FrontPoint Answers: Video Surveillance

Posted by , , at 9:02 am

If you’re a home security system owner looking to enhance your home’s protection, look no further. It’s time to investigate security cameras.

Video security lets you keep an active eye on your home, family and pets. Best of all, you can do this at anytime, anywhere.

We’ve received many questions about cameras and adding them to your home security system, so in this edition of FrontPoint Answers, we’re taking your questions head on. It’s time to find out how video surveillance can take your peace of mind to a new level.

What is the purpose of security cameras in a home alarm system?

Security cameras allow users to always keep a watchful eye on their home.

FrontPoint customers can use their cameras to monitor the inside and outside activity of their home. Customers also gain access to live streams, where they can view a live feed on their computer or mobile device. They can also set up their system to receive notifications any time the cameras are motion-activated.

Does FrontPoint offer any security cameras?

Yes, FrontPoint offers three security cameras. Each has different capabilities ideal for any scenario.

  • Wireless Indoor Camera– The Wireless Indoor Camera allows users to keep an active eye on their home from anywhere. It has a viewing range up to 50 feet and can view activity in the dark. A broadband network is required to allow the WCAM to connect wirelessly.
  • Wireless Pan and Tilt Camera – The Pan and Tilt Camera is an indoor camera with a greater range of view than the WCAM. Users can control it to maximize their field of view by panning and tilting.
  • Wireless Outdoor Camera–The Outdoor Camera is weatherproof and withstands below-freezing temperatures, or up to 122 F, to provide video surveillance of the exterior areas of a user’s property. It can also see in the dark up to 40 feet.

You can find more information about FrontPoint’s cameras and other equipment in this equipment guide.

What type of monitoring do I need to use these cameras?

FrontPoint’s video surveillance services are accessed with the Ultimate Monitoring package. In addition to video capabilities, Ultimate Monitoring users gain access to all the features found in the Interactive Monitoring package, such as Alarm.com’s Geo-Services and home automation suite.

Can I DIY install FrontPoint’s cameras like I did with the sensors?

The Wireless Indoor Camera, and the Pan and Tilt Camera are both very easy to install. Using the included setup guide, all you need to do is plug the cameras in, sync them up to your wireless network and then place them in ideal positions.

Drilling and mounting are not required to use the Indoor or Pan and Tilt cameras, but they are an option. Mounting kits are included with the cameras.

The Outdoor Camera does not require mounting in order to work, but it’s highly recommended so it remains out of harm’s way while protecting your outdoor areas. You will need a drill, and mounting kits are provided so you can suspend the camera from an overhead location.

One of FrontPoint’s goals is to make installation for all of its equipment as easy as possible, but due to the function of the Outdoor Camera, assistance with installation might be necessary.

Is the FrontPoint security system compatible with third-party cameras like Dropcam?

No, FrontPoint does not support third-party security cameras.

While we certainly support the use of any security cameras (any is better than none) to enhance your home’s protection, third-party cameras – like Dropcam – will not work with the FrontPoint alarm system. Only the three Alarm.com cameras – the Indoor, Pan and Tilt, and Outdoor – are compatible.

Comments (36)

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  1. Robert B.

    Third party camera support should be a priority for FrontPoint if they want to maintain their customer base. I would leave the web interface alone and redirect resources to implement compatibility for third party cameras. I will be looking at alternate security system companies where camera costs are less expensive or third party cameras are supported.

  2. Giovanny Prieto

    Does Frontpoint monitor indoor cameraswimming 24/7 or is it only when the alarm triggers?

    • Katie Rynex

      Giovanny, our indoor cameras will offer 24/7 live view, however, will only record when an alarm is tripped. We hope this answers your question and ask that you please let us know if you have any other questions going forward!

  3. Shawn H

    It is disappointing that you do not support 3rd party cameras, especially considering the low resolutions of the Frontpoint cameras that are available. 720p is pretty well useless for security and 1080p isn’t much better. My home will be monitored with a few strategically placed wired IP based 4k cameras, and it sure would be nice if your monitoring system could interface with them alongside the NVR.

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  6. counter surveillance equipment

    You have shared very important points about security cameras. I like your question “What type of monitoring do I need to use these cameras and your suggestions on it.

  7. Jeff

    Why are your outdoor cameras so expensive? $400? I could buy 2 HD camcorders for that and run them all day long. There has to be a less expensive option.

  8. Reagan

    Can anyone recommend an extension cord for the outdoor camera?

  9. Ken Humes

    Good post shared…

    Quite informative for new consumers…..This guide will help them to better understand the benefits of installing such video surveillance cameras at home and workplace. They are even beneficial in commercial places also.

    In fact I would like to share that I also have recently got cctv vido camera installed in my shop which is in a mall and to do that job, I got installed them from the experts of http://ivp.org.uk/.

    Thank you for sharing this post with us.

  10. James S

    Hi,

    I just bought a house and thinking about signing up for the Ultimate package. Can you tell me if the outdoor camera is included? If not, why is the price seems to be so high? Best buy and other competitors have similar but with more options that you can get for your buck. Additionally, the package only comes with four door/window sensor? that does not seem a lot to me either…

    Please advise.

    Thanks,
    James

  11. James S

    Hi,

    I just bought a house and thinking about signing up for the Ultimate package. Can you tell me if the outdoor camera is included? If not, why is the price seems to be so high? Best buy and other competitors have similar but with more options that you can get for your buck. Additionally, the package only comes with door/window sensor? that does not seem a lot to me either…

    Please advise.

    Thanks,
    James

  12. Jay

    If we install FrontPoint indoor surveillance camera, does it get monitored by FrontPoint security service people? Or its viewing is limited to family members only?

    Thank you.

    • Katie Rynex

      Jay, the monitoring and viewing of your indoor cameras is limited to your account users. Thanks for reaching out and please let us know if you have any other questions in the future!

      • Shawn H

        Ahh. Well, then that answers my question about why to use your cameras. There isn’t a good reason to, especially since they are approximately 720p — a useless resolution for security purposes.

        • Robert B.

          I agree, no reason to use overpriced and inferior equipment. Too bad that there is no support for third party cameras; it looks like the best path will be to drop FrontPoint for another service to add the desired cameras/video in a cost effective manner.

  13. Mike Pedreseo

    Hi, thanks for the post, could you tell me where i could find thermical cameras lke this one:
    http://alarmasyvideovigilancia.com/camaras-termicas-economicas

    thank you!

  14. Shaun

    I’m just curious, as an ultimate plan subscriber, why only 4 cameras are allowed for the maximum? We have a very big house, and various points of entry. We ordered 8 total cameras and when we got to the fifth one, we suddenly found out our plan would no longer allow us to add any additional cameras. I have no problem paying a little extra for better video surveillance of the area. There’s a lot of break-ins happening on a weekly basis in this little town, and I want to make sure my home is as secure as possible, or could at least provide substantial evidence to police were something to happen. Can you please explain to me if there’s an option that we can choose to allow us to view and monitor all 8 cameras we have? Or do we need to just set up an account with alarm.com and go that route. Thanks

    • Katie Rynex

      Shaun, we are happy to tell you that you absolutely can monitor all 8 cameras! Adding more cameras to your system will cause your monthly rate to increase by $10. If this is something you would like to do, just give our Support Team a call and they would be happy to upgrade your system for you. Thanks so much for reaching out and please let us know if you have any other questions!

  15. Arthur De Dief

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  16. CJ

    I purchased two pan & tilt cameras for our business system. Unfortunately, our FrontPoint motion sensor did not go off when we recently had a break-in which was a huge bummer. Then, when the police wanted to go back and look at the video, there was none to review, as FP only records video clips when an event is triggered. Since the motion sensor did not go off, no video recorded. Even the video clips we did have of other events, the police said were unusable because the quality was so low in low-light times of day. Apparently the pan and tilt cameras sold by FP were not infrared, making them largely pointless. I was informed when I called in that they no longer sell these cameras and now only sell the wireless indoor infrared. Hmm. So our choice is between stationary infrared with no pan and tilt (requiring 5 times the number of cameras and $$ to get the view needed), or pan and tilt that don’t have infrared making them ineffective in all but perfect lighting? Why no have a pan and tilt camera that is also infrared? I am extremely disappointed and dissatisfied with FP in the camera department and clearly in the motion sensor department that left our business open to theft. Strangely, I’ve received multiple false alarms in the past causing me to have to rush out of important projects at work to rush home to make sure our home was ok. But the one time we actually have a break in, no alarm is triggered? Yikes. I’ve had sensors fall off the wall (after exceeding recommended installation instructions w/ adhesive), had sensors fail to connect because of the type of door we have, had false alarms with our heat detector, and now this. All in all, not feeling confident about my system at all.

    • Katie Rynex

      CJ, please accept our sincerest apology for any inconveniences you may have experienced so far and know that this is not a situation we take lightly here at Frontpoint. We did see that you have previously spoken with our Support Supervisor, Rob, and we want you to know that we will do what it takes to make this situation right for you. Thank you for sharing your frustrations with us and we look forward to making sure you are entirely taken care of going forward!

  17. Tim T

    I love the Frontpoint system and I use 3 outdoor cameras which have been very good. The only complaint that I have is that evertime it goes from night to morning or afternoon to evening (basically when the camera goes from day to night vision) I get notifications on my phone for a video clip. I’m not talking 1 or 2 it’s like a machine gone – 10-15 – sometimes 3-4 from each camera. Any suggestions?

  18. Willie Lewis

    How long does the indoor wireless camera record once it is triggered. Is there a setting to change this?

    • Gilbert Cho

      Hi Willie, the recordings will differ in length depending on how they were triggered. And yes, you can customize all of these settings.

      Video motion-activated (someone walking in front of the camera): 10-40 seconds
      System-triggered (someone triggering a sensor): 50-60 seconds
      Alarm-triggered (alarm is activated): up to 15 minutes

      Hope this helps!

  19. Eric Hendrix

    I’m a loyal FrontPoint customer and I love your products but the price of your cameras is simply too high.

    That’s why a lot of customers, like me, have to use other services for their video needs. You get more money on a monthly basis when we upgrade our service; there’s no need to gouge people on the cameras.

    • Greg M

      I agree with Eric. The cameras are expensive and appear to be cheap cameras. I understand why dropcam would not be compatible as the video goes direct to dropcam servers. But other cameras should be an option especially for those of us whop already have a dvr security cam system. We should be able to integrate the systems together.

      • Ron C

        I don’t work for Frontsight but I installed one for my son and I was EXTREMELY impressed with the cameras. The fixed, indoor camera is made by Vivotek and one of the best on the market. So good that I went out and bought one for my system. The price that Frontsight sells them for is actually a little cheaper than the cheapest I could find elsewhere. I can understand why they don’t use the cheapo cameras you are writing about. It would push their support costs up substantially. I’ve found that pretty much anything under about $120 is just junk. Most cheapos do not do MPEG4 which uses much less bandwidth. Less bandwidth means better reliability. This is one area where you get what you pay for most of the time.There are exceptions. The latest HooToo camera looks pretty good and reviews are pretty good as well. I’ve got maybe 20 IP cameras and I now ONLY buy Vivotek because they are trouble free, don’t lock up and have a wealth of features that the cheapo ones don’t have. Good luck!

      • TMorr

        I also totally agree. Why are your security camera options so pricey?? I’m looking at interior and exterior camera options, leaning towards Nest, only to find out I can’t integrate with Frontpoint. I may bite the bullet on an interior security camera from Frontpoint, where the price is in line with others…

      • jeff devo

        I agree camera prices are too high, i was going to consider a camera for the house and watching kids, but will probably rely on some other service with cameras a fraction the price.

  20. mike m

    I am currently a Front Point customer and am constantly recommending and showing people all the cool features of the system. I have the ultimate pkg with video monitoring. One thing that really frustrates, aggravates and concerns me, is that my cameras unlike the control panel, have no back up power! One thing that gave me piece of mind was knowing I would get a video clip, even in complete darkness if an intruder entered my house. Then, I found out if an intruder kills the power to my house, my panel will still work and sensors which is great, but my cameras are useless! Tech Dept needs to address this and do something to remedy this or maybe I just switch to basic monitoring and invest in a more reliable video surveillance system.

    • Jamie Botzer

      Thanks for your comments about our alarm systems and our cameras, Mike. We’re happy to know that you recommend the system to your friends.

      You are correct when you mention that while your control panel and sensors will work if a burglar cuts the power to your home, your cameras will not. Not only must the cameras be plugged in to power to function, they also communicate with our systems (and your smartphone, computer, etc.) via your wireless router in your home. If you have a standard wireless router, this would also not function during a power outage. I understand why this frustrates you.

      My best suggestion to combat the rare occurrence of a burglar cutting the power to your home is to put a padlock on any exterior breaker boxes. It will create an obstacle and possibly deter burglars.

      We appreciate your feedback! I have passed your concerns and suggestions on, and we’ll keep them in mind for future product offerings.

      • mike m

        Thanks for your response Jamie. I realize the cameras work and communicate through my router, that is why I have purchased a ups for my router and computer to make sure I don’t lose power to those devices. I assumed, which is my fault for not conforming that your cameras had a ups built in to the power pack. As far as my electrical panel goes, I was told by my utility Co. That I was not allowed to lock the panel. Unfortunately our panels are located outside which I can’t stand, but that’s not front points fault. I guess I will have to figure some way to keep the cameras powered up, because they are extremely important for total piece of mind.

        • Steve

          You could connect an UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) used for your home PC in an event that you lose power.

  21. anonymous

    Seems silly for alarm.com not to support any ONVIF IP based camera. I guess they want to flash the ROM and configure every aspect of where the files get FTP’ed to.
    I need a dome solution and not a bullet for my exterior and will have to continue hosting my own images.

    • Ron C

      I think you have your info wrong. I dove into one of the fixed indoor cameras that Frontpoint uses and it’s one of the upper-end Vivoteks. This one – http://www.vivotek.com/ip8131w/ The do not re-flash the firmware – at least the one I installed for my son was not re-flashed when installing. The camera was automatically configured though – not reflashed. Easy peesy and that’s worth something to most people. That saves a lot of hair-pulling for those who are not experts in such things.

      WRT ONVIF. To me, it seems silly why you would care if they support the ONVIF protocol. If it interfaces reliably to the Frontsight system who cares what protocol they use? Almost none (maybe none) of the cheapo cameras support ONVIF. It’s pretty much used only on higher end cameras of a few manufacturers. It appears they are using H.264 compression which has huge advantages in terms of quality vs bandwidth versus the old-school mjpeg that all the cheapo cameras use. What I do think they should do is educate their customers on the differences between the Vivotek cameras they use vs the low end cheap stuff some want to buy and provide instructions on how to use cheapo cameras under the condition that they will provide no support. Many of those customers will likely end up buying the better one’s sold by Frontpoint in the end anyway. Some people are ok with camera crashes, poor image quality, (because they must use high compression on the mjpeg cameras to get the bandwidth down to something that makes it through their ISP reliably) if it saves them money and Frontsight should let them do that if that’s what makes them happy.

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