Simplisafe and Frontpoint Security both provide wireless home security system of the do-it-yourself (DIY) variety. The following information is meant to provide consumers with the insights and information need to make an informed choice when shopping for a DIY home security system.

Fast Facts

If you only take away three things from this post, here what you need to know:

  • SimpliSafe security systems and monitoring services are less expensive than Frontpoint.
  • Frontpoint offers more features (touchscreen control panels, home automation integration, and outdoor video surveillance).
  • SimpliSafe is contract-free, whereas Frontpoint requires a minimum contract length of 12 months.

Overview

As stated earlier, SimpliSafe and Frontpoint both offer wireless security systems with DIY installation. Both companies also offer indoor video surveillance as an option. SimpliSafe is…well…simple in terms of technology and features in comparison to Frontpoint. Puns aside, Simplisafe boasts prices that are more than reasonable and their contract-free approach is great for short-term situations. If your primary concern is technology and features, then Farontpoint is the clear-cut winner.

SimpliSafe

The two-time winner of CNET’s Editors’ Choice for Home Security provides a no-frills option that protects your home without the headaches that come with long-term contracts and factory-direct equipment allows for rock bottom pricing. SimpliSafe offers a four-prong approach to securing your home consisting of entry sensors, motion sensors, glassbreak detection and video surveillance. These four methods of detection paired with industry-leading professional monitoring make for a burglar’s worst nightmare and send them scurrying away. SimpliSafe is very user-friendly and easy to use. Users can arm/disarm their system and check-in on their home via the optional Simplicam all from their mobile phones. Users are also kept in the loop via push notifications to their mobile phones whenever the system detects trouble.

SimpliSafe Background

SimpliSafe started as home security company geared towards renters. Two Harvard business students wanted a solution to local break-ins, but big companies didn’t have renter-friendly setups. Combining their knowledge of business and engineering, they came up with SimpliSafe as do-it-yourself security. It’s renter-friendly because it leaves no permanent marks and involves no long-term contracts. Today SimpliSafe is still headquartered in the Cambridge, MA. SimpliSafe builds its own equipment and meets high standards for product quality. Its emergency monitoring services are impressive too. The Independent Central Station Alarm Association says SimpliSafe provides some of the best monitoring in the industry. You can design a SimpliSafe system “a la carte” or choose from pre-packaged kits. Setup takes about 15 minutes.

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Frontpoint

Frontpoint is a good choice if you’re looking for a DIY security system that provides some flexibility when it comes to contract terms, but be prepared to pay a lot more upfront for a one-year plan than you will for a three-year plan. There are several monitoring plans to choose from, and you can custom order the exact hardware you need to protect your home from outside intruders, fire, and floods. Installation is easy, and the system is very responsive. Add-on devices are relatively expensive, and the total cost of the system over a three-year period is pricier than the competition.

Frontpoint offers three monitoring plans and three customizable hardware packages. Protection monitoring ($34.99 per month) is the base plan and includes fire, environmental (freeze, water), life safety (medical), and intrusion protection with 24/7 monitoring. The Interactive plan ($44.99 per month) adds support for image sensors, lighting control, crash and smash protection, email and text alerts, remote control from a mobile device, and geolocation services. If you want to include things like cameras and thermostats, you have to subscribe to the Ultimate plan ($49.99 per month), which gives you everything from the Interactive plan and adds support for live video streaming, motion-activated video recording, door lock control, and energy management (thermostat) control. With a base system consisting of three door/window sensors, one motion detector, and a touch-screen panel, the Frontpoint system will cost you $1,809.66 over the life of a three-year contract, making it the most expensive DIY system we’ve reviewed to date. A similar Protect America package will cost you $1,511

Frontpoint Background

Frontpoint Security Solutions is based in Virginia and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company uses General Electric control panels with powerful cellular connections for monitoring. Customers can install Frontpoint security sets on their own; programming is accomplished at the factory before equipment is shipped. Setup takes about 30 minutes and is rental-friendly since no holes are put in walls.