Both LiveWatch and Protect America rank on our list of the the top security systems. Protect America sets itself apart from competition through its equipment warranty, and LiveWatch is known for its excellent response times. When it comes to picking just one company, though, we have to go with Protect America over LiveWatch. Read on to find out why.
While LiveWatch and Protect America both offer professional monitoring services, there are some areas where the two distinguish themselves.
LiveWatch’s ASAPer feature
Every LiveWatch monitoring plan except the basic includes a system called ASAPer, short for “as soon as possible emergency response.” This system will contact you, as well as everyone else you program into your emergency contact list, via whatever method you’ve chosen (text, phone call, or email). LiveWatch claims that traditional systems, once triggered, can take as long as five minutes to contact you, but the ASAPer system will contact you and your list within 30 seconds.
Protect America’s lifetime equipment warranty
Protect America offers a lifetime warranty on all of your security equipment for as long as you’re a customer. This is a great perk, as many companies limit their warranties to just two or three years; with Protect America, you can have equipment replaced at no charge if it becomes defective sometime down the line.
We often tout LiveWatch for its contract terms, especially because the contract is only 12 months and can be cancelled at any time without penalty. In fact, if you bought equipment, LiveWatch will refund its full cost. The ease of cancellation is certainly unusual given the way the rest of the home security industry operates, but it’s a welcome change.
In stark contrast to LiveWatch, Protect America only offers a 36-month contract, and customers only have 14 days from the date the equipment was shipped to return it. If you don’t return it within that time, you’re locked into the contract. Even if you return the equipment, you’re required to pay a $79 restocking fee. Protect America also requires the full remaining balance of a contract be paid if you cancel. However, the company offers EasyMove moving kits for customers who relocate during their contract.
When it comes to a contract-to-contract comparison, LiveWatch is the clear winner. A cancel-anytime, full-refund contract is rare in the home security industry.
LiveWatch offers two basic equipment packages to choose from, starting with its control panels: Plug&Protect Basic, and Plug&Protect IQ 2.0. Both panels support the same sensors, but we encourage you to choose the Plug&Protect IQ 2.0. It uses a 7-inch touchscreen smart panel instead of physical buttons, and it includes a built-in camera—a useful security feature missing from Plug&Protect Basic.
Protect America also offers two control panels, the Simon XT and the Simon XTi. The primary difference between the two is touchscreen capability: the Simon XTi is touchscreen-only, without traditional buttons. However, the Simon XT has more options for expansion and greater functionality, like the ability to record 100 separate events with a time and date stamp.
Protect America requires no upfront costs but has a unique (and sometimes hard-to-understand) approach to pricing. Protect America’s equipment comes in five different packages: Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The difference between these packages is the number of sensors included and the price. The monitoring options are the same, depending on the monitoring package you select.
|Control Panel||Simon XT||Simon XT||Simon XT||Simon XT||Simon XT|
|Number of door/window sensors||3||6||9||11||14|
|Number of motion detectors||1||1||1||1||1|
|Number of window decals||3||3||3||3||3|
|Number of yard signs||1||1||1||1||1|
|Simon XT||Simon XT||Simon XT||Simon XT||Simon XT|
Pricing and monitoring plans
LiveWatch offers four different monitoring plans, while Protect America offers three. All of Protect America’s monitoring plans are the same; the difference comes from their equipment packages. The listed price in the table below is for the most basic level of monitoring.
|Plan Name||All Plans||Basic||Mobile Pro||Total Home||Total Home + Video|
|Landline price/ broadband or cellular||$19.99/$41.99||$29.99||$34.99||$39.99||$49.99|
|Mobile app control|
|All Plans||Basic||Mobile Pro||Total Home||Total Home + Video|
Based purely on customer reviews, both LiveWatch and Protect America have excellent customer service. Several Protect America reviews specifically mention customer service agents by name, and multiple others speak to the efficiency of the sales reps. Protect America also responded to several of the reviews and offered alternative solutions if the problem still hadn’t been resolved.
LiveWatch had multiple reviews that mentioned how helpful the customer service team was during the installation process. The reviews were mostly positive, but the percentage of positive reviews is lower than Protect America. When it comes to customer service, Protect America wins, but with a slight edge.
Both LiveWatch and Protect America offer peel-and-stick DIY installation. Both systems can be installed in under an hour, and if difficulties arise, the customer service teams are only a call away. As mentioned in the customer service section above, both companies excel in helping customers with the installation process.
When you consider contract lengths and the advanced monitoring features that come with LiveWatch, it is a strong contender. However, when it comes to low upfront costs, customer service, and equipment warranties, Protect America comes out on top. It ranks well in our Best Security Systems comparison and for good reason: providing consistently excellent service and options – especially their lifetime equipment warranty – which is essential when making the investment in a security system to protect your home.