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Home security is at the top of every homeowner’s list of priorities. It goes hand in hand with the ultimate goal of keeping our families and loved ones safe and sound. And the good thing is that there are reliable home security providers that can help us with this. But what if you want home security with some home automation perks? Well, two names are at the top of our list: Frontpoint and Vivint Smart Home.
Let’s see how these two security providers compare with each other.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Frontpoint Security
- 2 What you should know
- 3 What you would like about Frontpoint Security
- 4 What can be better
- 5 Vivint Smart Home
- 6 What you should know
- 7 What you would like about Vivint
- 8 What can be better
- 9 Comparing Frontpoint vs. Vivint Smart Home
- 10 Which one is the better choice?
- 11 The Final Word
Frontpoint Security claims to be the first alarm company in the United States to include smart security in their systems. It boasts the easiest set up with everything coming pre-configured so that they work right out of the box, sensors already programmed, and automation devices ready to use.
The company promises that for your smart security system to be up and running. You don’t need professional installers to come to your house. There is also no need for manual programming, drilling, wiring, and other complicated DIY setups.
What you should know
Frontpoint’s easy-to-install DIY home security system offers a wide range of compatible devices and accessories. Its selection of components and sensors are bundled into contract packages, depending on the size of your home and the kinds of devices you will need.
The contract for Frontpoint’s equipment has a lock-in period of 36 months. After that, you can just pay month to month. You can also upgrade your equipment and renew your contract for another 36 months.
Additionally, the Frontpoint home security system also comes with a professional monitoring plan.
Devices and sensors
Frontpoint provides a range of cutting-edge security sensors and gadgets, as well as home automation equipment, that you can use for your home security system. These devices and equipment include:
Frontpoint hub and keypad. They run on cellular connection with built-in WiFi backup. The hub serves as a switch between the two services so that in case mobile service goes down, the WiFi is automatically activated. It is smash-proof, but if it is damaged during a break-in, the alarm would still go through Frontpoint’s monitoring centers. It has a robust encryption mechanism that protects your system from hackers. The keypad, meanwhile, allows you to arm, disarm, and check the status of your alarms. You can easily add multiple keypads around your home for convenience.
Door/window sensor. This wireless sensor can detect if a door or window is opened and closed. The sensor is triggered if a window or door is left open accidentally, and you will get a phone alert about it.
Motion sensor. This can detect anything that moves in the area. It has a 90-degree field of view and covers a 44-foot area. This sensor is pet-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about your alarm going off every time your dog walks by.
Glass break sensor. It features pattern-recognition recognition technology that focuses on the sound of glass breaking. If it hears that sound, the monitoring team is automatically alerted.
Indoor and outdoor cameras. The indoor camera boasts the highest-resolution technology that enables it to capture clear video. There are various live resolution and recording resolution options available. This camera allows for two-way voice communication, and it has a 113-degree field of view.
There’s also the premium indoor camera, which is equipped with an echo-canceling microphone, Bluetooth speakers, and advanced digital pan and tilt capacity. It also has a wide-angle lens that gives it a full 180-degree field of view, as well as enhanced zoom features and a maximum resolution of 1920×1080.
Meanwhile, the wireless Wi-Fi outdoor camera boasts an industry-leading detection range. You can capture clear video day or night.
There’s also the doorbell camera, which allows you to see who’s at your door through a live feed and you can hear and speak to visitors. The camera’s motion sensor would alert you of any activity happening around your door.
Environmental sensors. There are also environmental sensors and equipment, like smoke and heat sensors, carbon monoxide sensors, and flood sensors.
Home automation devices. These devices include a smart door lock, a smart light bulb, a wireless light control, and a garage door controller. With the smart door lock, you can easily lock and unlock the door using the backlit keypad. You can create unique entry codes for family, friends, renters, and service providers. It has Z-Wave Plus built-in so you can easily integrate it with your system.
The energy-saving LED smart light bulb gives you a perfectly timed display of light. You can customize its setting or control it remotely so that the light turns on and off at a particular time of day.
The wireless light control allows you to never return to a dark home. You can set the lights in such a way that they turn on when you walk through the door. You can also turn them on or off using the Frontpoint app.
The garage door controller will remotely open or close the garage door for you via the Frontpoint app. It can also notify you of the garage door’s open or closed status.
Frontpoint offers five packages that are designed for different home sizes. You can, however, customize each plan. Each of these five packages requires a three-year contract. But Frontpoint will offer you a 12-month contract if you do not meet the minimum credit requirements.
The Frontpoint Everyday package is the least expensive, with a retail value of $528.93. This package consists of a hub and keypad, three door/window sensors, two motion sensors, door and window stickers, and a yard sign. You can get this package online for $99 (limited offer), but with a three-year-contract.
Meanwhile, Frontpoint’s most expensive package, the Elite, comes with the hub and keypad, six-door or window sensors, two motion sensors, two glass break sensors, one smoke/heat sensor, one indoor camera, one outdoor camera, a video doorbell, and assorted yard signs and stickers. This package also requires the most expensive monitoring plan.
On top of Frontpoint’s contract for the equipment, you also need to pick a monitoring plan that is suitable for the kind home security system you got.
Here’s a table for Frontpoint’s monitoring plans:
|Monitoring Plan||Professional Monitoring||Mobile Control||Home Automation||Monthly Price|
The Protection plan gives you 24/7 monitoring, an automated system check, and a cellular link to the monitoring station.
Meanwhile, the Interactive plan gives you everything the Protection plan offers, plus remote access via mobile app, crash and smash protection, geo-location support, and email, push, and text alerts.
Then there’s the Ultimate plan, which offers everything you can get from the cheaper plans, plus support for live video streaming. You also get cloud storage for 1,000 clips, video, and image history.
Then you have motion-triggered alerts, smart lock control, and light control.
Canceling a contract
If you want to cancel your contract with Frontpoint, you will have to pay for 80 percent of the cost of your remaining contract term.
What you would like about Frontpoint Security
The best thing about Frontpoint is that it requires a simple DIY installation. No need to deal with screwdrivers, complicated wiring, and batteries. Moving your security system wouldn’t be a hassle, too.
You would also appreciate the free 30-day trial period, the Z-Wave home automation options, and the IFTTT compatibility. What’s more, you also get a lot of compatible devices and equipment.
You will also love how customizable and expandable this system is. Customers also rave about Frontpoint’s friendly, knowledgeable customer support.
What can be better
Users cannot just access the Frontpoint app for free because it does not come with all the plans. Those who availed of the cheapest monitoring plan won’t be able to control the system remotely using their mobile device and the Frontpoint app.
The same thing goes for the home automation features. Unless you go with the most expensive monthly monitoring plan, you cannot enjoy home automation capabilities with your security system.
It would also be nice if there were another way around the three-year contract that Frontpoint requires to maintain its service.
Vivint Smart Home
Vivint Smart Home gives you a full-featured home security system. The services include monitoring around the clock. You also get a comprehensive home automation solution that you can control from anywhere.
What you should know
Vivint Smart Home delivers an integrated security and smart home system with zero hassle and inconvenience to you. It takes care of everything, from installation to maintenance to monitoring to getting you assistance in case of an emergency at home. In other words, with Vivint’s home security system, you won’t have to lift a finger.
Devices and sensors
The SkyControl panel is the nerve center of the Vivint Smart Home, with various components of the system communicating with it using several wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and RF. The panel has a 7-inch full-color touch-screen display to make it easy for you to view live and recorded video clips, lock and unlock doors, adjust cooling and heating temperatures, and activate emergency services such as the Panic and Burglary alarms.
Vivint also has door and window sensors, glass break detectors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, smart door locks, indoor and outdoor cameras, and doorbell cameras.
Vivint gives you the option to purchase all the devices, sensors, and equipment for your home security and home automation system upfront. But since the total cost for all the equipment is quite high, you can choose to get a contract and roll this cost into your monthly payments. You can get Vivint’s 42-month or 60-month contract.
Regardless of the sensors and devices, you want to get for your home, you will first have to buy Vivint’s starter equipment pack. This starter equipment package already includes the SkyControl panel, a pair of door and window sensors, and one motion sensor. You can just add whatever you want on top of this basic package.
In addition to the cost of your contract with Vivint, you also need to pay for professional monitoring each month. If you invested in a Vivint home security and home automation system and paid for all the equipment upfront, then you only have the monthly monitoring cost to worry about.
For Vivint’s professional monitoring, you can pick from three plan options:
|Monitoring Plan||Professional Monitoring||Mobile Control||Home Automation||Monthly Price|
|Vivint Smart Security||Yes||Yes||No||$29.99|
|Vivint Smart Home||Yes||Yes||Yes||$39.99|
|Vivint Smart Home Video||Yes||Yes||Yes||$49.99|
You get mobile control with all three plans and full home automation capabilities. Now, you only need to get the most expensive plan if you need video support.
Canceling a contract
Vivint is strict about contract cancellation, unless, of course, you pay for your equipment upfront. When canceling your contract before the lock-in period lapses, you will have to pay for 100 percent of the cost of the remaining term of your contract.
What you would like about Vivint
Vivint has the best-looking devices and equipment, and they carry smart, innovative, and cutting-edge technology. This is the reason why the company’s home security and automation system is known to be expensive. In other words, you get great value for your money.
The need for professional installation is also great because you get the chance to consult with the installer face-to-face. You can ask about the exact devices or equipment you need, how each one works, and how everything in the system can keep your property safe.
You would love that the various Vivint components communicate with the control panel using wireless technologies. Moreover, with Vivint, you get 24/7 home monitoring with a swift response when an alarm goes off. This means that monitoring professionals will get help if something goes wrong. This way, you can be 100 percent sure that your home is safe even if you are out on a business trip or a vacation abroad. And it doesn’t hurt that its base monitoring plan is very affordable.
You will also like the fact that Vivint offers you remote access to your door locks, sensors, cameras, and even thermostats. That is true, regardless of the monitoring plan you chose. This means you can check on your home via smartphone and other mobile devices, irrespective of where you are in the world.
You can also choose from a variety of home automation services, and you can control them from your smartphone, PC, and the 7-inch touch-screen control panel. What’s more, Vivint offers plenty of cloud storage for its system.
Vivint’s video doorbell has also been touted to be excellent, and one of the best in the industry.
What can be better
Aside from the fact that Vivint is really pricey, you have to pay an installation fee because the system has to be set up by trained professionals.
You also need to be ready for the long haul when you get a Vivint contract because you only get to choose between a 3.5-year and a 5-year contract. Unless, of course, you can afford to buy the equipment outright.
Others may also find Vivint’s three-day trial period not sufficient enough.
Comparing Frontpoint vs. Vivint Smart Home
Frontpoint requires you to sign up for a three-year contract to avail of its system. Meanwhile, if you decide to go with Vivint, its service contract will tie you up for a longer period: either 3.5 years or 5 years. Vivint offers a no-contract option, though, but it means you would have to shell out a lot of money to buy its equipment up-front.
In terms of professional monitoring, Vivint’s most basic plan is cheaper than Frontpoint’s. Their top-tier plan is priced the same price a month.
However, all of Vivint’s three monitoring plans offer mobile control, and two of these plans offer home automation capabilities. With Frontpoint, you only get to enjoy these two features with its highest-priced plan.
When it comes to integration, both Frontpoint and Vivint systems have Z-Wave technology and are IFTTT-compatible. These platforms allow Frontpoint devices to communicate with other connected devices.
For example, you can create a recipe that tells your system to turn the lights on if the motion sensor detects movement outside your doors.
Vivint has an advantage, though, because it can integrate directly with Nest devices.
Which one is the better choice?
Overall, Frontpoint is a decent home security and home automation service provider. Vivint Smart Home, however, offers more innovative equipment, better technology, and more choices. So even if Vivint is slightly pricier, it gives better monthly value.
Frontpoint, however, is the better choice if you are renting or have a smaller home or apartment. Aside from the fact that it has a shorter lock-in period, the hassle-free DIY setup will work well for you. If you only need to secure your front door and a couple of windows, you might as well just do it yourself.
Needless to say, Vivint works well if you have a larger home or property. Its professional installation approach will help make sure that everything is set up in an optimal location and are properly installed in all points of entry.
If you want video monitoring, Vivint’s most basic video package is cheaper than Frontpoint’s and covers two cameras. However, you have to pay $5 per month for each additional camera you include in your Vivint system.
Frontpoint, meanwhile, offers an affordable camera-only plan if you prefer security cameras over a conventional alarm system. Vivint does not have this offering.
Frontpoint’s 30-day trial period also beats out Vivint Smart Home’s three-day trial.
And if customer service scores big points for you, Frontpoint surely wins. While Vivint’s customer service has dramatically improved in the last few years, Frontpoint’s is considered one of the best in the industry. Frontpoint’s in-house customer service representatives are well-trained, helpful, accommodating, and certainly know their stuff.
The Final Word
Both Frontpoint and Vivint Smart Home charge premium prices for their home security and automation devices and equipment. But while there is a slight difference in rates, there are many considerations why you should pick one over the other.
With Vivint, you get smart, cutting edge equipment plus 24/7 professional monitoring. The high price you pay for your home security system and for professional installation is considered an investment.
Frontpoint’s security system plus professional monitoring is less expensive, but it is not cheap by any means. What it offers that Vivint doesn’t are equipment that is ready to use right out of the box and hassle-free installation that you can do yourself.
In the end, it does not matter which provider you think is more ideal for your home. What is important is that you believe you have the right partner in keeping your loved ones and your property safe, and you have peace of mind.
Alvin has been reviewing different types of technology from QR codes to the latest smartphones and robot vacuums for over a decade. Outside of technology, he writes about a wide variety of topics, including buses, travel, bankruptcy, healthcare, and cannabis. He was once so addicted to online shopping that he was on a first-name basis with delivery guys and courier services — and he shares his passion with all of you!