Frontpoint vs ADT Security Systems

Most Experienced
ADT
ADT
3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
Plans starting at 
$27.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet Professional installation
Pro Bullet Six-month money-back guarantee
Best Value
Frontpoint
Frontpoint
4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
Plans starting at 
$44.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet No contract
Pro Bullet DIY installation

Overview

Both Frontpoint and ADT are well-respected home security companies with reputations for reliable monitoring and customer service.

ADT has been in business for over 140 years, and most people can quickly spot its familiar logo and yard signs. Frontpoint has been in business for a decade, and it offers lots of tech-savvy, customizable options.

We recommend Frontpoint for no contracts, DIY installation, a wider camera selection, and smart home customizations. Go with ADT if you live in an area with spotty cell coverage or if you want superior reliability in monitoring and customer service.


Compare ADT vs. Frontpoint

Data effective 11/18/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

Pros and cons of ADT and Frontpoint

Pros and cons of ADT

Pros
  • Pro BulletSame-day installation available in some areas
  • Pro BulletProfessional installation
  • Pro BulletSix-month money-back guarantee
  • Pro BulletLandline connection for areas without strong cell signal
  • Pro BulletSix monitoring centers
Cons
  • Con BulletContract required
  • Con BulletNo DIY installation available
  • Con BulletLess tech-forward approach than Frontpoint
  • Con BulletFewer camera options than Frontpoint
  • Con BulletCharges more than Frontpoint for cellular monitoring

Pros and cons of Frontpoint

Pros
  • Pro BulletNo contract
  • Pro BulletDIY installation
  • Pro BulletAlexa integrations
  • Pro Bullet30-day trial period
  • Pro BulletLocation-based events (geofencing)
  • Pro BulletSophisticated camera options
Cons
  • Con BulletPricey monthly monitoring
  • Con BulletNo professional installation
  • Con BulletShorter customer service hours than ADT
  • Con BulletOnly two monitoring centers through Rapid Response
  • Con BulletNot a great option for rural areas

Major differences between ADT and Frontpoint

Pricing

Data effective 11/19/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

Frontpoint and ADT’s prices aren’t unreasonable, but neither company is what we’d call a budget option. If price is your priority and you’re willing to install your security system yourself, Frontpoint will be a better deal for you.

The monthly monitoring plans with ADT tend to be more expensive than comparable plans at other companies. Ultimately, when you choose ADT, you’re paying for professional installation, its reliable reputation, and the confidence that comes with six monitoring centers (rather than the two Frontpoint has).

Monthly monitoring plans with ADT tend to be more expensive than comparable plans at other companies.

Frontpoint monitoring plans start at $44.99 and go to $49.99 per month. They all connect with a monitoring center through a cellular connection, meaning Frontpoint’s not a good choice if you have spotty cell coverage at your home.

ADT monitoring plans start at $27.99 and go to $59.99 per month. Note that the $27.99 price point is a landline, wired monitoring plan, and the other packages are cellular, meaning they connect to a monitoring center through a cellular network.

Installation

ADT offers only professional installation starting at $99, while Frontpoint sticks with a DIY-only approach (ahem, free). Whether you choose DIY (self-install) or professional installation is really a preference and matter of budget.

Frontpoint’s equipment comes pre-programmed with clear instructions to make setup easy. For most customers, it doesn't take longer than half an hour and doesn’t require you to bust out any tools. One of the main perks of DIY install is that you can put your equipment wherever you want, whenever you want—no need to take time off work and let someone into your house.

With ADT, an installer comes to your home to review its entry points and potential weak spots, then makes custom recommendations based on your needs. The main perk here is that a professional will know how to maximize the effectiveness of your security system, and they may spot opportunities that you wouldn’t see on your own.

Customer service

ADT provides better hours to contact customer service, but both companies have positive reviews regarding customer support.

ADT customer service availability
  • Hours: 24/7
  • Method of contact: phone, live chat, and email
Frontpoint customer service availability
  • Hours: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–11 p.m. EST, Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–7 p.m. EST
  • Method of contact: phone or email to request phone call

Cancellation policies

Frontpoint no longer requires a contract, making it easy to cancel its monitoring services. On the other hand, if you cancel early with ADT, you’re on the hook for 75% of the remaining balance.

Trial period

ADT has the entire industry beat with its six-month satisfaction guarantee. By comparison, Frontpoint’s trial period is 30 days, which is pretty standard across the industry.

Equipment

A D T Equipment

ADT equipment

Frontpoint Equipment

Frontpoint equipment

With ADT equipment, you can buy high-decibel alarms, but Frontpoint doesn’t offer them. Frontpoint does offer more options for security cameras than ADT, and Frontpoint has smart light bulbs.

Cameras

ADT and Frontpoint both offer motion-sensor doorbell cameras that allow you to see and speak to people at your front door when you’re not there. You can also get outdoor and indoor cameras from both companies that allow you to remotely view live footage.

The main difference? Frontpoint has more camera options than ADT, and professional video monitoring will cost less from Frontpoint.

Mobile app

Frontpoint uses a third party for its mobile app, Alarm.com. ADT has its own app called Pulse. Customers note that it can be easier to use the Pulse app because it’s built specifically for certain products so everything’s easy to manage in one place. We’ve found both apps to work well though.

Home automation

Frontpoint lets you build out your home automation for less than ADT.

Frontpoint uses geofencing so you can set up your system to make specific things happen based on your location. For example, when you’re pulling up to your house after work, you can have the lights turn on and your security system disarmed. That way, you don’t need to fumble with your phone or worry about keying a password into a keypad. This especially comes in handy if you need to carry groceries into the house or if you’re wrangling kids and don’t have your hands free.

Frontpoint also allows you to set what it calls “scenes” with your system, locks, smart plugs, thermostat, and lights. These make it so you can set up, say, a bedtime or morning routine to lock your doors, turn off your lights, and arm your system. Then you can select the scenes from your app before you hit the hay or run out of the house before work.

One more difference is that Frontpoint offers a garage door controller, while ADT just offers a garage door sensor. With the Frontpoint controller, you can remotely open or close your garage door from the Frontpoint app, and the controller still includes sensors to detect a potential break-in. In contrast, the ADT garage door sensor will alert you if the garage door is opened or closed, but you cannot remotely control it.


Major similarities between ADT and Frontpoint

Monitoring required

Both Frontpoint and ADT require you to sign up for a monitoring subscription with your home security system. Frontpoint’s monitoring runs month to month, while ADT requires commitment to a 36-month contract. With other companies, you can sometimes buy equipment without a monitoring service (and monitor activity yourself), but neither ADT nor Frontpoint offer this option.

Environmental safety

When you sign up with either ADT or Frontpoint, environmental safety monitoring is included with your monitoring package. When you connect your security system to flood, CO (carbon monoxide), and smoke detectors, your security system will alert you of any related hazards.

Panic buttons

You can add panic buttons or panic key fobs to security Frontpoint or ADT security systems. Frontpoint offers a medical alert pendant and ADT offers a key fob with buttons to arm and disarm your system and a panic button to call emergency services.


Our recommendation

If you live somewhere with a spotty cell signal, ADT is your best option. It’s also a solid choice if you want professional installation and the reliability of 24/7 customer care and six monitoring centers.

Frontpoint is the best choice for you if you don’t want a contract, care about high-tech security cameras with two-way communication, or want to set up custom home automation settings that automatically kick in when you pull into the driveway. Frontpoint is also a great choice if you prefer DIY installation.

Contributing author: Brianna Jensen