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Friday, August 12th
There's no shortage of competition in the DIY home security system marketplace, and yet Frontpoint has led the pack for over 10 years. In fact, they were the first company to make it possible for customers to get professional monitoring with do-it-yourself equipment installation.
You choose the equipment
Frontpoint gets high marks for allowing customers to integrate a wide range of home automation equipment - even components purchased through third-party sellers and brands instead of directly from the Frontpoint store. You can easily create a bespoke home security system as you browse what Frontpoint sells (and keeping in mind what you may already have, like a Nest thermostat or other smart home gear).
3 starter kits to choose from
If you feel more comfortable starting with a preselected package, there are three to consider:
No shortage of options
Is there a type of DIY home security equipment that Frontpoint doesn't offer? We had a hard time finding anything missing. You'll see ample choices in the dropdown categories, which include Home Automation, Accessories, Cameras, Intrusion, Best Sellers, and Hazard Sensors. You aren't going to find dozens of choices in each of those categories, but keep in mind what we said about being able to incorporate equipment from other retailers (like most Z-Wave home automation gear). On what Frontpoint does offer, there's almost always a discount in place too - we've seen savings ranging from 20-35% every time we've visited the site.
Monitoring can be a little pricey
You should prepare yourself for the fact that Frontpoint's monitoring fees are on the high end at $49.99 per month. You're limited to up to four cameras (but, honestly, few systems have more than that), yet there's no limit on the rest of your system: incorporate as many features as you like. Plus, when we chatted with a representative on the Frontpoint site, we found out that customers who have their payments automatically debited from their checking or savings will get a $5/month discount on those monitoring fees.
No required contracts here
Frontpoint proudly advertises that there are no contracts needed to use their service - so you might be taken aback when you go to check out and see the monitoring plan described as "three years" . Don't worry: we confirmed with Frontpoint support that it refers to your rate lock. In other words, your monitoring fees are guaranteed to be the same for three full years. You can still cancel at any time, and if you're within the first 30 days of your service you're eligible for a refund on your equipment if your DIY home security system isn't meeting your expectations.
ID theft protection is a bonus
Frontpoint is the only home security provider in our evaluation that includes identity theft protection with your monitoring costs. Known as ID Protect, the service is backed by Allstate and could be a suitable replacement for any other plans you may already be paying for (like LifeLock). If you're spending $20 or more a month for such coverage and cancel it in favor of Frontpoint's service, you can think of it as a discount off those higher-than-average monitoring fees.
Can 10,000 satisfied clients be wrong?
Like many providers of DIY home security systems, Frontpoint has an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. Even better, more than 10,000 people - 90% of all reviewers - have given this service a 4- or 5-star rating. That's even more compelling when you realize that many homeowners have protected their property with Frontpoint for ten years or longer. We did see a slight trend in recent reviews that mentioned issues with reaching support to handle equipment or billing problems, but those are still few and far between - and that wouldn't interfere with these systems' overall ability to keep you safe.
First place for DIY home security systems
Frontpoint has been a name to rely on for home security systems for many consecutive years. You won't spend an arm and a leg to set up your home's protection, you're covered by a 30-day refund policy and no-contract service, and your home security can include as much automation as you like. Frontpoint is the ideal provider of DIY home security systems, and once again they've earned our strongest recommendation.
Across the board, more homeowners are turning to home security systems with do-it-yourself installation. After all, why pay for an expensive professional install and lengthy service contracts when you can choose just the equipment you need and set it up on your own? Then, when it comes time to move, all you have to do is take it down and put it right back up in your new place.
The first thing to decide when choosing a DIY home security system is monitoring: do you also want to do that yourself or would you prefer 24/7 professional care? Most homeowners want to know that someone is on duty round-the-clock and choose to pay for external monitoring, but you've got options if you want to keep an eye on things on your own.
Your next decision relates to your setup. What equipment is necessary to provide the coverage you've got in mind? At a minimum, your DIY home security system will likely include enough door sensors to cover all first-floor entry points and a panel/touchscreen hub for arming and disarming it. Other popular components include indoor and outdoor cameras, video doorbells, and sensors for smoke, fire and carbon monoxide. You may be able to buy your gear a la carte, though some security companies require you to purchase a package and then add on any extra components you need.
Finally, consider your budget. How much can you afford to spend, not just on the equipment but also on the professional monitoring if you so choose? Bear in mind that when you add higher-end features like video cameras with storage, you often have to pay more each month for the service contract.
Now that you have an idea of how you want your DIY home security system to be set up, how can you tell which company you should pick? Here are some criteria you can look for as you make the decision:
To help you protect your property and loved ones, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular DIY home security systems on the market today. We're confident that this information will give you everything you need to choose the most effective coverage at a price you can afford.
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