The security system showdown of Frontpoint vs ADT is an interesting one.
On one hand, you've got ADT, boasting over 100 years of experience in the home monitoring system industry. On the other, there's Frontpoint - a rookie in the security game, having been in business since just 2007.
Still, this newcomer is making waves already, earning its first coveted Angie's List Super Service Award at just six years old.
If you're wrestling with the decision between these two home security companies, you'll need to know what each one has to offer in order to make the best choice for your home.
In this guide, I'll help you compare ADT vs Frontpoint on price, equipment, and terms of service.
Frontpoint vs ADT - In This Guide
These two companies are comparable in some areas and very different in others. You can make the right decision for your family by keeping several factors in mind as you evaluate home alarm systems.
- Connection type: ADT provides both landline and cellular connection options. Frontpoint uses 100% cellular technology in their security systems. A University of North Carolina study revealed that 20% of burglars cut phone lines before burglarizing a house, so connection type is an important decision.
- Features: Are you set on being able to control your security system through a mobile app? How many sensors are you looking for? Is live streaming access to your security camera a must? Your answers to these questions should influence your decision.
- Installation: Are you comfortable with the idea of DIY home security systems? Frontpoint equipment is self-installed, whereas ADT requires professional installation.
Both companies maintain an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. Keep in mind, however, that you should take other home security system reviews into account as you do your research. Reviews by individuals can yield quite a bit of information about real life experiences with a business.
Monthly Monitoring Costs
If budget is a major consideration for you in deciding whether to get ADT or Frontpoint, you'll be happy to know that these two have fairly similar rates. The differences lie in the number of packages each one offers and what's included. Both companies provide standard fire and carbon monoxide protection, as well as optional flood, heat, and freeze monitoring.
The pricing structure ADT uses is broken up by connection type and features. There is a total of five ADT monitoring plans, although some authorized dealers streamline their promotional materials into three or four packages instead. Pricing ranges between $36.99 and $58.99 per month for 24/7 professional monitoring. The breakdown of options is as follows:
- Basic (landline only): You get the basic equipment package, which I detail below, along with 24/7 monitoring. For a few dollars more per month you can get this option with two-way voice.
- Essentials (landline plus cellular backup): This option runs almost $10 more per month than Basic and comes with CellGuard, which kicks in if your landline fails or is cut.
- ADT Pulse: Pulse comes with or without video surveillance. Pulse packages are the only ones that come with system control via the mobile app.
It's tough to nail down exact pricing on ADT packages because they want you to call customer service to negotiate your deal. This is common practice across the home security industry and allows you to potentially get a better deal than what you see online.
Frontpoint Security Pricing
Frontpoint plan pricing is a bit more straightforward. There are three levels of Frontpoint packages:
- Protection Plan: $34.99 per month - this is the basic, no-frills monitoring plan.
- Interactive Plan: $44.99 per month - you get 24/7 cellular monitoring along with crash and smash protection (this enables your control panel to send an alert even if a burglar attempts to disable it), mobile alerts and system control, light control, geolocation, and an image sensor.
- Ultimate Plan: $49.99 per month - this Frontpoint plan adds video security, automated door locks, and energy management.
Geolocation services allow your security system to take action based upon how close you are to the house, courtesy of your smartphone.
Geolocation services allow your security system to take action based on how close you are to the house, courtesy of your smartphone. For example, it will alert you if you leave the house without arming your system or turn the lights on as you go out.
One main detail in the list of differences between ADT and Frontpoint is that with ADT you lease your equipment, whereas with Frontpoint you purchase it.
The standard package that comes free with all ADT plans includes:
- Digital control panel with keypad
- Three doors/window sensor
- One motion detector
- One key fob
- Window decals and yard signs
Optional equipment includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, security cameras, touchscreen control panel, and a selection of home automation devices.
Frontpoint handles equipment by charging you a set rate for the standard pieces in each package. They offer a $300 equipment credit with three-year contract approval, bringing the cost down to a reasonable fee. Check with Frontpoint for current equipment package rates.
Starter equipment includes the standards - a control panel, door/window sensors, motion detectors, and key fobs. The piece of equipment that sets Frontpoint apart is an ingenious little device called an image sensor. This is essentially a motion detector camera - when it senses movement it snaps a picture of the subject. The image sensor comes standard with Frontpoint's two highest tier plans.
You can, of course, add other pieces like glass break sensors, home automation devices, and a high-tech touchscreen control panel that will even take a photo of everyone arming and disarming the system. Prices for extra components range from around $33 for a door/window sensor up to $438 for a touchscreen control panel.
Fees and Contract Terms
When you choose between Frontpoint Security vs ADT, the terms of the agreement should carry significant weight in your decision. You will be bound by a contract with the company, so make sure you pick one whose policies are acceptable to you.
- Frontpoint - 12-36 months (higher monthly rates with shorter contract)
- ADT - 36 months
- FrontPoint - $0 (self-installation)
- ADT - $99
- Frontpoint - free moving kit, no charge to move your system and no requirement to restart your contract
- ADT - Free security system for new location plus 25% of additional equipment if you've been with them at least 24 months and did not purchase your equipment and services through an authorized dealer
- Frontpoint - 36 months
- ADT - no standard warranty, "limited warranty" called Quality Service Plan (available for extra fee)
- Frontpoint - 30 days
- ADT - 6 months
Early Termination Policy
- Frontpoint - must pay 80% of your remaining contract balance
- ADT - must pay 75% of remaining balance
Frontpoint takes the lead with their contract options and generous moving policy, while ADT inches ahead with a longer guarantee. It's important to read the fine print no matter which provider you choose, however, as there are always conditions on security agreements.
Deciding whether to get ADT or Frontpoint as your home security system can be a tough choice. ADT gives you the peace of mind of a long-established company that knows its business. Frontpoint is young, it's true, however, their aggressive approach to offering the latest technology in wireless security systems along with highly-praised customer service makes them a strong contender.
Regardless of which of these two companies you end up choosing, you're making a smart decision. Not only are you protecting your family and valuables, you may also end up saving money on your homeowner's insurance. That makes for a combination of wise financial moves that will ultimately result in increased peace of mind, and that's something that's priceless.