Frontpoint Equipment | How Much Does It Cost?By - 11/27/2018
While it’s easy to see why we consider Frontpoint the best home security system for things like technology and customer service, we understand that cost is still a determining factor for a lot of people. It’s so important that we decided to devote an entire article to the cost of their DIY home security system.
When reviewing the cost of a home security system, there are typically four parts involved: the monthly monitoring fee, the cost of equipment, installation, and activation.
Frontpoint plans start at $34.99 per month and go up to $49.99 per month. And of course, the company is founded on a do-it-yourself process, meaning that you don’t need to schedule time off to meet with an installer thus eliminating installation and activation fees.
Cost of Monitoring
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|Energy Management Control|
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|Possible Insurance Discount|
|Limited Lifetime Warranty|
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Cost of Equipment
Regarding equipment, you have two options: create a package or buy devices a la carte. Of course, the devices are dependent on the monitoring plan you choose. For example, you can buy security cameras, but they will only work with Frontpoint’s Ultimate Plan.
Deals on equipment might change, but recently, equipment costs have held steady. With a three-year agreement, you can purchase what you want with a $300 discount. This discount requires that you are a homeowner with qualifying credit. So does that mean renters and people working on their credit are left out? It does not.
Frontpoint also offers a 1-year monitoring contract. This shorter term is a great option for renters or others who do not qualify for the larger equipment discount. The 1-year option will usually provide a $25 discount on packages. Of course, no matter which path you choose, you can always add equipment a la carte and the a la carte pricing is the same for all customers.
Let’s break down Frontpoint’s available equipment into categories including those that control, sense, and automate.
Equipment that Controls
All Frontpoint systems come with a base controller. The brain behind their wireless home security system was the GE Simon XT Edition, a controller I’ve tested in the past but no longer use, and a controller that’s since been replaced by the Frontpoint Hub.
I’ve tested three of Frontpoint’s hubs including the GE Simon XT (no longer sold), the Qolsys IQ Panel (no longer sold), and the Frontpoint Hub, which is what I’m currently using.
The Frontpoint Hub
The Frontpoint Hub is a significant departure from what they offered in the past. I think we can break down the differences between the Simon XT and the Hub into four bullet points.
- The Frontpoint Hub is Frontpoint branded. Previously, they used third-party control panels.
- The Hub is a two-part device. There is the actual Hub but also a separate Keypad.
- The Hub uses 4G, the older control panels all used 3G.
- It supports Z-Wave Plus.
The Frontpoint Hub has a built-in cellular link so that your system can communicate with the central monitoring agency. It also has a 104.5db siren and built-in 24-hour battery backup. As already mentioned, it supports Wi-Fi which you can use as a backup for your cellular connection but also for a faster connection to your smart home devices.
If you happen to have an older control panel and want to upgrade, you’re in luck: The Frontpoint Hub is backward compatible. If you are buying a Frontpoint system new, you are also in luck. Another thing that sets Frontpoint apart from other security companies is that they ship the Hub pre-programmed to work with all of your sensors. All you have to do is take it out of the box and plug it in.
Finally, the Hub is where all of the intelligence resides, which means separating the Hub from the Keypad was a smart move for two reasons. For one, you can attach multiple Keypads to your Frontpoint system. You can place a Keypad at your front door, back door, and in your bedroom, while placing your Hub somewhere more inconspicuous. Second, if a burglar smashes your Keypad, it won’t matter as the Hub is ultimately responsible for communicating to the monitoring center. Of course, if you pay for Interactive or Ultimate, this is irrelevant as they both provide access to Smash-Proof protection, but if you choose to subscribe to the Protection Plan, this is an advantage.
As of right now, the Frontpoint Hub is the only option Frontpoint is selling, but it won’t be long until they replace their old touchscreen option with a new option. If you want a touchscreen control panel, you might want to hold off.
Other Controlling Devices
The Interactive and Ultimate packages include the ability to control the system with a free mobile app powered by Alarm.com. They provide app support for iPhones, Androids, iPads, Kindle Fire, Apple Watch, plus a special version for Apple TV.
Frontpoint also sells a touchpad that works best with their older control panel the Simon XT. The touchpad allows you to monitor your system in-home without your phone and without running back to the primary controller.
Voice Control: Amazon Alexa and Google Home
Another way to control the system? Your voice. You can integrate your Frontpoint system with Google Home or Amazon Alexa including Echo, Echo Dot, Google Home Mini, Google Home, Google Home Hub, etc. And yes, I’ve tested the Echo integration, and it works beautifully.
The Alexa Skill for Frontpoint is pretty advanced. You can lock and unlock your doors, open and close your garage, arm and disarm your system, and more. For example, you can say, “Alexa, tell Frontpoint to arm my system,” and your system will arm. Of course, using your voice to disarm your security system presents unique security challenges. Alarm.com, the maker of Frontpoint’s Alexa Skill, is combatting this two ways. First, you are required to create a PIN. When you ask Alexa to perform tasks like “unlock your door” or “open your garage,” you will be asked to provide your PIN. Second, you can turn on two-factor authentication. According to Alarm.com,
“For increased security, we’ve added two-factor authentication to our Alexa Skill, enabling you to authenticate your home’s Amazon Echo devices. If you have two-factor authentication turned on, you’ll be sent a six-digit code on your smartphone next time you talk to Alarm.com. To authenticate your device, you’ll need to say: “Alexa, tell Alarm.com to authenticate with code (*say your code here*).”
Of course, you can also use your voice to control smart devices like lights, thermostats, and more. But what’s even more exciting is the ability to control multiple smart home devices with one command using scenes. For example, “Alexa, ask Alarm.com to run Movie Night” might lower the lights, the temperature, and lock the doors.
The Google Home skill is also provided via Alarm.com. It works similarly, but it’s not as built out as the Alexa Skill. Just like Alexa, you can use the Google Home skill to control your security system, lights, thermostat, locks, or even your garage door. Just say, “Okay Google, ask Alarm.com to close the garage.” Using this integration, you can even control groups of devices like lights. For example, you can combine all the lights in your living room under the group name “living room” and ask Google Home to turn off all living room lights.
If you are interested in pricing out the control-oriented devices we’ve discussed, you will find prices below. My current recommendation is one Frontpoint Hub and the Keypad.
- Qolsys IQ Panel (no longer sold): $387.99
- Frontpoint Hub: $249.99
- Keypad: $49.99
- Panic Pendant: $39.99
- Keychain Remote: $31.99
- Remote Touchpad (XT Only): $79.99
- Simon XT Control Panel (no longer sold): $238.99
Equipment that Senses
Frontpoint has a full range of sensors. Most sensors are wireless and battery powered. The sensors communicate back to the Frontpoint Hub, your smartphone, the central monitoring center, or even other pieces of equipment. For example, let’s say that you want the heat to kick on every time the garage door is opened or perhaps you want your camera to record if motion is detected. It’s all possible, as the equipment was created to work together.
Here’s a list of their current sensor products and pricing:
- Door Window Sensors: $32.99
- Recessed Door Sensor: $42.99
- Garage Door Sensor 2.0: $44.99
- Garage Door Sensor (Resolution): $44.99
- Motion Sensor: $64.99
- Glass Break Sensor: $74.99
- Smoke and Heat Sensor: $64.99
- CO Sensor: $89.99
- Water Flood Sensor: $44.99
Equipment that Automates
Frontpoint uses Z-Wave technology for home automation. However, not all Z-Wave devices are going to be compatible. First of all, the older control panels support some Z-Wave devices while the newer Frontpoint Hub also supports Z-Wave Plus. Beyond that, not all Z-Wave or Z-Wave Plus devices are guaranteed to work. If you’re confused, give Frontpoint a call, and they will suggest devices for you to use. Also, they sell devices that are guaranteed compatible. They sell cameras, a door lock, and a light automation module, as outlined below, but they refer temperature controllers to other companies.
- Wireless Indoor Camera: $99.99
- Outdoor Wireless Camera: $199.99
- Light Control: $49.99
- Light Bulb: $5.00
- Doorbell Camera $189.99
- Wireless Pan and Tilt Camera: $279.99 (Discontinued)
- Image Sensor: $89.99 (Discontinued)
Frontpoint Automates Your Locks
Lock automation is available through Frontpoint’s Ultimate Plan. What you can do with the lock will depend on the lock you choose. Though I prefer Frontpoint’s Interactive plan and have used Interactive for years, I did test Ultimate for two months alongside the August Smart Lock. You can read my review of using the August Smart Lock with Frontpoint here.
In short, the August Smart Lock Pro acts as a deadbolt replacement versus replacing your entire lock mechanism. As this is the case, its features are limited. My recommendation matches Frontpoint’s. If you want to add a lock, add the Schlage Connect (Schlage BE469).
Schlage BE469 is one of the keypad/touchscreen style smart locks Frontpoint pairs with. This style lock will add features like keypad entry.
Schlage BE469 comes in satin nickel, aged bronze, or bright brass and sells for $159.99. The lock is ANSI Grade 1 certified, includes a touchscreen keypad, and works in temperatures ranging from -25.6°F to 150.8°F. Though I have not tested this lock with the Frontpoint system, I have tested it with SmartThings, and I like it.
In addition to the Schlage BE469, there are other smart locks supported by Frontpoint including the Yale Living Touchscreen and Keypad Deadbolt, Kwikset Lever #912, and Kwikset Deadbolt #910. The Danalock V3 was also added to the list of compatible deadbolt locks alongside the August Smart Lock Pro. Both third-party integrations are made possible by Alarm.com. Danalock V3, like August, is a thumb-turn deadbolt that doesn’t have a keypad or touchscreen.
To view a comparison table of compatible locks please check out this article.
Frontpoint Automates Your Thermostat
Using your system, you can control your home’s temperature from anywhere. There are several compatible smart thermostats you can use to make this happen. Unfortunately, Frontpoint doesn’t sell smart thermostats, but one of the best is the Alarm.com Smarter Thermostat. As it’s an Alarm.com device, it integrates beautifully with the system and the app. It’s Z-Wave compatible, offers remote access and alerts, and will help you conserve energy. Frontpoint recommends the following thermostats:
- Z-wave Thermostat (TBZ48D)
- RCS Thermostat (TZ45)
- 2GIG Radio Thermostat (CT100)
- Trane (TZEMT400AB32MAA)
Of these choices, I recommend the CT100, but the Alarm.com Smarter Thermostat is my top pick.
Frontpoint currently offers two home security camera options that work with their Ultimate monitoring package as well as a doorbell camera:
- Wireless Indoor Camera: $99.99
- Outdoor Wireless Camera: $199.99
- Doorbell Camera: $189.99
The newest addition to Frontpoint’s lineup is the Doorbell Camera. And though I have a doorbell camera, this particular one is not one I’ve tried, though I did get a sample of its abilities during CES 2017. If you’re familiar with the SkyBell Trim, you’re familiar with this Doorbell Camera. Frontpoint calls it the Slimline.
The smart doorbell will replace your existing doorbell. It has a motion sensor, can live stream in HD, and offers two-way audio. Like most of the other cameras, it requires Wi-Fi and the Ultimate Plan. With that, the doorbell will have access to cloud storage.
What makes a doorbell camera so great is that it can record using two triggers. It can record if motion is detected and it can record when someone rings your doorbell. While it is only capable of sending a push notification if an event occurs, it does have its own tone (doorbell chime) to help set the notifications apart from the countless other notifications you probably receive every day. Also, recorded footage is accessed through the Alarm.com app, but the clips are kept on the doorbell tab, which is separate from the video tab, making it easier to distinguish between event types.
Side note, if you also own a smart lock, you can unlock it from your doorbell screen.
- Motion Sensor
- Two-Way Talk
- 720p Camera with Night Vision
- Live Streaming
- Supports Activity Zones
Coupons, Discounts and FAQs
Equipment as low as $69.99*
Q: Do they offer a 1-year or 3-year contract? I see both.
A: They offer 1 and 3-year contracts. A 3-year contract will yield a larger equipment discount than a 1-year contract.
Q: Does everyone get the equipment discount?
A: No. Not everyone. Discounts are available to those who sign a three-year contract, have qualifying credit, and own their home. If so, you can save up to $300 off equipment pricing. There is nothing special you need to do to receive this discount. It should be offered to you when you call Frontpoint.
Q: Do you have any coupon codes?
A: Frontpoint is eager to please, and that extends to coupon codes. While they do offer legitimate coupon codes from time to time, you can often just ask for a discount or a free sensor. In this case, ask, and you might just receive.
Q: Will I own the equipment?
A: Unlike other companies, Frontpoint’s equipment pricing is separate from the monthly fee. You are not paying to rent equipment; you are paying to own equipment.
Q: What is the equipment warranty?
A: Their equipment comes with a limited lifetime warranty. If you are researching Front point security reviews on the internet, you might find other sites stating that they offer a 2-year or 3-year warranty. Though this was true in the past, they now offer a limited lifetime warranty to match the contract terms. This change is another example of how they listen and adjust policies based on customer feedback.
Q: I live in an area where a verified response is required before the police come, can I still have a security system?
A: When that is the case, Frontpoint utilizes Securitas to verify the emergency, and then they notify the authorities if needed. Frontpoint will research whether or not this service is required in your area and will notify you if it is required well within your risk-free trial. This check is done at the same time that they check to see if your system needs to be registered with the local authorities. I think this is something that not many companies do and it sets Frontpoint apart.
Q: What if I lose my phone?
A: Frontpoint will help. They can help you secure your system, and in the meantime, you can always use your control panel to control your security and smart home system.