Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Which Home Security System Should You Buy in 2023?
When it comes to Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe home security systems, one offers better features, and the other offers lower costs and more options.
Both Frontpoint and SimpliSafe are big names in the home security world, and both companies are known as having some of the best home security systems on the market. Frontpoint excels at professional monitoring and offers DIY installation, while SimpliSafe home security scores high for its equipment quality. The two companies are similar in many ways, but nailing down the better of the two between Frontpoint security vs. SimpliSafe is no easy task.
How We Compared Home Security Systems
While home security companies can seem alike in many ways, there are set parameters that can be used as a basis for one-to-one comparison.
- Reputation: The reputation of a company, as well as customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot, give insight into how it treats its customers and handles complaints.
- Equipment options and quality: The key to any security system is its equipment, and evaluating what kind of equipment is offered can at least answer the question of whether a security system works for a given situation.
- Packages and plans: How a customer obtains their initial equipment package and the number of package options available to them plays a large role in the affordability of a home security system.
- Pricing and fees: After the initial cost of equipment, there are still other fees like subscription costs and monitoring costs to consider.
- Installation: Although professional installation is the industry standard, many companies now offer DIY installation for those who want it. Customer preference is a large part of deciding between two companies.
- Monitoring: If the equipment is key to a home security system, then professional monitoring services are the second-most important element. What these services are capable of doing and the level of protection they offer is vital in making a choice.
- App user experience: A security system’s app should be easy to use and access without obtuse controls or a steep learning curve, and it should respond quickly and perform fluidly on any device.
- Contracts and trial period: It can be tough to decide on a security system by specs on a page. Companies that offer free trials are more consumer-friendly and allow people to try out the equipment before committing.
- Warranty: No matter how well built a system is, manufacturing defects still occur, and the customer shouldn’t be held liable. The length of the warranty helps evaluate how customer-focused a company is.
- Home automation and device compatibility: Home security systems are no longer just about motion sensors; they should be able to integrate seamlessly into an overall smart-home system for more day-to-day convenience and control.
1. Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Reputation and Customer Reviews
A home security’s reputation can give a customer an initial idea of where it excels and what it offers. Both Frontpoint and SimpliSafe have generally positive reputations, though SimpliSafe’s name is more recognizable to many customers thanks to its robust marketing campaigns. Frontpoint home security may seem like a newcomer, but the company has been part of the home security industry since 2007 and was among the first to use cellular technology in its system for increased security.
Frontpoint reviews score only a 1.12 out of 5 at the Better Business Bureau, but it has an A accreditation and has been in business for 15 years. There are relatively few Frontpoint security reviews in total, so customers will want to take them with a grain of salt and consider that Frontpoint has closed 834 customer complaints within the past 3 years. Its score on Trustpilot is significantly higher at 4.3 out of 5 after 12,630 reviews.
When considering SimpliSafe home security system reviews, customers will find a similar- situation picture, with the company having only a 1.37 out of 5 rating with the BBB but a 3.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot. The majority of SimpliSafe reviews praise the customer service experience, while others talk about the quality of the equipment.
Verdict: Frontpoint and SimpliSafe are both highly reputed home security companies with generally positive customer ratings. Frontpoint is recognized for its fast and helpful customer care team, which can assist customers with installation, technical questions, and more general questions. SimpliSafe is more generally known for its low monthly costs that appeal to customers who don’t need their security system to sync with home automation devices.
2. Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Equipment Options and Quality
According to Katherine McEntire, home security expert at Safewise, “Each brand has a huge list of sensors and devices to build custom security systems that fit your home. You can get cameras, hazard sensors, and intrusion sensors from each.” But does one company stand out over the other when it comes to equipment?
Frontpoint is a DIY home security system with a wide range of equipment options. With options that range from doorbell cameras to various types of window alarm sensors (including motion and glass-break sensors), Frontpoint covers the home on a number of different fronts. Frontpoint also offers smart-home equipment like a smart door lock, outdoor smart plugs, smart thermostats, and more, which is a benefit for customers who have existing smart-home equipment or want to set up a smart-home system to integrate with their home security system.
A SimpliSafe home security system offers similar types of equipment as Frontpoint, including motion and entry sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, a SimpliSafe doorbell, and hazard sensors with just as high quality. While SimpliSafe’s smart-home devices are more limited than Frontpoint’s, the company does offer its own smart lock, as well as integration with August smart locks. However, SimpliSafe is still considered to have a more limited range of equipment options.
Verdict: Both companies offer high-quality equipment that includes indoor and outdoor cameras, doorbell cameras, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and glass-break sensors. However, Frontpoint’s list of equipment options is slightly longer and includes a range of smart-home devices that are lacking from SimpliSafe’s lineup.
3. Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Packages and Plans
Frontpoint offers three prebuilt packages for customers to choose from. These are The Starter Pack, The Home Shield, and The Family Lookout. Each package has different equipment to suit different security needs.
- The Starter Pack includes one hub and keypad, one motion sensor, and one door/window sensor, as well as a “home defense kit” that consists of yard signs and window stickers. It’s designed for customers who want to start small with their security system and add to it over time.
- The Home Shield includes everything from The Starter Pack, as well as three door/window sensors, one smoke/heat sensor, one flood sensor, and one indoor camera. It’s ideal for customers who want to monitor environmental threats in their home as well as deter intruders.
- The Family Lookout includes everything from The Starter Pack, as well as three door/window sensors, one keychain remote, one indoor camera, and one doorbell camera. It’s best for customers who want a well-rounded security system that includes monitoring both inside and outside the home.
SimpliSafe has a total of seven prebuilt packages: The Foundation, The Essentials, The Hearth, The Knox, The Haven, The Lighthouse, and The Beacon.
- The Foundation includes a base station, keypad, one entry sensor, one motion sensor, and one indoor SimpliSafe camera. It’s designed for customers who live in smaller homes or apartments and want a basic security system.
- The Essentials includes everything in The Foundation package, as well as three entry sensors. It’s ideal for customers who want a basic package but have several first-floor entry points, such as doors and windows, to monitor.
- The Hearth includes everything in The Essentials package, as well as one keyfob, one wireless siren, and one smoke detector. It’s meant for customers who want to shock intruders with a loud noise rather than an abundance of cameras.
- The Knox includes everything in The Hearth package, but increases the number of entry sensors to six and the number of motion sensors to two. It’s ideal for the customer who lives in a larger home with multiple first-floor entry points.
- The Haven includes everything in The Knox package, but decreases the number of entry sensors to four and adds a panic button, a temperature sensor, and a water sensor. It’s designed for customers who want to monitor environmental threats within their home as well as potential intruders.
- The Lighthouse includes everything in The Essentials package, but adds a wireless outdoor security camera. It’s built for customers who want to monitor the outside of their home for intruders.
- The Beacon includes everything in The Essentials package, but increases the number of entry sensors to four and the number of motion sensors to two. It also adds two wireless outdoor security cameras. It’s designed for customers with larger homes who want a well-rounded system that monitors entry points as well as providing camera monitoring.
Both Frontpoint and SimpliSafe allow customers to build their own home security systems, so they can pick and choose the equipment they need for their home rather than being required to choose from the preset packages. This gives customers a great deal of flexibility when it comes to building their systems. The difference between the two lies in the price. SimpliSafe is more affordable at nearly every level, as Frontpoint’s equipment costs can be incredibly high.
Verdict: SimpliSafe and Frontpoint both offer custom packages and a similar number of equipment packages (seven for SimpliSafe and three for Frontpoint). However, SimpliSafe’s bundles are typically more comprehensive and offer additional pieces of equipment that are missing from Frontpoint’s preset packages.
4. Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Pricing and Fees
Frontpoint’s three packages cover a wide price range from just over $400 to just under $800. To offset these equipment costs, Frontpoint customers can qualify for monthly financing to help pay for the equipment. Frontpoint also frequently offers discounts on packages so customers may be able to purchase their chosen package for a lower price than is listed below.
|The Starter Pack||$402.96|
|The Home Shield||$678.91|
|The Family Lookout||$790.91|
According to Frontpoint customer service, the basic monitoring plan costs as little as $34.99 for systems that don’t include any smart devices; that cost increases to $49.99 per month when smart devices are added. The website itself makes it difficult to verify this information and somewhat blurs the costs. Customers may be required to pay a cancellation fee equal to 1 month of monitoring if they give less than 30 days’ notice to end their subscription.
How much is SimpliSafe? While SimpliSafe’s equipment isn’t necessarily cheap, it’s also made more affordable through steep discounts given at the time of purchase. It also has a relatively low starting price, even without discounts applied, which could make it a better option for customers on a limited budget. The total costs for each package are as follows:
SimpliSafe’s monthly cost is relatively affordable, with customers being able to choose between an unmonitored (and free) plan and three monitoring plans:
|Monitoring Plan||Approximate Cost Per Day||Cost Per Month|
|Self Monitoring with Camera Recordings||$0.33||$9.99|
Frontpoint’s three packages are relatively expensive, with the entry-level package starting above the $400 price point. For the money, SimpliSafe’s Foundation package is a better deal, since the equipment it offers is comparable but the starting price is around $150 lower. Frontpoint also tops out at a higher price on The Family Lookout package, coming in around $100 more expensive than SimpliSafe’s range-topping package, The Beacon. With seven packages at various price points, SimpliSafe can also cater to a wider range of customers who may be looking for specific pieces of equipment that aren’t included in any of Frontpoint’s three prebuilt packages. Finally, when it comes to SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint monthly costs, customers will find that SimpliSafe’s are typically lower.
Verdict: Frontpoint is typically more expensive than SimpliSafe: SimpliSafe’s equipment and package pricing is generally lower than comparable Frontpoint packages. Frontpoint’s professional monitoring option is also costlier than SimpliSafe’s. Frontpoint customers may also be required to pay a cancellation fee, whereas SimpliSafe customers can cancel for free anytime.
5. Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Installation
One of Frontpoint’s main selling points is that the system is DIY installation. There are no security camera installation costs to contend with, which makes it easier for customers to save money up front. If support is required, customers can use the app to help. However, if the customer finds that the app is unhelpful during the installation process, there is no option to have a representative come to the home to help complete the process, which could be a drawback for some.
SimpliSafe offers DIY installation, too, and it includes an optional professional installation fee if a customer doesn’t feel confident in their ability to install their security system themselves. Although both Frontpoint and SimpliSafe cameras and other equipment are peel-and-stick and are therefore designed for ease of installation (and both are considered some of the best apartment security systems), it’s good for customers to have more options available to them if they aren’t sure where to place security cameras or prefer to have a professional take care of installing their home security system.
“Both Frontpoint and SimpliSafe are DIY systems, meaning you have to set it up yourself,” explains McEntire. “Both of them are really easy, but nobody is immune to roadblocks, [so] Frontpoint and Simplisafe both have phone lines with folks ready to walk you through the process.”
Verdict: Both Frontpoint and SimpliSafe are DIY systems offering peel-and-stick equipment designed for quick and easy installation. However, while SimpliSafe has a professional installation option for customers who don’t want to install their system themselves, Frontpoint does not.
6. Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Monitoring
Frontpoint security offers a single monitoring plan for $49.99 per month that includes 24/7 security monitoring; fast emergency response times; and fire, environmental, and life-safety monitoring. There are also other services, including Crash and Smash protection (which alerts the monitoring station if the control panel is destroyed and there’s a lack of follow-up signals like a door opening or motion-sensor activating), mobile alerts, light and smart-lock control, and much more. It’s a feature-rich service, but it comes at a steep monthly price. Frontpoint customer service also mentions a $34.99-per-month monitoring service which does not include any smart-home features.
“Frontpoint’s monitoring prices jump to $49.99 per month once you add monitoring for your video or smart home gear,” points out McEntire. “So the camera might be free, but having someone monitor your system with it sure isn’t.”
How does SimpliSafe work? SimpliSafe doesn’t have quite as many features in its monitoring plans, but all its options are more affordable than Frontpoint.
- The Self Monitoring with Camera Recording plan is a bare-bones option and intended for users looking for the best DIY security systems. It includes unlimited camera recording and up to 1 year total warranty.
- The Standard Monitoring plan includes 24/7 police, fire, and medical dispatch; HD live view on all cameras; and up to 1 year total warranty.
- The Interactive Monitoring plan includes everything in the Standard Monitoring plan, as well as unlimited camera recordings, video verification, and 24/7 flood and extreme temperature monitoring. The plan also comes with a lifetime warranty for equipment as long as the subscription is maintained, plus a 10 percent discount on future add-on devices.
While Frontpoint’s monitoring service is certainly impressive, SimpliSafe’s three plans give customers additional options and are more ideal for customers looking for a lower-cost option.
Verdict: Frontpoint is known for its single professional monitoring plan that includes smart-lock and light control, a reliable cellular connection, and live video streaming. Though they aren’t as inclusive as Frontpoint’s, SimpliSafe offers two professional monitoring plans; SimpliSafe also offers a self-monitoring option, while Frontpoint does not.
7. Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: App User Experience
An easy-to-use app is an important feature for today’s home security systems, since they give customers the ability to monitor and control their systems remotely. But many home security apps suffer from poor ratings, which can make customers wary about choosing the system that works best for their needs and budget. Both Frontpoint and SimpliSafe have relatively positive ratings for their apps, with Frontpoint scoring 4.3 out of 5 in the Apple App Store and 3.7 out of 5 in the Google Play Store. Frontpoint’s app allows users to remotely arm and disarm their system, lock and unlock their door, turn lights on and off, and monitor the home’s security videos. Frontpoint also offers installation support within its app, which can be extremely helpful for customers who lack confidence when it comes to installing a DIY security system.
SimpliSafe has an even higher rating of 4.8 in the App Store and 4.6 in the Google Play Store, but it falls short for one reason: It’s much more limited. The SimpliSafe app doesn’t include the ability to control smart-home devices like the Frontpoint app does, which means customers with home automation devices will need to use different apps to control their security system and their smart-home system. While this may not be a deal breaker, Frontpoint’s app offers a more seamless experience for customers than SimpliSafe’s app does.
Verdict: Frontpoint and SimpliSafe both have highly rated apps. But while both apps allow customers to arm and disarm their system, check video footage, and receive security notifications, Frontpoint’s app goes further: It can help customers with installation. Customers who have opted for the smart thermostat can also check and control their home’s temperature using the app.
8. Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Contracts and Trial Period
Home security contracts are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. This is a major benefit for consumers, who often found themselves locked into a contract for a system that no longer fit their needs. Frontpoint doesn’t require a signed contract (though the company says it uses “month-to-month” contracts), and the company offers a 30-day risk-free trial. However, customers will want to note that their return will need to be postmarked within 30 days of the day they received the equipment to be eligible for a refund; a return that’s initiated in that time frame but mailed on the 31st day will likely be denied. Additionally, the trial is only guaranteed for equipment purchased directly from Frontpoint; systems purchased from third parties may have different terms and conditions when it comes to the system trial period.
A SimpliSafe security system doesn’t require a contract, either. Though SimpliSafe doesn’t offer a true trial, it does provide a 60-day money-back guarantee if a customer isn’t satisfied with their security system, and SimpliSafe will also cover shipping costs. This guarantee applies to items purchased alone as well as those purchased as part of a larger order, such as a starter system. That means customers can add equipment to their existing systems without worrying that they’ll lose money if they decide they don’t need or want that piece of equipment. It’s practically the same thing as a free trial, and it’s a great way to test out the system in real-world applications, both for new and existing customers.
Verdict: Neither SimpliSafe nor Frontpoint requires customers to carry contracts to use their systems. While SimpliSafe and Frontpoint both offer a trial period for customers to test out their system, SimpliSafe’s generous 60-day trial period is longer than Frontpoint’s 30-day trial period.
9. Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Warranty
Right out of the gate, Frontpoint’s 3-year limited warranty offers more beneficial terms to customers than SimpliSafe’s 1-year hardware warranty. Frontpoint’s warranty covers defects within almost every part of the system, minus screens, wiring, and light bulbs (as well as minor parts like batteries and foil tape). Frontpoint customers must be in good standing to take advantage of this warranty, and they must agree to a remote diagnostic session so the company can determine whether or not they are able to fix the equipment. If the issue cannot be resolved, Frontpoint will replace the defective part or product with one of a similar type and quality.
SimpliSafe offers a 1-year limited hardware warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship under normal use. Under the warranty, any defective parts or equipment will be replaced with the same or an equivalent product; if this is not possible, SimpliSafe customer service may offer the customer a refund or credit. Customers who sign up for the Interactive Monitoring plan before that initial period expires can receive a limited lifetime warranty for the duration of the subscription—this warranty will expire if and when the customer cancels their Interactive Monitoring plan.
Verdict: SimpliSafe has a 1-year hardware warranty, and customers with professional monitoring get an extended warranty. Frontpoint has a more generous 3-year warranty on equipment starting on the activation date, though the warranty excludes screens, wiring, and light bulbs.
10. Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Home Automation and Device Compatibility
Home automation is beginning to take center stage with many security systems. SimpliSafe systems can integrate with Alexa and Google Assistant to allow customers to arm or disarm their system. The company also offers its own smart lock as well as integrating with August smart locks, allowing customers to lock and unlock their door from their mobile devices.
“These days there’s a fine line between home security and smart home,” says McEntire. “They tend to go hand in hand for convenience and security features [and] that’s exactly where Frontpoint trounces SimpliSafe.”
Frontpoint takes it a step further by producing its own smart-home equipment, including smart door locks, outdoor smart plugs, wireless light control, and a smart thermostat. This equipment is integrated directly into the app, giving users a much wider range of control over their smart home. Since this equipment is compatible with other systems, users can potentially extend that control to their entire home and not just Frontpoint security system products, which gives customers almost endless possibilities when it comes to home automation. According to McEntire, “Frontpoint’s indoor camera can also stream to your Roku or Apple TV if you want to watch the footage on the big screen.”
Verdict: Frontpoint and SimpliSafe systems are both compatible with home automation devices. While SimpliSafe is compatible with Amazon and Google smart-home systems, customers can only use these devices to arm or disarm the SimpliSafe system. Although Frontpoint is compatible with third-party smart-home systems, it also offers its own smart-home equipment, including wireless light control and a smart thermostat.
Verdict: SimpliSafe is our pick for customers who want a cost-effective security system with a choice between professional or self-monitoring. However, Frontpoint may be a better choice for customers who want to sync their smart-home devices with their home security system.
So which is better: SimpliSafe or Frontpoint? Though Frontpoint is a noteworthy security system, its higher costs and lack of customer-focused options make it a second choice to SimpliSafe for many customers. Frontpoint does stand out in the realm of home automation and warranties, but that isn’t always enough to overcome the lower costs and greater level of security that SimpliSafe brings to the table. Customers looking for a DIY security system with self-monitoring capabilities may also want to consider SimpliSafe vs. Ring.
SimpliSafe lets customers choose between multiple monitoring options, has a greater number of equipment packages, and has lower overall costs. It’s the more consumer-focused system, and though it lacks some of the bells and whistles of Frontpoint, it’s generally a better choice for home security for many customers. However, customers looking for a home security system that will integrate seamlessly with their smart-home devices will likely find that Frontpoint is the better choice. Additionally, customers looking for state-of-the-art professional monitoring and a comprehensive mobile app may find a better match with Frontpoint. It’s important for customers to consider which features they need from their home security system so they can find the best match for their home and ensure that their home security system is worth it.