Based out of Virginia, Frontpoint is a home security company founded in 2007 that covers all of America and parts of Canada. Known for its incredible customer service and simple DIY equipment setup, users enjoy top-notch equipment with the flexibility of DIY installation.
Ackerman is a Georgia-based home security company with a long-running history that spans half a century. When its founder George Ackerman suffered a gunshot wound during a home invasion, he became determined to develop a customer-focused home security company at a time where home security systems were only for the wealthy. Since its inception, Ackerman has become one of the biggest names in the home security industry for the regions they serve.
Frontpoint vs. Ackerman Security - What are their similarities?
- Long-term contracts: Whichever you choose, you'll be signing either a one-year (Frontpoint) or three-year contract (Ackerman).
- Confusing Pricing: Both have somewhat confusing pricing for different reasons. You don't receive any pricing information with Ackerman until you direct negotiations with sales representatives. With Frontpoint, you can't receive a quote until you have a credit check (which then affects your quote).
- Choice of equipment: Both offer a wide selection of equipment like Motion detectors, door/window sensors, alarm systems, and smoke monitoring, most of which can be used for smart home integration, too. There are some differences, but there is a significant overlap.
Frontpoint vs. Ackerman Security - What are their differences?
- Installation: They differ substantially in this area, with Frontpoint only offering DIY installation with no option for professional installation and Ackerman's offering professional installation.
- Credit Checks: Frontpoint requires credit checks before you can sign up for a contract with them.
- Coverage area: Ackerman only covers parts of New Jersey, Georgia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland; however, Frontpoint covers all 50 states and regions of Canada, too.
- Mobile App: Their apps are pretty different; despite sharing many functionalities (such as arming and disarming your system remotely and receiving security alerts via push notifications), the Ackerman app is poorly related on both Android and iPhone app stores, with most reviews citing glitches as the reason for this.
Frontpoint Security: What you need to know
Not only does Frontpoint shine in the areas of ease of use, flexibility, and DIY functions. They're a great security equipment provider that offers homeowners a comprehensive system compatible with many smart home devices while also offering security solutions.
Frontpoint offers only DIY installation, so there are no professional installation fees to speak of. In addition, Frontpoint customers report that the DIY installation process is straightforward and typically takes under an hour to complete.
Frontpoint offers its line of automation products such as smart lights and a smart lock, but they don't stop there. Frontpoint can also integrate with existing smart home equipment such as Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa, and Z-wave technologies.
Frontpoint comprises secure, quality equipment available on a flexible a la carte basis, and you can purchase unlimited add ons for your security system. The hub and keypad are tamper-proof, and you can buy pet-sensitive motion sensors which safeguard you against false alarms.
The best part about this equipment is that you can still use your equipment with another company if you decide to leave the Frontpoint monitoring service after your contract is up.
- Equipment Costs: These upfront costs tend to be higher for DIY security companies. The basic bundle starts at $99. You can choose from five bundles or create your customized system.
- Monthly Costs: You must select a monitoring plan from Frontpoint based on three different tiers. A basic plan with basic monitoring will run about $35 per month, and as you add more interactive features, the plans increase in price. The highest tier monitoring service is about $50 a month and includes live video streaming and motion-triggered alerts. There are no activation fees.
- Hardware options: If you like equipment bundles to choose from, you'll have that option with Frontpoint. But you can also purchase items individually. Customer service will do a virtual walkthrough to help you decide what you need, too.
- Home automation: Frontpoint offers some of its smart home options, including a doorbell camera, but also realizes customers might already have existing ones they want to incorporate into the system. Frontpoint can integrate any Z-Wave compatible products, such as a Yale smart door lock.
- Credit check: If you don't have a 600 or higher credit score, you'll need to put down money upfront.
- Price: Frontpoint has some higher upfront costs and professional monitoring fees.
Ackerman Security - What you need to know
Professional Installation is necessary for this system - you cannot install an Ackerman security system yourself. You will need to pay upfront for equipment and installation; as with many alarm companies, you'll need to pay a $99 fee to activate your services.
You cannot install an Ackerman security system yourself. You will need to pay upfront for equipment and installation and will need to pay a $99 upfront activation fee to get your service started.
Here are some of the different types of equipment that you could potentially include in your customizable Ackerman system, according to the company's website:
- Door sensors.
- CO2 and smoke detectors
- Control panel
- Smart thermostats
- Smart video cameras
- Video doorbells
- Garage door control
Ackerman has customizable home automation products. Still, you will need to buy them with your security package to control them within your Ackerman app and ensure they interact seamlessly with your security system.
Ackerman doesn't interact with as many third-party home automation products as some competitor systems do and does not use IFTTT tools.
Ackerman is quite difficult to pin down in terms of costs, and they'll only share pricing information with customers negotiating a contract. Online reviews indicate that pricing starts at $19.95 for monthly monitoring, and a $99 activation fee is required for service to commence.
- No Theft Guarantee: Knowing that the company will cover your financial losses should you be burglarized is some pretty solid peace of mind.
- Reliable Connection: You don't have to worry about your system getting disconnected during a power outage or even if the wires are deliberately cut by a would-be burglar attempting to break in. Ackerman can run via your landline and benefits from cellular backup, so your alarm will always be online, and you'll always be under the watchful eye of the monitoring center.
- Pro Installation Required: Unlike Frontpoint, professional installation is required.
- Long Term Commitment: A 3-year contract is required when you purchase an Ackerman security system.
- Customer Service: Ackerman Security has received some customer support complaints, including customers reporting problems canceling service, connectivity and reliability issues, and installation issues.
Frontpoint or Ackerman Security?
If you're looking for a self-monitoring security service with no contract, then these are unlikely to be for you, and you may consider a competitor such as SimpliSafe. However, if you need video surveillance and the security offered by a monitored system, then you'll like these two options.
Ackerman offers a no-theft guarantee a 5-year warranty, making them a solid choice. However, they have minimal coverage in the USA, whereas Frontpoint covers all of the USA and much of Canada. Frontpoint also offers more home automation, and they have shorter-term contracts available. The drawback with Frontpoint is their credit checking, which may prove particularly problematic for young renters.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.