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LiveWatch vs. Frontpoint: Compare the Best Cellular Security Systems

In early 2018, Brinks acquired both LiveWatch and Moni. Current LiveWatch and Moni customers can expect the same equipment and services. However, monitoring plans, pricing, and equipment charges may have changed from when this article was originally written.

In this article, we compare LiveWatch to Frontpoint head to head so you can see where their similarities and differences lie. You’ll see that they offer many similar features but where they differ is their reputations and customer service. Both are still good, but one is just a bit better than the other. We hope that our comparison will help you find a security company you are happy with, not only price wise but also service wise.

Key Differences: LiveWatch vs. Frontpoint

Contracts

This is one of the biggest differences between these two companies. Frontpoint requires a three-year contract while LiveWatch requires only one year. The norm for home security systems is three years, so we like that LiveWatch doesn’t lock you in for years of service and they let you decide if you’d like to carry on your service after a year.

Installation

Both companies have a very similar installation process, which is super easy. All plans offered are DIY (self-installed)  and there is no option for a professional to install your system. This means that neither company charges an installation fee. Both systems are preconfigured, which saves you time during the installation process. After you’ve installed your system you then call a rep from the company to run some tests to make sure it’s been installed properly.

Monitoring

Both LiveWatch and Frontpoint systems are 100% cellular, which is that safest and best form of monitoring. The other two monitoring options are broadband and landline. With these systems you can lose connection to the monitoring station if you lose power or someone cuts your cords. With cellular, this isn’t possible. You are still protected when the lights go out and in general, these systems are more dependable

Customer service and reputation

Frontpoint takes the cake on this one. Since the beginning, Frontpoint has had outstanding customer service, making its reputation unbeatable. On the occasion when Frontpoint does receive a complaint, its customer service team is great at resolving it. Also, from our experience, they truly want to help you find a home security solution. Frontpoint is not one of those companies with high-pressure sales tactics.

On the other hand, LiveWatch’s customer service and reputation are no match to Frontpoint’s. The ratio for negative comments is a bit higher for LiveWatch than it is for Frontpoint.

Packages

The table below shows a comparison of LiveWatch and Frontpoint’s packages. Both companies offer three different options at various price points. Some key differences you’ll see are that LiveWatch offers a lower monthly monitoring fee but has higher equipment fees and charges an activation fee. Frontpoint has more equipment to choose from while LiveWatch requires that you buy any home automation equipment through another Z-Wave seller.

Company
Visit WebsiteView PlansView PlansView PlansView PlansView PlansView Plans
Package NameCellular MonitoringMobile ProTotal HomeProtectionInteractiveUltimate
Monthly Monitoring Fee$29.95$34.95$39.95$34.99$44.99$49.99
Equipment Cost$99 for Plug&Protect Basic or $99 for Plug&Protect IQ$99 for Plug&Protect Basic or $99 for Plug&Protect IQ$99 for Plug&Protect Basic or $99 for Plug&Protect IQStarting at $99.95Starting at $99.95Starting at $99.95
Activation Fee$19.95$19.95$19.95NoneNoneNone
Contract Length1 Year1 Year1 Year3 Years3 Years3 Years
Cellular Monitoring
Control Panel
Motion Detection Sensor
Door or Window Sensor
Mobile AppNot AvailableNot Available
Key FobAdditional Cost
Smoke DetectorMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerAdditional CostAdditional CostAdditional Cost
Glass Break SensorMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerAdditional CostAdditional CostAdditional Cost
Lighting ControlMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerNot Available
ThermostatMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerNot AvailableAdditional CostAdditional Cost
Automated Door LockMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerNot AvailableAdditional CostAdditional Cost
Wireless Indoor CameraMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerNot AvailableNot AvailableAdditional Cost
Wireless Outdoor CameraMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerNot AvailableNot AvailableAdditional Cost
Flood SensorMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerAdditional CostAdditional CostAdditional Cost
Freeze SensorMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerMust Purchase Z Wave from Another SellerAdditional CostAdditional CostAdditional Cost
Company
Visit Website
Package Name
Monthly Monitoring Fee
Equipment Cost
Activation Fee
Contract Length
Cellular Monitoring
Control Panel
Motion Detection Sensor
Door or Window Sensor
Mobile App
Key Fob
Smoke Detector
Glass Break Sensor
Lighting Control
Thermostat
Automated Door Lock
Wireless Indoor Camera
Wireless Outdoor Camera
Flood Sensor
Freeze Sensor
View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans
Cellular Monitoring Mobile Pro Total Home Protection Interactive Ultimate
$29.95 $34.95 $39.95 $34.99 $44.99 $49.99
$99 for Plug&Protect Basic or $99 for Plug&Protect IQ $99 for Plug&Protect Basic or $99 for Plug&Protect IQ $99 for Plug&Protect Basic or $99 for Plug&Protect IQ Starting at $99.95 Starting at $99.95 Starting at $99.95
$19.95 $19.95 $19.95 None None None
1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years
Not Available Not Available
Additional Cost
Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Additional Cost Additional Cost Additional Cost
Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Additional Cost Additional Cost Additional Cost
Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Not Available
Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Not Available Additional Cost Additional Cost
Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Not Available Additional Cost Additional Cost
Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Not Available Not Available Additional Cost
Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Not Available Not Available Additional Cost
Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Additional Cost Additional Cost Additional Cost
Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Must Purchase Z Wave from Another Seller Additional Cost Additional Cost Additional Cost

Curious how Frontpoint stacks up against all the other competition? Visit our page that reviews the top home security systems to learn more or compare the best home security systems in our Home Security System Package Selector below.

Instantly find and compare dozens of home security packages

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17 responses to “LiveWatch vs. Frontpoint: Compare the Best Cellular Security Systems”

  1. It appears there is one important add on Frontpoint offers that Livewatch does not.
    Frontpoint has a medical alert pendant that alerts authorities in the event of a serious medical emergency. This can be invaluable to those with serious medical conditions and the elderly.
    I am currently paying for medical alert services from Alert One. I’ll probably discontinue my monthly service with them once the Frontpoint system is active.
    I can not find anything similar from Livewatch.

    • While technically this may be true, it becomes a non-issue when you consider that LiveWatch supports many home security and automation systems, several of which have voice command capability which means all you have to do is speak the command to the panel to dispatch EMS.

    • To clarify my prior comment.
      Frontpoint offers a small pendant device that one can wear around their neck and summon help by pushing a button on the device.
      There is a $40 charge for the pendant and no charge for the service.
      I gather a Livewatch user could summon help from the panel but I doubt anyone would want to rely on reaching the panel to ask for help in a life threatening emergency.
      This is not a technical issue at all.
      I think there are people posting here that might have a vested interest.

  2. Thanks for the thought out comment Steve and for informing us of the SafeMart/LiveWatch situation. We will look into this further and update our content accordingly.

    As for the complaints, we do not only look into the BBB for complaints. We search the Internet and speak with customers to decide who has more complaints and in our research, LiveWatch came out with more. We do not use only one source for our research. We use many sources so we provide the most accurate content we possibly can.

    As far as you feeling that LiveWatch is better than FrontPoint when it comes to customer service, you are entitled to your opinion. In our research, we felt that FrontPoint excelled here more than any other company. That is not saying that LiveWatch is terrible because they still have good customer service as well.

    Again, thank you for your comment and stating your opinions with us. We always love hearing what our readers think and discussing home security with them!

    • Thank you for the updated information. Based on the above article (and all of the responses), we have gone with the #1 security company: LiveWatch. It wasn’t even close between the two companies listed here. Our system was just installed, and with LiveWatch’s no contract, excellent customer service and better pricing, it was a no-brainer! Thanks to all who commented here for steering us to the clear winner!

  3. Kimberly, some of your information is not accurate regarding LiveWatch. For one, SafeMart is not gone. SafeMart is infact their sales company for the equipment they provide to monitoring customers. LiveWatch is their Central Monitoring company. Both exist, but have their specific purposes.

    As for LiveWatch having more complaints than FrontPoint, this is also not entirely accurate. If you compare the two companies on the BBB, you will find FrontPoint has 35 unresolved complaints while LiveWatch has only 8 unresolved. Total complaints received by each is FrontPoint(63) and LiveWatch(16). This indicates to me that LiveWatch is the winner here, not FrontPoint.

    Also, your choice of FrontPoint as the clear #1 winner in terms of customer service is questionable. As a sales rep of 10 years with too many customer service awards to count, I feel 100% comfortable saying that the customer service and support on both billing and technical assistance was far superior to 90% of companies I have had dealings with overall. They always greet you with a pleasant demeanor, work to assist you with a sense of urgency, keep you updated on the status of your request whether by phone, email or chat in a timely manner. Every single call or chat support/service request I have made with them has resulted in successful resolution/completion of request.

    For the record, I do not work for LiveWatch or SafeMart, nor have I ever been employed by them or any other company in the CMS industry. I am currently an IT Security Consultant and Technical Writer for a national insurance repricer. I have worked as a Helpdesk Technician Level II/III for a Managed Service Provider and assisted at a Network Operations Center. I have worked in IT for the past 7 years, earned over 200 credit hours of college credit in IT related studies and have over 25 years of overall computer experience.

  4. Kimberly, thanks for the article, the information was both good and timely for me. I am in the process of choosing a system and the two you chose are two of three are whom I have received quotes from.

    My criteria is price and service. From a service perspective, is the difference in service between the two enough to change your decision. Price clearly goes to LW.

    Thanks for your help.

    • I’m so glad you’ve found this article helpful! I’m going to be 100% honest with you. When we conducted our most recent in depth review of all the security companies Frontpoint, Protect America and LiveWatch were very close. It was extremely difficult to choose our #1, #2 and #3 because we feel that all 3 companies are great. Ultimately, we chose Frontpoint because they have such a great history of customer support.

      This leads me to answering your question. From a service perspective, yes, I’d say it’s worth the extra fee to go with Frontpoint. You can’t beat great service and when it comes to protecting your family and home that’s what you want. LiveWatch still has great service but this is the first year they’ve made it in our top 3 and they don’t have the reputation that Frontpoint has. However, we still consider them to be an exceptional home security company.

      If there’s anything else I can help you with please let me know!

      • I had Protect America for 4 years, not knowing that for the last 4 to 6 months my system was offline. Then they told me they font do checks on the system and its up to us to check it. WTH am I paying 55.86 a month for? Waiting times are anywhere from 40 to 75 min. They were charging me 55.86 a month for 4 door alarms and 2 motion detectors, one sub panel and one main panel and a 3 year contract. Just beware if you decide to go w them. Their excuse was I was in question to be called about them switching from 2g and 3 g. That’s no excuse. Then when I said I was terminating my service they said they were charging me for Dec because they needed 30 notice to terminate, even though it’s not being monitored. Horrible company!

  5. Hello A Secure Life, a couple things that are off here.
    1st: LiveWatch offers all the home automation that FrontPoint offers at $49.99 at their total home ($39.95). In fact there are several things wrong here.
    You guys say that the Safemart/LiveWatch $29.95 package is the same as FrontPoint’s $34.99 level. Technically LiveWatch has smartphone control which puts them at the FrontPoint $42.99 level. The LiveWatch basic level is the same as FrontPoint’s $34.99. Then you say in the last level that Safemart (LiveWatch) does not have those features as FrontPoint? Are you kidding? How much is FrontPoint paying you to say that? They have the same exact cameras and even have newer panels, imaging motions, and sell and support lifetime warrantied home automation devices. I only type this because I did all the research and have talked to both companies. Prices are not even close, and the contract with LiveWatch is cancel anytime with a one year return period. Please do some more research. FrontPoint is a great second place candidate for sure, but in terms of price and features, you gotta choose LiveWatch!

    • Hi John, thanks for taking the time to post a comment on our site! I’d love to address some of your concerns.
      First, I want to let you know that this article is a comparison of FP and LW in regards to pricing and what you get at a certain price level. You’ll notice that the overall ranking is FP 3 to LW 2 so it’s a fairly tight race. The $19.95 and the $49.99 price level comparisons have winners by default because FP does not offer a package at $19.95 and LW does not offer one at $49.99.
      Regarding your first concern (LW having the same home automation for $39.95 as FP’s $49.99 package) I disagree with you. LW does not offer any Z-Wave light controls at this level. They must be purchased additionally. Please correct me if I am wrong.
      Your next concern, you said we state that LW’s $29.95 is the same as FP’s $34.99 package. We in no way are stating that the two packages are the same. In fact, the only thing that we are comparing is pricing. So for those who are looking to stay in a certain price range we are showing what they can get for $30-$35/month from either LW or FP.
      Your final concern, LW not having the features in the last price comparison. You are correct with this one. This was a mistake on our part during the editing process and we have now corrected the error. Thank you for pointing this out to us!
      I can assure you that neither LW or FP are paying us to write our articles. Our articles are unbiased and we pride ourselves in that. We do not accept payment to rank one company higher than the other.
      I hope you don’t mind me asking, but do you work for LW or have you ever worked for them? You seem to know quite a bit about the history of Safemart to LiveWatch and from this comment and another comment you’ve left on our site it appears that you may possibly work for LiveWatch.

      • I have to agree with John. You can’t compare pricing, without considering the features included with that pricing. Just saying level 1, or 2, or 3, at these price points is meaningless. They’re both good systems, however, declaring a winner is subjective, depending on what the end-user’s priorities are.
        I won’t repeat all of John’s points, but, I found similar results. FrontPoint just released their touchscreen QoLSys panel, that LiveWatch has had for quite a while. Additionally, LiveWatch is one of the few companies that doesn’t lock you in to a 1 or 3 year or longer contract. Finally, if you’re like many buyers who implement their own home automation system and controllers (Z-wave or otherwise), it impacts even the need for the higher level plans (which gives LiveWatch an advantage).
        So, reducing the comparison to simple price-point levels doesn’t really fly.

        • Thanks for your comment! It’s great to get feedback from our readers. I’d like to point out that we state in our introduction the following:

          “In this LiveWatch vs Frontpoint article, we have put these two head to head so you can see what the similarities and differences are between them at each price point. But, remember, it’s not all about price – if you are looking to make your home more secure, you want to carefully consider the tradeoffs of each company at each price tier.”

          This is just one way that the two companies can be compared against one another. Just because one package is less expensive than another companies package does not necessarily make them better. This is purely meant for those who are on a tight budget and looking for a home security solution in a specific price range.

          Let me know if you have any other questions. Home security is our passion and we love hearing what others think!

      • You’re correct that LW doesn’t offer modules for the light controls but their $39.95 monitoring services includes the home automation in their panels, along with doorlocks, etc. The customer would just have to go out and buy the sensors/modules themselves (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) which honestly will save them some money anyway. I’ve spoken to both companies and I felt the prices were both a little high on both sides with equipment costs but what ultimately made me lean to LW was because their top of the line monitoring (which includes all home automation) was lower than FP’s top of the line monitoring service.

    • Uh yea, cancel any time and a one year return period. Do more research pal. You forfeit any and all discounts if you return prior to one year and you pay a restocking fee. Also, they don’t warranty their home automation devices because they don’t have them. Thermostats and door locks have to be purchased 3rd party. Their equipment warranty is 2 years, Frontpoint’s is 3. Not to mention, companies that have to “reinvent” themselves with a name change, red flag (Comcast to Xfinity, Apex Security to Vivint, etc.). Safemart had awful customer service ratings.

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