ADT Home Security vs. Frontpoint Security – CNET

Home security is a critical tool to keep your family safe, but there are many options available on the market today. It can quickly feel overwhelming when trying to sort through different plans and packages for your home. With both professionally installed and DIY options, it can help to break down the best home security companies today. But if you’re looking at ADT and Frontpoint more specifically, we’ve got you covered.

ADT and Frontpoint are different in many ways — ADT is professionally installed, whereas Frontpoint is a leading DIY security system — but they fall into similar price ranges for their monthly monitoring. CNET’s tested both systems hands-on, so to get a sense of which one might be right for you, I’ve broken down the key factors, including performance, the type of devices available, hardware and monitoring costs, contract types, trial periods and warranty terms. I also consider the kind of support you can from the companies’ customer service and mobile app options.

In the end, Frontpoint comes out ahead of ADT for most people. But for a more detailed breakdown of why, keep reading.

David Priest/CNET

Founded in 1874, ADT is a long-established and popular security provider with over 20,000 employees and over 145 years of history in the industry. (Disclaimer: In 2019, I wrote ADT blog posts in collaboration with a content firm that managed the security company’s blogs.)

In addition to 24/7 security monitoring, all systems include a digital panel, entryway contacts, a motion detector, yard signs and window decals. From there, you choose the devices most appropriate for you. 

If you upgrade to the Smart or Complete plans, you can also benefit from voice control and remote access via the mobile app. No landline is needed, and systems are compatible with popular smart home technology, like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and various Z-Wave devices.

The pricing for plans varies, depending on the length of your contract and whether you pay on a monthly or annual basis. The three basic packages ADT offers, along with the devices in each, are included alongside their prices in a table below.

Professional installation costs $150 for most policies. Plans require a contract ranging from 12 to 60 months and carry a six-month guarantee with up to $500 insurance deductible protection if a burglary happens while your system is armed. Monitoring fees, meanwhile, begin at $46, but cost much more if you want video storage and monitoring or smart home control — ranging up to $60 a month.

ADT also offers commercial, small business and health and senior safety plans.

Read our review.

 

ADT Home Security Packages

Secure Home

$600

1 – Control panel

3 – Door and window sensor

1 – Motion sensor

Smart Home

$919

1 – Control panel

3 – Door and window sensor

1 – Motion sensor

1 – Smart door lock

1 – Smart plug

Complete Video & Smart Home

$1,049

1 – Control panel

3 – Door and window sensor

1 – Motion sensor

1 – Smart door lock

1 – Smart plug

1 – Outdoor camera

1 – Video doorbell

1 – Nest Mini smart speaker

David Priest/CNET

Frontpoint may have been founded in 2007, but it’s already made a splash in the home security market. It was an early adopter of smart technology within a home security context, with installation made easy through its self-guided setup app — also a first of its kind. 

Frontpoint allows you to build your own home security package that is completely customized to your home — or, as with ADT, you can choose from one of its three preset packages: Safehouse, Bunker and Fortress (details in the table below). There are both cellular and Wi-Fi-based connections for improved portability. 

Plans carry a 30-day free trial with a three-year warranty that is much longer than ADT’s 90 days. Customers can save money by skipping the installation fees with Frontpoint’s DIY self-installation. There is no contract required with the ability to go month-to-month. 

You can sign up online or call a representative for help with your policy. There is also a rate lock option to prevent your rate from increasing each year. If you need support, customer service is available seven days a week, but hours are limited.  

Read our review.

 

Frontpoint Security Packages

The Safehouse

$392 (currently discounted to $99)

1 – Frontpoint hub and keypad

2 – Door and window sensor

1 – Motion sensor

1 – Doorbell camera

1 – Home defense kit

The Bunker

$475

1 – Frontpoint hub and keypad

3 – Door and window sensor

1 – Motion sensor

1 – Indoor camera

1 – Smoke and heat sensor

1 – Free doorbell camera

1- Home defense kit

The Fortress

$598

1 – Frontpoint hub and keypad

6 – Door and window sensor

2 – Motion sensor

1 – Indoor camera

1 – Smoke and heat sensor

1 – Doorbell camera

1 – Home defense kit

ADT vs. Frontpoint: Which comes out on top?

In CNET’s hands-on reviews, both ADT and Frontpoint offered solid performance, and if you’re leaning toward professional installation or DIY setup, one of them may appeal to you more than the other. But ADT’s higher up-front costs and more expensive monthly fees will absolutely add up over time, in a way that Frontpoint’s won’t.

What’s more, ADT often requires a lengthy contract with exorbitant early cancelation fees, while Frontpoint is contract-free with month-to-month options for your service.

Both companies provide professional security monitoring, although ADT’s is more expensive. The customer support you receive is also different between the companies. While Frontpoint limits its customer support to certain hours, ADT’s customer service is available 24/7.

Frontpoint does not require you to commit to a contract, saving you money while also granting you plenty of freedom. There is easy online ordering, whereas ADT requires a consultation with an agent.

ADT remains a giant in the home security industry, but Frontpoint is the better value, both up-front and over time.

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