Updated March 7, 2017

Protect America Review: Pros and Cons

Read more about Protect America
This article contains references to products from our partners. We may receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You help support CreditDonkey by reading our website and using our links. (read more)

Are you considering a home security system? When it comes to pricing, our favorite is Protect America, but you have to commit for 3 years. Read on to see if Protect America is right for you.

Protect America
Visit Site

Overall Score

4.4

Discount

5.0

Home Security

5.0

Customer Service

4.0

Installation

4.0

Yard Sign

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Plans start at $19.99/month
  • Free equipment with contract
  • Easy installation
  • 3-year contract

Bottom Line

Best home security system for the money

Thinking About Home Security?

Home security systems are a good addition to your house.

They help protect against burglaries and provide peace of mind. They also warn you if a fire or carbon monoxide is detected.

However, most of them take quite a large chunk from your monthly budget.

The average family doesn't have $500+ to spend on security equipment, plus the $50 in monthly monitoring fees.

If that's the reason you've put off installing a home security system, then we've got some good news for you:

Just because you're on a tight budget doesn't mean that you can't protect your home. This is actually Protect America's motto. They believe that complete home security should be affordable for everyone.

Feel Safe Without Breaking the Bank

© CreditDonkey

Of course, you want the best security system to protect your home, but you also don't want to get ripped off.

If cost is a top issue for you, then Protect America is worth a look. It's a solid option for families on a budget who are looking for a no-frills home protection system. They have the latest in security technology and something to suit everyone's needs.

Before you decide on a system, make sure you understand all the details so you can decide whether it's a smart investment.

Why We Like It

Protect America wins us over for five big reasons:

  • Savings upfront
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Advanced features
  • Customizable options
  • More than just home security

Read on for more on each of these points.

  1. You get savings upfront.

    Most home security companies require a large investment upfront for installation and equipment costs. This is the hardest part for many families.

    But with Protect America, installation is a bargain. In fact, it costs absolutely nothing. The system is totally do-it-yourself, and it's nowhere near as complicated as putting together those bookshelves you ordered from IKEA. Even technophobes can get the system set up in no time. You just peel and stick the sensors. They've made DIY installation virtually foolproof.

    It also means no more waiting around all day for a technician to show up, and then forking over $100 or more to get your system going.

    If you do have trouble with installation, you'll find detailed instructions on the Protect America website, and if you're still stuck, you can call customer support for a helpful step-by-step walkthrough.

    The good news doesn't stop there:

    Not only is the installation free, the equipment doesn't cost a thing either. You get up to $1,400 in equipment at no cost when you sign up with a monitoring contract, which is a pretty sweet incentive.

    Plus, all of your equipment comes with a lifetime replacement warranty. You won't have to ever worry about paying an arm and a leg to fix broken equipment.

    Another good thing about this DIY system is that your security can move with you. Spending a bunch of money on a hardwired security system can seem foolhardy if you might move in a few years. With this system, you can pack it up and take it with you any time.

    Tip: Want a free personalized quote? Call (855) 330-0286.

  2. You get reasonable pricing.

    © Jan-Erik Finnberg (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

    While you save a lot upfront with Protect America with free installation and equipment, you still need to factor in the ongoing monthly costs as well as any additional equipment you might want.

    Protect America plans start at $19.99 a month for 24/7 professional monitoring via a landline. To put the cost in perspective, that's only about a week's worth of daily Starbucks runs, or two workday lunches out.

    Here's how the pricing compares for this company's five service plans and packages for monitoring:

    • Copper, $19.99/mo. This is the lowest priced plan you can get through Protect America, and it's good if you just want basic coverage. This package comes with the control panel and a motion detector, plus three door and window sensors.

    • Bronze, $35.99/mo. The next level up may be a good fit if you've got a little more ground to cover. With this plan, the number of door and window sensors jumps to six.

    • Silver, $37.99/mo. The mid-grade plan is still reasonably priced compared to what other companies charge. This one might be good if you live in a multistory home, since it comes with nine door and window sensors.

    • Gold, $39.99/mo. For just $2 more per month than the Silver plan, you'll get two additional door and window sensors.

    • Platinum, $42.99/mo. Even their most expensive plan is a relatively good deal compared to other security providers. This one's great for people who live in larger homes since it includes 14 door and window sensors.

    You can feel secure with Protect America's clear-cut pricing. Some home security companies sneak an escalation clause into your agreement, which basically lets them bump up your rate when you renew your service. With Protect America, your rate is locked in unless you change your monthly plan.

    If you don't have a landline, you can also get broadband or cellular monitoring. (The pricing above is for landline monitoring only.) These will incur a higher monthly charge, starting at $41.99 per month.

    To learn more about which Protect America package is right for you, give Protect America a call. You'll also find the details on their lowest price guarantee and free equipment promotion.

    Did you know: Protect America partners with Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS) to provide 24/7 monitoring? Criticom is a highly respected monitoring service used by over 3,500 alarm companies and their 800,000 customers.

  3. You get advanced features.

    Protect America customers can monitor their system remotely using the SMART Connect mobile app. The app is free to download for iPhone and Android users.

    © CreditDonkey

    This interactive service is available free with any broadband or cellular monitored security system (but it's not available for landline monitoring).

    With the app, you can arm and disarm your security system remotely as well as:

    • Lock or unlock your front door
    • Turn lights on and off
    • Turn appliances on and off
    • View a live video feed from your system's security camera

    Another nice thing about the app is that you can set a unique password for it. This gives you peace of mind if your phone is ever lost or stolen, since it'll keep a thief from being able to hack into your account and system.

  4. You can customize the alarm to fit your needs.

    A big part of investing in a security system and professional monitoring involves getting a handle on the kind of equipment you'll need and what you can expect to pay for it. Are you looking to secure just one floor of your house? Do you want the latest and greatest technology options? You'll need to ask yourself these questions and more to determine what security system is right for you.

    Here's a brief guide to what you can expect with Protect America.

    • Control panel. The control panel is the most important part of any security system because it tells the rest of the equipment what to do. You can choose between a touchscreen or a keypad version, depending on what you're most comfortable with using.

    • Security cameras. The optional security cameras that you can get with your system are designed to start recording any time an alarm is triggered. They even come with night vision capabilities to catch thieves who might try to sneak in under cover of darkness.

    • Motion sensors. Motion sensors pick up on movement when the system is armed to let you know when someone's there who shouldn't be. The sensors Protect America uses work within a 25-foot range and they won't give you false alarms if a small pet (40 pounds or less) is wandering around.

    • Z-wave technology. This is hands-down one of the coolest features of the system. The system's optional Z-wave technology lets you remotely turn lights on or off, lock and unlock doors, or adjust your thermostat from anywhere (available for cellular and broadband monitoring only).

    • Glass break sensors. One of the most common methods of breaking into a house is through the window. Protect America systems use sensors that can pick up on the sound of glass breaking from 20 feet away.

    • Door and window sensors. More than 80% of burglars come in through the front door. When you've got sensors on each door and window in your home, you're giving a burglar fewer chances to get in undetected.

    • Garage sensors. A garage door sensor is a smart investment. At the very least, you won't have to worry about whether you left the garage door open again. Garage door sensors are tilt sensors. You install the tilt sensor against the top of the garage door. When the tilt sensor is horizontal, it means the garage door is open.

    • Yard signs.

      Advertising the fact that you've got a home security system can work to your advantage. In one study, 60% of burglars said they'd choose to target a different home if they noticed a security alarm. Putting up alarm signs around your yard sends a clear signal to thieves that your home is off-limits.

  5. You get more than just home security.

    Getting a security system and 24/7 monitoring is not only good for preventing burglaries. You can also add fire and smoke protection, carbon monoxide detectors, medical panic alerts and even a GPS tracker for your car.

    But keep in mind that while basic equipment is free with Protect America, optional equipment such as Z-wave technology, glass break sensors and fire and smoke detectors come at an additional cost. So, before you start adding in all this equipment, make sure you speak with a customer service representative so you know what's included and what's extra.

    Protect America

    Get Free Home Security Quote

    Get up to $1,400 in free equipment, 24/7 professional monitoring, easy setup in about an hour, and no installation fees.

Reasons to Consider Another Security Company

© GabPRR (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Although Protect America has a lot going for it, it's not the right fit for every homeowner. Here are some reasons why you might be better off going with a different company:

  • There's a three-year contract: Signing up for Protect America means you're locked into a three-year contract. The only way to get out of it is to cancel within the initial 14-day window or pay a penalty.

    But keep in mind that with the three-year agreement, you get up to $1,400 in free equipment. And you can take the Protect America system with you if you move somewhere else.

  • Only a 14-day return period: Security companies often give you a trial period to use the equipment and the service to make sure it's a good fit for you. If you're not completely sold, you can return it and get your money back. Protect America doesn't give you much wiggle room as you have just 14 days to return the equipment once you receive it (and you'll pay a "restocking fee"). But in our opinion, 14 days is a reasonable amount of time to decide if you like the system or not.

  • Low rates are only for landline service: As mentioned before, the low rate starting at $19.99/month is only for landline monitoring, not for broadband and cellular. That starting price is hard to beat if you already have a home line and just need the most basic monitoring (keep in mind that you don't get use of the mobile app with this option).

    But if you would like cellular or broadband coverage, the lowest tier plan is $41.99/month and the highest tier goes up to $54.99/month, which is on par with other companies. But then again, equipment and installation are free with Protect America, so some people may find that it's still worth it overall.

  • Be careful of equipment costs: Be sure to ask a customer service representative about the equipment you want and the additional costs associated with it before you're locked into the long-term contract. Protect America does have a free equipment promotion (which include door sensors, motion sensors, and control panel), but optional equipment comes at an additional price.

To learn more about Protect America, including getting a free personalized quote, click here to visit Protect America's website.

What are Protect America's customer service hours?

If you run into a problem with your system or have a question, you can get in touch with a helpful customer service rep from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT on weekends.

Tip: If you don't want to wait on hold, you can connect with a customer service rep through Protect America's helpful live chat feature.

Common Complaints

Protect America has been in business for over 20 years, so they have a wide range of customer reviews online. While many of them are positive, the company also responds publicly to negative complaints and makes a concerted effort to resolve all the issues.

An overriding theme with the negative Protect America reviews is concern over the required three-year commitment. Some users also complained about sensors falling off the windows and false alarms being called in to the local police department.

How to get out of Protect America contract: New customers have 14 days from the shipment date to return their equipment without being locked into their 36-month contract. However, a $79 restocking fee will apply. After the 14-day period is up, you are locked into the contract. If you wish to cancel after that, you'll have to pay out the remainder of the balance due.

We also checked out the Better Business Bureau to see if any consumer complaints had been filed, and we found over 500 Protect America complaints made during the last three years. About 300 of those complaints involved issues with the equipment or service, but billing complaints were also pretty common. The good news is that all the complaints were listed as resolved and the company has an overall A- score.

Rankings: Top Home Security Companies

 Protect AmericaFrontpointADT
Discount
Home Security
Customer Service
Installation
Yard Sign

How It Compares

© Richard (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

Looking into home security reviews is wise, and seeing how the company stacks up against top competitors is a good idea as well. We took a closer look at Protect America's top competitors below:

Protect America vs ADT

ADT: ADT is the largest security company in the US, but is it right for you? Is it better than Protect America? A key difference is that with Protect America, you can self-install to save on the upfront costs while ADT and their authorized independent dealers usually require professional installation. (See more with Protect America vs ADT)

 

Protect America

ADT

 

Benefits and Features

Home SecurityPlans start from $19.99/month to $54.99/month. All plans include free equipment, no installation fees, and 24/7 monitoring.
$54.99 Cellular Monitoring Plan includes cellular connection, smartphone control, automated door locks, and lighting control.
Plans start from $28.99/month to $55.99/month. All plans include 24/7 monitoring for burglary.
$55.99 ADT Pulse Video Plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
Mobile AppSMART Connect app allows you to arm and disarm your security system remotely, monitor sensor activity, view live video, and control locks and lights. App is available on App Store and Google Play.ADT Pulse app allows you to activate alarm, check sensors, watch live video feeds, control lights and appliances, adjust thermostats and view history of home activities. Available on App Store and Google Play.
Home AutomationSupports Z-Wave Door Locks, Lights, and ThermostatsADT Pulse allows you to arm/disarm your house, control your lights and thermostats, and watch live video remotely.
Contract
3 year contract
3 year contract
Control Panel
GE Simon XT
ADT Pulse touchscreen control panel allows you to know alarm status, arm/disarm your alarm, control lights, check weather, and view live video from security cameras. Also allows you to quickly send an immediate alarm (medical, fire, or police).
Customer ServiceMonday to Friday 8am to 9pm Central. Saturday to Sunday 9am to 7pm Central. 24/7 Monitoring24/7 customer support and monitoring.
Door Lock
ADT Pulse door locks allow you to remotely lock/unlock your door from any internet-connected device.
Door Sensor
Wired and wireless door sensors. Wireless door sensors can be installed yourself with no drilling or hardwiring necessary.
Glass Break Sensor
Detects if a pane of glass is shattered
Installation
Do It Yourself
Professional installation available.
Motion Sensor
Outdoor Camera 
Security CameraIndoor use only camera. Up to 2 streams
Thermostat
Touch Screen
Simon XT Touch Screen
Water Flood Monitoring
Window Sensor
Yard Sign
ADT-branded yard sign
Z-Wave
Discount
Home Security
Customer Service
Installation
Yard Sign

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Protect America: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length were obtained on January 13, 2016 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

ADT: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length were obtained on January 8, 2016 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Protect America vs Frontpoint

Frontpoint: Frontpoint has a lot in common with Protect America in terms of the cost and the kinds of equipment the system uses. The plans start at $34.99 per month and you'll spend at least $100 on your equipment. The equipment only comes with a three-year equipment warranty though, while Protect America has a lifetime warranty for replacement parts.

Like Protect America, Frontpoint also has its own security app and uses Z-wave technology for home automation. One big difference between is that you get a 30-day trial with Frontpoint, so you have a longer to return it if you're not 100% satisfied. (see more at Protect America vs Frontpoint)

Frontpoint is 100% wireless while Protect America offers wireless, landline and broadband connection options.

 

Protect America

Frontpoint

 

Benefits and Features

Home SecurityPlans start from $19.99/month to $54.99/month. All plans include free equipment, no installation fees, and 24/7 monitoring.
$54.99 Cellular Monitoring Plan includes cellular connection, smartphone control, automated door locks, and lighting control.
Plans start from $34.99/month to $49.99/month. All plans offer 100% wireless and cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring. $49.99 Ultimate Plan supports video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
Mobile AppSMART Connect app allows you to arm and disarm your security system remotely, monitor sensor activity, view live video, and control locks and lights. App is available on App Store and Google Play.
Alarm.com mobile app
Home AutomationSupports Z-Wave Door Locks, Lights, and ThermostatsAutomate your lights, door locks, and thermostats using Z-Wave technology.
Contract
3 year contract
Equipment discount with 3 year contract. 30-day trial period.
Control Panel
GE Simon XT
Standard control panel includes cellular technology. Optional touch screen control panel upgrade.
Customer ServiceMonday to Friday 8am to 9pm Central. Saturday to Sunday 9am to 7pm Central. 24/7 MonitoringMonday to Friday from 8am to 11pm Eastern. Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm Eastern. 24/7 Monitoring.
Door Lock
Supports Z-Wave door locks.
Door Sensor
Wireless door sensors. Recessed door sensors available. Garage door sensors available.
Glass Break Sensor
Installation
Do It Yourself
Do It Yourself: Most sensors are simply peel and stick.
Motion Sensor
Pet-friendly wireless motion sensors.
Outdoor Camera Wireless outdoor camera (requires power)
Security CameraIndoor use only camera. Up to 2 streamsIndoor and outdoor wireless camera options available (requires power)
Thermostat
Supports many Z-Wave thermostats
Touch Screen
Simon XT Touch Screen
Water Flood Monitoring
Window Sensor
Wireless window sensors.
Yard Sign
Z-Wave
Discount
Home Security
Customer Service
Installation
Yard Sign

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Protect America: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length were obtained on January 13, 2016 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Frontpoint: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length were obtained on January 13, 2016 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Protect America vs SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe: SimpliSafe offers rock-bottom pricing for security protection with monthly monitoring starting at just $14.99. And you don't have to sign any contracts, so there's no hefty cancellation fee to worry about.

But you do have to spend a few bucks on equipment upfront: packages start at $229. There's a security app for mobile monitoring, but you'll have to upgrade your monthly plan to access its features (which is a potential downside). SimpliSafe systems don't incorporate video cameras and they're not set up for home automation, so this system is better if you want basic monitoring without a lot of extras. (see more at Protect America vs Simplisafe)

 

Protect America

SimpliSafe

 

Benefits and Features

Home SecurityPlans start from $19.99/month to $54.99/month. All plans include free equipment, no installation fees, and 24/7 monitoring.
$54.99 Cellular Monitoring Plan includes cellular connection, smartphone control, automated door locks, and lighting control.
$14.99 Standard Alarm Monitoring
$24.99 Interactive Alarm Monitoring includes SMS/Email Alerts and Smartphone Control
Mobile AppSMART Connect app allows you to arm and disarm your security system remotely, monitor sensor activity, view live video, and control locks and lights. App is available on App Store and Google Play.SimpliSafe Home Security app allows you to arm/disarm remotely and monitor sensor status. Requires Interactive monitoring subscription plan and SimpliSafe2 system.
Home AutomationSupports Z-Wave Door Locks, Lights, and Thermostats 
Contract
3 year contract
No Contract
Control Panel
GE Simon XT
Customer ServiceMonday to Friday 8am to 9pm Central. Saturday to Sunday 9am to 7pm Central. 24/7 Monitoring9am to 6pm Eastern, 7 days a week. 24/7 Monitoring.
Door Lock
Door Sensor
Glass Break Sensor
Installation
Do It Yourself
Do It Yourself
Motion Sensor
Security CameraIndoor use only camera. Up to 2 streams 
Thermostat
 
Touch Screen
Simon XT Touch Screen
 
Water Flood Monitoring
Window Sensor
Yard Sign
Z-Wave
 
Discount
Home Security
Customer Service
Installation
Yard Sign
Online Community

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Protect America: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length were obtained on January 13, 2016 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

SimpliSafe: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length were obtained on August 4, 2016 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Bottom Line: Is Protect America Worth It?

© CreditDonkey

To sum up, here are the good and bad points to consider about Protect America:

Pros:

  • self-installation with no installation fee
  • no equipment fees
  • lifetime warranty on equipment replacement
  • plans starting at just $19.99 per month
  • choice of landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring
  • locked-in rates for life

Cons:

  • Three-year contract required
  • Hefty cancellation fee
  • Only 14 days to return the equipment (with a restocking fee)

The lower cost and the technology Protect America offers will make your dollars will go far with this system. In fact, Protect America has a lowest price guarantee.

But it comes with a few catches. There's that three-year contract you have to sign and the short 14-day trial period, so there's little room for error when it comes to your decision. If you choose cellular or broadband monitoring, that attractive $19.99/month jumps to $41.99/month. But remember, the basic equipment is free, and overall, we feel that Protect America is the best security system for the money.

Hopefully, we've helped you analyze the pros and cons and helped you take a smart step in the right direction toward your home security future.

Make sure to give them Protect America a call before you make your final choice. Still can't decide? Take a look at our extensive home security companies rankings and reviews.

    Protect America

    Get Free Home Security Quote

    Get up to $1,400 in free equipment, 24/7 professional monitoring, easy setup in about an hour, and no installation fees.

Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a home security comparison and financial education website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

More from CreditDonkey:


Why Burglars Single You Out


Burglary Statistics


23 Cheap Ways to Prevent Burglary

More Articles in Reviews

    Protect America

    Get Free Home Security Quote

    Get up to $1,400 in free equipment, 24/7 professional monitoring, easy setup in about an hour, and no installation fees.


Leave a comment about Protect America Review: Pros and Cons?

Name (required)
Email (required; won't be published)
Website (optional)


January
09
2017
Best Antivirus

Bitdefender Review

Bitdefender is one of the most well-known Internet security providers, but which version is best for you? Read on.

    Home Security

    Thinking of home security? Here are our top picks. Read our expert review to find out why they are the best in class.

    Are Home Security Systems Worth It? 23 Alarming Facts

    Want a home security system, but not sure if they are worth the cost? Read on for the pros and cons and things to know before you sign up.

    Study: Best Home Security - ADT vs Vivint vs Frontpoint

    Some people rely on their dog for security (a pit bull, yes but a toy poodle, not so much). Others feel a deadbolt offers enough reassurance when they turn in for the night. But many of us need to feel safer at night and when we’re away from home.
More Articles in Security Reviews










About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a home security comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.