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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 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 its included high-end equipment – but if you are considering a home upgrade in the next three years, be prepared to buy additional equipment or pay a hefty cancellation fee.

Protect America does not require you to pay for both equipment and home security monitoring services. Instead, the company supplies your basic equipment free of charge to get you 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.

While early-termination fees are common among home security companies, Protect America's cancellation fee is the highest: 100 percent of what you owe the company across your three-year contract.

The contract terms and fees are average for services we reviewed. Protect America charges $41.99 for cellular or internet monitoring on its most affordable plan. Service includes a mobile app, which allows for remote system control, home automation features and, for an added fee, live security camera streams. If you forgo a mobile connection and opt to use a landline instead, the monthly monitoring cost drops to $19.99.

Protect America suggests homeowners self-install the security system using its included instructions, which are simple and straightforward even for novice users. During business hours, you can call, email or live chat Protect America’s team of technical support agents who can guide you through the installation process. The company can send a certified installer to your home, but this adds to the cost of your system.

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. If you spend extra, you can customize the basic package to cover all your needs.

If a device malfunctions, customer support can help you determine whether to reset or replace it. If you need a replacement device, Protect America ships it immediately. Like other DIY alarm providers, such as LifeShield and Frontpoint, the company does not offer in-home repair or service calls. If a device breaks, you need to order and install a replacement. As part of a lifetime warranty, Protect America replaces any equipment that goes bad while you are under contract.

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