get the standard notifications that are already enabled on the device when you’re arming and disarming your system. However, there are a lot more notifications that you can set up to receive.
These possibilities might spark some ideas:
- You can customize your notifications to alert you when a certain door or cabinet is open.
- You can get an alert when your home or base station loses power, and then also when that power comes back on for the base station.
- You can also get notified when your alarm system goes off, is armed, or is disarmed.
Now, not only can you set up notifications that are received through the app that’ll be on your phone, but you can also set up notifications through text and email. Additionally, you can have these notifications go to other people and not just yourself.
If you’re not familiar with scenes, these are a way for you to automate functions set off by triggers. Here’s some food for thought:
- Honey, I’m home: You can set up a scene where, when your front door opens at night, certain smart lights will turn on in your house.
- Wake up: You could also program scenes like “wake up.” In the morning, if it’s dark out, it’ll turn on certain lights or possibly turn on a smart plug. If you have a coffee maker plugged in, it can automatically start brewing coffee that you set up the night before.
- Time for bed: There’s also a sleep routine, and it can be set to trigger at a scheduled time of day. You could have it set up to turn off the lights, make sure that the doors are locked if you have a smart lock, and lock up the house for the night automatically (instead of performing each individual action through the app manually).
In addition to convenience, these scenes can also keep you safe. For instance, say your fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night. You can set up a scene where if an alarm goes off, it will turn on the smart lights that you have connected to the device.
Geofencing is kind of like an invisible fence around your house or neighborhood. When your phone is detected leaving that area, your Frontpoint system can trigger certain actions.
For example, it can remind you if you forgot to set your alarm (which is something that has happened to me a few times). When I’ve left the house and forgot to set the alarm, I will get a text that says, “Hey, you left your geofencing area. You forgot to set the alarm. Do you want to do that now?”
If so, I just need to load up the app and I can arm it. Geofencing is a nice way to set up and control certain scenes if you want to do that. Or it can just help with reminders for when you forget to set your alarm system.
Customize your sensor names
When your sensors are shipped to you, they are automatically assigned generic names like “door window sensor number one” or “door window sensor number two.” This can get confusing when you’re trying to set up scenes or when you’re receiving notifications. It’ll be much easier once you customize these names.
You can set up custom sensor names such as front door, back door, master bedroom window two, guest bedroom window three, etc. By naming your sensors, it will be much easier for you to determine which sensor was triggered when you get notifications. It will also help when you’re setting up scenes—indicating which sensors you’re actually using in those scenes.
Custom voice chimes
Now that you have set up custom names for your sensors, you can even further customize things with custom voice chimes. Now, when something is triggered, instead of just making a generic beep, your Frontpoint system will say the name of the sensor and what happened with it.
This is a great feature to have while monitoring small children, especially for letting you know they have opened up the front door.
Along with being compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant, what’s unique to Frontpoint is that it’s also compatible with Apple and the Siri voice assistant. So, if you are an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch user, you can now use Siri to also control your Frontpoint system scenes.
If you’re already setting up custom scenes through Apple, you can integrate Frontpoint scenes into your Apple scenes. Apple integration is not something that I typically see with other popular security systems, so this is a cool feature for Frontpoint.
If you don’t use Apple or Siri, you can always use Google or Amazon’s voice assistants.
Multiple account integration
Did you know that you can manage multiple Frontpoint accounts? If you have a vacation home or if you want to manage your parent’s house, you can bring that all into one account.
When you log into the web portal or you’re taking a look at the app, you can jump between different accounts and properties to manage them all separately but within one ecosystem.
This allows you to monitor and control those locations without having to log out of your account and log back in with another account. It’s all there in the one spot.
Complete comfort control
In addition to cameras and sensors, Frontpoint can also control your Z-Wave thermostat. This is a great way to control the comfort level of your house while you’re away.
Another way that you can use this is by incorporating it into scenes. So if you’re somebody who leaves your thermostat on auto (meaning that it’s going to keep it between a high and low temperature), this one’s for you: when you leave the house, you can load up the app and adjust it so it’s not running while you’re away. Or you can just turn the thermostat off after you’ve left the house.
The reverse side of that is this: Let’s say you’re getting ready to leave the office and come home and it is a hot or cold day. You want the temperature in the house to be comfortable when you get home. You can adjust all of that through the Frontpoint app.
One of the many great things about the Frontpoint system is that you’re able to use other smart home devices inside the Frontpoint system. This is true for anything that is Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus compatible. Here’s some Z-Wave inspiration:
- Smart-pants scenes: If you have the Z-Wave Smart Home items, you can incorporate things like light bulbs, smart plugs, and smart locks into your system to help improve automation with the different scenes that you have programmed for around the house.
- Nighty-night: If it’s late at night and you just got into bed, you could program a scene that will turn off all the lights in the house and make sure that the front door is locked with all of the different smart home devices mentioned above.