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Frontpoint and ADT are two big players in home security. They each offer professionally monitored security systems and have high-performing equipment. One requires a long-term contract, the other does not, and when it comes to customer service and monthly fees there is a clear winner.
Frontpoint is known for its excellent customer service and no-pressure sales, whereas your experience with ADT will depend on whom your local authorized ADT dealer is. Each ADT customer’s experience will vary because ADT security systems are sold through authorized dealers*.
Authorized Dealer vs DIY Installation
Professionally installed systems, like those provided by ADT, tend to be outsourced to local authorized dealers. This means your installation and customer service experience may vary greatly depending on whom your local ADT provider is. The ADT reseller we link to in this article, SafeStreets, is not yet rated, which means the BBB is still evaluating.
*Our ADT links take you to SafeStreets, which is an authorized dealer for ADT.
The BBB (Better Business Bureau) can be a reliable indicator of how a company handles consumer complaints. How did our two companies fare?
*The ADT rating is for their corporate office, who does not install your system. You’ll need to look up your local ADT reseller to see if they have a rating.
Frontpoint no longer requires contracts, so for new customers these won’t be an issue. However, Frontpoint has thousands of customers still under contract, so for existing customers these may still apply:
- Having to pay the full contract amount (or a percentage) if you cancel during the contract terms.
- Difficulty canceling in general.
- Requires written notice of canceling one month in advance
Professionally monitored home security contracts, like your cable or phone bill, may contain a multi-year commitment, which means if you cancel early, you’ll owe the remaining balance on your account (the months of monitoring remaining in your term). This is a common complaint, so please read your contract carefully before signing. The good news is that many companies are doing away with contracts.
- Extra charges on bills.
- Incomplete installations.
- High-pressure sales tactics.
- Refusal to cancel service.
- Lack of customer support when issues arise.
- Customers being told contradictory information regarding contracts.
In the end, Frontpoint’s customer service complaints are ultimately about the contract terms, which customers are signing willingly. And as of November 18, 2019, contracts are no longer required. ADT has these contract complaints as well, but it has more complaints in other areas, so Frontpoint gets the nod here.
Customer Service Winner: Frontpoint
Below is a table of the types of security equipment offered by each company.
Additional Keypad Keychain Remote Door/Window Sensor Motion Sensor Indoor Camera Outdoor Camera Doorbell Camera Glass Break Sensor Panic Button Smoke Detector CO Detector Freeze Sensor Water Sensor Additional Siren Z-Wave option Smart Switch Smart Door Lock Smart Light Bulb Garage Door Controller Garage Door Sensor Compatible Smart Thermostat
Frontpoint doesn’t have an additional siren, but there’s one built into the control panel and you can opt for a Z-Wave compatible one. It is also missing a smart thermostat, but you can integrate one that has Z-Wave communication (e.g., the Nest Thermostat). Neither company offers a freeze sensor, and ADT is missing a garage door controller.
Who Has The Better Cameras?
Frontpoint offers 2 indoor cameras, 1 outdoor camera and 1 doorbell camera. Meanwhile ADT has 1 indoor camera, 2 outdoor cameras and 2 doorbell cameras. Below are the specs for these cameras and you can learn more about Frontpoint’s cameras here, as well as ADT’s indoor, outdoor and doorbell cameras here.
Resolution Digital Pan & Tilt Echo-Cancelling Microphone Field Of View Infrared Night Vision Two-Way Audio
Frontpoint Premium Indoor Camera 1080p 180º Frontpoint Indoor Camera 1080p 113º ADT Indoor Camera 720p 128.6º
Resolution Field Of View Infrared Night Vision Operating Temperature Night Vision Range
Frontpoint Outdoor Camera 1080p 117º -13°F to 113°F 40 Feet
ADT Pulse Dome Camera MDC835 720p 75º -40°F to 122°F 16 Feet
ADT Pulse OC835 Camera 720p 95º -40°F to 122°F 20 Feet
Resolution Field Of View Infrared Night Vision Color Night Vision Two-Way Audio Noise Reduction Operating Temperature Motion Detection
Frontpoint (Skybell Slim Line) 1080p 180º -40°F to 140°F 8 Feet
ADT Pulse Doorbell Camera 720p 180º -4°F to 122°F 25 Feet
ADT (Skybell Trim Plus) 1080p 180º -40°F to 140°F 10 Feet
Frontpoint offers wireless equipment while ADT offers wireless and wired equipment. GE and Interlogix manufacture Frontpoint’s sensors while ADT’s are from Ademco, DSC, Honeywell and Interlogix.
Frontpoint offers a 3-year warranty while ADT offers a lifetime warranty.
In the end, this category is a tie because both companies offer basically the same lineup and the equipment is dependable.
If home automation is important for your system, you have many options from both companies.
Frontpoint & ADT Compatibilities
- Z-Wave devices
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Assistant
- Nest thermostat
- August door locks (newer models are Z-Wave compatible)
- Smart bulbs
- Video doorbells
- Smart switches
- Garage door controllers
If you lose power during a storm or from a burglar cutting wires, a battery backup will keep both systems running. Both Frontpoint and ADT have 24-hour battery backup, which is the standard.
Cellular vs Landline Monitoring
All of Frontpoint’s plans have cellular monitoring, which is the most secure form because there’s no concern of a burglar cutting your landline (phone) or broadband (internet) connection. With ADT, you must upgrade plans for cellular monitoring since the cheaper plans have landline monitoring.
App Performance & Ratings
Below are the Apple App Store and Google Play Store ratings and number of reviews to give you an idea of what readers think of each company’s respective app.
ADT has two apps ADT Pulse and ADT Control. The control panel you have will determine the app you use. ADT Command Panel is newer and is replacing older ADT Pulse panels and in exchange, replacing the ADT Pulse app with the ADT Control app.
- ADT Pulse
- ADT Control
Frontpoint App Complaints
- Unable to change the volume or time of display on the control panel
- Delays in the Android version
ADT App Complaints
- Cameras not staying connected
- Status of the system being unavailable
- Devices not responding to commands
Frontpoint has smash-proof systems, so if an intruder tries to destroy your system, the police are still alerted. ADT doesn’t have this feature, unfortunately.
To summarize our technology comparison, customers like the ADT app and how much they can do with it. But if you want cellular monitoring, you must upgrade your ADT plan and its control panel is not smash proof, so Frontpoint wins here.
Technology Winner: Frontpoint
To see how Frontpoint and ADT pricing compares in a real-world situation, let’s review a common household configuration:
- 6 door/window sensors
- 1 keypad
- 2 motion sensors
- 2 keychain remote
For comparison’s sake, here’s how much it will cost you for 3 years of service. (ADT locks you into a minimum 3-year contract, and Frontpoint has no long-term contracts.)
Equipment $405.89 $0
Installation $0 $99
Professional Monitoring $44.99/month
Total Spent After 3 Years $2,025.53 $1,718.64
Frontpoint charges for its equipment but DIY installation is free. Meanwhile, ADT offers free equipment but charges an installation fee. You may have a little more upfront cost with Frontpoint (depending on the equipment you get), but there’s no contract requirement and it has a more consistent reputation for customer service excellence.
We like that both companies have more than one monitoring station (Frontpoint has 2 and ADT has 10), a redundancy that’s important in the event of downtime. In the end, Frontpoint wins here because it has no installation fee and better value customer service.
Value Winner: Frontpoint
Wireless Equipment Wired Equipment Installation DIY Professional
Easily Relocate Requires a Professional
Both systems are generally easy to use once they are set up. Although people rave about how easy it is to do things through the ADT apps, whereas there are some complaints about the limited functionality of the Frontpoint app.
While both systems are easy to use there are some key differences in this category. Some people may prefer having a professional install their security system while others hate having to take time off work to wait for the installer to show up and let a stranger into their home.
Additionally, if you plan on integrating a lot of home automation equipment, the ADT apps may be more appealing to you. However, the Frontpoint app, which is based on alarm.com technology, is also very sophisticated compared to other companies, so this is a close call.
Ease Of Use Winner: ADT
If you want a security system that’s easy to install yourself, has excellent customer service, great professional monitoring and no long-term commitments, Frontpoint is an excellent option. ADT has dependable equipment and monitoring as well, but its customer service isn’t near the level of Frontpoint’s and it locks you into a 3-year contract.
Overall Winner: Frontpoint
If you’d like to learn more about these companies, read our individual reviews on Frontpoint and ADT, which include pros, cons, key features and customer testimonials. Frontpoint and ADT are both included in our top home security system comparison, which includes more than a dozen companies.
Which company are you leaning toward?
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