Frontpoint Pros & Cons
- High-quality Customer Service
- Best in Class Technology
- Extensive Smart Home Solutions
- No Landline/Broadband Monitoring
- Frequent Pricing/Deals Changes
SimpliSafe Pros & Cons
- No-Contract Monitoring
- Affordable Plans
- 100% Wireless Equipment
- Limited Equipment
- Lacks Home Automation
- Functions as Local Alarm With Basic Plan
Protect America Pros & Cons
- Low, Locked-in Rates
- Price Match Guarantee
- DIY Installation
- Lengthy 36-Month Contract
- Pricy Cancellation Fee
- Cellular & Broadband Monitoring Costs More
- They provide professional monitoring services.
- They offer wireless equipment.
- They are all DIY installed.
- They offer smartphone access.
- They cover all the basics when it comes to home security.
- Their systems are expandable with life safety features.
- Frontpoint has 1-year and 3-year contracts; Protect America has 3-year contracts; Simplisafe is contract-free.
- Frontpoint and SimpliSafe systems are built around a hub; Protect America uses a control panel.
- SimpliSafe is offered online; Frontpoint and Protect America both offer products online but also let customers request a quote over the phone.
- Frontpoint and Protect America offer a full suite of smart home products; SimpliSafe relies on third-party integrations.
- Frontpoint and Protect America offer indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras; SimpliSafe offers an indoor camera and doorbell camera.
- Frontpoint uses cellular monitoring; Protect America offers landline, cellular, and broadband monitoring; SimpliSafe use broadband monitoring with optional, subscription-based cellular backup.
Sales & Pricing Comparison
All three companies offer their products online, allowing you to buy directly from their respective websites. However, Frontpoint and Protect America both offer the added option to call their sales hotline and get a quote over the phone or via email. If you're looking for guidance in choosing your security system, calling in might be the best choice for you.
Winner: Frontpoint and Protect America
Frontpoint, SimpliSafe, and Protect America are all affordable options in their respective areas of expertise. As a hybrid solution, SimpliSafe's $14.99/month pricing is hard to beat. Protect America's $19.99/month introductory price is the one of the best deals among traditional alarm companies. And Frontpoint's deals and pricing for their high-end solution, which starts at $34.99/month, is just as competitive as other high-end security companies.
Each of the three companies approach equipment purchase differently. SimpliSafe requires that you buy the equipment upfront. You can buy in packages to get a small discount, but there are no financing options. Frontpoint also requires that you buy the equipment before setting up service, but they offer discounts. You can get a significant discount of up to $500 if you agree to sign a 3-year monitoring agreement. With Protect America, there are no upfront equipment fees. There's a free basic equipment, worth up to $1,400, included if you set up service with them. However, additional devices that are not part of the basic package will cost you.
Winner: Protect America
Frontpoint, SimpliSafe, and Protect America all offer self-installed equipment. After placing your order, they will ship the system to you and it will be up to you to set it up. Our team has experience setting up Frontpoint and SimpliSafe, and we can say that both are easy to install. Based on customer reviews, it appears that Protect America is the same.
Of the three companies, SimpliSafe is the only one that offers optional professional installation. For a $79 base fee, you can ask a SimpliSafe technician to install your security system for you.
Key Features & Tech
Frontpoint's standard equipment consists of several security sensors and a screenless, base station called the Frontpoint Hub. The Hub controls everything, but it doesn't have a built-in keypad so you'll need to place a remote keypad somewhere accessible. Frontpoint believes that by eliminating the control panel, you can reduce the risk of your security system being smashed by intruders. SimpliSafe takes a similar approach. The SimpliSafe Base Station connects with and controls all your SimpliSafe equipment. They also offer sensors and accessories like key fobs. Protect America takes a traditional approach. They offer security systems built around a control panel with traditional security sensors and accessories.
Frontpoint and Protect America both offer home automation products and features. They have smart locks, smart thermostats, and modules of appliance automation. You can also easily expand your smart home with third-party Z-Wave products that work with the Frontpoint Hub or Protect America's control panel. SimpliSafe doesn't offer smart home products, but they integrate with third-party smart devices, including Alexa, Google Home, and August Smart Lock Pro. However, you must be subscribed to SimpliSafe's highest-tier plan in order to use some of these integrations.
Winner: Frontpoint & Protect America
All three companies offer security cameras.
Frontpoint offers two types of indoor cameras, a wired outdoor camera, and video doorbells, but you can only add them to your system if you're on the Ultimate (highest-tier) or Camera plan. The Ultimate plan includes home automation and security monitoring, while the Camera plan gives you access to video monitoring features without linking your cameras to the monitoring center.
SimpliSafe has SimpliCam and SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro. Both cameras are standalone, which means you can buy them even if you don't have a SimpliSafe system. Unfortunately, that also means that the cameras don't fully integrate with the security system.
Protect America currently only offers indoor cameras, and whichever monitoring plan you're subscribed to, you're required to increase your monthly rate in order to use cameras.
All three companies have their own smartphone apps, but not all their customers are given access to it. With Frontpoint, you must at least be subscribed to the Interactive (mid-tier) plan. With SimpliSafe, the plan that includes smartphone access is also called Interactive, but it's their highest tier plan. With Protect America, you can access the app whichever tier you're on, but you must be on a monitoring plan that uses cellular monitoring that are typically more expensive than landline plans.
Frontpoint is one of the first alarm companies to standardize cellular monitoring, which is considered the most reliable and secure communication method in the alarm industry. All their monitoring plans use this method. SimpliSafe uses a combination of broadband and cellular monitoring. When your internet is stable, it will use your internet connection to send alert signals, but when you're internet is down, it will switch over to cellular signal. Protect America is one of the traditional alarm companies that haven't standardized cellular monitoring yet. They still offer landline monitoring plans, which are typically less expensive (starting at $19.99/month), but you can upgrade to cellular monitoring with rates starting at $41.99/month.
Customer Service Experience
Simplisafe is currently running one of the best promotions we've seen. Check their website for full details.
SimpliSafe offer no-contract security solutions, which means if you subscribe to a professional monitoring plan, you're free to cancel service anytime without penalties. As alarm companies with a more traditional approach, Frontpoint and Protect America both require contracts. Frontpoint offers 1-year and 3-year contracts, but most of their customers go for the 3-year option because of the equipment discount. Protect America only offers 3-year contracts.
Customer Support Availability
Frontpoint's tech support phone line is open seven days a week but only on limited times during weekdays. SimpliSafe's customer care team is available all week, between 9 AM and 12 AM. Protect America's customer support is also available everyday, but only on limited hours on weekends.
Because all three alarm companies offer DIY installed security systems, all of them have customer-friendly moving policies. You are free to move your security system anywhere within the U.S. anytime without any penalties. However, Frontpoint stands out because they send a free mover's kit to customers who are relocating, giving them enough fresh peel-off adhesives so they can properly reinstall their security systems in their new residence,
If you purchase a security system and services from Frontpoint, SimpliSafe, or Protect America, you have several days to change your mind. With SimpliSafe, the return period is 60 days. With Frontpoint, you have 30 days to cancel service and request a refund without getting penalized for early termination. With Protect America, you have 14 days to do so.
Because SimpliSafe offers no-contract solutions, you are free to cancel anytime without penalties. With Frontpoint and Protect America, there's a penalty for terminating service mid-contract after their respective return periods. With Frontpoint, you'll be on the hook for 75% of your remaining contract balance. With Protect America, you will need to buyout your entire contract balance.
The Bottom Line: Who Wins?
Frontpoint, SimpliSafe, and Protect America are three of the biggest players in the alarm industry. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but after comparing them side-by-side, we've determined that Frontpoint is the strongest option.
If you want to look deeper into Frontpoint, we suggest reading our in-depth Frontpoint review. You can also check out our SimpliSafe review and Protect America review for a deeper understanding of what they offer.
|Plan||Price||Promo Price||Contract Length|
|Protection Plan||$34.99/mo||-||36 mo|
|Interactive Plan||$44.99/mo||-||36 mo|
|Ultimate Plan||$49.99/mo||-||36 mo|
Protect America Plans
|Plan||Price||Promo Price||Contract Length|