AT&T Digital Life Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

AT&T Digital Life is one of the most feature-rich home security solutions, with a slick app interface, smart home automation options, and a sizeable cost to match.

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We know what it’s like to search high and low for a home security solution that won’t make us broke. That’s why we are now taking a look at the AT&T Digital Life, a relatively newer entry to the world of remote monitored home security.

We know it’s impossible to evaluate all options when it comes to a product like this, so we’re stepping in to do the hard work of figuring out which companies are worth your time and money. This is a product you’ll depend on to keep your family and your home safe, so we look at the aspects that really matter.

For anyone looking to secure their own home for the first time, the array of options might seem intimidating, but in the end the choice boils down to a balance of cost and effectiveness. Which features will serve your family best? How much will you pay? Most importantly, how well does it work?

We’re looking closely at AT&T Digital Life to share the features, reliability, cost, and overall effectiveness of the program so that you won’t risk your time or money.

Things to consider before buying a home security system.

If this is your first time buying a home security system, you’re going to be understandably wary of every claim that a company makes; after all, it’s your safety that’s at stake. Every customer wants to enjoy peace of mind and confidence that their home and family are safe whether they’re at home or traveling abroad.

If you’re looking to change home security services, you know where this is going. You’ll first want to consider the cost, remembering that it doesn’t always correlate directly with a certain level of service. A higher price tag often indicates better hardware or additional features, but a lower price doesn’t automatically translate into a poor product.

You’ll also want to consider the reputation of the company, because trust in the remote monitoring quality is the very foundation of owning a home security system. Without that foundation, it’s just a bunch of electronics in your home.

In the case of AT&T Digital Life, we are looking at a product that is aimed toward the higher end of the spectrum, with a host of smart home features and a hefty two-year contract to match. The value depends on what you need most in a home security setup.

What Is AT&T Digital Life?

AT&T Digital Life home security solution revolves around a slick app interface and smart home integration, making it one of the more notably forward-looking setups on the market. This product is definitely future-proofed, with a wealth of features that set it near the forefront of home security today.

While the comprehensive service and professional installation comes with an appropriately hefty price tag, the lack of DIY guesswork or home integration struggles might make it a very worthy purchase for you.

Let’s look at some pros and cons of the product.

Pros:

  • AT&T Digital Life includes solid security devices
  • Very solid home automation functionality, including making your ownautomation programs
  • All plans include remote smartphone, tablet, and computer access
  • Automation packages include keyless door lock and outdoor camera

Cons:

  • Mandatory 2-year contract, potential early cancellation fees
  • Some important pieces of equipment only available a la carte
  • Initial setup and installation fee
  • Customer service may not be up to par

Features & Benefits

Around-the-Clock Monitoring:

As with any worthwhile home security setup, AT&T Digital Life comes with a professional monitoring subscription that guarantees the most important part of the system: a real human being alerting the authorities when needed. When any of the door, window, or motion sensors goes off, someone is there to help you out and determine if it’s just your child who forgot the code, or if there’s a real emergency.

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Smart Home Integration:

We believe that smart homes are the way of the future, helping us live safer, more convenient, and more efficient lives. Smart home devices range from learning thermostats to lights that can be triggered remotely, and AT&T Digital Life is ready to integrate with all of it. Available on their second and third tiers of service, this includes lock control as well as monitoring and control of thermostat and other small appliances. The best part is that this integration works well with the next big feature.

Help protect and manage your home from your smartphone, tablet o

Remote Access and Control:

As with many of the best home security companies out there, AT&T Digital Life offers the ability to use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to control the system from anywhere on earth. This brings immense peace of mind, especially to those of us who are prone to wondering if we left the door unlocked or the lights on, right as we are boarding a plane. With the highest tier of service, you’ll be able to control all of this, in addition to smart enabled appliances, no matter where you are.

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Cost:

While not normally considered a feature, the cost of AT&T Digital Life needs to be addressed. This high level of technology and services comes at a premium. The three tiers of pricing are as follows: $39.99 for just the security equipment, $54.99 for security plus home automation, and $64.99 for the full suite of smart home automation features, including smart appliance integration. These prices aren’t bad at all, but they don’t account for any extra pieces of equipment you may need, or the fact that you’ll be locked into a two-year contract if you sign up.

AT&T reviews by Real Users

We took a look around the web to find out what real customers think about AT&T Digital Life, because if there’s anything we know to be 100% true in the home security market, long-term experience is valuable. Below we share a handful of reviews representing the opinions we found.

“We have had Digital life going on two years and have had no problems at all. The install went great and we are happy with everything. It would be nice if the outdoor camera could zoom in but it’s really a great view and clear picture so it’s fine for us.” – Cheryl Roberts

“Inherited the service and it seemed to work ok but if you need customer service be prepared for over an hour wait (literally, over 60 minutes!) to get through to (ironically named) retention department. And they won’t/can’t help you via online chat, online site or in store.” – SAEaffairs

“Went to AT&T Store.  Met with the Manager and explained my problem.  He indicated that it had to be the door lock and not the system.  He took ownership of the problem and contacted the Service Center to cancel my cancellation request and schedule a 3rd Tech to come out with the specific order to replace the door lock.  The Tech did and the system worked for a few minutes then the app timed out without completing the function selected on the IPhone.  The Tech relocated the system box to the forward part of my home and I am happy to report that the system has worked for 32 hours now.  Previously the problem surfaced within 3 hours after the tech left.  Thanks to the Manager – Paul and Tech that continued to think critically while at my residence to solve the problem.” – E. C. 

Alternatives

In our quest to get the whole picture, we always make sure to compare a product with its biggest competitors. This way we can contrast the features and costs. In this case, we’re showing the relative strengths of the AT&T Digital Life package versus the top three alternative companies you’ll want to consider:

Vivint

Vivint focuses big-time on home automation, providing entirely wireless home security technology with their selection. The company offers professional installation and setup, so you don’t have to lift a finger or worry about getting it right. This level of attention comes at a cost, which is why Vivint is aimed aimed at homeowners who want to avoid the risks that come with DIY installation.

  • Price: Vivint plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Vivint boasts similar features, including smart home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

ADT is the most famous name in American home security. Their little blue signs have been seen around neighborhoods for decades. The company is known for its high level of service, including full consultation and installation. The price is accordingly higher than comparable DIY services.

  • Price: Plans go from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top tier plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer similar monitoring features, but ADT includes video cameras standard with its plans
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts here

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint has a different focus, with DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access as its central services. They have a reputation for quality customer service, all-cellular monitoring, and low costs.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

Overall, AT&T Digital Life can be considered a solid home security effort that brings a hefty price with its high-quality equipment, round-the-clock monitoring, and mobile control app. With a two-year required contract and steep cancellation fee, you’ll want to be sure you are choosing the best option. The solid home security functions and array of home automation options are an important consideration. If you value your time and freedom more than money, it could be the best solution for your home.

LiveWatch Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

LiveWatch is a great home security system, especially for those with short-term needs. Their DIY approach and fast monitoring response make for a solid first choice.

4.0
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If you’re looking for a home security solution that won’t break the bank, it might seem like you’ve got a tough road ahead. But fear not, because we’re doing the hard work of figuring out which companies are worth your time and money. There’s a wide world of options out there, but only a select few belong in your home, protecting your possessions and loved ones.

When looking to secure your own home, your choice boils down to balancing cost and effectiveness. Which features will serve your family best? How much will it cost? Most importantly, how well does it work?

We’ve been in the exact same place, asking the same questions. We bring our experience to the table in hopes of sorting out the home security system that will serve you best. We’re taking a close look at LiveWatch security to let you know about the features, reliability, cost, and overall effectiveness of the program so that you don’t have to risk your own time and savings.

Things to consider before buying a home security system.

Everyone wants to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing their home and their loved ones are safe and secure at all times. Whether you’re just moving in, buying your first security system, or looking to make a change, we’re here to help guide the process.

The ideal customer for LiveWatch is going to be somewhat comfortable working with technology, because the company offers full DIY installation in order to save costs. Additionally, a level of familiarity with smartphones and computers is beneficial, because the best features on offer will fully integrate with these devices for more comprehensive coverage.

LiveWatch is also ready to embrace smart home automation. Its hardware integrates with any smart home devices you may already own, allowing you to achieve easy, comprehensive control of your home environment from anywhere with an internet connection.

What is LiveWatch?

LiveWatch entices with affordable rates and short contract time. Their plans start at $34.95 per month for the most basic level of protection and top out at $49.95 per month with full home automation and video monitoring. Of course, all plan levels come with full, round-the-clock wireless remote monitoring by professionals.

The free DIY installation is somewhat offset by an upfront equipment fee, usually between $200 – $300 but often lower thanks to discounts.

The most unique selling point for LiveWatch is that their contract is only for 1 year, which is surprisingly short compared to its peers. After that, your service continues on a month-by-month basis and you can cancel anytime. Even better, if you cancel before 1 year, you can even get a full equipment refund.

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of the product.

Pros:

  • Short contract length
  • Decade-plus in business
  • DIY installation
  • Fast monitoring response
  • Touchscreen control available
  • A+ BBB rating

Cons:

  • High starting costs
  • No standout features
  • Average equipment
  • Basic home automation

Features & Benefits

ASAPer monitoring:

ASAPer is the name of the monitoring system that comes with LiveWatch Security systems. It aims to connect and respond faster in emergencies than the average competition. LiveWatch’s system sends you alerts instantly when an alarm has been triggered, allowing you to resolve the alarm from your smartphone or computer if there’s nothing to worry about. Of course, if you’re unavailable, the professional monitoring center dispatches the police to your home. As with any home security system, the reliability of the remote monitoring team is perhaps the single most important aspect. Reviews indicate that LiveWatch nails this feature.

No Early Termination Fees:

LiveWatch customers can cancel their service at any time with no early termination fees, although depending on your situation, you may still have to pay for your equipment. This feature stands in contrast with most of the competition, as many companies require their customers to pay the remaining balance of their contract. This fact alone makes them a great first choice for anyone looking for a home security solution because you won’t be stuck for years if you dislike the service. Even better, once the 1-year contract is done, you continue on a month-by-month basis without any further risk.

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Remote Control:

As with many of the top home security solutions available, LiveWatch offers a tier of service that includes instant, always-on remote control from your smartphone or computer. This is a serious boon for your peace of mind, allowing total command of the system from anywhere with an internet connection or a cellular signal. Of course, when at home the entire system is controlled by a central hub device mounted on your wall. Still, we know from experience how valuable it is to be able to check in on things while at work, out and about, or even on vacation. Their included smartphone app lets you know anytime a door has opened or an alarm has gone off, allowing you to reset status, turn alarms on and off, and even command your smart home devices.

Modular Hardware:

While LiveWatch offers a variable set of starting equipment to customers, selected based on your individual needs, they also offer the ability to add on more hardware as your home or your needs change. The system is designed to allow for expansion, with the central hub allowing up to 40 devices to be placed throughout the home, from motion detectors to window and door sensors, and even video surveillance with an additional monthly fee of $10. It’s reassuring to know that no matter what hardware package you begin with, you can expand components to make it more comprehensive. While installation is DIY, the equipment is mercifully easy to set up.

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LiveWatch Reviews by Real Users

“It hurts when you have to cancel service with a business you have zero complaints about.  After researching a number of home security systems last year, I chose LiveWatch Security b/c of their pricing and service options.  I haven’t been disappointed at all.  Their customer service is great (knowledgeable, prompt, professional and friendly) and I had zero problems with the security system – and cancellation happened without any hassle.  The only reason I’m canceling my service is because I’m moving to a new home that won’t require another layer of home security.  But, as I told the customer service guy today – if I require the service in the future, LiveWatch will be the first company I contact.” – Shikha B.

“We have had the system for about 2 months and we find it very easy to use and install. The sales team and technical support people were knowledgable, very helpful and responsive. We haven’t had much experience yet with the monitoring system response time.” – Michele G.

“You just pay for what you want to install and use. The system is pretty open and easy to configure. Have been adding new automation one by one and it make the alarm even smarter.” – Yann Mathieu

Alternatives

We wanted to show a well-rounded take, so here’s how LiveWatch compares with its most well-known competitors in the home security market. These are the top three alternative companies you’ll want to consider:

Vivint

Vivint offers a big focus on home automation, providing quality wireless home security technology with their packages. They offer a comprehensive installation and setup process, with professional techs coming into your home to set the product up. There is a charge for this level of attention, which is aimed at homeowners who want to avoid the risks that come with working directly with the hardware.

  • Price: Plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Vivint boasts similar features, including smart home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

ADT is the most well-known name in home security. They’ve been around the longest and built up a solid reputation over the decades. ADT is known for its high level of service, including full consultation and installation. This comes with an accordingly higher price.

  • Price: Plans go from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top tier plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer similar monitoring features, but ADT includes video cameras standard with its plans
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts here

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint similarly focuses on DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access to your home security setup. They are well-known for quality customer service, all-cellular monitoring, and low costs.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

LiveWatch fits into a unique space in the home security world, offering a comprehensive level of service along with cheaper DIY installation. Their focus on instant communication and control is refreshing, as is the ability to expand the hardware as your needs grow.

While plans are in the lower-middle of the pack, as far as pricing goes, the initial hardware costs could be off-putting. However, this is easily balanced by one of the most consumer-friendly contracts around, allowing you to cancel any time and to continue on a month-by-month basis once the short 1-year contract has completed.

LiveWatch is an especially attractive investment for those looking to install their first home security set up with as little risk as possible.

 

Vivint Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service and Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

Vivint is an often overlooked heavyweight in home security, offering high-tech gadgets and automation at premium prices.

4.0
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Home security is an important concern for most people, but there are so many options out there, it can be tough to figure out the best choice for your needs (and interests). Of course keeping your property safe is the primary concern, but for me – and many others – so is staying on the cutting edge of technology.

In looking for modern home security options, tech is certainly going to be a major player in the systems you use, but determining how high-tech you want to get is going to be a matter of how savvy you are… And how much you’re willing to spend.

If price is less of an issue for you, Vivint offers some serious technology that satisfies both the need for security and (sometimes unnecessary) desire for the coolest new toys.

Things to consider before signing up for Vivint service

Any time you’re considering installing new technology, it’s important to understand what you want to achieve, what parts of your home you’re planning to protect, and what kind of commitment you’ll have to make to operating the system(s) you choose.

Any home security system worth buying will include cameras, door and window sensors, and monitoring to protect against theft/invasion. The sophistication of these pieces, though, will depend on how much you want to spend and how robust you want the features to be.

The ideal Vivint customer will be looking for discreet security equipment that blends easily with interior and exterior decor. They will be tech-savvy and concerned with security, and won’t be afraid to fork over premium pricing for stylish, high quality products and services.

For those looking for a more traditional setups and monitoring, Vivint may not be the best option. In fact, the services offered go beyond many home security systems in look, features, and your ability to control the system, but all of that comes with a higher price point.

What is Vivint?

Vivint is all about “smart home technology” – meaning that they don’t exactly specialize in home security (even though many of their products fall into that category). It also means that all of this “smart technology” will be dependent on internet, wifi connections, and your smartphone for controls. Being comfortable with touchscreen displays (like the Vivint SkyControl Panel) is also a must for a potential Vivint customer.

Pros:

  • Simple design that blends easily with other home decor (indoor) and doesn’t draw attention or scare visitors (outdoor)
  • Customizable Packages
  • Smartphone control (in most cases)
  • Lifetime Warranty

Cons:

  • Long contract (60 months vs. most company’s 36 months)
  • Hidden fees
  • One of the more expensive options
  • Mixed/negative reviews on customer service
  • Not every package includes the same SkyControl panel

Features & Benefits

Vivint services and products are generally bundled together in various packages (including customizable options). We will look at components first, and then the packages that bundle them together.

Cameras:

Ping Camera

The Ping Camera is a simple video camera and motion detector, accessible from from the Vivint Sky App. It can be placed on a shelf or countertop, and allows you to monitor any activity in your home remotely. You can also receive alerts to your smartphone if the Ping Camera detects motion in your home, access short clips on demand, and have the option to record continuous video footage. Like other Vivint cameras, the Ping Camera also has night vision – so you can see recordings of even the darkest rooms.

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Outdoor Camera

Similar to the Ping Camera, but designed for outdoor installation, Vivint’s Outdoor Camera shoots HD video, offers night vision, allows for monitoring via smartphone, can record continuous footage, and has instantly available 20-second video clips.

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Doorbell Camera

One of the most impressive pieces of technology in Vivint’s lineup, the Doorbell Camera is a small, wifi connected doorbell fitted with a speaker, microphone, motion sensor, and 180º video camera.

You can set notifications for when people approach your door, monitor activity happening in front of your house day or night (with night vision), and communicate with visitors through 2-way talk. Integration with Vivint Sky controls means you can lock and unlock doors with your smartphone or SkyControl Panel, and Smart Visitor Detection helps identify when people are actually approaching – so you don’t get a notification for every passerby.

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Security:

Burglary Detection

Sensors on doors and windows, including “Glass Break Detection” let you know if anyone is trying to break in, who’s coming and going, and allow you to set mobile notifications for any entry when you aren’t home. The sensors are all discreet and wireless.

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Smart Locks

Exactly what you might expect from the name, Smart Locks are wireless and digitally controlled, allowing you to lock and unlock doors remotely, either with the SkyControl Panel or your smartphone. The locks still use keys as well, and are also fitted with a keypad for code entry. Like the rest of these products, you can also receive notifications related to any activity with your door locks, attempted entry, and so on.

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Garage Door Control

This one is quite simple: the technology integrates with the SkyControl Panel and mobile app so you can open and close your garage door remotely. You can also receive alerts if you’ve left the garage door open.

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Controls:

Vivint Sky App

The Vivint Sky App is a way for you to control your home security through a smartphone. Of course, this is where you receive notifications from camera activity or door/window sensors, but it’s also where you can lock and unlock doors, monitor video feeds, arm and disarm alarms systems, open and close your garage door, change settings, manage preferences, and so on. It’s your mobile control panel. The Sky App requires the SkyControl Panel.

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SkyControl Panel

A wall-mounted, 7-inch touchscreen display, the SkyControl Panel is the primary control of your Vivint system. The panel is essentially an expanded version of the app on a dedicated device. You can control all of your cameras, monitor video, lock and unlock doors, manage system options, and so on.

Your SkyControl Panel is also connected to 24-hour support, where you can talk live with a monitoring professional in case of an emergency.

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Amazon Echo

Another futuristic feature of Vivint systems, the SkyControl Panel can easily pair with an Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker. Pairing with Vivint Sky lets you control your security systems through voice commands.

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Smart Home Services:

The Smart Home Services are the wifi connected, app and SkyControl managed services that accompany some of Vivint’s devices. When signing up for various Vivint packages, you can choose which services you want to include.

The options are:

  • Doorbell video
  • HD video recording
  • Remote door access
  • Smart temperature control*
  • Garage door controller
  • Outdoor video

* Note: Vivint offers “smart thermostats” for remote temperature control and monitoring, but because it doesn’t really fall into their home security category, we haven’t included them in the list of devices and systems.

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Packages:

Vivint security systems are generally designed to work in conjunction with one another. While equipment can be purchased and installed individually, the packages seem to offer the best functionality, and create the most complete security systems. Most packages, including customizable options, include the SkyControl Panel.

Smart Complete

The most robust package available, the Smart Complete package includes the SkyControl Panel, 1 smoke detector, 3 door and window sensors, 1 motion detector, 1 yard sign, a 1- terabyte wireless cloud storage drive (for on-site storage of photo and video), Vivint’s 24×7 monitoring service, and your choice of 3 Smart Home services.

Smart Protect & Control

The “middle tier” package, Smart Protect & Control includes the SkyControl Panel, 3 door and window sensors, 1 motion detector, 1 smoke detector, 1 yard sign, 24×7 monitoring service, and your choice of 2 Smart Home services.

Smart Protect

What you could consider the “basic” option, the Smart Protect package includes the SkyControl Panel, 3 door and window sensors, 1 motion detector, 1 smoke detector, and 1 yard sign. The Smart Protect Package does not include any Smart Home services.

Add-Ons & Custom Packages

Vivint allows you to build custom packages of devices and services, as well as add extra cameras, services, sensors, storage, and the like. If something isn’t offered in the package that seems to best suit your needs, you can add it for an additional cost.

Smart thermostats and other smart home controls are available in some packages, and can be added on as well.

Vivint Online Reviews by Real Customers

“When I got the system installed yesterday, the only question I had was ‘why didn’t I get this sooner?’ Being able to monitor and lock and unlock my door from my cell phone is amazing.” – Stephanie

“I had camera, locks, glass break and smoke detector, and the doorbell included in Vivint’s service package that I purchased. Their sales rep was great and their installer was really good as well. However, my door lock gets stuck when I lock it, but other than that, everything has been okay.” – M

“Me and my husband have a new home we just bought and are expecting a baby boy soon, we thought it’ll be a good idea to get a security system. Had Vivint for less than 30 days and already experiencing problems. From lies, bad customer service, and security system not working. We received our services and two days later decided we didn’t want them because we got a better deal from another company (Guardian) Vivint then told us to try them for another week and see if we will just decide to stay, really what the rep did was hold us off until we are out of the cancellation window. 3 days to cancel, which she told us 30 days which was a lie. please save yourself the time and money. Our cameras jump off line all the time, we are lied to EVERY time we call in to have the cameras fixed and the customer service is horrible, the rep told me that if i won’t except some deal she had which meant me paying more to fix the service she can hang up in my face, and she did, please don’t do it.”

“‘Well I have to say their salesmen are good but the security cameras suck. My doorbell camera will pick up and detect every change in sunlight but won’t reliably detect people coming on and off the porch. My driveway camera detects me pulling in and out of the driveway but missed someone stealing a 300 pound air conditioning unit from right under the camera. Worst part is I signed a 60 month contract and now wish I hadn’t I could have installed better cameras for a fraction of the cost.”

Alternatives

In an effort to provide you with a comprehensive look at home security systems, we also checked out some of Vivint’s major competitors. Comparing features, service, and pricing, here are three alternative solutions:

ADT

ADT is one of the most recognizable names in home security. Their track record speaks for itself, and they have remained an industry leader for decades. Like Vivint, ADT offers full home installations by professional service technicians.

Monthly service fees for monitoring are comparable, but Vivint’s installation prices tend to be much higher than ADT, and actually increase as you move toward more basic packages.

  • Price: Plans are comparable, and equipment prices for ADT are hard to determine – as they offer consultations and home visits to build packages. Not seeing equipment price up front may be a turnoff for some customers. Vivint equipment is generally free with installation and contract signing.
  • Features: ADT features tend to be more basic, with less automation and control than Vivint’s technology. In short, Vivint has more features and ADT has more stability.
  • Warranty: ADT offers limited warranties; Vivint offers lifetime warranties
  • Contracts: ADT offers 36-month contracts, Vivint primarily offers 60-month contracts

Learn more about ADT here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint is another relatively high tech home security solution, similar in design and control to Vivint. Like Vivint, Frontpoint also offers the option to upgrade packages and add devices. Frontpoint has a reputation for excellent customer service, a low-pressure sales teams, and offers many of the same features as Vivint.

  • Price: With Vivint, you pay for installation and the equipment is mostly free. With Frontpoint, it’s the opposite – installation is DIY (and therefore free), but you pay for the equipment.
  • Features: Many of the offered features are the same, but Frontpoint offers a wider selection of equipment to meet your exact needs. Both offer 24/7 monitoring, motion detectors, cameras, etc., as well as smartphone integration and a touchscreen control panel.
  • Warranty: Frontpoint offers a 3-year warranty, where Vivint offers a lifetime warranty.
  • Contracts: Frontpoint contracts are 36 months; Vivint contracts are typically 60 months.

Check out more Frontpoint information here.

Protect America

Protect America has garnered a reputation as one of the more affordable options in home security, immediately putting them at the opposite end of the spectrum from Vivint. Instead of a focus on technology and numerous features, Protect America focuses on simplicity and ease of use. Both companies offer free smartphone apps and free equipment with contract signup.

  • Price: With monthly plans as low as $19.99, Protect America is generally the more affordable option, though some of the more premium offers fall into a similar price range as Vivint packages.
  • Features: Vivint products offer more bells and whistles, including outdoor cameras and automation features – which must be installed by professionals. Protect America’s equipment is also filled with features, but requires a DIY installation and may not meet all of your concerns.
  • Warranty: Both companies offer a lifetime warranty, and Protect America offers a 2-week, free return policy. Vivint does not offer a return policy.
  • Contracts: Protect America offers 36-month contracts; Vivint offers 60-month contracts.

Find out more about Protect America here.

Conclusion

Vivint security systems are technologically advanced and full of features. The products and services available meet every potential home security need, from cameras to around-the-clock monitoring, motion detectors to remote locking, and many others. The devices are attractive and packages can be customized…

However, two major hangups become increasingly apparent as you dig into Vivint’s offerings. First, Vivint is a generally more expensive option than its competitors, perhaps without enough of an improvement in features to justify the cost. Second, the offers themselves can get confusing. The website advertises SkyControl panel for all packages, but in speaking to a customer service representative, I was told that some packages may come with an older model panel – which also means using the Vivint Classic App, not Vivint Sky App (which only works with the newer panel).

If you’re going to opt for one of the top-tier packages, and can afford it, Vivint seems like a fine option, and you can further customize the products you install to make sure you’re getting the most out of your system. If you are looking for a budget security system, plan on moving in the near future, or would be considering a smaller, custom package, Vivint is likely not the best choice – and may end up costing far more than anticipated.

Overall, Vivint is suited for tech-loving, automation seeking homeowners who are willing to pay extra for premium features, installation, and sleek looking gadgets.

 

ADT Home Security Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Equipment
  • Cost
  • Technology

Summary

With over 100 years experience, ADT is the most recognized name in home security. The company provides the latest in wireless home protection with ADT Pulse.  ADT offers remote monitoring via Smartphone apps, video streaming, smoke and fire monitoring, flood monitoring and even medical alerts. Despite receiving an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, ADT has garnered thousands of negative reviews on social media and security websites. Poor customer service and aggressive sales tactics are the main complaints.

The sea of blue ADT signs on lawns across my neighborhood may explain why there aren’t many break-ins, fires or other household disasters in the area. That’s why I decided to look into ADT to protect my home. After all, the company’s equipment and services are thorough and cutting-edge; and the mere presence of a security warning sign is enough to thwart some, but not all, intruders. A security system provides a needed blanket of protection for homes – and families - of all sizes.

2.8
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Things to Consider Before Choosing a Home Security Provider

A home security system is a necessity for people in neighborhoods with high crime rates, families with lots of valuables, or homeowners who travel a lot and leave the house vacant. If you own a home, townhouse, or condo, you’ll feel safer by purchasing a home monitoring (security) service.

A Rutgers University study says alarms are a deterrent to burglaries. An increase in neighborhood security reduced burglaries during a five-year time span, the research found.

When an alarm is triggered, it takes a security company an average of 15 to 60 seconds to respond. If security contacts the police or fire department, however, there’s no set response time. It all depends on your local emergency services

If the police arrive and find no break-in, you’ll be fined, so choosing an efficient home security company, one with good track record and satisfied customers, is essential.

Before committing to a home security company, here are some things to consider.

The good news – most home security services provide:

  • 24/7 monitoring services
  • Lets you control alarms and sensors from anywhere with an app by tablet, iPhone or Android
  • Smoke alarms, flood monitoring, temperature control, live streaming video and other extras on one or more featured plans

 And the bad news – watch out for these possible deal-breakers:

  • Long-term Contracts
  • Hidden or extra charges for warranties, installation, service calls or equipment
  • Maintenance (systems or components breaking done)
  • Wireless systems may suffer intermittent failure if you have insufficient or temperamental WiFi
  • Potential for false alarms

The biggest home security companies have in-house or outsourced monitoring by trained, reliable operators and equipment verified by Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL). Today’s wireless home security systems have sensors placed near doors, windows, and other points in your home. Once an alarm or sensor is triggered, it sends a signal to your home’s control panel, and the monitoring service contacts you (if you’re not at home), the police, or other emergency personnel.

ADT Home Security: An Overview

ADT’s comprehensive home security system features traditional and live-streaming video surveillance (at extra charge), smoke and fire alarms, flood monitoring, remote and coded locks, and health alert monitoring.

ADT also offers security systems for businesses and rentals. If you’re renting a house or apartment, check with the owner before contacting ADT or any security company. You may already be covered by the owner’s security system.

ADT Security Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Latest technology
  • Medical alerts
  • In-house monitoring centers in US and Canada
  • Movers guarantee for customers in good standing

Cons

  • Pushy salespeople
  • Poor customer service
  • Local dealers’ competence varies
  • Monthly Warranty Fees

ADT is the largest security company in the United States and Canada with 65 million customers. It has one-quarter of the U.S. residential market and four monitoring stations in the U.S. with in-house staff. ADT has been in business since 1874 when it was known as American District Telegraph.

ADT is synonymous with the latest in security equipment and technology, with over a dozen security and safety features offered in their three home protection plans.

According to hundreds of online reviews, their name is also known for poor customer service and high-pressure sales tactics. In 2013 the FTC filed a complaint against ADT for false advertising when it was revealed the company paid experts to give ADT good reviews. This ZDNet article chronicles how hard it is to get out of an ADT contract.

ADT Security System Features

Depending on the type of system you get from ADT, there a wide variety of features you can use.

Mobile Phone Apps

Phone app for ADT Pulse (Video)

This video, from California Security Systems, demonstrates how to use the mobile app for ADT Pulse.

Download ADT Pulse apps for iPhones and iPads from iTunes and for Android from Google Play

Remote Arm and Disarm

Activate or deactivate your alarms with a Smartphone or tablet from any location. ADT Pulse will notify you of broken sensors and send alerts when your system hasn’t been armed (but should be). Are you the forgetful type when it comes to changing batteries? Your alarm has a back-up battery that lasts for a few hours, and you’ll be notified when that runs low.

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Burglary Protection

Place motion sensors in hallways and near doors and windows to detect unwanted intruders. When motion is detected, the alarm is triggered, and ADT’s monitoring center will contact emergency services. Press the fire or alarm button on the security panel touchpad and ADT dispatch will contact emergency services.

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Video Surveillance

With ADT Pulse, you can check in to make sure your home is safe using the app on your cell phone. This is a life-saver when you’re away unexpectedly and can’t get anyone to housesit, or when you have a sick or elderly family member at home. Store clips to review later. You’ll need to have domed security cameras, wireless security camera, wireless day/night camera with night vison, and digital video recorder to keep track of happenings in your home. All equipment must be paid for upfront.

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Fire and Smoke Monitoring

Included with ADT Pulse wireless plans, a smoke and fire sensor can be set to react the way you want – it can unlock doors or shut off AC to slow circulation of smoke when an alarm is triggered.

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Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Unlike carbon monoxide detectors you buy online, ADT’s detector contact the monitoring center when triggered. You can buy a second alarm, an indoor sounder to alert you know when the alarm has been activated.

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Garage Door Control

The Z-Wave Garage Door Opener and Controller closes and opens your garage door remotely and alerts you if it’s open too long. Many of the smaller security companies don’t include separate garage door controls.

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Video Doorbell

The Ring™ Video Doorbell  allows you to act as if you’re home and speak to the visitors or remain silent.

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Remote Locks

August Smart Lock enables you to lock and unlock your doors from a mobile app, so you can let housekeepers and repair techs (or you kids when they’ve forgotten their keys).  The Kwikset SmartCode Home Connect Z-Wave Deadbolt has an illuminated keypad and 128-bit wireless encryption for entering individual entry codes.

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Temperature Control 

Set temperature from the thermostat or mobile devices.  This comes in handy when you’re on vacation – keep heat or AC off when you’re away, and turn it on just before your return home. The Nest Learning Thermostat (worth $249 ) is included with ADT Pulse.

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Light Control

Schedule lights to turn on and off remotely, or set them to turn on when a sensor detects motion.  Use with the Z-Wave network – and an in-wall switch, dimmer switch or on/off lamp appliance module.

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Flood Monitoring 

Water sensor alarms are triggered when water rises in your basement, garage or wherever sensors are placed. ADT monitoring will contact you, ad alert authorities if necessary.

Health Alerts

Backed by ADT’s 24/7 monitoring, its medical alert system is comparable to Medical Guardian and other medical alert system specialists. It’s separate from home security plans and requires one-time fees for accessories. The Medical Alert Basic plan  starts at $27.99 per month, with a choice of wristband or pendant.

 

ADT offers three home security plans:

Traditional

  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Six month money back guarantee if ADT can’t resolve your issues
  • QSP (Quality Service Plan) extended warranty protection for an extra fee
  • Optional Smoke & Fire, Flood, Carbon Monoxide Monitoring and Cellular Connection
  • $28.99 month

Remote (ADT Pulse)

  • 24/7 Monitoring
  • QSP extended warranty protection (extra fee)
  • Six month money back guarantee if ADT can’t resolve your issues
  • Cellular Connection
  • Smoke and Fire Monitoring
  • Carbon Monoxide Monitoring
  • Flood and Temperature Monitoring
  • Remote Web and Smartphone Access
  • Email and Text Alerts
  • $49.99 month

Video (ADT Pulse)

  • 24/7 Monitoring
  • QSP extended warranty protection (extra fee)
  • 6-month money back guarantee if ADT can’t resolve your issues
  • Cellular Connection
  • Smoke and Fire Monitoring
  • Carbon Monoxide Monitoring
  • Flood and Temperature Monitoring
  • Remote Web and Smartphone Access
  • Email and Text Alerts
  • Thermostat and Lighting Control
  • Garage Door Control
  • Remote Video
  • Remote Door Lock and Unlock
  • $55.99 month

All plans come with a 36-month contract with an early termination fee, and all monitoring is done in-house in six monitoring centers in the U.S.

Ease of Installation — 2 stars

Unlike Frontpoint, Scout, LinkInteractive and most other home security companies, you don’t have the choice to install sensors and control panels yourself, and there is an installation fee for the technician to do it.

Customer Service And Monitoring — 2 stars

Encounters with rude customer service reps and pushy salespeople make up the bulk of bad reviews. Some locations have glowing reviews, but there are few “in-between” customer service experiences. You may get lucky and live in one of the areas with efficient and polite local reps.

Equipment — 4 Stars

ADT offers choices for every conceivable safety and security feature. They offer Z-Wave wireless technology with ADT Pulse. You can pick and choose what equipment you want (even models not sold by ADT), but call and make sure it is compatible with ADT’s system.

Cost –  2 stars

It’s hard to gauge the final accost of your plan from the website, which lists only the basic monthly charge. ADT pulse advertised as $49.  There’s a 36-month monitoring contract with an extended warranty and early termination fees. Even if the product works fine, the contract and fees make it problematic.

Given ADT’s lack of transparency re price, it might be a good idea to research reviews from previous customers in your local area before signing a three-year contract.

Technology — 4 stars

ADT offers the latest technology with all the bells and whistles for safety beyond burglary and fire protection. The abundance of features may far outweigh the chance of encountering rude customer service reps for some people.

ADT Online Reviews

ADT attracts more customers than other home security companies, but they also have a high attrition rate (customer cancellations). Here are a few links to positive and negative reviews on the Internet and social media.

Positive Reviews –

On Consumer Affairs.net,  ADT received an overall satisfaction rating of 4 stars, based on 1,049 ratings out of 2,808 reviews. In a five-star review, Terry of Fort Worth, TX writes, “We have been protected by ADT for fifteen years. Every interaction that we have had with them, from the techs who have come our home, to those we have contacted by phone or online have been positive and helpful. We have never been disappointed in any way. They are great company to do business with.”

Yelp reviews for their Brisbane, CA dealer, contains a handful of 3, 4 and 5-star reviews while  most of the reviews are one star or two stars. “I canceled my account giving a 30-day notice, but was still charge for half a month even though I was told my balance was zero at the time”, writes Jeanie R. of San Francisco. 

ADT Alternatives 

If ADT doesn’t appeal to you, consider the following home security providers. They offer burglary protection, mobile apps, remote control access, and most of the features ADT provides, but with better customer service, pricing, or other qualities ADT lacks.

Alternative #1 – Frontpoint

Frontpoint has only been in business since 2008, but what they don’t have in longevity, they make up for in reliability and customer service. This customer-focused company receives high ratings  for its personalized security plans.  They offer the latest wireless technology, and you can use their system with VoIP or a cellular signal. (They don’t offer a landline option.)

They offer burglary and fire protection, home automation, remote video, light and thermostat control, carbon monoxide monitoring, plus Life Safety (medical emergency monitoring) on all plans. Crash and Smash Protection ensures the monitoring center will be notified, even if the control panel is damaged. DIY installation is available, and there’s a 30 day, no-risk guarantee and a 12-month contract option. Visit Frontpoint  to learn more.

Frontpoint

  • DIY Install
  • 30 Day No-Risk Guarantee
  • 12-Month Contract Option
  • Crash and Smash Protection
  • Excellent Customer Service

ADT

  • Pro Install Only
  • Three Year Contract
  • 60 Day Money Back Guarantee IF there is an equipment or tech failure they can’t resolve
  • Questionable Customer Service

Alternative #2 – Link Interactive

If you want an inexpensive, completely DIY security system, consider Link Interactive from Costco. Their basic Fire and Security package is $24.99 a month with a 30-day money-back guarantee. There’s also a SmartComplete package with remote and Smartphone control, two-way voice, video and touch screen console for $42.99 month.   Link Interactive has a low complaint record with the Better Business Bureau and an A+ rating. Like ADT, it has a three-year contract, but there’s no activation or installation fee. You must pay for equipment upfront.

Link Interactive

  • DIY Install Only
  • 30 Day Guarantee (Full Refund)
  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Lower Monthly Pricing than ADT
  • Features and Equipment Similar to ADT

ADT

  • Pro Install Only
  • 60-day money back guarantee IF there is an equipment or tech failure they can’t resolve
  • More expensive
  • Longer Track Record in Home Security

Alternative #3 – Protect America

Prefer to go with another proven name in home security? Protect America, founded in 1992, has protected over 500,000 families with their alarm, home automation, and life safety solutions. They offer five security packages, from Copper (three door window sensors and one motion detector, $19.99 month) to Platinum (14 door/window sensors and one motion detector, $42.99 a month). The average cost for a three-year Protect America contract is $720, compared to $1143 for ADT. Protect America has a 4 ½ star rating on Consumer Affairs.com based on 605 ratings and 2191 reviews. The company isn’t BBB accredited.

Protect America

  • Security packages and prices clearly explained on website
  • DIY install
  • No start-up costs
  • Lifetime equipment warranty
  • Monthly monitoring cost slightly cheaper

ADT

  • Surprise charges and fees (depending on dealer)
  • Pro install only
  • Charges for an extended equipment warranty
  • Installation fee

Conclusion

ADT Home Security offers you the cream of the crop as far as technology and equipment are concerned. The company has over a century of experience behind it, and protects over 6 million homes in the U.S. The customer service may be excellent or lacking, depending on the authorized dealer in your area, and you must contact a rep for a free quote; there’s no “one-size fits all” total price, including installation and fees.  Check out ADT’s main site for new customer specials and more details.

FrontPoint Security Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Equipment
  • Cost
  • Technology

Summary

Frontpoint has come a long way since it entered the home security business in 2007. It’s already gaining a good reputation for its cutting-edge wireless technology and excellent customer service. Features like patented Crash and Smash protection, DIY installation and Z- Wave compatible cameras make it one of the best choices for a home security system.

4.2
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How I Learned about Frontpoint 

After some bad experiences with no and low-price home security, my boyfriend and I decided to take the plunge and look for a serious security system. We were apprehensive about the cost, of course, but the horror stories about long-term contracts and equipment break-downs scared us even more.  That’s when I discovered Frontpoint after talking to a realtor friend of ours.

What Should I Look for in a Home Security Provider?

Making the decision to sign a home security contract shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you choose the wrong company, it can cost you a lot of money and leave you with more stress than you had before buying the system. A home monitoring system (security system) is

Today’s home security providers offer wireless home monitoring that works with Smartphones since most people prefer cell phones to landlines.  (A few companies still offer security systems through a traditional landline.) The wireless technology prevents intruders from cutting cables and disabling the system, and it gives you the chance to monitor your home via mobile phone apps.  If you travel a lot, lead a busy life and aren’t home much, or have valuables you want to protect, a home security system may be well worth the investment.

Before buying a home security system, think about the following points:

  • What is my budget? If there are additional fees for installation and extra equipment, can I afford it?
  • Do I own or rent? A personalized home security system is more cost-effective for homeowners, but security systems are available for renters.
  • Can I install the equipment myself, or do I need to pay for installation and wait all day for the tech to arrive?
  • How many cameras or sensors do I need? Think about the rooms, doors, and windows in your home most likely to be affected by a break-in, fire, flood or carbon monoxide.
  • Does the plan offer 24/7 home monitoring from a reputable monitoring center with well-trained employees?

Nearly 60% of burglars interviewed for a study said they would consider the presence of a home security system as a liability when choosing a target, with 40% of them saying they would probably choose another target if the initial one had home security. With this in mind, it’s probably a good idea to invest in some alarm or monitoring system for your home – even if it’s the old-fashioned DIY system of keeping doors and windows locked and your property well-lit.

Frontpoint Home Security: An Overview

Founded in 2007 in Vienna, VA, Frontpoint provides wireless and mobile applications for home security, home automation, medical alerts, and environmental monitoring. They offer DIY installation, but unlike many other DIY home security providers, their equipment and monitoring are grade-A. The company focuses on the customer’s needs, not high-pressure sales. Frontpoint consistently receives high ratings from customers and security experts. You can install their wireless sensors, alarms and video cameras in minutes, and a rep will test it out for you over the phone.

Their systems are 100% cellular, and even their basic home security plan includes water leak and carbon monoxide monitoring and medical alert monitoring. Frontpoint has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 90% positive review rating.

Frontpoint Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Top-notch customer service
  • DIY installation
  • Medical alerts, carbon monoxide, water, and fire Monitoring included with all plans
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Remote monitoring via iPhone, iPad, Andriod and other devices
  • Crash and Smash control panel technology
  • Redundant monitoring stations

Cons

  • DIY installation only – could be problem if you prefer pro installation
  • Three-year equipment warranty – some security companies offer a lifetime warranty
  • Upfront equipment cost could add up, depending on number of sensors/alarms you need  

Features and Benefits

Frontpoint offers all the features and benefits of ADT and other industry leaders with an emphasis on customer interaction. All wireless equipment uses Z-wave technology, and you don’t have to buy the equipment from Frontpoint. If you buy equipment on your own, contact them to make sure it’s compatible with your system.

All Frontpoint plans offer 24/7 monitoring from Rapid Response monitoring, a monitoring center approved by the Department of Defense, Factory Mutual, and the New York City Fire Department.

Touch Screen Control Panel

Frontpoint Touch Screen Review (Video)

This video, with security expert Rose Thibodeaux, explains how the Frontpoint video touch screen works.

The Qolsys IQ offers a 7? LCD panel and manages Frontpoint’s home security automation. It has a built-in camera and is a touch screen replacement for the Simon XT control panel.The Qolsys IQ can be attached to a tabletop or wall and is Z-Wave compatible. It comes with a 24-hour backup battery in case of power outage. If your parents or grandparents live with you, they may like the Qolsys IQ’s large icons, which make using it easy for people with poor eyesight.

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Environmental and Fire Protection

Frontpoint offers flood and carbon monoxide protection under the “Environmental Protection” banner. The water and flood sensor detects excess water levels in basements, laundry room or wherever you’ve placed wireless equipment. An alarm will sound alerting you, and you’ll receive an email or text alert if you’re not home. If the carbon monoxide detector is triggered when you’re not home, you’ll also receive an e-mail or text alert.  All you need to do is pick the right detectors for your home and install them. There aren’t any extra fees for this service.

Fire and smoke protection sensors detect when a room is getting too hot, so it can alert you to problems even before smoke appears. 24/7 monitoring is provided for environmental and fire protection, and Frontpoint will contact you when a sensor is triggered if you’re not home.

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Life Safety

Frontpoint offers 24/7 medical alert monitoring with all plans. You pay only for the equipment ( a water and shock resistant panic pendant). There’s no additional fee for the service. (ADT charges for a medical alert plan separately.)

Image and Motion Sensors

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Place image and/or motion sensors anywhere in your house to detect intruders. Prevent the kids or grandkids (or their friends) from accessing forbidden items by placing door and window sensors near gun and liquor cabinets . You can install up to 39 sensors on your own – each one with low-battery detection. Need to move a sensor to anther room? No problem. All sensors are lightweight, and you can attach them in another location easily with their “peel and stick” adhesive. Motion sensors are made to detect intruders of 40 pounds or more, so most pets won’t trigger them. You’ll receive email or text alerts about triggered sensors if you’re away from home

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Crash and Smash Protection 

Crash and Smash technology, developed by Alarm.com, ensures Frontpoint’s monitoring center will contact the police even if an intruder destroys the control panel. The patented system, unique to Frontpoint, keeps your system in a special status mode after a door opens. If the intruder disarms the system, monitors will know and contact the police.

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HD and Night Vision Capabilities

Frontpoint’s wireless outdoor camera has infrared night vision to detect intruders. Access video clips from indoor and outdoor cameras anytime through the mobile app or customer portal on the Frontpoint website.

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Automated Door Locks

When family members forget their keys, they can punch in a code on the automated door lock to get inside. Away from home? Lock or unlock your door with the Frontpoint app on your Smartphone.

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Remote Access and Control

Customize all your sensors, alarms and cameras from anywhere with remote access and control. Turn lights on and off remotely with the light control feature, and adjust your home’s temperature when you’re away with energy management controls.

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Live Streaming Video

Receive live video streamed to your mobile device from the wireless cameras inside or outside your home. When a motion sensor is activated, you’ll receive video clips to see what’s happening back at home. With the doorbell camera, you can choose to speak to visitors or ignore them.

Frontpoint offers three security plans:

Protection Plan

  • Wireless and cellular equipment/technology
  • Intrusion protection (tamper proof WiFi connection, no cables to cut)
  • Fire protection/fire monitoring service
  • Environmental protection, including monitoring for water leaks, flooding and carbon monoxide
  • Life safety/medical emergency monitoring
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring
  • $34.99 month

Interactive Plan

  • Wireless and cellular equipment/technology
  • Intrusion protection (tamper proof WiFi connection, no cables to cut)
  • Fire protection/fire monitoring service
  • Environmental protection, including monitoring for water leaks, flooding and carbon monoxide
  • Life safety/medical emergency monitoring
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring
  • Crash and Smash protection ensures the monitoring center will send help, even if the control panel is damaged
  • Email and text alerts if sensors are triggered
  • Remote access and control via mobile apps. Arm and disarm alarms and check visitor activity from wherever you are
  • Light control – control lights and appliances remotely
  • Image sensor – takes photos when motion is detected in your home. View on mobile apps or touch screen control panel
  • Geo location services – reminds you to arm your security system before leaving home
  • $44.99 month

Ultimate Plan

The Ultimate Plan includes every feature of the Interactive Plan, plus

  • Live Video Streaming (viewable on mobile app)
  • Motion Activated Video (receive video clips when motion sensors in your home are activated)
  • HD and Night Vision cameras – outdoor cameras capture clear pictures on the dark and send them to you via the mobile app
  • Automated door locks – lock and unlock doors remotely with your Smartphone
  • Energy management control – control thermostat remotely, to keep your house at the right temperature for your return
  • $49.99 month

All Frontpoint’s plans include medical alerts and water, fire and carbon monoxide monitoring.  ADT offers medical alerts separately, for an additional fee, and only offers environmental monitoring on its two higher-priced plans.

Plans come with a three-year contract, but if you pay more upfront, you can get a one-year contract.  All plans come with a 30-day guarantee. If you aren’t happy with your service, cancel within the first 30 days and get a full refund.

Sensors and controls panels are easy to install. Just peel and stick the adhesive backing close to doors, windows or on ceilings. There’s an interactive tool on the Frontpoint website to help you decide which locations in your home are best for security sensors/cameras.

The Interactive and Ultimate plans include free mobile apps for iPhones,  iPads, Androids, Blackberry phones, Apple watch, Kindles and Windows.

Our Frontpoint Ratings

Ease of Installation — 5 stars

All Frontpoint installation is DIY. There are no holes to drill or any superfluous hardware needed to install sensors, alarms or monitors – just “peel and stick” the lightweight equipment onto walls, ceilings or near doors. It’s easy to remove sensor or detectors and put them in a new location. Wireless cameras are small and lightweight and connect to your home’s WiFi.

Customer Service And Monitoring – 5 Stars

Frontpoint’s customer service is regarded as the best in the home security business. Reps listen to customers and genuinely try to solve problems instead of “passing the buck.” The company has a low-pressure approach to sales and gears any sales presentation on the customers’ needs

Equipment — 4 Stars

You can buy high-quality home security cameras, sensors, monitors or alarms from Frontpoint.  The equipment is Z-wave compatible and moderately priced. (The indoor wireless camera is $189.99, the water and flood sensor $44.99, although you may be able to get equipment for less when Frontpoint is running a promotion.)  And you can take the equipment with you when you move. They even provide a free mover’s kit.

Cost – 3 stars

Frontpoint lists plan and equipment prices on their website, and what you see is what you get. You’ll still need to verify the final price with a rep, but the company is pretty straightforward regarding costs. Frontpoint’s plans are a few dollars more a month than ADT, with comparable quality equipment.

Technology — 4 stars

Frontpoint offers cutting-edge technology, with wireless Z-wave cameras and small, unobtrusive sensors and monitors that you can place on a wall, ceiling, shelf or table. You can use their mobile app on just about any device, including ones not usually offered by other security companies, like the Apple Watch and Blackberry phone.

FrontPoint Reviews

Frontpoint receives mostly positive reviews on social media. (Even the negative ones often mention the company’s helpful customer service.)

On Consumer Affairs.com, Frontpoint has a 4 ½ star rating based on 2352 ratings out of a total of 5437 reviews

The Frontpoint Yelp listing (Washington, D.C. area) contains both positive and negative reviews. David S. of Fairfax VA writes in his 5-star review, “I have the full system. Super easy to use and simple to install…. Very nice staff in the support side if you call in. They have it together.” In a 2-star review, Leigh Z. of Austin, TX writes, “Sadly I am going to have to drop my rating down….because I am about over my sensors working sporatically (sic). .. I have had several sensors replaced and yet the problems persist. ”

What are Some FrontPoint Alternatives?

Alternative #1  LiveWatch

Live Watch and Frontpoint offer DIY installation and cellular-only service (no landlines). Live Watch (formerly SafeMart) offers a one-year contract, with plans starting at $19.99 a month. Frontpoint’s plans start at $34.99 a month. LiveWatch is cheaper and better for short-term security needs. If you don’t travel much or have a small family, LiveWatch  may be worth it. Upfront equipment costs range between $200-$300, and it comes with a two-year limited warranty. Visit LiveWatch here.

LiveWatch vs. Frontpoint Comparison

  • LiveWatch is cheaper, at $29.95 per month for a basic plan
  • Frontpoint has lower prices for equipment
  • Live Watch offers a 12-month contract vs. Frontpoint’s 36-month contract
  • LiveWatch has higher upfront costs

Alternative # 2 ADT

ADT is the industry leader in home security with 6 million homes covered in the U.S. and over a century of service. They offer the same wireless video surveillance, remote arm and disarm and water/fire monitoring as Frontpoint. If you want a proven name in home security instead of a relatively new company to provide your system or prefer to have a technician install your system, (ADT is pro-install only), consider ADT. They offer monitoring through your landline (many newer companies don’t), and a relocation guarantee.  Visit their website here. 

Adt Vs. Frontpoint Comparison

  • ADT offers equipment installation by a technician, and Frontponit is DIY. If you prefer profession installation, ADT may be the way to go.
  • Frontpoint was founded in 2007, and ADT has been around since 1847, so if you’re the type that only trusts long-standing businesses, ADT may be for you.
  • Both companies offer comparable equipment and three-year contracts.
  • You can cancel Frontpoint anytime within the first 30 days of service, with ADT you can cancel within 60 days if it’s a tech or hardware issue they can’t resolve.

Alternative #3

SimpliSafe offers DIY installation, with low monthly fees ($14.99-$24.99 per month) and a month-to-month contract. They offer equipment including smoke and carbon monoxide sensors, door/window and motion sensors, base control, keychain remote and a security camera add-on.  An easy-to-use and affordable system, it may be useful if you have limited security needs or are new to home security. Visit SimpliSafe to learn more.

SimpliSafe Vs. Frontpoint Comparison

  • SimpliSafe has a month-to-month contract; Frontpoint has a three-year contract
  • Both companies outsource monitoring to certified, reliable monitoring stations 24/7.
  • SimpliSafe has limited, generic equipment, Frontpoint has many wireless cameras, sensors, and alarms.
  • SimpliSafe provides no home automation features

Conclusion

Why You Should Consider Frontpoint

Frontpoint’s laidback sales approach and helpful customer service will attract many people to their security services, but their cutting-edge equipment and reliable monitoring will make them stay. Based on the number of different services provided for each monitoring plan and the quick DIY installation, Frontpoint offers a great value if you’re looking for a medium-priced home security system. Learn more about Frontpoint on their website.

 

Protection 1 Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

Protection 1 offers a focus on professional monitoring and smart home integration, resulting in a high-tech home security solution tailored to your exact needs.

3.8
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We value clarity, comprehensive support, and solid options in a home security setup at any level of pricing. It’s important to have that reassurance that your home, your possessions, and your loved ones are protected by a system that you pay monthly for.

If you’re aiming to install a home security system in your own home, you’ll want to focus on the features that matter to you most, at a price you can afford. While every major home security provider shares a few basic features, some companies offer additional components that put them ahead of others.

We’ve been in the same place you are, looking at the broad array of options out there and wondering what’s best. We want to help you decide if Protection 1 is the best bet for you and your family. This review is designed to give you the answers by covering the features, options, and reputation of this company so you can make an educated choice.

Things to consider before buying a home security system

No matter your living situation, you want to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your possessions, your home, and most importantly, your loved ones are safe and secure. If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to protect your home as soon as possible after moving in. If you don’t already have a home security setup in your permanent residence, it’s probably a good time to consider it.

The ideal customer for Protection 1 is someone who is fairly comfortable using common technology, such as smartphones and computers, because the best benefits on offer will fully integrate with these devices for more comprehensive coverage. Still, the company offers professional installation only, so you won’t need to be an expert at technology and you won’t need to get the tools out to set everything up. They take care of it for you.

The company also has fully embraced home automation, which means that their hardware will integrate with any smart home devices you may already have. This allows for simpler and more comprehensive control of what goes on in your home.

What is Protection 1?

As of 2016, Protection 1 is the second largest home security company in the United States. Founded in 1988, the company has built a strong reputation over the years, growing in size and customer base all along. According to the Better Business Bureau, they enjoy an A+ reputation as well as 95.6% customer satisfaction rating, both hallmarks of a solid home security choice.

Protection 1 focuses on a simplified package system, centered on round the clock live monitoring, with additional elements added as they are desired by the homeowner. All plans share an impressive list of basic features, including a touchscreen control keypad, motion detector, intrusion detectors, keychain remote, and professional installation.

They bill their service as a comprehensive package, with home installation to ensure that everything is setup properly without any effort required on your part as the homeowner. The idea is that you give them a call and they come to you and take care of everything from there on out.

Here are a few pros and cons of the service:

Pros:

  • Great customer service record, including A+ accredited BBB rating.
  • Mobile app for interactive monitoring from anywhere.
  • Full-service professional installation
  • Two-way voice communication
  • Optional video monitoring

Cons:

  • Protection 1 website doesn’t offer much detailed information about their services, so you’ll have to call them for a personalized quote.
  • Standard package does not include remote control or video monitoring
  • Possibly high setup costs

Features & Benefits

Broad range of services:

With a standard $99 installation fee, service tiers bring the bulk of the cost into focus. These are as follows: Secure: $34.99, Secure+: $44.99, Smart Control: $49.99, and Video:$54.99. Each tier brings incremental additions to the scope of the service, allowing you to choose one tailored to the price level you’re most comfortable with. All levels cover basic intrusion protection, 24/7 monitoring, and integration with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, while the upper tiers add features like cellular communication, web and mobile remote control, and video surveillance.

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Remote Control:

While not available on the lowest-cost plan, Protection 1 offers remote monitoring and control via your computer or smartphone. This means that any function you perform with the keypad in your home can be done from anywhere with an internet connection. You’ll be able to monitor the sensors and cameras in your home, arm and deactivate the security system, and even use two-way voice communication to speak with anyone inside the home. The accompanying app is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phone devices.

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Around-the-clock monitoring:

As with any quality home security company, Protection 1 offers 24 hour, 7 day a week professional monitoring from a remote station. Their monitoring works with all devices integrated into the system, whether you have the basic motion and intrusion detectors, or a more thorough suite including video surveillance. They’ll monitor any integrated thermostat and keep tabs on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The high ratings on BBB and elsewhere on the web show that this, the backbone of their service, is reliable and trustworthy. This is perhaps a boring point to make, but it’s important to know that when you or your home are in trouble, they will be there to summon the proper help needed.

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Smart home integration:

Protection 1 is ready to fully integrate with your smart home devices, including Z-wave support that allows it to control thermostats, lights, and more. Combined with the remote monitoring and control via your smartphone or computer, you’ll be able to command the features of your home from anywhere on earth. As smart home technology becomes more commonplace, it’s important that your home security setup recognizes and works with it. That way, you don’t end up with two completely parallel sets of controls that need tending to while you’re at home or away.

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Protection 1 Reviews by Real Users

To supplement our own evaluation, we scoured the internet to find out what customers have been saying about Protection 1. We found abundant reviews from regular people who have dealt with the product and the company. Here are a few examples.

“It was great installing the Protection 1 device and the team at Protection 1 has all been fine. I haven’t had any problems or issues and they’ve been very responsive. It’s been a little over a year since having the device and it’s always nice to be able to go to bed and turn it on and know that I got someone keeping an eye on the house for me.” – Rebecca of Alexandria, VA

“In the ten years I have relied on Protection One, I have never been dissatisfied with either service or features. The monitoring service is good in that it is not overly intrusive, but still responsive when issues come up. I would like to see their pricing come down to a more comparable rate since there are less expensive options available.” – Andres A.

“I’ve been with Protection 1 for almost a year and it’s a great service.The installation process ran smoothly. It was pleasurable. My family members use their mobile controls to arm and disarm the system, and it’s convenient. Protection 1 team has always been knowledgeable, polite, acceptable, and just very courteous overall.” – Carol of Clarksville, TN

Alternatives

In our quest for thoroughness, we took at look at how SimpliSafe compares with its most well-known competitors in the home security industry. Here are the top three companies to consider:

Vivint

Vivint has a major focus on home automation, providing quality wireless home security technology. They offer a similarly comprehensive installation and setup process, with professional techs coming into your home to set the product up. They charge for this level of equipment and installation, resulting in a product aimed at those who want to avoid working directly with the technology.

  • Price: Plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Vivint boasts similar features, including home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

You probably recognize ADT as the most popular name in home security solutions. The company has been around the longest and has an accordingly strong reputation. ADT is known for its attention to detail and thorough service, including full consultation and installation. This comes with a higher price.

  • Price: Plans run from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top tier plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer similar features, but ADT includes video cameras standard with its plans
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts here

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint goes in a different direction, focusing on DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access to your home security setup. They’re known for quality customer service, all-cellular monitoring, and lower costs.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless and cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

Protection 1 is a comprehensive home security solution designed for those who want to protect their home with the latest technology, including remote monitoring and control via smartphone. Their smart home integration, cellular monitoring, and two-way communication allow for a level of control that stands above most offerings on the market. While not all levels of service offer all benefits, their overall selection is a solid bet for up-to-date home security.

 

SimpliSafe Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

This uniquely contract-free home security solution is a solid bet with its focus on simplicity and low costs.

4.0
User Rating 0 (0 votes)
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If you’re looking to install a home security system in your new home, you’re going to want to focus on the factors that matter to you most, with functional protection as a given. Of course, the system has to work properly to keep your home and your family safe, but once you’ve got that base covered, there are a surprising amount of options out there.

We are here to help you decide if SimpliSafe is the solution for you and your family. We’ve struggled with the same questions you have, balancing cost against features to find the best products out there. With this review, we will show you whether SimpliSafe is your best bet or not.

Things to consider before buying a home security system

There are dozens of factors to consider before buying any expensive product, but it’s especially important to weigh all options before dropping cash on something designed to keep you, your loved ones, and your possessions safe from harm.

First and foremost is the cost. This determines the level of service you receive and the amount of features your system boasts. While a higher price tag can often mean additional perks, a lower price does not necessarily mean a low quality product. Some companies cut costs by offering DIY installation, extended contracts, and more.

Another factor to consider is your level of comfort with operating the system. Some products are more user-friendly than others, and some companies offer better help than others.

In the case of SimpliSafe, we’re seeing a product that’s aimed at those who want to keep costs down, so long as they are capable of installing the electronics themselves. We found the trade-off refreshing, but your mileage may vary.

What is SecuriSafe?

SimpliSafe is a home security system that’s designed to protect your loved ones and your possessions at a lower cost than its similarly-equipped competitors. The first thing you’ll notice is that there are zero contract requirements. That means you will never be locked into a 2- or 3-year contract, and you’ll be free to move, replace your devices, or change services entirely without penalty.

On top of this, the company boasts a 60 day money back guarantee, adding to the initial value for a product that can often bring thousands of dollars in upfront costs.

But beyond the price, what sets SimpliSafe apart? For starters, the devices themselves operate wirelessly, which is a huge advantage in our increasingly electronics-cluttered homes. Secondly, it operates via cellular communication, ensuring security even if lines are cut. Third, the monthly rates for round-the-clock monitoring compare very favorably with those of its competitors.

Here are a few pros & cons of this product:

Pros:

  • Wireless, easy to install hardware
  • Company enjoys an A+ BBB rating
  • 3-year equipment warranty
  • Dedicated cellular monitoring at low cost
  • 60 day money back guarantee
  • No contract

Cons:

  • No smart home automation
  • No security cameras included
  • Upfront equipment costs can be high
  • Interactive access from a computer or smartphone increases price by $10 monthly and $100 for the initial fees
  • No contract means monitoring costs could increase in future

Features & Benefits

24/7 remote monitoring:

Any home security setup worth its salt will include around-the-clock monitoring. It’s the core promise that makes the product worth it in the long run. Without remote monitoring, your alarm system is simply a loud warning to thieves, a possible deterrent that will not have the authorities on their way. For SimpliSafe, the monitoring is done by cellular network, which means that even if intruders cut your phone or power lines, the alarm will still sound at the remote monitoring station. Batteries ensure that the devices run even when the power is out.

Interestingly, SimpliSafe offers a non-monitoring setup which means a total lack of monthly costs, but we don’t recommend it.

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Remote Control:

Available with SimpliSafe’s remote monitoring plan, a companion smartphone app allows you to instantly see what’s going on at home, no matter where you are. The system allows for the checking of an event log, which means peace of mind for parents wanting to know when their children arrive home. All alarm statuses can be monitored from your smartphone or computer, as well. Even better, if you spring for the optional video cameras, you can view live streaming video of your home.

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Wireless Setup:

SimpliSafe is designed to expand, allowing you to install up to 41 sensors throughout your home for total protection. The best part is that installation itself is incredibly easy. The company boasts that you’ll actually enjoy setup, because of the ease of use and professional look. Devices are mounted with an adhesive surface so that you won’t even have to drill holes in walls. This means that installation is a breeze and moving the devices is just as easy. Because the whole ecosystem is wireless, you won’t have to run or organize cords of any sort. However, fresh batteries must be maintained, so the system remains functional over a long period of time.

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Low Cost:

SimpliSafe boasts a remote monitoring program that costs $14.99 per month, with no hidden costs or fees. For $10 more, you get the interactive feature, which means smartphone and computer monitoring from anywhere on earth.

The biggest cost with SimpliSafe is in the equipment itself. While this makes for a high initial hardware cost, the savings can be felt over time, given the low monthly monitoring rate. Hardware packages range from a five-piece starter kit at $230 to a $540 ultimate package, with build-your-own kits filling out prices in between. While these numbers might seem high, they pale in comparison to the overall cost of a system from one of the bigger-name competitors.

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SimpliSafe reviews by Real Users

While we were confident in our own evaluation, we wanted to see what other people thought about SimpliSafe. We searched the internet to find reviews from regular people who have firsthand experience with the product. Here are a few examples.

“We absolutely love SimpliSafe. The service is excellent and the equipment is good. Today, I accidentally set the fire alarm off while cooking. I smoked the olive oil, and it made a mess. Within seconds, the fire alarm was ringing, and so was my phone. SimpliSafe had called to verify what was going on, and I told them the fire department wasn’t needed.” – Kevin S.

“Updating my review:  Alarm is installed and functioning.  It was a bit complicated determining which sensors to get and where to put them (I may make some changes).  I do have a rather large and odd shaped house, though.  I got several e mails from customer support asking how installation was going, and when I had questions, they emailed me right back.  Customer support is fantastic!  All components work.  No problems.” – Rita C.

“Great product for DIY that doesn’t want to be stuck in a contract. This took me about 30 minutes to setup and test. The app is the most basic of basics. You can turn on and off the alarm, and text alerts get a bit annoying. The web tools are great for setting your own customization and personalizing to your needs. Overall you can’t beat the price!” – A. Bagwell

Alternatives

In our quest for thoroughness, we took at look at how SimpliSafe compares with its most well-known competitors in the home security industry. Here are the top three companies to consider:

Vivint

Vivint is a big player because of its focus on home automation, providing quality wireless home security technology. Unlike SimpliSafe, Vivint offers a comprehensive installation and setup process in which techs come into your home to set the product up professionally. There are charges for equipment and installation, but this is a boon for anyone who wants to avoid working directly with the technology. If this sounds like you, it might be a better option, provided the costs are acceptable.

  • Price: Plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Vivint boasts the same features, plus full home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months, while SimpliSafe requires no monthly contract

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

ADT is the most popular name when it comes to home security in America. It’s been around for decades and has an according reputation. ADT’s standard service is known for its attention to detail, including full consultation and installation. This ease of use comes with a higher price.

  • Price: Plans run from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top tier plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer remarkably similar features, but ADT includes video with its plans
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts here

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint offers a similar set of features, including DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access to your home security setup. Also similar to SimpliSafe, Frontpoint is known for its quality customer service, all-cellular monitoring, and lower costs.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless and cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

Let’s face it: home security solutions can be prohibitively costly. Of course, we all want to ensure the safety and security of our homes, our families, and our possessions, but we don’t want to spend more than we can afford to do so. The DIY approach and a la carte style hardware selection from SimpliSafe is meant to cut costs in an innovative way for those with the confidence to self-install.

If you’re looking for a system with one of the lowest monthly costs around, look no further. While there are a handful of drawbacks, including battery maintenance and optional video monitoring, SimpliSafe is one of the most price-conscious yet solidly equipped options available.

 

Link Interactive Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

Link Interactive is a competitive home security provider with a focus on DIY installation and accessible pricing.

4.2
User Rating 0 (0 votes)
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Link Interactive is a competitive home security provider with a focus on DIY installation and accessible pricing.

If you’re anything like me, you’re highly interested in getting the best deal possible, even when it comes to something as crucial as home security. You probably want to know that getting a great price doesn’t have to mean a low quality product. That’s what we’re looking into here: whether the benefits of self installation outweigh the costs.

While Link Interactive is by no means alone when it comes to self-installed home security products, they’ve made their name focusing exclusively on this part of the industry.

If you’re like me and you’ve got a little bit of tech savvy, you’ll be looking for a solution like this because the initial setup costs can skyrocket when you’ve got technicians coming into your home with loads of tools. This is where a company like Link Interactive becomes much more attractive.

Things to consider before buying Link Interactive

Home security is about a lot more than simply protecting your stuff. It’s about even more than protecting your loved ones. What it can truly bring you is peace of mind, day and night, week in and out. A good home security setup will take one of the biggest lifelong worries off your mind for as long as you keep it. That’s the ultimate criteria.

Beyond protecting your home from burglary and vandalism, a home security product can help you maintain control over many aspects of home life, from lighting to thermostats. This is a boon for anyone who’s ever worried if they’re wasting energy while out of town.

While Link Interactive aims to solve all home security conundrums, it certainly is aimed at some homeowners and not others. Those with more income and less technical know-how are probably better served by doing through a more traditional company, such as ADT or Vivint. They offer a standard professional installation and mostly hands-off operation. You pay up and they secure your home.

However, if you’re comfortable setting up and installing the suite of devices that comprise the Link Interactive security system, you might be able to save a lot of money while giving your home and your family the same level of safety and protection.

There are some broad qualities that every major player in the industry must bring to the table, the core of which is remote monitoring. This is what makes a home security system worth more than the sum of its parts. Your alarm goes off and a professional at another location will immediately notify the proper authorities. No matter which company you purchase from, you’ll want this fundamental part of the deal.

Thankfully, Link Interactive wraps its entire DIY process around this core feature. How does the rest of the package stack up?

What is Link Interactive?

Link Interactive has actually been around for more than sixty years, first as Mountain Alarm, a trusted home security provider that launched Link as its DIY offering just a few years ago. In the time since, Link has gained a reputation for solid customer service and competitive pricing.

Link originally began as a partnership with Costco, but has now grown into a formidable force in the home security industry. The total focus on DIY helps keep costs down and allows for a wider potential audience. While this focus limits the potential audience to those who feel comfortable with self installation, it broadens the available price range.

Another major focus for Link is in their communication, using Alarm.com as a host for your mobile control and monitoring of the home. This offers the advantage of simple, smartphone-based awareness and control, no matter where you are.

Compared to market leaders like ADT and Frontpoint, Link Interactive may appear more pared down and simple, but the tighter focus lends it a greater value for many people, depending on their budget, comfort with technology, and security needs.

Let’s look at some pros and cons of the product.

Pros:

  • Around-the-clock central station monitoring
  • 64 years of experience in the industry
  • Fire monitoring is included in every plan
  • Multiple contract options, including 12, 24, and 36-month plans
  • 30-day money back guarantee, a virtual trial period
  • A+ rating with the BBB

Cons:

  • DIY installation only, with no professional home visit option
  • Steep upfront costs for all equipment you may need
  • The sheer variety of equipment can be overwhelming for inexperienced security buyers

Features & Benefits

Now we can take a look at some of the key features of Link Interactive. Every home security company has its own distinct advantages, so it’s important to get a closer look and see what makes it tick.

Round-the-clock Monitoring:

Link Interactive boasts 24/7 cellular monitoring as the lynchpin of its entire system. With this approach, you don’t have to worry about a cut landline or access to high speed cable internet to secure your home. Their professionals monitor for intrusions and fire, but they also offer a unique feature. They call it crash and smash protection, and what it means is that even if an intruder were to destroy your equipment, an alarm signal will still make it out to the monitoring station, getting you the help that you need. This is a crucial positive no matter how you look at it.

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Price:

Prices for Link Interactive plans run on three simple tiers: $29.99, $34.99, and $39.99. With a simple graph they convey the levels of service available at each. Importantly, the most important features are included across the board. This means around-the-clock professional monitoring over a 100% cellular network, covering intrusion, fire, and crash and smash alarms. Additionally, for the lowest price you’ll also get integration with smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as extreme temperature monitoring.

As the price rises, they add features like two-way voice communication, email and text alerts, a supply of 10 sensors for doors and windows, and most importantly, smart apps for your phone or tablet that allow total control from anywhere on earth. The top tier, only $10 more a month than the basic one, even offers motion activated live video streaming and recording.

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Live Video:

Speaking of video recording, this is one of the biggest ways Link Interactive sets its service apart from the competition. While not available at all price levels, their video services go beyond what most other security companies offer. For starters, you’ll be able to see who’s at your front door via the main control panel or your smartphone. Even better, you can set up custom triggers to send live video to your smartphone, no matter where you are. In the event of an alarm, video will automatically begin recording and storing, so that you can rewind and check it out from anywhere with an internet connection.

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Home Automation:

As smart home technology becomes widespread and prices drop to affordable levels, you’re going to want a home security system that integrates with your smart devices. Link Interactive connects all of the smart devices in your home, giving you responsive automation and control from one single user interface. This means that you’ll be more aware and in command of every aspect of your home, from thermostats to lights, windows, and more. This means that the company is future-proofed in a way that many competitors are not.

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Link Interactive Reviews by Real Users

We wanted to learn what people thought about Link Interactive, so we scoured the internet to find reviews from regular people who have spent their hard-earned money on the product. What we found was refreshingly positive. Here are a few examples.

“If you are handy at all, this is the way to go. Same equipment as the big players, but at much better prices. The packages were customizable, so I was able to get all the options I wanted without anything I didn’t need. The ability to connect my garage door control, is very handy.” – Karl S.

“This is the best of all worlds – DIY installation with professional monitoring. I love, love, love how much I can configure everything. I love that the Control Panel is also a Z Wave Controller, so I now have the beginning of a smart home – starting with my connected thermostat.

I have installed window or door sensors, two interior cameras, one exterior camera, two additional motion detectors. I will add a few more things on later, but I can’t believe the features and functionality.” – Lesley A.

“I purchased the system directly through Link Interactive’s 800 number via their website.  I had an excellent sales experience and was able to use my existing sensors since my old security company used the same panel.  Installation wasn’t that difficult but I did have to read up on the panel a bit and make a couple of calls to Link Interactive tech support.  Each time I called they were very helpful.  They give you complete control of your system so you are free to expand it by buying affordable sensors.   I love the control and ability to expand the system myself.” – Joey E.

Alternatives

In making sure that we did a thorough job appraising Link Interactive, we researched their biggest competitors to compare the feature sets and pricing. These are the three most well-known alternative home security solutions around:

Vivint

Vivint is an important company when it comes to home automation, providing some of the best wireless home security technology available. Unlike Link Interactive, Vivint offers a more comprehensive installation and setup process, coming into your home to set the product up professionally. They charge for equipment and installation, of course, but if you’re not comfortable working with technology, it could be a better option, provided the higher costs aren’t prohibitive.

  • Price: Plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Similar features but Vivint also offers full home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional, foolproof installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months, while Link Interactive goes for 12, 24, or 36 months.

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

ADT is the most well-known home security name in America, and has been for decades. Their standard service is known for its thorough attention to detail. The company sends people to your home, giving a full consultation and installation themselves. There’s no work required on your part, but it comes with a higher price.

  • Price: Plans run from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer remarkably similar features
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts.

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint offers a similar set of features, including DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access to your home security setup. They’re also known for offering top tier customer service, cellular monitoring, and a uniquely comprehensive approach to security.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless and cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

With a wealth of smart features, solid hardware design, and reliable cellular monitoring, this service is a serious contender for your best home security bet. The simple pricing and clear set of options make it especially attractive to anyone on a budget. If you’re comfortable installing electronics and working with light tools, Link Interactive should be on your short list of home security solutions.

Click here to check out Link Interactive.