Vivint and Frontpoint are our two highest-rated home security companies, so when it comes to which you should choose, there’s not going to be a clear favorite. The best option for you will come down to a few of the key differences that these security systems offer (or don’t offer).
Vivint vs. Frontpoint
|Lowest monitoring cost||$29.99/mo.||$34.99/mo.|
|Installation & activation fees||$99||None|
|Contract length||42/60 months or no contract||36 months|
|Learn More||View plans||View plans|
*Vivint offers a no-contract option if you buy your equipment up front.
Data and pricing current as of 12/17/2018. All data is subject to change.
Pros and cons
Vivint pros and cons
- Premium home automation equipment
- Affordable base plan
- Expensive equipment cost up front
Frontpoint pros and cons
- Excellent customer service
- Shorter contracts than Vivint
- No mobile access with base plan
Neither Vivint nor Frontpoint holds a clear advantage in price, but they go about pricing differently. Vivint offers the cheapest base monitoring cost at $29.99/month, undercutting Frontpoint’s $34.99/month basic plan. It also offers more features for the lower price—like mobile access to control your system remotely. Both companies also offer higher-end packages with video monitoring for $49.99/month.
The biggest difference comes in equipment costs. Frontpoint subsidizes its equipment with its contracts so you never have to pay for your equipment in full. Vivint, however, lets you either pay for your equipment up front or finance it over the course of your 42- or 60-month contract. That means you’ll have a higher monthly cost but a smaller up-front investment.
If you don’t mind covering the equipment cost, we’d recommend Vivint for its feature-rich base monitoring plan.
Otherwise, you’ll probably want to opt for Frontpoint—just remember its base monitoring plan doesn’t include mobile phone access, which could be a dealbreaker.
Features and equipment
Vivint’s equipment sets it apart from the rest of the pack. It offers cutting-edge home security and home automation equipment, some of which is made in-house (like its doorbell camera). It all comes together seamlessly to create a centralized smart home. Vivint’s equipment isn’t cheap, and whether or not you finance your equipment bundle or buy it up front, you’ll have to pay for it in full.
Frontpoint uses high-tech Alarm.com equipment and pairs it with a custom control panel made in-house. Unlike Vivint the equipment is subsidized to make your startup costs more reasonable. Frontpoint’s ecosystem is a little less conducive to home automation, but its systems integrate with Amazon Alexa and Z-Wave equipment.
Vivint and Frontpoint are leaders in the industry when it comes to customer service.
Vivint’s customer service has improved notably over the last few years. And Vivint is available 24/7 by phone, chat, and email.
Frontpoint’s customer support hours vary a little between weekdays and weekends:
- Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–11 p.m. Eastern
- Saturday–Sunday: 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Eastern
Although Frontpoint has limited customer service hours, its employees know their stuff. They stand out for being knowledgeable, well trained, and just plain helpful, which you don’t always get from companies that outsource their customer support services.
Frontpoint’s equipment requires DIY installation, but the company has put a lot of effort into making the installation process effortless for new customers. When your security system arrives, you don’t have to deal with batteries, screwdrivers, or any complicated wiring. DIY installation has the potential to be stressful, but Frontpoint has taken that risk and turned it into a positive first impression for new customers.
With Vivint you’ll have to schedule your installation and a professional installer will come and set up your entire system, usually within a few hours.
The benefit to having your system professionally installed is that the installer will know the optimal placement for things like motion sensors and cameras.
At the end of the installation, the installer will walk you through the mobile app to ensure you’re ready to take control of your new security system.
Frontpoint offers standard 36-month contracts. When your contract expires, you have the option to roll into a month-to-month plan or sign a new contract if you want to upgrade to the latest equipment.
At either 42 or 60 months, Vivint’s contracts are longer than those of most security companies. If you’re willing to stick with Vivint for that long, the equipment financing becomes pretty reasonable. You can also go month-to-month with Vivint if you pay for the equipment up front, which means a larger initial investment but gives you more flexibility if you decide to part ways.
Canceling a contract is an instance where Vivint’s longer contracts could come back to haunt you. If you signed a 60-month contract and decide to cancel early, you’ll have to cover the entire amount remaining on the contract, which can get costly if you cancel early on.
Frontpoint’s shorter contracts make cancellation costs less of a burden, and the company also doesn’t make you pay the entirety of your remaining contract. Here is a breakdown of what you’ll owe when you cancel your contract with either company:
- Vivint: 100% of your remaining contract
- Frontpoint: 80% of your remaining contract
As Vivint and Frontpoint are two of the leaders in home security, there’s not a clear favorite. Instead, the right home security system for you will depend on your needs and wants.
If you’re looking for industry-leading hardware and home automation integration, go with Vivint. While its equipment costs more, Vivint manufactures a lot of its home security and home automation hardware in-house to best fit its systems. If you want a smart home that integrates seamlessly with an array of home automation products, Vivint is your best bet.
If you care more about shorter contracts, a more reasonable startup cost, and a stronger customer service reputation, go with Frontpoint. Shorter contracts and subsidized equipment make Frontpoint more appealing for those on a budget. And that doesn’t come at the expense of quality equipment and Frontpoint’s commitment to providing excellent customer service. There’s a reason Frontpoint customers tend to stick around for much longer than their 36-month contracts.