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Frontpoint vs. Vivint: Which Home Security Company Is Better?

Best Value
Frontpoint Logo
  • Excellent customer service
  • Shorter contracts than Vivint
  • No mobile access with base plan



Plans starting at $34.99/mo.

Best High-End System
Vivint Logo
  • Premium home automation equipment
  • Affordable base plan
  • Expensive equipment cost up front



Plans starting at $29.99/mo.

Frontpoint vs. Vivint overview
Frontpoint and Vivint both offer high-quality security and smart home services but go about it in distinctive ways. That’s why we recommend these two home security system providers for different types of security shoppers.

Looking for a Tony Stark-level smart home? Get some of the coolest security and home automation gear professionally installed and managed in one app with Vivint. Willing to do a little work up front to make your smart home happen? Install Frontpoint’s home security system and Z-Wave devices with easy DIY installation.

Compare Vivint vs. Frontpoint

Frontpoint LogoVivint Logo
Lowest monitoring cost$34.99/mo.$29.99/mo.
Installation & activation feesNone$99
Contract length36 months42/60 months or no contract*
Home automation

Trial period30 days3 days
Learn moreView PlansView Plans
Lowest monitoring cost
Installation & activation fees
Contract length
Home automation
Trial period
Learn more
Frontpoint Logo Vivint Logo
Frontpoint Vivint
$34.99/mo. $29.99/mo.
None $99
36 months 42/60 months or no contract*


Standard Cutting-edge
30 days 3 days
View Plans View Plans

*Vivint offers a no-contract option if you buy your equipment up front.
Data and pricing current as of 07/10/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

Frontpoint and Vivint pros and cons



  • Simple DIY installation and moving
  • 30-day trial
  • Z-Wave home automation options
  • Lots of equipment
  • Friendly, knowledgeable customer support


  • App access not included with all plans
  • Only one contract option



  • Emphasis on smart home tech
  • Flexible contract options including no contract
  • Affordable base monitoring plan
  • Mobile app access with every plan
  • Lots of smart home equipment controlled in one app


  • Expensive equipment
  • Long contracts unless you buy equipment outright

Major differences

Monthly costs

At first glance, Frontpoint and Vivint security systems appear to have similar monthly monitoring costs—the difference from package to package is about $5 a month. But there are a few key differences:

  1. Mobile access: Frontpoint makes you pay for its midlevel Interactive plan before you get mobile access. Vivint offers mobile app control of your system at every monitoring level, including its cheapest.
  2. Camera-only plan: Frontpoint offers an affordable camera-only plan for anyone who prefers security cameras over a traditional alarm.
  3. Video monitoring: Vivint’s video package starts at a cheaper price than Frontpoint’s and covers two cameras. But you have to pay $5 a month for every additional camera you add to your Vivint system—that can add up quick.

Frontpoint and Vivint security cost comparison

Frontpoint LogoVivint Logo
Base plan$34.99/mo.$29.99/mo.
Midlevel plan$44.99/mo.$39.99/mo.
Top-tier plan$49.99/mo.$44.99/mo. (additional $5/mo. per camera)
Camera-only plan$14.99/mo.
Learn MoreView PlansView Plans
Base plan
Midlevel plan
Top-tier plan
Camera-only plan
Learn More
Frontpoint Logo Vivint Logo
Frontpoint Vivint
$34.99/mo. $29.99/mo.
$44.99/mo. $39.99/mo.
$49.99/mo. $44.99/mo. (additional $5/mo. per camera)
View Plans View Plans

Data effective 07/10/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

Equipment costs

Both companies charge premium prices for their equipment. Frontpoint is cheaper, but that doesn’t make it inexpensive. That said, you’ll pay more for a Vivint system than a Frontpoint system.

Frontpoint security systems use mostly Alarm.com equipment with some exclusive rights and equipment. Alarm.com is a well-known and well-respected name in the alarm industry, but it means you can get a lot of the same equipment from other companies—sometimes for less.

Frontpoint Equipment

Frontpoint equipment

Vivint’s equipment offers cutting-edge home security and home automation equipment, most of which is made in-house, like the video doorbell. Designing and testing in-house can mean more expensive equipment, but it also means Vivint reacts quickly to customer feedback when a piece of equipment isn’t as good as it could be.

Vivint Equipment

Vivint equipment

The table below compares the costs of standard security equipment from Frontpoint and Vivint.

DeviceFrontpoint costVivint cost
Control panel$238.99 $549.99
Door/window sensor$32.99 $50.00
Motion sensor$64.99 $100.00
Glass break detector$74.99 $100.00
Smoke detector$64.99 $100.00
Carbon monoxide detector$89.99 $100.00
Smart door lock$159.90 $159.99
Indoor camera$99.99 $199.99
Outdoor camera$199.99 $299.99
Doorbell camera$189.99 $249.99
Control panel
Door/window sensor
Motion sensor
Glass break detector
Smoke detector
Carbon monoxide detector
Smart door lock
Indoor camera
Outdoor camera
Doorbell camera
Frontpoint cost Vivint cost
$238.99 $549.99
$32.99 $50.00
$64.99 $100.00
$74.99 $100.00
$64.99 $100.00
$89.99 $100.00
$159.90 $159.99
$99.99 $199.99
$199.99 $299.99
$189.99 $249.99

Data effective 07/10/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.


Both brands have long contracts, but Vivint gives you the option to buy all of your devices up front and avoid that. It’s a substantial initial investment but gives you more flexibility if you decide to part ways. If you can’t or don’t want to pay for your equipment outright, you can roll the cost of equipment into your monthly payments on your 42- or 60-month contract.

Frontpoint has one contract option of 36 months. At the end of that initial term, you can go month-to-month or upgrade your equipment and jump back into another 36-month contract.

Canceling Vivint or Frontpoint

Vivint is strict about cancellation unless you buy your equipment up front. You’re on the hook for 100% of the cost of your remaining contract term if you want to say goodbye to your security system. If you signed a 60-month contract and cancel a year in, that’s a lot of dough.

If you want to break your Frontpoint contract, you’re responsible for 80% of the remaining contract cost. That’s a bit more lenient than Vivint but still a lot of money if you cancel early on.

Trial periods

Frontpoint wins here with a 30-day money back guarantee. It’s not the best in the industry, but it beats out Vivint’s three-day trial. With both companies, you get a full refund if you cancel within those timeframes.

DIY and professional installation

Another significant difference between Frontpoint and Vivint? Installation.

Frontpoint’s equipment requires DIY installation, but the company makes 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 and pay for a professional installer to come and set up your entire system. The benefit 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.

The benefit of having your system professionally installed is that the installer will know the optimal placement for things like motion sensors and cameras.

Mobile app access

All that smart home tech needs an app to control it. Both companies offer mobile app access, but Vivint doesn’t make you pay extra for it. Vivint’s most basic monitoring services plan also lets you control your system from your Smart Home app. Frontpoint reserves that for its more costly Interactive plan.

Mobile access isn’t just a cool extra—it makes it easier to use your system. It can be the difference between consistently using your system and not. For example, if you’ve already buckled the baby in the car but realize you forgot to set your alarm system, it’s not a problem with mobile access. You can stay in the car with baby and arm your system from your phone.

Frontpoint App

Frontpoint app

Vivint App

Vivint app

Notable similarities

Cellular monitoring

Vivint and Frontpoint both use a cellular connection for monitoring systems. We recommend cellular monitoring for most people because it’s so reliable. But if you’re in a rural part of the country or near a cellular dead spot that’s not going to work for you.

In that case, a company with landline or broadband monitoring, like ADT home security or Protect America, is going to work better.

Smart home compatibility

Already got equipment you want to control with that handy Vivint or Frontpoint app? Vivint and Frontpoint both let you add Z-Wave equipment to the systems. But Vivint takes a slight edge here because you can also control your Google Nest gear, like your Nest Learning Thermostat, in the Vivint app. Frontpoint doesn’t support Nest in its app. You’ll need to control it from a separate app.

ASL Definition

Wait. What’s Z-Wave?

Z-Wave is a protocol—or frequency—that certain devices use to work together. When you’re shopping for home security or smart home devices like door locks, check which protocol they use to be sure everything will work together.

Vivint brings together home security, proprietary smart home devices, Z-Wave products, and Nest seamlessly to create a smart home controlled with a single app. But you’ll pay for the experience and cool features.

Vivint also lets you use Google Home and Alexa for voice control. Frontpoint works only with Alexa.

Video monitoring

Both companies offer video cameras and professional video monitoring with the highest monthly package tier. Professional monitoring gives monitoring centers access to your video feed if your alarm system detects suspicious activity.

Security cameras are an investment—they can be expensive, and monthly monitoring can add up. But cameras can also cut down on false alarms and help you collect information if there is a break-in or other emergency.

Vivint’s monthly video monitoring plan is cheaper than Frontpoint’s. But if you start adding more than the two included cameras to the plan it can get spendy.

Moving your security system

Depending on your setup, you can move your Vivint system yourself or the pros can do it for a fee. If you’re taking your old system with you and not upgrading at all, your contract will carry over to your new address.

If you need to move your Frontpoint equipment, you can do it all yourself as well. Just unplug your control panel, remove sensors, and pack up any other security devices you’ve got. If you call Frontpoint, the company will send you a free moving kit with new stickers for your sensors and boxes for your gear. You won’t have to start a new contract if you move your system.

Frontpoint security review

Best Value

Frontpoint Security prices

You’ve got three monthly monitoring packages for your Frontpoint alarm system. The tiers are structured similarly to Vivint’s.

Protection plan

Frontpoint’s Protection plan gives you a basic security system without smart home features. It monitors your control panel, motion detectors, and door/window sensors. Like Vivint’s base plan, the Protection plan also includes smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide monitoring to keep an eye on your entire home.

Frontpoint also includes Crash and Smash Protection, which protects your control panel’s communication with the monitoring center if someone tries to bust it. Unfortunately, Frontpoint doesn’t give you mobile access with this plan.

Interactive plan

Interactive is Frontpoint’s introduction to smart security and is the Frontpoint plan we recommend for most people. You get everything from the Protection plan plus mobile app access so you can arm, disarm, or check in on your alarm system from anywhere. It also integrates a smart thermostat.

Ultimate plan

Take everything from the Interactive plan, add smart home devices and video monitoring, and you’ve got the Ultimate plan. With this plan, you can control your lights, get an automated door lock, use a doorbell camera, and watch live video on your Frontpoint app.

Customer service

Frontpoint prides itself on quality customer service. It claims this is one of the reasons its customers keep their security systems long after their initial contract ends. 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.

>>Read our full Frontpoint review.

Vivint security review

Best High-End System

Vivint home security prices

Vivint offers three home security plans that range from basic alarm monitoring to the ultimate smart home and security system.

You’ll need to buy the basic equipment package to get you going—touch screen control panel, two door/window sensors, water sensor, and a motion sensor—for $599.

Base plan

Vivint’s basic home security package comes with access to Vivint’s Smart Home app but no home automation integration. It also includes environmental monitoring—smoke, heat, carbon monoxide, and flood sensors—and medical pendant monitoring, so you’ll quickly know if you need emergency help of any kind. This is our favorite base package.

Midlevel plan

The midlevel package has everything from the base package and layers on smart home capabilities like a door lock and thermostat. If you’ve got to choose two home automation devices, those make a lot of sense. Smart door locks mean your house is always locked up tight, and a thermostat can save you money on your monthly utility bill. It’s one of the best smart security packages we’ve seen.

Top-tier plan

Vivint’s third package layers video onto everything from its lower packages. You can get indoor, outdoor, and video doorbell cameras for every possible angle and access your live video for up to two cameras with this plan. If you need extra cameras to watch your garage entrance or liquor cabinet (we see you, teens), you can add more to your plan for $5 a month per camera.

Customer service

Vivint’s customer service has improved notably over the last few years, and the company is now available 24/7 by phone, chat, and email so you can always get help.

>>Read more in our Vivint review.

Our recommendation

As Frontpoint and Vivint 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 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.
>>View Frontpoint Plans

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.
>>View Vivint Plans

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15 responses to “Frontpoint vs. Vivint: Which Home Security Company Is Better?”

  1. Vivint is well known for having some of the best looking equipment. They stand behind their lifetime warranty. They have highly trained sales agents. But good luck getting help or quality service after a few months of getting the service. The call centers are not nearly as organized as the sales reps that show up to your doorstep.
    There is a good reason why they have so many complaints on the BBB and other online reviews.

    Oh and they also lock the equipment….Now if i wish to use another provider i need to purchase all new equipment. #OnlyVivint

  2. Wow Justin 512bit encryption? Can you confirm where that is documented? I mean my home Wifi uses 128bit AES encryption, with current technology it would take billions of years to break it (yes that is correct. My latest generation Intel CPU computer with special AES-NI acceleration hardware that I use for work would take 1 septillion years to break a single AES-128bit encrypted message). Even with Billions of dollars worth of computer hardware, it still takes 10s of 100s of years to break. Most protocols only support up to 256bit encryption only specialized protocols support 512bit since the overhead to the CPU is heavy without specialized hardware, thus slowing down the flow of data. So I am guessing Vivent is using one of these specialized protocols for communication over the network? I mean LTE 4G cellular encryption is only 128bit so it is not just that. I know the best I get talking to any high security website, including the top banks in the world is 256bit (since that is all SSL/TLS will support)… If you can show me the documentation, I might feel better about using Vivent for my home.

  3. Justin — It’s always great to hear from Vivint Sales Reps. You’re right, Vivint has come a long way and has made great strides in improving their system. We are currently working on reviewing our rankings of ALL of our home security companies (as we review every quarter) and will be taking all of this (and your comments) into consideration. Affiliate compensation does not affect the inclusion of vendors in our reviews (or their rankings). We pride ourselves on our unbiased reviews, which are conducted independently of affiliate negotiations. You can read our full disclosure here: https://revert-asl-redrock.pantheonsite.io/disclosure/

  4. Wow, thanks for taking the time to write this review and for sharing it with us. Is this based on your experience selling Vivint? Or with your personal experience as a customer? There were a few things I noticed here that I’d like to point out to you and anyone else who reads your comment: Both Frontpoint and Vivint now offer touch screen control panels. Frontpoint does offer a doorbell camera that has two-way audio, motion sensors and is easy to install (it’s about $199 MSRP). Vivint’s app may have more reviews since it is a much larger company than Frontpoint. If we are comparing reviews, then it is important to note that Frontpoint has been in business for 10 years, whereas Vivint has been in business for 19 years (under different names). Frontpoint has 1,100,000 customers and has a BBB rating of A+, only 73 complaints in last 3 years, and no government legal actions. Vivint has 970,000 customers, a BBB rating of A-, 3656 BBB complaints in the past 3 years, and 10 government legal actions. That being said, Vivint has been taking great strides this year to listen to their customers and revamp their pricing process. Vivint has created it’s own line of equipment which works together via their Vivint app. In fact, the Elements thermostat did win the Red Dot award for product design. Frontpoint equipment is supplied by Alarm.com and can feel dated compared to Vivint’s cutting-edge technology and design. Vivint systems must be installed by one of the company’s subcontracted technicians. Although it is 100% wireless, the control panel is usually mounted to the wall, which requires drilling (same with the outdoor camera). It takes about 3-4 hours and requires you to be home, but no additional fees for installation unless you purchase an outdoor camera ($99 one-time fee for installation). You can install a Frontpoint system yourself. It’s easy — you mount equipment using self-adhesive mounting pads, which makes this an ideal system for renters since it doesn’t require any drilling. (SecurityGem wrote a great piece on how-to install Frontpoint: http://www.securitygem.com/installing-frontpoint-really-easy/). We are currently working on an easy cost-comparison system, but in the meantime, you can easily compare costs using our Home Security Systems Cost Comparison post: https://revert-asl-redrock.pantheonsite.io/home-security-systems-comparison/
    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    • Vivint Has 1.2 Million Customers not 970,000 and was recently voted
      #22 most innovative company in the world by Fast Company Magazine.


      When you say they are both cellular your omitting that Frontpoint uses passive cellular and Vivint uses Active. Meaning the Frontpoint cellular card is just like a prepaid phone, so it only uses it’s cellular connection to communicate with the call center, the app and devices are connected through WiFi, so if you lose internet in your home your app will lose connection to your smart home devices. The Vivint active cellular card is like an unlimited data plan, so it works with or without WiFi, you can unlock your doors, or control your thermostat with or without internet connection. It also means your smart home in encrypted through the cell card, 512bit encryption (banking level). That’s far safer than a WiFi connected smart home.

      The Active sim card also means Vivint’s system is protected from smash and crash as well because the moment the panel is deactivated, the active signal is lost and the call center is alerted. Frontpoint uses a clever crash and smash method that uses a signal loop, when the delay alarm is triggered (front door for example) a signal is sent starting a loop, when the alarm is deactivated another signal is sent closing the loop. If the second signal is not received then the smash and crash alert is triggered. Vivint’s smash and crash protection is triggered immediately upon deactivation, Frontpoint’s takes the full alarm delay time (30-90 seconds depending upon the settings)

      Frontpoint is a great system, but there is a strong argument for Vivint being better. It’s telling that you have an article comparing a so called #7 to a #1 yet you have them tied in 2 catagories, winning 1, and losing 2. I’d say one of those wins is questionable, Vivint is the largest provider of home automation in the America, there is no way frontpoint wins on equiptment offering.


      Vivint clearly deserves a higher ranking than #7. Your bias is showing…

  5. This is a strange comparison. Here’s mine:

    Panel quality:
    IPad like touch screen vs gum drop buttons.

    Outdoor Cameras:
    Outdoor camera with professional installation included 299 upfront or less than 5 bucks a month if financed over 60 months. Or outdoor camera install yourself 347 upfront.

    Doorbell Camera:
    Vivint offers the best doorbell camera on the market professionally installed for 200 or 3.33 a month if financed. Frontpoint doesn’t offer one.

    Customer reviews via the app stores:
    Vivints app has 25k reviews on the Apple and Google app stores and averages 4.5 stars. Frontpoint has less than 1k reviews and averages between 3.5 to 4 stars.

    App and software upgrades over time:
    Vivint makes its on software driven panel and app. Vivint updates all of its systems weekly and has major system upgrades every 6ish months all for free and built in house. Frontpoint relies on a third party app via alarm dot com and it’s third party panel doesn’t have software for upgrades because it’s too basic (Simon xt). This means it has 0 control over upgrading and improving it’s customers experience ever.

    Lifetime Warranty:
    As you mentioned vivints warranty is lifetime and this is huge as you stated. Frontpoint is limited to 3 years.

    Professionally installed vs do it yourself:
    Let’s think about this. Would you really rather personally run wires through the attic to install your own outdoor camera? Would you really rather glue on a door sensors over having a professional recess it within your door? If you have existing wired sensors would you really rather buy all new contacts at 30 to 80 bucks or have a professional program all of those for free into your newly upgraded unit? This is a no brainer.

    Contracts vs month to month:
    (based on your numbers for frontpoint and vivint’s actual prices) WARNING CONFUSING BUT THOROUGH COMPARISON
    Example system: 549 installation of touchscreen panel, takeover of all existing system sensors and a motion sensor; Doorbell camera 199 installed, and outdoor camera 299 installed.
    Vivint month to month no contract would cost about 1,050 upfront and be 49.99 a month as long as you wish to keep service. Or financed at 0% would be 0 upfront and about 68 a month for 5 years and then drop to 49.99.
    Frontpoint with example system: basic non touch panel, 2 doors and a motion, unable to use existing equipment, doorbell camera (buy third party as unsupported by frontpoint), and outdoor camera install yourself.
    Equipment fee for starter panel and sensors is 199 and outdoor camera without installation is 347. The doorbell camera you need to buy at a store runs 249 for a comparable ring doorbell camera with self install and 1 year warranty and an additional third party app. Total cost upfront cost $800, no way to finance it and minimum 3 year contract on top of upfront cost. Ps frontpoint offers a touchscreen panel but it runs 200 to 400 dollars depending on the rep you talk to. If you add a touch screen panel to frontpoint it costs more than vivints no contract option and still carries a 3 year contract.

    CONCLUSION: Vivint is the clear winner on pricing compared to quality. It offers no contract options if you buy the equipment and no cost upfront options if you choose to finance your equipment at 0% interest. Reviews are better when looking at unbiased real customer reviews ie the app stores (yes bbb is biased look up 2020 investigation story done on their pay to play scam). Professionally installed, higher quality equipment, and lifetime warranties. Sorry there is no comparison unless taking into account money frontpoint pays to promoters for reviews like this. Please reconsider your facts though. Hopefully these 100% true numbers, examples, and facts help you in your next unbiased review.

  6. What about when a customer has a house that is already completely hardwired for an alarm system. All their doors and windows already have sensors, but the control panel is very outdated. How would that customer install a hard wired switch to keep all their old sensors working with a new wireless panel? With front point they would be stuck buying all new wireless sensors which would cost an arm and a leg. With Vivint the professional installer would come out and get all of the hard wired sensors working with that new technology keypad (which keep in mind looks like an iPad mini with a video screen vs the GE simon XT that front point still uses from about 7 years ago) so the customer doesn’t have to downgrade anything already in the home. Vivint has great value for many people that want to pay for a quality system. You get what you pay for!!

  7. This is very inaccurate. I got Vivint for my business and they didn’t charge me any extra for multiple window sensors and glass breaks as well as 5 light controllers. The rep even showed me on his iPad that the only additional costs come from cameras, thermostat, echo, and space monkey (which I got all of cause we’re major techies at the dental office). Also, my contract is only 42 months and they let me choose the length. This seems like a very biased article. I have loved my Vivint and I recommend it to everyone!

  8. Innacurate, due to the fact that Vivint gives you a panel, door lock, sensors for various Windows, two cameras, one light, and a thermostat as a bundle. Because that’s what I got! And I did only pay $99 for the installation.

  9. Good morning! I spoke with a Vivint sales rep and was assured that they do have an activation/installation fee. If you have any questions about it, you can contact the Vivint Sales team at 800.216.5232 ext 5959. Best – Lia

    • Well you better recheck because I just signed up with Vivint as well this is very inaccurate and biased article I had no installation fee very nice rep as well as very informative and my contract is 42 months

  10. I did not pay for installation for my Vivint system nor did any of my neighbors and I received many sensors and light control things for no additional cost. I believe this article is a bit inaccurate.

    • My mom just signed up for Vivint, and received many home security features at no cost. I understand that if you go through one of their sales reps vs. calling them directly you can save that cost. However, her monthly fee is VERY high, higher than mentioned above, and she has a 5 year contract (which of course, with the higher monthly fee sort of makes you keep paying for that equipment.) I’m going to suggest that she re-think it since she has 7 days.

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