Frontpoint vs. Vivint
Frontpoint vs. Vivint Security Review – 2021
Vivint vs Frontpoint – Pro Install vs DIY
This 2021 Frontpoint vs. Vivint Security Review is a comparison in which we will contrast two different approaches to providing home security and automation. Frontpoint provides the entire spectrum of DIY security and home automation products and technologies with their new NO Contract security plans.
Vivint professionally installs the latest security and home automation equipment. After years of being maligned for deceptive sales practices and long monitoring contracts. Vivint has increased transparency and unveiled their new Flexpay program. Is it enough to unseat Frontpoint at the top of the charts?
Read on to discover the winner of this Vivint vs Frontpoint security slugfest.
Frontpoint – Best Home Security – Overall
- A+ BBB Rating
- 30 Day Risk Free Trial
- 100% Wireless System
- Landline Unavailable
Vivint – Best Security System for Home Automation
- Flexpay Financing
- Top of the Line Equipment
- Award Winning App
- Aggressive Sales Approach
Frontpoint Security vs. Vivint Home Security
In this review, we are comparing Frontpoint with Vivint and contrasting a variety of features in 5 separate categories. For the purposes of our Frontpoint vs. Vivint reviews, each category is given equal weight.
These sections of the review are listed in the Table of Contents to the left, allowing you jump ahead to an area of interest by clicking on the link in the TOC.
Although we select a “winner” based on the number of cumulative rounds won, your selection may differ according to your individual priorities and home security criteria.
Frontpoint Security vs. Vivint – 2021 Review
Reputation and Credibility
Founded in 2007, Frontpoint is a relative newcomer in the home security industry. Nevertheless, they have forged a strong reputation for providing quality, professionally monitored and pre-configured DIY home security systems… backed by stellar tech support and customer service.
Consequently, they are frequently found at the top of most online review and ranking services and have earned an A+ BBB rating with just 71 cases lodged against them in the last 3 years..
Established in 1999 as APX Security, the company was acquired by The Goldstone Group in 2010 and re-branded as Vivint.
For years they were plagued with BBB complaints, lawsuits and a very negative reputation. Complaints centered around rampant misrepresentation, predatory sales tactics, auto renewal clauses and an overall poor customer experience. Much of this was a consequence of a company culture fostering aggressive and high pressure door to door sales.
Since the acquisition, a greater emphasis has been placed on customer service and resolving customer complaints…and the BBB rating has most recently been upgraded to an A-.
However, negative online feedback continues to be the rule , rather than the exception, and BBB reports indicate that there were still 3,653 complaints filed against Vivint in the last 3 years.
While Vivint has made significant strides over the years to improve their reputation, the jury is certainly still out as far as a sustainable long term commitment to meeting and exceeding customer expectations. A heavy reliance on a high pressure, straight commission door-to-door sales approach, where customers often feel misled by overzealous and unsupervised sales reps will likely ensure that there are always challenges to maintaining a positive reputation.
On the other hand…Frontpoint’s proven commitment to providing best-in-class customer service, a low pressure sales approach and full online transparency ensures that Frontpoint will continue to lead the field in customer satisfaction and win almost any head to head comparison when it comes to reputation and credibility.
When comparing the historical reputions of Frontpoint vs Vivint, Frontpoint Home Security is a clear winner.
Frontpoint Monitoring vs. Vivint Monitoring Services
Both companies provide UL Listed, Five Diamond Certified monitoring stations. Frontpoint outsources their monitoring to Rapid Response, a highly regarded monitoring service and Vivint handles monitoring internally.
Both companies offer premium monitoring features with home automation, energy management and remote interactive capability.
However, Frontpoint monitoring rates are substantially lower-with cellular monitoring starting at just $39.99 and range up to $49.99, where as Vivint plans start at $39.99 (with a $399 Installation Fee) to $49.99.
Frontpoint no longer requires a contract. All monitoring is done on a month to month basis. In addition, there is no hard credit check and the system is available to renters!
2018 Vivint Update: Vivint has recently restructured their monitoring and equipment sales program. Equipment and monitoring are sold independantly. The customer can either:
- Purchase the equipment our right – in which case the monitoring is available on a month to month basis, with no contract.
- FlexPay – Customer financed the equipment over a 42-60 month basis- with 0% interest. Monitoring is coterminous.
For a complete rundown of current Frontpoint Security and Vivint Security and Home Automation monitoring plans, refer to our individual reviews, at :
Frontpoint takes this category category-offering competitive monitoring pricing, month to month terms and is available to homeowners and renters alike.
Frontpoint prides itself on providing a very customer-centric approach to home security. Boasting a consistent year to year A+ BBB rating, high customer approval ratings, flexible contract terms and a generous trial period- Frontpoint follows through on it’s commitment to providing a superior customer experience.
However, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak…and to that end, they offer a 30 day, risk free, money back guarantee.
They are so confident that you are going to love their products and services that they will issue a full refund, no questions asked, if you are not 100% delighted. No tricks…No gimmicks. No activation fees…no restocking fees….no shipping (they even pay the return shipping)…nothing to lose.
On the other hand, despite having greatly improved customer service in recent years, Vivint still has yet to prove that they can sustain a level of excellence that can rival Frontpoint.
They are so confident of their service that they have even eliminated contracts and credit checks!
Equipment and Technology
Frontpoint Security Equipment
Frontpoint offers a completely new lineup of equipment. It has a minimalist form factor and incorporates the latest privacy, communication, and encryption technologies.
The following legacy equipment may still be available on a limited basis, by request. The information below is for historical context.
The basic system is the GE/Interlogix Simon XT. It is equipped with a cellular communication chip so it is 100% wireless right out of the box and has z-wave capability to fully support home automation and energy management capabilities. The Simon XT is easy to use and has provided reliable performance for many years in the home security industry.
In addition, they now also offer the Qolsys IQ as an upgrade. This state-of-the-art panel has a more aesthetically pleasing design with an extremely intuitive, user-friendly 7″ full-color touchscreen user interface. It is fully compatible with the same Interlogix sensors and has some unique capabilities such as live weather reports, severe weather warnings, and still video captures and storage of alarm arming and disarming events.
Aside from the hardware technology, Frontpoint offers advanced monitoring technologies powered by Alarm.com. Crash and Smash Protection and Geo-Location services represent the most advanced monitoring and system management automation technologies available in security and home automation.
The system comes direct to your door and is fully programmed and pre-configured for easy DIY installation -at your convenience. No need to schedule a 3-4 hour appointment for an installation and take time off for work. (although Frontpoint can work with you to arrange professional installation-should you require it)
Vivint Security and Home Automation Equipment
2 Gig Technologies
Vivint requires professional installation of the latest security systems by 2Gig Technologies. This full-featured system also features a touchscreen user interface and incorporates most of the same advanced technologies of the Qolsys system. (without the built-in camera)
While Vivint doesn’t offer Crash and Smash Protection or Geolocation Services, they do include Live Assist in all their packages…which allows for 2 way communication to the monitoring center through an onboard microphone.
Frontpoint vs Vivint Review- Equipment Summary
While I’m sure company representatives from Frontpoint and Vivint could argue the merits of their respective security and home automation systems for hours….the reality is that they are both outstanding examples of the latest innovations in security and home automation. In my mind, it is virtually a toss-up in regards to hardware.
However, the Vivint Control Panel is a bit more feature-rich and does have a touch screen user interface. Overall, their equipment is more expensive as there is a price to be paid for professionally installed equipment.
In regards to installation-with the systems being wireless…in my mind, there is little need for professional installation. Frontpoint has streamlined the process so that it requires little more than placing the devices and calling in to activate.
I would, however, give a slight edge to Frontpoint in terms of premium services that are available.
So, if money is no object, I would have to give the nod to Vivint in this category.
Price and Value
While both companies offer a full array of comprehensive security and home automation solutions, Frontpoint clearly offers much lower equipment package pricing across the board.
Vivints lowest plan is $39.99 and requires a $399 installation fee…where as Frontpoint starts out at $39.99 with a $99.00 equipment package.
The pricing for additional security sensors beyond the basic package prices will be almost double with Vivint, For example, a standard door/window sensor with Frontpoint is $32.50 vs $60.00 with Vivint.
And although Vivint does have a longer warranty- Lifetime vs. 36 Months….they do require a $49 Service charge after the 1st 6 months.
Additionally, the inclusion of Crash and Smash Protection and Geo Location management capabilities in the Interactive and Ultimate monitoring packages make Frontpoint the superior value!
Frontpoint Home Security vs. Vivint Review Summary
While a case could be made for either company in regards to equipment and technology, Frontpoint is the clear leader in each of the other categories.
Frontpoint vs Vivint – Review Summary
They have a far superior reputation, comparable equipment, significantly lower equipment pricing, Alarm.com’s premium interactive services backed by top-notch tech support and customer service- in a streamlined DIY program that makes it our #1 choice in 2021.
However, if you are looking for professional installation with cutting-edge home automation….Vivint is a great alternative.
Vivint vs Frontpoint – Video Summary
FAQs and Final Thoughts
So which is best for me- a Frontpoint or Vivint Home Security System?
At the end of the day, if you are a homeowner who prefers professional installation and wants the latest in home automation technology and… doesn’t mind paying a bit more, Vivint is certainly a good option.
If you want the best customer service, No installation charges, lower equipment costs, and access to the latest security and home automation interactive technologies– Frontpoint is a better fit for you.
Frontpoint Security is also available to renters and doesn’t require a credit check…
Frontpoint vs Vivint – Monitoring Options
Neither Frontpoint nor Vivint requires a landline for monitoring.
As a matter of fact, both companies offer only cellular monitoring so that there are no phone or cable wires that can be cut to interfere with an alarm signal. Additionally, cellular connections are required for the Vivint Sky App and Alarm.com.
While some Frontpoint vs Vivint security reviews might complain about the additional expense of a cellular connection, it is a far more secure way of monitoring the home.
Frontpoint vs Vivint – False Alarm Avoidance Strategies
False alarms arising from the use of Frontpoint or Vivint systems can create an overload on your local police as well as emergency services resources. Worse yet, you could wind up having to pay steep fines.
Ironically, the majority of dispatches by monitoring centers across the country are a result of false alarms. Consequently, most towns administer fines to alarm system owners whenever they meet or exceed a particular volume of false alarms.
To prevent this from happening to you, here are some recommendations to avoid a false alarm with your home security system.
Avoiding False Alarms with your Home Security System
• You should make sure everybody knows the way to disarm the home security system. Whether you have a Vivint or a Frontpoint system, the alarm is going to have a master passcode, along with a number of supplemental end-user codes that can be programmed into the system. Try to make sure that everyone knows his or her code as well as is able to disarm the security system.
• Be sure that everybody also has learned the security password. If there is an alarm, either the Frontpoint or Vivint central monitoring station will in most cases contact the house for starters and request the security password to confirm that the man or woman answering is an authorized party. In case there is an alarm, should the individual answering the telephone call be unable to produce the exact password, the authorities will likely be dispatched.
• Check to see that every door and window is properly secured before arming the system. Any entrance that’s been left to some degree ajar could be blown open while you are away and set off the alarm.
• Check that that all devices are mounted solidly and in the correct places. Motion sensors need to be affixed at a height of 6’ and away from the fans, heaters, fireplace, and air conditioning systems.
• Give some thought to items that might possibly trigger a motion detector. It’s not only pets …air conditioning units can cause fluttering draperies or plants…and helium balloons can be transported about the residence by air currents. Ensure that they are tied down in an area far removed from motions.
• Preferably, pets ought to be restricted to zones apart from motion detectors. If that’s not manageable, one can find “pet friendly” or “pet immune” detectors that are able to screen out smaller pets below 40, 50 even 80 lbs. Motion detectors can be set up to provide pet alleys whereby pets could move freely about. The alternative option is to make use of glass break sensors in place of motion sensors.
• It’s essential to replace batteries when required. Both Vivint Security and Frontpoint alarms use Li-Ion batteries which usually have at very least a two-year estimated lifespan. Your Protection 1 Alarm System will in most cases advise you if your batteries have become low- not to mention warn you when there are approximately 30 days of usable life.
It is advisable to obtain extra batteries available and switch them out promptly. Your system will even alert you in case there are other issues with sensors. Any time you receive a system fault notification, run a status check and troubleshoot the sensor. Get hold of customer service in the event it seems to be not functioning properly.
Whether you decide on a Frontpoint alarm system or a Vivint Home security system, keep your customer manuals/codes/passwords in a safe specified location in which they could be checked if required.
Moreover, keep in mind that, when comparing Frontpoint vs Vivint, the ideal way to avoid false alarms is by using your system on a regular basis and making sure that everybody is familiar with the right way to operate the system.
Available Equipment Options
Frontpoint vs Vivint Home Security – Common Sensors and Components
Both Frontpoint and Vivint offer a comprehensive selection of components. This will enable you to customize your systems to fit your needs and budget. There is a myriad of ways that you can outfit and configure your system.
The great thing is that most systems are fully expandable. You can start with a basic system and build upon it when your needs change and/or your budget allows.
Following is a list of the major common components. We have included the more basic sensors that are often included in a starter wireless home security package, as well as a variety of sensors that you might want to add to a more comprehensive customized system.
The Basic Wireless Home Security Package
The Control Panel Hub
While some systems come with a separate base unit and keypad, the majority will integrate the two. You still find very basic units with pushbutton controls, but most will offer a touchscreen display. When comparing Frontpoint vs Vivint, one should note that the basic Frontpoint Security package contains a pushbutton keypad, but additional touchscreen panels are available.
Touchscreen Panel – Most top wireless systems come with some form of touchscreen panel where you can arm and disarm your system and manage any connected devices. The panels can be mounted on the wall or set up with a desktop display mount. Many will have an internal cellular antenna that can function as a primary or backup means of communication.
Cellular Communicator – Sometimes the cellular communicator may be a device all on its own. It can be used, in some cases, to keep connected to the app as well as the monitoring center. The advantage of a cellular connection is that it stays on in a power outage and can’t be cut, unlike regular phone lines and cable.
Window/Door Sensors – Otherwise known as contact or entry sensors. Each sensor is two parts, one that goes on the door or window frame, and one that goes on the door or window itself. One is a magnet and one is a transmitter. When the magnetic field between the two is broken, a signal is sent to the main unit. It is usually recommended to place sensors on all doors and the most vulnerable windows on the main floor.
Motion Sensors- Motion sensors detect movement inside the house. They typically screen out smaller objects (below 40 lbs.) and can be placed in larger common areas in the home where an intruder might pass.
Glass Break Sensors- Glass break sensors, as the name implies, can detect the sounds of glass breaking, as intruders will often break windows to gain entry. They are not typically included in basic packages, but can sometimes be swapped out and often used instead of motion detectors when there are larger pets in the home.
Keypad- Keypads are used to enter passcodes to arm and disarm your system. In many systems, they are integrated into the main hub. They should be placed on the wall or near where you most commonly enter and exit your home. Secondary optional wireless keypads can be placed in master bedrooms or other areas where one might want to arm or disarm the system
Panic button- Panic buttons are often included on the main keypad. They can immediately alert the monitoring station of an occupied medical, fire, or personal threat or emergency. There are also separate wireless buttons or pendants available which can be activated anywhere with range of the base unit
Key Fob- Often referred to as keychain remotes, key fobs work with most wireless security systems so that you can arm and disarm them even away from the keypad. Some key fobs can also include a panic alert feature.
Yard Sign- Yard signs can serve as a deterrent. They alert anyone that the home is protected by either Frontpoint Home Security or a Vivint alarm system. Company. While some people argue that this will ward off would-be intruders, others argue that they may provide insights as to the age and make of the systems to a savvy criminal. Realistically, they are more likely going to move on to easier targets.
Window Stickers- The same arguments arise when it comes to window stickers. Some experts suggest that it might make sense to use signs and stickers from a different company if you are concerned.
Siren- The majority of security system touch screen panels or base stations have sirens built-in. We recommend sirens of at least 85 decibels. Auxiliary sirens are typically available for larger homes or systems which don’t have built-in sirens
Top wireless alarm companies provide equipment that will allow you to monitor a variety of potential threats within your home. Typically, each of the components below can be integrated seamlessly into the system and monitored right through the system’s app.
Smoke Detector- In the event of a fire, a wireless smoke detector will automatically send a signal to the central monitoring station if no one is home or if they are unable to get to the phone. Many of them also incorporate a rate-of-rise heat sensor which can detect rapid increases in temperature. This is helpful in extreme temperatures if cooling systems fail, or if there is a flash fire that doesn’t have a lot of smoldering smoke.
CO Sensor – Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless gas that can be lethal if ingested in large quantities. Wireless alarm systems equipped with monitored CO detectors will alert you of dangerous levels of CO even when you’re not home.
Smoke/CO Firefighter Module- Already have standard smoke and CO in the home? Some wireless home security systems are compatible with smoke and CO alarm modules that can detect the sounds of your existing smoke and CO alarms going off and alert you via your mobile app.
Flood Sensor- You may be able to prevent major flood damage if you can catch leaks as soon as they happen. Flood sensors, sometimes called water leak detectors, can be placed near the dishwasher, washing machine, sump pump, or any other areas where floods can occur.
Heat Detector- While temperature sensors may be built into smoke alarms, they can be sold as separate devices that alert you of rapidly rising temperatures in your home, which could indicate fires. It is often a good idea to use these in a garage or near the furnace, where emissions tend to set off smoke detectors.
Low-Temperature Sensors- Low Temp Sensors can be set to monitor if the temperature dips below 45 degrees to prevent frozen pipes. These can be placed on exterior walls where the plumbing runs and in the coolest areas in the home that might be vulnerable to sub-freezing temperatures.
Security Cameras, Appliance Modules, and Smart Locks
Indoor/Outdoor Cameras- Wireless security cameras allow you to monitor and record what is happening in and outside of your home. Most wireless alarm systems offer a variety of camera options for both indoor or outdoor use. The current standard is 1080P HD resolution which is motion-activated and offers night vision. Cameras are also available with two-way voice capability and some even offer Artificial Intelligence (AI) which can distinguish between persons and objects such as pets.
Micro-SD card- While most cameras offer cloud storage of video clips, (at a price) some cameras come with storage capabilities on micro-SD cards. These are typically purchased separately, gaining up to 64 GB of local storage.
Video Doorbells- Video doorbells integrate a doorbell and a camera into one component. They may operate through the existing doorbell wiring or function as a stand-alone unit with a rechargeable battery. Many of the better systems are motion activated and include 2-way voice to allow you to speak with your guest through the system. If it is incorporated into your wireless alarm system it can be operated from your control panel or directly through your system’s app. These are a popular add-on to enable wireless security system owners to monitor packages dropped off at the front door…esp. during the holiday season.
Appliance and Light Modules- These are separate modules that plug into the existing 110v outlets that enable you to control lighting and small appliances right through your wireless home security system. You can turn lights on and off, start the coffee in the AM, raise the shades and turn on fans right through your app. The best wireless security systems even let you set up rules or scenes which will let you automate a whole series of events when you issue a single command.
Smart Locks- Never worry about placing a spare key under the doormat again. Smart locks can be locked and unlocked remotely. Both Frontpoint and Vivint have smart locks that can be managed with your wireless home security system so that your doors can lock when your system is armed, ensuring that your home is truly secure when you leave the house. Some systems can even be set up to unlock the smart locks automatically when the system detects that you (and your phone) have driven in the driveway!
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Last Updated on November 7, 2021 by The Home Security Advisor