Best Home Security Companys

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#1
ProtectAmerica-Logo

Protect America

Free equipment, Including camera and $0 in up-front costs

Our Score
9.0
User Score
8.1

Or By Phone:   1-(855) 816-3795

Our Score
9.0
User Score
8.1
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Price Range
$19.99-$42.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$0

Technology & Equip.

5/5 = BEST
5/5

Contract Length

Total # of months
36

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Pay Balance

Moving Policy

Can you move with system?
Free

Index

Quality Index (Below 413 is good)
77

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
2,089

This Review is maintained by Chase Sagum

Review Last Updated: February 15, 2018

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 some of the most affordable DIY home security systems to over 500,000 families since its founding in 1992 in Austin, Texas. Something that we like about Protect America is that it provides free equipment (control panel, motion sensors, yard signs, window stickers and door sensors) and requires zero upfront costs to get started. Another plus with Protect America is its number of different package options. It has a wide variety of both equipment options and monitoring solutions. Because of the variety, you're essentially guaranteed to find a package that works for you and your home security needs. 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.

The Good

  • No Upfront Equipment 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
  • Free Security Camera w/ Purchase of any Package (Cellular or Broadband Only)

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 currently charges $0 in upfront fees. Protect America offers five different home security packages ranging from a locked-in rate at an average of $43.99 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. Once you sign a contract with Protect America, your rate is locked in. They will not raise your monthly monitoring fees as long as you are under contract.

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 smartphone through the Protect America mobile app. In addition to a wide array of home security features (including motion detectors, night vision cameras, door 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 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 services.

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. Their lifetime warranty on equipment helps give peace of mind both when installing the system and using it knowing that if something breaks or no longer functions properly, Protect America will replace it free of charge. Protect America serves customers in all 50 states, which is somewhat rare in the home security industry. Many of its competitors have a much more limited national reach.

The Bad

  • Lengthy 36-Month Contract
  • Cancellation Policy
  • Video Streaming Not Available with the Landline Monitoring Service

One thing that we did not like about Protect America is its 36-month contract and its cancellation policy. Other home security companies offer their home security services with much shorter contracts or no contracts at all. And if it so happens that you decide to cancel Protect America’s service, you will be required to pay 100% of the remaining balance of your contract. Other home security companies may 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 30 days from the date their package was shipped to return their equipment without being bound to the 36-month contract. And while live and recorded video streaming is available on Protect America’s broadband and cellular monitoring services, it is not available with landline monitoring, meaning customers will need to pay extra for this important security 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 window sensors and door 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 with no upfront or installation costs. Protect America’s lifetime equipment warranty is a special feature that few other home security companies can match. It should be noted, however, if you are looking to hire a company to professionally install your home security system then 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 to customize their home security system solution. Protect America is a good self-install alarm system option. It comes 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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2,089 Protect America Reviews

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  1. User Score
    1
    September 5th, 2017
    12 people found this review helpful!
    Buyer beware! Two years after my contract ended I tried to cancel. I was bounced around from person to person with horrendous wait times. I was given misinformation about the cancellation policy. Long story short, I had to pay for over a month’s service even though my equipment didn’t work during that time frame. Stay away from this company!
    Read More
  2. User Score
    0
    September 5th, 2017 Meridian, ID
    9 people found this review helpful!
    We could not set the system up properly. Then when we tried to cancel and pay in full, the representative got belligerent on the phone. We ended up cancelling the credit card it was attached too. Then we tried to pay in full and I sat on hold for over an hour.
    Read More
  3. User Score
    0
    September 4th, 2017
    10 people found this review helpful!
    Cancellation is deceptive. Once you have canceled it will take 30 days but be sure you check back once you have reached the end of that period or they will bill again. it took me 4 months to finally close out with a lot of calls. Just remember the customer is never right!
    Read More
  4. User Score
    0
    September 1st, 2017
    7 people found this review helpful!
    They will not let you cancel service. I was willing to pay a cancellation fee, but They want the whole contract paid in full.
    Read More
  5. User Score
    10
    August 27th, 2017 Bethlehem, PA
    3 people found this review helpful!
    I needed several items to address today and Amber was awesome. She help with the basics and troubleshooting. Great experience!
    Read More
  6. User Score
    8
    August 25th, 2017 Whitney, TX
    2 people found this review helpful!
    They have very good people in office when you call to set up your equipment. Shawntoya was pleasant to talk to and had a great personality. She was patient and encourage questions. She didn’t try to rush through anything, treated you like you were the only customer she had to work with that day.
    Read More
  7. User Score
    10
    August 24th, 2017
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I can say that I simply am amazed at the level of customer service I receive. This is the best security company I have ever had.
    Read More
  8. User Score
    10
    August 24th, 2017 Sandusky, OH
    4 people found this review helpful!
    The live chat feature is awesome, great service!
    Read More
  9. User Score
    0
    August 24th, 2017 Las Vegas, NV
    10 people found this review helpful!
    I have had my home broken into twice in the passed 2 months and no one has ever showed. I feel unsafe and unprotected and the employees are rude and impatient. Extremely unhappy with this company
    Read More
  10. User Score
    0
    August 23rd, 2017 Jacksonville, FL
    4 people found this review helpful!
    These systems will only work if you have a small house with strong cell signal. I used it for 2 years and had 3 false alarms because the stick on sensors fall off when the windows get how or fail because it got hot. Now that I’ve moved to a hilly area the console is offline more time than not but the support line keeps saying it’s on. They won’t let me out of a contract with only a few months to go telling me I need to get new equipment to use their service because they refuse to monitor the state of the art system that is built into the house. Don’t bother with them and look for another company that won’t lock you in for 3 years.
    Read More
  11. User Score
    10
    August 22nd, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Customer Service Rep Jenny provided absolutely excellent service via on-line chat. Swapped to GSM module and walked me through all system tests, was very professional and went above and beyond in every aspect. VERY IMPRESSED!!! Corporate should take note and retain employees such as her (give Jenny a good raise and special recognition)!
    Read More
  12. User Score
    0
    August 22nd, 2017
    5 people found this review helpful!
    Terrible costumer service. Obsolete equipment. They sale without any inspection or knowledge about your own needs. Stay away from this company. Obviously it is cheap for a reason. If you want a real, modern and personalize security company and equipment, you will have to spend more money. Don’t waste your time and money with these guys.
    Read More
  13. User Score
    10
    August 21st, 2017 Colorado Springs, CO
    0 people found this review helpful!
    On Sunday, 20 August, I called in to activate 3 new sensors, de-activate 3 old sensors, and test my alarm system. Tori was very helpful through out the process, despite some stumbles on my part. She deserves a pat on the back.

    Today, I found a sensor which needed to be de-activated; Dave walked me through the steps necessary to accomplish the task. Kudos to Dave.

    Read More
  14. User Score
    8
    August 21st, 2017 Lexington, MA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    The agent was very helpful. but I had to wait a little bit…long wait on the phone also.
    Read More
  15. User Score
    9
    August 21st, 2017
    1 people found this review helpful!
    tori was a great help with checking the system
    Read More
  16. User Score
    10
    August 20th, 2017 Somers, CT
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Person in the Chat Room was knowledge and courteous – “Tori”
    Read More
  17. User Score
    0
    August 18th, 2017 Louisville, KY
    5 people found this review helpful!
    Know one answers the support phone line after 7PM. When a callback is requested for support, no call is returned.
    Read More
  18. User Score
    9
    August 18th, 2017 Glendale, CA
    2 people found this review helpful!
    Very knowledgeable. I’m impressed!
    Read More
  19. User Score
    10
    August 18th, 2017
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Amber was wonderful with helping us buy new sensors and a keychain remote. We greatly appreciated her time and help!
    Read More
  20. User Score
    10
    August 18th, 2017 Kissimmee, FL
    3 people found this review helpful!
    I was fortunate to have Daylon help install my new system. Although, it took 2.5 hours, he made sure that everything worked and that the system was working.
    It’s not often that I have the opportunity to write a note expressing the pleasure of working with someone for an extended period of time, but he was courteous, apologetic for keeping me and thanked me for my patience. I felt that he took ownership of my installation and appreciated it. I hope there is a reward system in place to make those who go above and beyond feel appreciated, as Daylon made me feel as a customer.
    Read More

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Our Score
9.0
User Score
8.1
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Price Range
$19.99-$42.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$0

Technology & Equip.

5/5 = BEST
5/5

Contract Length

Total # of months
36

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Pay Balance

Moving Policy

Can you move with system?
Free

Index

Quality Index (Below 413 is good)
77

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
2,089
Our Score
9.0
User Score
8.1
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Price Range
$19.99-$42.99

Up-Front Costs

Activation, Install & Equipment
$0

Technology & Equip.

5/5 = BEST
5/5

Contract Length

Total # of months
36

Cancellation Policy

Can you cancel contract?
Pay Balance

Moving Policy

Can you move with system?
Free

Index

Quality Index (Below 413 is good)
77

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BHSC
2,089