Should You Add an August Lock or a Camera to Your Frontpoint Security System?

Should You Add an August Lock or a Camera to Your Frontpoint Security System?

Frontpoint has topped my list of best monitored
home security systems for a while, but if you follow my reviews, you probably know that
I somewhat compartmentalize it. I use the Interactive Plan which is for home
security and prefer to pair it with my own third-party security cameras and smart home
devices. If I wanted to integrate them with the system,
I would need to subscribe to Ultimate. Now that has introduced new third-party
integrations, I’ve decided to retest my preference for compartmentalizing by testing Frontpoint’s
Ultimate plan with the August Smart Lock and the new Indoor Camera. While this review assumes you have some knowledge
of Frontpoint, I have dropped a link to my full written review in the description below
if you want to learn more. Otherwise, we’re going to hop right to it. While August makes a couple of locks, only
the August Smart Lock Pro works with Frontpoint. It uses Z-Wave Plus to connect to the Frontpoint
panel and the included August Connect allows you to control the lock from anywhere. The August Smart Lock Pro doesn’t so much
replace your lock as it retrofits your existing deadbolt. And that’s important to point out as it has
different features than you would see if you paired a keypad style smart lock with your
system, but we’re gonna get to features in a minute. First, let’s talk about how to pair it. To pair it, I suggest you call Frontpoint
for help unless you happen to have a touchscreen, in which case, I’m gonna walk you through
the process right now. First, find an outlet that’s within 5 feet
of your August Lock, and plug the panel in. Next, Click Settings, Advanced Settings, Enter
Code 6827, Click Installation, Z-Wave, Add Device, Pair, and then click Add. At this point, the panel should start searching
for available Z-Wave devices, and it should find the lock. The first feature we’re going to talk about
is Location-Based Locking Reminders which is tied to Frontpoint’s geofencing abilities. If you drive away from home without locking
your door, Frontpoint will remind you. To set this up, open the Frontpoint app, click
on the notifications tab, click “+Add,” and then click “Lock Left Unlocked.” This menu allows you to set a specific duration
and also set a schedule, for example, only remind me on weekdays between 10 am and 5
pm. The second feature we’re going to talk about
is called One-Touch Remote Locking which sounds fancy but really just means that you can lock
and unlock the door using the app. And while the feature sounds simple, I did
run into a couple of challenges. Part of the issue is that I have door armor
installed which covers the locking mechanism. While secure, it makes it difficult to close
the door in a consistent way. At times, Frontpoint will say the door is
locked, even when it isn’t. If I check the history tab, I can see that
there was an issue locking the door, which I’m assuming is caused by my door armor. The second issue is that it’s slow. The lock responds quickly when I lock and
unlock it using the August app, but Frontpoint takes longer. In fact, several times it timed out without
doing anything at all. The final feature we’re going to talk about
is that integrating your August Smart Lock with your Frontpoint system will allow you
to add the lock into your Frontpoint scenes, which happens to be my favorite features. Scenes can be anything you want them to be. They are multi-step actions that you control
with one click. You might have a good morning scene, good
night scene, or sleep scene. For example, I’ve set this Sleep Scene to
arm my Frontpoint system to Stay and to lock the door. While I liked the lock, I liked using it with
the August app way more than I liked using it with the Frontpoint app. The Frontpoint app kind of slows things down
and makes things more confusing, and while I can see the value of Scenes, it wasn’t enough
to sway me. Moving on to the camera, I am not new to the Indoor Fixed Camera. I tested a previous version and wasn’t a fan,
but this one is promised to be new and improved so I decided to give it a try, and quickly
compare the two. The older camera offered a 720p resolution
where the newer version is Full HD 1080p. In addition to a higher resolution, the new
camera also offers digital zoom and has a slightly wider field of view. My biggest issue with the older camera is
that it lacked audio, while you could live stream, you couldn’t hear anything. The new camera has audio and two-way audio. While two-way audio sounds pretty good, audio
coming from the camera sounds pretty bad. There’s so much background noise that it sounds
like I live in an airport or maybe like I’m obsessed with vacuuming, neither of which
are true. Software wise there is zero difference between
the two cameras. You can record on-demand, view multiple video
streams at once, view saved videos, and even create a recording schedule. You can set the camera to record when there’s
an alarm, record when your lock reports activity, record during an entry delay, record every
time a sensor is opened or closed, and record when the system is armed or disarmed. The camera also has a motion sensor that you
can set to record when it detects activity. Digging in further, you can create a schedule
for your motion recordings and even set parameters like telling the camera that it shouldn’t
record when your system is disarmed. Cloud storage is also included with Frontpoint
offering 1,000 clips per month. If you find that the camera is recording too
many events, you can dig into your video settings and adjust sensitivity, even adjusting the
sensitivity assigned to a specific detection zone. While I can again see the value of tieing
a home security camera to your home security system, my recommendation is going to remain
that you go with Frontpoint’s Interactive plan and manage your smart home devices and
your home security cameras separately. If you decide to plow forward, I support you,
and the good news is that if you find it’s not for you, the August Smart Lock is not specific, so you can always manage that using the August app if you change your
mind. The bad news is, that the camera
is specific so if you buy the camera, you’re stuck using it with your
system. So what do you think? Convenience or performance, which do you prefer?

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6 Replies to “Should You Add an August Lock or a Camera to Your Frontpoint Security System?”

  1. Hello everyone! Let me know if you have any questions about the Ultimate Plan. My contract is up next month so I'll be swapping back to Interactive, but will have Ultimate until then.

  2. I have opened my installation and home automation business. I am trying to offer my customers the best products and services. I am recommending Google WiFi but like would love to know the new and best systems. Any ideas on how I can become a beta tester or partner?

  3. What about having the lock control my alarm panel for frontpoint. Eg: with my Schlag, I am not home and my alarm is on during away status. When I come home and from the outside enter the key to unlock my door, the alarm automatically disarms. I don't have to enter the key into the alarm panel to disarm. If the lock is unlocked, via keypad, alarm is disarmed. I was able to set up that rule. Can I set up rules in frontpoint with August so that if August unlocks door, then turn off alarm?

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