Frontpoint vs. Vivint Security

We pit Vivint Home Security against DIY-favorite Frontpoint.
Winner
Vivint
Vivint Home Security
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
Starts at
$29.99
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Cutting-edge equipment
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Pro installation
Runner-up
Frontpoint
Frontpoint Home Security
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2
Starts at
$34.99
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Great customer reviews
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Easy DIY installation

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

As the bar for quality home security gets higher, it’s tougher to tell what makes one security company better than another. To help you figure it out, we’re facing off our top security systems against one another.

Vivint is well-established as the one to watch when it comes to combining home security and home automation. But Frontpoint hasn’t let smart home trends pass it by, and it doesn't require a contract.

Trying to decide between these two home security giants? Here are the strengths and weaknesses of Vivint and Frontpoint.

Cyber Monday deals
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Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.


Frontpoint pros and cons

Pro Heading
Frontpoint pros
Pro Bullet 30-day, risk-free trial
Pro Bullet Equipment you can move
Pro Bullet Strong customer service
Pro Bullet Home automation options
Pro Bullet No long contracts
Con Heading
Frontpoint cons
Con Bullet No professional installation option
Con Bullet High monthly monitoring costs

Frontpoint is best for renters

Even though Frontpoint is a solid home security choice for anyone, we think its DIY installation and wireless equipment are the perfect match for renters and those with smaller homes and properties.

Because it’s a self-installed security system, it can get complicated to set up multiple sensors, cameras, and motion detectors on different floors and across a larger property—especially if you’re not a seasoned DIY-er.

It’s also tough to know exactly how much security is right for your situation. Because Frontpoint’s security experts work with you over the phone (instead of in person), it’s harder to know if you’ve got everything covered.

But if all you need is straightforward security for a small- to medium-sized home, Frontpoint can be an easy solution. And if moving is in your future, Frontpoint’s portable equipment is ideal.

Vivint pros and cons

Pro Heading
Vivint pros
Pro Bullet No contract option
Pro Bullet More affordable monitoring options
Pro Bullet Advanced home automation tech
Pro Bullet Professional install with security assessment
Con Heading
Vivint cons
Con Bullet Steep termination fees
Con Bullet Long contracts without up-front equipment purchase
Con Bullet Hefty up-front costs

Vivint is best for smart home enthusiasts

If you love technology and dig the idea of having the smartest home on the block, Vivint is a standout option for home security. It’s also a good match for those who aren’t into DIY or those who have a larger home or property that needs protection.

Even though Vivint home security may seem more expensive than Frontpoint (when it comes to initial equipment), if you have a big house or a large yard, you’ll need to add on a lot of extras with Frontpoint.

By the time you’re done, you’ll be in the same neighborhood (cost-wise) or higher than Vivint. And you’ll have to set up all those components yourself. Plus, if you’re able to pay for equipment up front, you won’t be tied to a contract with Vivint.

How Frontpoint and Vivint compare

Brand
Lowest monthly monitoring fee
Starting equipment cost
Installation fee
Trial period
Contract required
Learn more
Vivint

$29.99

Quote required

Starts at $99

None

Icon No  LightYes*
Frontpoint

$34.99

$99

None

30 days

Icon Yes  LightNo

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*42- to 60- month contract required unless equipment is purchased up front.

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Frontpoint VIP deal

Frontpoint teamed up with SafeWise to offer you an exclusive home security system monitoring deal! Choose the Interactive Monitoring plan to get mobile control and professional monitoring of your system for $34.99 a month ($15/mo. savings)!

Frontpoint vs. Vivint similarities

Vivint and Frontpoint have more in common than not. Both security companies have strong reputations, 24/7 professional monitoring services, and advanced technology. Plus, you can get environmental safety monitoring (like smoke detectors and flood sensors) along with security measures. Here’s a breakdown of other ways Vivint and Frontpoint are similar:

  • Included home automation features
  • Free mobile app
  • Monthly monitoring costs
  • Live video streaming available
  • Cellular monitoring
  • Compatibility with third-party home automation devices
  • Contract requirement for financing

Frontpoint vs. Vivint differences

Where Frontpoint and Vivint differ most is installation and contract options. Frontpoint is a DIY-only security system and Vivint requires professional installation. We’ll look more closely at the impact that difference makes below, but another disparity is contract length.

Before we dive deeper, here’s a summary of Vivint’s and Frontpoint’s significant distinctions and who we think wins:

  • Equipment: Vivint consistently has the coolest integrated smart home tech 
  • Cost: Vivint's monitoring cost edges out Frontpoint's monthly cost
  • Installation type: Tie, since it depends on what you want
  • Trial period: Frontpoint's 30-day trial beats Vivint's virtually non-existent trial

Compare Frontpoint vs. Vivint plans

Monthly price
Monthly price
Home automation
Video monitoring
Learn more
VivintVivint Smart Security
$29.99
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
VivintVivint Smart Home
$39.99
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
VivintVivint Smart Home Video
$44.99
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
FrontpointFrontpoint Basic Monitoring
$44.99
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
FrontpointFrontpoint Smart Home and Video Monitoring
$44.99
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Equipment

Vivint's equipment line-up is nearly identical to Frontpoint's. Here are the major differences:

  • Vivint offers a unique car guard device.
  • Frontpoint has a smart outlet.

Vivint used to sell a smart outlet too, but it was recalled. Third-party Z-wave smart outlets integrate with the Vivint system, so it's not a huge problem that Vivint doesn't sell one at the moment.

In terms of equipment quality and features, Vivint wins. We're especially impressed by Vivint's smart deter cameras and video doorbell, and by the fact that all of their equipment is designed and manufactured in-house.

photo of person using Frontpoint Home Security website

Contracts, financing, and cancellation policies

Vivint is unique in that you can start out with a month-to-month contract if you buy your home security equipment outright. This option is rare when it comes to full-fledged, professionally-monitored alarm systems.

But if you’d rather not fork over hundreds of dollars up front, you can finance your equipment. If you finance, you’re looking at a 42- or 60-month contract, which is much longer than the industry standard of 36 months.

And if you cancel early, you’re on the hook for 100% of the remainder of your Vivint contract.

Unlike Vivint, Frontpoint doesn’t require a contract.

If you don’t want to pay upfront for your Frontpoint equipment, you can finance it for about $10 a month—but $99 down is more common. This results in a month-to-month deal with a little more freedom for renters and frequent movers.

Warranties

Vivint security system equipment comes with a 120-day warranty, but if you get a a premium plan, Vivint will repair or replace faulty equipment as long as you have Vivint professional monitoring service.

But you can get repair and replacement service outside the 120-day window (or without premium service)—you just have to pay for the service call.

Frontpoint includes a three-year warranty on its equipment.

Customer service

Vivint struggled with customer service when it first hit the scene. But the company’s response to customer feedback was swift and sustained.

Vivint has recovered significantly from its initial poor reputation to become a company that’s been awarded for its outstanding service, both in-house (how it treats its employees) and in the world.²

Frontpoint also puts customers first, which is evident in ongoing customer feedback.¹

Frontpoint home security consistently ranks four stars or higher on customer reviews, and the company boasts that “96% of new customers would recommend Frontpoint.”

Pro vs. DIY installation

Vivint shines for its customized approach to installation. Not only do you get a pro who knows exactly what they’re doing, but every Vivint home security system includes a free home security assessment as well.

That means you’ll get an expert determination of your home’s security vulnerabilities along with a thorough recommendation of what security measures make the most sense. The only downsides are having to wait around for the installer and welcoming a stranger into your home. Vivint installation costs $49, and there's no DIY option.

In contrast, Frontpoint only offers DIY installation with no pro option. This is usually associated with more stripped-down home security systems like Scout or SimpliSafe. But Frontpoint manages to provide robust home security that is still simple for a homeowner (or renter) to install on their own.

And your Frontpoint home security system equipment comes pre-programmed, so all you have to do is power up the devices and they’re ready to go. Check out our guide to Frontpoint installation for more info.

High-tech vs. portable security equipment

Vivint has been acknowledged as a home security and home automation innovator by experts and trade associations.³

When you bring Vivint’s AI system (called Sky) into your home, you get a smart home system that not only follows your commands but also learns your habits and preferences automatically.

Vivint’s seamless integration of smart home tech and home security tech is like having a sentry that looks out for danger and works hard to make you as comfortable as possible.  

Portability is one of Frontpoint’s best features—their equipment is easy to pick up and take with you if you move while still under contract.

Unlike other companies (like ADT) that make you start over with new equipment, you can uninstall your Frontpoint security devices and reinstall them in your new digs. All you need to do is give Frontpoint your new address so they know where to send help if you need it.

Winner: Vivint's tech edges out Frontpoint

It’s hard to see a clear-cut winner between Frontpoint and Vivint. A lot of it depends on your circumstances and security needs—and both companies deliver diligent home security that you can rely on to keep your home and family safe.

But we think that when you throw Vivint in the ring you have to emphasize home automation and other technical specs. In that regard, we put Vivint on top.

But there are still plenty of valid considerations that impact whether Vivint or Frontpoint is the best home security choice for you. Read our full Vivint review and full Frontpoint review to learn more.

How we decided

When comparing Vivint and Frontpoint, we knew that each company attracts customers with different expectations. If you gotta have a professional installation, Vivint is the default winner. Frontpoint wins for the die-hard DIYer. 

Beyond that, we also compared each company's equipment, policies, and pricing based on our industry knowledge and personal experience. Learn more on our methodology page.


Related articles on SafeWise

Sources

  1. Consumer Affairs, “Frontpoint Consumer Reviews and Complaints." Accessed November 10, 2021.
  2. The Monitoring Association, “Vivint is TMA 2017 Monitoring Center of the Year," June 22, 2017. Accessed November 10, 2021.
  3. Fast Company, “Most Innovative Companies.” Accessed November 10, 2021.
Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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