Guardian Security ReviewBy - 09/26/2018
Total Score: 6.85 / 10
A+ Rating with the BBB and Alarm.com Backing
Limited Nationwide Coverage and Unfriendly Policies
The Bottom Line
Guardian has done a lot of things right, but why not make policies that ensure customer satisfaction?
Guardian Protection & Equipment
Guardian Protection Services is a home security company that provides service to more than 250,000 residential and commercial customers. They hold the 2015 Central Station of the Year Award presented by the Central Station Alarm Association, and they were SDM’s Security Company of the Year in both 2013 and 1999 (Guardian was the first company in history to win the award twice). But is that enough?
Guardian Security offers a variety of different packages to best suit your specific needs. Of course, the more you pay, the more you get. And with Guardian, you get more equipment and more service with the more expensive packages.
The basic package is called Guardian Essential. This package includes wireless and cellular service, 24/7 monitoring (fire and burglary), access to their free mobile app, their basic touchscreen control panel, and limited lifetime system repair. Including mobile app access and lifetime system repair in a base package is something that sets Guardian apart from other home security companies who consider these features to be “upgrades.” The next package is called Guardian Control, which adds home automation and their premium IQ2 panel to the mix. Security cameras can also be added on for an additional monitoring cost.
|Wireless & Cellular|
|Free Mobile App|
|Smart Home Service|
|Limited Lifetime System Repair|
|Control Panel||Basic Touchscreen||IQ2 Panel|
|Motion Sensors||1 Included||1 Included|
|Door/Window Sensors||3 Included||3 Included|
|Image Sensor||0 Included||0 Included|
|Indoor Wi-Fi Cameras w/ Night Vision (QTY 2)||0 Included||0 Included|
|Other Equipment||0 Included||0 Included|
|Return Period||3 Day||3 Day|
|Contract Length||36-60 Months||36-60 Months|
Guardian Home Security Equipment
Of course, you can expand your coverage by buying additional pieces of equipment. The downside is that professional installation is required, so it’s best to decide up front what devices you need to protect your home. In general, Guardian home security offers everything you need to protect your home, and it all starts with a control panel.
As mentioned in the chart above, there are multiple control panels. Both have a built-in keypad, control all of your connected devices (security and home automation), and they include a one-touch emergency response system. If you prefer, you can even add a secondary keypad, which has everything the main control panel has. The premium IQ2 panel also offers a slimmer design with a built-in camera and glass break detector which sets it apart from the basic touchscreen panel.
Regardless of the control panel you choose, its primary job is to speak to your other devices. You can upgrade your system to include security cameras, a streaming recorder, CO detector, glass break detector, remote key fob, medical pendant, door & window sensor, smart sensor, low temperature sensor (freeze sensor), image sensor, heat detector, smoke detector, motion sensor, smart thermostat, light control module, keyless entry door lock, and a garage door controller. Some of the devices may sound the same, but the difference is in the details. For example, a door and window sensor looks just like a smart sensor. The difference is that a door and window sensor is made for a door or a window and can trigger your alarm if opened when armed where a smart sensor can be installed on other doors like gun safes or medicine cabinets and only trigger a notification when opened.
Highlights of Guardian’s monitoring and equipment include:
- Professional Installation
- 24/7 Monitoring
- Cellular and Wireless Monitoring
- Battery Backup.
Guardian Home Automation
Guardian offers full home automation, and it is all controlled through your control panel, mobile app, or via their web portal. Using the Light Modules, you can use your mobile app to turn your lights on or off remotely. You can also create schedules or rules. For example, you can have your lights cut on every day at 8 pm and off at midnight. Using the Smart Thermostat, you can remotely control your home’s temperature. You can have your home set to reach the perfect temperature before you arrive home from work or set up text alerts to let you know if your home’s temperature spikes high or low. The lights and smart thermostat can also tie into Guardian’s energy management solution. The solution can be used to help you save energy by using preset templates designed to reduce energy waste and lower your energy bill.
Finally, Guardian Home Security includes weather alerts and geo-services. With geo-services you can set up events based on your location, assuming that you have your smartphone in hand. For example, you can set up a reminder to prompt you to arm your security system if you drive away from home without doing so.
Of course, you can also choose a home security camera or an image sensor depending on which package you choose.
Home Security Cameras
Guardian has three Alarm.com home security cameras: indoor, outdoor, and indoor pan-and-tilt. Using the mobile app or web portal, you can check-in on things at any time. Or, you can program the cameras to record clips based on event. You can also set them to send text or email notifications to let you know when a new clip is available.
On the reverse side, it’s important to note that though the cameras can tie into your other sensors, they are self-monitored. For example, if your alarm is on and someone breaks through the front door, your camera will start recording. Guardian will be notified that the front door was breached, but they will not receive a notification of anything your camera captured. Same goes for your outdoor camera. If your outdoor camera captures an event, only you will know, and you will be responsible for responding. Finally, the cameras require WiFi, the only exception here being the Image Sensor Plus which uses a cellular signal.
Indoor Security Camera With Night Vision
Alarm.com’s new indoor security camera offers a 1080p FHD resolution. It provides night vision and can see up to 20 feet at night. The downside to this camera is that it cannot pan or tilt, so you have to place it an area you want to be monitored.
Indoor Pan-and-Tilt Security Camera
The Indoor Pan-and-Tilt Camera solves the stagnant problem by adding a pan and tilt features. The camera can rotate a full 35-degrees.
Outdoor Security Camera with Night Vision
The outdoor camera also records in 1080p FHD. The difference is that the camera is weatherproof and can see up to 40 feet at night
Streaming Video Recorder
One unique feature offered by Guardian is the Streaming Video Recorder or SVR. This device provides a hybrid between local and cloud storage, which is rare in the home security field as most providers offer cloud only. The SVR supports a total of four cameras, which can be a combination of indoor and outdoor. It stores up to 1 terabyte of recorded video. You can have it record based on an event, or you can set it to capture continuous footage. The device is also able to speak to the Guardian app so that you can view recorded video locally or remotely.
If you don’t have high-speed internet, the image sensor is your only option. The image sensor is a cross between a security camera and a motion sensor. If it detects motion, it takes a picture, not a video. The picture is then sent to you via text or email. To help reduce false alarms, it does include pet immunity for pets under 40 pounds. If you plan to use a motion sensor, an image sensor is something to consider as it is triggered just like a motion sensor but also provides visual verification of events.
Smart Doorbells and Voice Control
Guardian’s partnership with Alarm.com also opens the door to third-party integrations. Perhaps the most useful, from a home security perspective, is the integration with the SkyBell Smart Video Doorbell. When someone rings your doorbell, this device will send a notification to your phone. From the app, you can view a live feed and even talk to your guest. If it’s someone you recognize, you can unlock the door for them using the smart app.
Second, there is an Alarm.com skill for Amazon Alexa-enabled devices including Amazon Echo and Dot. Using your Alexa device, you can arm your security system, lock your door, or even turn on your lights using your voice.
Second, there is an Alarm.com skill for Google Home users which also enables voice control.
Finally, you can pair your August Smart Lock Pro with your Alarm.com system.
Highlights of Guardian’s Smart Home Offer:
- Cameras Can Record Footage Locally
- App can be accessed using an iOS device, Android, Blackberry, Windows Device, Pebble, Kindle Fire, or Apple Watch
- Automate Lights, Locks, & Temperature
Customer Service & Support
Guardian has a few customer friendly policies, but they dilute them with fine print. For example, they have a home relocation guarantee, which is awesome, but you will only qualify if you’ve lived in your home for more than a year. Even then, the offer is limited to a free base Guardian system and a 25% discount on additional devices if you sign a new 60-month agreement. Not only does this policy have several ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, but 60-months is a long agreement, far longer than the industry standard 36-months. Also, your new agreement will be at the new prevailing rate. So if Guardian has decided to change their packages or increase your service fees, be prepared to pay more. Finally, you can’t take any of your existing equipment with you. So if you’ve outfitted your current home with lots of upgrades, you will be expected to repurchase those same devices for your new home at a 25% discount.
On a positive note, Guardian offers phone-based customer support that runs weekdays from 6 am until 12 am and on the weekends from 7 am until 12 am EST. They also provide a customer care login where you can pay your bills, test out your system, etc., and they hold a not too shabby A+ rating with the BBB.
One final warning, Guardian is not nationwide. Guardian covers the areas below. A Guardian authorized dealer may cover areas outside of those marked below. Make sure you determine if service is available at your home address before investing too much time into your research.
A summary of Guardian’s Customer Support Features:
- 36-60 Month Contract
- A+ Rating with the BBB
- 3 Day Return Period and Auto-Renew Policy
- Not Nationwide