The bottom line: ADT vs. Frontpoint
Frontpoint is our Best Overall Home Security System, and ADT is always our top choice when it comes to professional monitoring and reputation.
Each has strengths including reliable connections, good track records, cutting-edge equipment, and customer-friendly policies and practices.
We like that Frontpoint includes life and environmental safety monitoring (smoke and CO detectors) in all of its plans, but it doesn’t offer medical alert monitoring like ADT. Both companies raise the rates if you want video monitoring, but that’s business as usual in the home security industry.
And it’s hard to ignore ADT’s years of experience—Frontpoint hit the scene in 2007, whereas ADT has been around for more than 140 years. Here’s a look at whether or not those years make a difference when we compare specifics like price, service, and features.
Until recently, both alarm companies required a three-year contract that you can’t get out of without a buyout. But in November 2019, Frontpoint dropped its contract requirement in favor of month-to-month monitoring plans.
Frontpoint discontinued its long contracts that were tricky to get out of—but ADT still requires a three-year contract that comes with pricey termination fees (75% of your remaining contract).
They are fairly comparable when it comes to price—especially when you compare the cost of cellular monitoring. ADT’s lowest monitoring package starts at $36.99, while Frontpoint’s lowest-tier plan starts at $44.99. But ADT’s lower price doesn’t include a cellular connection—it’s landline only. The cheapest cellular ADT-monitored security plan is $44.99, matching Frontpoint’s lowest-tier option.
Although Frontpoint offers a 30-day money-back trial period, ADT has lower starting monthly fees (for landline monitoring) plus a six-month money-back service guarantee. (Certain restrictions apply.)
Where Frontpoint really pulls out the win is with its no-contract monthly monitoring. That means you can stop and start your monitoring at-will—without any extra fees or penalties.
Frontpoint is the winner here. Although ADT has made giant leaps forward in this area, there are some negative experiences out there that mar the company’s reputation. ADT uses third-party retailers, which puts a lot of customer service out of the company’s control.
And we can't deny how impressed we are with Frontpoint's quick response to customer input. In 2019 the company fundamentally changed the way it does business, and customers were the driving force. From an online store that saves you from having to talk to a salesperson to the abolition of long-term contracts, Frontpoint is making big moves to do right by customers.
This is a tough one to call. Both companies offer state-of-the-art equipment that comes with home automation capabilities and works with third-party smart home devices.
But Frontpoint includes smoke and carbon monoxide protection in all packages and makes it easy for customers to move with their equipment. Frontpoint also includes its mobile app in all packages. That's a perk you have to pay more for with ADT.
But we like that ADT gives every customer a free in-home security assessment. Through SafeStreets, ADT also provides expert installation that ensures that all of your security equipment and features work properly from the get-go.
Plus, you can get ADT protection no matter where you live thanks to its landline monitoring option. Greater accessibility and expert guidance tip ADT over the top in this category.
Overall winner: Frontpoint
Although it’s neck and neck between these two home security giants, at the end of the day we had to give it to Frontpoint.
Customer-first practices like no contracts, online shopping flow, mobile app included in every plan, and Crash & Smash protection help Frontpoint stand out as a home security leader. The company also offers equipment for no money down and doesn't hit your credit with a check when you use its consumer financing program.
Frontpoint turned nearly all of its negatives into positives over the course of 2019, which makes it easy for us to give this home security company our full endorsement.