They were founded back in 1992 and they started off as a small alarm company like most other's but now they watch over about a half a million residences. They try to take a different approach when it comes to safety. While most others charge an equipment fee upfront in an attempt to offer lower monthly fees, they actually have a zero upfront cost for their kit in exchange for a slightly higher monthly fee. They have successfully provided one of the most cost-effective do it yourself home security solutions to over 600,000 families in their 25 years of business.
Not all home security plans are created equally, and that's a good thing. Do you need the exact same setup as your neighbor's? Probably not, and this is when a do it yourself alarm system can save you a boat load of trouble with customization. DIY systems allow you to install it by yourself to fit the needs of your specific layout. They customize every package uniquely to meet your house and family’s needs. If you are renting a small one bedroom apartment, you aren't going to need the same service plan as someone with a larger ranch style vacation dwelling.
Landline, Wi-Fi or Cellular Connection?
You are given the option to choose your preferred connection method. You have several packages to choose from such as the Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum equipment package. All these packages ensure that you get to pick precisely the way your system communicates with the all important central monitoring station. You are able to choose between a landline, Wi-Fi or cellular security system. The landline option obviously requires that you have an active phone line, and features two-way voice. Two-Way Voice allows the owner to communicate and talk to the central monitoring station directly through your main control panel.
Now, their broadband option uses your personal internet or Wi-Fi. The master control panel plugs directly into your modem or router to communicate with the monitoring center. They actually claim that their Broadband option takes as little as two seconds to phone for help when it is needed.
Lastly, the cellular plan will use the cell phone towers around you to communicate. The most obvious benefit to cellular plan's is that it is not relying upon your phone or your own internet. While most broadband and landline connections have very little downtime, cellular plans have even less down time, essentially zero. With the broadband or cellular plan you are able to use their mobile app or their user-friendly interactive website to control your service.
My Protect America: Plans & Services
As you can see they offer five different service plans ranging from $19.99 up to $42.99 per month. Like most other companies plans, the main factor that changes with these plans is the devices such as the number of door and window sensors. Finding accurate pricing information in the this industry can often times be very frustrating. Not all companies are straightforward with their pricing. Many companies force you to contact a professional sales rep before you even get the most basic information. They are quite transparent with their pricing, as almost all important information can be easily found on the website.
All packages provide 24/7 monitoring through Criticom Monitoring Service. Criticom is comprised of three UL Listed, FM Approved monitoring centers that are located all across the US.
Zero Installation/Activation Fee's
As long as you meet the credit check requirements and sign a three-year contract or online agreement, they will give you all the necessary equipment at no cost to you. This is a strategy that is now followed by a handful of the best service providers. If one of the of most important factors for you in choosing your company is minimal upfront costs, they are likely a good choice.
Customer Service Support
Protect America customer service offers a free lifetime warranty that covers any and all of your monitoring equipment and sensors for as long as you remain a customer. Replacement parts will be shipped to you at no additional charge so you never have to worry about equipment malfunctions and spending more money to fix any issues you might encounter. They come highly recommended by their customers and it is not very often you find complaints. They also note that the do-it-yourself installation is a breeze and is shipped directly to your door. They offer 24/7 support and a wide array of online video tutorials.
This next generation control panel is loaded with features and is very user-friendly. Utilize your devices by touching icons on Simon XTi’s crisp LCD screen. You can also connect your smart phone or tablet with the system using Protect America’s app. The control panel work's with smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors, and even home automation devices as well.
These common magnetic contact sensors are used to detect when any door or window is opened. The sensors rely on wireless micro sensors to try and help keep them hidden from tampering. These sensor's are found in virtually every setup and often placed in the most common area's where an intruder might break into your house.
Video Surveillance Camera
Protect America's wireless surveillance camera's give you the ability of placing them in the most effective and busy area's in your house. You do not have to worry and stress over drilling holes or running long cables. The surveillance camera will begin recording during an alarm and will store footage in your private online account for you to access the footage whenever you desire.
Do you want to control your setup from the comfort of any room you choose? This wireless mini pin-pad is a tiny device that will communicate directly with your main control panel at the touch of a few buttons. These can very convenient if placed around the house appropriately.
Each motion sensor recognizes heat and movement within a 25-foot range. This allows you to place this nifty little gadget in almost any corner of your rooms. A nice bonus feature is that these motion detectors are designed to be pet friendly, they detect animals up to 40 lbs and will not trigger the sensor.
This is actually a pretty cool and unique gadget. Place this mini panic button in any hidden location such as a drawer or even underneath your pillow. The two button panic device has a 24 hour panic that will contact the local authorities if needed.
One of the main reasons they give you the equipment at no charge is because they tend to charge more than the industry average for its monthly monitoring service fee's. They are essentially taking the cost of the entire system and spreading it out over a 3-year contract.
They offer more packages than most other companies with their five-tier service plans. The most basic package includes the control panel, 3 door/window sensors, 1 motion detector, and an internal loud siren or a door chime. On the other hand, the most comprehensive and expensive package includes the control panel, 15 door/window sensors, 1 motion sensor, and the same siren or door chime.
You also have the ability to customize any of the basic packages. Like most other popular home security companies, they feature fully wireless equipment throughout. There is still a couple more devices that i did not cover above that you may find useful such as glass break sensors, garage door sensors, sirens and other personal safety devices.
Their automation equipment uses the new leading industry standard Z-Wave technology. They currently offer options to automate lighting, small kitchen appliances, room temperature, and even door locks. Thankfully these options do not add to the monthly fee, but they do however add to the equipment cost.
While taking advantage of the automation does not add to the monthly fee, it does require a plan with either cellular or broadband monitoring so you may access Protect America’s mobile app.
These services are controlled using their proprietary mobile app. Since home automation is slowly trying to become mainstream many user's still find the app's and automation features very buggy.
All additonal devices require a DIY installation. Like Frontpoint, the design of the system makes it easy to install, even for the most novice users. If that is not enough, the team of technical support personnel can guide you through any process you don't feel comfortable with. In the event you still cannot figure out how to setup your system, a certified installer can visit your place, but this will add additional fee's.
So, Are They Right For You?
- They do not charge an activation fee, installation fee, or an even an equipment fee.
- They have a straightforward DIY installation method with videos to help.
- They offer free Moving Kits unlike some alarm companies.
- They’ve drastically improved their BBB score from a C- to an A.
- Rates will never go up.
- Lifetime warranty standard.
- Monitoring starts at $19.99/month and is among the lowest in the industry.
- And of course, 100% wireless sensors.
- Complaints about their tech support seem to be commonplace.
- They have a short 14-day return policy and after that you will be locked into your 36 month contract. If you want to cancel, you will need to pay the contract balance in full.
- They overcharge for some features that are standard with other home security companies.
- Mobile app has pretty bad user review's.
- No free trial offer.
- The Cellular monitoring packages start at $41.99/month.
Overall, Protect America provides above average devices and provides excellent alarm monitoring services for the average person. The lack of professional installers can be a deal breaker for some, but the simplistic design of modern systems make DIY installation increasingly easy. The absolute best and most important factor about them is the extremely low up-front cost considering the high-end equipment you are provided with.
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