A Comparison of the Top Two Home Security Systems

FrontPoint Security vs. SafeMart

In the security industry being on top means providing superior security and using new technology all without ripping people off. So I’ve whipped out my old detective skills to test out two of the top rated new school security companies. Spoiler Alert! I’m not going to pick the best company for you. I am going to give you the facts and then let you decide which company is the best. After you read the facts, be sure to leave me a comment below to let me know who you think should be the heavy weight champion of new school home security.

Old School vs. New School

I need to give you a little background on old vs new school before we get started so you know why I picked Frontpoint and Safemart. Old School companies lock you in to long contracts, they require installation of proprietary equipment, they send hard core sales reps to your front door, and they even reserve the right to jack up your monthly rate as they see fit. New school companies like FrontPoint Security and SafeMart are bringing the cost of home security down because they don’t have egos. Instead of focusing on bringing new innovative technology to the market they focus on security and service. Instead of making their own equipment they use technology that others have already made well which also means that should you decide to breakup with your provider you can start a new relationship with equipment you already own.

Test #1: SOCIAL MEDIA

So many companies shy away from social media by locking down the ability to comment or worse they let you comment but don’t respond. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Social media is a crystal ball that allows you to glance into your future. Does the company respond to all complaints by cutting and pasting, “Hi this is Tom. I’m sorry to hear that. Please email us at… ” Guess what? That’s a really bad sign. You just glanced into your future and your future with this company sucks. Both SafeMart and FrontPoint lead the way with social responsiveness. I monitored both pages for a week and checked responses dating back a couple months. Both companies handled customer questions and concerns quickly online. They gracefully answered everything from where’s my app, to how do I secure my garage, to why should I choose you. Their answers were presented independently without cutting and pasting a redirect to customer care hell.

Test #2: ONLINE RANTS

I’m not sure which online review site is the best so I scoured them all for hours. I read through the BBB, Yelp, PissedCustomer, I fell asleep, then I read through Consumer Reports and just when I thought I was done I looked for claims of fraud or lawsuits. Luckily for FrontPoint and SafeMart I didn’t find anything major. Both companies are extremely clean compared to other home security companies. One major company has hundreds of complaints on PissedCustomer compared to FrontPoint that has 11 complaints. FrontPoint has a healthy B+ rating with the BBB and SafeMart is screaming can’t touch this with an A+.

Test #3: TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP

Now this is where you and I might differ. To you it might be more important to get the system in the door for the lowest possible upfront cost or you might want the lowest monthly fee so just in case your priorities are different than mine I am going to give you the golden nugget and by golden nugget I actually mean just a bunch of numbers.

FrontPoint

Monthly Fee $34.99
Equipment, Activation, Installation $374.95
Instant Online Savings ($25)

TCO $794.83

SafeMart

Monthly Fee $19.95
Equipment, Activation, Installation $299.00
Instant Online Savings ($300)

TCO $538.40

The TCO. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is the sum of the equipment, activation, installation added to the outcome of the monthly fee multiplied by the required contract length (12 months) subtracted by the spectacular online specials. If SafeMart wasn’t running a $300 online sale during my secret shopping extravaganza these two companies might have come out about the same but there was a sale. With that said both companies offered me a low commitment period of 12 months. That is extremely competitive in the industry as 36 months is the minimum length required by many home security providers.

Test #4: TECHNOLOGY

I put my secret shopping hat on and called both companies to see what the absolute bottom of the barrel equipment package would include. Both companies offered me a GE Control Panel with battery backup, both companies offered a key fob, both companies offered multiple door/window sensors, and both companies offered me a large room sensor that was “smart enough to ignore small animals”. In addition, both companies use multiple locations for their monitoring services which provide extra redundancy and security.

Test #5: Cancellation Policy

Both companies offer 30 day return policies and both companies require that you stick with your contract. If you cancel your SafeMart contract you will be responsible for paying the remaining balance. If you cancel your FrontPoint contract you will be responsible for paying 80% of the balance. Why the difference? I don’t really know but it’s probably due to the fact that you pay a little more upfront for FrontPoint so they have less at risk when you cancel your contract early.

Bonus info! Both companies have a customer friendly moving policy. However, FrontPoint pulls ahead a little in this department. FrontPoint allows you to move the system from one home to another and they only require a phone call. If for some reason you can’t move your system to your new home they also provide flexible options like transferring ownership of your system. SafeMart will allow you to move the system but if you can’t move it then your screwed.

THE BOTTOM LINE

You forgot didn’t you? Like I said in paragraph one, line 3, I’m not going to pick the winner for you. If it’s all about cost than SafeMart might your winner, if you are planning to move soon than FrontPoint might be your winner but I really don’t think you can go wrong with either company.

My biggest complaint with FrontPoint? Their base package fire monitoring isn’t smart. You have to physically walk over and push the fire button on your panel to get help. They have technology that can monitor for fire and smoke but it’s an upgrade.

My biggest complaint with SafeMart? They put me in email jail! To write this extremely riveting article for you, I had to subject my personal information to multiple sales people. After I told SafeMart I wasn’t interested they called me two more times then sent their sales manager in for the hard close. I’ve also received 11 emails in one week.

So tell me, who is your winner?

Selecting the Right Home Security System For Your Home

While it is unpleasant to think about, the fact of the matter is that homes without a security system are two to three times more likely to be broken into than homes with one. To avoid becoming a statistic, it is best to invest in one that is monitored 24 hours a day, whether you are home or not.

A good home security system will have several individual elements that when combined provide total safety and security coverage for your home. One of the most crucial elements is monitoring. This is where your home is protected by a large monitoring center that is manned by trained personnel. When your alarm is triggered, the monitor will call your home. If you do not answer, they will immediately call the police. The monitor can also be summoned by you if you suspect a prowler. Monitored systems are simply the best systems. They are watching your home day and night, whether you are there or not. So when you leave to go on vacation or take a weekend trip, you can take comfort in knowing that your home is being looked after.

Monitoring is just one of the components that make a security system effective. Technology is also critical. The technology that goes into today’s alarm systems is highly advanced and includes window and door sensors, smart motion detectors, a built-in siren and a keypad and a keychain that you can activate or deactivate the alarm system from. The smart motion detectors are a plus, because they can distinguish a pet or an animal from a prowler. Having a smart motion detector in place is part of the first line of protection. Any suspected movement that is not recognized can trigger the alarm and catch a potential burglar off guard.

The keychain remote is also an important feature. While there is a main keypad in the house, the keychain remote can allow you to activate and deactivate the alarm from your car as you are leaving or entering the house. This can cut down on false alarms. Keychain remotes lets you turn your alarm on and off at the touch of a button, making the system user friendly.

Another component to consider is yard signage. Believe it or not, this is actually part of the home security system. These will usually be posted when your system is installed. A sign displayed prominently on your property notifying potential burglars that your home is protected may prove to be a deterrent. Burglars often case out their targets before they actually burglarize them and they are likely to skip homes that have monitored systems installed.

With technology and monitoring in place, having a home security system that will respond quickly to a burglary or emergency incident at your home is something that homeowners should seriously consider. Knowing that police and the monitoring center have been notified of an alarm at you home and will respond within minutes is a comfort to homeowners who want the best security and safety for their families. The fact is that nobody wants to become a statistic. A security system that is complete with technology, quality monitoring, and signage will protect your home and your family from burglars and intruders. When selecting a system, make sure it is complete with all of these elements so you are getting the maximum coverage possible for you and your family.

The Top Advanced Home Security Innovations

Our society is increasingly becoming more and more dependent in technological advances that help improve our everyday life, and the field of home security systems is a good example. Security measures like video surveillance cameras were considered the territory of only businesses and the rich in past years, but today that technology is easily afforded by most homeowners as well.

If a simple, inexpensive alarm system is all that your current budget allows, that is fine and it will certainly enhance your security level over not having one at all. But if you can afford the best security measures that technology can offer there is an ever increasing number of high tech choices that you can make to increase your home security level.

For instance, today it is getting more common to see all-in-one systems that not only monitor your security from a burglary standpoint, but also integrates home fire alarms and medical alarms into the same system. Of course, home security can mean more than just protecting against home intrusion and these sophisticated systems can care for protecting you and your family in the case of almost any emergency that can arise. They are smart enough to detect the difference between a fire, a home intrusion and a medical emergency, and can alert the proper authorities for you in each case. They can even operate in case the power is out for any reason due to having backup batteries and using cell phones to communicate.

Beyond these advanced alarm systems are more high tech means of identification for gaining access to your home or to your computer information. These include fingerprint, voice recognition and eye retinal scanners that have a very high accuracy rate. It is extremely hard to fool these systems and so for those that have highly sensitive or extremely valuable data or possessions that they wish to protect, these technologies are now becoming available to the home security market.

To take it even further, there are detectors that are temperature sensitive and so can sense a subtle change in temperature when someone unauthorized enter a room. Granted this is technology that seems to come straight out of a spy movie, but it is available now for those who feel that their valuables warrant it.

Of course, all of these technological advances are still extremely expensive and would be well beyond the needs of the average homeowner at this point. But the prices on these products are consistently falling and will no doubt become more commonplace as time goes on.

In the meantime they are available even now for those who can afford them and for those who have special and sophisticated home security needs.