Protect America Security Review

Protect America has inexpensive equipment backed up by a lifetime warranty.
protect america logo - new
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Low equipment costs
Lifetime equipment warranty
36-month contract required

Protect America isn’t the fanciest home security system we’ve seen. It uses standard equipment, it requires a three-year contract, and its monitoring prices can be a little expensive (depending on which plan you choose).

That said, Protect America does have some perks. It builds your equipment cost into the monthly monitoring price, so you (probably) won’t have to pay anything up front. And it offers a lifetime warranty on its equipment, which we haven’t seen from many other companies.

If you want a basic security system that still has home automation options, then Protect America’s not a bad way to go. (It’s just not the best, either.)

 

Protect AmericaPrice rangeContractSmart home supportDetails
$19.99–$54.99/mo.36-month contractZ-Wave, Alexa, Google Assistant, Get a Quote

Data effective 11/22/2019. Offers subject to change.

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Security equipment

Protect America’s equipment comes from a huge company called Alarm.com. You can get the same Alarm.com devices with other security systems like Frontpoint, Link Interactive, Brinks, and more. So while Protect America doesn’t have the most unique equipment, it is reliable and pretty easy to use.

And unlike most other home security companies, Protect America has a lifetime equipment warranty. The warranty covers all defective security equipment or damage caused by intruders, but it won’t cover abuse from the customer, so don’t try to get new equipment by smashing your old stuff.

Start with the basics

Some people just want a standard home security system that covers the basics at an affordable cost. Protect America packages give you enough equipment to protect everything from a one-bedroom apartment to a six-bedroom house (or more).

Protect America’s home security starts off with the following basic items:

  • Control panel
  • Window and door access sensors
  • Motion detectors

Beyond that, you’re all set to add on smart home equipment like smart lights, locks, and thermostats. (Just make sure you choose a monitoring plan that supports home automation.)

What types of security equipment does Protect America have?

  • Door and window sensors
  • Motion detectors
  • Glass break detectors
  • Key fobs
  • August smart lock

Protect America control panels

Protect America uses a few different control panels, including the Simon XT, the Simon XTi, and the IQ Panel 2. The Simon XTi and the IQ Panel 2 are both touchscreens, which we prefer over classic button keypads.

The IQ Panel 2 also has extra features, like the ability to take a photo every time someone disarms the system (so you know it wasn’t an intruder who somehow snagged your code). The panel can send those photos straight to our hone so if someone other than you disarms the system, you know who it was.

Home automation

If you’re interested in adding smart home features to your home security system, Protect America can help you out. Home automation upgrades your ability to control your home from your phone. Protect America’s system works with Z-wave technology, which is one of the most common ways to link smart home devices together.

Protect America’s Z-Wave compatibility means you can expand your system with third-party smart home equipment. We like the idea of automatic deadbolts, smart lights, or smart thermostats.

Mobile control

Whether you want a total robot house that automates everything from lights to electrical outlets, or you just want to be able to close your garage door from your phone, home automation is a great feature. And Protect America works with a wide variety of devices through Z-Wave, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant integrations.

Imagine setting your home’s thermostat to the perfect temperature before leaving work, or automating your house lights to turn off 30 seconds after the kids take off for school. Those are the kinds of things home automation can do for you.

Protect America offers a mobile app that lets you control both your security system, and any smart home devices you use, from your smartphone.

You get all of your security commands, and you can get email and text notifications for triggered events. As usual, we like that the app allows us to be our lazy selves and turn on and off our lights while we stay cozy under the blankets on the couch.

In our experience, the app is about what we’ve come to expect—a  bit buggy. The notifications and arming/disarming worked for us, but some users complained about it. However, the app froze multiple times when we tried to connect to the livestream, which is something we’re hoping Protect America improves over time.

Security cameras

Protect America security camera features:

  • Two-way audio
  • Night vision (using infrared LEDs)
  • HD feed
  • 60-degree field of view

Protect America’s camera sets up quickly—you just plug them into the power supply and install them through the app. You access your live feed is through the interactive platform. You can access the recordings from anywhere with cloud storage.

The camera’s best feature is two-way audio, so you can talk to your family and hear back too. This is helpful for more than security issues. For instance, holler at your kids to check the fridge to see if you’re stocked up on berries or need to grab some more of those sweet treats.

The cameras shoot in 720p HD at 25 frames per second (fps). The 60-degree field of view is quite narrow, honestly. You should be mindful of your framing when placing it in the middle of the room. Always double-check to see if you’re seeing every part of the room you need to. The cameras also have night vision so you’re covered whether the lights are on or not.

With the cameras, you can livestream from iOS or Android smart devices.

Good news for those worried about hackers: Protect America uses 128-bit AES, which is “one of the most secure encryption methods used in most modern encryption algorithms and technologies. 128-bit encryption is considered to be logically unbreakable,”  according to Techopedia1. All of your incoming and outgoing data is encrypted, so until it reaches the security sensor, no one else can mess with it.

Customer experience

Protect America system ordering

Installation and activation are free with Protect America, and your included equipment is determined by your choice of the nine service plans.(Yes, nine. It’s a lot, we know.) Protect America also provides the following connection types for each service plan: landline, broadband, and cellular. All the plan types and differences can get a bit confusing.

Broadband and cellular cost the same price with Protect America, so we’d recommend cellular for a more reliable system with less risk of outside interference or internet disruption.

Differences between landline, broadband, and cellular security monitoring

Landline security systems use your phone line, which is cheaper than other options but also runs the risk of intruders cutting the line. Also, with landline plans, you can’t get home automation or video like you can with a broadband or cellular plan. You also don’t have smartphone control with landline plans.

A broadband connection uses an internet connection. It’s more reliable than a landline, but still runs the risk of your internet going out. You’ll notice that prices for broadband and cellular are the same, in which case we strongly recommend cellular. Cellular is the superior delivery method because it pings nearby cell towers and runs much less risk of outside interference.

Protect America returns and cancellation policy

If you want to cancel your Protect America system, you must do so within three days after signing up to get all of your money back. You can still cancel within 15 days to get out of your equipment and contractual costs but not your first month’s monitoring service costs.2

Protect America price match guarantee

If within 7 days of your purchase you end up finding a lower price for “the same amount of wireless home security systems” that Protect America offers, it will match the price.3

Protect America system installation

Since Protect America offers do-it-yourself (DIY) installation, you won’t have to pay for a technician to come out to your house. You also won’t have to pay activation fees, so up-front costs aren’t bad at all with this system.

Protect America’s installation instructions are clear enough on their own, but you won’t have to do it alone if you don’t want to. You’ll be guided by a professional over the phone, which eased our worries of messing it up or leaving the process incomplete. Most users report that it took less than an hour to install.

Protect America system incident procedure

Protect America has straightforward 24/7 professional monitoring. If an event is triggered then the security center responds by trying to contact you or other given numbers first, then determines the appropriate first responders to contact.

Protect America has “triple redundant monitoring stations” which means you’re protected not just by one center, but by three at any given time. Even if for some reason one monitoring station can’t connect to your system or there’s a communication cut off, the other two stations will receive the same information.

Pricing

If you’re trying to get home security started without spending a ton of money up front, Protect America is a good bet. Plans start as low as $19.99 a month for basic landline monitoring (windows and doors), and it can expand up depending on desired equipment and connection type (like broadband or cellular).

Protect America plans

  • Copper
    • Standard control panel
    • 3 door/window sensors
    • 1 motion detector
  • Silver
    • Standard control panel
    • 9 door/window sensors
    • 1 motion detector
  • Platinum
    • Standard control panel
    • 14 door/window sensors
    • 1 motion detector

Basically, with each upgrade, you get extra sensors. But bear in mind you must have a broadband or cellular plan to get smart home support and video access.

Pricing structure

PlanLandlineBroadbandCellularLearn More
Copper$19.99/mo.$41.99/mo.$41.99/mo.Get a Quote
Silver$37.99/mo.$49.99/mo.$49.99/mo.Get a Quote
Platinum$42.99/mo.$54.99/mo.$54.99/mo.Get a Quote

Data effective 11/22/2019. Offers subject to change.

Each type of plan (Copper, Silver, or Platinum) has the additional option of landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring. We think this is a bit overcomplicated, but to the company’s credit, this gives users a lot of options in a wide price range.

A few caveats: You must choose a broadband or cellular plan to get home automation and video features—and you must choose a Silver plan or higher to get a touchscreen control panel. Other than that, you pretty much get the same services from each level of plan—you just get more equipment with higher-level plans.

Contracts

Protect America contracts vs top competitors
ProviderContract lengthsNo contract option?Details
Protect America36 mos.NoGet a Quote
ADT36 mos. (24 mos. in California)NoGet a Quote
FrontpointNoneYesGet a Quote
VivintNone, 42 mos., or 60 mos.YesGet a Quote

Data effective 11/22/2019. Offers subject to change.

Protect America has a 36-month contract (three years), and it doesn’t offer month-to-month contracts until after you’ve completed your 36-month contract. If you choose to leave your contract prior to the end of the term, you’ll have to pay the remaining balance—including all of the equipment you got from the company for “free.”

The other option is a transfer option that allows you to shift ownership of the equipment and service contract to a qualified person. If you have a friend who’s moving into a new spot or someone who’s been thinking about getting their own security system, this could be a win for both of you.

Recap

protect america logo - new

Free equipment and no up-front fees make Protect America’s DIY system a decent pick for basic security, plus it supports video and home automation, too. Just because it’s DIY doesn’t mean it can’t be full-fledged: you can start basic and upgrade your system to include home automation and video surveillance later.

Aside from that, benefits we see in Protect America include the price match guarantee (which prevents buyer’s remorse) and the equipment lifetime guarantee, which ensures that as long as you’re a customer, you’ll get replacement equipment as necessary.

If you’re not convinced that Protect America is the right system for you, check out our review of the best home security systems on the market.

  • Protect America does basic security, home automation, and video surveillance.
  • Protect America uses phone line, broadband, or cellular service connections.
  • Protect America provides replacement equipment for life as long as you’re a customer.
  • Protect America does not charge installation or activation fees.
  • Protect America requires a 36-month contract.
  • Protect America requires cellular or broadband service for home automation and video.
  • Protect America’s app works for iOS and Android.
  • Protect America’s motion sensors are pet friendly up to 40 pounds.

FAQs

Why should I get a cellular system over a wired system?

Cellular is always recommended over landlines and cable because a smart intruder can potentially cut a wire to disable your system otherwise. We would say with Protect America, you should go cellular if it’s within your budget because you can expand to video surveillance, whereas you cannot with a landline. Broadband has video access as well.

Does Protect America do a credit check?

Yes.

What if my power goes out?

You’re fine. Your control panel will run off of battery life.

Can I check my Protect America alarm system remotely?

Yes, with the mobile app, you’ll be able to check on your status anywhere you have an internet signal.

Do I need to know how big my house is?

Not necessarily. If you don’t know which package to choose, you can call in for a phone consultation.

Does Protect America have a moving or relocation discount?

Since Protect America is a DIY installation, you can get a free moving kit, which makes it as easy as can be.

Is Protect America pet friendly?

Yes, Protect America has pet-immune motion sensors that won’t detect animals up to 40 pounds. You won’t get false alarms for your little buds running around. If you have pets over 40 pounds, consider opting for glass-break sensors instead of motion detectors.

Sources

  1. Techopedia, “128-Bit Encryption?
  2. Protect America, “Equipment Returns & Account Cancellation
  3. Protect America, “Terms & Conditions

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