As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow in popularity and use, more and more users are turning to Do-It-Yourself home security options. There are several options from which to choose on today’s market, but there are a few you can choose from that represent the top-rated systems in the industry.
Frontpoint and Simplisafe home security systems provide great protection for your home or business while offering an assortment of monitoring options. Selecting either of these systems does not require a long-term commitment while providing peace of mind that your assets are safe. Let’s take a look at how these two compare.
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Frontpoint has gained notoriety as a new player in home automation security system and the IoT industry by offering impeccable customer service to its client base. Created in 2007, Frontpoint decided early on that it wanted to be a key player in the Do-It-Yourself security market, while also providing its customers with a customer experience that far exceeded its competitors.
Simplisafe was founded in 2006 and aims to deliver a straightforward approach to its customers. Overall, the company strives to provide a simple, affordable, and easy to use Do-It-Yourself experience with its home security equipment. While its customer service does not meet the level of its counterpart, it is still a reliable system that offers a quality experience.
While purchasing a Simplisafe or Frontpoint system does not require a commitment, if you want to have monitoring as part of your security package, you’ll be required to pay a fee. Where Simplisafe offers monitoring packages by the month, Frontpoint will ask for a one or thirty-six month agreement. The differences in these packages, however, are substantial.
Both companies cooperate with third parties, which offer a monitoring center that have entirely integrated cellular modules for communication with the system. Each delivers cutting-edge technologies and monitoring features that provide appeal and attraction to these Do-It-Yourself home security options.
The Frontpoint security system gives their clients the option of choosing between a one year or three-year agreement for monitoring purposes. If you select the three-year option, Frontpoint will provide deep discounts on equipment, which means you’re getting a significant amount of savings on hardware.
On the other hand, Simplisafe offers considerably cheaper monthly subscription cellular monitoring options. The drawback to this choice is that you’re only going to get basic monitoring features with the system. Simplisafe does give customers the option to disarm or arm their security system remotely but does not include video surveillance or home automation features.
Frontpoint does offer video surveillance and home automation features, like geolocation, and a “crash and smash” option. The “crash and smash” feature is a great benefit that makes sure the proper help is summoned, even in the event that your home security hardware is completely demolished, while geo-location allows you to set up geofencing, which provides a myriad of features that can be enabled based on your GPS location.
Even though the Simplisafe security system provides customers with lower prices for service, Frontpoint offers a broader and more robust home automation and surveillance monitoring experience. Unfortunately, with its bare-bones offerings, Simplisafe is unable to match the features that Frontpoint provides.
Both companies we’ll review are well-known for offering great customer service and experience. There is no shortage of positive feedback for Frontpoint and Simplisafe, which alludes to exceptional service no matter the format. Customers have the option to receive help through e-books, tutorials, videos, email, and telephone support.
The differentiator, perhaps, is Simplisafe’s willingness to go the extra mile with its return policy. You can return hardware up to 60 days with Simplisafe, where Frontpoint only offers 30 days. Frontpoint closes the gap with its support hours. You can reach their support center until 11 pm eastern on weekdays whereas Simplisafe is only available until 6 pm eastern. If you work during the day and need support, choosing Frontpoint will provide help after you get home.
Simplisafe’s home security system takes a basic and simple approach to technology and hardware. The company uses their own proprietary equipment and hardware to keep cost as a minimum and passes the savings onto you. As a result, your equipment may look a little dated, but don’t let that deter you. Simplisafe offers its customers a full three-year warranty on its hardware.
The Simplisafe Basic Start Package, which is one of its most popular, includes the following:
- 1 Yard Sign Post and 2 Window Stickers
- 1 Keychain Remote
- 1 SimpliSafe Base Station
- 1 Motion Sensor
- 1 Wireless Keypad
- 4 Door and Window Sensors
Even though Simplisafe’s system looks antiquated and outdated, it is a solid system with great features and solid functionality. It is simple, straightforward, and easy to setup and install.
Simplisafe offers a wireless keyboard which is not integrated into the central hub and communications center. This provides two benefits. 1) The unit can reside in an area that gets better cellular connection, and 2) It is less likely to be disabled or destroyed by intruders.
Despite lagging behind its counterpart for many years, Simplisafe is beginning to close the gap from an equipment perspective. The company has started to release new and updated equipment offerings, and while their options aren’t revolutionary by any standard, they do show that the company is willing to take steps to provide improvements in their hardware.
A few of the enhancements include a redesigned keyboard that glows in the dark along with sensors that come in a high tech black matte finish. You’ll also notice the system sensors has increased the range to provide a better home security experience.
Even with its improvements, Simplisafe does not compare with the features and benefits Frontpoint offers. Its GE Interlogix and Qolsys components – which we’ll touch on later – are clearly ahead of the proprietary hardware and equipment Simplisafe has to offer. Simplisafe does not offer home automation or video benefits, which means it simply can’t keep up in the hardware arena.
To make up for its lack of fancy hardware, Simplisafe home security system does offer a Simplisafe Camera that can supplement your setup. It does not offer many of the features that many of today’s cameras come with, but you can opt for a monthly subscription that will allow you to store videos.
The Simplisafe Camera system does come with:
- 120 Field of Vision
- 720p High-Definition Stream
- Privacy Shutter
- Night Vision
While the camera system offered by Simplisafe does close the gap on hardware you’ll find between the two home security systems; you’re still left wanting more than what Simplisafe has to offer.
Frontpoint, on the other hand, is doing what it can to provide new and improved features to customers seeking to be on the cutting edge of technology. If you are looking for an array of equipment to choose from, Frontpoint might be the home security system you’re looking for.
The GE Simon XT is the default panel offered in the Frontpoint equipment line. Reliable and solid, many large security companies use this system for years without concern. This system provides cellular service with a default offering of a motion sensor, two doors, which come with a discount if you sign up for the thirty-six-month monitoring agreement.
For an additional fee, you can upgrade your touchscreen panel to a Qolsys. This system, which comes with components from GE Interlogix and the Qolsys mentioned above, provided additional features in a next-generation shell.
Armed with a futuristic looking alarm panel, the Qolsys offers a 7” touchscreen interface, which allows you to manage your entire system, which includes home automation and video security. The Qolsys system also integrates with z-wave, Bluetooth, wifi, and cellular, giving it great flexibility and compatibility.
The Qolsys IQ is a fantastic, full-featured option which allows you control over the most expansive home automation and security systems. It can do everything you want it to do and then some. For example, you can be viewing your networked cameras while viewing your favorite videos or the weather forecast.
You can also add an Image Sensor to your Frontpoint home security system. This sensor captures images when detecting movement, and can also be customized to immediately send out the captured image to you via email or text.
If you feel like you need a more sophisticated video surveillance experience, Frontpoint provides just that with a comprehensive array of camera and video options, which include night vision cameras available for use both inside and outside. You also have the option to add-on indoor cameras with the ability to tilt and pan to provide a greater visual range.
Frontpoint offers you the option to control door locks, lights, your heating and cooling system, and so much more. You can make these changes from the comfort of your couch, or from your favorite vacation spot. No matter your location, Frontpoint provides you with a great home security experience.
From a mobile application perspective, Frontpoint chose to go with the Alarm.com mobile app. This application is available on both Android and iOS marketplaces, and is very customizable, allowing you control over what your devices do and how they behave.
The Simplisafe mobile app is more limited than its counterparts, but it does allow its users to arm and disarm the system, manage alerts, and view live video. Like Frontpoint’s app, the Simplisafe app is available for both Apple and Android.
If you’re looking to find the best bang for your buck, it depends on which route you prefer. Simplisafe is going to be cheaper if you’re looking at rates for video surveillance and monitoring, but the initial cost of the system is going to be significantly higher than its counterpart.
But there’s more to value than just the cost of an item, which is where Frontpoint really shines. Yes, it will cost you more per month if you choose Frontpoint. However, you’ll also reap the benefits of many more features.
These features include:
- Home Automation
- Images Captured by Motion Detection
- Inclement Weather Notifications
- Crash and Smash Protection
Don’t forget, Frontpoint also provides significant discounts on equipment when you select a longer monitoring program.
|Video Cameras Available||Yes||Yes|
|Door Window Sensors||2||4|
|Smartphone and Remote Access Management||Yes||Yes|
Summary – Simplisafe vs Frontpoint
If what you need is a simple, basic, security system with none of the bells and whistles at a relatively cheap price point, Simplisafe might be the system you’re looking for. It is a stable and reliable choice and is simple to install and set up.
One thing to bear in mind when selecting the Simplisafe system is that its hardware is proprietary, which means it may not be easily integrated with other companies. If you decide in the future to update your system, you may find it difficult to add additional hardware and equipment to your system.
For those that need a more than just a standard home security system, Frontpoint is the way to go. The Frontpoint system offers a great experience to go along with its comprehensive portfolio of equipment and easily integrates with other IoT hardware.
By providing cellular monitoring, sleek and cutting-edge equipment, and sophisticated and innovative monitoring features, Frontpoint is the way to go if you desire more than just the basics of your home security system.
While this review might lead you to believe that Frontpoint is a clear choice, the reality is that each option provides a home security system designed for different customers. Frontpoint is going to appeal to those that prefer to be on the forefront of technology with its new and fancy features, while Simplisafe is going to be the system of choice for those that only need basic, simple security solutions.
How does Simplisafe compare to other security systems?
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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!