You may have heard of Guardian Protection — after all, they’re a pretty big player in the home security space. They promise a secure and connected home, with around-the-clock monitoring and lots of nifty smart devices. Of course, we wanted to see how their systems fared through our rigorous testing process, as well as how they stacked up against the competition (the competition is fierce!). So, we got our hands on a few different Guardian packages.
A few things stood out right away. The equipment was affordable, the customer service was on-point, and we really liked their home automation solutions. But you have to take the bad with the good. We found Guardian Protection to be a card-carrying member of the “old-guard” of security companies. They require professional installation and long-term contracts, and they have a few other policies that we didn’t exactly love. Don’t worry! We’re going to share everything you need to know about Guardian Protection here — both the good and the bad. So, let’s dive in!
Sometimes we dig up dirt on companies during our initial research. But with Guardian, they fully check out. We liked learning about Guardian Protection’s past. The company has been in business for 40+ years, and they currently hold an A+ rating with the BBB.1 They’ve also received an Angie’s List Super Service Award.2 Today, they serve over a quarter million customers across the country. It seems like a good start, right?
While the Armstrong Group of Companies owns Guardian Protection, they still maintain a semblance of small-business, down-home values.3 For instance, they recently teamed up with Minor League Baseball to become the official smart home security partner of the MiLB (go Akron RubberDucks!).4 In our research, we didn’t discover any red flags, which is always a good thing. So, let’s move on to important matters like pricing and our personal experience with Guardian.
Unfortunately, Guardian Protection doesn’t disclose their prices on the website. Not to worry — that’s why you have us! We called in and got squared away with prices and fees. Before we dig in, you should know that all of their wireless systems include cellular connectivity, 24-7 monitoring, a mobile app for remote controls, and a couple of generous guarantees.
So, how do the costs shake out? Well, Guardian’s pricing is a bit steep compared to the industry average. The equipment costs are either paid upfront or financed over time. Depending on the level of protection and convenience you want, expect to pay between $299 and $1,000+ for the equipment, as well as $99 for professional installation. Compared to more affordable brands like Alder and Ring Alarm, Guardian will put a dent in the ol’ pocketbook.
Pro Tip: We typically recommend choosing a company that’s transparent with pricing upfront. This way, you know you’re not getting ripped off.
Then, you’ve got the monthly monitoring fees. These charges run between $44.99 per month (for basic security + automation) and $55.99 per month (for security + automation + video). We’ve also heard that Guardian Protection sometimes offers a $29.99 per month plan for landline connection, but don’t count on it. We were unable to verify this promotion over the phone. Again, these systems are a touch pricey. But, as you’ll see, Guardian has a handful of redeeming qualities that we think you’ll like.
Guardian offers a variety of systems with different setups for your situation. We won’t bore you by getting too granular with the details, but here’s a quick overview of the most popular systems.
This package is ideal for small-ish homes. You’ll get Guardian’s IQ2 touchscreen control panel, three door or window sensors, a motion detector, a smoke and heat detector, and Guardian’s 24-7 monitoring service. It’s a decent setup, but keep in mind that you’ll likely need to purchase additional entryway sensors to help keep the bad guys out. Also, we don’t think this system delivers as much value or protection as similar systems, such as the ones offered by ADT.
Have furry friends at home? If so, this package might be a good option for you (if not, see our best home security systems for pet owners page). You get everything in the Essentials package, plus an extra smoke and heat detector, a CO detector, a smart door lock, a smart thermostat, a room temperature sensor, smart automated light modules, and an indoor camera. Yes, this system offers the works, but you’ll pay a pretty penny for it. Be ready to spend upward of $750+ for the equipment alone, then around $55 per month for monitoring and access to the video and automation features.
Guardian’s other popular package, the Frequent Flyer, is for folks who find themselves out of town on a regular basis. This system not only guards your home against intrusion, but it’s also meant to help prevent criminals from even casing your home in the first place. How? Well, it comes with a video doorbell, a smart garage door opener, smart lighting capabilities, a smart door lock, and more. Although it doesn’t include a camera like the Pet Parent system, it’ll still run you around $750.
Guardian Protection also offers the Bachelor(ette) system, which is geared toward college students and young professionals living in an apartment. And finally, they sell the Burglar Buster, which reminds us of McDonald’s Hamburglar every time we hear it. The Burglar Buster comes with the basics, plus additional glass-break sensors (you know, to bust burglars).
FYI: Each of these packages requires a long-term contract between three and five years. This commitment is a necessary evil with some of the “old-guard” security companies. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it should weigh into your assessment of the brand and whether or not the service is right for you.
We first had to search through the Guardian website to find a system that would work for our 2,500-square-foot home. Next, we had to call Guardian’s customer support to speak with an agent, as they don’t have a way to purchase the system online. We’re typically not thrilled by this absence (another example of the “old guard”), but there are some advantages of speaking with a sales rep, too. Thankfully, our representative was friendly. She helped us identify the Frequent Flyer system to be the ideal setup for our budget and lifestyle.
Two days later, a Guardian technician visited our home to install the system. There was nothing much to report here, other than it was pretty quick and painless. However, professional installation isn’t free with Guardian Protection. They charge $99 for the service (same price as ADT), so that’s something to consider when factoring in costs. Their techs are highly trained, so we knew they would install the system right the first time.5
When it came to using Guardian on a day-to-day basis, we thought it was half-decent, but nothing to write home about. They build their equipment to last, and the system was easy to control using the Guardian app on our smartphone.6 We also had the option of arming and disarming our system using the IQ2 touchscreen controls. Lately, we’ve seen more companies offering touchscreen panels to keep up with the competition, and we think it’s a nice touch. The smart home automation features were also fairly easy to use, but we’ve come to expect it these days.
During testing, we simulated break-in and package-theft scenarios. The sensors were fairly responsive, and the instant mobile alerts came through with no problem. But we didn’t experience fast response times, which was disappointing. The company uses something called “PowerG advanced wireless intrusion technology,” which is supposed to “communicate 4x further than the competition.”7 But you won’t find any details about what this actually means on their website. Also, Guardian claims response times “under 60 seconds,” which is almost two times slower than the industry standard. So, there’s room for improvement here.
If you value a helping hand, we think you’ll like Guardian’s customer service. Their service team was always at-the-ready (yep, 24-7 customer service). We don’t see this very often, so it was a breath of fresh air. That said, they don’t have many online resources like how-to articles or troubleshooting guides to help you out. So, if you enjoy a DIY approach to service, you might want to look elsewhere. But the phone support we received from their friendly agents was one of the things we liked most about Guardian.
Every now and then we come across a company that offers generous guarantees. And much like Alder Security, Guardian Protection has a few guarantees that you’ll want to keep in mind. First, they offer $500 to cover your insurance deductible if your home gets broken into while you have their service (armed and monitored). They also have a Home Relocation Guarantee, giving you free installation and setup if you move to a different home.8 So, if you’re a renter who moves around frequently, you might want to remember this one. You’ll want to talk to their reps to get details though, as we’re sure there’s plenty of fine print here.
FYI: Guardian Protection does not offer a money-back guarantee, which was a little disappointing, as most companies customarily provide this coverage.
We did enjoy some of Guardian’s features and technology — like their IQ2 touchscreen controls and tamper-proof sensors, for instance. But at the end of the day, nothing really stood out as especially advanced or helpful. The smart home equipment is fairly standard (and somewhat expensive) compared to the competition. And their outdoor security camera left a lot to be desired. But we digress. Here are some of the Guardian features and tech we liked the most.
Wireless Systems — All of Guardian’s systems are 100% wireless, which means no hardwiring or drilling into walls, as well as no cords for criminals to cut!
Tamper-Proof Sensors — Guardian’s door and window sensors have a built-in tamper switch that sends an alert if someone tries to disable it. We really liked this small, but important, feature.
Touchscreen Controls — The Guardian IQ2 Touchscreen Control Keypad looks and functions a lot like a tablet. Its features include a built-in panic button, weather display, and it’ll even snap a pic of the ugly mug trying to tamper with it (not you, the bad guy!).
Did You Know: Guardian’s upper-tier packages include two wireless IQ2 touchscreen panels, allowing you to place them wherever you want for easy access.
Smartphone Controls — Guardian includes access to their mobile app for remote smartphone controls. You can set up custom alerts and rules for your security and automation devices, which gives you direct control over your system from pretty much anywhere in the world. We found the app to be decent, but not nearly as sleek as Vivint’s App.
Live Video Streaming — The company offers an indoor and outdoor security camera, which you can access with remote live streaming using a mobile device or PC. Pair these cameras with Guardian’s Video Streaming Recorder, and you can access 24-7 recordings online or via the app. This feature lets you keep a finger on the pulse of your home security system. It’s nice, but you can expect it from most brands these days.
24-7 Professional Monitoring — Guardian Protection offers 24-7 professional monitoring. Actually, it’s required. This service keeps your home security system connected to their monitoring center. If a break-in occurs, your system will notify the agents, and they can contact first responders if needed. We didn’t love this service, as their response times could be quicker to match the industry average.
Pro Tip: No matter which company you choose, you should look for fast response times ranging between 20 to 30 seconds or faster. Alder Security has one of the fastest response times we’ve seen at 3.4 seconds on average!
Geo-Services — Here’s a neat feature we think you’ll like. You can automatically arm and disarm your system, as well as perform different smart home commands, thanks to Guardian’s Geo-Services. With this technology, you can draw a virtual fence around your home to activate or deactivate certain features based on your smartphone’s location.9 It’s not foolproof, but it is convenient and neat when it works.
Smart Home Automation Features — Guardian’s upper-tier packages support home automation features like smart door locks, smart thermostats, smart lighting, and more. Overall, it’s pretty easy to use, but there’s a bit of a learning curve to set it all up.
Guardian Protection offers a pretty impressive lineup of equipment, add-ons, and upgrades. While this selection is a good thing, it can also run up quite the tab if you’re not careful. That’s why we always recommend writing down your needs and wants, and then do your best to stay in your budget bracket. The notion of “system creep” is real. But we’re here to protect you from it!
One other thing to note is that Guardian Protection isn’t transparent at all with their prices, so we don’t have prices for the devices they sell. But overall, you can expect to pay slightly more than the industry average for Guardian equipment.
|Guardian Equipment||Equipment Type|
|Door or Window Sensor||Entry Sensor|
|Glass-Break Detector||Intrusion Detector|
|Guardian IQ2 Panel||Control|
|Room Temp Sensor||Sensor|
|Smart Automated Light Module||Smart Home|
|Smart Door Lock||Smart Home|
|Smart Garage Door Opener||Smart Home|
|Smart Thermostat||Smart Home|
|Smoke & Heat Detector||Environmental Sensor|
|Carbon Monoxide Sensor||Environmental Sensor|
Our experience with Guardian Protection was mainly positive. We liked that they offer loads of equipment options and solid customer service (these days, good service is hard to come by). We also thought their IQ2 touchscreen panel was a pretty sleek and modern addition to our home. But honestly, that’s pretty much all that we liked about Guardian Protection.
We didn’t love the long-term contracts — you’ll also have to sign a 36-month or 5-year contract depending on the system you choose. Then there are the slower-than-average response times, which is a major concern. If someone’s forcing their way into your home, every second counts. And we think an average of 60 seconds is just too slow. Finally, we wish they were more transparent with their pricing and listed all prices on their website. Overall, it’s a decent system, but it’s far from our top pick. We’d sooner recommend an affordable system like SimpliSafe or ADT, especially if you want professional installation.
Yes, their contracts range from 36-months to 5-years, which is longer than the industry average contract length.
Yes, Guardian offers professional installation. In fact, they require it. It costs $99 (one-time fee).
No, Guardian does not have a self-monitoring option; rather, you must choose a paid monitoring plan to get their equipment.
There is no money-back guarantee, but they do offer $500 toward your insurance deductible if your home gets broken into while you have their system and monitoring (and it’s armed).
In our experience, their customer service was solid. Overall, the company gets good marks in this category.
Yes, we found Guardian to be more expensive than the industry average.
Guardian’s systems are wireless, so there’s no drilling into walls or wiring to worry about.
Guardian’s response times are slower-than-average at 60 seconds.
Yes, the company offers a handful of home automation devices, like smart lighting controls, door locks, thermostats, etc. It also works with Z-Wave compatible devices.
Yes. However, they only offer one indoor camera and one outdoor camera with limited features.
Guardian Protection: Better Business Bureau® Profile. (2020, April 8). BBB.
Guardian Protection. (2020). Award-Winning Smart Security.
Armstrong Group. (2020). Security and Home Technology.
PR NewsWire. (2019, June 5). Guardian Protection Teams up with Minor League Baseball to Become Official Smart Home Security Partner of MiLB. Cision.
Guardian Protection. (2020). Guardian's Professional Installation.
Guardian Protection Services. (2020, February 10). Guardian Protection. Google.
Visonic. (2020). PowerG Wireless Property Protection.
Guardian Protection. (2020). Moving Support.
Guardian Protection. (2020, February 18). Level-Up Your Smart Home Experience With Geo-Fencing.