Security cameras and alarm systems are increasing in popularity, and if you're looking for a new home security system, you'll have an array of options at your disposal. Frontpoint and Protection 1 Home Security are both worthy of your consideration.
Frontpoint is a Virginia-based security provider that has grown in popularity since its inception in 2007, making a name for itself as a great DIY home security system. Protection 1 has merged with ADT now but had been an independent company before becoming an arm of ADT. Let's look at what they can offer.
Frontpoint vs. Protection 1 Home Security - What are their similarities?
- Warranty: Frontpoint offers a warranty for the duration of your security contract; Protection 1 also offers a standard 90-day minimum warranty
- Long-term contracts: If you're looking for flexibility, you may want to look elsewhere as Frontpoint requires a minimum 12-month contract, and Protection 1 requires a 36-month contract (except for 24-months in California)
- Mobile app: Their mobile apps are particularly well-rated, with averages above four stars on both app stores. You can arm/disarm your system and receive notifications through the apps too
- Smart home capabilities: They share several smart home capabilities, including smart lights, locks, and Z-wave compatibility
- Activation fees: There are no activation fees with either company
Frontpoint vs. Protection 1 Home Security - What are their differences?
- Credit checks: Frontpoint requires a credit check before using its services. It may save you some money if you have an excellent credit rating, but you may lose out if you have less than stellar credit
- Unclear pricing: Despite the credit check issue, Frontpoint's pricing is overall quite transparent. But Protection 1's representatives won't release pricing online/over the phone, and you'll need to have someone come to your home and issue you with an individual quote
- Installation: Frontpoint doesn't offer professional installation; they are predominantly a DIY company
- Upfront costs: Frontpoint Security will require you to purchase your equipment and make an upfront deposit. Protection 1 Home Security doesn't necessarily charge for equipment but instead works the cost into a higher monthly amount
Frontpoint Security: What you need to know
Frontpoint's main selling points are smart home functions, flexibility, and DIY installation. You can get a simple system with smart home devices for a smart-home ecosystem. If you change your mind, you can cancel your contract within the first 30-days.
You won't need to pay any setup fees with Frontpoint, as they don't offer professional installation. Frontpoint's DIY installation is reported to be an easy process.
With Frontpoint, you can access an array of smart home options, including Z-wave integration with Apple TV, Google Assistant, and Amazon's Alexa.
Frontpoint offers secure and high-quality equipment, with bundles starting from $99. Their pet-sensitive motion detectors and tamper-proof keypad protect against false alarms and outside interference. You can also purchase unlimited add-ons.
Once your contract is up, you can continue to use this equipment to self-monitor or transfer it to another company.
The equipment Frontpoint offers includes:
- Video doorbell
- Heat and smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Outdoor cameras
- Glass break and flood sensors
- Indoor cameras
- Motion sensors
- Keychain remote
- Panic pendant
- Door sensors
- Smart locks
- Equipment costs: Equipment costs tend to be higher for DIY companies - the basic bundle will set you back $99, but you can choose from another four bundles or create your own system on a custom basis
- Monthly costs: When signing up for Frontpoint, you'll be asked to select from three different tiers. Basic monitoring costs $35 a month, and you can add extra features that cost more, such as $50 a month for video streaming and motion-triggered notifications. There are no activation fees
- Hardware options: A Frontpoint representative will do a walkthrough to ensure that you have all of the hardware you need; you'll be given a complete catalog of options and the ability to choose your items on an individual basis if necessary
- Cellular connection: Without cellular backup, you'll be more vulnerable to outside interference and powercuts. You're kept much safer by Frontpoint's ability to run on a cellular connection
- Customer service: Frontpoint has excellent customer service teams that are easy to reach
- Home automation: Frontpoint offers a great selection of smart home options, including a doorbell camera. Frontpoint can integrate any Z-wave compatible products, including Yale smart locks
Protection 1 Home Security - What you need to know
Protection 1 is an arm of ADT that offers professional installation and reliable home security solutions and integration with the ADT app and several smart home options.
When you sign up for a Protection 1 package, a professional will visit you to complete your installation. You cannot DIY install, and the fee for this is $99-$199.
With Protection 1, you can access more equipment options than almost any other company. Equipment on offer includes:
- Touchscreen control panel
- Doorway and window sensors
- Yard sign
- Keychain remote
- Window decals
- Video surveillance included indoor and outdoor cameras
- 2-way voice control
- Panic button
- Web and mobile control
- Image motion sensor
- Motion sensors with camera integration
- Fire/carbon monoxide detector
- Glass-break sensors
- Video doorbell
- Water/flood sensors
- Remote thermostat control
- Appliance control
- Lighting control
- Smart locks
You can integrate your security system with Alexa, Google Home, and Z-wave products. You can also purchase their line of products, including:
- Door locks: You won't have to worry about losing keys with smart lock entry. You can enter and exit without keys while maintaining total security
- Home lighting: Smart lightbulbs are screwed in like regular light bulbs but have more functions. You can dim the lights, switch them off/on or even schedule them with the app
- Thermostat: To conserve energy, prepare your home or keep you more comfortable, you can adjust your home's temperature while you're at work, on your at home, or even sitting at home
- Garage doors: You can close/open your garage doors on the way home from work and double-check you've closed them when leaving
- Video doorbell camera: The Skybell doorbell camera is a simple piece of kit that lets you know who's knocking on your door, day or night. Two-way capabilities allow you to speak with them, and motion detectors can alert you to anyone hanging around your door
- Switches and plugs: Smart plugs let you connect lights and appliances to the app, allowing for a degree of remote control
There are vital costs to consider when you purchase a home security system. They include:
- Equipment costs: There's no upfront cost for Protection 1 equipment packages; pricing for add-ons isn't available unless you have a technician at your home
- Installation fee: Installation costs start at $99, depending on the package you choose
- Monthly costs: Monthly prices range from $34.99, depending on what you choose. For example, you'll need to pay extra for access to the app. There are no activation fees. The cheapest monitoring plan only allows for landline monitoring and doesn't give you access to the ADT app
- Customer Service: Protection 1 currently holds an 'A' rating with the BBB; this is likely down to their 24/7 customer support and free same-day or next-day repair service. Calls are answered fast, and representatives are friendly but knowledgeable
- Reliability: ADT is a leader in the industry for a reason, Protection 1 (under ADT's label) enjoys an excellent reputation. It's difficult to find anything negative to say about their ten monitoring centers, which are credited with being reliable and fast to respond to a crisis
- Confusing pricing: The pricing can be confusing, and if you want any add-ons or changes made to your equipment, you'll need a technician to visit your home. They provide no pricing online or over the phone
- Long-term contracts: You may face a penalty fee if you try to break the contract early
Frontpoint or Protection 1?
When it comes to home security companies, Protection 1 offers better hardware and a wider variety of equipment. If you are locked into a contract regardless, you should consider paying a little extra for Protection 1's monthly monitoring service. Frontpoint is an excellent option if you're looking for a DIY provider with (shorter) contracts than Protection 1. However, they do require credit checks which is unusual for a company that uses flexibility as a selling point.
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.