Best Home Security Companys

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#1
Protect_America

Protect America

Free equipment and $0 in up-front costs

Our Score
9.4
User Score
8.7

Or By Phone:   1-(844) 946-8378

Our Score
9.4
User Score
8.7
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Price (Copper package)
$19.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$0

Technology & Equip.

10/10 = BEST
10/10

Contract Length

Total # of months
36

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Pay balance

Monitoring

Response Time
Fast

Time in Business

Total # of years
22 Years

A

Customer Support

Good, Bad, Limited
Good

SDM Rank

Top 100 Company Rank
15

Index

Quality Index (Below 413 is good)
77

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
1,145

This Review is maintained by Isaac Ericksen

Review Last Updated: July 25, 2016

Company Awards / Certifications

  • #1 Choice Overall Besty Award 2014
  • #1 Choice Overall Besty Award 2013
  • Ranked 13th in Top 100 Home Security Companies in SDM Magazine 2012
  • Consumers Digest Best Buy 2012
  • Consumers Digest Best Buy 2011
  • Consumers Digest Best Buy 2010
  • Consumers Digest Best Buy 2009
  • Consumers Digest Best Buy 2008
Protect America has provided one of the most affordable DIY home security solutions to over 500,000 families, and has been in business for over 20 years. Something that we really like about Protect America is its free equipment and zero upfront costs to get started. One drawback you might face with Protect America is its 36-month contract; however, due to Protect America’s excellent customer service the average customer stays with Protect America for over eight years.
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The Good

  • No Upfront Costs
  • Monthly Fees as Low as $19.99
  • Lifetime Equipment Warranty
  • New Simon XTi Control Panel & Home Automation Options
  • Live and Recorded Video Monitoring
  • 24/7 Landline, Cellular, and Broadband Monitoring

Protect America is one of the most affordable home security companies in the industry. While other companies will charge anywhere from $99 to over $400 in upfront costs, Protect America won’t charge you a cent upfront for equipment or installation. Protect America offers five different home security packages ranging from a locked-in rate of $19.99 – $52.99 per month which is significantly cheaper than competing home security companies. Each package comes with a free lifetime warranty, meaning Protect America will ship replacement parts for all defective equipment at no charge for as long as you are a customer.

Despite Protect America’s affordability, the company sacrifices nothing in terms of quality. Protect America now offers the new Simon XTi, a modern, sleek, and innovative control panel which integrates seamlessly with your smart phone. In addition to a wide array of home security features (including motion detectors, night vision cameras, door and window sensors, and more), the company offers a number of home automation solutions to help you control your security system remotely. Protect America’s SMART Connect mobile app controls door locks, lighting, and appliances, arms/disarms your entire security system, and streams or records live footage from up up to two of your security cameras simultaneously. Protect America offers flexible monitoring options for nearly every budget. Home security monitoring can be conducted via landline (least expensive), broadband, and cellular communication. Few home security companies provide all three monitoring channels

Protect America comes highly recommended by its customers. Customers who left reviews on our site have been boasting about Protect America’s customer service. They also note that Protect America’s do-it-yourself system, which is shipped right to your door, is very easy to install. Protect America has simplified the self-installation process with 24/7 support and a collection of online video tutorials. Protect America serves customers in all 50 states, while many of its competitors have a much more limited national reach.

The Bad

  • Lengthy 36-Month Contract
  • Cancellation Policy
  • $79 Restocking Fee
  • Video Streaming Not Available on Landline Monitoring

One thing that we didn’t like about Protect America is its 36-month contract and its cancellation policy. Other home security companies offer their services with much shorter contracts or no contracts at all. And if it so happens that you cancel Protect America’s service, you will be required to pay 100% of the remaining balance of your contract. Other home security companies only require you to pay a percentage of the remaining balance (some as low as 20%). Paying the full balance can end up costing you hundreds of dollars if you haven’t been on the contract very long.

New customers have only 14 days from the date their package was shipped to return their equipment without being bound to the 36-month contract. Meanwhile, other companies give customers a 30-day risk-free trial. Even if you decide to return the package within the 14-day period, you will be charged a $79 restocking fee, so it’s very important to inspect the terms of your contract before signing. And while live and recorded video streaming is available on Protect America’s broadband and cellular monitoring options, it is not available with landline monitoring, meaning customers will need to pay extra for this important feature.

Customers don’t like the 36-month contract either, and have reported several issues revolving around the contract. Other customers complained that Protect America’s equipment was not functioning properly, specifically sensors triggering false alarms.

The Bottom Line

Based on our research, you likely won’t find a more affordable home security company than Protect America. It is a solid home security company with packages starting at only $19.99 per month and no upfront or installation costs. Protect America’s lifetime equipment warranty is a special feature that few other home security companies can match. But if you are looking to hire a company to professionally install your home security system than Protect America is not for you. Protect America’s 36-month contract and cancellation policy may deter you from purchasing its service, but given the high volume of positive user reviews praising Protect America’s customer service, it’s easy to understand why most of Protect America’s customers renew their contracts more than once. Protect America is a great choice for those looking for the self-install system with both the most equipment, and the least amount of upfront costs.

Section 1

Customer may cancel this Agreement by returning the Equipment within fourteen (14) days of the initial shipment date from PAI to Customer. The return package must be postmarked within 14 days of the original shipment date and returned postage paid to Protect America, Inc., 3800 Quick Hill Road, Building 1-100, Austin, Texas 78728. This Agreement will not be cancelled until the returned equipment is received at Protect America, Inc. Customer shall be required to provide proof of delivery if requested. A $79.00 restocking fee, debited from Customer’s account submitted as part of this Agreement, shall be assessed on all returns.

Why it’s important

You have 14 days to cancel the agreement.  The equipment package must be postmarked within 14 days of the original shipment date.  Also, there will be a $79 restocking fee.

Section 5

Assignees / Contractors. PAI shall have the right to assign this Agreement to any other person, firm, corporation or entity without notice to Customer and shall have the further right to subcontract any monitoring service or other services which it may perform. Customer acknowledges this Agreement, and particularly those paragraphs relating to PAI’s maximum liability, third party indemnification and warranty limitations, inure to the benefit of and are applicable to any assignees or subcontractors (including Monitoring Facility and Collection Agency) with the same force and effect as they bind Customer to PAI. Customer may not assign Customer’s rights under this Agreement without PAI’s written consent.

Why it’s important

Protect America can give a contractual agreement to any other corporation or third party without noticing the customer.  If the agreement is given to another entity it still has the same force and effect that it would have with Protect America.

Section 6

Limitation of Liability. CUSTOMER UNDERSTANDS THAT PAI IS NOT AN INSURER OF THE SAFETY OF CUSTOMER OR ANY PROPERTY. CUSTOMER AGREES TO OBTAIN, AT CUSTOMER’S SOLE COST AND EXPENSE, ANY INSURANCE COVERAGE CUSTOMER DESIRES TO HAVE TO INSURE AGAINST PERSONAL INJURY, PROPERTY LOSS OR DAMAGES AT THE PREMISES WHERE THE EQUIPMENT IS LOCATED. PAI SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE, RISK, INJURY, DEATH OR EFFECTS OF ANY HAZARD OR EVENT, PROPERTY LOSS OR DAMAGE DUE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY TO ANY FAILURE TO DETECT OR AVERT AN OCCURRENCE OF AN EVENT THAT THE SERVICE IS DESIGNED TO DETECT OR AVERT.

Why it’s important

Protect America is not an insurer of property or safety of customer and does not provide any guarantee of such.  It is the home owner’s job to obtain insurance and maintain coverage against personal injury, property loss, and damages. 

Section 9.1

If Customer defaults with respect to payment of Monthly Monitoring Fees more than two (2) times in any calendar year, or monthly monitoring fee becomes sixty (60) days past due, then Customer agrees that PAI may terminate service and the remaining applicable balance of the Agreement will be immediately due and payable. PAI may draft Customer’s account for the entire remaining balance, disconnect monitoring with prior notice or require Customer to pay yearly in advance for services. In addition, Customer agrees PAI will have no liability if disconnection occurs due to a past due balance or otherwise.

Why it’s important

If a customer misses at least two monthly payments and becomes sixty days past due, then Protect America can cancel the agreement and requires customers to pay the remaining monitoring balance.  

Section 9.2

PAI may suspend or cancel this Agreement, without notice and without liability or penalty in the event the Monitoring Facility, the communications facilities connecting Customer’s location to the Monitoring Facility, or other equipment are destroyed by fire, catastrophe or by any other means, or are so substantially damaged that it is impractical to continue service; or in the event that PAI is unable to either secure or retain the connections or privileges necessary for the transmission of signals between Customer’s location and the Monitoring Facility and the law enforcement agency or other emergency contacts for any reason or cause whatsoever. PAI assumes no liability for the interruption of the service due to any cause and PAI will not be required to supply the Service to Customer while interruption of the Service for any cause continues and Customer is not entitled to any refund or credit of any charges for such interruption of service.

Why it’s important

If for some reason the connection to the home security system becomes lost or unable to maintain, Protect American can cancel the agreement without liability or penalty.  They are not responsible for any lost connect or interruption of service due to events out of their hands.

The Good

Protect America (PA) offers a basic home automation package that is ran through the home security control panel.  The home automation equipment adds wireless control to everyday household tasks such as turning lights off and on and controlling various appliances, it can even lock and unlock the front door.  All of this equipment is able to function together through Z-Wave technology, which is the most widely recognized standard for home automation.  Also, the system is a self-install product, meaning the home owner can install the new equipment at their convenience.

After a customer purchases a security system and decides to further their remote access by including home automation they can choose to either purchase the pieces separately (which give the home owner full ownership of the equipment) or lease a set of equipment which costs the home owner zero money down (through this option PA maintains the rights to the equipment).  The choice to buy or lease is a nice option which many home security companies do not provide.  With either route the following options are available:

  • keychain remotes
  • appliance module (for controlling non-PA equipment)
  • indoor siren
  • freeze sensor (for monitoring the temperature of the plumbing system)
  • flood sensor
  • door sensors
  • email and text notifications

The Bad

If you choose to go with the basic home automation package for zero money down this package does not include as much equipment as most home automation packages provided by other companies.  For example, in their “free” offer they only include 1 appliance module, 1 indoor siren, 1 freeze sensor, and 1 flood sensor.  For anything else you must pay extra.  Most home automation packages include at least one video camera and a video monitoring system, however, PA customers must pay an extra $199 for the camera and an extra $10 a month for monitoring.

The Bottom Line

Protect America provides a basic home automation package for nothing down, which is a nice extra feature if you already own a home security system through them.  However, if you want extra features such as door control and video monitoring it costs extra and can add up quickly.  We suggest you discuss package options with a Protect America representative to determine if their home automation system is right for you.

Security System Overview

Protect America began offering the Simon XTi which is a better, more modern control panel than the Simon XT which you can see below. You’ll only be able to take advantage of the Simon XTi with a Silver package and above as well as broadband and cellular monitoring.

Simon Xti

Protect America also offers a wireless and easy-to-install system called the Simon XT. Some of the unique upgrades featured in the Simon XT system include: compact design, LCD display, more wireless zones, and an event history log. One key feature that is important to note is the built in voice dialer. When certain system events occur, like triggered sensors, the alarm will call any phone you choose to alert you with a voice message. Here’s what you get with the Protect America Gold Security Package (free*):

  • 100% wireless system.  Easy to install with no drilling required
  • Simon XT control panel
  • 12 door/window sensors
  • 1 motion detector
  • 3 security stickers
  • 1 security yard sign
  • Owner’s manual
  • Free exclusive interactive monitoring app for smartphones
  • 100% Lifetime warranty on every piece of your system

The Simon XT:

The Simon XT should be placed where it is easily accessible. The Simon XT allows users to call for help (emergency responders), arm/disarm your system, and control the functionality. The Simon XT has the ability to control up to 40 security equipment controls (including sensors and home automation functions). The Simon XT is basically the brain of the Protect America security system, and it allows you to control all features and equipment.

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The Simon XT Touchscreen allows you to voice commands and offers a a substitute for when you cannot check the main control panel.

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Video Surveillance Cameras:

Users will want to place Protect America’s video surveillance cameras in high traffic areas, like by door entries/exists and hallways. Protect America enables users to view the video surveillance through their “Smart Connect App.” Live footage from the camera can be viewed at anytime from anywhere as long as they have WiFi connection. The video is high quality and can be easily accessed.

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Mini Pin Pad/Talking Wireless Keypad:

The Mini Pin Pad is not necessary, but it does add a level of security in the event of an emergency. These pin pads allow you to call for help and alert the authorities/responders. These pin pads also allow home owners to alarm and disarm the security system by typing in a personalized code. The pin pad allows for additional convenience and ensure the security system is armed when it needs to be.

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The talking wireless keypad has the same functions as the mini pin pad, meaning it can arm, disarm, and send emergency signals to the authorities. It allows you to communicate and can mounted on your wall.

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Sensors:

Protect America offers several different types of sensors. They have the door and window sensors which detect whenever the door or window is opened. The Protect America door and window sensors are wireless micro sensors which means they do not have to be plugged into your wall and are hidden out of the way. It is advised that customers place a sensor on every door and window for optimum security.

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Protect America also has a garage door sensor. There can be several thousands of dollars stored in garages, which means it is critically important to protect it. Keep your cars, bikes, tools, and other items stored in your garage safe by installing a garage door sensor. These sensors are mounted on the inside of your garage door.

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There is also the option to install motion detectors. These motion detectors are easy to install, and they detect both heath and movement within a 25 foot range in a 90 degree arc. They can be installed in the corners of rooms, and it is recommended to put these in high traffic areas in your home.

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Lastly there is the Glass Break Sensor that is to be mounted in an open space near windows or glass doors that you would like to secure.

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Protect America offers some of the latest and most advanced technology on the market. Since Protect America allows their customers to customize their home security system to fit their home, it provides a high level of security that ensures your home and family’s safety. For a low monthly monitoring fee, Protect America’s security system will secure your home’s vulnerabilities.

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1,145 Protect America Reviews

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  1. User Score
    8
    July 26th, 2016 Golden City, MO
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Rykell was very helpful. However, I was unable to receive her email confirming my renewal and acceptance of the free upgrades.
    Read More
  2. User Score
    10
    July 25th, 2016 Beaumont, CA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I was considering renewing my 3-year agreement. Rykell was informative, articulate and highly professional in reviewing my unique needs and making relevant suggestions.
    Read More
  3. User Score
    10
    July 25th, 2016 Germantown, TN
    0 people found this review helpful!
    The online support chat worked very well and solved my issue immediately. She was very thorough in verifying my identity and very knowledgeable about the components of my system.
    Read More
  4. User Score
    10
    July 25th, 2016 Columbus, GA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Live chat went smoothly customer service representative was knowledgeable and answered all my questions.
    Read More
  5. User Score
    10
    July 25th, 2016 Toledo, OH
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Service was great, I sleep and travel comfortably knowing that my house is being monitored.
    Read More
  6. User Score
    10
    July 23rd, 2016 Las Vegas, NV
    0 people found this review helpful!
    did it all thru a chat session and it was great ! thanks
    Read More
  7. User Score
    9
    July 23rd, 2016 San Jose, CA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Very helpful assistance in upgrading my security equipment
    Read More
  8. User Score
    2
    July 21st, 2016 Atlanta, GA
    4 people found this review helpful!
    The Technician installing system could not put the agreementin my mother’s name for some reason, although he could debit her checking account. I don’t recall the reason, but she was 89 so I suspect he knew there was a good chance she would not live through the contract and this was a way to tie us down for the full 3 years. We had so many unresolved technical issues that by the middle of the second year, she was not even setting the alarm (so therefore not being monitored) . It was not a credit issue, as her credit rating was 810. When she passed away 2 years and 5 months into her 3 yr contract, I tried to cancel. Because the service was in my name, albeit at HER address and debiting HER bank acct, they would not cancel it. After over 45 minutes on the phone with a customer service rep and her supervisor, I was only given a reduction for two months at $4.99 instead of $42.99, but the remaining months on the contract at full price. Shameful!
    Read More
  9. User Score
    10
    July 20th, 2016 Vancouver, WA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    I chatted with a representative because my phone app was not connected to the system. I did not even have to wait 5 sec before being connected to an agent. She was courteous, patient and helped reset it without any issues. Excellent service
    Read More
  10. User Score
    10
    July 20th, 2016 University Place, WA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Just needed to get an idea of how to go about getting step-by-step instructions to install new sirens on my two systems. All my questions were answered. Very good help.
    Read More
  11. User Score
    3
    July 19th, 2016 Plano, TX
    5 people found this review helpful!
    We have had a lot of problems with our system, including the equipment. When there are problems, you have to fix them yourself, with guidance from Customer Service, but nevertheless, you have to do it all, even if the problem is with their equipment. We have had numerous malfunctions with the cell phone software. We had to contact Customer Service 4 times in 16 days, and we were out of town without knowledge of any problems for 11 of those days. As a result of one test they had me perform, the police were called out because the system malfunctioned and alerted police, fire, and ambulance service even though no alarm buttons were pushed. That was caused by the system alarming those agencies because the system alerted them on its own without any notification to us. We were told this “rarely” happens, but it has in fact happened in the past. Customer Service personnel is very courteous, but the frustrations mount, especially when all adjustments to their system must be self performed.
    Read More
  12. User Score
    10
    July 17th, 2016 Lehighton, PA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Bre answer all my questions promptly and very knowledgeable
    Read More
  13. User Score
    10
    July 16th, 2016 Glendale, AZ
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Rykell was very helpful in adjusting my email notifications.
    Read More
  14. User Score
    10
    July 16th, 2016 Tallahassee, FL
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Quick and prompt service. took less than 5 minutes for results.
    Read More
  15. User Score
    10
    July 15th, 2016 Hemet, CA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Bre new her job very well and got me going again.
    Thanks
    Read More
  16. User Score
    10
    July 15th, 2016 Wayne, PA
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I like the fact that I have my windows monitored. I didn’t have this with my other alarm system. I feel that if someone would try to raise a downstairs window and the alarm is activated, the alarm would go off. I also like the fact that I can deactivate the alarm with my key remote prior to entering the house. I sleep good at night with the alarm activated. I didn’t know that my daughter and her husband have the system in their home and are happy with it. I”ve had the system for two weeks now and I’m pleased with it.

    We spent over an hour on the phone with the technician, but he was very patient and helpful.

    Read More
  17. User Score
    9
    July 15th, 2016 Stockton, CA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    had trouble executing monthly automated payments and they resolved it,
    Read More
  18. User Score
    3
    July 15th, 2016 Everett, WA
    5 people found this review helpful!
    The overall Protect America customer experience has been below average.

    The good:

    – The equipment is of good quality
    – New/replacement equipment is shipped quickly
    – The customer service people are helpful and friendly

    The bad:

    – The advertised monthly pricing is not realistic for a large home with multiple security and
    fire sensors
    – The instructional material drastically understates the time needed to install the control
    panel and sensors
    – If you don’t activate your monitoring service right away, you will be constantly hounded
    by the company. We had a delay in activating our service due to contractor work on our
    new home. I was called every day, often multiple times per day, including at 6:00 in the
    morning, even after explaining the situation to the company.
    – Invoice/billing information is not available through their web site. You have to call
    customer service to find out what you are being charged for.

    Read More
  19. User Score
    0
    July 15th, 2016 Bayonne, NJ
    8 people found this review helpful!
    It took 5 technicians and over 2 hours to fix my problem which i unacceptable. I was transferred to various representative due to a meeting each one had to attend.
    Read More
  20. User Score
    10
    July 14th, 2016 Odessa, TX
    2 people found this review helpful!
    First, I called to install our new z-wave equipment. The person I spoke to was so patient, helpful and friendly. The entire call was an hour and a half! Then, I was playing with my phone app trying to arm the system but I was having problems. This time I used the live chat using my phone. Again, the person was so friendly and helpful and got me up and running. Best customer service I have experienced yet…thank you protect america!
    Read More

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Our Score
9.4
User Score
8.7
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Price (Copper package)
$19.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$0

Technology & Equip.

10/10 = BEST
10/10

Contract Length

Total # of months
36

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Pay balance

Monitoring

Response Time
Fast

Time in Business

Total # of years
22 Years

A

Customer Support

Good, Bad, Limited
Good

SDM Rank

Top 100 Company Rank
15

Index

Quality Index (Below 413 is good)
77

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
1,145
Our Score
9.4
User Score
8.7
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Price (Copper package)
$19.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$0

Technology & Equip.

10/10 = BEST
10/10

Contract Length

Total # of months
36

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Pay balance

Monitoring

Response Time
Fast

Time in Business

Total # of years
22 Years

A

Customer Support

Good, Bad, Limited
Good

SDM Rank

Top 100 Company Rank
15

Index

Quality Index (Below 413 is good)
77

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
1,145