At first glance, Guardian looks like other big box security companies: wired, complex contracts, and customer service grumbles. At second glance, you might notice that they’ve started to evolve by adding wireless security options and home automation. Though Guardian may be a little behind, they are making efforts to catch-up. I was eager to rank them against other home security providers.
Before you continue your research, you should make sure that Guardian provides coverage in your area. Though they claim “nationwide” coverage, they do have limited coverage and they exclude several major cities.
What is included in Guardian’s package offerings?
Guardian Protection does not offer pricing on their website, but I was able to get limited pricing information over the phone.
The basic package is for those wanting to monitor via a landline. The basic package starts at $29.95 per month. The second level package, called Essential, offers wireless monitoring and starts at $34.95 per month. The packages increase incrementally from there.
All packages include 24/7 monitoring via a UL listed monitoring station. The central monitoring station is Five Diamond rated and holds a Central Station of the Year award both from the Central Station Alarm Association (CSSAA). The CSSAA awards the honor to,
“[O]utstanding personnel that perform in the highest professional manner, thereby making a significant contribution to the betterment of the alarm industry and the alarm profession while demonstrating exceptional service to their customers and community.”
As good as this all sounds, Guardian states that they respond to alarm calls in 60 seconds or less on average. Let’s play a game for a moment… Similar to the game I mentioned on our ADT review. Start by taking a seat. Now pretend that someone is breaking into your home. Now count to 60. All of a sudden 60 seconds seems like a lifetime doesn’t it?
The below chart lays out the different monitoring plans offered by Guardian. For the most part, they are rather self-explanatory but some terms may look unfamiliar. For example, “Geo-Service” Guardian offers a geofencing service called “Geo-Service”. This is included on all packages except for the basic. The service puts a virtual fence around your home that will remind you to set your alarm if you leave the fenced area without doing so first.
Another unfamiliar term is “Always on Guard Tracking”. This service requires the purchase of an area of interest sensor. The sensors can monitor everything from doors to cabinets. If an event is detected, they will send a notification to you via text or email. These sensors enable notifications to occur even when your system is unarmed.
|Text / Email Alerts|
|Smash and Crash Protection|
|Live Look-in Security Cameras (Optional)|
|Motion Sensing Still Shot Security Cameras (optional)|
|Two-Way Voice Communication|
|Severe Weather Alert|
|Always On Guard Tracking|
|Warranty||90 Days||Life of Service||Life of Service||Life of Service||Life of Service|
|90 Days||Life of Service||Life of Service||Life of Service||Life of Service|
What equipment is included with Guardian Protection Packages?
All of the Guardian packages include a GE Simon XT Control Panel, 3 door/window sensors, and a motion detector.
You can add additional equipment, but they charge per piece. They offer a color touchscreen, motion sensor, key fob, carbon monoxide detector, medical pendant, heat communicator, smoke communicator, glass break detector, micro door/window sensor, low temperate sensor, pan and tilt camera, standard indoor camera, outdoor camera, and an area of interest sensor.
Keep in mind that sometimes equipment is required for service. For example, though they offer fire monitoring in all of their packages, you will need to purchase additional equipment that is compatible in order for this feature to work.
How Does Guardian Protection Deliver Video Surveillance?
Guardian offers four different camera models to customers. Their video surveillance service provides both text and email alerts to customers that can include images of video or still shots.
They offer a camera that can pan and tilt, a standard camera, infrared outdoor cameras with night vision, and a motion sensing image sensor.
What home automation options does Guardian offer?
Guardian Protection has branded their home automation offer emPower. They offer emPower lights, locks, and thermostat control. All of this is backed by a mobile app created by industry leader Alarm.com. This partnership is a great advantage for Guardian as the Alarm.com app is one of the highest rated home security apps. Alarm.com is currently on version 3.2.4 which is rated 3.5 stars on iTunes. The Guardian Protection Services powered by Alarm.com app has earned 4.6 stars on Google Play. Both stores use a 5-star rating system.
A Summary of Things to Think About
- Wired and Wireless Solutions
- A+ rating with the BBB & Angie’s List Super Service Award
- In order to get a true quote, Guardian requires an in-home evaluation from a sales rep. As Guardian outsources local work, I would be reluctant to allow their contractors into my home without an extensive background check.
- Though they have a presence on social media, they’ve disabled the review system on Facebook…
- Guardian lacks online tech support and self-help information.
- If you move before your contract expires, you may face a cancellation penalty.
- Limited nationwide coverage
- They were the only security company that didn’t respond to our questions sent via email during Secret Shopping. A sign of service to come? It’s possible.
- They do not offer a return policy yet they will require 100% balance payment of your 36 month contract if you try to cancel. Your only hope is the Federal Cooling Off Rule, which protects some homeowners who have signed a contact in their homes. This rule allows you to cancel within 3 days (if you qualify).