Security

ADT Pulse vs. Frontpoint: Which One Will You Like More?

(Last Updated On: June 2, 2018)

Home security systems are a good investment. We spend most of our time at home with things and people we hold dear. It is only fitting that we should invest in a system that keeps us safe and aware. ADT Pulse and Frontpoint are two of the best out there.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint aims to be more than just a security system; it also wants you to have a smarter home. The first step with Frontpoint is to make security easier for homeowners. This is the reason why they came up with products that do not require professional installation yet are still able to keep you safe and secure.

Frontpoint’s system is simple: you just add the devices and sensors you want, arm or disarm your system as you would any other security system, and then have professionals watch over you and your home at all times.

Frontpoint has three product categories:

  • Home security
  • Home awareness
  • Home control

Frontpoint offers you a touchscreen control panel that allows you to see in one place all the sensors and devices connected to your system. If you want the traditional way to do things, you can buy the standard control panel that does not feature a touchscreen, but instead have buttons that help you interact with it.

Frontpoint also has a companion mobile app that allows you to remotely arm, disarm, or monitor your alarm system.

Other equipment Frontpoint offers to include the keychain remote, panic pendant, door and window sensors, glass break sensor, motion sensor, garage door sensor, and recessed door sensors. You also get environmental sensors that detect flood, leaks, smoke, temperature changes, and carbon monoxide, among other things.

Under the home awareness category, you can have your security system work with wireless cameras and video doorbells.

Lastly, you have the home control category, which allows you to interface with your security system, as well as integrate it with other smart devices. You can get alerted when somebody turns up your heat, Frontpoint can turn the lights on and off remotely, and it can even lock your doors. The system works with Z-Wave devices, so you have a wide range of choices when it comes to the devices you can integrate into the Frontpoint system.

Aside from the products, Frontpoint offers you 24/7 professional monitoring, as well as crash and smash protection, which allows your system to continue operating even when the control panel is smashed.

ADT Pulse

ADT has been around since the 1870s and they have constantly evolved to keep up with the times. ADT Pulse works the same way as Frontpoint. You just have it installed at your home, complete with all the sensors and devices you want. You pay for professional monitoring and then opt for the home automation service.

Products

You can choose the devices and sensors that you want. Home security devices include the security keypads, motion detectors, door and Window sensors, glass break sensor, and key fob with an included panic button.

ADT also has indoor and outdoor security cameras, as well as an integration with Ring Video Doorbell. Furthermore, you have home automation options as ADT Pulse also works with various smart locks, smart lights, thermostats, garage doors, and smart switches from different manufacturers.

The company’s other products include environmental sensors, such as carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, and flood sensors.

In short, ADT Pulse gives you everything you need for a smart and secure home.

Where they are the same

  • Wireless. ADT Pulse and Frontpoint both make use of wireless control panels and sensors. This means that you do not have to worry about holes getting drilled all over your homes and that installation is rather quick. Wireless systems also allow for more flexible placement of the different devices and sensors. Plus you do not get defeated by a simple pair of scissors! Wired systems stop working when their wires are cut, leaving you and your home exposed.
  • Equipment. Both ADT Pulse and Frontpoint offer standard equipment that includes a control panel and enough sensors to keep you safe from environmental threats such as fire, smoke and carbon monoxide, as well as protect you from possible burglaries. These companies also offer home automation features that allow your security systems to work with other devices, such as lighting, video cameras, and video doorbells.
  • Professional monitoring. With both the ADT Pulse and Frontpoint, you would need to pay for professional monitoring for emergency alerts. The good news is that the professional monitoring services that each one offers work very well. They also offer redundant monitoring services to ensure that you are adequately covered even when disaster strikes and the closest monitoring center to you is knocked offline.

Differences between ADT Pulse and Frontpoint

  • Professional installation. ADT Pulse requires professional installation, even if it uses the wireless equipment. Frontpoint, on the other hand, is a DIY system that you can install on your own.
  • Portability. Frontpoint makes it a point to make their devices and sensors are portable, making it the better choice for people who are just renting. This way, if they move, they can easily take their security system with them.
  • Installation fees. Frontpoint enjoys the advantage of being DIY, so there are no installation and setup fees involved. ADT Pulse needs a professional installation that can cost anywhere from $49 or more. They also charge $25 for activating your system. Frontpoint, however, has a more expensive activation fee at $99.
  • Contracts. When it comes to contract length, Frontpoint gives you a chance to opt for a shorter 12-month contract, but you can also choose a 36-month contract for lower monthly fees. ADT Pulse only has a three-year contract available.
  • Monitoring costs. Working with Frontpoint is pretty much a breeze. Their monitoring plans are listed on their Web site and everything is pretty much very transparent. Frontpoint offers three different professional monitoring plans, ranging from $34.99 to $49.99 a month.
  • The Protection Plan gives you round-the-clock professional monitoring that protects you and your family from possible break-ins and environmental threats. If you want to remotely access your security system and get e-mail, text, and in-app alerts, you can add $10 to the Interactive Plan. If you have a smart home, the Ultimate Plan allows you to integrate your Frontpoint security system with your connected devices.

Frontpoint’s plans and the services included in each one are as follows:

Plan Protection Interactive Ultimate 
Price $34.99 $44.99 $49.99 
Round the clock professional monitoring Yes Yes Yes 
Wireless system Yes Yes Yes 
Cellular  Yes Yes Yes 
Can self-diagnoseYes Yes Yes 
Unique user codes Yes Yes Yes 
Fire protection Yes Yes Yes 
Environmental protection Yes Yes Yes 
Life safety Yes Yes Yes 
Self-managed account services Yes Yes Yes 
Arm/Disarm via mobile app No Yes Yes 
Email alerts No Yes Yes 
SMS alert No Yes Yes 
Push Notifications No Yes Yes 
Crash & smash protection No Yes Yes 
Geolocation  No Yes Yes 
Sensor history No Yes Yes 
Live video streaming No No Yes 
Image and video history No No Yes 
Motion-activated alerts and clips recording No No Yes 
Automatically locks doors No No Yes 
Controls your thermostat No No Yes 
Home automation No No Yes 

ADT Pulse, on the other hand, tends to keep their pricing obscure. Even when you ask their chat support, they will not give you rates for your plans, but encourages you to call for a quote instead. An inquiry could take an hour or so.

ADT Pulse‘s cheapest plan goes for $20, but this only applies if you already have the sensors and devices for your ADT system. Other plans would be priced on a case-to-case basis. If you have a security system with all the works, it will cost you around $60. If you want something similar to Frontpoint’s Crash and Smash Protection feature, you would need to pay another $7 a month for the warranty. So all in all, comparing this $67 monthly expense to Frontpoint’s $49.99 Ultimate plan, ADT Pulse loses out to Frontpoint. And this might be the reason why ADT keeps their prices hidden.

ADT Pulse’s monitoring plan features are here:

 Traditional Control Video 
Remote Secure Video No No Yes 
Email & Text Alerts No Yes Yes 
Home Automation No Yes Yes 
Remote Arm/Disarm  No Yes Yes 
24/7 Monitoring Yes Yes Yes 
6-Month Money-Back Guarantee Yes Yes Yes 
ADT Go Family Locator App Yes Yes Yes 
Cellular Connection Yes Yes Yes 
Fire, Carbon Monoxide & Flood Monitoring Yes Yes Yes 

Final say

ADT Pulse has knowledgeable customer service agents that are willing to answer your questions, except when you ask them how much their monitoring plans are, as well as their products and sensors. If you are still researching for a security system for your home, then you should allow an hour to talk to ADT’s representatives for them to give you a quote. Take note, however, that they may offer you some products and services you might not really need. ADT Pulse also shines when it comes to its mobile and Web apps.

The problem is that ADT Pulse needs to be professionally installed, which may be a little steep depending on the number of components you have. It also locks you in for three years, which can be a long time especially if you think about the pre-termination fee.

On the other hand, Frontpoint offers you shorter contracts, including a 12-month contract. It is also a DIY system that you can install on your own. Another plus? Frontpoint is true to its name, it is very upfront with its service plans and pricing!

Frontpoint also has more cost-effective pricing for its products. But you would need to do the installation yourself.

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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