PROS / The free, basic security equipment makes it easy to get started.
CONS / If you cancel your contract, the company requires you to pay 100 percent of what you still owe.
VERDICT / Protect America offers solid security equipment and charges affordable fees for your home security system.
Protect America does not require you to pay for both equipment and home security monitoring services. Instead, the company gives you your basic equipment free of charge to help you get started, though you still pay for monitoring services. Granted, you have to purchase any additional equipment you might want, but the low upfront cost can save you hundreds. This is one of the main reasons why Protect America is our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner.
Fees & Policies
While early-termination fees are common among home security companies, Protect America's cancellation fee is one of the highest: 100 percent of what you owe the company across your three-year contract. Protect America balances out these fees by offering a competitive monthly monitoring price and does not require a down payment on equipment like most other companies do. It also can save you money by giving you free, basic equipment to start and the option to buy more if you want. In all, the contract terms and fees are average for services in our review. A reduced monthly monitoring fee is available if you choose a landline connection.
Protect America's home security alarm monitoring comes in a wide variety of connection types, including broadband internet, cellular antenna and two-way voice landline. Depending on which connection you choose, Protect America's monitoring service also includes a mobile app, which gives you access to remote system control, home automation features and live security camera streams. The video service requires an additional fee.
Even with the best home security companies, there is a short delay between an alarm and when the signal goes to the monitoring station. This delay allows you time to deactivate the system after normal use or an accidental alarm. After the delay, you receive a phone call from the monitoring station to verify that you need help. If you do not answer or provide the incorrect password, the monitoring station sends the police.
With the two-way voice system, you have an intercom that connects you directly to the home security monitoring station, which precludes the need for the monitoring station to call you. When your alarm goes off, the intercom activates automatically and allows you to call out for help.
Installation & Support
You install all devices from Protect America yourself. However, the security system's design and included installation instructions make it easy to install, even for novice users. The company can send a certified installer to your home, but this adds to the cost of your system. You can reach the Protect America support team via email, phone or live chat during regular office hours. The team of technical support agents can guide you through any process you do not understand.
Protect America's most basic package includes a control panel, three door or window sensors, one motion detector, three window decals, and a yard sign. The most comprehensive package includes a control panel, 14 door and window sensors, one motion sensor, three window decals, and a yard sign.
You can customize any of the basic packages. Protect America offers a full set of wireless security devices to cover all your needs. Through its site, you can find other devices like glass-break detectors, security cameras, garage door sensors, sirens and personal security devices. Protect America also offers pet-immune sensors that keep pets under 40 pounds from setting off alarms as they wander through your home.
If one of your devices malfunctions, customer support can help you determine whether to reset it or replace it. If you need a replacement device, Protect America ships it immediately. Like other DIY alarm providers, Protect America does not offer in-home repair or service calls. If a device breaks, you need to order and install a replacement. Protect America replaces any equipment that goes bad while you are under contract.
Protect America sells great devices and provides superb home security monitoring services. The lack of professional installers can be a deal breaker for some, but the simplicity of modern systems makes self-installation increasingly easy. The best thing about Protect America is the low upfront cost and free high-end equipment, although you may eventually want to buy additional equipment or pay a hefty cancellation fee.