skybell

Frontpoint Security Camera

Hardware 8.3
Software and Security 10
Video Storage8.5
Professional Services & Customer Care9.5
9.1
Reader Rating: (25 Rates)6.7

Frontpoint is a professional home security company regarded by many to be the best. They provide exceptional white-glove support, competitive pricing, and patented technology. They also offer home security packages that include video surveillance. And as we are a camera focused site, it is video surveillance via Frontpoint Security cameras that will be the focus of this review.

GOOD

  • App Has Over 4 Stars
  • Support for Multiple Smart Phones
  • Connects to Automation & Security System
  • Frontpoint has White Glove Customer Support
  • 30-day Risk Free Trial

BAD

  • Cameras Dependent On Internet
  • Some Cameras Lack Audio
  • Indoor Camera is HD Only

The Basics of Frontpoint's Video Package and Cameras

Frontpoint Security uses cameras that are compatible with the Alarm.com interactive system. Alarm.com provides app technology and other technology used by Frontpoint as part of their comprehensive home security solution. Via the solution you can view what's happening using real-time or recorded footage. The service offers smart clip capture with secure cloud storage and also instant video alerts.

Alarm.com's video monitoring service can only be accessed through a company like Frontpoint. While they are not the only company to use Alarm.com's service, we selected them as our recommended company due to their pricing structure, trial period, and their customer service track record.

If you want to try monitored home security with video surveillance, but have heard horror stories of broken promises, you should consider Frontpoint. They offer free shipping and a 30-day, 100% risk-free trial. If you don't like it, send it back.

Frontpoint Camera FAQs

How much cloud storage does Frontpoint offer?
Frontpoint’s camera plan offers 1,000 clips a month of free storage. This number is regardless of the clip length, and it will reset every month. Also, any clips triggered by alarm events will not count against your clip limit. If you go over 1,000 clips in a month, the system will kick out the oldest clip to make room for the newest, unless you mark a clip to be saved. Lastly, you can choose to save any of the clips locally to your computer. And you have the option to delete clips from the cloud at any time.

How long are the recorded clips?
System triggered and alarm triggered clips can be 50-60 seconds long. In the event of an alarm, you can tell the system to record 15 back-to-back clips essentially making the camera record for 15 minutes. Motion triggered clips can be 10-40 seconds per clip.

Can Frontpoint cameras trigger the alarm?
Frontpoint's cameras cannot trigger the alarm. However, you can setup notifications for video clips.

Does Frontpoint offer Alarm.com's stream video recorder? (SVR)
They do not support this service right now. I would not be surprised to see Frontpoint add the SVR as they are constantly researching and testing new products to see if they can make them fit within their model.

What level of encryption is used to encrypt the video sent to the cloud?
Frontpoint's cameras support WEP wireless encryption along with the newer WPA Personal and WPA2 Personal encryption. The cameras also employ password protection to prevent access from outside the Alarm.com website, with the Alarm.com cameras using advanced MD5-based “digest authentication” for user authentication.

Are the cameras cellular too?
No. Frontpoint's system is 100% cellular, but cameras require a broadband connection.

Do I have to use the app?
No. You can also use the web portal from any internet connected device, or you can use your TV. They support Apple TV, and the app can be downloaded from the tvOS App Store. From your Apple TV, you can watch live footage from 4 simultaneous video stream. They also support Amazon Fire TV, which works the same as the Apple TV access.

Can I view doorbell footage from my alarm panel?
No. The Skybell does not integrate with the panel. It connects with your account via Wi-Fi similar to Frontpoint's other cameras.

Why Should I Buy Monitored vs. DIY Video Surveillance?

Multiple Cameras

There are a few reasons why you might want a monitored video surveillance system over a self-monitored system. One reason is that it integrates your home security, home automation, and video surveillance systems into one package controlled by one app.

Another reason is that an integrated system will produce more accurate notifications. Other cameras rely on motion sensors, which can be easy to ignore after a few false alarms. Monitored video surveillance systems can be tied back to home security events. For example, if your front door opens, your camera can be set to record.

Frontpoint's system is made more intelligent through geo-location services that can sense when you are home and when you are away. You can create different rules and perhaps ask the cameras to turn off when you're home for privacy and to turn back on when you are away from home. My favorite alert setup is called the "no-show". While other cameras will let you know if someone does show, Frontpoint will also let you know if someone doesn't show. This feature is useful if you want reassurance that your kids made it home from school or that a worker arrived on-time.

Third, most self-monitored cameras are limited to sending push notifications when an event is detected. Essentially, receiving an alarm notification, a Twitter status update, and a reminder to feed Talking Tom all fall into the same category. It's easy to ignore push notifications, and they've become clutter. With Frontpoint, you can set up email or text alerts. Also, you can set the text notifications apart by giving them a unique ringtone.

The fourth reason is that you have someone else watching your back. It's nice to do things on your own, but for busy people, it is also nice to delegate tasks. While you are welcome to perform your own 24/7 security, sometimes it feels good to let someone else do it.That said, the cameras are not monitored, only the sensors tied back to the system.

Perhaps the biggest misconception about monitored security with video surveillance is that it's way more expensive than a self-monitored solution. Depending on what you want to do, this isn't necessarily the case. For example, with Nest Cam you will pay around $30 per month for 30-days of cloud-based storage. With Frontpoint, you will pay $50 per month, but you'll also get a fully monitored system, home automation, other benefits, and support for multiple cameras.

Frontpoint Video Surveillance Cost and Cloud

Frontpoint's video surveillance is included in their Ultimate Plan. The Ultimate Plan incorporates professional home security monitoring through a cellular signal as well as automation of your lights, door locks, and thermostat. The cellular signal moves between the security control panel in your house and the central monitoring center. This signal does not compete with your cell phone or use your minutes. The system has its own cell card that it uses to communicate. If you live in an area with a weak cellular signal, don't fret. Frontpoint requires a much weaker signal to communicate than is necessary to make a phone call.

Let's talk about cellular for a minute. Frontpoint's system is one of the most secure because it is 99.99999% cellular. That's my number, not theirs. It's important to call out that their home security cameras require an internet connection. As the cameras use the internet, they are internet dependent. If your internet fails, your cameras will fail, but your home security system will keep working. If your power fails, your camera will fail, but your home security system will keep working. While the cameras do not have redundant built-in backup, the total system does. It has redundancy for power outages, internet outages, and can even call for help if someone finds the system and smashes it to pieces. It's a very smart system. Now, if someone finds your camera and smashes it, the camera will die, but recorded clips will be held safely in the cloud. As Frontpoint's cameras capture footage before and after an event, you will most likely have video evidence. Of course, this all assumes that your security system hasn't already scared away an intruder. Statistically speaking, that is the most likely scenario.

Interactive PlanUltimate Plan
Monthly Price$44.99$49.99
Cellular Alarm MonitoringYES
YES
Internet RequiredNO
Cameras Require Internet. Bandwidth Optimized
24/7 Intrusion & Fire ProtectionYES
YES
UL-Listed MonitoringYES
YES
Environmental ProtectionYES
YES
Life SafetyYES
YES
Crash & Smash ProtectionYES
YES
Email & Text AlertsYES
YES
Remote Access & ControlYES
YES
Light AutomationYES
YES
GEO Location ServicesYES
YES
Automated Door LocksNO
YES
Energy Management ControlNO
YES
Live Video StreamingNO
YES
HD & Night Vision CapabilitiesNO
YES
Motion Activated Video RecordingNO
YES
Clip Storage, up to 50MBNO
YES
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Frontpoint's Indoor Security Cameras

Frontpoint-IndoorCamera

Indoor Camera

Frontpoint's V522IR indoor wireless IR camera is their entry-level camera. It offers night vision with up to a 20-foot range, 1280x960p HD resolution, and easy setup that you can do on your own. While it is a wireless camera, it requires constant power from an outlet. It comes with a 12VDC power adapter.

For those debating H.264 vs. MPEG4 you will be happy to know that this little guy can use high and medium compression in H.264 and MPEG4. Finally, like all Frontpoint cameras, the WCAM can connect to your Alarm.com app, upload clips, and play with your other Alarm.com cameras. The WCAM allows for ten simultaneous viewers.

The downside of the ADC-V522IR is that it's static. You place it somewhere; you point the lens, and you get what you get as far as a visual goes. The camera's lens can record average rooms with a viewing angle of 113°. It also comes with a swivel base to help you get the best possible view. As the camera is static, it is priced accordingly.

The camera, like the rest of Frontpoint's equipment, is easy to install. The indoor cameras can be placed using the included stand, or you can wall-mount it. However, if you mount the camera, it will require a screwdriver or a drill. To set the camera up, you need to connect it to your wireless router. But once setup is complete, the camera is wireless - less a power cord.

  • Max resolution: 1920x1080
  • Field of view: Field of view: 113°
  • Dimensions (Height, Width, Depth): 2.75 × 2.06 × 3.67 in.
  • Max power consumption: 12V DC, 5W
  • Image Sensor: 1/2.9” CMOS, 2.12 MP, 1920x1080
  • Low light sensitivity: 0 lux with IR
  • Video motion detection: 3 windows, adjustable sensitivity and threshold
  • Image adjustments: brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, exposure
  • Simultaneous viewers: 10
  • Requires AC Power

Frontpoint's Wireless Outdoor Camera

Frontpoint Outdoor Camera

Outdoor Camera

Frontpoint also offers a Wireless Outdoor Camera (ODCAM). The ODCAM is currently the only outdoor camera compatible with Frontpoint's system.

The ODCAM is weatherproof. That's right. PROOF. It can withstand temperatures up to 122 degrees as well as temperatures below freezing. It can record in HD and it can see in the dark up to 40 feet. Like the indoor camera, the ODCAM can be set up to live stream or send alerts. It can also record and send clips to the cloud for storage.

  • Live resolution options: 1280x800, 640x400, 320x200, 176x144
  • Recording resolution options: 1280x800, 640x400, 320x200
  • Field of view: 62° horizontal and 38° vertical
  • Dimensions (Length, Width): 4.4 × 2.4 in.
  • Weight: 7.0 oz.
  • Max power consumption: 12V DC, 5.0 W
  • Image sensor: 1/4” CMOS, 1280x800
  • Low light sensitivity: 0 lux with IR on
  • Video motion detection: 3 windows, adjustable sensitivity and threshold
  • Image adjustments: brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, exposure
  • Simultaneous viewers: 10
  • Requires AC Power

Frontpoint Video Doorbell

Frontpoint Video Doorbell

Doorbell Cam

Frontpoint's video doorbell requires the Ultimate Plan and Wi-Fi, but it is a true video solution that can adequately protect your home from the outside in. The doorbell camera sells for $189.99 with cloud storage included.

The camera is connected to the mobile app. From the app, you can view a live stream from your doorbell from anywhere. You can also set up notifications. The doorbell cam will let you know when someone rings your doorbell and can even let you know if it detects motion.

If someone rings your doorbell, you can take action directly from the mobile app. You can talk to your guest using two-way audio, unlock the door if you have a connected smart lock, or ignore your guest without ever leaving the couch.

The camera itself is high quality. It streams and records in 720p HD, offers night vision, and a 180-degree field of view. In my opinion, it is the best camera that Frontpoint offers.

  • Video Camera: 720p resolution
  • 180° view
  • Motion Sensor
  • Weight: 3.1 oz.
  • Operating temp: -40° F to 140° F

Camera Pricing

If you sign up for new service, you will get an equipment discount through Frontpoint. Frontpoint offers a 1-year contract option, which does not qualify for an equipment discount, but with the 3-year contract, you can buy an equipment package starting at $99. Retail pricing on the cameras will vary. In general, the Wireless Indoor Camera runs around $99.99, the Wireless Pan and Tilt (discontinued) around $279.99, the Outdoor Wireless Camera around $299.99, the Image Sensor is $89.99, and the Wi-Fi Doorbell Camera is $189.99.

A Quick Summary

If you are wondering why we've recommended Frontpoint for monitored video surveillance but don't want to read the whole article, I can wrap it up for you in one paragraph.

We picked Frontpoint because of Alarm.com. Alarm.com has the best software. Their app is stable, highly rated, and works with Android, iOS, Kindle, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Fire TV. If you don't have a smartphone, you can use their web interface. Their app lets you view multiple cameras, multiple locations, and customize rules and alerts. While there are other Alarm.com companies, we picked Frontpoint because they deliver Alarm.com backed by their award winning (Angie's List Award winning and A+ BBB) customer support, no fuss pricing, and because of the high level of security they deliver with their Ultimate package, which includes video monitoring.

Discontinued Cameras

Frontpoint Image Sensor

Frontpoint Image Sensor

Image Sensor


Frontpoint no longer sells the Image Sensor, but there is no reason why it wouldn't work if you want to add one. Though technically not a camera, the Image Sensor belongs on this list. It's a fancy motion sensor that takes pictures. The benefit of using an Image Sensor over the cameras is that the Image Sensor does not require Wi-Fi. Instead, it works off of the same cellular signal that alarm system uses. The downside is that the resolution is lower, and it takes pictures, not video. However, for those that want a visual, but don't want to shell out lots of extra money, this is a cost-effective alternative.

Another secret to going with the Image Sensor is that it requires the Interactive Plan, not the Ultimate Plan. This plan is $44.99 per month, potentially saving $60 per year over the Ultimate Plan.

  • Works with Interactive or Ultimate Plan
  • Requires Touchscreen Panel
  • Range: 35-foot radius
  • Weight: 3.1 oz.
  • Resolution: 320×240 (QVGA)
  • Image Capture
  • Night vision with IR illumination

Wireless Pan and Tilt Camera

Pan Tilt Camera

Pan Tilt Camera

If you want more power, you might want to look at the wireless pan and tilt camera. It offers everything that the WCAM offers but it can pan, tilt, and zoom. In fact, it also swivels. It is so swively that you can use the camera to view a full 350°. You can also use it to tilt upwards to 90° and downwards to 35°. All of this can be controlled using your mobile app. If an alert is sent, you can open your app and use your phone to remotely pan and tilt the camera. It may not seem like much if you've never experienced it, but having a camera that can thoroughly look around is an amazing thing.

If you haven't fallen in love with Alarm.com's app yet, I think this next secret might do the trick. You can use the app to customize and save pan/tilt presets. For example, pan the camera to point at your kitchen, save the position as "kitchen", and next time you want to view your kitchen, press "kitchen" and magic happens.