Let’s get this out of the way first- There are a lot of great home security systems out there that work exactly as they are supposed to. But while a lot of them are too expensive for your average family to afford or too complicated for your average person to install, some stand out over the rest.
A better question is why not? In today’s world, an alarm system is sometimes all that stands between your family and tragedy. Average police response times can be more than 5 minutes depending on where you live, and a lot can happen in 5 minutes- and that’s if you notice an intruder coming into your home in time to call someone. And what if you’re away? Without an alarm system, an intruder could potentially break in and search your house top to bottom, stealing or damaging valuables and irreplaceable heirlooms.
How does an alarm system keep you safe, you may wonder. While an alarm can’t make police get to your house any faster, what it can do is deter. Any criminal that sets off an alarm when breaking into a home will immediately panic. His first thoughts are about the police, getting caught, going to jail- And the last thing he wants to do is finish breaking in.
Simplisafe is a great value as a budget-friendly security system. Its equipment is affordable and of good quality, and they feature a multi-tiered system of monitoring packages starting as low as $14.99 per month. Simplisafe’s components work well together just like Frontpoint’s do, and they have high customer satisfaction ratings
You get what you pay for. Frontpoint’s starter equipment is very reasonably priced, but it’s Ultimate Monitoring plan is a little more expensive than your average professional montiroing plan- about $5 more per month. That being said, you will get quite a lot of function for your money, so it’s not as though you’re paying for nothing. Furthermore, you may save enough on your monthly equipment cost, depending on what components you choose, that you could likely still come out cheaper than with many other services.
While you will save some money by going with Simplisafe, you are going to give up some functionality. Simplisafe sells a few smart devices of its own, but it doesn’t support any kind of Z-wave devices and therefore you will struggle to integrate third-party equipment. It does grant the ability to integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant so you do have some voice control capabilities.
First off, Simplisafe and Frontpoint are both completely wireless systems and come with equipment that doesn’t need to be hardwired to your home- a huge plus for both, as half the aggravation of any home security system is the installation. Wireless systems are far more easily adapted to your needs, especially if you rearrange your furniture or move. Wireless equipment also makes it super easy to add new components to your home security setup.
Both companies offer DIY installation with no professional assistance required, which is a positive because installation is often the most expensive part of a new security system and some companies charge as much as a few hundred dollars for it. And even if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing, Frontpoint provides especially helpful In-App instructions, along with a 24/7 help line in case you find yourself at a loss.
Both companies are on point when it comes to installation, so we’re going to have to call it a draw on this one.
Frontpoint has no up front costs- everything can be paid for on a monthly basis, with a 30-day 100% money back guarantee if not satisfied with any part of the product. Simplisafe requires a $229 investment to purchase equipment right off the top in addition to a monthly $14.99 fee to keep your equipment operational
One of the most important parts of any home security system are the cameras, and both Simplisafe and Frontpoint have excellent camera quality, and both offer indoor cameras. Interestingly enough, many companies do not feature indoor security cameras, a surprising revelation in this day of nanny and pet cams. Indoor cameras give you the ability to monitor busy areas of your home and it’s entry points, as well as check in on children or pets who may be left home alone at times.
Frontpoint outshines Simplisafe in the camera department however, as they offer outdoor cameras, cameras that are consistently highly rated among all security companies. You may ask what’s the difference- Outdoor cameras differ from indoor cameras in that they are designed to withstand the elements (rain, snow, heat, cold, dust, etc), whereas indoor cameras don’t generally have to be prepared for all that. So if you want outdoor monitoring of your valuables and property, Frontpoint is the clear winner on the camera front. And honestly, if your property is stolen or vandalized, you’re going to want those outdoor cameras to help the police apprehend the responsible parties.
Home automation is the ability to integrate all of your home security components and appliances via a central command center or app, giving you full control of your security system through a mobile device. Many consumers use home automation to watch their security systems as well as control things like temperature, lights and other functions. Frontpoint features full home automation with most of their systems, something Simplisafe is sorely lacking.
Both Simplisafe and Frontpoint offer great extras like motion detectors, key fob panic buttons and remote alarm access, environmental hazard detectors (like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, etc). But Frontpoint goes above and beyond Simplisafe in this department, with tons of home automation ability and “geofencing”- the virtual “fencing” off of your property using your smartphone.
Both Simplisafe and Frontpoint have maintained an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, a remarkable achievement in the home security industry. This is doubly impressive since Frontpoint maintained an A+ with an extremely low rate of complaints compared to their volume of sales, as well as handling the few complaints they receive reliably and as reasonably as possible. Overall, both companies are highly rated when it comes to customer satisfaction, but Frontpoint may get a slight edge due to their low rate of complaints. And since most of their complaints were tied to contract issues, the fact that Frontpoint now has moved to a no-contract policy, Frontpoint’s reputation should only improve from here on out.
One of the primary differences between Frontpoint and Simplisafe are their equipment. Frontpoint uses the latest technology from some of the best-known companies in the security industry. Their equipment is universally compatible with most other reputable security systems, while Simplisafe uses proprietary equipment that only works with Simplisafe systems, meaning if you ever change companies you will have to buy all new equipment.
The first thing any good security system should do is keep a break-in from ever happening in the first place. If a thief knows there is zero chance of getting through without triggering an alarm or getting caught on camera, he’s more than likely going to move on to easier prey. In this way, yard signs and window stickers are well worth your time and trouble to install. Both Simplisafe and Frontpoint have excellent internal motion sensors and alarms, but only Frontpoint can offer outdoor cameras- And nothing deters a criminal more than looking up at the door or window he’s trying to get into and seeing a camera.
Good security systems never rely on a single line of defense- they always have a backup. The goal being, of course, that if someone is able to slip past your door or window sensors without triggering an alarm, your interior motion sensors and indoor cameras will pick them up. Strategically placed motion detectors are difficult if not impossible to avoid and indoor cameras can alert you if someone is in your house who shouldn’t be. Both Simplisafe and Frontpoint have excellent capabilities in interior protection, with both offering high definition cameras and excellent motion sensors.
Both companies feature well designed apps, but while Simplisafe’s app enables the owner of the system to control basic functions, Frontpoint features advanced “Crash and Smash” protection and other capabilities. Frontpoint’s hub also comes with built-in “Z Wave” capability, allowing it to be compatible with any Z-Wave components for home automation. Both apps feature Alexa and Nest capabilities, but the process is not as seamless with Simplisafe as with Frontpoint.
Both companies support real-time alerts to let you know when doors are opened or motion is detect, as well as when environmental detectors pick up anything unusual.
Frontpoint features a smart thermostat component so your Hub can serve as an energy management center. Simplisafe can communicate with the Nest thermostat.
The Simplisafe App has a slightly higher rating on the App Store and Google Play, but Frontpoint actually has more functionality and doesn’t require interaction with 3rd party components. While both apps accomplish numerous functions, Simplisafe may not be quite as simple to use or quite as sleek, so the Frontpoint is going to take the upper hand in this one.
Both Simplisafe and Frontpoint work with highly competent 24/7 3rd party monitoring stations and feature cellular communication modules. Both companies do not require monitoring agreements, though both recommend them to get the most function out of your components.
Simplisafe’s basic monitoring package is cheaper than Frontpoint- there’s no getting around that fact. Simplisafe begins as low as $14.99 a month while Frontpoint’s Ultimate Monitoring package is $49.99. But for that price, Frontpoint offers a considerable amount of flexibility and value for your money.
Simplisafe does grant you the ability to enable or disable your security system remotely with an upgraded plan ($24.95/month), but has only limited automation ability and no surveillance abilities for outdoor cameras.
Frontpoint, on the other hand, offers sophisticated home automation and camera surveillance as well as many other advanced monitoring abilities.
Insurance companies often offer discounts of anywhere from 5 to 20% depending on which security system or type of system you install. More often than not, insurance companies require you to enroll in a monitoring plan to earn this discount, however. Both Frontpoint and Simplisafe can give you certificates to prove you are receiving monitoring services, so if your insurance company offers those discounts, these companies can help you get them
Many security companies claim to have the quickest reaction times in the business. Frontpoint and Simplisafe, however, partner with 3rd party monitoring centers that render excellent services to their customers (Rapid Response for Frontpoint and C.O.P.S. Monitoring for Simplisafe). Response times are usually counted from the instant an alert arrives to the time the dispatchers calls the home owner to verify that the alert is real. Ideally this period is under a minute. When it comes to comparing Frontpoint and Simplisafe, the differences are hardly noticeable, as both offer average response times of less than 20 seconds. It is extremely rare to find a negative review of either company when it comes to response times.
So overall, if you’re trying to decide on a system, how do you choose? Here’s an easy way to look at it: Make a list of the features you definitely want. Whether that’s indoor/outdoor cameras, low price, convenience, home automation, or whatever you see as must-haves. Then it’s as easy as seeing which system meets your needs.
Both Simplisafe and Frontpoint offer quality services, components and monitoring. And while Simplisafe may be cheaper for the most basic plan, if you want the advanced features of home automation, remote access, etc, Frontpoint’s Ultimate Monitoring plan will actually save you money in the long run. In the end, Frontpoint’s full spectrum of advanced features justify the extra costs. Frontpoint delivers a superior overall experience if you’re looking for anything beyond the most basic level of home security system. Their service is outstanding and they feature an extensive array of security and automation equipment.