Frontpoint was founded in 2007 as a customizable and affordable security system. From the beginning, FrontPoint looked to create a link between home security and home automation. Its system is self-installed, all communication is wireless, and the system easily grows with one's needs. Frontpoint does not charge fees or automatically renew a service contract if the customers upgrades or adds equipment; however, customers will not have as many choices for their home automation with Frontpoint as they have with some of the competitors. Significantly absent are garage door controls and those designed for home theaters.
Frontpoint offers customers basic home automation options with their Interactive Monitoring ($44.99/month) and Ultimate Monitoring ($49.99/month) plans. Both of these plans offer security features as a base, with home automation features, such as controlling lighting and home climate. The higher-tiered plan offers more for those wanting home automation, with the Interactive Monitoring plan only covering lighting controls.
When the sensors are triggered by fire, smoke, water, or carbon monoxide, the Monitoring Center is immediately contacted as well as the owner with a text, email and push notification with the mobile app. Frontpoint's app is widely available - for Android, iOS, Windows, or BlackBerry devices. Frontpoint uses Rapid Response to process alarms and dispatch local authorities if the user does not dismiss the alarm as being false.
Customers have reported that they have received exemplary customer service from Frontpoint. The company's website is a wealth of information which included suggestions, how-to articles and videos. Frontpoint uses both WIFI cellular technology in the system for the different sensors to communicate with the main unit.
New customers may select different lengths for their service contract. Both 12- and 36-month contracts are available. Those opting for the shorter service term will not be eligible for significant discounts on their initial equipment purchase ($25 off vs. $300 off).
Real-time video can be streamed to any supported smartphone via the free mobile app and video clips can even be saved and stored. The cameras are HD and have night vision capabilities. Users are able to use their phone to program the thermostat or lights to come on at just the right time to save money on their energy bill and make for a more comfortable home. The motion-activated alerts can be used for both home safety and for keeping track or family members or visitors in your home.
While several companies in the home automation industry offer a lifetime warranty, Frontpoint only offers a three-year equipment warranty, which means users may end up having to spend more money in the future to replace their equipment.
The cost of FrontPoint is low for home security systems but high compared with basic home automation hubs, most of which don't require a monthly fee. This makes Frontpoint a less cost-effective option for those that have a higher priority of home automation features vs. home security features. Many items included in the plans (automated door locks, cameras, etc.) are not included in upfront equipment costs. While this does allow customers to customize based on their needs, it drives up the price as they add equipment to their system.
Conspicuously missing is garage door controls as well as controls to automate one's home theater. Additionally, there is no option to link various actions (when the garage door opens, lights are turned on, etc), which is becoming more standard with the competitors.