Choosing the right home security system is something homeowners or renters likely want to get right the first time. But with so many options out there, it can seem difficult for potential customers to find just one that meets all their needs. When researching home security companies, customers will likely notice that ADT and Frontpoint are two of the best home security systems—both offer a wide range of devices and services, but they go about it in different ways and may therefore appeal to different customer needs. Frontpoint creates its equipment with easy DIY installation in mind, while ADT offers both professional and DIY installation options, depending on the package and equipment pieces a customer chooses.
When it comes to comparing Frontpoint versus ADT, customers will need to determine which is the best option for them. There are several factors customers will want to consider when reviewing home security tips and choosing the best home security system for their needs.
How We Compared Home Security Systems
Comparing Frontpoint and ADT can be tricky because of how much each company offers. Before moving forward, it's important for customers to consider the following 10 parameters that are likely to be used to compare home security companies and decide whether a home security system is worth it.
Reputation: Customers want to have both the confidence and trust in a home security company’s ability to protect homes and loved ones. To uphold a strong reputation, the brand must have good security solutions backed up by positive customer experiences.
Equipment options and quality: Having a wide range of equipment options can help customers tailor their home security systems to meet their unique needs. It’s also important for a company to have good-quality technology with advanced features designed to detect intruders as well as environmental hazards.
Packages and plans: Home security systems often offer prebuilt equipment packages and monitoring plans to provide customers with different security options to fit their needs and budget. Many also offer customers the option to build their own packages that include the exact equipment and devices they need.
Pricing and fees: Customers will want to consider the pricing of a company’s services to ensure that the equipment and monitoring plan (if chosen) will fit into their budget.
Installation: When a customer purchases a home security system, they will want to consider whether they prefer to install the equipment themselves or leave it to a professional. Many home security companies offer both options, though some will only offer one or the other.
Monitoring: Professional monitoring can provide customers with additional peace of mind as they will know their security provider will be available around the clock to react if there is an emergency. A professional monitoring service can call emergency services on the customer’s behalf if needed. On the flip side, some customers may prefer to monitor their security system themselves.
App user experience: A user-friendly mobile app can be extremely beneficial as it allows customers to perform tasks such as remotely arming or disarming their system or checking their live camera feed when they’re away from home. An app can also provide convenience and flexibility with features like push notifications to keep homeowners informed about their home’s status.
Contracts and trial period: It’s crucial for a customer to understand the terms and conditions of the service they choose. Some home security companies require customers to sign a contract, while others are contract-free. In addition, some companies offer trial periods so customers can try out the service before committing.
Warranty: Home security equipment can be expensive, and the last thing a customer wants is to be on the hook for replacement costs if a piece of equipment breaks. A home security company that offers a warranty on its equipment can give customers peace of mind. Plus, a warranty is a good sign that the company is willing to correct problems at little to no cost to the customer.
Home automation and device compatibility: It’s important for a customer to make sure their chosen home security system is compatible with any smart devices they have in their home, such as smart locks and smart thermostats.
1. Frontpoint vs. ADT: Reputation and Customer Reviews
Both Frontpoint and ADT are known names in the home security industry, though ADT has greater name recognition. This is largely due to the fact that ADT has been in business since 1874 and has long been established as a leader in the industry. Frontpoint, on the other hand, was founded much more recently in 2007, though in its relatively short history it’s built a solid reputation.
Both companies have relatively positive customer reviews. Unsurprisingly, though, while ADT has tens of thousands of customer reviews on Consumer Affairs, Frontpoint has far fewer. In addition, ADT has a 4.5 out of 5 rating, while Frontpoint security reviews on Consumer Affairs give a slightly lower rating of 3.9 out of 5. Regardless, both are respectable ratings—ADT just slightly edges out Frontpoint when it comes to reputation and customer reviews.
Verdict: ADT has been a familiar name in the home security industry since 1874; this, paired with relatively positive customer reviews, lends to ADT’s reputation as one of the best and most reliable home security companies. While Frontpoint reviews are also generally positive, the company has less name recognition than its competitor and not as many years in the industry.
2. Frontpoint vs. ADT: Equipment Options and Quality
Frontpoint and ADT both offer similar high-quality pieces of security equipment, including door and window sensors, motion detectors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, different types of security cameras, and command touch screens. The two support cellular and landline connections for security monitoring, which means the system will continue to function even if the power goes out.
The differences mostly come down to the kind of technology each company uses for its respective products. Frontpoint security mostly uses its own in-house hardware, although it is compatible with some third-party software like Amazon Alexa. ADT home security, on the other hand, utilizes a combination of first-party tech mixed with a variety of Google Nest devices, including the Nest Cam, Nest Doorbell, and Nest Thermostat. In fact, there are no ADT cameras per se, as the company utilizes Nest cameras instead. The difference between the two is slight, though customers who already use Google Nest devices may prefer to go with an ADT alarm system so they can sync their existing devices with new ones. On the other hand, some customers might prefer Frontpoint’s proprietary equipment, such as the Frontpoint Doorbell Camera or the Frontpoint Outdoor Camera, since it shows the company is confident with its equipment quality and doesn’t need to outsource.
Verdict: Both Frontpoint and ADT have a long list of high-quality devices, ranging from security cameras and intrusion-detection devices to hazard sensors to smart-home equipment. The device capabilities are similar across both brands, though potential customers are advised that many of the equipment options in an ADT security system are Google Nest devices.
3. Frontpoint vs. ADT: Packages and Plans
Both Frontpoint and ADT give customers the option to build their own home security system, which is ideal for customers who want a customized system designed with their specific needs in mind. However, both also offer preselected equipment packages to give customers the best of both worlds when it comes to building their home security system.
Frontpoint has three prebuilt equipment packages: The Starter Pack, The Home Shield, and The Family Lookout. All Frontpoint equipment is designed to be installed by the customer.
The Starter Pack includes a Frontpoint hub and keypad, a door/window sensor, a motion sensor, and a Home Defense Kit (which has a yard sign, a set of three window decals, and door stickers).
The Home Shield includes everything from The Starter Pack, but increases the number of door/window sensors to three and adds a flood sensor, a smoke and heat sensor, and an indoor camera.
The Family Lookout includes everything from The Starter Pack, but increases the number of door/window sensors to three and adds a keychain remote, a doorbell camera, and an indoor camera.
ADT offers four preselected equipment packages (two professionally installed and two self-installed): Smart Home, Video & Smart Home, Starter, and Premium.
The professionally installed Smart Home package includes a touch-screen panel, remote arm/disarm controls, three door and window sensors, a motion detector, and a smart door lock.
The professionally installed Video & Smart Home package includes everything from the Smart Home package, plus a Google Nest Cam and a Google Nest Doorbell.
The self-installed Starter package includes a Smart Home Hub, four door/window sensors, two motion sensors, the ADT+ app, a Google Nest Doorbell, an ADT yard sign, and a pack of four ADT window stickers.
The self-installed Premium package includes everything from the Starter package, plus a Google Nest Hub.
The variety of prebuilt packages, as well as the ability for customers to build a custom package, make both Frontpoint and ADT attractive options for customers looking for a home security system to suit their specific needs.
Verdict: ADT and Frontpoint packages and plans are comparable, with both offering customers the option to build their own system or choose one of the available preselected equipment packages, as well as several monitoring plan options. ADT’s packages and plans are generally suited to customers looking for smart-home integration, while Frontpoint’s packages and plans place more of an emphasis on video monitoring.
4. Frontpoint vs. ADT: Pricing and Fees
Frontpoint alarm systems start at just over $400 and top out at around $800, though customers have the ability to add to each package, which will increase the overall home security cost. However, Frontpoint often has discounts on equipment, so customers may find that they pay less than sticker price if they decide to purchase a Frontpoint security system. The total pricing without discounts for each Frontpoint package is as follows.
Frontpoint Equipment Package
The Starter Pack
The Home Shield
The Family Lookout
The cost of professional monitoring from Frontpoint will depend on whether or not the system includes smart-home devices. Frontpoint customer service says that a professional monitoring plan for a system with no smart-home devices costs $34.99 per month, and plans for a system with smart-home devices will cost $49.99 per month.
ADT customers who choose a professionally installed equipment package can choose between paying for the equipment in full up front or splitting it into monthly payments for 60 months (24- and 36-month terms are also available). The cost of these packages is listed in the following table.
ADT Equipment Package
Build Your Own
Video & Smart Home
Monthly monitoring costs for traditional ADT packages will depend on the type of equipment the customer has as part of their system. Essential Monitoring costs $38.99 per month, but customers may also pay an extra $4 per month for Smart Home monitoring, $14 per month for Video Security monitoring, and $7 per month for the Quality Service Plan (ADT’s extended warranty). This means ADT customers may pay anywhere from $38.99 to $63.99 per month. In addition, there is a penalty for customers who cancel their ADT contract early, which can increase the overall ADT monthly cost.
Customers who prefer to install their security system themselves will need to choose one of ADT’s Self Setup packages. Unlike the professionally installed ADT packages, the Self Setup packages do not offer customers the option of paying monthly; instead, they’ll need to pay the full cost of their security equipment up front. The prices for these packages are as follows.
ADT Self Setup Equipment Package
Build Your Own
Although ADT Self Setup packages are designed for DIY installation, there is no self-monitoring option. Instead, customers will pay $24.99 to $34.99 per month for ADT professional monitoring, depending on the package they choose.
Verdict: Both Frontpoint and ADT sell preset packages at a range of prices to suit various budgets and needs and have similarly priced monitoring plans. Frontpoint’s equipment is typically less costly, though, and there is no cancellation fee. ADT customers who cancel their contract early may incur hefty fees.
5. Frontpoint vs. ADT: Installation
Frontpoint offers DIY security systems that are meant to be installed by the customer. The equipment is designed to be easy for even a novice to install, and Frontpoint also offers installation support via the company’s app for customers who need a little help, which makes it one of the best apartment security systems. However, Frontpoint does not have an option for professional installation, which can leave customers paying extra security camera installation costs if they need help setting up their system.
ADT offers the best of both worlds. Traditionally, ADT systems were only able to be professionally installed, but the company now has several Self Setup packages that are meant to be self-installed by the customer. ADT includes professional installation costs in its monthly fee for customers who finance their equipment, but those who pay up front may need to pay up to $150 to have their equipment installed. ADT Self Setup equipment can be installed without the need for heavy-duty tools, so even a customer who doesn’t have DIY skills should be able to set up their system without too much hassle. The ability to choose between professional and DIY installation makes ADT a good fit for a wider range of customers, including renters and homeowners alike.
Verdict: Frontpoint is a DIY installation system which does not have an option for professional installation. ADT offers the best of both worlds: Customers can choose a professionally installed ADT system or a Self Setup system that offers comparable devices but can be installed by the customer.
6. Frontpoint vs. ADT: Monitoring
When it comes to monitoring, both Frontpoint and ADT offer one option: 24/7 professional monitoring. Customers looking for self-monitored or unmonitored options will need to go with a different home security system.
Frontpoint monitoring includes hourly automatic sensor checks, plus Crash and Smash protection, which will alert the monitoring station should the control panel be smashed during a break-in and there are no additional alerts such as a door or window opening or a motion detector activating. Other perks include fast dispatch times, environmental monitoring, smart device control, and mobile alerts.
ADT’s monitoring services are fairly similar, offering 24/7 monitoring, quick response times, and environmental monitoring. ADT claims that its SMART Monitoring technology will respond to emergencies up to eight times faster than other home security companies. Depending on the equipment package the customer chooses, they may also get video monitoring and smart-home monitoring as part of their plan.
Verdict: Frontpoint and ADT both offer comparable 24/7 professional monitoring services that include hazard monitoring, automatic sensor checks, and fast emergency service dispatch times. Neither company offers a self-monitoring or unmonitored option.
7. Frontpoint vs. ADT: App User Experience
The apps for Frontpoint and ADT share a lot of similarities, including the ability for users to arm or disarm their system remotely, view live camera footage, and receive notifications of newly detected events. Both apps are highly rated by customers, thanks to their user-friendly interfaces and easily navigable menus.
However, ADT also offers an additional app called SoSecure that’s designed to provide emergency assistance to customers while they’re away from home. There are two versions of the app:
SoSecure Basic: The free version offers features such as location sharing, emergency assistance, and roadside assistance.
SoSecure Plus: For $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, Plus customers will also get live tracking to let trusted friends and family track them via GPS, voice-activated help requests, and the ability to livestream with an ADT agent to allow them to better help the user.
SoSecure Premium: For $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, Premium customers will enjoy all the perks of a SoSecure Plus subscription, plus roadside assistance and crash detection.
Verdict: Both Frontpoint and ADT’s apps allow users to perform standard tasks and run security procedures remotely, such as arming and disarming their system, reviewing security footage, receiving notifications, and controlling their smart-home devices. However, ADT customers have the added benefit of being able to use ADT’s mobile safety app, SoSecure, which provides on-the-go emergency help.
8. Frontpoint vs. ADT: Contracts and Trial Period
Frontpoint’s 30-day trial period allows customers to test out their home security system and return it for a full refund if they don’t feel it’s a good fit. This can give customers additional peace of mind when spending a chunk of money on their home’s security. Additionally, Frontpoint doesn’t require customers to sign a contract, which means they can cancel Frontpoint anytime without paying a penalty.
ADT offers a 6-month money-back guarantee, though customers can only get a refund if their equipment breaks and ADT can’t fix it within that time frame. Customers who want to try out their home security equipment will not be able to use this money-back guarantee for a refund if they decide the equipment doesn’t meet their needs. In addition, ADT customers will need to sign a 3-year contract and may be faced with a penalty if they cancel early. Customers who finance their equipment may find themselves in a contract up to 5 years in length.
Verdict: Frontpoint doesn’t require customers to sign a contract and offers customers a 30-day trial period to determine whether or not the service and equipment meet their needs. ADT allows customers to cancel their order anytime before installation but doesn’t offer a trial period and requires customers to sign a lengthy 3-year contract. Ultimately, customers are encouraged to understand their security needs, and may want to be abundantly sure that ADT is the right choice for them before signing a contract. Frontpoint offers more flexibility if a customer changes their mind.
9. Frontpoint vs. ADT: Warranty
A warranty on home security equipment allows customers to return malfunctioning hardware and get their money back, and it can also give them peace of mind that the company stands behind the quality of its equipment. However, the warranties on Frontpoint and ADT equipment are quite different from each other.
Frontpoint offers a lengthy 3-year warranty. In that time, if anything becomes defective, the company will replace or repair the devices free of charge—though there are some exceptions as screens, wiring, LEDs, and expendable batteries are not covered by the warranty.
ADT offers a 90-day warranty on its equipment after installation. In addition to ADT battery replacement, the company will replace any defective part of a home security system during that time frame. Customers can extend the warranty by adding ADT’s Quality Service Plan, though it will cost them an additional $7 per month.
Verdict: Frontpoint’s generous 3-year warranty covers most components of the home security system. Lasting just 90 days, ADT’s warranty pales in comparison, although ADT customers can opt to extend their warranty indefinitely by paying monthly for the Quality Service Plan.
10. Frontpoint vs. ADT: Home Automation and Device Compatibility
For some customers, having a home security system that can sync with their smart-home devices is of utmost importance. Both Frontpoint and ADT have the ability to work with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri for seamless control and integration. Additionally, both companies offer basic smart-home devices like smart locks, smart plugs, and wireless light control. But while Frontpoint stops there, ADT takes it a step further.
ADT customers can purchase Google Nest devices as part of their home security system. The available options are as follows.
Google Nest Wifi router and point: Provides fast and reliable connectivity throughout the home and includes speakers in Nest Wifi points.
Google Nest Mini: Allows customers to control their ADT security system with their voice.
Google Nest Hub: Allows users to perform actions such as turning out lights, locking or unlocking doors, and adjusting the temperature on the thermostat.
Google Nest Thermostat: Allows users to set heating and cooling schedules for maximum comfort and energy efficiency.
ADT’s ability to work with these smart-home devices makes it more appealing to customers looking for this type of device compatibility for their home security system.
Verdict: Frontpoint and ADT are both excellent choices for customers looking to link their home security system with their smart-home devices. However, ADT sells home automation products, such as a smart thermostat and Wi-Fi router, while Frontpoint doesn’t offer these types of devices.
Verdict: ADT is a top choice for customers looking for a reputable home security company that offers high-quality equipment. Those who want or who already have Google Nest products may find ADT to be a particularly attractive choice. However, Frontpoint is a strong contender and may be a better choice for a customer looking for a contract-free home security system.
Both Frontpoint and ADT are strong contenders in the home security system market. Both offer quality equipment designed to keep customers safe and connected while at home. However, ADT’s equipment list includes pieces that are lacking from Frontpoint’s lineup—namely smart-home devices that allow the customer to control their home security and automation from one central location.
On the other hand, customers who prefer the flexibility of a contract-free home security system will likely prefer Frontpoint. The company’s 30-day trial period can also be a plus for customers who want to try out their home security equipment before committing to it.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to go wrong with either Frontpoint or ADT. Both companies have top-quality products and 24/7 professional monitoring services. Ultimately, a customer’s decision will come down to their preferences and what they are looking for from their security system.