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Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe: Which is best for you?

Home security is a big business worldwide — as it should be. Everyone should have the option to feel safe and secure while in their own homes, and there are plenty of companies that want to help with that. SimpliSafe is the stylish newcomer, while Frontpoint has been in the home security business for decades. Let’s compare SimpliSafe and Frontpoint to see which is best for you.

These two companies offer their own take on DIY home security systems, each with different accessories, plans, and offers. Diving deep into each and will help you understand who has better options for your needs.

Hardware options and cost

The SimpliSafe keypad and base sitting on a table.

SimpliSafe offers sleek accessories, mostly all white with black or blue accents. The colors allow the system to blend in with most home walls and therefore be out of sight. SimpliSafe offers different hardware packages depending on how much of a particular accessory you desire. You can also add extras in a package that doesn’t feature exactly what you want. The company offers five packages: Haven, Knox, Hearth, Essentials, and Foundation.

All packages include a base station, keypad, entryway sensor, and motion sensor. One of each of those items is included with the Foundation package. The Essentials includes three total entryway sensors, while the Hearth includes additional accessories, like a siren, a smoke detector, and a key fob. The Knox is the same as the Hearth, but with six entryway sensors and two motion sensors. Lastly, the Haven is the “everything” package, including everything in the Knox and a panic button, temperature sensor, and water leak sensor. In ascending order, they cost $229 (Foundation), $259 (Essentials), $374 (Hearth), $449 (Knox), and $489 (Haven). The cost of entry here is a bit higher than what Frontpoint offers. SimpliSafe also offers add-on cameras, but they are an additional fee in both the hardware and monitoring departments.

Frontpoint offers its own unique accessories and packages that start lower than the counterpoint. Their design is more rigid than SimpliSafe and features green LED accents. In addition, Frontpoint’s simpler three package lineups includes Safehouse, Bunker, and Fortress. With Frontpoint, though, you don’t have to start with a package. Instead, you can create your own bundle.

All of Frontpoint’s packages include a hub and keypad, at least two door and windows sensors, one motion sensor, and a doorbell camera. Just those accessories are what’s included in the Safehouse package, which is $99. If you upgrade to the Bunker package, you get an indoor camera, smoke and heat sensor, and an extra door and window sensor for a total of $475. Lastly, you can go all out for $598 and get two more door and window sensors, as well as an additional indoor camera, than what’s included in the Bunker. Frontpoint does give the option of paying for its hardware monthly.

Verdict: The basic package at Frontpoint provides more value than the entry package at Simplisafe, but once you start adding more cameras, Simplisafe ends up being cheaper.

Service cost

A flatly of the Frontpoint Bunker security package.

Hardware cost is typically just a one-time fee. However, you’ll want to pay attention to the service cost, because that is something you’ll need to pay for however long you keep the monitoring service running. Both companies are contract-free, so no worries if you switch competitors or only have the service for specific months.

Each company offers two paid monitoring plans and provides a list of small features that each company provides. SimpliSafe also offers a free plan, but it only allows you to live-stream what’s going on in your home with its camera. You can’t arm or disarm an alarm or get alerts with plans. We don’t recommend this option, as it doesn’t offer any alerts. SimpliSafe’s paid plans include a Standard plan for $15 a month and an Interactive plan for $25 a month. The Standard plan has the base connected to the monitoring team, who will alert you if an alarm is triggered and call local authorities. The Interactive plan gives homeowners the ability to use the SimpliSafe app and get alert notifications for motion and alarm.

Frontpoint offers an Interactive plan for $45 a month and an Ultimate plan for $50 a month — a significant and notable jump over SimpliSafe’s plans. Both of Frontpoint’s monitoring plans offer 24/7 live monitoring with cellular backup and a team to contact authorities, as well as cloud storage for the cameras’ recorded clips. The Ultimate plan allows for more video recording, smart home control, and app usage.

Verdict: In the end, we found that Frontpoint was better for homeowners with a more dedicated smart home system who want to record video. At the same time, SimpliSafe had better independent features, such as silent alarms and video verified alarms.

Installation

Installation and usage between both systems are where the companies are most similar. A customer would plug the Hub or Base station into power and then stick the sensor on walls or tables they desire. All accessories have a sticker application, and nothing needs to be drilled or hardwired in — save for the cameras. Adding cameras into the Frontpoint ecosystem is mildly complicated, considering you have to add them to your Wi-Fi network and connect them through a browser during set up. We can assume that each company’s extras accessories have the same level of ease when setting up.

Also, with each company being a DIY installation service company, moving systems between homes is a breeze. Just disconnect from one home and connect back to the other.

Verdict: It’s a tie.

Accessories

The Frontpoint app showing a list of security notifications.

Both SimpliSafe and Frontpoint provide the standard home security accessories when it comes to keypads, hubs, door and window sensors, and motion detectors. They also have similar additional accessories, such as keyfobs, cameras, and hazard sensors (smoke, fire, flood, etc.). In addition, SimpliSafe can be professionally installed. Frontpoint, however, has more smart home accessories, including a smart outdoor outlet, smart thermostat, and smart door lock.

Verdict: If you want more smart home accessories, go for Frontpoint. If you already have all the smart home features offered by Frontpoint, go for SimpliSafe.

How they work

SimpliSafe and Frontpoint work very similarly to each other. If an alarm is tripped through any of the various methods (motion, leaks, breaks, etc.) and isn’t disarmed promptly, the monitoring team behind each company will interact. The bases will emit a loud siren unless using another method, and the team will call the proper authorities if something looks awry. To disarm the system, you have to use the keypad or other accessories — unless you use a plan involving remote control through a mobile app.

Which to choose

In the end, we found that SimpliSafe is the better choice in a home security system for most people. You have plenty of options for hardware packages to choose from and additional accessories if you need more. The cost you save on the monitoring plans and its unique features not found with Frontpoint are more appreciated than the company’s smart home accessories.

If you want a dedicated smart home setup that’s integrated with your home security service and a top-rated customer service support team that has been in the business for decades, though, Frontpoint is your choice. Let’s hope your wallet doesn’t mind.

Editors' Recommendations