Guardian Security Review
Believe it or not, Guardian Protection is actually the world’s largest privately-owned home alarm company. They are headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania and have been providing alarm services to most of the United States for over 60 long years. They feature many advanced monitoring protocols and overall technology with a large variety of prices. Just a quick heads up, they have been known to have very poor online transparency, so new customers are definitely encouraged to fully read their contract agreement carefully before actually signing it.
This company is also one of the few that will actually work with you and use your existing home alarm sensors and equipment if you happen to have some already installed. This obviously does depend a little bit on what type of equipment you have installed as some is incompatible and you will be forced to buy new hardware. This is still pretty nice though seeing as almost all other alarm companies will automatically replace your hardware rather than even attempting to use it.
Guardian Protection Services features 4 different monitoring packages that will range from basic safeguards against would-be intruders to the more comprehensive setups with a little more sophisticated devices like smoke detectors, remote panic buttons and even surveillance video cameras. When you purchase a service from this company you will be asked if you wish to sign up for their maintenance plan. With this plan, you will have to pay a low monthly fee in exchange for a discounted price on all potential service and repair calls in the future. The service plan does not cover some things like water damage, natural disasters or construction damage, but it does certainly cover normal wear and tear problems.
Before you dive head first into this you should make sure to check that Guardian actually provides coverage in your immediate area. Even though they claim “nationwide” coverage, they do exclude several major cities for some unknown reason.
The basic package is for the people wanting to monitor using their landline connection. Their basic package starts at just $29.95 per month. The second tier package, called Essential, offers wireless monitoring with a price-point of $34.95 per month. The packages increase in price and functionality from there.
All of their services come with 24/7 monitoring via their UL listed monitoring station. The main central monitoring station is even Five Diamond rated and boasts a Central Station of the Year award from the Central Station Alarm Association (CSSAA). Guardian themselves state that they respond to all alarm signals in less than 60 seconds on average.
Guardian offers a unique “geo-fencing” service called Geo-Service. This comes standard on all of their packages except for the most basic one. This service essentially puts a virtual fence around your residence that will always remind you to arm your system if you leave the area and it hasn’t already been armed.
Another unique feature that this company offers is their “Always on Guard Tracking”. However, this service requires you to purchase an “area of interest” sensor. This sensor can monitor everything from normal doors to your cabinets. If any event is detected by the sensor, it will immediately send you a notification via text or e-mail. These sensors enable notifications to be sent even when your system is completely unarmed.
Guardian actually offers 4 different surveillance camera models to it’s customers. Their surveillance service also provides both text and email notifications to their customers that can include images of the captured video or just ordinary still shots. They offer a camera that is fully capable of things like pan and tilt, infrared/night vision and a motion sensor activated camera.
Guardian Protection has branded their home automation under the name emPower. They currently offer emPower lights, remote locks and thermostat controls. All of this is setup and controlled by the industry leading mobile alarm app from Alarm.com. This partnership is a good one for Guardian seeing as the Alarm.com mobile app is among one of the highest rated home alarm apps in the whole entire industry. This app currently has 4.5 stars on both the Apple iTunes store as well as the Google Play store.
Guardian Protection Pricing and Equipment
Their second tier of service, Control, offers everything Essential has with the added bonus of one home automation device of your choice. You may pick from the smart door lock, remote thermostat, 2 lighting modules or a remote garage door opener/closer.
Edge Plus comes with all of the equipment mentioned in the above packages with the addition of their image sensor. This device is basically like a normal intrusion sensor but it also captures an image of whatever happened to trigger that specific event. This is definitely a great way to check up on pets or even your children.
The Premium package adds 2 indoor Wi-Fi cameras fully equipped with night vision.
With all of that being said, most of these are just examples provided by their website. You want to make sure that you always keep an eye out for specials or promotions that they may be running. For example, at the time of this review being written, their website offers a promotion for $1600 worth of alarm equipment for just $99. This supposedly includes up to 10 sensors! Just make sure you closely examine the terms of the promotion, as these deals can require things like longer contract agreements or other fine print that could end up being very important.
While their basic package prices seem to be fairly competitive with other leading national companies, the additional equipment can get pricey if you want a lot. Pricing is usually set by the local authorized dealer so there can be significant jumps between price estimates and costs. Most of the equipment (excluding the door locks and surveillance cameras) come with a lifetime warranty at no additional charge on any packages above the most basic one.
All of their systems are professionally installed by Guardian certified local dealers. The standard equipment package comes with the GE Simon XT Control Panel, 3 Door/Window sensors and a Motion Detector for $99. They also offer a ton of additional equipment that can be can be purchased separately such as:
- A Color Touchscreen
- Extra Motion Sensors
- Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Medical Emergency Pendant
- Smoke Detector
- Glass Break Sensor
- Micro Door and Window Sensors
- Low Temperature Detection
- Pan and Tilt Surveillance Camera
- Nightvision and Infrared Surveillance Camera
- Outdoor Cameras
- Area of Interest Sensor
Guardian Customer Service
Guardian Protection Services offers most of their customer support over the phone. You do have the ability to fill out an online e-mail form on their website in hopes that a company representative will call you back to discus the matter. This can be rather annoying sometimes and it would be nice to have genuine e-mail support as well as live chat support on the website.
Customer service experience is usually generally positive and Guardian currently maintains an awesome A+ BBB rating. With that being said, a casual search of customer feedback and testimonials on sites like Yelp and other forums may reveal a significant number of customer complaints mostly involving sale misrepresentations. This is largely due to the 5 year contracts and their sneaky auto renewal clauses. While they do not offer a return policy, Guardian does offer a 6-month service guarantee which states that they will quickly resolve any service related issue within the first 6 months, for free.
Guradian Security services offer a quality alternative to any of the huge nationally recognized industry giants. Although they do say they have service pretty much everywhere in the country, it is actually more limited to TX, MD, NC, IL, OH, IN, PA, FL and WI. Guardian does in fact certify the individual local dealers in your area to help ensure you have a quality customer experience. This obviously means the customer service experience may vary quite a bit depending on the caliber of the dealer in your specific area. Lastly, like I mentioned previously, just make sure that you scrutinize contacts very carefully before giving them your official signature. I recommend that you research your local dealer very carefully to ensure you will be receiving quality assistance and pricing.