Frontpoint Security Review 2019

Frontpoint has a lot going for it: it’s easy to install and has great customer support. But is it worth the contract?
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Great customer service
Easy installation
Requires a contract

Frontpoint’s been hyping self-installed security systems for longer than we’ve been writing about them. And Frontpoint’s system is definitely among the crème de la crème of DIY home security.

But Frontpoint’s got some big competition these days. New DIY security systems are popping up all the time, and they have some shiny new perks Frontpoint doesn’t, like contract-free options.

Even so, we think that if you can make the commitment, then Frontpoint’s top-notch customer service, smart home options, and reliable equipment will be enough to keep you happy—and safe.

Frontpoint plans and pricing overview
CompanyMonitoring price rangeContractHome automation integrationsLearn more
Frontpoint$34.99–$49.99/mo.36 mos.YesGet a Quote

Data effective 7/1/2019. Offers subject to change.

Frontpoint pricing, contracts, and fees

We’re not stoked about Frontpoint’s 3-year contract, but its monitoring prices are par for the course.

Frontpoint might have DIY installation, but all its systems are still professionally monitored. (Which is good—that’s what we recommend.)

That means even if you’re not watching your smartphone 24/7 (and let’s be honest, who could), someone is always watching your system and ready to alert you and the authorities if any baddies come a-knockin’.

Frontpoint has three monitoring plan options, and all of them have mid-range pricing.

Frontpoint monitoring plans comparison
PlanPriceSmart home supportLearn more
Protection$34.99/mo.NoGet a Quote
Interactive$44.99/mo.YesGet a Quote
Ultimate$49.99/mo.YesGet a Quote

Data effective 7/1/2019. Offers subject to change.

You’ll pay less for Frontpoint monitoring than you would for ADT, and Frontpoint’s plans are on par with the likes of Vivint and Link Interactive.

That said, you can definitely find DIY security systems out there with cheaper monitoring. (We’ve seen as low as $10 per month from Ring Alarm.)

Contracts

Here’s Frontpoint’s biggest downside: it requires a 36-month contract. That’s not unusual—a lot of companies make you sign contracts. Even other DIY security systems have contracts attached.

But the whole big-commitment thing is becoming way less common. If all you want is a basic security system, then you can get one from companies like SimpliSafe without signing multi-year agreements.

Fees

Good news! Frontpoint doesn’t have a lot of fees. At least not to set up your system.

Since you install everything yourself, you skip any installation fees. And Frontpoint doesn’t charge any activation fees either, which we love. (Those fees always seem like such a racket.)

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Heads up: contract cancellation fees
If you cancel your Frontpoint service before your contract’s up, then Frontpoint does have cancellation charges. You’ll be on the hook for 80% of the cost of your remaining contract. So if you have 12 months left on a $34.99-per-month monitoring plan, then you’ll pay about $336. Oof.

Frontpoint equipment

Frontpoint has a ton of different equipment options, plus full home automation.

Frontpoint has an interesting blend going on with its equipment. A lot of security companies all use the same equipment from Alarm.com, which is fine. It works well, but it’s not special, you know?

Well, Frontpoint does things a bit differently. It gives you access to some reliable Alarm.com equipment, plus its own devices as well.

Frontpoint hub and keypad

Source: Frontpoint

This one is all Frontpoint. This hub and keypad are the heart and brains of your security system. All your window and door sensors and any other devices you connect all have to come back and talk to this hub.

The hub is encrypted and uses a cellular connection to keep everything on lockdown. Even if an intruder breaks into your house and smashes the keypad, Frontpoint’s monitoring center will still get the message.

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FYI: Frontpoint control panels
Frontpoint currently offers only the keypad on its website. You don’t have the option of going for a full touchscreen panel. Frontpoint has offered touchscreen panels in the past, and we hope it will again soon. In the meantime, the keypad works, but it’s just less fancy.

Frontpoint cameras

Frontpoint has three different camera options on offer, including one of our faves: the Premium Indoor Camera (made by Alarm.com).

Source: Frontpoint

Frontpoint camera comparison
DetailsIndoor CameraPremium Indoor CameraOutdoor Camera
Inside/outsideIndoorIndoorOutdoor
Resolution1080p1080p720p
Field of vision113º180º77º horizontal, 55º vertical
WeatherproofNoNoYes
Two-way talkYesYesNo
Night visionYesYesYes
Motion detectionYesYesYes
Outbound callingNoYesNo
Bluetooth speaker functionalityNoYesNo
Learn MoreGet a QuoteGet a QuoteGet a Quote

Data effective 7/1/2019. Offers subject to change.

Both of Frontpoint’s indoor cameras are solid, but the Premium Indoor Camera has some extra-special features. Most notably, this camera has outbound calling, where your kid can just touch a button and the camera will call you on your phone through the Frontpoint app.

That’s a feature we’ve only ever seen from Vivint’s Ping camera before, so it’s pretty cool that Frontpoint has it on board. And it gives your kids an easy way to reach you that doesn’t involve a landline telephone.

Frontpoint outdoor camera

We’re less impressed with Frontpoint’s outdoor camera than with its indoor models. The outdoor camera has 720p resolution, which is still high-definition, but we’re used to 1080p being standard at this point.

Frontpoint’s outdoor camera is also missing some extra features we look for, like facial recognition and built-in sirens. If you’re looking for the best outdoor camera around, we recommend checking out options like the Arlo Ultra or the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.

Frontpoint doorbell camera

Source: Frontpoint

Frontpoint’s doorbell camera is a pretty standard Skybell model you’d see from other companies like Link Interactive.

It still has the features we look for in a good doorbell camera, like high-definition video recording and two-way audio, but we do think there are better doorbell cameras out there.

Frontpoint doorbell features:

  • Wired power
  • -40ºF to 122ºF operating temperature
  • 720p resolution
  • 180º field of view
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion detection
  • Night vision (up to eight feet)

Frontpoint camera-only plan

If you don’t want the whole Frontpoint kit and caboodle, you can still get the cameras without signing on for the whole system.

Frontpoint’s camera-only plan is a pretty good deal if you want lots of cameras and you need lots of cloud storage. Plus, you skip that pesky contract. You can cancel whenever you want.

Frontpoint camera-only features: 

  • Unlimited cameras
  • Two-way audio
  • Cloud storage for up to 1,000 video clips
  • Video monitoring detection
  • Mobile notifications

Price: $14.99 per month

Frontpoint home automation and mobile control

Frontpoint gives you full home automation options so you can add smart devices.

Frontpoint’s equipment is compatible with Z-Wave, which means you can add in basically whichever smart devices you want. Z-Wave compatible devices include lights, locks, outlets, garage door controllers, and more. Say hello to your new robot house.

Plus, you can buy a lot of those smart home devices directly from Frontpoint’s website. Stock up on smart lightbulbs and put in that smart lock so you can finally stop losing your keys.

Frontpoint smart devices: 

  • Garage door controller
  • Smart door lock
  • Smart lightbulb
  • Smart outlet

Mobile app

Frontpoint’s mobile app lets you control every aspect of your home from your phone—whether you want to turn off the bathroom light or arm your entire security system.

The app works well, but you do have to subscribe to Frontpoint’s Interactive or Ultimate monitoring plan to get access to it. If you choose the cheapest monitoring plan (the Protection), then you’ll have to rely on your control panel for arming and disarming your system.

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FYI
The mobile app isn’t the only thing you lose out on with the Protection monitoring plan. You also don’t get smart home support. If you want to add in all those smart locks and lights, you’ll still need to subscribe to the Interactive or Ultimate monitoring plan.

Frontpoint installation

Frontpoint keeps its installation process pretty simple. Plan on spending about an hour on it.

When you buy a Frontpoint system, all of your equipment arrives “pre-configured.” That basically means you don’t have to spend a ton of time naming sensors and connecting everything to the hub—it’s already done.

Frontpoint’s not the only one that does that (Link Interactive and Cove both do as well, to name a few). But it does make installation a lot easier. In our experience, we had a whole Frontpoint system up and running in about an hour.

The bigger your house, the longer your system will take to install. And if you opt for a doorbell camera, just know that we found the installation to be a bit tricky.

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Stumped about installation?
If you run into any issues during installation, Frontpoint has a bunch of tutorials and FAQ answers on its website. Or you can call a Frontpoint rep and have them walk you through it.

Frontpoint customer experience

Frontpoint’s customer service wins top points from us and pretty much everyone else.

Frontpoint’s customer service is known for being helpful and friendly.

They work hard to resolve issues, and are pretty receptive to customer feedback, even about little things. For example, Frontpoint told us that when customers complained that Frontpoint’s hub light was too bright, Frontpoint released a software update that fixed it.

Frontpoint also has some of the best scores we’ve seen on Trustpilot1 and an excellent grade from the BBB.2

Recap

Frontpoint has reliable equipment and great customer support. We just don’t love the contract.

We love that Frontpoint gives you a customizable DIY security system that still offers full home automation options, plus excellent customer support. The only thing we really have to complain about is the contract (and maybe the so-so outdoor camera).

Frontpoint pricing: Frontpoint’s monitoring pricing is pretty midrange, but it does offer some steep discounts on equipment.

Frontpoint equipment: Frontpoint has tons of different devices available, and it all works well. We’re just waiting for the touchscreen control panel to come back.

Frontpoint home automation: Frontpoint is compatible with Z-Wave, so you can add on basically whatever kind of smart home device you want. Just know you have to subscribe to one of the two higher-priced monitoring plans to get smart home support and mobile app access.

Frontpoint installation:  Frontpoint’s DIY-installed system is pretty easy to put together. And if you get stuck, you can always call a rep for help.

Frontpoint customer experience: Frontpoint’s customer service is pretty much the best we’ve seen. They get great reviews and take any issues seriously.

We love that there are more DIY home security systems than ever to choose from, and Frontpoint is one of the best.

Do you already have a DIY system in your house? Would you ever consider getting a security system you install yourself? Let us know in the comments.

Sources

  1. Trustpilot, “Frontpoint
  2. Better Business Bureau, “Frontpoint Security Solutions
  • HobbsAndCalvin

    This is best review I’ve ever read. EVER.

  • Scott

    I would never use Frontpoint again; I had it for 18 months and had consistent problems, offline systems, but what’s key is that the system never reported a fault (even when it occurred) to headquarters. Never got a call asking if it was a false alarm, nothing. I have tried to fix, but nothing .. finally gave up and went to a simpler and more reliable system and company. customer service has one goal, to take more money and keep you appearing happy; if it really means fixing they won’t — as they never validated the system e2e even when I said it doesn’t work.