Frontpoint uses wireless GE technology to power its system. Two of the packages allow you to manage the package features with a smartphone app, but those are not available with the basic Protection Plan. The system connects with the monitoring center by cellular transmissions, so a phone line isn’t needed for you cord cutters.
You can opt for a one- or three-year monitoring contract, though opting for a one-year will substantially raise the upfront costs you must pay for the equipment.
Call: (844) 289-0015 to get the best deal on Frontpoint and a free quote.
Home Security Packages Overview
Packages: Equipment and Costs
|Protection Plan||Interactive Plan||Ultimate Plan|
|Door & Window Sensor||4||4||4|
|Glass Break Console||0||1||1|
|Wireless Indoor Camera||0||0||1|
|Yard Sign And Window Decals||x||x||x|
*Depending on promotions and local dealers, the equipment costs may be discounted or activation fee discounted or waived
Pros and Cons
|Easy DIY Installation||Outsourced Monitoring|
|Excellent Customer Service Reputation||No Free Equipment|
|Free Risk-Free, 30-Day Trail||Three-year Equipment Warranty vs. Lifetime Offered by Most Competitors|
|Dedicated Cellular Service||Confusing Price Models|
|No High-Pressure Sales Tact|
Home Security Service Overview
Do-it-yourself seems to be a growing trend with home security companies. The support mechanisms for those of us that are “tool-box challenged” often keep these prospective clients from considering DIY products.
However, Frontpoint appears to have solved this problem by their emphasis on customer support. The company has a multi-layered support structure to help with any and all issues that might arise with a DIY home security system. They provide written, video and online instruction manuals for each installation step. Their phone technicians are knowledgeable and will spend as much time as necessary to guide clients through the installation process. Any problems with equipment are also addressed in a similarly direct and redundant fashion.
User reviews from the vast majority of websites reflect this. They have an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating with a relatively small number, 60, registered complaints during the past three years. Frontpoint resolved all complaints.
The cellular and wireless systems are provided with each of the three packages, which make it less likely that the system can be compromised than with landline systems. Frontpoint also provides GE control panels with “crash and smash” protection. The panels have internal tamper switches that activate in the event someone tries to break the panel off the wall or smash it. However, the crash and smash alarm activation will not function if you opt for the basic Protection Plan.
The packages differentiate themselves by the types of service offered by the monitoring center and what you can and cannot do using your smartphone.
Related: see comparison of Frontpoint and ADT
All the packages have wireless, cellular transmission which negates the use of landlines. When landlines are used, cutting the phone line to the residence or small business will render the security system useless. Cellular will work as long as there is power. The consoles use AC power but have battery backups for use during power outages. The sensors and detectors run off battery power and the lithium batteries will around five years for the sensors and three years for the smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
The Protection Plan will allow professional monitoring of all security components for intrusion detection such as door and window or motion sensors. The monitoring station will also monitor fire or carbon monoxide detectors and panic alarms or pendants. You must, however, manage these items through your GE console or the Frontpoint internet portal. If you want to use your smartphone, you must upgrade to one of the other two packages.
You can connect smart home appliances and cameras to the system, but you would have to self-monitor these components, and there is no way to access or store the video or photo footage for the cameras.
The Interactive Plan adds smartphone management to your service. You can program the console to send you text messages for various alarm conditions or events. You can also do anything from the smartphone app, such as arm or disarm the system that you can do from the touchscreen panel.
The Interactive Plan gives you geo-location services also. This allows you to pair the system with your phone’s GPS and set up virtual security perimeters around your home. For example, if you leave you home and forget to arm the system, you can create a program by following a few simple steps and have the console send you a text or email reminder.
Related: All home security system reviews
The Ultimate Plan permits full use of all the possible features of your console. You can add video and smart home appliances. The plan comes with one camera, and there are several more to choose from, including a combination camera and motion detector that will take a picture whenever the motion detector senses something.
The Ultimate lets the user access live video feeds or achieved footage. You can do so using the smartphone app, console or online portal.
The smart home appliance feature lets you control lights, locks, your HVAC system and more depending on whatever smart home components you purchase. The smart home items work using Z-Wave technology. You must purchase any smart home components separately.
In addition to the cost of the equipment, you may have to pay an activation fee. The activation fee can be waived or discounted. This will depend on any corporate or local independent dealers’ promotions or coupons.
Each monitoring plan comes with certain equipment. You must purchase the equipment but have thirty days to try it. If you decide that you do not want to purchase it for any reason, you can return it to return it for a full refund. You can also cancel your monitoring plan without penalty.
The pricing policy can appear confusing at first. The Frontpoint website advertises the monthly costs of monitoring for each package. If you choose one and go through the checkout procedure, you can view the equipment costs, minus any current offerings or coupons, and clearly see the total “out-the-door” price you pay.
You need to click “edit” to fully understand some of your pricing options. For example, there are two control panels. The touchscreen panel only comes with the Ultimate Plan. It will add $150 to the price of your system. If you click “edit,” you can opt for the push-button console and save on the upfront costs.
You can also edit the sensors or other equipment from the shopping cart edit screen. You can get fewer or more of anything that comes with the package or add any equipment offerings you want.
You also have the option of changing your monitoring contract to one-year instead of three years. If you do, then the 50% discount worth several hundred dollars drops to $25 off (on the Ultimate Package).
To maximize your savings, you will have to go through several iterations on the checkout and edit screens to determine what might be the best mix of value and cost to suit your personal needs.
Frontpoint uses GE technology for virtually all of its components but brands it Frontpoint. The company offers a good selection of all sorts of equipment on their website. If you want, you can purchase additional equipment from any source as long as it is GE or GE compatible. If you have an existing thermostat or other components using Z-Wave, such as products from Honeywell, Logitech and others, you can connect and manage it through the Frontpoint home security panel and smartphone app. You must, however, purchase the Ultimate Package monitoring. For more information on smart home automation using Frontpoint, check out our support article.
Frontpoint lists their equipment under three categories:
|Controls||Sensors||Cameras and Home Automation|
|Touchscreen Control Panel||Door and Window||Wireless Indoor Camera|
|Pushbutton Console||Recessed Door||Wireless Outdoor Camera|
|Keychain Remote||Garage Door||Light Control|
|Panic Pendant||Glass Break||Keypad Lock|
|Smoke and Heat|
|Water and Flood|
Below, we’ve listed some of the most vital equipment Frontpoint offers, but check out our full roundup of Frontpoint equipment here.
Touchscreen Control Panel
The touchscreen control panel is the gateway to your home security system. It allows you to arm and disarm your system, as well as schedule automation tasks and set settings around the house. It has a battery backup but runs on AC power. If a burglar tried to destroy the panel, its built-in siren and camera will help to catch the perp. While the touchscreen is an upgrade to the standard push-button panel, it’s a worthy extra because of the amount of control it gives users.
Door and Window
Door and window sensors are the bread and butter of home security systems. These devices are made up of two pieces (one on the door or window and one on the frame) and use magnets to determine their proximity to each other. When a door or window is opened, those magnets separate and send an alert out.
Most kits come with plenty of these, but you’ll want to make sure you add them to every entry door (including any to your garage), along with any windows you may leave unlocked and that a criminal could climb through.
Of course, those sensors won’t stop a criminal breaking a window to get in. But you don’t have to buy a ton of sensors to monitor for breaking glass. The Glass Break sensor is specially tuned to pick the frequency of breaking glass, triggering an alarm.
Motion sensors are another key part of any home security setup. Frontpoint’s sensors are “pet-safe” meaning they won’t be triggered by dogs or cats moving around a room. Motion sensors work by measuring the movement of heat sources, so they work best by pointing them away from windows and other heat sources with frequent movement.
Cameras have become a larger part of security systems as of late. Frontpoint offers both indoor and outdoor cameras so you can catch a thief in the act and collect evidence if a break-in does happen. But they also provide a great way to look at your house while your away, monitoring the cleaning people, a handyman or just your pets from anywhere.
The founder of the company, Peter M. Rogers, had a career in the security industry prior to starting Frontpoint. He worked for Tyco, a major supplier of security equipment and one of the world’s largest suppliers of CCTVs (Closed Circuit Television) and later as a managing director at a security consulting firm.
The company started off in the continental United States in 2007 and quickly expanded to Puerto Rico and Canada. There are approximately 300 direct-hire employees, most of whom work out their headquarters in Vienna, VA.
Please share with us your reviews, comments and concerns regarding Frontpoint home security. We appreciate anything that current and former users have to say about the service, products or any other aspect of the company’s home security program.
If you have any questions about what was in this review, or anything at all about Frontpoint or home security, please contact us. We will do our best to address adequately whatever it is you would like to know.
Who’s this good for?
|Who it's for||Who It Might Not Be For|
|People looking for easy self-installation||You don't have cell reception where you live|
|People looking for wireless equipment||You want a longer warranty|
|People who may move and want removable equipment|
|People looking for fair and transparent pricing|
|People looking for great customer service|
Frontpoint has a solid DIY home security system. There are enough product choices to provide life safety for just about any house or apartment. The home automation offerings utilize what seems to be on its way toward becoming an industry standard: Z-Wave technology. The all-cellular packages, including the option for a one-year contract instead of a three-year contract, most consumers will find attractive.
The lack of aggressive sales personnel, which have caused legal and public perceptions problems for some of Frontpoint’s competitors, may also encourage many to try Frontpoint. The 30-day free trial in particular helps attract new home security customers.
However, if you do not like DIY and prefer not to pay for the equipment up front, then Frontpoint may not be for you.