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.
Winner
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Cutting-edge equipment
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Pro installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No-contract option
Runner-up
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Great customer reviews
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Easy DIY installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No contracts

Frontpoint vs. Vivint: Which security system is on top?

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 their strengths and weaknesses.

Compare pricing: Frontpoint vs. Vivint

VivintFrontpoint
Lowest monthly monitoring fee

$29.99

$49.99

Starting equipment cost

Quote required

$99

Installation fee

Starts at $99

None

Trial period

None

30 days

Contract required
Icon No  LightYes*
Icon Yes  LightNo
Learn more

Info current as of 07/08/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*42- to 60- month contract required unless equipment is purchased up front.

Similarities: Frontpoint vs. Vivint

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

Differences: Vivint vs. Frontpoint

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 disparity is contract length.

Vivint has a no-contract option like Frontpoint, but you have to pay for everything at once—while Frontpoint lets you put $0 for a month-to-month deal. If you want to finance with Vivint, you could potentially get locked into a five-year contract.

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

Equipment: Vivint vs. Frontpoint

VivintFrontpoint
Starting equipment cost

Quote required

$99

Smart home featuresVivint Element smart thermostat
Smart lighting control
Smart Lock
Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro
Garage control
Voice control (Amazon Alexa, Google)
Smart light bulb
Smart lock
Frontpoint doorbell camera
Voice control (Amazon Alexa, Google)
Learn more

Info current as of 07/08/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

VivintFrontpoint
Base equipmentVivint Smart Home control panel
Motion detector
Window sensor
Door sensor
Smoke detector
Water sensor
Glass break sensor
Freeze sensor
Flood sensor
Carbon monoxide detector
Medical pendant
Key fob
Vivint Ping indoor camera
Frontpoint hub
Keypad
Door sensor
Window sensor
Motion sensor
Flood sensor
Glass break sensor
Smoke and heat sensor
Carbon monoxide sensor
Key fob
Panic pendant
Indoor security camera
Outdoor security camera
Learn more

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 plan

Monthly price
Home automation
Video monitoring
Professional monitoring
$49.99
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes

*Data as of 05/04/21. Offers and availability subject to change.

Contracts and warranties

Unlike Vivint, Frontpoint doesn’t require a contract and includes a three-year warranty on its equipment.

If you don’t want to pay upfront for your 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.

Customer service

This company 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.”

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

Pro Heading
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
Cons
Con Bullet No professional installation option
Con Bullet High monthly monitoring costs

Vivint Smart Home Security at a glance

Vivint is probably the biggest home security innovator in the industry.

This company has married home automation and home 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 compatibleNone
Vivint Smart Home
$39.99
IncludedNone
Vivint Smart Home Video
$44.99
IncludedIncluded

*Data as of 07/08/21. 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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

Pro Heading
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
Cons
Con Bullet Steep termination fees
Con Bullet Long contracts without up-front equipment purchase
Con Bullet Hefty up-front costs

Read our full Vivint home security review or visit Vivint.

Frontpoint vs. Vivint: The winner

The bottom line: 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.

Vivint vs. Frontpoint: Which is best in our top categories?

  • Price and contract: While there are some differences between these two—Vivint has a cheaper entry-level plan and Frontpoint doesn't require a contract—neither company offers full home automation at lower price points. 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.
Thumbs Up
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
ADT
  • Home automation starting at $62.99
  • Professional installation
  • Mobile app
Link Interactive
Link Interactive
  • Home automation starting at $30.99
  • Shorter contracts available
  • 30-day, risk-free trial

*Data effective 07/08/21. 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
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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