(Last updated on April 22nd, 2020)
Finding a security system to protect your home in 2019 can be a challenge. The important thing to note is that not all security systems are created equal. Each has its own unique features that can stand head and shoulders above the competition. Currently, SimpliSafe and Frontpoint are two popular choices among consumers looking for the best in home security. If you are figuring out what to choose between the two in terms of features and affordability, this article will give us a head to head comparison on features, ease of installation, and pricing.
It’s no secret that home security systems are increasingly becoming popular. With the rise of “porch pirates” swiping your Amazon order and other packages right off your doorstep, it’s never been easy to make a decision to protect your home from unwelcome visitors. The safety of you and your family must always come first.
Home security systems have become more advanced in technology compared to their older counterparts. Cameras are more discreet today compared to the large, clunky surveillance cameras you would usually see outside places of business like banks and convenience stores. Even better, the more discreet the camera, the harder it can be for would-be burglars and thieves to outsmart it.
Regardless, you need a security system that will fit your budget and your personal needs. While SimpliSafe and Frontpoint are two great choices, comparing the two head to head will give you a better idea of who to consider further and who to eliminate from the list.
Comparison At a Glance:
While each brand has the same mission of protecting your home, both have similar differences in terms of feature, prices, and other relevant categories. The following is a head-to-head tale of the tape comparison of SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint:
Winner: FrontPoint. Both brands have excellent features such as their continuation to function in the event of power outages and intruders smashing the keypads. But what gave FrontPoint the edge in winning this category? While both have the ability to alert the proper authorities in the event of a break-in or a fire, Frontpoint gets the win with its feature of alerting the proper medical authorities in the event of someone being ill or seriously injured. This is perhaps the best feature to have if you have an older relative who is living independently.
Frontpoint has camera options for indoor, outdoor, and the doorbell. SimpliSafe is only regulated to just indoor cameras.
Winner: Draw. Both SimpliSafe and Frontpoint can be pulled right out of the box and installed in minutes. No professional installation. No drills. No wires to run through. Nothing at all. Just plug in, set up your sensors and you are good to go.
Winner: SimpliSafe. When comparing packages, Frontpoint’s Safe Home Elite goes for $832. Simplisafe’s largest packages, “ The Haven” and “The Knox” are $489 and $449, respectively. So if you have a large home, you’ll pay half as much with Simplisafe.
Simplisafe also has a 60 day money back guarantee compared to Frontpoint’s 30 days. However, Frontpoint has no upfront costs. SimpliSafe does.
3. Customer Service
Winner: Frontpoint. While both companies have A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Frontpoint gets the nod in the customer service category. According to numerous customer reviews, Simplisafe customers have complained about being on hold much longer. Frontpoint customers have stated that their customer service experience was more customer-oriented as if their brand depended on it. Though Frontpoint has their share of negative views and complaints, 94% of their customers would recommend the brand to their friends or family.
Winner: Simplisafe. This shouldn’t even be a contest. SimpliSafe wins hands down in the contracts category for it’s “no long term contracts” promise. Meanwhile, Frontpoint customers will have a long-term contract of 36 months. SimpliSafe is month to month so you can cancel at any time if you are not satisfied with it for any reason.
Winner: Frontpoint. Despite both companies being around for roughly the same time, Frontpoint had garnered some accolades by 2011. One in particular was winning the Angie’s List Super Service Award.
Overall Winner: Frontpoint. While the long-term contract is a glaring issue, Frontpoint wins the overall battle over Simplisafe. It’s coverage both inside and out is ideal for customers who want total home security. At the same time, Frontpoint’s ability to notify the police, fire, or emergency personnel in the event of an emergency will give consumers much more peace of mind. While the prices may be more than Simplisafe, the performance will reflect why the price is what it is. If you are a price shopper that pays little attention to value, Frontpoint may not be for you.
SimpliSafe is a more affordable option with no long-term contracts. While it does have similar features to Frontpoint, it’s upfront costs can be a turn off for consumers. But let’s not stop here. We’ve got a lot more ground to cover.
Breaking Down SimpliSafe’s Packages
1. Standard Plan
Simplisafe’s Standard plan begins at $14.99 a month. As part of the package, you get 24/7 monitoring of your home through a third-party network known as COPS. Simplisafe has partnered with cellular leaders like T-Mobile and Verizon to give you the best coverage possible and keeping you safe no matter where you are. The Standard plan also features environmental protection from fires, water leaks, and dangerous changes in temperature.
2. Interactive Plan
The Interactive plan is $24.99 a month. Features include the same as what you’ll get in the Standard plan. However, it will give you the ability to arm and disarm your doors with a touch of the button from anywhere you are. You can also assign your children or members of your household with personal PIN numbers so you’ll know who arrived home.
You’ll also receive secret alerts right on your phone so you’ll know what’s going on in realtime. This way, you’ll know what is open…including the things that shouldn’t be (i.e.: Liquor or medicine cabinets while it’s just the children at home). You’ll also receive video verification alarms. When an alarm is triggered, SimpliSafe will shoot a quick 60 second video of the event and notify the police. Not only will they have live video evidence, but they have just enough to arrest the intruder.
Interactive plan subscribers can also get unlimited camera recording. The recording of your security cameras can be stored for 30 days and can be accessed at any time during that time period. You can also download them to your personal computer. Don’t forget that you can also watch what’s going on in real time so you can check in to see if things are good.
Finally, if you’re home is Smart Home enabled, you can get SimpliSafe to work with your Home System. You can say “Alexa, arm SimpliSafe”. You can arm or disarm your locks with the touch of your Apple Watch, use Nest to adjust your thermostat, and get August to automatically lock your doors the moment you leave the house.
Breaking Down Frontpoint’s Packages
1. Protection Package
Frontpoint’s entry level Protection package begins at $34.99. It comes featured with 24/7 professional monitoring. Their monitoring and dispatch centers have highly-trained, certified professionals on staff that will keep an eye on things and respond to the proper authorities in the event of an emergency. It also comes with 100% wireless and cellular technology, so you’ll know what’s going on even if the intruders cut the wires or disrupt your signal.
It also comes with an automated system check. This feature will make sure that everything is in working order every 68 minutes. If everything is online, all good. If you’re moving to a new place, it is easy to pack and transfer. It’s even expandable in case you want to add new features to your current system. You’ll also know who’s home and who is not by assigning members of your household with personal codes. When service personnel comes by, you can give them a time-sensitive code so they can use it to access the house when necessary.
2. Interactive Package
The Interactive Package is $44.99 a month. In the Interactive package, you get everything in the Protection package and more. First, you’ll get crash and smash protection. When the panels of most security systems get smashed, the police can’t get a signal. If and when your Frontpoint panel gets smashed, the police will be called to your home and put a halt to the intruder’s criminal activity. You will also receive geolocation services letting you know where your family members are. You will receive alerts based on routine and location by way of your smartphone.
The smartphone alerts don’t stop there. You’ll know exactly who is coming in to your home and who’s leaving. If you have a fire, carbon monoxide leak, water leak, or a dangerous change in temperature, you’ll receive alerts right on your phone. Of course, you’ll also receive alerts when intruders are accessing doors or breaking windows. You can also get custom alerts based on the location of your family members and their activities.
Perhaps the best feature that gives interactive it’s name is your ability to use remote access. You can access your system from anywhere at anytime with a touch of a button. You can arm and disarm locks, watch live video, and control your smart home devices. You get full control no matter where you are.
Finally, you’ll get a complete history of any sensor activity in your home. So you’ll know who accessed what at a specific time. So, you’ll probably know who stole the cookies from the cookie jar for a midnight snack.
3. Ultimate Package
The Ultimate Package is the top tiered package at $49.99 a month. Your features go beyond what you’ll receive with both the Standard and Interactive package. On top of those features you’ll get live video streaming. Check in and see what’s going on in real time even when you’re away. Even better, you’ll get a video and image history so you’ll know what’s been going on over the course of the day or night.
You’ll also receive motion triggered alerts that will alert you send you a recorded video or captured image of any activity detected inside and outside your home. Even better, your cameras will come equipped with night vision. Even when something goes bump in the night, you’re camera will be able to capture it on video or image with infrared technology. It doesn’t matter how dark it gets inside or outside.
You can be able to control your lights as well. You can turn them on or off instantly. You can even set a schedule for when you’ll want them on or off. You can even program your lights to come in the event of any alarm sensors going off.
Finally, you can say goodbye to losing your keys. You can be able to lock and unlock doors remotely and assign unique codes to members of your family. It wouldn’t be a complete system if you it didn’t come equipped with a feature to let you know who’s coming in and who’s leaving your house.
Winner: Frontpoint. Despite both providing homeowners with 24/7 protection and cellular service, Frontpoint stands above the rest with it’s professional monitoring service. They have a dedicated staff compared to SimpliSafe, who contracts their monitoring service to a third party. While you’ll pay more for the standard package, some of Frontpoint’s has more features that you won’t find in any other standard package. Frontpoint is the one system that will constantly check to see if everything is in order. It’s better to check every 68 minutes than never.
A Look At Installing SimpliSafe
Installing a SimpliSafe system is easy and you won’t need a professional to install if for you. But you’ll need to place your base station in a central part of your home. Ideally, it needs to be within 400 feet of your sensors and 100 feet of your keypads. Because your sensors are pre-package with adhesive, you don’t need any nails. On top of that, the adhesive is safe on walls. Do you don’t have to worry about damaging the wall or any other structural elements of the house.
An issue to bear in mind is that it may not work properly if you live in an area where cell service is hit or miss. That’s because the base station is equipped with 802.11n 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi radio. Even if you forego Wi-Fi, you can still receive 24/7 monitoring service. However, you won’t get the automatic firmware updates if and when they happen.
On average, installing a SimpliSafe system will take 30 minutes.
A Look At Installing FrontPoint
Like SimpliSafe, the average installation of a FrontPoint system is 30 minutes. You can receive DIY help via their website or by telephone. You can also get installation help by way of the app on your phone. This means if you’re stuck and not sure what to do, the app can relay you to call the customer service line you won’t have to waste any time looking for the number yourself. If you have a specified problem, Frontpoint will have a solution for that in the form of text or video instructions.
3) The Final Verdict:
Previously, we’ve declared a tie in who won the battle for installation. Both SimpliSafe and Frontpoint is easy to install, but FrontPoint gets the edge for it’s ability to help you out with any installation issues you may have at any point during the process. Plus, Frontpoint seems to know that your time is important when it comes to installation.
4) The Contract Thing…but a little deeper.
SimpliSafe has no long-term contracts. You can cancel at anytime without having to worry about any additional penalties. However, you’ll need to sign a three year contract with Frontpoint. This is if you want the best equipment pricing. You can however try out their system in 30 days. Within that 30 day period, if you are not satisfied, you can return the equipment without being charged a restocking fee. If you decide to cancel after the 30 day period, the cost of buying out your contract will depend on how much life it has left (i.e–You pay more if there’s 24 months left compared to having 12 months left).
Once again, SimpliSafe declares a decisive victory in the contract aspect of this battle between two home security systems.
5) Number of customers
While no specified figure is found on how many customers use FrontPoint, SimpliSafe has reported to have 300,000 customers in 2015. The number at this point could be more in the present day.
SimpliSafe and Frontpoint have been in business for nearly the same length in time. Both have set themselves as leaders in the home security industry. However, if you want a system that will give you complete coverage of your home and your entire property, Frontpoint is the clear choice. SimpliSafe still has some room for improvement, but can still attract customers with it’s no long term contracts, easy to install equipment, and it’s ability to alert you in real time when things happen. In technological features (such as infrared technology for night vision), Frontpoint is the surefire winner between the two.
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