For basic monitored home security that trades out the frills for lower monthly rates, Protect America is a good choice.
You can get monitored home security from Protect America for less than most other security companies, and you won’t run into any hidden fees. You can even lock in your monthly rate so you don’t need to worry about unexpected increases.
But if you’re looking for extras like mobile access, smart home control, and fire and CO monitoring, you’ll have to pay up, which makes Protect America less budget-friendly.
Data effective 08/14/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
Protect America SAFE Packages
These packages come with the same connection options, installation types, and warranties as Protect America’s other package offerings. All packages also include the Simon XT Control Panel, one motion detector, five door and window sensors, battery backup, three window decals, and one yard sign.
Data effective 08/14/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
Affordable entry-level plans
Lifetime equipment warranty
Three monitoring options
No-contract options available
Take-over program available
Too many upgrades required
Big price jump for broadband or cellular monitoring
Steep termination fees
Protect America home security starts out at a lower price point than many other security companies, but you get what you pay for. The lowest-priced packages come with limited features and work only with a landline. Plus, all Protect America plans come with a long-term contract. But if all you need is basic home security, this is a good place to start.
Protect America has an entry-level plan that starts at $19.99 per month, which is one of the cheapest monitoring plans available from any home security company. But that price comes with limitations—it’s available only if you have a landline and there’s no video monitoring. And if you want fire and carbon monoxide alarms or mobile app access, you’ll need to upgrade.
All of Protect America’s plans require upgrades to get smoke detectors and carbon monoxide protection included. Those alarms are so important to home safety that we’d like to see this company add those to its lower-tier plans.
Security cameras, video monitoring, and mobile access also require a connection upgrade to broadband or cellular, which makes Protect America’s prices much higher than they first appear.
Contracts and Guarantees
This is one of the only security companies we’ve found that offers a lifetime guarantee on equipment. All you need to do if something breaks down or stops working properly is give Protect America a call, and faulty items will be swapped out for new ones. Plus, Protect America locks in your monthly rate at the time of signing for as long as you’re a customer. But if you interrupt your service for any reason, you risk losing that price.
Protect America requires you to sign a 36-month contract, which is standard in the industry but a big commitment for customers. And if you opt out of your contract early, you’ll be stuck paying the full balance left on the remainder of your contract. But the company gives you 15 days to try out the system risk-free.
Protect America Tech and Equipment
Protect America’s equipment is made by GE, which means you can count on both high quality and function. Plus all equipment—from motion detectors to window sensors—comes with a lifetime warranty, so you won’t have to worry about shelling out extra cash if a component stops working. Protect America also offers all the latest technical advances, but you need to upgrade to get them.
All Protect America home security equipment is 100% wireless, which means no drilling into walls or tapping into your home’s electrical system to install your control panel and other components. It also makes it easy to move with your security system, whether you’re a homeowner or a renter. (Note that landline plans may require some drilling to tap into a phone line, but all the equipment is still wireless.)
You can choose from landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring. It’s these choices that let Protect America offer a low-priced starter plan. Monitoring that uses a landline is less expensive, but it also comes with some technical and security limitations (like wires that can be cut). If you live in a remote area with limited internet and cell service, landline monitoring is your best option. But for access to all the perks, you need a broadband or cellular plan.
Protect America Equipment
HD wireless video camera
Touchscreen control panel
Door and window sensor
Important Things to Know about Protect America Features and Equipment
Protect America offers GPS tracking—a perk that isn’t always available from home security companies. Protect America’s GPS tracking extends your alarm system to your car. You can track and find your vehicle in real time, and if you have teen drivers in the home, you’ll get instant alerts if they’re speeding.
It’s great to have lower monthly monitoring fees, but Protect America skimps on the equipment and features included in its packages. You have to pay for add-ons or upgrade to one of its SAFE packages if you want smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring, security cameras, smart locks, mobile access and alerts, or video monitoring. While this is standard practice in the home security arena, Protect America’s package setup is restrictive and can be confusing at first glance.
Protect America Smart Home Features
Protect America offers home automation, but you need to upgrade to get it. Its equipment is compatible with Z-Wave devices and works with several smart home brands like Amazon, August, and Google. Plus, the company has a lot of smart home additions planned throughout 2019.
If you love voice control, then you’ll be glad to know that Protect America works with Alexa—and you even get an Echo Dot included with two of the SAFE package options.
With an Amazon Echo device, you can add the Protect America skillto enable voice control over any Z-Wave devices that are part of your home security system. You can also arm or disarm the system with the sound of your voice.
Because Z-Wave technology is one of the most popular home automation protocols, Protect America home security is compatible with a wide array of smart devices. You can add things like smart locks, smart outlets, and smart lightbulbs. Best of all, if a smart product (like a thermostat) doesn’t come with your security package, you should be able to add it as long as it uses Z-Wave.
It’s not uncommon for security companies to save home automation for top-tier packages, so Protect America isn’t doing anything unusual. But we’d like to see a smaller jump from landline prices to broadband. Right now you’ll pay almost double if you upgrade from the Copper Plan.
Protect America hasn’t always had rave reviews in regard to customer service—the company has just two stars on Yelp. But Protect America does appear to make changes based on customer feedback, which we know is valuable to our readers.
This security company has a number of policies that do right by customers. In addition to its lifetime equipment warranty and locked-in monthly rates, Protect America also offers a 15-day money-back guarantee. Committing to a three-year contract is tough, so it’s nice that Protect America gives customers a month to test out the system before they’re locked in.
“When I called Protect America last year, they were so helpful! They were able to make recommendations and swap things out in the preset packages to meet my needs. I was impressed that they didn’t charge extra for that.”—Celeste, Protect America tester
What We’ve Heard from Protect America Customers
Whether it’s responding to a customer service request or a triggered alarm, SafeWise readers laud how quickly Protect America gets things taken care of. Our user-generated Protect America reviews also note customer service reps who are patient, friendly, and helpful.
One of the biggest complaints we’ve seen from customers is about high-pressure salespeople that seem willing to say whatever is needed to seal the deal. Although we haven’t personally experienced this, there’s enough buzz around this topic that we wanted to address it. We’d like to see Protect America apply the same customer-first approach to sales as it does to many of its policies.
Protect America Installation
This home security company offers a simple DIY setup that features guided installation. The whole process will take you about an hour, but other than a little bit of time, it won’t cost you anything extra.
All Protect America equipment comes preprogrammed to make the installation process quick and simple. Motion sensors, window sensors, and door sensors use wall-friendly adhesive for installation, so all you have to do is peel and stick. The control panel can either be affixed to the wall or used on a desk or table for more portable control.
Data effective 08/14/2019. Offers and availability subject to change. *No-contract options available with up-front equipment purchase.
If you want to shop around a bit more before committing to a home security system, we’ve got some more articles and comparisons to help you find the best protection for you. Check out the Protect America reviews below to see how this DIY security company stands up to its competitors.
Protect America is one of the most affordable home security companies. Because it utilizes a landline connection for entry-level plans, it’s easier to keep costs low. We calculated the total cost (minus taxes and fees) of a three-year contract based on Protect America’s $19.99 per month Copper Plan. Over the lifetime of the contract, the cost works out to less than $5 per week. Because the average loss from a break-in is around $2,300, we think that price is definitely worth it to thwart a burglar.
What’s the difference between landline, broadband, and cellular?
Landline connections use a hardwired phone line to connect your home security system to the monitoring center. This is the oldest and most affordable connection available. The biggest weakness of a landline connection is the possibility of a criminal cutting the line to disable the system.
Broadband connections use the internet to connect to a monitoring center. These connections are faster but come with a higher price tag. There is less likelihood of tampering with a broadband connection, but there are still wires involved (your Wi-Fi router) and hacking could be another potential threat.
Cellular connections are considered the most reliable and tamper-proof. They use a cellular uplink and cell towers to communicate with the monitoring center. These connections remain in place if the internet goes down, and there’s no risk of wires being cut. But again, you’ll pay more for a cellular connection.
Does Protect America home security work for renters?
Yes. Because Protect America’s control panel and other equipment is 100% wireless, you can install it in an apartment without causing any damage to the walls. The only downside is the three-year contract, which means if you move to a new apartment, you’ll need to uninstall the system and reinstall it in your new place.
What happens if I cancel my contract early?
Protect America requires you to pay 100% of the remaining balance on your contract if you cancel early.
Do I own my Protect America equipment?
With Protect America, you own the equipment from day one. The equipment cost is included in your monthly monitoring service fee, so you don’t need to come up with a big chunk of change up front.
The Bottom Line
If you want basic home security that won’t break the bank, Protect America is a logical choice. This company offers some of the lowest monthly monitoring rates out there, but those rates are just for landline connections. If you go with the most affordable plan, you won’t have access to the mobile app, home automation, video monitoring, or fire and CO protection.
Affordable monthly rates for landline connection
Lifetime equipment guarantee
30-day money-back guarantee
No rate increases
Big price jump for broadband or cellular monitoring
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more