Frontpoint vs. ADT

Deciding between Frontpoint and ADT? The two security system companies may seem similar at first glance, but when you look closely, you’ll find some major differences. Frontpoint is a relatively new company (started in 2007) known for its easy DIY installation and friendly customer service. ADT has been around for over 140 years and is known for its reliability and professional installation. When choosing between Frontpoint and ADT, the major factors to weigh are cost, installation type and customer service expectations.

We’ll cover in detail what these two home security companies in common, their main differences, and what you need to know about each before making the ultimate decision.

Customer Service4.53
Mobile App44
Smart Home Capabilities54.5
Monthly Monitoring Cost$34.99 - $49.99 depending on plan$35.99 - $57.99 depending on plan
Upfront Cost$99 and up$99 and up
MoneyBack Guarantee30 days6 months
Contract Length1 or 3 years3 years
Basic Equipment$99 and up$99 and up

Frontpoint and ADT: What do they have in common?

The common ground shared between Frontpoint and ADT includes:

  • Excellent security equipment: Both Frontpoint and ADT offer high quality security equipment. (Though with ADT, you’ll probably want to skip the traditional package and upgrade if you want lots of functions.) They both offer fancy doorbell cameras, indoor and outdoor cameras and safety products such as smoke detectors and flood sensors as part of upgraded packages and/or add-ons.
  • Wireless options: Both ADT and Frontpoint both use wireless equipment which we consider to be preferable, but may be an issue if you’re in an area with unreliable cellular service. With wireless, installation won’t require drilling holes or cutting into walls. ADT does provide a landline option if wireless won’t work for you.
  • Variety of smart home options: Want to use your security system in conjunction with smart lights, keyless door locks, garage door controls and more? Both systems offer these smart home options, and you’ll likely want to take advantage of those bells and whistles.
  • Easy-to-use mobile apps: With both companies, you’ll be able to use a mobile app to control your security system and smart home features. ADT’s app gets slightly higher ratings than Frontpoint’s app does. With both, some users have experienced glitches, delays and connectivity problems.
  • Long contracts: With Frontpoint, you’ll choose between a 1 year (12 month) or 3 year (36 month) contract when you sign up for monitoring. With ADT, it’s 3 years (36 months).

Frontpoint and ADT: What are the differences?

With all the similarities, the choice may seem difficult. But there are also some major differences that  may sway your opinion one way or the other. They include:

  • Professional vs. DIY installation: Installation style is the key difference between the two companies. While ADT requires a professional to come out to your home to install your equipment, Frontpoint installation is 100% DIY. Some people prefer to leave the work to a pro, and others would rather be in control of the installation and also save on the installation fee. This is the number one difference between these two companies and it’s a biggie. Think about whether or not you want to go the DIY route for installation before you decide on a company.
  • Cost structure: Cost is often the deciding factor, and ADT tends to be pricier. But be sure you’re considering total costs and not just the cost of installation. Frontpoint has no installation fee but its equipment comes at a cost to you, while ADT’s installation fee includes the equipment. Plus, ADT often runs limited-time promotions in which customers can save on installation and equipment. Depending on the package and features you choose, you could possibly pay a similar amount with each of these companies. To make a truly accurate price comparison, we recommend getting an in-home estimate from ADT and filling your online shopping cart at to know the actual total price for your desired system with each.
  • Customer service reputation: Frontpoint gets very high marks for its customer service while ADT customer service can be unpredictable. That’s because ADT installation and servicing are done by independent contractors, some of which are great with customer service and others might not be. If you’re considering ADT, ask around in your area to see if there are current customers who can give you their opinions on the customer service they’ve received.

Frontpoint: What you need to know

Before going with Frontpoint home security, weigh its pros and cons.

Image Source: Frontpoint

Nerd Pros:

  • Hardware options: Frontpoint gives you a wide range of options to choose from based on five different packages.
  • Simplicity: It really is easy to the DIY install and set up your service. It only takes a half hour or so and customers seem pretty happy with how simple it was to set up their Frontpoint system themselves.
  • Automation options: Add on smart locks, wireless light controls and even smart home equipment from other, compatible brands.
  • Satisfaction guarantee: Don’t like the system? Return everything within 30 days of purchase and receive a refund.

Nerd Cons:

  • Contract length: You have to sign a one-year or three-year contract to go with Frontpoint.
  • Upfront cost: There’s an upfront cost for equipment, which can be $99 or more, depending on the features you choose. That said, you own the equipment with Frontpoint whereas you lease it with ADT. So, even though it’s costing you a bit upfront, you can take the equipment with you even if you decide to go with another company a few years down the road.
  • Credit checks: Prices partially depend on credit checks. So if you’ve got a low credit score, your upfront cost may be higher than it would be for someone with a higher score.

ADT: What you need to know

ADT home security comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Nerd Pros:

  • Established brand: ADT is a low-risk choice. You’re going with a company with over 140 years of experience and a good reputation.
  • Professional installation: Don’t want to fiddle with directions and equipment? ADT’s team will do the installation and activation for you.
  • Automation options: With add-ons, you can control your thermostat, garage door, locks and/or lights remotely using the ADT app.

Nerd Cons:

  • Varying customer service: Because ADT uses third-party contractors, we can’t predict what your customer service experience will be like when scheduling installation and service.
  • Price for installation and extras: Professional installation does come with a price tag. Plus, adding on a bunch of different items, like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and smart home features can really cost you. Ask about special promotions that could save you some money at the time of purchase.

Check out our full review of ADT for more info on the company and its packages.

Frontpoint or ADT?

We picked Frontpoint for its sparkling customer service reviews, but both companies are strong choices. Both Frontpoint and ADT offer good quality wireless equipment (so long as you don’t choose ADT’s base package), an easy-to-use app and a range of smart home options.

Likely, the biggest deciding factor for you will be installation. If you’d like to install your security system yourself, Frontpoint is the way to go. With ADT you’ll likely pay more, but you can leave the installation to the pros.

Still debating?

We have in-depth reviews of both Frontpoint and ADT.

Made your call?

To keep SecurityNerd 100% free, we may receive advertising compensation from companies.
These do not impact our reviews or rankings.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James 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.