Frontpoint Home Security System Review - 2020
Frontpoint Security Solutions is a Virginia-based company founded in 2007. The company boasts an A+ rating with BBB and an overall positive reputation. Its customers reviews on both BBB and Yelp, however, suggest the service is not without its flaws. Frontpoint’s major strengths include DIY installation, an entirely wireless system, professional monitoring service, and customizable plans paired with responsive customer service. Its high-end plans also include nifty home automation and video surveillance options. However, its plans are quite pricey, and the lock-in contracts hide draconian cancellation fees. You are well-advised to read the fine print.
Frontpoint is easy to install and offers an excellent selection of accessories. Its cellular-based system and 24/7 security monitoring are worth an investment, but the high-end price and the binding nature of its contracts might be off-putting to some.
- Wide selection of sensors and cameras
- Easy DIY installation
- Cellular alerts
- Indoor/outdoor cameras in high-end plans
- Environmental disaster protection and home automation
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- One- and three-year contracts only
- Draconian cancellation fees
- Credit check
- No landline option
- Customer service does not specify the length of contracts or the cancellation fees
- A top-tier plan is required for live and recorded video
Unlike many other home security systems, Frontpoint relies on General Electric for its hardware. This allows a degree of flexibility when it comes to spare parts. The equipment is compact, ergonomic and portable, and can be installed and moved quite easily. Some sensors are standing while others have an adhesive strip.
Frontpoint bundles a three-year warranty, so if a sensor stops working they should replace it. On a side note, many reviews suggest a failing battery in a control panel is not covered.
Cellular – Frontpoint’s system is cellular. Instead of relying on WiFi or landline for connectivity, its cellular system can’t be disabled if burglars cut wires.
Note: the camera and the doorbell equipment do need a WiFi connection to transmit your feed. Also, if you live in a rural area with a weak cellular signal, Frontpoint may not be the best home security system for you.
Self-diagnostics – the system runs self-diagnostics several times a day, and sends you notifications should some component fail.
Note: wireless systems have their weak points, too. Namely, they may experience glitches and connectivity issues more often than wired systems.
Customizable – Frontpoint offers advanced customization options when it comes to equipment. It offers two types of control panels – standard and wireless. Top that off with a mobile app, a keychain remote, a panic pendant, a smart lock, wireless indoor and outdoor cameras, a video doorbell, and a laundry list of sensors. You can choose from door and window sensors to glass break, recessed door, water flood, smoke and heat, carbon monoxide, garage door, light sensors, and whatnot.
Depending on your plan, you can optimize your house power consumption through smart home automation sensors, or monitor your video feed from your mobile device remotely.
Crash and Smash Protection – is a nifty feature of Frontpoint’s touchscreen control panel. If anintruder breaks it, the panel sends an automatic alert to Rapid Response.
The total price is comprised of two parts – the cost of your equipment and the monthly cost of Frontpoint monitoring services based on the type of your contract.
Picking equipment with Frontpoint is a geek’s dream, but if you need advice, you can rely on customer service for guidance.
When it comes to contracts and monthly pricing, Frontpoint is constraining, alas. You get to choose between a one-year contract and a three-year plan:
- The Basic Protection Plan kicks in at $34.99/mo plus tax and includes 24/7 monitoring, fire protection, life safety, and environmental protection.
- The Interactive Plan, which features a nifty mobile app you can use to arm/disarm your system remotely, will set you off $44.99/mo plus tax. You will receive email alerts, and text and push notifications. The plan also covers geolocation services and includes Crash and Smash Protection alongside sensor history.
- The Ultimate Plan is priced at $49.99/mo plus tax, and bundles all the features of the Interactive plus live video streaming, and video and image history. Automated door locks, motion-activated alerts and video recording, energy management, thermostat control and other home automation options (i.e., light, climate) are also included.
The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which may not be enough in some cases. For instance, many reviewers mention identical issues with the magnets in sensors and batteries in control panels – problems that are unlikely to manifest themselves during the first trial month.
Frontpoint customer service office is based in Virginia. English and Spanish-speaking representatives are available 8:00 am – 11:00 pm on weekdays and 10:00 am – 7:00 pm on weekends. When it comes to troubleshooting, the team is helpful and professional.
When you talk to their sales representative, however, make sure you ask all about the contract length, possible extra expenses associated with equipment upgrades, and the cancellation fees. Many reviewers mentioned Frontpoint agents failed to specify these details.
A technician pre-programs the equipment before shipment, so you can handle your installation all by yourself. If you have a small house, you could make it in under an hour, but if you have a vast area to cover, you may need to spend more time sorting out the sensors placement and connectivity. Each set ships with detailed setup manuals, while the company website provides helpful videos.
Frontpoint partners with Rapid Response Monitoring Services to provide 24/7 emergency dispatching, so security monitoring is around the clock and professional.
Things to Consider
- You need a personalized quote from the company. To offer you a personalized deal, Frontpoint is going to run a credit check on you. Some customers report the company makes a hard inquiry.
- It’s cellular-only, which makes it a no-go for people in rural areas with less than stellar coverage.
- Frontpoint only offers one- and three-year contracts with 85% cancellation fee you would have to pay for the unused months. The clause is covered in the contract’s fine print, which is a must-read.
- The Skybell HD video doorbell requires a strong WiFi signal outside your door. Ensure your home WiFi signal is strong enough for the video doorbell to work.
- Before signing up for a long-term plan, consider if you might need to move in the next three years. On the one hand, you can take your security system with you, which is the level of flexibility you won’t find with other providers. On the other, some high rise complexes, for instance, have a community security and fire system and disallow outside systems.
- Frontpoint warranty doesn’t seem to cover replacement batteries for control panels. Inquire about replacing dead batteries with your sales representative.