Frontpoint vs. Vivint Security

SafeWise pits Vivint’s smart home security against customer favorite Frontpoint. See which company does better on price, features, customer service, and home automation.
Written by | Updated December 14, 2018
Winner
logo of vivint home security

Vivint Home Security

  • Cutting-edge equipment
  • No-contract option
logo of frontpoint home security

SimpliSafe Home Security

  • Great customer reviews
  • Easy DIY installation

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 the smart home trend pass them by.

If you’re trying to decide between these two home security giants, here’s a breakdown of what makes each company stand out, and where they could improve.

Pricing and Plan Comparison

logo of frontpoint home security loge of Vivint
Frontpoint Ultimate Plan Vivint Smart Home Video
Visit Frontpoint Visit Vivint
Monthly Monitoring Cost $49.99 $49.99
Equipment Cost Quote required Quote required
Activation Fee $199.93 None
Installation Fee None $99
Trial Period 30-day, 100% risk-free None
Connection Type Cellular Cellular
Contract Length 36 months 42 or 60 months
None with up-front equipment purchase
Customer Service 5 stars 4 stars
Base Equipment
  • Wireless control panel
  • Panic pendant
  • Door and window sensors
  • Flood sensor
  • Garage sensor
  • Glass break sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Smoke and CO detector
  • Vivint SkyControl panel
  • Door sensors
  • Window sensors
  • Motion detectors
  • Smoke detector
Home Automation Features
  • Light control
  • Smart locks’
  • Smart thermostat’
  • Doorbell camera
  • Security cameras
  • Live video streaming
  • Frontpoint mobile app
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Z-Wave
  • Smart locks
  • Smart thermostat
  • Doorbell camera
  • Security cameras
  • Live video
  • Vivint Sky app
  • Compatible with Nest, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Z-Wave
Stand-Out Feature Crash & Smash protection Smart energy management

*Data as of 11/06/18. Offers and availability subject to change.

What Do Frontpoint and Vivint Have in Common?

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

What Makes Vivint and Frontpoint Different?

Where Frontpoint and Vivint most diverge is installation and contract options. Frontpoint is a DIY-only system and Vivint requires professional installation. We’ll look more closely at the impact that difference makes below, but another big disparity is the month-to-month contract that Vivint offers when you purchase equipment up front. Before we dive deeper, here’s a summary of Vivint’s and Frontpoint’s significant distinctions:

  • Installation type
  • Portability of equipment
  • Trial period
  • Financing
  • Contract options
  • Customer reviews

Frontpoint Home Security at a Glance

Frontpoint has been a home security frontrunner for a number of years and delivers reliable, standard home security. From its contract terms to its monthly monitoring fees, Frontpoint remains a solid choice that conforms to industry standards.

family at home with security system

Frontpoint Monthly Plans

Monthly Price Home Automation Video Monitoring
Basic Plan $34.99 Not compatible None
Interactive Plan $44.99 Compatible None
Ultimate Plan $49.99 Included Included

*Data as of 11/06/18. Offers and availability subject to change.

Contracts and Warranties

Frontpoint requires a standard 36-month contract that includes a limited lifetime warranty on equipment. If you want to cancel the contract early, you’ll owe 80% of the remainder of the full contract. But if you fulfill the contract and still want to keep your monitoring service, you’ll default to a month-to-month contract.

Customer Service

This company puts customers first, which is evident in ongoing customer feedback.¹ Frontpoint consistently ranks four stars or higher on customer reviews, and the company boasts that “96% of new customers would recommend Frontpoint.”

DIY Installation

Beyond customer service, Frontpoint stands out with its DIY installation. This type of install 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 all the equipment comes pre-programmed, so all you have to do is power up the devices and they’re ready to go.

Portable Equipment

This is one of Frontpoint’s best features—equipment that’s 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 in them in your new digs. All you need to do is inform the company of your new address so they know where to send help if you need it.

Who Frontpoint Is Best For

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 system, it can get complicated to set up multiple sensors, cameras, etc. 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 you might move in the next three years, Frontpoint’s portable equipment is ideal.

Pros

  • 30-day, risk-free trial
  • Equipment you can move
  • Strong customer service
  • Home automation options

Cons

  • Long contracts
  • High termination fees
  • No professional installation option
  • High monthly monitoring costs

Vivint Home Security at a Glance

Vivint is probably the biggest home security innovator in the industry. This company has married home automation and security to transform our idea of what home security can do. Vivint’s modern twist on traditional home security can make your life more secure and convenient—all at once.

photo of person using Frontpoint Home Security website

Vivint Monthly Plans

Monthly Price Home Automation Video Monitoring
Vivint Smart Security $29.99 Not compatible None
Vivint Smart Home $39.99 Included None
Vivint Smart Home Video $49.99 Included Included

*Data as of 11/06/18. Offers and availability subject to change.

Contracts and Warranties

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 the contract.

In regard to warranties, Vivint equipment comes with a 120-day warranty, but if you get premium service, Vivint will repair or replace faulty equipment as long as you have Vivint 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.

Customer Service

This is an area where Vivint struggled—especially when they 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

Professional Installation

Vivint shines for its customized approach to installation. Not only do you get a pro who knows exactly what they’re doing, but Vivint includes a 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.

High-Tech 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.  

Who Vivint Is Best For

If you love technology and dig the idea of having the smartest home on the block, then 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 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.

Pros

  • No contract option
  • More affordable monitoring options
  • Advanced home automation tech
  • Professional install with security assessment

Cons

  • Steep termination fees
  • Long contracts without up-front equipment purchase
  • Hefty up-front costs

Read our full Vivint home security review or visit Vivint.

The Bottom Line

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.

  • Price and Contract: While there are some differences between these two—Vivint has a cheaper entry-level plan (but neither company offers full home automation at lower price points), and Frontpoint requires a contract while Vivint gives you an out if you can pony up the cash for equipment up front. But when you line it all up, the disparities come out in the wash, so this one is a draw.
  • Customer Service: Frontpoint takes this category. Even though Vivint has made huge strides in this area, it just doesn’t have the longstanding reputation for great service that Frontpoint enjoys.
  • Features and Tech: Vivint is the clear winner here. Although Frontpoint offers more home automation tech and compatibility than many security companies, it just doesn’t compare to Vivint’s innovation. And because Vivint provides an in-home assessment, the company does a better job covering both security and smart home needs.

Overall Winner: Vivint

For customized home security that integrates seamlessly with home automation, Vivint is the clear choice.

More Smart Home Security Options

If you still feel like shopping around, here are some other home security options that deliver professional monitoring along with home automation options.

ADT Pulse®

Read Review

  • Home automation starting at $52.99
  • Professional installation
  • Mobile app
Visit ADT
Link Interactive

Read Review

  • Home automation starting at $30.99
  • Shorter contracts available
  • 30-day, risk-free trial
Visit Link Interactive

*Data effective 11/06/18. Offers and availability subject to change.

Sources:

  1. Better Business Bureau, “Customer Reviews, FrontPoint Security Solutions, LLC”; Consumer Affairs, “Frontpoint Consumer Reviews and Complaints”; Frontpoint Security, “Customer Reviews”; Yelp, “Frontpoint Home Security Washington”; Trustpilot, “Frontpoint Security Reviews
  2. The American Business Awards, “2017 Customer Service Award Winners”; The Monitoring Association, “Vivint is TMA 2017 Monitoring Center of the Year”; CISION PR Newswire, “Women Tech Council Reveals 2018 Shatter List”; Flexjobs, “100 Top Companies with Remote Jobs in 2018”; Great Places to Work, “Vivint Smart Home”; Forbes, “America’s Best Midsize Employers
  3. Fast Company, “Most Innovative Companies”; IOT Breakthrough, “Winner’s Circle, Connected Home”; The Daily Herald, “Vivint Smart Home Earns Utah Genius Award, Provo No. 2 for Working Parents

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

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