Protect America has its headquarters in Austin Texas and has been selling one of the best home security systems, home automation devices, and monitoring service since the early 1990’s.
The walk up to you with a simple offer: wireless home security with no upfront costs and a locked-in price guarantee for professional security monitoring.
Protect America offers everything from pushbutton and touchscreen control panels to indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras with night vision options and cloud storage. Plus, you get Protect America’s great customer service, their app – SMART Connect – and more.
Plus, they have home automation devices, too, like smart locks, garage door openers, and voice control via Amazon Echo Dot – just to name a few.
There’s no question that Protect America’s equipment is innovative, and the price is tossed into the monthly monitoring fees- but the question remains: are they worth your time and money?
Let’s find out.
Protect America: Monitoring Packages
|Package||Equipment fees||Monthly Cost - Landline||Monthly cost - Cellular/Broadband||Monitoring Includes||View plans|
|Copper||$0 - None||$19.99/mo||$41.99/mo.||Control Panel, Motion Sensor, Mobile app, 3 Entry Sensors||View plans|
|Silver||$0 - None||$37.99/mo||$$49.99/mo.||Control Panel, Motion Sensor, Mobile app, 9 Entry Sensors||View plans|
|Platinum||$0 - None||$42.99/mo||$54.99/mo.||Control Panel, Motion Sensor, Mobile app, 14 Entry Sensors||View plans|
|Video monitoring||$99/camera (indoor) $169/camera (outdoor)||N/A||$10||Video monitoring||View plans|
|Fire monitoring||N/A||$9.99/mo or $2/mo||$9.99/mo or $20/mo||Smoke detector monitoring||View plans|
Protect America gives you 3 monitoring packages to choose from: Copper, Silver, and Platinum. That keeps things simple, which is nice, but pricing does get a little more complicated than you’re initially led to believe.
Case in point – Protect America’s advertised prices are for their landline monitoring options. They also provide Broadband (Wi-Fi) and Cellular monitoring – but upgrading to either of those will cost you a jump in monthly price.
But that’s because you get extra features with those two types: namely home automation features and real-time alerts from your sensors and video cameras.
Plus, you’re not going to pay any upfront equipment or activation charges, regardless of the monitoring type.
That’s right, unlike competitors (Vivint, ahem), who insist you either pay hundreds upfront or tack on $20+ per month, Protect America just builds the equipment into their monthly price - and keeps it low even at that.
It’s also locked-in for the length of your contract (more on those later).
You’ll notice that none of the 3 monitoring packages include video surveillance; that’s because it’s an additional service. For $10 per month extra plus the 1-time cost of surveillance cameras, you can add video monitoring on, as well.
You can also do the same for fire monitoring at additional cost.
Protect America: Equipment Packages
|Yard Sign||Yes, (1)||Yes, (1)||Yes, (1)|
|Control Panel||Standard, (1)||Standard, (1)||Standard, (1)|
|Door/Window Sensor||Yes, (3)||Yes, (9)||Yes, (14)|
|Motion Sensor||Yes, (1)||Yes, (1)||Yes, (1)|
As we already mentioned, your equipment is free – no upfront costs reaching $1,000+, no extra monthly payments tacked on for 5 years – so each equipment package offered is simply one and the same as the monitoring package you choose.
The main difference between the 3 equipment packages is that you get more sensors as you move up through the tiers. Each package includes a control panel (pushbutton is standard), door/window sensors, and a motion sensor.
It’s important to note, though – with no equipment fees, you don’t own your security equipment. If you close out your service with Protect America, you’ll have to return everything.
|Touchscreen Control Panel Upgrade||$99|
|Indoor Security Camera||$99/each|
|Outdoor Security Camera||$169/each|
|Smoke Detector + Monitoring (2)||$9.99/mo.|
|Smoke Detector Monitoring (of existing detectors)||$2/mo.|
|Glass Break Sensor||$99/each|
It should be said: the standard equipment included in Protect America’s packages isn’t especially comprehensive. It’s honestly fairly basic, and doesn’t include any video cameras.
So to round out your system – especially if you want indoor or outdoor security cameras – you’ll need to grab some additional equipment.
While standard equipment is included with monitoring, you’ll have to pay upfront prices to buy each of the additional pieces you want. Luckily, prices are in line with competitors like Vivint and Frontpoint and you then own them.
Protect America: Contracts
Contracts are a part of the home security industry – it’s a sad fact, but true. The thing is, they aren’t necessarily a bad thing if they save you money and you plan on sticking around.
Protect America does a 36-month contract – but before you exit out, hear this: your starting rate will be locked in for the entirety of that agreement. There’s no escalating rates built in – it’s flat and final for the length of the term.
Plus, you get all of your basic equipment for free – as much as $1,400 worth.
The downside to a contract however, is the potential for early termination fees if you cancel before the end. In Protect America’s case, they’re tough to swallow: you have to pay 100% of what’s left on the remainder of your contract. Ouch.
And one more thing – if you want to cancel at the end of your 36 months, you need to give the company 60-days notice. Otherwise, your contract will renew itself automatically.
Protect America: Equipment + Features
While we’re on the topic of equipment, let’s start by breaking down the details of the basics: control panel, motion sensors, and door/window sensors.
Protect America offers 2 control panel options: the Simon XT model and the Simon XTi5 model. The difference between them?
The latter has a touchscreen. You’ll have to grab the Silver package and upgrade for $99 to get it.
But in either case, there’s a siren included in the panel which goes off when the alarm trips and only quiets when you disarm your system.
You get one motion sensor included standard with each package. It has a 25’ range that will trip the alarm when it senses movement. It has a cool pet feature, too – we’ll talk about that soon.
You can add more to your package for an additional cost apiece.
Your entry sensors are attached to a door or window; when the door or window opens, the alarm will go off if you don’t disarm your system within a very short time period.
The Silver and Platinum plans have an increasingly high number of these sensors included, and you can buy more for additional cost, too.
Equipment + Features: Optional Equipment
Beyond the basic equipment included in each package, there’s plenty of optional equipment you can nab to beef up your whole-home security.
Protect America’s video surveillance cameras come in 2 flavors: indoor and outdoor. Both feature 2-way audio, LED infrared night vision (up to 16’ ahead), HD feed, and 60-degree view fields.
They’re also encrypted with 128bit AES, which is one of the toughest encryption algorithms to break – so don’t worry about hackers tapping into your feed to watch your home. Chances are slim to none.
Glass break sensors
You can pick up glass break sensors for an extra fee, too. They’re basically high-tech microphones that listen for the sound of broken glass (up to 20’ away) and sound the alarm if they hear it.
And if you have smoke detectors already, but want the monitoring that goes with them – no sweat. You can grab smoke detector monitoring from Protect America for $2 a month.
Mini Pin pad
The Mini Pin pad is like a miniature version of the control panel. It’s a small keypad that allows you to arm or disarm your system from anywhere in your home. It also has a panic button feature which will alert the police that you may be in trouble.
Equipment + Features: Home Automation
Protect America includes a surprising number of home automation features for the price, primarily focusing on remote control from their interactive mobile app (SMART Connect).
Protect America’s interactive Mobile app, SMART Connect, shows up for both Android and iOS operating systems. It gives you the ability to control just about everything, like:
- Your security system (arming, disarming, diagnostics)
- Door locks
- Live-streaming video surveillance
You also get your security commands, email and text notifications, and more. Unfortunately, the app can sometimes have some bugs – like lagging or freezing when you try to connect to your video stream.
August Smart Lock Pro
Another piece of equipment you can add is the August Smart Lock Pro. As its name suggests, it’s a smart lock; you install it and then control it from the SMART Connect mobile app.
So if you forgot to lock the door on your way up to bed, or when you left for work this morning – no problem. You can lock it remotely – and even track doorstep activity – through the Smart Lock Pro via the mobile app.
That also gives you keyless entry, so you never have to carry a key again. You can also sync the Smart Lock up with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Siri to be able to voice control it. And, it’s a Z-wave device, so you can integrate it with any other Z-wave home automation devices you have, too.
There are a few other options for smart locks that the mobile app is compatible with, too:
- Yale Z-Wave Touchscreen Lever Lock
- Kwikset Premis Homekit Smart Lock
- GoControl Z-Wave Garage Door Opener
Linear Garage Door Opener
The Linear Garage Door Opener is another Z-wave device you can grab. Once easily installed, you can remotely open and close your garage door from the SMART Connect app or your control panel.
So once again – leave it open on the way out? Just close it remotely with your smartphone.
Amazon Alexa Integration
Protect America’s entire system is compatible with Amazon Alexa’s speaker unit, Amazon Echo Dot. Anything you can do with the control panel, you can do with Amazon Echo’s voice control - arm and disarm, adjust your lighting or temperature (assuming smart devices), and lock and unlock your doors.
And if you’re worried about a burglar disarming your system with their voice – don’t be. Biometric voice recognition technology codes itself to listen to the commands of only those who are programmed in.
Z-Wave Light + Appliance Module
The Z-Wave light and appliance module is a simple little device that you pickup and plugin to a Z-wave enabled outlet. Once its plugged in, you can use it to turn lights on and off, dim them, and even control some appliances – all through the SMART Connect app or online.
Protect America also has a smart thermostat, which connects to the internet. You can control it via the mobile app to change the temperature when you’re not at home - that means you have more control over your energy use and can save money by adjusting your home’s climate when you’re not around.
Equipment + Features: Miscellaneous
Lifetime Equipment Warranty
Another cool feature of Protect America is its lifetime warranty on all equipment. No matter how many years it’s been since you signed up, if something breaks, they’ll ship you a replacement part for free.
And that warranty covers all 3 types of monitoring: landline, broadband, and cellular.
24/7 Landline, Cellular, Broadband Monitoring options
Speaking of the different monitoring types, Protect America offers all 3 – a rarity in the industry. The inclusion of landline is especially great for you if you live in a rural area where broadband and cellular service may not be adequate to support home security monitoring of those types.
If that’s you, then landline monitoring is a great option to have around; plus, it’s the cheapest.
No Upfront Equipment Charges
Lastly for features – we’ve said it already, but it’s worth mentioning again: you don’t pay any upfront equipment fees with Protect America. Although it’s true that prevents you from actually owning any of the security equipment – minus add-on items – you also save as much as $1,400 for top-notch equipment.
Protect America: Installation + Ease-of-Use
Everything is DIY – but don’t be afraid. Everything is freestanding or can be attached to surfaces with adhesive. You don’t have to hammer; you don’t have to drill. Everything is programmed specifically for your home.
Protect America: Customer Service
Most Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints filed by customers have to do with contract – you need to notify Protect America within 60 days of cancelling, or your contract will renew automatically.
Protect America: Recap
With a very solid variety of free equipment, and affordable monthly rates for professional monitoring, Protect America puts up a good offering. They’re best for basic security, with standalone video monitoring and a variety of add-ons making comprehensive home security and even home automation affordable.