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      December 6, 2019

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Frontpoint vs SimpliSafe

Best Home Security Systems

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

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Home Security Systems, please Click Here

Where can you find the best home security system? Today's marketplace gives you more options than ever, with packages ranging from budget-friendly, basic home monitoring with equipment you install yourself, to technician-installed systems that include smoke and flood detectors.

Before you determine which home security system is right for your needs, it's important to understand why you should have one. Although crime rates have been dropping in some areas, there are still nearly 2 million break-ins nationwide every year, resulting in losses of at least $2,000 on average. And, even if a burglary doesn't lead to a big financial loss, there's no way to put a monetary value on the peace of mind that vanishes when you find out that an intruder was inside your home.

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Best Reviews

2019

Home Security Systems Reviews

5 stars
Frontpoint

FRONTPOINT

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Features:

30-day risk-free trial

Free shipping on orders and returns

No contract required

Monthly monitoring from $34.99 to $49.99 per month

DIY installation, no technician required

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Frontpoint has been leading the pack for over a decade, as the first nationwide alarm company to include smart security in every home system they sell. Frontpoint has always had a great reputation, and it only keeps getting better: since the time of our last review, the company's rating with the BBB has gone from a respectable "A" to a flawless "A+", indicating that they show no signs of slacking off when it comes to responding to any of their customers' concerns.

One way they take great care of their clients is with a 30-day risk-free trial. If you order a Frontpoint system and don't love it, you'll get a full refund when you return the equipment. Not only will they pay for the shipping to your home, but they also cover the costs if you have to send it back. Compared to other retailers of home security systems that lock you into a lengthy contract and then make you keep paying even if your protection isn't working properly, Frontpoint comes out way in the lead with their customer-friendly guarantee.

Frontpoint continues to offer three packages for home security systems:

  • Protection ($34.99/month): as the most basic tier of service, this plan gives you intrusion protection, environmental protection, fire protection, and life safety monitoring.
  • Interactive ($44.99/month): this plan includes all of the features of the basic plan, plus geo services, crash & smash protection, remote access and control, as well as email/text alerts.
  • Ultimate ($49.99/month): this is the most robust of Frontpoint's packages, adding live video streaming, motion-activated alerts, HD/night vision camera capabilities, light controls, automated door locks, and energy management control to the features of the first two levels of service.

So, how much does the equipment cost? Like many home security systems companies, Frontpoint lets you request a free quote; once you've entered your name, number, email and some basic details about the level of coverage you need, you'll get a call from one of their sales reps to help determine what equipment fits your situation.

But, you can always click on the "Shop" button at the top of the page (or the "Shop Online" button after you've requested a free quote) to see what pre-made packages might be a good match for your home. Here are some to consider:

  • Safe Home Starter: in this 7-piece system, you'll get 1 hub/keypad, 2 door/window sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 yard sign, 1 door sticker and 5 window decals. While the site says that the retail price for this package is $430.95, their everyday price is more like $69. That's extremely affordable - a great value if you have a small home or apartment.
    There is another package for the same price of $69 that includes 1 more door/window sensor and an extra motion sensor, listed as the Safe Home Everyday system. You may want to look for that package as you shop, since it didn't pop to the top like the Starter kit did.
  • Safe Home Select: with this 12-piece home security system, you'll get a total of 4 door/window sensors, 2 motion sensors, plus 1 glass break sensor and 1 smoke/heat sensor, in addition to the components of the Starter and the Everyday packages. Again, Frontpoint lists a retail price ($701.90) that is much higher than what they actually charge ($201.90) for the equipment.
  • Safe Home Preferred: if you want to add an indoor camera to your package, this set might be the right one for you. You'll get everything included in the Select plan, plus an extra door/window sensor (total of 5). Retail price is shown as $834.88, but actual cost is $334.88.
  • Safe Home Elite: if you want the most comprehensive package Frontpoint offers, consider the 18-piece Elite set. You get the usual decals, stickers, hub/keypad and yard sign. Plus, you'll receive a total of 6 door/window sensors, 2 glass break sensors, 2 motion sensors, 1 smoke/heat sensor, 1 indoor camera, 1 outdoor camera, and 1 doorbell camera. Despite a retail price of over $1300, you'll pay just $832.84.

Any of Frontpoint's packages can be customized to add any extra monitoring devices or sensors you may need. You may want to add a carbon monoxide sensor ($89.99) or a flood sensor ($44.99) in the laundry room or bathroom. Or, you could be looking for home automation options like a garage door controller ($69.99) or a smart door lock ($179.99). It's easy to add them to your equipment, and you won't pay extra for your monthly monitoring when you include additional devices.

At the time of our most recent review, Frontpoint was offering a free doorbell camera with any purchase over $69. Keep an eye out for any promotions that might be in place when you shop the site.

All of the equipment they offer is self-installed. Many customers love not having to endure a pushy in-home technician/sales rep, and people say that every component is easy to set up DIY-style. And, if you need any extra help, Fronpoint's friendly customer service team stands at the ready to answer your questions and help you get it all set up with minimal hassles.

Because you pay for your equipment upfront, it could be more expensive initially to get a home security system from Frontpoint. But, the good news is, you can add equipment at any time. So, if you're on a tight budget, maybe you'll start with one of the $69 starter packages until you can afford to add the extra coverage you'd like to have.

Frontpoint doesn't lock you into a service contract, but they do lock in your rates: you'll never get an unexpected price increase on your monthly monitoring fees. Good luck finding another home security systems company that offers you that promise! Of course, you may need to upgrade your monitoring plan if you start with basic equipment and then add video monitoring, for example, but that will always be your choice, no unpleasant surprise rate hikes.

If you're looking for the industry's best home security systems, your first consideration should be Frontpoint. From 24/7 monitoring that you can afford to equipment packages with all the bells and whistles you could ask for, this company gives customers all of the peace of mind they want. And, if problems arise, you're protected by an exceptional satisfaction guarantee and refund policy in your first 30 days, with no contracts to lock you into a service you don't need or want. Frontpoint continues to earn our highest rating among providers of home security systems.

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5 stars
SimpliSafe

SIMPLISAFE

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Features:

All DIY installation

$14.99/month monitoring fee regardless of number of sensors

No required service contracts

Strong features like Secret Alerts and Duress PIN

60-day money-back guarantee

SimpliSafe wants to make it beyond easy for you to have a home security system that works for you, without any high-pressure in-home sales pitches or requirements to have a technician for the install. Every piece of equipment they offer can be set up quickly and easily by even the least tech-savvy consumers in just a matter of moments. (But, if you'd prefer some expert help, SimpliSafe can refer you to a certified pro in your area.)

SimpliSafe has the rock-bottom lowest monthly monitoring costs on the market: no matter how many sensors and devices you have on your system, you'll just pay $14.99 per month. You get the same round-the-clock protection as the home security companies that charge four times that amount.

This is also one of the only home security systems on the market today that lets you try it for 60 days. If you don't love it, you can get a full refund - and you won't even have to pay for the return shipping on your equipment. That's a big plus over their competitors.

That being said, you do have to pay for your equipment upfront when working with SimpliSafe: you don't get it for "free" (in other words, paying for it through higher monthly monitoring fees) or on an installment plan. While you can always create a customized a la carte package for yourself - SimpliSafe clearly displays pricing information on every sensor and component, which we appreciate - there are also a few ready-made packages to choose from:

  • The Foundation: regularly priced at $229, this entry-level kit is ideal for apartments and small homes. It comes with one motion sensor, one sensor for your main door, and the base station + control pad.
  • The Essentials: for $259, you increase the coverage of the first plan by adding two more door sensors.
  • The Hearth: at a retail price of $374, this package tacks on a 105dB alarm, a smoke detector, and a key fob to control your system.
  • The Knox: priced at $449, this tier expands your protection with twice as many motion detectors and entry sensors as the first three packages. You'll want to consider this package if you have more than three bedrooms in your home.
  • The Haven: as one of SimpliSafe's top tier of equipment packages, this set adds a panic button, freeze sensor and water (flood) sensor. You'll pay $489 for the package.

Not seeing what you're looking for in those packages? The Stonefort, the Keep, and the Fortress have varying arrangements of sensors that might be a good fit. (For example, if you live in the South and never have to worry about your pipes freezing, you can select a package that takes out the freeze sensor but adds on a camera or an extra control pad.) You can also custom-build your own package with whatever devices you need.

SimpliSafe is also the only home security system in our review that offers refurbished equipment packages, which could save you some extra cash when setting up your protection for the first time.

SimpliSafe has some features you may not find with home security systems. The two that really stand out to us are the Secret Alerts and the Duress PIN. Do you have an area in your home that you want to monitor without setting off loud alarms (maybe the cabinet where you stash your favorite candy or the closet where you hide the Christmas presents)? You can get a notification through Secret Alerts that lets you know - without the person doing the snooping finding out! And, if you're ever in the unlikely-but-terrifying position of being forced to disarm your system, the Duress PIN (separate from your regular arm/disarm PIN) makes it appear that you've complied while still sending a silent alert to the authorities.

SimpliSafe also uses redundancy in their monitoring centers, in six different locations throughout the US. So whether a hurricane is pounding the Florida panhandle or California is experiencing wildfires, you can be assured that no disaster - man-made or natural - will interrupt your home security system's coverage.

At the time of our most recent visit to the SimpliSafe site, there was a promo in place offering a discount of 25% off any new system, plus a free camera ($99 value). So, be sure to look around for any sales that might be in effect when you're shopping for your home security system.

SimpliSafe continues to enjoy an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. We recognize that this means the company has done a good job at responding to complaints. That's important because we found mixed reviews about SimpliSafe's customer service after their home security systems are installed. While the average of the reviews linked to from the SimpliSafe website was a strong 4.6 out of 5 at the time of our review, most of the comments described customers who were happy with the purchase and install process.

On the other hand, the reviews posted to the BBB site focused more on the customer experience with the monitoring service and equipment - people were frustrated that parts of their system stopped working and they couldn't get anyone to help them get it up and running. Another troubling comment was that the system often triggered false alarms and sent the police to the home - even after the customer had cancelled the monitoring service twice and removed all of the equipment. You'll definitely want to pay close attention to your home security system and how it's working for you in the first two months - knowing that you're protected by SimpliSafe's 60-day satisfaction guarantee if it doesn't meet your expectations.

Because of their upfront pricing, extremely reasonable monthly fees, and top-notch rating from the BBB, we still recommend SimpliSafe as one of our favorite providers of home security systems.

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Continued from above

You may feel like your home won't be a target because you live within a gated community or you have strong deadbolts and motion-activated floodlights. While those preventative measures can make it less likely you'll be the target of a home invasion or robbery, the most determined criminals can still gain access to your house. For that reason, the experts strongly recommend that you invest in a 24/7 monitored home security system. Not only does it make it less likely that a criminal will target your house to begin with, but it also ensures that any attempts to break into your home will be detected immediately and reported to you and to local law enforcement.

When considering the many home security systems on the market today, you'll quickly see that they vary widely with respect to features, provided equipment, and service fees. Some providers give you all of the sensors and other equipment at no cost, with the understanding that you'll install the needed components on your own. Other services require you to make an appointment with a technician who will set up your home security system for you. Also, while most systems are monitored using wireless connections, some companies still use landlines - which can add to your costs if you are one of the millions of homeowners who rely solely on mobile phones and need to add a landline to use the home security system.

As you look through home security systems reviews, it's easy to get bogged down in the numerous packages, price points, and add-on features. Keep in mind the following basic criteria, to help you narrow down the options to find the right protection for your home:

  • Equipment and Installation Costs: What will you pay to get the equipment needed for the level of coverage you want? If the equipment isn't given to you free of charge, do you own it outright or do you pay monthly to rent it? If there's no charge, are there add-ons not included with the basic setup that you'll need to pay for? If a technician install is required, how much will you pay for the service?
  • Monitoring Service. Will your home security system be monitored around the clock? What do customers say about the response time of the service? Will local authorities be contacted directly and immediately, or will the company reach out to you first (e.g. false alarms)? How much does the monitoring cost per month?
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. If you're unhappy with your home security system for any reason, can you get a refund? Is there a warranty period on any provided equipment?
  • Reputation. What do current and previous customers say about their experience with the home security system? Has the provider been rated by the Better Business Bureau? Does the company deliver on its promises to keep you safe?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best home security systems available today. We hope this information gives you all of the insight needed to identify the home security system that will protect you and your loved ones now and in the future!

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