Protection 1 Home SecurityBy - 12/02/2016
Our Overall Rating
The Bottom Line
Protection 1 Equipment & Protection
Protection 1 gets an applause right off the bat. They are open with their pricing and package options – something not all security companies choose to do.
They start with a basic package called Secure. Secure offers 24/7 monitoring and protection from intruders using door contact sensors, motion detectors, a yard sign and window stickers. The package also includes protection from fire, carbon monoxide, and floods – though the equipment needed to activate these features is sold separately.
Though Secure may be the cheapest, they recommend Smart Control and claim that it is their most popular plan. This package includes full home automation, mobile app access, and the ability to take snapshots of events using the 2gig image sensor. At $49.99 per month, the package is competitively priced. The only downside is equipment cost. All of their monitoring plans include the same base equipment package and the cost can quickly escalate as you build out your home security system.
|Return Period||14 Days||14 Days||30 Day Risk Free Trial||14 Days||14 Days|
|Price per month||$34.99||$44.99||$49.99||$49.99||$54.99|
|Mobile App Access and Control|
|Installation||Self or Pro ($99)||Self or Pro ($99)||Self||Self or Pro ($99)||Self or Pro ($199)|
|Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Water Protection|
|Extra Equipment||1 Extra Door/Window Sensor||Image Sensor||Indoor Night Vision Camera Included, Image Sensor|
|Energy & Home Automation|
|Contract Length||36 Months||36 Months||36 Months||36 Months||36 Months|
|24/7 Monitoring for Intrusions|
Home Security Equipment
Like many of our top companies, Protection 1 uses wireless technology. In fact, they use the same wireless technology as our number two pick, Link Home Security. Like Link, they use wireless 2GIG equipment. The equipment can be used as an AIO system that supports home security and home management. The control panel communicates with all devices. And though the packages include some equipment, you can add more, if you are willing to pay.
- Touch Screen Control Panel – Included
- Window and Door Alarms – 3 Included
- Motion Detector – 1 Included
- Image Sensor – Included with Smart Control & Video
- Smart Thermostats
- Electronic Door Locks
- Smart Lighting
- Indoor Night Vision Camera – Included with Video
- Wireless Smoke Detectors
- Carbon Monoxide Sensors
- Extreme Heat Detectors
- Water Alarms
- Outdoor Camera
- Indoor Pan & Tilt Camera
Of course, that’s just the basics. They also have an emergency button, fire fighter, freeze sensor, appliance controller, wireless doorbell, and more. It’s safe to say that they have everything you need to protect your property.
Protection 1’s wireless equipment is designed for self-installation. However, if you don’t feel comfortable, they do offer professional installation. The cost of installation will depend upon what equipment you purchase. With the included equipment, it may be as low as $99, but will quickly increase if you choose to add home security cameras and smart home devices.
Another added cost is equipment protection. While they will offer free troubleshooting over the phone over the life of your contract, not everything can be resolved over the phone. If that’s the case, be prepared to either buy new equipment or pay for a service plan. While Protection 1 is rather secretive about the cost of add-on equipment, users claim extra equipment is expensive. The alternative to outright replacing broken equipment is paying an extra $11 per month for warranty service.
Case in point, Andrew’s Yelp review. While I’m not sure that I’m buying that a Key FOB would cost $150, Yelper Andrew E was certainly under the impression that this was the case. If this is true, Protection 1 is charging 5x what most companies charge for the same device.
- 24/7 Monitoring for Burglaries and Fires
- Wireless Monitoring
- Touch Screen Control Panel
- Two-way voice
- Fire Monitoring Services
Protection 1 for Home Automation
Protection 1 offers complete wireless solutions with remote control supported by a smart system powered by Alarm.com. Alarm.com has one of the highest rated mobile apps and they’ve created apps for multiple device types. They support iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, Apple Watch, Pebble, and even the Kindle Fire.
Using the app, you can control your system and home automation devices, provided you have the right package with Protection 1. Through the app, you can remote arm and disarm your system, control locks, watch live footage, control lights, and control the temperature in your home. This level of home automation is included in SmartControl for $49.99 per month, but bumping up to Video ($54.99) will add also add video.
All of Protection 1’s home automation features are backed by Geo-Services. Geo-Services, like geo-fencing, create smarter rules for home automation that can be used to automatically adjust home lighting, your HVAC, or other accessories based upon your location or rather the location of your smartphone. For example, you can have your thermostat adjust to the perfect temperature when you are within 500 feet of your home or you can setup a mobile alert to remind you to arm your alarm if you’ve left the house without doing so.
Home Security Cameras
If you want to have eyes on the back of your head, you have two options.
- SmartControl Image Sensors
The Alarm.com image sensor is essentially a motion sensor with an integrated camera. The camera’s resolution is low, and it cannot take videos, only snapshots. However, as this is an option with SmartControl, you can save money every month while still having a peek at events. With the image sensor, there isn’t an option to live stream, only the option to check out snapshots taken of security events.
If you want true video surveillance, the only option is to subscribe to the Video plan. This plan includes an indoor night vision camera. The indoor camera offers a 720p resolution, but it’s static. If you want to be able to pan around your house, you need the indoor pan & tilt camera. If you want to expand your coverage, they also sell an outdoor home security camera. Highlights of Protection 1’s video surveillance solution include:
- Live Streaming from Anywhere via Mobile App
- Wireless Encryption
- Event Based Video Notifications
- Built-in Motion Detection
- 100 MB of Video storage
- Up to 6 Camera
One interesting thing to note is that Protection 1 only offers video storage for clips. There is no way to record continuously or to record longer video clips. While this isn’t a huge deal, it is something to be aware of.
In the same category, but not totally related, is doorbell automation. This is not to be confused with a doorbell camera. With the purchase of a wireless doorbell, you can connect doorbell events to your security system. You can set up text alerts or even email alerts to let you know when someone rings your doorbell. For added security, you can tie events to a home security camera. As the doorbell lacks a camera, your home security cameras can fill in the blanks by providing you a picture of your visitor. Want to take it all the way? Tie in an automated lock system to unlock the door if the visitor is someone you were expecting. Pretty cool, right?
- Video Surveillance
- Remote Arm/Disarm
- Lock/Unlock Doors
- Text and Email Notifications
- Garage Door Automation
Protection 1 Customer Service & Support
I think some readers will be surprised that we rated Protection One low on customer support. They have a lot of things going for them like an A+ rating with the BBB that they’ve held for as long as I’ve been doing reviews. They also have a 2014 SSI installer of the year award and an award from SDM. However, we feel that these awards come from Protection 1’s focus on business accounts. In fact, right on their website it says,
“We Provide a Higher Level of Service to Business Customers”.
Business customers get their own phone number and own level of support, and this significantly contributes to the awards and ratings. On the other hand, many of their home security customers claim that they experience difficulty with Protection 1.
Homeowners who want to do business with Protection 1 home security must sign a 36-month agreement. You do have 14 days to try the system and to cancel the contract less a $79 re-stocking fee. This is a shorter trial period than our top companies provide, but longer than others like ADT.
Protection 1 has an offer that they target at renters as well. Renters have the option to purchase the self-install or DIY system. Unlike homeowners, renters are asked to sign a longer 60-month agreement. In fact, if you call ADT and mention you rent, you might find yourself talking to Protection. As of February 2016, the two companies are one and the same post acquisition. ADT will default to Protection 1 if you’re a renter, transferring you over to to the other company, sometimes without warning and without explanation.
My final word of caution is that Protection 1 isn’t as lenient as other companies should you ever need to relocate. As the system is wireless, it should be as simple as packing up the system and installing it in your new home. However, they’ve added some fine print to their moving policy that makes it seem as though it isn’t so cut and dry. On their website, they promise that when you move, they move. However, the fine print reads,
Offer applies to current Protection 1 customers who have already fulfilled their initial contract terms and have been in good standing at the previous address for a minimum of one year. The customer must own the property they are moving to and sign a three-year monitoring contract at the new location.
What’s the verdict on moving with Protection 1? TBD.
All-in-all, Protection 1 has a lot of things going for them, but they fall apart when it comes to creating policies that are clear and 100% in favor of their customers.
- 14 Day Return Period
- Works for Renters and Homeowners
- 36 – 60 Month Contracts
- A+ Rating with the BBB