Founded in Austin, Texas, in 1992, Protect America has been providing some of the best home security systems for people seeking long-term solutions for decades, claiming half a million customers in that time. (For those who aren’t, see our list of favorites.) Its 14-day trial is short, but this does let you use the system for free while deciding whether to sign a 3-year contract. For the duration of your contract, Protect America will provide your security equipment, even replacing it if needed.
The newest Protect America security systems are 100% wireless and send emergency alerts using a powerful 4G cellular network. You can choose a Simon control panels with push buttons, or a Simon XT panel with touch screen.
The best features of this system
Protect America could be your best home security deal over a 3-year period. The company provides its equipment at no additional cost—in contrast, other home security companies lease or sell the equipment you’ll use. You can start with a free 14-day trial, then get a price match guarantee on alarm monitoring if you choose to sign on long-term.
And while contracts are a deterrent for some, Protect America has managed to excel at its customer service so much that the average customers stays with the company for more than 8 years. Plus, a lifetime warranty on equipment means the company will keep you geared up over the long run.
If you’re not afraid to install your own equipment and you’re super confident you’ll be in your home for the next 3 years, Protect America just might be the best bet for you. Aside from add-ons, the equipment comes with your monthly monitoring plan, keeping upfront costs low without sacrificing quality. The catch is that you’re signing on for a 3-year commitment, making this less than ideal for renters or anyone with uncertain future plans.
These systems are very easy to install, arriving with the sensors already paired and the ability to sync with Z-wave smart home devices. You have to pay a little extra for that—more on monthly monitoring options below—but that’s the case for pretty much any home security system.
Compared to other systems, Protect America’s Simon XTI touch-screen control panel is both bulky at 5.7 x 7 inches and has a small 3.5-inch display, plus it’s secured to a mounting rack that juts it out from the wall a few inches. But hey, you’re not going to have to fumble around to find it in the middle of the night.
When a sensor is tripped, the voice-activated panel alerts you, so you’ll not only know about the trip but know which sensor(s). It’s easy to work; you can turn the alert chime on and off under the settings, control any of the sensors and locks, and run systems tests. There’s also an intuitive emergency button in the upper-left corner in case you need to press a panic, fire, or police button to alert local authorities.
A Smart Connect mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices, and uses intuitive icons and menus to guide you through set-up, settings, and remote control. If you’ve got the app and video cameras, you can view live feeds of your home through your phone.
Protect America can be used with a free smartphone/tablet app called SMART Connect. Use the app to monitor and control your home’s alarm system, energy use and more. SMART Connect works with iPhone and Android devices.
Protect America provides security monitoring 24 hours/day for customers with landline, broadband and cellular security connections.
Protect America equipment is 100% wireless and portable. Installation doesn’t add holes to walls, making wireless security ideal for renters concerned about damage fees at move-out time.
Optional video cameras from Protect America let you monitor home activity from anywhere with a web connection. Video streams live when a sensor is triggered and the footage is stored in an online account.
Protect America makes DIY security easy. You can set up the equipment in less than an hour and without tools, then call Protect America for activation.
SMART HOME OPTIONS
Cellular and broadband security monitoring from Protect America come with the industry’s standard Z-Wave home automation. You can conveniently use the same system to arm your home, control lights, run appliances and more.
For comprehensive home protection Protect America offers monitored environmental sensors in addition to monitored intrusion sensors. Get alarms and text alerts in case of threat from smoke or carbon monoxide.
Keychain remote controls give extra protection and peace of mind. A keychain remote not only works for arming/disarming your system but also has a panic button for emergency calls.
Protect America provides security equipment use at no separate cost to customers with monitoring contracts. This helps ensure that the equipment is always up-to-date and functional.
Protect America offers 3 security equipment kits and 3 emergency monitoring plans. The Protect America equipment kits only differ by their number of sensors. Each set can be enhanced with cameras and other gadgets that are sold separately, but the base packages will cost you nothing out of pocket—you just have to commit to paying for the plan for 3 years.
Protect America’s 3 monitoring plans are wireless, landline, and broadband. The wireless option is usually the most reliable. That’s because landline connections to emergency dispatchers can be physically cut, and broadband monitoring won’t work during power outages.
Protect America offers 3 different equipment packages: the Copper, Silver and Platinum. There is no upfront cost for any of these packages. However, a 3-year monitoring plan is required. The monthly plans range from $19.99 a month for Copper’s least expensive monitoring $54.99 a month for Platinum’s most expensive monitoring.
|Protect America Package||Upfront Package Cost||Monthly Plan Cost||More Details|
|Copper||$0||$19.99 – $41.99||See More|
|Silver||$0||$37.99 – $49.99||See More|
|Platinum||$0||$42.99 – $54.99||See More|
The Copper package is the most affordable equipment package from Protect America. This plan provides simple and affordable home security for small to medium-sized apartments or homes. The Copper Package includes enough floor and window sensors to cover an entryway door and a large main floor window. It also includes a motion sensor to protect a hallway. So, even if an intruder manages to somehow get past the window and door sensors, the motion sensor will detect their movement as they attempt to pass through your home.
These components work together to provide secure coverage for most small homes. If any of the sensors are triggered, the control panel will send an alert to the 24-hour central monitoring station. The 24-hour monitoring station will send the proper authorities whenever you need help.
Protect America’s equipment is self-installation. It requires no special skills to install—pretty much anyone can do it. Installation does not require any special tools or drilling, either. Just place and plug in the components and your home is covered.
The Copper package includes the following equipment:
This package is the most popular home security package from Protect America. It provides all-around home security. Like the other plans, this one requires 24/7 professional monitoring. Perfect for most-sized homes, the Silver package from Protect America includes the following equipment:
This package comes with everything needed to protect larger homes. With 14 door and window sensors, it provides complete home security protection for homes that have multiple entry points. The Platinum package includes:
Protect America offers 3 different base plans: landline, broadband, and cellular. The landline-based plan is the most affordable, and the cellular / broadband plans are the most expensive, but also more reliable. You get what you pay for here. Also, the broadband and cellular plans both have home automation capabilities.
|Protect America Plan||Landline Monitoring Cost||Broadband Monitoring Cost||Cellular Monitoring Cost||More Details|
With Landline monitoring, your security system is simply connected to your home telephone line. When the alarm is triggered, the system utilizes your telephone connection to communicate with the professional monitoring facility. The advantage of landline monitoring is the simplicity: the system connects to your current home telephone line. This type of monitoring is perfect for homes that do not have high-speed internet or are located in cellular dead zones. The downside is that such a simple set-up is also the easiest for intruders to cut/destroy.
To get landline monitoring, your home must already have a landline phone connection. The monitoring prices are:
Protect America’s Broadband plan is ideal for customers with broadband internet. This service connects right to your modem or router, so you don’t need to have a home telephone service to be protected.
One of the major advantages of broadband is that it provides a much faster connection to the monitoring facility than the landline service—in fact, it’s as much as 4 times faster. It takes just 2 seconds from the time your alarm sounds for the monitoring station to receive a notification. However, you must have home internet for broadband monitoring to work. Here’s the cost breakdown:
With Protect America’s Cellular monitoring, your home is professionally monitored wirelessly through a cellular connection. It uses the same cellular towers that are used by a cell phone to send signals. When an alarm is triggered, the alert is sent through that cellular connection. One of the advantages here is that it is so reliable. Even if your phone or power goes out for whatever reason, your alarm system will stay online and be fully operational. It’s also fast.
Another advantage of the Copper monitoring plan is that it is completely wireless, so you don’t need home internet or a landline for your security system. This also means that burglars cannot disable your alarm system by simply cutting telephone lines or destroying a modem.
Cellular monitoring also includes home automation capabilities through Protect America’s SMART connect app. So, you can arm and disarm your system anytime using the app, plus check up on your home from anywhere in the world. The cost breakdown is:
|+ $50 Upfront Costs*||+ $50 Upfront Costs*||+ $50 Upfront Costs*|
|View Packages||View Packages||View Packages|
|24/7 Professional Monitoring||24/7 Professional Monitoring||24/7 Professional Monitoring|
|100% Wireless & Cellular||100% Wireless & Cellular||100% Wireless & Cellular|
|Disaster Protection||Disaster Protection||Disaster Protection|
|Simon XT Control Panel||Simon XT Control Panel||Simon XT Control Panel|
|3 Door/Window Sensors||9 Door/Window Sensors||14 Door/Window Sensors|
|Motion Detector||Motion Detector||Motion Detector|
|HD Video Service (Optional)||HD Video Service (Optional)||HD Video Service (Optional)|
|Smoke & Fire Monitoring (Optional)||Smoke & Fire Monitoring (Optional)||Smoke & Fire Monitoring (Optional)|
|Smart Door Lock Control (Optional)||Smart Door Lock Control (Optional)||Smart Door Lock Control (Optional)|
|Garage Door Control (Optional)||Garage Door Control (Optional)||Garage Door Control (Optional)|
|Smart Lighting (Optional)||Smart Lighting (Optional)||Smart Lighting (Optional)|
Protect America provides up to $1,400 in home security equipment. With free installation, that’s about as little out of pocket as any home security company offers.
Because Protect America offers 3 equipment plans and 3 types of monitoring coverage, you start off by picking between 9 different options: any of the 3 monitoring plans within any of the 3 equipment bundles. This is about as straightforward as it gets, because you have loads of options but really only need to make 2 decisions: which bundle, and which plan.
Remember that you’ll be signing a 3-year contract. It’s certainly enticing to pay nothing up front for all that equipment, but if you have to bow out before your contract is up, you’ll be stuck with the bill.
Founded in Austin, Texas, in 1992, Protect America had installed 200,000 security systems by 2001. A decade later, it was acquired by Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC for $100 million and ranks among SDM Magazine’s top 15 US security systems.
Still headquartered in Austin, the company employs a few hundred people. In 2005, it became the first company to produce a monitored DIY installation security system, setting the standard for a new business model that has since been copied repeatedly by other home security firms. See our full review of Protect America here.