Pros and Cons
- 24/7 Monitoring
- Lifetime Equipment Warranty
- Low, Locked-in Rates
- Price Match Guarantee
- DIY Installation
- No Equipment Fees
- Cell, Landline, and Broadband
- Smartphone Control
- Home Automation
- Wireless Equipment
- 14-Day Trial
- Live & Recorded Video Monitoring
- Lengthy 36-Month Contract
- Pricy Cancellation Fee
- Cellular & Broadband Monitoring Costs More
- Landline is Limited (unless you pay more)
Protect America is one of the few providers offering a choice of cellular, landline, or broadband monitoring services. Depending on your plan, monthly monitoring costs range from $19.99 to $54.99 per month and locked-in as long as you are under contract. If you find a better deal, Protect America offers lowest price match.
Equipment is free of charge and comes with a lifetime warranty as long as you pay for services. DIY installation of wireless equipment is simple, eliminates installation and activation fees, and is easy to take if you move to a new home — perfect for homeowners and renters alike.
With a 36-month contract, it’s best for those with longer term security needs of three years or more. It carries a pricy cancellation fee (100% of the remaining balance of your contract), Protect America isn’t for those looking for month-to-month security services.
Moreover, not all plans are created equal: cellular and broadband monitoring costs more (but offer more features and services) while landline monitoring is cheaper but does not include video monitoring, mobile app access, or home automation.
The Bottom Line
Protect America is a high-quality, cost-effective option for renters or homeowners looking for longer term services.
Key Features & Tech
Mobile App & Text Alerts
Protect America offers the SMART Connect Mobile App for iOS and Android, which conveniently allows you to arm or disarm your home security system remotely, provides live video monitoring, instant security alert notifications and offers home automation services to unlock entry ways, control lighting, and other appliances. You’ll receive a text if your entry sensors, motion detectors, or other safety equipment is triggered.
Protect America offers a variety of home automation solutions that provide full remote control of your home security system. Protect America’s mobile app can remotely arm or disarm your security system, as well as control temperature, door locks, lighting, and other smart home appliances. The system seamlessly integrates with a number of Z-Wave devices, including Amazon Alexa, Echo, and Dot as well as August Smart Lock Pro.
Protect America offers do-it-yourself (DIY) installation, eliminating installation and activation fees. Equipment is 100% wireless so self-installation is easy and most users report that it can be completed in less 30 minutes. Devices are freestanding or attach with adhesive—no drilling required.
Cost & Value
When purchasing a home security system, there are two initial upfront costs: monitoring and equipment. Protect America is unique in that in all of their monitoring plans include the same basic services, with the choice to add “extras” to your plan.
Monitoring Packages and Costs
Protect America offers three primary security packages: Copper, Silver and Platinum. All three packages offer the same type of basic 24/7 burglary monitoring services with the option to add home automation, and remote access via a mobile app. Smoke and fire protection, as well as video monitoring, costs extra.
Monthly monitoring fees are determined by how your security system will connect to Protect America’s central monitoring station: cell, landline, or broadband. Costs per month range from $19.99-$42.99 for landline monitoring and $41.99-$54.99 for cellular and broadband connections. In addition, Protect America offers a Price Match Guarantee, and will match the lowest price customers can present within 14 days of signup.
Cellular Monitoring: Pricier But More Reliable
Note that cellular and broadband monitoring costs more due to additional services and features available (such as smartphone access, home automation and HD video streaming) that landline plans do not offer. We recommend cellular because it’s more reliable than broadband or landline (which can be damaged by intruders) and runs less risk of external interference.Even so, compared with competitive prices, $41.99/month is more than reasonable for this array of services.
|Cellular & Broadband||$41.99||$49.99||$54.99|
|Control Panel Included|
|Smart Home Services||Only Cellular or Broadband||Only Cellular or Broadband||Only Cellular or Broadband|
|Mobile App Access||Only Cellular or Broadband||Only Cellular or Broadband||Only Cellular or Broadband|
|Additional Options||∙HD Video Service ∙Smoke & Fire Monitoring ∙Smart Door Lock Control ∙Garage Door Control ∙Smart Lighting||∙HD Video Service ∙Smoke & Fire Monitoring ∙Smart Door Lock Control ∙Garage Door Control ∙Smart Lighting||∙HD Video Service ∙Smoke & Fire Monitoring ∙Smart Door Lock Control ∙Garage Door Control ∙Smart Lighting|
Emergency Monitoring 3X
Protect America offers 24/7 emergency monitoring: an event triggers an alert to security centers, who contact you and then determine the appropriate first responders. That is handled by three monitoring centers for triple redundancy — if one monitoring station cannot connect, two others receive the same information.
Contract & Cancellation Policy
To ensure a full refund, you must cancel within three days after signing up. You can still cancel within 15 days to avoid equipment and contractual costs, but you’ll still be charged your first month’s monitoring service costs and the $19.95 account activation fee. While Protect America does not charge a restocking fee for equipment, you’ll also be responsible for shipping expenses to return devices.
If you wish to cancel an existing contract, the Protect America cancellation policy requires you to notify the company in writing at least 60 days before the contract expires, otherwise the 36-month contract automatically renews.
Pricy Cancellation Fee
If you choose to cancel after the trial period, you’ll face a hefty cancellation fee. Protect America will hold you responsible for 100% of the remaining balance left on your contract. Depending on how much time remains on your 36-month contract, this could add up to hundreds of dollars. In comparison, many competitors will only charge a portion of the balance, some as low as 20%.
Don’t risk it—don’t sign on the dotted line unless you’re sure you’ll need at least three years of monitoring services.
Equipment: What’s Included?
The second upfront expense associated with purchasing a new home security system is the equipment itself. The difference between the packages lies in the equipment you receive. The more you pay, the more equipment you get.
Free Basic Equipment
Protect America uses highly reputable equipment from Interlogix, which is used by several home security providers. A lifetime equipment warranty is guaranteed so long as you are an active customer with a current monitoring contract. Customers, however, do not own the security sets and they must be returned upon contract cancellation.
All three Protect America packages include:
- standard push-button Simon XT control panel
- motion detector
- yard sign and window stickers
Beyond the basics, more equipment means greater costs. Each plan differs in number of entry sensors for doors and windows.
Beyond the standard equipment kit, Protect America offers a wide array of equipment options to customize security features for your home. For additional costs, you can upgrade to a touchscreen control panel ($99.00) or add video cameras, panic buttons, or specialized sensors to monitor glass breakage, smoke, flood, and more.
Some popular add-on options include:
- Motion Detectors ($99.00) — wirelessly monitor for movement within 25 feet. This pet-friendly sensor won’t detect movement for pets weighing less than 40 lbs, resulting in fewer false alarms and unnecessary notifications.
- Door / Window Sensors ($39.00) — monitor selected entry ways for open/close movement and promises a five-year battery life.
- Glass Break Sensors ($99.00) — detect the sound of breaking glass and can lower the cost of monitoring a home with many windows. By replacing ten window sensors ($390.00) with one glass break and one motion sensor ($198.00), homeowners can monitor rooms for less.
- Garage Door Sensor ($59.00) — monitors for the tilting motion made by a garage door when opened.
Beyond these, here’s a full list of extras:
- Simon XTi Touchscreen Control Panel — $99.00
- IQ2 Touchscreen Control Panel — $149.00
- Miniature Secondary Control Panel
- Remote Alarm Control Keychain with Panic Button — $49.00
- Door / Window Sensors — $39.00
- Motion Detectors — $99.00
- Glass Break Sensors — $99.00
- Garage Door Sensor —$59.00
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors – $129.00
- Smoke and Heat Sensors — $99.00
- Water Leak/Flood Sensors — $99.00
Video Cameras and Home Automation
- Outdoor Video Cameras — $99.00
- Wireless Indoor Cameras — $99.00
- Z-Wave Smart Locks – $279.00
- Doorbell Camera — $179.00
- Z-Wave Appliance Modules
Ease of Use
Protect America is known for its quick, foolproof installation and overall usability. If you hit a snag or need advice on set-up or maintenance, the support team is on hand to walk you through the process or answer any questions. Customers often remark upon Protect America’s simplicity, reliability and accessibility.
With do-it-yourself (DIY) installation, your home security equipment must be self-installed. Because devices are wireless, the process requires no hammering, drilling or special tools: the devices are either free-standing or attached with a simple, removable adhesive that won’t damage walls.
Setup is simple enough, but if you need assistance with the self-installation process, Protect America offers 24/7 professional support and a collection of Youtube video tutorials.
While emergency service is 24/7, regular customer support is provided by phone and chat during scheduled hours. You can reach customer support by phone at 1-800-951-5111 on Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.– 9 p.m. CT, and on weekends from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. You may also reach them by chat on Monday-Friday 7 a.m.–11 p.m. CT and on weekends from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. CT.
Customer Ratings & Reviews
Protect America comes highly recommended by its customers. Customer reviews emphasize the company’s excellent customer service, quality equipment, easy installation, and affordable pricing scheme.
The most common complaint, according to negative reviews and grievances filed with the Better Business Bureau, concerned contract disagreements. Customers are often dissatisfied with or unaware of the 60-day cancellation notice requirement and automatic contract renewal. Some have also commented that the cancellation process is difficult, requiring multiple phone calls or emails.
Protect America offers many tools to easily integrate smart home devices into its security system and remotely control processes via mobile app.
Remote Control via Mobile App
With the Protect America app, you can preset and remotely control home features. You can remotely arm or disarm your security system, as well as control heat, air conditioning, door locks, lighting, window blinds, and other smart home appliances.
Smart Device Integrations
Protect America offers an integration with Amazon Alexa devices (Echo, Dot, Spot, Show). Using your voice, you can control your security system. For example, you can ask Alexa to arm/disarm your system, turn off your lights, or lock/unlock your front door. For your protection, every time you ask Alexa to deactivate your system, you’re required to provide a PIN. Otherwise, it won’t comply. This extra step is added to prevent burglars from potentially disarming your home security.
August Smart Lock Pro
Their system also works with smart locks. Protect America is compatible with the August Smart Lock Pro. Besides functioning as a smart lock, August Smart Lock Pro can relay your door’s status (open/closed, locked/unlocked) using Door Sense.
Limits of Automation
While Protect America promises automation abilities, the customer is very much responsible for making this happen. They do not offer smart devices, but rather, appliance modules. For example, Protect America claims to offer light automation. They sell an appliance module which you can use to automate lamps and small appliances, but they do not sell smart bulbs or wall switches or anything else that will help you automate your lights.
Another catch is that, while Protect America sells smart home devices that integrate with its home security system, they stop short of offering the ability to create automation rules. Some may argue this isn’t true home automation at all but remote control. For example, your lights can’t turn on when you come home nor can your temperature adjust when you exit.
Customer Protect America Reviews
Reviewed by Tony on May. 9, 2019
I recently got a system with Protect America after speaking with a representative. They helped me customize a package to perfectly fit our house.
It connects with our Alexa speaker and smart devices. Glad to protect our home and not spend a fortune.
NOT Protect America
Reviewed by Brian D. on Apr. 13, 2017
Alarm companies are similar, so here is why NOT Protect America: After a 3-year service contract I decided to discontinue. I was forwarded to 2 different people until I spoke to someone able to cancel service. She would not take no for an answer, and informally left me with the impression I was going to have my house robbed. After 20 minutes of selling fear, I was directed to my e-mail for an on-line link to discontinue service. The E-mail never came, I had to call back, get forwarded through 2 different people again, and request another E-mail. Then, because I canceled on the 12th, I was made to pay for that month and the following month because they can’t prorate service.
Do NOT trust Protect America
Reviewed by doris on Mar. 8, 2019
Protect America charged my 84 year old mother for equipment she didn't have, they refused to let her out of her contract when my father passed away and my mother could no longer live alone. Representatives repeatedly lied and misrepresented the facts. They leave you on hold for 20-30 minutes in hopes that you will give up. Horrible company. I am ashamed that anyone is treated so badly. Shame on you Protect America.
Extremely bad to cancel service. Fine print
Reviewed by gmo on Dec. 11, 2017
IF you decide to cancel the service early then its a huge price to get out. about 700-800 bucks.