NorthStar Alarm Security is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited medium-sized security company based in Utah. They are known for their excellent customer service and quality hardware. Frontpoint is a relatively new disrupter to the industry, launching in 2007 and offering home security services across the USA and Canada. If you're looking for the best home security system, these two should be on your list for consideration.
Frontpoint vs. NorthStar Alarm Security - What are their similarities?
- Lengthy contracts: Whether you choose Frontpoint or NorthStar, you'll need to take out a lengthy contract. With NorthStar, this is 5-years. With Frontpoint, it's 12-months or more, and you'll face cancellation penalties either way
- Mobile app: You can control your security system, receive notifications, and arm/disarm your system via the mobile app. The apps are rated similarly on the app stores
- Hardware: You can access excellent quality hardware from Frontpoint Security and NorthStar
- Professional monitoring: You can sign up for professional monitoring with Frontpoint or NorthStar for a monthly fee
Frontpoint vs. NorthStar Alarm Security - What are their differences?
- Credit checks: Frontpoint will require a credit check; if you have excellent credit, then you'll possibly even save money. But if you have less than stellar credit, you could require a larger deposit
- Free equipment: In many cases, NorthStar will provide equipment for free (or at least, no upfront cost) as long as you sign up for a 60-month contract
- Customer service: Frontpoint is known for excellent customer service - NorthStar is also pretty great, but it's challenging to get ahold of them in non-emergency situations
- Flexible packages: While both offer hardware packages, only NorthStar Alarm services will let you pick and choose the contents of your package. You'll be given a set number of items, and you can choose within this
- Activation fee: Frontpoint doesn't charge an activation fee, but NorthStar does
NorthStar Alarm Security - What you need to know
NorthStar is a more traditional security company, with the reliability and excellent hardware that it brings. But they may also be inflexible, with penalties for cancellation and long contracts to consider.
NorthStar can arrange professional installation on your behalf. The cost of this is $199 irrespective of your chosen package, but you may occasionally find special offers for $99 installation every few months.
You can get Honeywell Security equipment via NorthStar, an authorized dealer. NorthStar will allow you to customize your package in a points-based system. They are highly regarded and can integrate easily with home automation devices.
- Sensors for doors and windows: 1 point
- Motion sensors: 2 points
- Glass break sensor: 2 points
- Smoke alarms: 2 points
- Keychain remote: 1 point
- Personal medical pendant: 1 point
The NorthStar app and products are compatible with some third-party automation. You can purchase various products as part of the security package.
- Garage door opener
- Door locks
- Wifi thermostat
- Voice control
Typically, the cost of the equipment is free, but that's based on you signing up for a five-year contract. The activation fee is $199, and monthly costs will range from $55 to $75. Installation costs are usually $199 unless you get a special offer.
- Flexible packages: All packages are totally customizable so that you can create your bespoke security kit
- Lifetime warranty: A lifetime warranty is offered on NorthStar products, which is relatively uncommon
- Pricing: NorthStar is quite expensive, with monthly monitoring services costing up to $75 a month. However, they have excellent response time and some of the best security equipment on the market
- Limited service area: NorthStar currently serves only 30 states, including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, Utah, New Mexico, Minnesota, Oklahoma, District of Colombia, Delaware, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Kansas, Louisiana, Texas
- Contract Length: NorthStar security only offers services within contracts; it's an expensive hassle to cancel or change the contracts. With Frontpoint, you can have your services on a no-contract basis after your initial contract runs out. So far, it appears that you can only sign up for a 60-month contract
Frontpoint Security: What you need to know
Frontpoint is known for excellent customer service, ease of use, and flexibility. With a DIY install and flexible contracts, you're much freer than you would be if you chose NorthStar. However, NorthStar's fast response time, lower upfront cost, and excellent equipment should be weighed against this.
You don't have the option of professional installation with Frontpoint, so there are no installation fees to consider. Customer feedback reports that DIY installation is straightforward and usually takes around 20 minutes to complete.
Frontpoint offers a small line of home automation products such as smart locks and lights but can also integrate with existing equipment like Google Home and Amazon's Alexa, in addition to other Z-wave technology.
Frontpoint has several excellent equipment bundles, and you can purchase items on an individual, customized basis. But they don't offer the level of personalization that NorthStar does.
The basic bundle includes:
- One Frontpoint control panel and keypad
- Three door/window sensors
- Two motion detectors
- A yard sign
- Five window decals
- A door sticker
Other products available include:
- Smoke detectors
- Heat sensors
- Glass break detectors
- Indoor security cameras
- Outdoor cameras
- Video doorbells
- Garage door sensors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Smart locks
- Door lock
- Garage door controller
- Keychain remote
- Panic pendant
You'll have several prices to consider, such as equipment and monthly costs associated with your new security system. The basic equipment bundles start from $99, including a keypad and hub, two window sensors, and a motion detector with a video doorbell. Monthly costs begin at $35, and you can add additional features (including motion-triggered alerts) for a fee.
- 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
- Home automation: Frontpoint has some smart home options, including Z-wave integration and doorbell cameras. You can integrate Frontpoint with Amazon's Alexa, Google Home, and other Z-wave technologies
Frontpoint vs. NorthStar Alarm Security?
In the event of a break-in, a security system is a must for safety and a significant deterrent. Up to 60% of would-be thieves say that a security system would be enough for them to move on to another target.
If you're looking for a do-it-yourself security alarm company with shorter contracts, you should consider a Frontpoint system. With Frontpoint, you can self-monitor once your initial contract runs out. But if you're looking for a fully customizable alarm system under a more traditional arrangement (which may incur cancellation penalties), then you can consider NorthStar Security.
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.