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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?
The BBB (Better Business Bureau) can be a reliable indicator of how a company handles consumer complaints. How did our two companies fare?
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.
- 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.
Customer Service Winner: Frontpoint
Below is a table of the types of security equipment offered by each company.
Frontpoint SimpliSafe 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/Flood Sensor Additional Siren Z-Wave option Smart Switch Smart Door Lock Smart Light Bulb Garage Door Controller Garage Door Sensor
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.
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 SimpliSafe SimpliCam 720p 120º
SimpliSafe doesn’t have an outdoor camera, which is why only Frontpoint is in the table below.
Resolution Field Of View Infrared Night Vision Frontpoint Outdoor Camera 1080p 117º
Resolution Field Of View Infrared Night Vision Two-Way Audio Pan & Zoom Frontpoint (Skybell Slim Line) 1080p 180º SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro 1080p 162º
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.
Equipment Winner: Frontpoint
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.
- Z-Wave devices
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Assistant
- Nest thermostat
- August door locks (that are Z-Wave compatible)
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Assistant
- Nest thermostat
- August door locks (SimpliSafe does not require or support Z-Wave, so Z-Wave compatibility is not necessary)
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Technology Winner: Frontpoint
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.
Frontpoint SimpliSafe Equipment $415.88 $388.93 Installation $0 $0 Professional Monitoring $44.99/month
Total Spent After 3 Years $2,035.52 $1,288.57
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 cheaper options that work fine for basic needs.
Value Winner: SimpliSafe
Frontpoint SimpliSafe Wireless Equipment Installation DIY DIY Easily Relocate
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.
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.
Overall Winner: Frontpoint
Which company are you leaning toward?
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