ADT Simplisafe Frontpoint (1)

ADT vs Frontpoint vs SimpliSafe

ENTRY LEVEL PRICING:

ADT

ADT is not simple. They have basic packages, Pulse packages, direct packages, and packages they offer through resellers. On top of that, they consider their pricing to be “custom” for each homeowner. As they are rather diverse and secretive, it can be hard to compare ADT to other home security companies. We’ve gathered basic pricing information from ADT customers and ADT directly. Using this information, it seems like Pulse is most comparable to Frontpoint. Pulse offers advanced features, as well as smart home services, and the majority of ADT’s new customers are choosing Pulse for home security.

ADT does have a non-Pulse package called Essentials which would technically be their entry level security package. Essentials starts at $36.99 and offers very basic security service. But for this compare, we will start with their entry-level Pulse Package, Remote Arm. This package is $47.99 per month.

ADT makes it more challenging to know what to expect by suggesting that their monthly rate is variable – meaning what they charge me, may not be the same as what they charge you. They also reserve the right to increase your monthly rate at any time.

Frontpoint

Unlike ADT, Frontpoint is simple. They offer three packages stemming from basic home security to a full-blown automation package that includes video surveillance. The entry level monitoring plan for Frontpoint starts at $34.99, but the most comparable to ADT’s Remote Arm is the Interactive Plan for $44.99 per month. The differences between Remote Arm and Interactive are subtle, but there are some differences in policy. For one, your rate with Frontpoint is locked through the terms of your contract. Two, the monthly fee is set and the same for all customers.

SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe is also relatively simple, living up to its name. Because it is a DIY security system, they offer packages without professional monitoring. However, for professional monitoring, there are options, including Standard and Interactive.

The entry-level plan for SimpliSafe, the Standard plan, costs $14.99 a month and includes 24/7 professional monitoring and live video streaming. This plan does not include email or text alerts nor does it include remote control options. The Interactive plan costs $24.99 a month and comes with 24/7 monitoring, email and text alerts, remote control with your smartphone, and secret alerts. Both packages use cellular monitoring. As a major bonus, there is no contract to sign with either package; service is month to month.

While packages and pricing may differ, there is one trait shared by all three security systems: they all offer customizable equipment packages to accompany their plans.

SECURITY FEATURES:

ADT Pulse, Frontpoint, and SimpliSafe provide 24/7 professional monitoring for burglaries, fires, and medical emergencies. They all use UL listed monitoring agencies and with the right equipment, they can all monitor for additional events such as floods, leaks, and even carbon monoxide.

The biggest difference between the systems is that ADT Pulse is not 100% cellular. In their own words,

“ADT uses broadband service for remote control of the system, installed devices and video applications. For burglary, fire and/or carbon monoxide alarm signals, ADT uses approved telephone connections and/or wireless cellular connections.”

There are pros and cons to all forms of monitoring. Broadband is generally the fastest, but like landlines, it is more prone to outages. Cellular may not be as fast as broadband, but it’s the most secure. It does not use the same cellular signal as your cell phone and it requires a much weaker signal. In general, cellular is more expensive than other forms of monitoring, but as you can see in the chart below, that’s not the case when comparing Frontpoint and SimpliSafe’s cellular service to ADT’s service.

INTERACTIVE FEATURES:

ADT, Frontpoint, and SimpliSafe are interactive companies. They all have mobile apps and all offer the opportunity to work with 3rd party smart home devices. ADT works with the Nest learning thermostat and their ADT Canopy division can add service to popular smart home devices like Ring, SmartThings, and Wink. Frontpoint works with a select group of Z-Wave smart home devices and can also work with Amazon Echo. SimpliSafe can also work with Nest. However, SimpliSafe doesn’t work with any smart home devices beyond Nest, making them limited in the home automation department.

ADT and Frontpoint both offer voice control, Frontpoint through Amazon Echo and ADT through their Pulse app. The appropriately named ADT Pulse® Voice app works on iOS and Android devices. Using the app, you can voice-control some of your connected devices. This works similarly to Siri, Google Now, or Amazon Echo. Pick a secret phrase, connect to the app, speak your phrase, and technology does the rest. You can talk to unlock your doors, turn on lights, and more.

SUPPORT AND SALES FEATURES COMPARED:

The way Frontpoint, ADT, and SimpliSafe approach sales and support is completely different. SimpliSafe is entirely DIY. You don’t have to worry about scheduling an appointment for an installation or trying to hide wires. It’s wireless and easy; you plug in the hub to an outlet and find a place for your keypad. Then you position your equipment, pair it, and it’s all set.

Frontpoint offers professional installation, but the vast majority of customers choose their DIY option. The system can easily be installed in less than 30 minutes and does not require drilling.

On the other hand, ADT requires professional installation. This requirement rolls back into their sales process as well. They require an in-home visit before any pricing is shared. Once in your home, it can be uncomfortable, and high pressure. However, for others, an in-home visit is the only way.

An important question to ask is, “What happens if I move?” Because SimpliSafe has no contract and equipment can be easily moved, this isn’t an issue. Frontpoint will also let you move for free and will provide a free mover’s kit. ADT may let you move for free, but restrictions apply.

In regards to service, SimpliSafe, Frontpoint, and ADT all hold A+ ratings with the BBB. ADT is significantly larger than Frontpoint and SimpliSafe, but over the past three years, they’ve received 4421 complaints to the BBB versus Frontpoint’s 57 complaints and SimpliSafe’s 36 complaints. Finally, ADT’s reach is larger. They cover the entire U.S. and multiple countries, where Frontpoint and SimpliSafe focus more on North America.

ADT, Frontpoint, and SimpliSafe Basic Features Compared

Frontpoint ADT SimpliSafe

Cost

$34.99 $36.99 $14.99

Entry Level Price With Cellular Monitoring

$34.99 $47.99 $14.99

Installation Method

DIY Professional DIY

Equipment Warranty

3 years 90 Days 3 Year

Minimum Contract Term

12 Months 36 months or 24 months in California No Contracts

Monthly Rate Locked In for the Contract Term?

Yes ss-rate-lock

Entry Level Equipment Fee

$99 $99 $229.96+

Control Panel Has Battery Back-Up?

Yes adt-battery ss-battery

Touchscreen Control Panel

Upgrade Upgrade ss-touchscreen

Two-Way Audio

No ss-two-way

Apps For

iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows, Apple Watch, Pebble, Fire TV, Apple TV iPhone, iPad, Android iPhone, Android, Windows Phone

Web Portal System Control

Yes ss-web

Event History Log

Yes ss-event-history

Move For Free

Yes Restrictions Apply ss-move

Return Period

30 Days Risk Free 3 Days / Restrictions Apply 60 Days

Restocking Fee

No Unknown ss-restocking

BBB Rating

A+ A+ A+

Number of BBB Complaints in the Last 3 Years

57 4421 16

Possible Discount on Insurance

Yes adt-insurance ss-insurance

Service Area

US, Canada US and Multiple Global Locations US

Good For

Renters or Homeowners Homeowners Renters or Homeowners

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ADT, Frontpoint, and SimpliSafe Most Popular Plans Compared

Frontpoint ADT SimpliSafe Frontpoint ADT SimpliSafe

Entry Phone Number

855-903-7512 800-205-8959 888-957-4675 855-903-7512 800-205-8959 888-957-4675

Package Name

Interactive Plan Remote Arm Standard Ultimate Plan Live Video Interactive

Monthly Monitoring Fee

$44.99 $47.99 $14.99 $49.99 $55.99 $24.99

Monitoring Method

Cellular System uses broadband service for remote control of the system. For burglary/fire/CO monitoring, ADT uses landline and/or cellular. Cellular Cellularr System uses broadband service for remote control of the system. For burglary/fire/CO monitoring, ADT uses landline and/or cellular. Cellular

Police Dispatch

fp-top-yes adt-40-yes ss-20-police fp-top-yes adt-50-yes ss-25-police

Fire Dispatch

fp-mid-fire adt-40-yes ss-20-fire fp-top-yes adt-50-yes ss-25-fire

Carbon Monoxide Monitoring

fp-mid-carbon adt-40-yes ss-20-carbon fp-top-yes adt-50-yes ss-25-carbon

Monitoring for Leaks and Flooding

fp-mid-flood adt-40-yes ss-20-leaks fp-top-yes adt-50-yes ss-25-water

Contract Length

12-36 Months 36 months Month-to-Month 12-36 Months 36 Months Month-to-Month

Activation or Installation Fee

$0 Self Installation or Fee Based Professional Installation $25+ $0 $0 Self Installation or Fee Based Professional Installation $424+ $0

Equipment Cost

$99+ $99+ $229.96+ $99+ $449+ $229.96+
Frontpoint ADT SimpliSafe Frontpoint ADT SimpliSafe

Control Panel

Included Included Included Included Included Included

Two-Way Audio

fp-mid-two-way Included ss-20-two fp-top-two-way Included ss-25-two

Equipment Included

Custom Custom Custom Custom Custom Custom

Access To Mobile App

fp-mid-mobile-app adt-40-yes ss-20-mobile fp-top-yes adt-50-yes ss-25-mobile

Crash & Smash or Redundant Protection

fp-mid-crash adt-45-crash ss-25-smash fp-top-yes adt-50-crash ss-25-smash

Email and Text Alerts

fp-mid-text adt-40-yes ss-20-email fp-top-yes adt-50-alerts ss-25-email

Remote Access and Mobile App Control

fp-mid-remote adt-45-remote ss-20-mobile fp-top-yes adt-50-app ss-25-remote

Light Automation

fp-mid-light adt-45-light ss-20-light fp-top-yes adt-50-light ss-25-light

Geolocation Services

fp-mid-geo adt-45-geo ss-20-geo fp-top-yes adt-50-geo ss-25-geo

Video Surveillance Features

fp-mid-live-video adt-45-live Yes fp-top-yes adt-50-live ss-25-live

Door Lock Automation

fp-mid-smart-lock adt-45-locks ss-20-locks fp-top-yes adt-50-locks

Smart Thermostat Access

fp-mid-smart-energy adt-45-energy ss-20-thermostat fp-top-yes adt-50-energy Works with Nest

ADT vs Frontpoint vs SimpliSafe Home Security Equipment

All three companies use completely different equipment.

Frontpoint and ADT offer equipment discounts to lower your upfront cost. Frontpoint’s offer is pretty consistent – the potential $300 off we talked about earlier with a minimum charge of $99. ADT’s discounts vary and change week to week. Meanwhile, SimpliSafe’s equipment is available at a discount if you buy it in one of their packages.

Frontpoint ADT SimpliSafe
Keypad/Cost $79.99 $69.99
Option to Purchase An Extra Siren Siren in Control Panel Siren in Control Panel Siren in Base
Motion Detectors Cost $64.99 Yes / Cost Unknown $29.99
Is The Motion Detector Pet Immune? Yes adt-pet ss-motion
Glass Break Detectors/Cost $74.99 Yes / Cost Unknown $34.99
Key Chain Remote or Fob/Cost $29.99 Yes / Cost Unknown $24.99
Wearable Panic Pendant/Cost $39.99 Yes / Cost Unknown NA
Door and Window Sensors/Cost $32.99 Yes / Cost Unknown $14.99
Recessed Door Sensor/Cost $42.99 Yes / Cost Unknown NA
Garage Door or Tilt Sensor/Cost $44.99 Yes / Cost Unknown NA
Smoke Detector/Cost $64.99 Yes / Cost Unknown $29.99
Carbon Monoxide Sensor/Cost $89.99 Yes / Cost Unknown $49.99
Heat Sensor/Cost Included in Smoke Detector Yes / Cost Unknown NA
Freeze Sensor/Cost $44.99 Yes / Cost Unknown $29.99
Water and Flood Sensor/Cost $44.99 Yes / Cost Unknown $19.99
Entry Level Indoor Camera/Cost $129.99 Yes / Cost Unknown $99.00
Indoor Pan and Tilt Camera/Cost $279.99 Yes / Cost Unknown NA
Outdoor Camera/Cost $399.99 Yes / Cost Unknown NA
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