Frontpoint vs Ring Alarm: Who’s Got The Better Home Security System?

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Frontpoint and Ring Alarm offer no-contract professionally monitored home security systems. You can install both systems yourself, and they even use the same monitoring service. But can one protect your home better than the other?

Customer Service & Reputation

The BBB (Better Business Bureau) can be a reliable indicator of how a company handles consumer complaints. How did our two companies fare?

Frontpoint Complaints

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:

  • Difficulty canceling
  • 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.

Ring Alarm Complaints

Ring, which is owned by Amazon, has reports of excellent customer service for the most part, but the complaints we found are a little more serious than the ones we listed above for Frontpoint.

  • Referral program being a scam
  • Difficulties canceling an order
  • Rude or unprofessional customer support agents
  • Slow live chat help

In the end, Frontpoint wins this category because its customer service complaints are primarily contract-related, which should no longer be a concern for new customers now that contracts are no longer required.Frontpoint logo small

Custom Service & Reputation Winner: Frontpoint

Equipment

Below is a table of the types of security equipment offered by each company.

 FrontpointRing Alarm
Additional KeypadCheckmarkCheckmark
Keychain RemoteCheckmark
Door/Window SensorCheckmarkCheckmark
Motion SensorCheckmarkCheckmark
Indoor CameraCheckmarkCheckmark
Outdoor CameraCheckmarkCheckmark
Doorbell CameraCheckmarkCheckmark
Glass Break SensorCheckmark
Panic ButtonCheckmarkCheckmark
Smoke DetectorCheckmark
CO DetectorCheckmark
Smoke & CO ListenerCheckmark
Freeze SensorCheckmark
Water/Flood SensorCheckmarkCheckmark
Additional SirenZ-wave optionCheckmark
Smart SwitchCheckmark
Smart Door LockCheckmark
Smart Light BulbCheckmark
Garage Door ControllerCheckmark
Garage Door SensorCheckmark
Range ExtenderCheckmark

Who Has Better Cameras?

As you can see in the tables below, Ring has more options when it comes to outdoor and doorbell cameras, but Frontpoint has higher-end indoor cameras.

Indoor

 ResolutionDigital Pan & TiltEcho-Cancelling MicrophoneNoise CancellationField Of ViewInfrared Night VisionTwo-Way AudioPower Source
Frontpoint Premium Indoor Camera1080pCheckmarkCheckmark180ºCheckmarkCheckmarkPlug In
Frontpoint Indoor Camera1080pCheckmarkCheckmark113ºCheckmarkCheckmarkPlug In
Ring Indoor Cam1080pCheckmark140°CheckmarkCheckmarkPlug In
Ring Stick Up Cam1080pCheckmark130°CheckmarkCheckmarkBattery, Plug In, Solar

Outdoor

 ResolutionNoise CancellationField Of ViewInfrared Night VisionTwo-Way AudioBuilt-In LightsBuilt-In SirenPower Source
Frontpoint Outdoor Camera1080p117ºCheckmarkPlug In
Ring Stick Up Cam1080pCheckmark130ºCheckmarkCheckmarkBattery, Plug In, Solar
Ring Spotlight Cam1080pCheckmark140ºCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkBattery, Plug In, Solar
Ring Floodlight Cam1080pCheckmark140ºCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkHardwired

Doorbell

 ResolutionField Of ViewInfrared Night VisionTwo-Way AudioInstallationAdvanced Motion & Human Detection WiFi Capabilities4 Seconds of Pre-Roll* 
Frontpoint (Skybell Slim Line)1080p180ºCheckmarkCheckmarkExisting Wiring2.4GHz
Ring Video Doorbell720p180ºCheckmarkCheckmarkExisting Wiring or Rechargeable Battery 2.4GHz
Ring Video Doorbell 21080p160ºCheckmarkCheckmarkExisting Wiring or Rechargeable Battery 2.4GHz
Ring Video Doorbell 31080p160ºCheckmarkCheckmarkExisting Wiring or Rechargeable Battery Checkmark2.4GHz and 5GHz
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus1080p160ºCheckmarkCheckmarkExisting Wiring or Rechargeable Battery Checkmark2.4GHz and 5GHzCheckmark
Ring Video Doorbell Pro1080p160ºCheckmarkCheckmarkRequires Existing Doorbell Wiring Checkmark2.4GHz
Ring Video Doorbell Elite1080p160ºCheckmarkCheckmarkRequires Professional Checkmark2.4GHz and 5GHz
Ring Peephole Cam1080p155ºCheckmarkCheckmarkReplaces Peephole
Checkmark2.4GHz

*Pre-roll allows you to see four seconds of video before the motion is triggered

We’ve got a detailed review of Frontpoint’s cameras here, and more information on Ring’s doorbell cameras here.

Manufacturing

Ring Alarm manufactures all of its wireless equipment instead of using equipment from big-name companies like GE and Interlogix, which manufacture the majority of Frontpoint’s sensors. But there’s nothing wrong with Ring Alarm manufacturing its own equipment or Frontpoint using third-party equipment to build its system.

However, we do question whether it may be better that Frontpoint uses third-parties for its equipment needs because it allows them to focus on other parts of the business, like customer service.

Frontpoint has a three-year warranty (competitive), and Ring Alarm has a one-year warranty (less than what most competitors offer).

Frontpoint logo small

Equipment Winner: Frontpoint

Technology

If you want to integrate home automation equipment with your security system, both Frontpoint and Ring Alarm have options.

Learn more about Z-Wave and Zigbee smart home protocols, and IFTTT (If This, Then That) to familiarize yourself with the different ways of automating your equipment.

Frontpoint Compatibilities

Google Home speaker
Google Home Assistant (Compatible with both Frontpoint and Ring)

Ring Alarm Compatibilities

  • Z-Wave and Zigbee devices
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • IFTTT
  • Nest thermostat (through IFTTT)
  • Smart lock systems from Kevo, LockState, Kisi and Lockitron
  • Philips Hue lights

Video Monitoring

Screenshot of Ring app camera settings
Ring app camera settings

If you want to customize what your cameras are recording, manage the feeds and how actions integrate with your alarm system, the nod goes to Ring. The video monitoring capabilities of the Ring app far exceed what you can do with Frontpoint’s video monitoring.

Ring Video Monitoring

With Ring you get alerts the second motion captures something within the “motion zone” you’ve specified (or if you haven’t specified a motion zone, the default area that captures motion). There is also a setting to only detect human activity, which we found very helpful to prevent everything from cars on the street to bugs on the wall setting off alerts.

Lastly, you can link devices so that motion on one camera will automatically trigger another camera (or set of cameras) to start recording.

Frontpoint Video Monitoring

Frontpoint’s video technology is dependent on Alarm.com technology. In the app, you can view camera feeds and alarm-based motion detected events are uploaded into the cloud, where you can view them anytime via app or website portal.

The website portal had some old Flash-based customization features (such as specifying fixed angle settings for the pan & tilt camera) that are unfortunately outdated at the moment. Alarm.com has posted a notice that the website portal’s video functionality will be updated not to rely on Flash (which won’t work on Mac devices) before the end of 2020.

Battery Backup

If you lose power during a storm or from a burglar cutting wires, a battery backup will keep both systems running. Both Frontpoint and Ring Alarm have 24-hour battery backup, which is the standard.

Cellular 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 wires for a landline (phone) or broadband (internet) connection.

Ring Alarm’s monitoring is broadband with cellular as a backup.

App Performance & Rating

Screenshot of the Frontpoint app home screen
Frontpoint app home screen

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.

Frontpoint App Complaints

  • Unable to change the volume or time of display
  • Delays in the Android version
  • Having to relaunch app to initiate thumbprint login on iOS

Ring App Complaints

  • Being unable to view notifications
  • App not loading or slowly loading
  • Delays with video capture
  • Not receiving notifications
  • App crashes

Smash Proof

Both companies have smash-proof systems, so if an intruder tries to destroy your system, the companies still alert police.

In the end, Frontpoint wins because of its cellular monitoring for all of its plans, and it has a better app rating average than Ring.
Frontpoint logo small

Technology Winner: Frontpoint

Value

To see how these two compare in a real-world situation, let’s go over an example of a common household configuration with the equipment below:

  • Three door/window sensors
  • One keypad
  • One motion sensor

Neither company locks you into a contract, but let’s say you choose to keep your service for three years. Here’s an example of how much it would cost you through Frontpoint and Ring Alarm.

 FrontpointRing Alarm
Equipment$118.99$208.99
Installation$0$0
Professional Monitoring$44.99/month
(cellular)
$100/year
(broadband w/ cellular backup)
Total Spent After 3 Years$1,738.63$508.99

Monitoring Stations

Frontpoint and Ring Alarm use the same monitoring company, Rapid Response, which has two monitoring stations (how many monitoring stations are best?). The two stations are interconnected, so if one goes down (e.g., due to a natural disaster), another is there as a backup.

Best Value

Ring Alarm is less than 1/3 the cost of Frontpoint for three years of service. This is primarily due to Frontpoint’s high professional monitoring fee compared to Ring Alarm’s. Ring Alarm has the lowest professional monitoring fee in our home security system comparison, while Frontpoint is one of the more expensive companies.Ring logo

Value Winner: Ring Alarm

Ease Of Use

 FrontpointRing Alarm
Wireless EquipmentCheckmarkCheckmark
InstallationDIYDIY
Easily RelocateCheckmarkCheckmark

We read reviews from customers complaining about issues they had while trying to set up their Ring system. But once the systems are set up, they are easy to use. Meanwhile, Frontpoint customers rave about how easy it is to set up and use the system.Frontpoint logo small

Ease Of Use Winner: Frontpoint

What’s The Verdict?

Frontpoint and Ring Alarm are both excellent home security systems that you can install yourself, and both have reliable professional monitoring. However, Frontpoint has a more extensive list of equipment, an outstanding customer service reputation and the plus of offering cellular monitoring for all of its plans.Frontpoint logo small

Overall Winner: Frontpoint

If you’d like to learn more about these companies, read our individual reviews on Frontpoint and Ring Alarm, which include pros, cons, key features and customer testimonials.

Which company are you leaning towards?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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