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      November 19, 2018

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Frontpoint vs SimpliSafe

Best Home Security Systems

To help you find the Best DIY Home Security Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Frontpoint and SimpliSafe.

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Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, no matter how big or small the residence. In the United States, there are over two million burglaries every calendar year, with losses averaging at least $2,000 per crime. Home security systems are the most popular, reputable way to deter would-be criminals and to catch them in the act.

However, many consumers are turning away from traditional home security systems which often involve lengthy service contracts, not to mention the installation of equipment and wiring that can leave unsightly holes in the walls - and that might not even be allowed by a landlord for those who are renting an apartment or house.

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Best Reviews

2018

DIY Home Security Reviews

5 stars
Frontpoint

FRONTPOINT Visit Site

Features:

Monitoring plans start at $34.99

Geo-services not found with other providers

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Frontpoint continues to lead the pack when it comes to home security systems with DIY installation. With a low-pressure approach to sales, a month-long money-back guarantee, and a 100% cellular connection (which means you don't need a landline phone or internet connection for it to work), this company works hard to earn and keep your business.

One of the top features that sets Frontpoint apart from the competition is their Geo-Services, which uses your phone's location to activate various system components. You start by setting up a "geo-fence", or an area around your office or home. If you leave that area (with your phone, of course - but who doesn't keep their phone close at all times?), you can set up your system to change your thermostat until you return, or to notify you if you forgot to arm it before you left home.

There are three plans to choose from with Frontpoint, all of which include round-the-clock monitoring through top-ranked, third-party provider Rapid Response:

  • Protection. Their basic plan, covering you for intrusion, fire, environmental hazards and life safety conditions, costs $34.99 per month.
  • Interactive. This is the plan you'll need to start with if you want those geo-services, along with other advanced features like crash-and-smash protection and sensor history. This will cost you $44.99 per month.
  • Ultimate. Take all of the features from Protection and Interactive, then add on video capability, motion-triggered alerts, night vision and light/smart lock control. You'll pay $49.99 per month.

While some of the home security systems on the market, particularly the ones with DIY installation, don't charge activation fees, you'll pay a charge from $99 to almost $200 for the start-up fees with Frontpoint. All plans require a 3-year commitment, and you then have to choose an equipment package to outfit your home security system.

For example, the Pro Package includes one keypad panel, three door/window sensors, one motion sensor, one glass break sensor, and one keychain remote. You can add on other equipment, either when you place your initial order or after you have the system set up. Available add-ons run the gamut from Cameras and Sensors to Home Automation and other accessories.

Where Frontpoint really shines is when it comes to customer service. From an A+ rating with the BBB to the Angie's List Super Service Award, and with countless reviews from satisfied customers, it's easy to see that Frontpoint has been able to not only make a name for itself but also maintain that high standard. They're absolutely committed to their customers, also as evidenced by that 30-day risk-free guarantee and their low-key approach to sales - no pushy tactics designed to get you to buy anything you don't actually need.

Although the competition is stiff, Frontpoint receives our top rating when it comes to home security systems with easy DIY installation, easy-to-understand pricing, and top-notch service and monitoring.

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3 stars
SimpliSafe

SIMPLISAFE Visit Site

Features:

$229.99 for equipment starter kit

No contract

Monitoring plans cost $14.99-$24.99/month

"Perfect Fit" money-back guarantee

Frequently promoted by big names like CNET Magazine and Dave Ramsey, SimpliSafe offers home security systems with do-it-yourself installation. What makes them popular with a get-out-of-debt guru like Ramsey? That's easy: there's no required contract, and monitoring service fees are some of the lowest available, starting at just $14.99 per month.

As with all of the DIY systems in our review, you'll have to pay for your equipment: the intro package includes a little less than some of SimpliSafe's competitors, with just a base station and keypad, one door sensor, one remote sensor, and one keychain remote. This will set you back $229.99. Unless you have a small apartment/home, you'll probably need much more than that to get your home protection up and running; larger packages add the following:

  • Compact: for $244.99, you get one extra entry sensor (total of 2)
  • Economy: for $259.99, you get two extra entry sensors (total of 3)
  • Economy Plus: for $304.99, you get a total of 4 entry sensors and 2 motion sensors
  • Starter Plus: for $304.99, you get the Economy package plus a 105 dB siren

The trend continues, with additional sensors and features as you go up in price through the packages: Lookout, Classic, Master, and Ultimate. Of course, you can also use the Build My System tool to put together the exact components you want for your particular situation.

You may even be able to save more money if you're willing to use "pre-owned" equipment: SimpliSafe is the only DIY home security company to offer refurbished equipment for purchase. Your savings could be as much as 30% compared with brand-new components.

What about monitoring? SimpliSafe keeps things, well, simple:

  • Standard, which includes basic round-the clock protection via cellular or WiFi connection for $14.99 per month.
  • Interactive, which adds the functionality of controlling and monitoring your system via smartphone or computer. You'll get text/email alerts if anything sets off your alarms. They also mention a "Secret! Alerts" if you have sensors on private rooms, safes, drawers, medicine cabinets, and so on, but there were no additional details as to how you'd set it up or which sensors would be needed. This is $24.99 per month.

New customers will appreciate that SimpliSafe components come with a 3-year warranty, and the company offers a stellar 60-day satisfaction guarantee that allows for returns for any reason within that period.

However, SimpliSafe has a significant number of issues that may give you pause. First, you may have noticed that you'll have to pay extra just to use an app to control your system. With most of the DIY home security systems on the market, that functionality is included as part of keeping up-to-date with technology. It will then come as no surprise that SimpliSafe does not currently offer any integration with smart home products, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Nest thermostats. For the truly DIY-and-tech-savvy customer, this is a glaring omission.

And, we found more than a few reviews that described being awakened by false alarms more than once - but not hearing from the monitoring service for up to five minutes. Customers also had difficulties in getting timely responses from SimpliSafe's customer service department when they needed help with their installation or when components weren't working as expected. One of the most common issues was with respect to the cellular connection, trying to switch providers in order to work with the more reliable network in their service area.

Given how expensive the SimpliSafe equipment can be, we're glad that they offer a 60-day return window. If you like what this company has to offer, you'll have two months to put it to the test before deciding if they're the home security company for your needs.

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Continued from above

Instead, customers are opting to use DIY home security systems, which gives them the convenience of setting up their protection equipment exactly the way they choose and taking it with them when they move to a new home.

Of course, every good DIY home security system should be paired with common-sense protective measures, such as using top-rated deadbolts on all entry doors and making sure all doors and windows are secure before leaving home or going to bed in the evening. Home protection experts strongly prefer security systems that include 24/7 monitoring as well, for added coverage and peace of mind particularly when people are at home. Using live monitoring has been demonstrated to greatly reduce the likelihood of burglary or invasion, as most criminals want to avoid being caught red-handed.

An added perk to taking the DIY approach to home security is saving money. These systems tend to be less expensive to purchase and set up, and yet they are usually eligible for the same premium discounts on homeowners insurance: up to 20%.

When considering the various do-it-yourself home security systems on the market, what should you keep in mind? Each company differs when it comes to the type of equipment they sell and service, the ease of installation, and whether or not they offer live monitoring of your system. Keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Equipment Costs. What does the company include with its home security packages? How many sensors will you need, and what will you be charged to get the level of coverage you want? What will you have to spend to get any additional equipment that you need for your particular living arrangements?
  • Monitoring Service. Will your DIY home security system include any kind of monitoring, or is that left as your responsibility through online apps and other features? If 24/7 live monitoring is available, how much will it cost per month? If there's a break-in or other emergency at your home, will the service contact local authorities on your behalf?
  • Reputation. What do other customers have to say about the business, the equipment, and/or the service received? How easy is it to get help, either with your do-it-yourself installation or with the service? Can you expect a satisfaction guarantee or refund if you are unhappy with the home security service?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best DIY Home Security Systems available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best do-it-yourself home security system that will keep you and your family safe for years to come!

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