The Frontpoint security system has plenty of value to offer, starting from its fast installation and ease of use to its brilliant customer service and wide range of features. It's not the perfect equation, however, since you need to commit to a contract that costs a fair bit every month. This review aims to dive into the meat of the matter to help you determine if this is the best security system for your needs.
The main reason you'd pick up a Frontpoint system is to monitor your home using cellular data. Cellular means it doesn't connect to your Wi-Fi setup or your landline, and it means the system is less likely to drop connection at the worst possible moment. If you want to add video recording, that will require an Internet connection.
The Frontpoint security system boasts the following security features:
Aside from the parts that actually cause the alert, the control panel is certainly the most important part of the whole system, and Frontpoint clearly knows this. You might not need to focus on the full control panel very much if you're used to using mobile apps, but it's the fastest place to set the alarm and see check the system's health. There's the standard control panel, and then there's the touchscreen option. However, the touchscreen upgrade isn't really necessary if you have a phone and like to use the app.
The following can be found in the touchscreen control panel:
Even on the simple, standard display, having access to the status like the weather is a great tool to have.
As far as the app is concerned, it's everything you might expect: You have the ability to arm your Frontpoint system remotely while connected to the Internet, make changes to the settings, and check any video if you are not home and want to check on your furry friend. There are also some geo-smart features built into the app, meaning that if your phone is near the house, it will disarm the system, allowing you to enter from any door.
The Security Cameras
Frontpoint comes with a few different cameras:
Video doorbell camera
The Skybell HD video doorbell might be one of the most exciting parts of the whole system. If you have a hardwired doorbell, it can be installed in your home. It even comes with night vision technology, meaning you can see who pushes your doorbell even in the dead of night. Never again will you need to open the door to see if your expected guest is the one ringing.
There's also two-way audio, so if you're busy and don't want to drop everything just yet, you can ask what your guest's business is without having to stand up.
Best of all, the video quality is clear and works seamlessly with the smartphone app. You will need to have a strong wireless signal near the door to ensure the best possible quality, not cellular.
Indoor and outdoor cameras
With the indoor camera, you'll have access to 720p HD video, and the camera itself looks pretty sleek too. It connects to your system via wireless connection and only records when it detects movement nearby. For peace of mind, you can get text notifications whenever the camera records. There's two-way audio here as well, so you can talk to whomever is on the other end--like a little hello to your dog wandering around the living room!
Frontpoint claims video monitoring doesn't cost anything extra, but it's only available with the highest tier package.
The outdoor camera may look a lot different, but it functions almost exactly the same as its indoor counterpart. It looks different because it's built to withstand the extreme elements, recording even in the negative temperatures.
Almost all parts of the Frontpoint installation is effortless; the video doorbell requires the most labor, considering you're going to be fiddling with a hardwired doorbell.
Fortunately, the system comes with a set of instructions that clearly explain how to install everything. The instructions can also be found online so you can read them on your phone while you work. All in all, though, you should have most of the system set up in just minutes.
Something that is worth noting is that if your doorbell is too new, you may have a layout or some setup that doesn't match up perfectly with the tutorial on the Frontpoint website. In this case, you might be able to hunt down a video from someone who has a similar doorbell and installed Frontpoint on it. Not only that, but even if everything matches up according to the blueprints, it can still be surprisingly tricky to install for anyone who is not familiar with electric work. If you're completely unsure, there's always the option of hiring a professional yourself.
Regardless, once this final bit is set up, it's very easy to use. In fact, chances are good you're not even going to read the instructions and just play with the buttons and app all on your own.
Please note that our guide's mention of difficulty assumes you're using a simple setup for a typical home. Large homes and stronger security needs will obviously take more time, money, and labor.
The Crash and Smash Protection system, as it is called by Frontpoint, is part of all contract tiers. It gives you 30 to 60 seconds to disable your system when entering the house before a siren starts to blare. The monitoring service will still be alerted even if someone were to destroy the control panel and no siren played inside the house.
Interactive Monitoring is another service option that alerts you if something opens and closes that shouldn't, even if you're at home and the system is otherwise disabled. Get a text message if someone opens the medicine or gun cabinet, or be alerted if someone enters your bedroom.
With the app, you have the ability to remotely arm and disarm your Frontpoint system, which is great for situations where someone needs to stop by your house to pick up something, or if houseguests are arriving before you get home.
When you buy a Frontpoint home security system, there are two financial aspects to it: The initial equipment purchase, and the ongoing service thereafter.
Prices for the equipment are available online, but we highly recommend placing your order by phone so you can ask and answer questions to narrow down the options to the best one. The sky's the limit, though, because you can pick and choose all of the equipment you want, and none of them are mandatory options. If there too many options to pick from--well, that's where the professional help comes in.
As we mentioned, the other half of the cost comes through the monthly payment as part of your contract. There are three available tiers, and each one has its own set of handy features.
Regardless of the tier you choose, you must settle on either a one- or three-year contract.
We just mentioned that you'll have to decide on either a one- or three-year contract when you work with Frontpoint. If a contract is a problem, then Frontpoint won't be for you.
Customer service is always a bit of a gamble when it comes to trying something new, because you never know if they'll walk their walk or if they'll just use any opportunity to try and pressure you into more sales. Frontpoint is one of the more reliable companies, thanks to their patient phone representatives and their focus on the customer experience, not a new sale. They'll ask you plenty of questions to help you figure out your problem and get it done right the first time.
As a small tip: If you want to order a brand new Frontpoint home security system, you're going to have to spend up to an hour on the phone with them answering lots of questions. This is mostly to make sure that you get the correct system for your specific needs.
Our experience with Frontpoint has been generally positive. Although we wish the Ultimate Monitoring plan wasn't the only way to get video monitoring, we still highly recommend the feature-packed service. Just make sure to account for it in your monthly budget, and you'll have no problems at all.