We know it’s a crowded field out there in the world of home security. That’s why we’re lining up the best providers side by side to see how they stack up when it comes to price, contract, features, customer service, monitoring experience, and more. Our in-depth comparison of Frontpoint and ADT security systems confirmed why these two companies stand out as home security leaders. But we also identified the weaknesses in each company’s armor.
When it comes to reputation, both companies garner a lot of praise, but there’s no way Frontpoint can beat ADT’s 140+ years of experience. On the other hand, Frontpoint dominates when it comes to keeping customers happy. One significant place where these two diverge is installation. Frontpoint is a DIY home security system, while ADT requires professional installation. And both security companies are on the higher end when it comes to pricing.
See which company prevails as we dig into all of these issues and more in our comparison below.
Data effective 8/23/18. Offers and availability subject to change.
What Do Frontpoint and ADT Have in Common?
Both home security companies offer a robust selection of home security equipment and professional monitoring packages. And across the board, those packages come with monitoring fees that are on the higher end. Both ADT and Frontpoint provide a reliable cellular connection to established monitoring centers, plus home automation integration and mobile apps. Here’s a breakdown of the similarities we think matter most:
Wireless home security options
Home automation compatibility
Secure cellular connection
Video monitoring upgrades
High termination fees
High monthly monitoring fees
What Are the Main Differences between Frontpoint and ADT?
As much as these companies have in common, they also have quite a lot that makes them different. Most apparent is installation methods—ADT offers 100% professional installation, but Frontpoint doesn’t give customers a professional install option. Frontpoint offers a trial period, and ADT does not. But ADT does have the most monitoring centers of any home security company. Check out our rundown of crucial differences below.
Number of monitoring centers
Years of experience
Frontpoint has repeatedly topped our best home alarm systems list, and customers echo our praise. Frontpoint’s simple, DIY installation and outstanding reputation for customer service make it an easy home security company to like. But Frontpoint’s monthly monitoring fees are pricey, and you’re tied into a thirty-six-month contract. The company does offer customizable equipment packages, and you can move with your Frontpoint equipment without any fees or interruption to your service (as long as you let them know your new address in a timely manner!).
“Frontpoint is on the higher end of price, but it’s capabilities and the customer service justify the price. I’ve contacted them a few times and tested the system, and I have never had a problem getting in touch….Very happy with my decision..”
ADT is practically synonymous with reliable home security. This alarm company has more than 140 years of experience and operates the largest number of monitoring centers in the country. ADT delivers reliable, trusted protection that millions of people have relied on over the years. But that reputation and experience come at a price, and that is ADT’s main Achilles’ heel. The company has spendy monthly fees, and it requires a lot of add-ons for things like fire protection and video monitoring. ADT has done a great job of evolving, though. The company now has smart home compatibility, wireless equipment options, and even offers security solutions for renters.
“I feel very safe in my home when I’m there and very confident that my home is monitored when I’m away. Tremendously thankful for a wonderful alarm system and helpful staff.”
Determining a clear victor between Frontpoint and ADT is a little trickier than we anticipated. Both of these companies top different lists—Frontpoint was our Best Overall Home Security System of 2017, and ADT is our Best Monitored Home Security System for Renters. Each has a lot of strengths including reliable connections, good track records, cutting-edge equipment, and customer-friendly policies and practices.
On top of that, they are fairly comparable when it comes to price and contract. Each alarm company requires a three-year contract that you can’t get out of without a buyout. And they each have monthly monitoring services that start around $30 per month (although ADT comes out the winner here). ADT’s lowest monitoring package starts at $27.99, while Frontpoint’s lowest-tier package starts at $34.99. But ADT’s lower price doesn’t include a cellular connection—it’s landline only.
We like that Frontpoint includes life and environmental safety products (smoke and CO detectors) in its basic plans, but ADT offers medical alert monitoring. Both companies raise the rates if you want video monitoring, but that is 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.
Price and Contract
ADT squeaks out a win here. Both companies require long contracts that are tricky to get out of. And although Frontpoint offers a 30-day trial, ADT has lower starting monthly fees plus a six-month money-back service guarantee. ADT also wins out for requiring a slightly lower contract buyout: 75% vs. Frontpoint’s 80% requirement.
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.
Equipment and Features
This is a tough one to call. Both companies offer state-of-the-art equipment that is compatible with home automation and other third-party security devices. But Frontpoint includes smoke and carbon monoxide protection in all packages and allows customers to move with their equipment. However, we like that ADT provides expert installation that ensures that all of your security equipment and features work properly from the get-go. We think that tips ADT over the top on this one.
Overall Winner: ADT
Although it’s neck and neck between these two home security giants, at the end of the day we had to give it to ADT. Lower entry-level monitoring fees plus extras like medical pendant monitoring put ADT in the lead. Add in an incredible reputation and more than 140 years of experience, and it’s hard to deny how well this security leader delivers when it comes to protecting your home and loved ones.
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more