Frontpoint vs SimpliSafe: More Home Automation Or Lower Monitoring Fees?

To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.

Frontpoint and SimpliSafe offer professionally monitored security systems and quality equipment. SimpliSafe brands itself as a DIY style security system, but Frontpoint has a very similar setup. Can one protect your home better than the other and for a lower cost?

Customer Service & Reputation

Both Frontpoint and SimpliSafe have solid reputations with A+ ratings from the BBB. You can find more details on their respective BBB pages:

Frontpoint Complaints

Please note that these were complaints made about Frontpoint when a long-term contract was required. Frontpoint no longer requires a contract, so these complaints may no longer be applicable.

  • Having to pay the full contract amount (or a percentage) if you cancel during the contract terms.
  • Difficulty canceling in general.
  • A one month cancellation notice without notification.

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 are getting into.

SimpliSafe Complaints

  • Requesting to be unsubscribed from emails and still getting emails.
  • Continuing to be billed after canceling.
  • Tech support may require multiple calls to fix an issue.

In the end, Frontpoint wins this category because its customer service complaints are ultimately about the contract terms, which customers are signing willingly. So it appears to be an issue of customers not reading the contract and then wanting to break the contract. SimpliSafe customer complaints appear to be more about the service itself, which is not in the consumer’s control.Frontpoint logo

Customer Service Winner: Frontpoint

Equipment

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

 FrontpointSimpliSafe
Additional KeypadCheckmarkCheckmark
Keychain RemoteCheckmarkCheckmark
Door/Window SensorCheckmarkCheckmark
Motion SensorCheckmarkCheckmark
Indoor CameraCheckmarkCheckmark
Outdoor CameraCheckmark
Doorbell CameraCheckmarkCheckmark
Glass Break SensorCheckmarkCheckmark
Panic ButtonCheckmarkCheckmark
Smoke DetectorCheckmarkCheckmark
CO DetectorCheckmarkCheckmark
Freeze SensorCheckmark
Water/Flood SensorCheckmarkCheckmark
Additional SirenZ-wave optionCheckmark
Smart SwitchCheckmark
Smart Door LockCheckmark
Smart Light BulbCheckmark
Garage Door ControllerCheckmark
Garage Door SensorCheckmark

SimpliSafe is missing an outdoor camera and other home automation equipment. Meanwhile, Frontpoint doesn’t have a freeze sensor, but other than that, Frontpoint’s equipment lineup is pretty thorough.

Who Has The Better Cameras?

Frontpoint offers 2 indoor cameras, 1 outdoor camera and 1 doorbell camera. Meanwhile SimpliSafe has 1 indoor camera and 1 doorbell camera, so if you’re looking for more options, Frontpoint takes the cake. Below are the specs for these cameras and you can learn more about Frontpoint’s cameras here.

Indoor

 ResolutionDigital Pan & TiltEcho-Cancelling MicrophoneField Of ViewInfrared Night VisionTwo-Way Audio
Frontpoint Premium Indoor Camera1080pCheckmarkCheckmark180ºCheckmarkCheckmark
Frontpoint Indoor Camera1080pCheckmarkCheckmark113ºCheckmarkCheckmark
SimpliSafe SimpliCam720p120ºCheckmarkCheckmark

Outdoor

SimpliSafe doesn’t have an outdoor camera, which is why only Frontpoint is in the table below.

 ResolutionField Of ViewInfrared Night Vision
Frontpoint Outdoor Camera1080p117ºCheckmark

Doorbell

 ResolutionField Of ViewInfrared Night VisionTwo-Way AudioPan & Zoom
Frontpoint (Skybell Slim Line)1080p180ºCheckmarkCheckmark
SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro1080p162ºCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark

Manufacturing

SimpliSafe manufactures all of its wireless equipment instead of using equipment from big-name companies like GE and Interlogix, which make the majority of Frontpoint’s sensors. There’s nothing wrong with SimpliSafe manufacturing its own equipment, but Frontpoint’s equipment has fewer complaints, and we think it’s good that Frontpoint turns to well-known companies like GE and Interlogix for equipment so it can focus on other parts of the business, like customer service.

Both Frontpoint and SimpliSafe have 3 year warranties, which is longer than the 1-year warranty that many competitors offer.

Frontpoint logo

Equipment Winner: Frontpoint

Technology

If home automation is important for your system, you may opt for Frontpoint over SimpliSafe, given the wave of extra devices available to you thanks to Z-Wave compatibility.

Frontpoint Compatibilities

SimpliSafe Compatibilities

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 SimpliSafe have 24-hour battery backup, which is the standard.

Cellular Monitoring

All of Frontpoint and SimpliSafe 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.

App Performance & Rating

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. (Please know that there were just under 2,000 reviews for Frontpoint and more than 63,000 for SimpliSafe.)

That being said, the Frontpoint app offers significantly more features and functionality than the SimpliSafe app. We’ve tested both apps and in our experience the SimpliSafe app is just that – simple. Some things the Frontpoint app offers that the SimpliSafe app does not:

  • It’s much easier to adjust individual sensors and set schedules for them (having them turn on and off based on certain events or times).
  • The Frontpoint app is easier to navigate.
  • Frontpoint sensors can automatically alert and record activity in a timeline whether your system is set to home, stay, or away modes. In the SimpliSafe app, you can only have one or the other – i.e., if you arm your system, you will not also get alerts and vice versa.

Frontpoint App Complaints

  • Unable to change the volume or time of display
  • Delays in the Android version

SimpliSafe App Complaints

  • Not updating
  • Closing on its own
  • Not staying connected with the system
  • Having to pay to use it

Smash Proof

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

In the end, if you plan on integrating some home automation equipment with your security system, Frontpoint has more options than SimpliSafe. But if you don’t care about having the smartest home on the block, SimpliSafe is a good choice too.Frontpoint logo

Technology Winner: Frontpoint

Value

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

  • 8 door/window sensors
  • 1 keypad
  • 2 motion sensors
  • 1 keychain remote

For comparison’s sake, here’s how much it will cost you for 3 years of service. Neither company requires a long-term contract, but many competitors require a 3-year commitment.

 FrontpointSimpliSafe
Equipment$415.88$389.87
Installation$0$0
Professional Monitoring$44.99/month
(cellular)
$24.99/month
(cellular)
Total Spent After 3 Years$2,035.52$1,289.51

Frontpoint has higher equipment fees and monitoring starts at $44.99/month which is $20 more than SimpliSafe’s. But we like that they both have more than one monitoring station (SimpliSafe has 6 and Frontpoint 2), a redundancy that’s essential in case one station experiences downtime.

We think your money is spent well with either company, and you “get what you pay for,” but SimpliSafe wins this category for having lower cost options that work just fine if your needs are basic.SimpliSafe logo

Value Winner: SimpliSafe

Ease Of Use

 FrontpointSimpliSafe
Wireless EquipmentCheckmarkCheckmark
InstallationDIYDIY
Easily RelocateCheckmarkCheckmark

Once the systems are set up, they are easy to use. The apps are relatively simple to use, although the Frontpoint app offers significantly more features and functionality than the SimpliSafe one.Frontpoint & SimpliSafe logos

Ease Of Use Winner: Frontpoint & SimpliSafe (Tie)

What’s The Verdict?

If you want a security system that’s easy to install yourself, has excellent customer service and great professional monitoring, Frontpoint and SimpliSafe are both excellent options.

However Frontpoint provides a much more comprehensive offering, with a greater selection of equipment, more home automation options, and website and app functionality that offer way more than the very basic SimpliSafe interface. Not to mention the crucial ability of the Frontpoint system and app to support both monitoring and alerts at the same time. Frontpoint logo

Overall Winner: Frontpoint 

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

Which company are you leaning toward?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert, and has been researching and 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.

In 2018, she had her first child, and that 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.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

4
Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Justin BG
I’d like to toss another vote for Frontpoint into the pool. Their portal has gotten so comprehensive from a smart home perspective that you can have your system do almost anything. They have easy-to-use, powerful rule and schedule settings that let you turn lights on when certain things happen (like opening a garage door), time events to happen at certain times or given specific conditions, and that same flexibility applies to alerts only vs triggering an alarm event.

SimpliSafe, on the other hand, has such a rudimentary interface by comparison it’s laughable. As the commenter below pointed out, you can’t even have your system in alarm mode and receive alerts at the same time, it’s one or the other.

Jordan P
I’m intrigued by Frontpoint’s lifetime equipment warranty, but I’m wondering what it actually covers if equipment breaks. For example, if a CO sensor reaches “end of life,” will Frontpoint replace the sensor for free?

Does it cover a sensor falling from the wall and breaking when it hits the ground (I can see this happening with the sticky pads)? I’m also wondering if any readers have had experience asking for equipment replacements and how that went. Thanks!

Stevie J
Finally someone points out the fact that Frontpoint whoops SimpliSafe’s little booty! No seriously, I hope that language doesn’t get my comment deleted. We’ve had both systems and Frontpoint is far superior. Sure you can save on monitoring costs with SS, but everything is so darn SIMPLE it’s not even funny.

My biggest beef is that you pretty much don’t get alerts. You have to manually set the SimpliSafe system to “alert only” mode to get alerts. How ridiculous is that? If you want to arm the system, you don’t get alerts. If you want alerts, you can’t arm the system. Are you serious SimpliSafe? I wish they were called ComplicatedSafe and offered these features. With Frontpoint alerts and arming functionality integrate seamlessly; it’s really lost on me (and frustrating because they are more affordable) why SS can’t achieve this as well. Not to mention it took them about half a decade longer than Frontpoint to finally get a security camera on board.

Spend the extra $ and go with Frontpoint, you won’t be disappointed.