Frontpoint, Vivint, and Digital Life are three alarm companies you'll surely encounter when shopping for a home security system. It might seem like they are all alarm companies offering the same types of services, but beneath the surface, Frontpoint, Vivint, and Digital Life are very different. Today, we'll explore both their similarities and differences and decide which of them is the best alarm company for your security needs.
Frontpoint Pros & Cons
- High-Quality Customer Service
- Best-in-Class Technology
- Tested & Recommended
- No Landline/Broadband Monitoring
- Frequent Pricing/Deals Change
Vivint Pros & Cons
- Highly Innovative Equipment
- Flexible Contracts for Military Families & Seniors
- Equipment Financing is Available
- Long-Term Contracts
- Negative Consumer Reviews
- You Must Request a Quote via Phone or Online
Digital Life Pros & Cons
- High-Quality Customer Service
- Affordable Equipment
- Limited Equipment Choices
- Limited Home Automation
- Not Available Nationwide
- Frontpoint, Vivint, and Digital Life offer only professionally monitored security systems.
- Their security solutions are all high-tech and wireless, taking advantage of cellular and broadband technology..
- All three companies offer flexible equipment financing.
- They all require contracts.
- There's an upfront payment required for the equipment.
- Contract Length — Frontpoint offers one-year and three-year contracts. Vivint's contracts are four to five years. Digital Life requires a two-year agreement.
- Availability — All three companies are available in all 50 states, but Digital Life is not available everywhere. Before getting started, you must enter your ZIP code to find out if they offer services in your area.
- Sales Process — You can buy Frontpoint and Digital Life packages and services online, but Vivint requires that you talk to a security expert to get started.
- Package Options — Frontpoint and Vivint both offer several package and plan options, while Digital Life only has one monitoring plan and starter package.
- Monitoring Method — Frontpoint has standardized cellular monitoring. Vivint uses a combination of cellular and broadband monitoring. Digital Life requires a broadband connection in order to work.
Sales & Pricing Comparison
Frontpoint is widely known for their flexibility, allowing their customers to buy products and services in the traditional way (i.e. by requesting a quote) or in the more convenient way of buying products and services online. Vivint, on the other hand, requires that you get a quote from them via a phone call or email. The quote is customized to your unique security needs. With Digital Life, you can buy your security system online, but before setting up services and checking out, they will perform a quick check on your location and pull your credit score to make sure you're eligible to use their services.
Frontpoint and Vivint both offer several monitoring plans, while Digital Life only has one offer. Frontpoint's monitoring rates range between $34.99 and $49.99. Vivint plans range between $39.99 and $49.99. Digital Life's rate is $39.99/month.
To get started with Frontpoint, you must purchase a basic equipment package. The price depends on the package you choose, but generally, customers get a $300 discount or more for signing a three-year monitoring agreement. With Vivint, you can finance your equipment and pay it over the course of four or five years, depending on your contract. This set up brings down the upfront equipment cost to almost nothing. With Digital Life, a straight up purchase of a basic equipment package is required. The only package they offer costs $599, which includes enough equipment for security and life safety.
Frontpoint's security systems are 100% wireless, thus allowing customers to install their systems themselves. Although Vivint is also wireless, they require professional installation. They will send out a technician to install the system for a small fee. The same is true for Digital Life.
Key Features & Tech
Frontpoint's standard equipment packages all include a Frontpoint Hub, remote wireless keypad, motion sensors, and door/window sensors. Larger packages often include additional sensors and life safety devices such as smoke alarms. Vivint's standard packages include a touchscreen control panel that also functions as a keypad, as well as motion sensors, door/window sensors, and glass break sensors. Additional sensors and devices are sold separately. Digital Life's standard equipment package is the most expensive, but it also has the most inclusion. It includes a touchscreen panel, a motion sensor, a keypad, four door/window sensors, two recessed door sensors, and an indoor siren.
Winner: Digital Life
All three alarm companies offer home automation products and they each have a platform that can smarten up your security system. Frontpoint supports smart locks, appliance automation, smart thermostats, garage door controllers, and other smart home products, powered by the Frontpoint smartphone app.Vivint's automation platform is powered by both the app and the tablet-like control panel. It can automate locks, lights, thermostats, and more. Digital Life's home automation offer is not as extensive, but it's also capable of integrating with several smart home products.
Frontpoint offers standard Alarm.com cameras and SkyBell video doorbells. They have indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, and even premium indoor cameras with a built-in Bluetooth speaker. Additionally, Frontpoint offers a standalone camera plan, allowing you to buy and use their cameras even without a monitoring service from them. The plan includes cloud storage for the cameras. Vivint also has indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, and video doorbells. The highlight of their camera offering is the outdoor camera, which is an AI-powered camera that can detect suspicious behavior within your property. You must subscribe to Vivint highest tier plan in order to use cameras. Digital Life offers standard cameras only, both for indoor and outdoor use. You can add cameras as long as you're a Digital Life customer.
Winner: Frontpoint and Vivint
All three alarm companies offer smartphone access. You can use their apps to arm and disarm your security system, receive alerts, and monitor your home on the go. Frontpoint's app is available to Interactive plan customers. This plan is Frontpoint's mid-level offer. On the other hand, Vivint and Digital Life both give all their customers access to their respective apps. However, Vivint has an edge because their app is well-rated on both iOS and Android app stores.
Frontpoint was one of the first companies to standardize cellular monitoring. Cellular monitoring is widely considered to be the best monitoring method as it's not susceptible to power failures and internet outages. Vivint also offers cellular monitoring, but only as a backup if you have an internet connection. Digital Life needs an internet connection to work, but it doesn't necessarily have to be from AT&T.
When it comes to contracts, the three alarm companies are very different. Frontpoint gives their customers options between a one-year contract and a three-year contract. Typically, renters and those with short-term security needs go with the one-year contract. Vivint has longer contract terms because of their equipment financing. You are required to sign a four-year or five-year monitoring agreement with them. Digital Life's contracts are standard. Customers are required to sign a two-year agreement.
Winner: Digital Life
Within the contract, Frontpoint explicitly states that moving or relocating with the system is free. In fact, they will even send you a free mover's kit that includes new adhesive tapes that you can use in the reinstallation of the system. Vivint also allows changing addresses, but moving might not be as easy as with Frontpoint. Relocating might mean renewing your contract or spending on new equipment. Digital Life's moving policy is not as clear and Frontpoint and Vivint's. However, given that Digital Life is not yet available in all areas, we can assume that moving with Digital Life isn't an easy ordeal.
Frontpoint gives their customers 30 days to try out their system, and if they don't like it, they can return it and get their money back. Frontpoint will even cover the return shipping. Vivint doesn't offer this luxury. With Vivint, customers are only protected by the three-day Right of Rescission. On the other hand, Digital Life has a return policy allowing customers to return their system within 14 days after purchasing.
Beyond the return period, customers who want to cancel service are charged a penalty. Frontpoint charges $80 of the remaining contract balance, which means if you have six more months on your contract, you'll be charged 80% of what you would have paid in six months. Vivint, on the other hand, charges 100% of the balance as penalty. Digital Life also charges a fraction of the remaining balance, but it's not clear how much exactly they charge.
The Bottom Line: Who Wins?
Frontpoint, Vivint, and Digital Life are decent alarm companies to say the least. After carefully considering their features, pricing, and offers, we've come to the conclusion that Frontpoint is the strongest option. Their pricing is competitive, they have great features, and their customer service is stellar. If we were going to rank the three companies, Vivint comes second. Although more expensive than Frontpoint, Vivint's offers are solid and they are more than capable of protecting your home. Digital Life falls to the third spot.
If you want to look into each alarm company, we have put together reviews highlighting their features and offers. You can find out Frontpoint review here, our VIvint review here, and our Digital Life review here.
|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|
AT&T Digital Life Plans
|Plan||Price||Promo Price||Contract Length|
|Smart Security||$39.99/mo||-||24 mo|