In the hunt for a reliable wireless home security system, there are two names you’re likely to come across—Simplisafe and Frontpoint.
Simplisafe has been in business since 2006. It was founded by two Harvard Business School students and operates out of Boston. The company is known for its simple-to-use, affordable, and reliable wireless home security products. Its systems are designed for DIY installation, though professional installation is available for an additional charge. Customers can choose to either self-monitor their system or pay for professional monitoring.
Founded just a year later in 2007, Frontpoint is headquartered out of Virginia. It’s also known for providing great wireless home security products and excellent customer service. While its systems are also designed for DIY installation, customers must sign up for a 1- or 3-year professional monitoring contract.
Both companies are good options to consider for people looking to increase their home’s security, but there are some things that set them apart from each other. Here, we dive deeper into what each company offers, what’s similar and different about them, and ultimately why we think SimpliSafe comes out slightly ahead when comparing the two.
|Overall||4 out of 5 stars||4 out of 5 stars|
|Monthly Monitoring Cost||$14.99 and up||$35 and up|
|Upfront Cost||Starting at $183||Starting at $99|
|MoneyBack Guarantee||60 days||30 days|
|Contract Length||No contract required||1- or 3-year contract required|
|Installation||DIY; pro install option ($79)||DIY|
SimpliSafe and Frontpoint: What do they have in common?
- DIY installation: Both SimpliSafe and Frontpoint are good choices for people who are comfortable setting up their wireless home security systems themselves and want to avoid the cost of professional installation. Both are simple to get up and running and can generally be done in a matter of minutes rather than hours.
- Hardware choices: Both SimpliSafe and Frontpoint offer pre-set packages from which customers can choose as well as the option to design your own systems to meet your unique needs.
Simplisafe and Frontpoint: What are the differences?
- Need for a contract: With SimpliSafe you can choose to monitor the system yourself, with no contract to sign and no professional monitoring fee to pay. If you choose Frontline, you must sign up for either a 1- or 3-year contract.
- Length of guarantee: Frontpoint provides a 30-day money-back guarantee to customers if they’re not satisfied with their equipment. That’s great, but SimpliSafe does even better, doubling that by offering a 60-day money-back guarantee.
- Professional installation option vs. DIY only: While both systems are easy for most homeowners to set up themselves, only SimpliSafe offers the option of professional installation. For $79, one of its contract technicians will get the system up and running for you.
- Outdoor camera option: Frontpoint offers outdoor camera options, while SimpliSafe doesn’t.
SimpliSafe: What you need to know
SimpliSafe has risen to be a leader in the home security space. It offers customers choices at nearly every turn, from how they want to install and monitor their systems to how they want them designed. Its products are affordable, reliable and provide the coverage and peace of mind homeowners are looking for in a home security system.
- Installation options: Installation of SimpliSafe’s systems is straightforward and simple enough for most homeowners to do themselves. However, it does offer a professional installation option for $79 if you don’t want to DIY.
- Flexible hardware options: While you can select from one of its predetermined packages, SimpliSafe also allows customers to build their own systems a la carte to meet their specific needs.
- Cost: SimpliSafe products are some of the most affordable on the market. Customers can also save money by DIY-ing installation and monitoring, as professional service isn’t required for either. If customers choose professional monitoring, SimpliSafe’s monthly rate is significantly lower than that of Frontpoint.
- No outdoor cameras: While some people use SimpliSafe cameras outdoors, they’re not designed to withstand the elements.
- Customer service: If you need to reach SimpliSafe’s support staff, you have to catch them between 9 a.m. and midnight. That’s a pretty big window, but it’s not the 24/7 availability some companies provide. SimpliSafe’s monitoring service, however, is available around the clock.
Frontpoint: What you need to know
Frontpoint is a good option to consider when evaluating home security systems. It provides indoor and outdoor wireless cameras and a variety of other products to help bring homeowners peace of mind. The company’s customer service is outstanding, but the required monitoring contracts are one reason some customers may pass on Frontpoint for another company.
- Easy installation: Frontpoint systems come preprogrammed and can be set up by most customers easily. To get an entire system up and running takes just about 30 minutes on average.
- Flexibility: Whether you want to choose from one of the predetermined packages or design a system yourself, Frontpoint has plenty of hardware options.
- Customer service: Customer service is where Frontpoint shines especially bright. Customers consistently report that the company is responsive, polite and helpful.
- Commitment: You must be willing to sign up for at least a 1-year monitoring contract with Frontpoint. There’s no option to self-monitor your system. Even after the terms of your contract are up, you still must give 30 days’ notice to cancel.
- Credit concerns: Those with a less-than-stellar credit score have to pay more for Frontpoint equipment up front. But if your credit score is above 600, you’ll save some money, and this becomes a pro.
A final word about SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint
It would be hard to go wrong with either SimpliSafe or Frontpoint if you’re in the market for a wireless home security system. Both offer an array of reliable products and good customer service should any problems arise.
We gave SimpliSafe the nod primarily because it offers customers more options. The standout option is the one that allows customers to self-monitor their systems from the get go, with no contracts required. Frontpoint, on the other hand, requires customers to sign a 1- or 3-year contract for professional monitoring, and their monthly rates for it are significantly higher than SimpliSafe’s. SimpliSafe also offers the option for professional installation if customers should want it while Frontpoint doesn’t, and their money-back guarantee is twice as long as the one offered by Frontpoint. On the other hand, Frontpoint scores points with those who also want outdoor security cameras, and their customer service consistently gets rave reviews.
The bottom line: Both Frontpoint and SimpliSafe are solid home security providers to consider. But if you’re looking for more flexibility and affordability with no strings attached, then SimpliSafe may deserve a little extra consideration.
Made your call?
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.