The most streamlined home security and automation systems available
Frontpoint is only a decade-old company, but they’ve quickly become one of the most trusted names in home security. In fact, they were the first security company to include smart security in all of their systems. They were also the first to introduce a self-guided setup process through the app, which virtually every other smart security brand has copied. You might not be aware, but over 70% of burglaries are residential, according to FBI statistics,1 which is why it’s important to protect what’s yours. Let’s find out if Frontpoint is a worthwhile security system for your home!
Frontpoint Review: Video Edition
To see Frontpoint with your own eyes, watch our video review below.
What Are Frontpoint’s Pros and Cons?
Before we get too nitty-gritty, here are the best and worst things about our Frontpoint security system.
What We Like
- Integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant: Using our voices alone, we were able to control the Frontpoint security system and other connected devices.
- DIY installation: It only took us about an hour to set up Frontpoint.
- Great customer support: In our opinion, Frontpoint has some of the best customer support of any security company in the United States.
What We Don’t Like
- No self-monitoring option: All Frontpoint systems come with 24/7 professional monitoring.
- Expensive monthly fees: Users will have to pay either $44.99 or $49.99 for professional monitoring and cellular backup.
- Livestreaming, night vision, alerts and more only in more expensive plan: Some necessary features are only available in the $49.99 a month Ultimate Plan.
What’s Included with Frontpoint?
We bought a customized system from Frontpoint that included a Hub, radio, door/ window sensor, motion sensor, glass break sensor, keypad, keychain remote, video doorbell, smart lock, and indoor camera. Here’s how it all worked in our testing!
The Hub and keypad are the essential components of our Frontpoint security system. While the Hub is considered to be the “brains” of the systems, connecting all of our components to the Frontpoint app and monitoring team, the keypad is where we armed and disarmed our system using our passcode.
Now, a major concern we had up-front was, what if someone smashed our Hub? Would the whole system be as useless as a battery that’s run out of charge? Fortunately, the answer was no. Even if an intruder smashes both devices, they will continue connecting the system to cellular backup, Wi-Fi backup, and battery backup. With so many layers of backup, we felt confident that our system would stay on no matter what, which ended up coming in handy when our Wi-Fi failed, unfortunately, a common occurrence.
Not to get too far into the installation, but we really appreciated the fact that the Hub and the Keypad came pre-programmed with the rest of the system. This made installation a lot easier, but we’ll touch on that later.
Pro Tip: Place the keypad within 100 feet of the hub.
Door/ Window Sensor
We placed these two-part sensors on the frames of doors and windows and on the doors and windows themselves to see when they had been opened or closed. Wireless, installing and using these contact sensors was a breeze.
The motion sensor we got from Frontpoint covered a 30 by 35-foot range, which was more than large enough for our living room; however, its field of view was a bit narrow at only 80 degrees, so we decided to place it in a corner for maximum effect. While our home is pet-free, pet owners will be thrilled to hear that this motion sensor won’t detect their pets under 40 pounds, preventing many unnecessary (and annoying) notifications). The motion sensor is also wireless and has a very impressive battery life of two to four years. This was great for us as we could just set it and forget it!
Glass Break Sensor
Not every intruder will be so polite as to open a door or window; rather, some will just smash through your glass, and for those instances, there’s the glass break sensor. With a 20-foot radius and a five-year battery life, the glass break sensor made us confident that if someone broke a window in our home, we’d know about it ASAP.
We’ll admit it: sometimes we’re lazy and the keypad is just too far to get to, especially when we’re cuddled up in bed watching a movie. For those instances, we used the keychain remote, which let us arm and disarm the system without even having to enter the passcode. It also included a panic button that would have triggered our alarm had we ever had to press it. Like the sensors, the keychain remote is also wireless with an insanely long five to eight-year battery life.
FYI: Get a keychain remote for every member of your household and any hired help!
SkyBell Slim Line Video Doorbell
While Frontpoint doesn’t make their own video doorbell, they do offer the SkyBell Slim Line Video Doorbell which works with their system. We were really happy that the Slim Line is totally wireless, a rarity for a video doorbell, with a super-long three to five-year battery life. Plus, it has a temperature range of negative 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which was more than enough for our testing in Brooklyn, New York.
But unfortunately, the Slim Line didn’t impress us as much as we would’ve liked. While it has the two-way audio standard of any video doorbell, its video quality was not the clearest at only 720p HD. Normally, we prefer 1080p HD which produces a much better picture. However, we were happy that the field of view was as side as mathematically possible at 180 degrees.
Another negative of the Slim Line was night vision. Our night vision was in color due to the camera’s bright white light. While this produced a pretty nice picture, we prefer infrared night vision as it’s much less conspicuous.
Storage required creating a subscription on Alarm.com, which was a bit annoying; we’d much rather do everything within the Frontpoint app (again, we’re lazy!). Still, we got 1,000 motion-activated clips per month. Now, since the Slim Line lacks person detection of any kind, a lot of these clips, and by extension, alerts, were highly unnecessary for keeping our home secure. For example, we had a bunch of clips from a wind-up car whizzing by, which isn’t exactly essential footage. Plus, the Slim Line lacks a slot for a micro-SD card, so we had to manually backup our cloud storage onto a local hard drive. An additional 5,000 clips cost $5 a month, which we passed on.
All in all, we’re less than happy with the Slim Line Video Doorbell, and wouldn’t recommend you use it with your Frontpoint system.
Yale Z-Wave Smart Lock
Another third party item we bought with Frontpoint was a Z-Wave smart lock from Yale, a leading lock manufacturer. It was really convenient to be able to lock and unlock our doors remotely, whether that was as we got home from work or at night to make sure that everything was safe and secure. On top of that, we also gave entry codes to people so that they could access our home when it was empty, much safer than leaving a key under our welcome mat like we used to.
Finally, we got Frontpoint’s indoor camera, which fortunately had that clear, 1080p HD display we missed in the video doorbell, plus infrared night vision and two-way audio.
This made our camera way more hidden; most people who went in our house didn’t even notice it! Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t zoom in at all and with a field of view of 113 degrees, it didn’t cover quite as much ground as we would’ve hoped.
Again, there was only motion detection, so we got a ton of false alarms, and the storage was the same free 1,000 clips. While we appreciated the camera’s video quality, audio and night vision, it still fell a bit short of expectations when it came to AI.
Was Frontpoint Easy to Install?
Frontpoint has DIY installation, which we prefer because that means it’s free! But what set Frontpoint apart from other security systems we installed was the use of their support staff over the phone. We definitely took advantage, using the support reps to ensure we were installing and testing the system correctly. Overall, the setup was very simple, not requiring drilling or nails, and once it was up, it worked without a hiccup. It was easy to integrate it with voice assistants, allowing for remote control. You don’t need to be a security expert like us to install Frontpoint; it’s designed to be as painless as possible, with wireless, peel-and-stick sensors and pre-programmed devices.
How Frontpoint Fit Into Our Smart Home
Being as into our smart home as we are, we were very pleased to see that Frontpiont worked really well with Alexa2 and Google Assistant.3 Here’s how we commanded Frontpoint with each voice assistant.
Using Alexa, we were able to arm and disarm our security system, check its status, and control connected devices like smart locks, smart thermostats, and smart lighting. We also had Alexa record with our indoor camera, which was pretty cool.
Getting Frontpoint integrated into our Google ecosystem was a tad more arduous. After failing to find the Frontpoint action on Google, we finally figured out that we had to download the Alarm.com action instead, then log in with our Frontpoint credentials. From there, we could ask Google to tell Alarm.com to arm our system, check its status, and control smart lights, locks and thermostats.
Was Frontpoint Easy to Use?
Once we got it up and running, our Frontpoint system worked well. We were alerted of any motion straight to our phones, and the monitoring team always responded quickly as well. However, since Frontpoint is mostly wireless, most of its components come with adhesives that actually ripped the paint off some of our walls, particularly the keypad. But while the majority of the components are made of plastic, they’re still hardy and durable. Still, keep in mind that when you most, your Frontpiont equipment could damage your walls.
Frontpoint’s Monthly Fees and Monitoring
All Frontpoint customers must pay for 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup. We chose the more expensive Ultimate plan so we could livestream footage, receive motion-triggered alerts and other features we consider essential. The cost is definitely on the higher end compared to other security companies; we’ve seen companies charge around $10 a month for the same services, so this is a definite drawback of Frontpoint. On the other hand, we appreciated the fact that we didn’t need to sign a long-term contract; rather, everything was flexible, month-to-month. In our opinion, this is much better than having to sign a long-term contract, a recent change from Frontpoint.
Monitoring and Fees Breakdown for Frontpoint
|Price||$44.99 per month||$49.99 per month|
|24/7 Professional Monitoring||✓||✓|
|100% Wireless & Cellular||✓||✓|
|Automated System Check||✓||✓|
|Expandable and Portable||✓||✓|
|Unique User Codes||✓||✓|
|Crash and Smash Protection||✓||✓|
|Mobile Alert & Notifications via Email and Text||✓||✓|
|Remote Access and Control||✓||✓|
|Live Video Streaming||x||✓|
|Video and Image History||x||✓|
|Motion Triggered Alerts||x||✓|
|Night Vision Enabled||x||✓|
|Smart Lock Control||x||✓|
Frontpoint’s Customer Support
When we needed help with our Frontpoint system, we could either check out their online help center,4 call support, email support or fill out an online form. In researching, installing and testing the Frontpoint security system, our team of experts contacted Frontpoint twice over email and didn’t receive a response either time, which was obviously disappointing. However, we found that phone support was excellent, with knowledgeable representatives happy to answer our questions. This really came in handy during installation! Despite the poor email support, Frontpiont has some of the best phone support we’ve seen from a security company, in our opinion.
The Frontpoint App
When we weren’t home, it was easy to use the Frontpoint app to arm and disarm our system, livestream footage, speak through two-way audio, control connected devices and receive notifications. Watch our video review to see us using the app, which overall, we’d say was pretty well-designed and bug-free.
Is Frontpoint Worth It?
All in all, we think that we’d definitely recommend Frontpoint as a home security system, particularly if you’re a more established homeowner. With 24/7 monitoring required, Frontpoint gives all of its customers the most security, although this also requires high monthly fees. Still, with easy DIY installation, great customer support over the phone and integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant, it’s no surprise that Frontpoint works well for so many customers, us included. Here’s a breakdown of who I think Frontpoint would be good for:
Who We Recommend Frontpoint For…
- 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup: Frontpoint gives all of its customers the most protection for a monthly fee.
- Google and Amazon integrations: Command your Frontpoint security system and its connected devices using your voice alone.
- DIY installation: Setting up Frontpoint doesn’t require any drilling or nails, so it’s something anyone could do.
Who We Don’t Recommend Frontpoint For…
- Self-monitoring: All Frontpoint systems come with 24/7 professional monitoring, which may be a privacy concern for some.
- Affordability: With monthly fees starting at $44.99 a month, Frontpoint certainly isn’t the most affordable security system around.
- Livestreaming and motion-triggered alerts not included with every plan: Only the more expensive $49.99 a month Ultimate plan includes livestreaming, motion-triggered alerts, night vision and other essential features.
- How much does Frontpoint cost per month?
Frontpoint costs either $44.99 a month with the Interactive Plan for $49.99 a month with the Ultimate Plan. Both plans give users 24/7 professional monitoring, cellular backup, notifications and remote control, while the Ultimate Plan also allows for livestreaming, cloud story, night vision, control of lights and locks and more.
- Is Frontpoint a good security system?
Frontpoint is a good security system. Although it’s not the most affordable option around, Frontpoint provides home security you can trust with 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup to boot. However, users that want to self-monitor your security system and avoid monthly fees should look elsewhere.
- Which is better, SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint?
In testing out SimpliSafe and Frontpoint, we recommend SimpliSafe over Frontpoint due to its more affordable professional monitoring options, its option to self-monitor plus it’s more simple installation. However, Frontpoint does have better customer support and a higher-rated app.
FBI. (2015). Crime in the US: Burglary. ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/burglary
Amazon. (2020). Frontpoint Alexa Skill. amazon.com/Frontpoint/dp/B01N0W6HIE
Google Assistant. (2020). Alarm.com – Google Assistant. assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/000000cf58e0e1af?hl=en_us
Frontpoint. (2020). Frontpoint Support. support.frontpointsecurity.com/hc/en-us