Frontpoint vs. Vivint Smart Home

If you want a secure and fully automated smart home, then Vivint makes pretty impressive technology. But Frontpoint gives you a DIY alternative.
Best overall
Flexible monitoring options
Expensive equipment
Best DIY
Affordable equipment
Pricey monitoring plans

Vivint and Frontpoint are both pretty good choices for home security providers that give you professional monitoring and home automation perks. Both of these companies can secure your home—and they support so many smart devices that your house will practically be a robot. As for which one we like better, it depends on what kind of system you need.

Vivint is known for being a bit pricey, but it’s also known for having the best, most innovative technology you’ll see from a monitored security system. Frontpoint, on the other hand, offers affordable equipment you can install yourself—but unlike Vivint, you skip the installation fee and pay less for equipment.

Vivint vs. Frontpoint—Overall comparison
ProviderMonitoring priceContract lengthInstallation typeLearn more
Vivint$29.99–$44.99/mo.None OR 42–60 mos.ProfessionalGet a Quote
Frontpoint$44.99–$49.99-mo.NoneDIYGet a Quote

Both Vivint and Frontpoint can give you top-notch home security and automation. It just depends on what kind of equipment you want, how you want it installed, and—of course—how much you want to pay.

Vivint vs. Frontpoint—quick comparison

Vivint gives you well-designed equipment with innovative features, while Frontpoint gives you standard equipment for less money.

Vivint SkyControl Panel

Vivint and Frontpoint aren’t incredibly different. They keep an eye on your house through 24/7 professional monitoring (as part of the monthly plan you choose), and they both support smart home devices like smart lights and door locks. 

But all things considered, Vivint gives home security a unique twist. It doesn’t make you sign a contract (as long as you buy all your equipment up front), and it goes out of its way to create stand-out equipment with smart features, like a control panel with two-way talk or an indoor camera with video calling.

That said, Vivint’s equipment is a lot more expensive than Frontpoint’s. And Vivint requires professional installation (plus an installation fee), while Frontpoint sends you everything in a box and you install all the equipment yourself.

Frontpoint control panel

Frontpoint works best for renters or people with who want a reliable company and equipment without the hassle of having a professional installer come out and set everything up. Especially if you have a smaller house and  need to secure only a front door and a couple of windows, then you might as well install everything yourself.

Vivint’s professional installation approach works best if you have a a large house or property and you want to know everything is installed properly.

Professional installation is also nice because you can consult with the installer about the exact equipment you need and how to keep your property safe. Frontpoint can do that for you over the phone, but it’s not quite the same as an in-person meeting.

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Remember
Vivint charges a $99 fee for professional installation.

How do Vivint and Frontpoint prices compare?

Frontpoint’s equipment is way cheaper. Vivint has more expensive equipment, but it includes all its best features.

Vivint is not the most expensive security company on the market. (That prize actually goes to ADT.) But its equipment is more expensive than Frontpoint’s—which is to say that Frontpoint gives you pretty low equipment prices while Vivint’s are way higher than average.

Be aware that if you want video support for either Vivint or Frontpoint, you have to subscribe to the highest-priced plans. For Vivint, that’s $44.99 per month and for Frontpoint that’s $49.99 per month. That’s the way it works with most security companies out there—if you want cameras, you pay more each month for cloud storage and mobile alerts.

Vivint and Frontpoint monitoring plans comparison

Vivint monitoring plans
Plan nameProfessional monitoringMobile controlHome automationPriceLearn more
Vivint Smart SecurityYesYesNo$29.99/mo.Get a Quote
Vivint Smart HomeYesYesYes$39.99/mo.Get a Quote
Vivint Smart Home VideoYesYesYes$44.99/mo.Get a Quote
Frontpoint monitoring plans
Plan nameProfessional monitoringMobile controlPriceLearn more
Frontpoint InteractiveYesYes$44.99/mo.Get a Quote
Frontpoint UltimateYesYes$49.99/mo.Get a Quote

Frontpoint’s plans are significantly more expensive than Vivint’s. You get mobile app access with both of them, but for camera support, you’ll pay $5 more per month (per camera) for Frontpoint than you would with Vivint. And personally, we think Vivint offers better quality cameras.

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Tip
If you just want security cameras to keep an eye on kids or pets and you don’t need a whole system, then you might be better off with a standalone camera from a company like Ring, Nest, or Logitech. .

Contracts

Neither of these companies requires you to sign a contract. Both of them let you go contract-free if you pay for all of your equipment up front.

Frontpoint’s equipment is affordable, but Vivint’s? Not so much. For just a starter pack of Vivint equipment, you’ll pay almost $600.

Vivint basic equipment package:

  • Vivint control panel
  • 2 door/window sensors
  • 1 motion sensor
  • 1 water sensor

Total cost: $599.99

You can add on whatever equipment you want after the starter pack, but that initial cost is a given. Frontpoint, on the other hand, lets you choose exactly what equipment you want. Although you will need a control panel and at least one door or window sensor, no matter what other equipment you want.

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Note
Although Vivint’s starter kit is definitely expensive, DIY systems aren’t always cheaper. DIY systems like Nest Secure and the Samsung SmartThings ADT Kit cost almost as much as Vivint for about the same amount of equipment.

If you do sign a contract with Vivint, prepare to be in it for the long haul. Its contract options are either 42 or 60 months. That’s either 3.5 or 5 years. Frontpoint doesn’t even offer contracts anymore, so you’ll only be tied in to an agreement if you decide to finance your equipment. Frontpoint also always has equipment discounts available.

Most people keep their same security systems for longer than five years, but even so, it’s a long time to commit to a monthly plan. If you have the cash, we think it’s worth it to pay up front for Vivint’s equipment and then pay month to month for a monitoring plan. If you don’t have that much money on hand, Vivint is still a good choice, but maybe not a first pick if you’re a renter or if you move a lot.

Which has better equipment and integrations, Vivint or Frontpoint?

Both companies have Z-Wave technology and work with IFTTT, but Vivint can integrate with Nest.

If you want the best-looking equipment with the latest features, then Vivint will almost always be our first choice. While Frontpoint’s equipment is reliable, it’s also standard. Just a simple hub and keypad.

That said, both Vivint and Frontpoint use Z-Wave technology, which lets you add a bunch of third-party smart devices into your existing security system. You can find lights, locks, smart outlets, and more that are compatiblee with your system and easy to install, so you can automate everything from your porch lights to your air conditioner.

You can make Frontpoint (and Vivint, for that matter) communicate with other smart devices through the IFTTT app. IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That,” and the IFTTT app lets you add in various devices and create recipes to make them work together.

For example, you can create a recipe that tells your house to turn on the living room lights if your security system’s motion detector senses movement there.

Recap

  • Vivint and Frontpoint both offer reliable security equipment with home automation options, but Vivint has better-designed equipment with more home automation features than Frontpoint.
  • Frontpoint has no contracts while Vivint offers both a no-contract option and some contract options.
  • Frontpoint has more expensive monthly monitoring plans. Vivint offers more plans and they’re all less expensive than Frontpoint’s for the same features. That said, Vivint’s equipment is more expensive than Frontpoint’s.
  • Vivint wins our overall recommendations for its superior technology and better value in its monitoring plans.
  • Frontpoint works best for renters and people with smaller homes or apartments, while Vivint works well in larger houses.

Frontpoint is a decent choice for home security and home automation, but Vivint gives you better technology and more choices with a lower monitoring price.