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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 resellers*.
This means the company you use to get your ADT system could be different than someone who lives in the neighboring county. Therefore, your costs and customer service will vary, even when the equipment, contracts and general installation tend to be similar.
For this reason, we’ve taken a look at user feedback from across the nation and come up with patterns and commonalities across the network of larger ADT resellers to leverage across our review.
*Our ADT links take you to Protect Your Home, which is an authorized reseller for ADT.
No contract? Say what?
Please note that the following Frontpoint complaints were posted when a long-term contract was required. As of November 18, 2019, Frontpoint no longer requires a contract, so these complaints may no longer apply.
- Having to pay the full contract amount (or a percentage) if you cancel during the contract terms.
- Difficulty canceling in general.
- A 1-month cancellation notice that they weren’t notified of.
The majority of these complaints concern terms that are often included in the contract Frontpoint requires upon sign-up. Please know that when you sign a contract, cancellation can be more difficult because there are terms you must follow.
We urge you always to read any agreement you sign thoroughly, so you know what you’re getting into.
Your experience with ADT can vary because it uses several authorized dealers. ADT doesn’t have as great of a reputation with its customer service department as Frontpoint does. Here’s just some of the feedback we’ve encountered.
- 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.
It’s important to note that the ADT BBB profile is for their corporate entity. Since they use an authorized reseller model (license their offering to local providers in your area), your local ADT provider may have a different BBB rating, or none at all (this is the case for the reseller we link to in this review).
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.
Frontpoint ADT 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 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. 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.
Frontpoint offers wireless equipment with a 3-year warranty. Meanwhile, ADT offers wireless and wired equipment with a lifetime warranty. GE and Interlogix manufacture Frontpoint’s sensors while ADT’s are from Ademco, DSC, Honeywell and Interlogix.
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 lower-tiered plans have landline monitoring.
App Performance & Ratings
We combined Apple App Store and Google Play Store ratings and averaged them to give you an idea of what readers think of each company’s respective app.
- Frontpoint – 4.0/5.0 (<2,000 reviews) – Android App | iOS App
- ADT Pulse – 4.7/5.0 (>589,000 reviews) – Android App | iOS App
Frontpoint App Complaints
- Unable to change the volume or time of display on the control panel
- The Android version having delays
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 compare in a real-world situation, let’s compare 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.)
Frontpoint ADT Equipment $395.89 $0 Installation $0 $99 Professional Monitoring $44.99/month
Total Spent After 3 Years $2,015.53 $1,862.64
Frontpoint charges for its equipment 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 based on our calculations you could end up saving $144 in monitoring expenses over 3 years and have a more consistent customer service experience with Frontpoint.
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 of its lower monitoring fees, no installation fee and better value customer service.
Value Winner: Frontpoint
Frontpoint ADT 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 Pulse app, 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 Pulse app 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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