Entry Level Pricing
Frontpoint’s entry-level monitoring package is called the Protection Plan. It costs $34.99/month and covers 24/7 professional monitoring. The equipment fee is not included in the plan.
In regards to equipment, you will need to purchase it separately. You can preview their equipment offerings online or give them a call to talk through the options 855-903-7512. Frontpoint offers discounts on equipment in the form of packages, but to qualify for the discount, you will need to sign a 3-year agreement.
All Frontpoint systems support cellular monitoring. This form of monitoring doesn’t require a landline connection. The control panels communicate with the monitoring center using a cellular signal, similar to what your phone uses to send texts or place calls. The advantage of cellular monitoring is the lack of wires. One of the oldest tricks burglars use to disconnect a security system is cutting the landline wire. With cellular monitoring, there’s nothing to cut.
Vivint’s most basic plan is called Vivint Starter. It costs $39.99/month with a one-time activation fee of $399.00. It gives you access to 24/7 professional monitoring, the Vivint mobile app (remote arm/disarm), event notifications sent to your smartphone through text, email, and push notifications, severe weather alerts (tornado only), and Vivint Live. Vivint Live is a feature that allows you to speak with the monitoring center through the control panel. If an alert is triggered, the monitoring center will call the control panel and try to speak with you. If you don’t respond, they will listen to assess the situation. If unusual activity is heard, they will send the police to your house. The police will most likely prioritize your case as it is a verified alarm event.
The SkyControl panel and a yard sign are included in all Vivint packages. Aside from those two items, you will also receive free equipment through Vivint’s point system. Each plan includes a certain number of points, which you can spend on devices. The door/window sensor, motion sensor, and remote key fob all cost 1 point each, and the smoke detector costs 2 points. Vivint Starter gives you 5 equipment points to spend as you choose.
Vivint has another entry-level plan, the Smart Control. It offers exactly the same features as the Vivint Starter, but it gives you 7 equipment points instead of 5. It costs $53.99/month.
Like Frontpoint, Vivint uses a cellular signal to monitor. Cellular monitoring is included in all packages.
AT&T Digital Life
Digital Life’s entry-level offer is called Smart Security. It costs $39.99/month, but they are offering it for $29.99/month “due today” if you have other AT&T services. This package gives you 24/7 professional monitoring and free equipment, but the equipment is not necessarily brand new. Digital Life provides AT&T-certified like-new equipment. The devices included with the Smart Security plan are a keypad, an indoor siren, 4 window sensors, 2 recessed contact sensors, and a motion sensor. Smart Security also gives you access to the Digital Life app, which you can use to control and monitor your security system.
Unlike other security companies, Digital Life requires users to have high-speed internet. Broadband monitoring is generally faster than landline and cellular monitoring. However, like a landline, it is prone to outages.
Entry-Level Home Automation Pricing
Frontpoint’s entry-level home automation offer is the Interactive Plan, which costs $44.99/month excluding equipment fees. It includes everything the Protection Plan offers plus light automation. It also gives you access to the Frontpoint app powered by Alarm.com, which is available to Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry devices. It is also compatible with Pebble smartwatches, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Amazon Kindle Fire. Using the app, you can arm/disarm your security system from anywhere, create location-based rules (e.g. “Alert me when I leave home without arming my security system.”), receive email, text, and push alerts, and control automation devices. It’s like having an extra control panel built into your smartphone.
The Interactive Plan also gives you an extra security feature—Crash & Smash Protection, a technology patented by Alarm.com. This technology lets you and the monitoring center know if your control panel is tampered with in any way. For example, if a burglar tries to smash your panel to prevent it from communicating, you will know about it. Crash & Smash Protection uses a soft signal to let the monitoring center know that the panel is active. If the signal is broken, it creates an active alert and the monitoring center will contact you immediately.
Vivint doesn’t have an entry-level home automation plan. They have one automation plan, Smart Control, but it’s for complete automation. We’ll get to that later.
Digital Life’s basic automation package is called Smart Security and Automation. It costs $54.99/month. It includes a control keypad, an indoor siren, 2 recessed contact sensors, 7 window sensors, a motion sensor, an outdoor camera, and a keyless door lock. Other automation features are also available, but you need to have the right devices in order to use them. The plan also supports thermostats, smart plugs, cameras, garage door controllers, and touchscreen control keypads. All of these devices are controlled and monitored using the Digital Life app.
Complete Home Automation Pricing
Frontpoint’s most advance security and automation offer is the Ultimate Plan. It costs $49.99/month. It’s similar to the Interactive Plan, but it further expands into home automation by adding door lock and thermostat automation. The system also works with Amazon Echo to provide voice control. You can, for example, tell Alexa to arm your system in stay mode or turn on/off lights.
Aside from automation, the Ultimate Plan also gives you access to security cameras. Frontpoint currently offers five kinds of cameras—the SkyBell HD doorbell camera, a wireless indoor pan-and-tilt camera, a fixed indoor camera, a wireless outdoor camera, and an image sensor with a built-in camera. With the Ultimate Plan, you can record and store up to 1,000 clips in the cloud. The cameras automatically record clips when they detect motion or when there’s an alarm event. You can also record on-demand. Aside from recording, you can use the smartphone app or your Apple TV to watch live feed from your cameras.
Vivint’s complete automation plan is called Smart Control. It costs $60.99/month plus a $199.00 one-time activation fee. Smart Control gives you 9 equipment points that you can use to purchase basic security equipment plus your choice of 2 standard automation devices or 1 premium automation device.
The standard automation devices include the Vivint Doorbell Camera, indoor camera, thermostat, door lock, and garage door controller. The premium automation devices are the outdoor camera and Vivint Playback.
The most advanced offer from Digital Life is the Premium Security and Automation, which costs $64.99 per month. Aside from what Smart Security and Automation already offers, it adds support for outdoor smart plugs, in-wall outlet control, and light control. The devices included with Premium Security and Automation are a keypad, indoor siren, 2 recessed contact sensors, 10 window sensors, a motion sensor, a glass break sensor, a smoke sensor, a carbon monoxide sensor, an outdoor camera, a keyless door lock, a thermostat, 2 indoor smart plugs, and 2 temperature and water sensors.
All three companies offer different equipment.
Frontpoint offers their equipment in discounted packages that reduce the equipment cost by around $300. The least expensive is the $99 Secure Package, which includes a Simon XT Control Panel, a motion sensor, 4 door/window sensors, a yard sign, and window decals. The most advanced is the $449 Professional Package. It gives you a Qolsys IQ touchscreen Control Panel, a motion sensor, 4 door/window sensors, a glass break sensor, an indoor camera, a yard sign, and window decals.
Vivint and Digital Life both include equipment in their plans. While that’s the case, you are free to expand your system by buying more devices a la carte through all three companies.
|Is the motion sensor pet-immune||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Indoor Siren||Siren in Control Panel||Siren in Control Panel||$79.99|
|Recessed Door Sensor||$42.99||$60||$49.99|
|Garage Door Sensor||$44.99||Yes / Cost Unknown||Yes / Cost Unknown|
|Glass Break Detector||$74.99||$120||$79.99|
|Carbon Monoxide Detector||$89.99||$120||$59.99|
|Heat Sensor||Included in Smoke Detector||$59.99|
|Freeze Sensor||$44.99||Yes / Cost Unknown||No|
|Water and Flood Sensor||$44.99||Yes / Cost Unknown||$49.99|
|Entry-Level Indoor Camera||$129.99||$149||$199.99|
|Indoor Pan-and-Tilt Camera||$279.99||$199||No|
|Outdoor Camera||$399.99||Yes / Cost Unknown||$199.99|
|Other Equipment||Image Sensor (Works with Touchscreen Only), Amazon Echo, Smart Doorbell, Google Home||Space Monkey, Doorbell Video, Amazon Echo, Nest Thermostat, Google Home||Samsung SmartCam, Nest, Outlet Control, Light Dimmer, Outdoor Smart Plug, Light Control, Indoor Smart Plug, Smart Thermostat, Door Lock, Conversion Kit|
|Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
Support and Sales Features Compared
Frontpoint, Vivint, and Digital Life handle sales differently.
Frontpoint allows you to shop online. If you already know what kind of system and features you want, you can call in and order without pressure. All customers are subject to credit approval. Once they confirm that you’re eligible, your order will be sent to your doorstep. Frontpoint’s equipment is wireless, so you can easily install it on your own. If you’re having trouble installing the system, you can call Frontpoint’s customer support or watch video tutorials on their website.
Vivint requires that you call them and allow one of their representatives to come to your home for a final quote. To get started, give them a call (1-888-605-5478) or fill out the Request a Quote form on their website. But be warned: Filling out the online form gives them consent to send you pre-recorded messages and texts, call you, and send emails.
Digital Life allows you to order online. However, they do a more complex background check than most. Aside from checking your credit, they will also check if you’re a homeowner and if your house or building is “compatible”. Digital Life only serves residential customers who live in buildings not more than 5 floors high. You’re also required to have a high-speed internet connection.
Another important thing to know is the length of contract and whether or not your security company auto-renews contracts.
Frontpoint’s minimum contract term is 12 months. However, in order to get their discounted equipment package, you need to sign a 3-year agreement. Once you fulfill the contract term, it will auto-renew monthly until you cancel. Frontpoint requires a 30-day notice.
Vivint’s contract can last for up to 60 months or at least 48 months. They don’t mention a specific auto-renew policy on their website. If you want to cancel your subscription at the end of your contract, you can call 1-800-216-5232 x5020. However, customers claim that Vivint auto-renews on a year-to-year basis.
Digital Life’s contract length is 2 years. However, any purchase of additional equipment or services at a discounted price resets your contract another 2 years. If you don’t cancel at the end of the contract, it will auto-renew every month.
Frontpoint, Vivint, and Digital Life Features Compared
|Landline, Cellular, Broadband Monitoring||Cellular||Cellular||Broadband w/ Cellular Backup|
|Equipment Warranty||3 years||Limited Lifetime||Lifetime|
|Minimum Contract Term||12 Months||48 Months||24 Months|
|Monthly Rate Locked In for the Term?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Entry-Level Equipment Fee||$99||Included||$149.99|
|Control Panel Has Battery Back-Up?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Touchscreen Control Panel||Upgrade||Yes||Yes|
|Apps For||iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows, Apple Watch, Pebble, Fire TV, Apple TV||iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry||iPhone, iPad, Android, iOS|
|Web Portal Control System||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Event History Log||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Move for Free?||Yes||No||No|
|Return Period||30 Days Risk Free||3 days in the US though some states and situations vary||14 Days|
|Number of BBB Complaints in Last 3 Years||57||3486||20001|
|Possible Insurance Discount||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Service Area||US, Canada||US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand.||Limited US Coverage|
|Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|