ADT vs Frontpoint

While ADT is one of the home security industry's most well-known names, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best choice. In comparing ADT with Frontpoint, both companies provide high-quality security systems and professional monitoring. However, when you choose Frontpoint, you'll pay less for monitoring and you can do the installation yourself. Both companies' options have their pros and cons, and your choice will largely depend on your budget and other factors. Read on for an in-depth comparison of Frontpoint and ADT, their offerings, each company's benefits, and their disadvantages.

ADT: Your Options, Available Plans, and More

ADT gives you various home security options. Choose a low-tech landline connection and a push-button keypad, or go the high-tech route with a Pulse plan and equipment. Although it's great to have choices, it may create more confusion for some buyers. In today's high-tech world, home security should be simple, and buyers should know just what they're getting. ADT has more North American monitoring centers than any other home security provider, but the company uses multiple distributors and providers depending on your location, and it's difficult to tell what type of equipment you'll get before you commit.

Frontpoint: A Simpler Option for Those Who Want to Do It Themselves

With Frontpoint's security system options, things are kept much simpler. You can order your system online or by phone, and when you do so, you'll know exactly what type of equipment you'll be getting. All Frontpoint systems work via cellular connection for greater reliability and security. And, while an ADT system requires professional installation, Frontpoint provides a DIY installation kit with your order.

If you're not handy around the house, you may prefer professional installation. After all, who wouldn't prefer to let someone else do all the work? When a security system is installed by an expert, you're assured that the job is done correctly. However, Frontpoint's installation methods are easy enough for most homeowners, and many like the fact that they don't have to wait on an installer to arrive. The installation process is very simple, and you'll get printed instructions if you don't want to view them online. From beginning to end, you can expect system installation to take approximately an hour. Below, you'll find a quick comparison of each company's monthly cost, contract terms, and installation methods.

  • Frontpoint costs $39.99-$49.99 per month. The contract term is one or three years, and installation is DIY.
  • ADT costs $27.99-$58.99 per month, with a three-year contract term and professional installation only.

Your takeaway: While ADT's Pulse options offer some of the most technologically advanced equipment, Frontpoint's low cost and easy installation gives it an edge over ADT.

Pricing: How Frontpoint and ADT Compare

As far as home security providers are concerned, ADT is near the top of the heap. While ADT's basic equipment costs about as much as Frontpoint's does, their monthly monitoring fees are significantly higher. For instance, the Pulse + Video option is costlier than almost every other home security provider. It gives you the top home automation and technology features offered by ADT, but it comes at a high price. Furthermore, if you want app-based controls, you'll have to have ADT's Pulse + Video or its Pulse option. Frontpoint also requires you to subscribe to a higher-tier plan for mobile control, but it still comes at a lower cost than with ADT. Here, you'll see a brief comparison of these systems' monitoring costs.

  • ADT monitoring: The Basic plan costs $27.99/month, as it's only connected via landline. The Basic Wireless plan is $48.99 per month, the Pulse plan is $52.99/month, and the Pulse + Video plan is $58.99/month. The latter three plans all come with a cellular connection.
  • Frontpoint monitoring: The Protection plan is $34.99 per month, the Interactive plan is $44.99 per month, and the Ultimate plan is $49.99 per month.

Your takeaway: We really don't like it when providers require customers to pay a higher fee for app-based controls. Newer providers such as Abode and Nest offer full access to dedicated mobile apps, as well as mobile system controls, even if you don't subscribe to a monthly plan. However, as far as conventional providers are concerned, Frontpoint offers a better deal than ADT. If you're looking for a budget-friendly way to protect your home and everything in it, Frontpoint may be the way to go.

Service Contracts and Their Length

Both Frontpoint and ADT require customers to sign contracts. While no one likes to sign a long-term contract for a service (we're looking at you, cell phone carriers), many home security providers have abandoned the contract-based concept completely. In fact, Vivint doesn't require a contract with an up-front equipment purchase. Most people keep their security systems in place for about ten years, which means that a multi-year contract isn't such a big deal in most cases. With a contract, you may be able to get a substantial discount on equipment, and you won't have to make a big payment all at once. Frontpoint allows you the option of a short, one-year contract. However, if you opt for a three-year term, you'll save a lot on your equipment.

Your takeaway: While ADT's and Frontpoint's equipment are nearly equivalent in cost, Frontpoint offers less expensive monitoring, especially when compared to ADT's Pulse option. If you don't mind the up-front investment because it comes with a lower monthly charge, Frontpoint may be the right choice for you and your home.

Frontpoint and ADT: Equipment and Smart Home Integration Comparison

If you're looking for sleek equipment and support for home automation, we suggest ADT Pulse. If you're after the best available technology, we recommend Vivint above all others. With ADT Pulse, you'll get an intuitive control panel that's Z-Wave compatible, which means you can integrate third-party devices such as locks, lights, and garage door controllers. The mobile app makes it simple to disarm or arm your system from anywhere there's an internet connection, and you can set home automation rules. For instance, if you want your lights to come on as you're coming home from work, the ADT Pulse system can do it.

Frontpoint's equipment doesn't appear as high-tech as that found with either of the ADT Pulse plans, particularly if you choose the standard keypad over the tablet-like digital control panel. However, Frontpoint offers the same Z-Wave compatibility, so you can add all your favorite smart devices. With Frontpoint, you'll get full app-based controls as long as you subscribe to the Ultimate or Interactive plan, and you can set rules for your smart home implements.

Your takeaway: While ADT Pulse is extremely impressive, Frontpoint provides almost all of the same home automation options at a more manageable cost.

The Recap

Frontpoint and ADT have similar equipment, although the ADT purchase process makes it almost impossible to determine what type of setup you'll get. Both vendors offer Z-Wave compatibility and the home automation options you may be looking for, but ADT is costlier, especially if you're opting for a Pulse Plan. Frontpoint offers easy installation that you can do yourself, while with ADT, you'll have to wait for a professional installer to do the job. Frontpoint and ADT both require contracts, although the former offers a shorter-term option. All in all, we recommend Frontpoint because of its top-notch customer service, low price, and equipment reliability. If you're looking for a good, reliable, and affordable security system with smart device integration capabilities, Frontpoint is our pick. Check out our review for additional information on the company's home security offerings.