Protect America Review

by | Jan 25, 2019 | Home Surveillance

In this article, SCR will look into Protect America and provide detailed review, about what this home security provider has to offer to prospective users who are just looking to buying their service.

5 Battery Powered Wireless Security Cameras comparison

Review of: Protect America

Last update: 01.25.2019

Effectiveness

Their offers can easily secure from small properties to big ones.

Price

This is their main advantages, the price! But read all the conditions before signing anything.

Usability

Set up is pretty easy and straightforward, but we can say that their app needs improvements.

Support

Good technical support is available through live chat, telephone, email or submitting help ticket. 

We Like
R

Affordable

R

Easy DIY System

R

No Setup or Activation Cost

R

No Upfront Cost 

R

3rd Party Equipment Compatibility (Z-Wave, Alarm.com, Interlogix, Qolsys, Alexa) 

R

Remote Control

R

Good Customer Support

R

Lifetime Equipment Warranty

We Don’t Like
s

Min. 3 Years contract

s

Less innovating than other providers

s

Expensive Add-on Equipment

s

No Free Cancellation after 14 days

Summary: Protect America’s business model is based on really affordable prices and efficient solutions. Therefore, they target lower budget customers and can have sometimes an aggressive sales speech. Don’t rush anything and take time to read our review in order not to have any bad suprise. 

Protect America is a full service home security company.  It was founded in 1992 in Austin, Texas where it continued to be headquartered. Protect America has branch locations throughout the US.

By 2001, Protect America has installed nearly 200,000 security systems in the United States. In 2012, Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC acquired Protect America from Falcon Investments

During the year of new acquisition, Protect America expanded into Canada, and recorded 400,000 customers overall.

This Security System Provider currently has more than 500,000 homes secured. It is one of the largest home security companies in the United States.

How does Protect America alarm system works?

This operation involves three stages which include the control panel, the sensors, and the monitoring station.

The control panel relies on the sensors, as they are used to complete normal closed (NC) circuit. Once a sensor is set off by opening the door or window, it sends an opened signal to the control panel. The control panel then sounds an alarm during the ARMED mode, and it also transmits a signal to the monitoring station.

The monitoring station contact the user to validate if it is a false alarm or an emergency. If it is an emergency, the monitoring station will call the first responder. But in the event the user is not reachable on mobile, Protect America will contact the local police to send a dispatch to the location.

Protect America girl on the phone

Protect America’s Equipment

Protect America never charges cost of equipment and monitoring differently. You only subscribe for a monitoring plan, and the appropriate equipment will be provided with the plan.

All the equipment are very easy to install, you do not need an installer to run your installation and if you need help, the technical support will be happy to guide you on phone.

We shall throw light on the major equipment used by Protect America. But thankfully, it is possible to install some add-on devices, as well as integrating Z-Wave, Interlogix, Qolsys, Securenet, and Alarm.com compatible products to have a complete home automation. Protect America also works with Amazon Alexa.

Note: Each additional device or sensor added attracts additional upfront and/or monthly fee.

  • Simon XT Control Panel

Simon XT Disarmed Security Control Panel

Simon XT panel is the brain behind the entire alarm system. It is the central system that processes the signal received from all the sensors connected to it. It sounds an alarm upon receiving tripped sensors, and further sends an emergency alert to the monitoring center where further actions are taken.

It seems that it is no longer available on Protect America website. The reason why is because it has been upgraded to the Simon XTi.

All Simon XT series have a loud piezo speaker that sounds alarm when a sensor is triggered.

This controller communicates wirelessly to all the sensors. In the event of power outage, it has a built-in 6V 1.3A rechargeable battery that keeps the operation alive for a good period of time.

Simon XT can use landline, broadband, and cellular to establish connection to the monitoring station.

Simon XT is unavailable on Protect America website at the time of writing this review.

  • Simon XTi Control Panel

Simon XTi Security Control Panel

Simon XTi is another variant of alarm control panel on Protect America product’s line.

Unlike its predecessor the Simon XT, it is a 3.5-inch color LCD touchscreen with graphical user interface (GUI) control panel. It gives user the ability to view the image taken from motion sensor.

Also, navigating through its functions is much easier. Simon XTi is a free upgrade of the Simon XT, this means user won’t have to pay extra fee on Protect America website.

The built-in rechargeable battery allows Simon XTi control panel to operate, even after there is no power.

Free upgrade to Simon XTi on any plan is available only on Protect America official website

  • Simon XTi-5 Control Panel

Simon XTi-5 Security Control Panel

Simon XTi-5 is the successor of Simon XTi but with a new twist to its design. The control panel comes with 5″ LCD color touchscreen, which is slightly larger than the Simon XTi control panel’s LCD.

It allows you to have a quick overview of the operating system. Saved images which were captured by the motion detector can also be viewed on this 5″ touchscreen.

The ability to add smart devices such as lights, door locks, and thermostat to the control panel just got easier. The XTi-5 uses same built-in rechargeable battery just like its predecessors. Unlike the Simon XT, Both XTi and XTi-5 are easy to program and intuitive to use.

This version is compatible with landline, broadband, and cellular connection.

Simon XT is unavailable on Protect America website at the time of writing this review.

  • Simon XTi-5 Control Panel

IQ2 7 Inch Touchscreen Control Panel

Protect America finally embraced new innovation, by adding the latest IQ2 panel. It has a sleek design with a 7 inch color capacitive glass multi-touch LCD. The resolution of 1280 x 800 is pleasant and the fact that it’s running Android 5+ is a good news.

This Control Panel uses LTE and Wi-Fi as dual path connectivity to the cloud for improved latency, flexibility, redundancy, and updates. The LTE supports major cellular carriers, while the Wi-Fi supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels.

It also has Bluetooth disarming, which means user does not necessarily need to punch disarm on the smartphone app. The smartphone can just sit in your pocket, and the system will securely authenticate you if you are near.

The IQ2 also has a built-in glass break detector which is a very good feature to reduce cost of adding glass break detector hardware.

The IQ2 panel comes with a geofencing feature. It allows the panel to know when you left your home just by detecting that your smartphone is out of the geofencing. Once you leave your home with your smartphone, the panel automatically arm your home security system.

Whether -you forgot to turn off certain devices before leaving your house, it turns them off when the arm mode is activated thanks to this geofencing feature. It is practical and makes your home secured and energy efficient.

A really great feature and important for us, is the presence of camera on the front of the IQ2 panel. It lets you know who disarm the control panel, by sending a photo to your smartphone whenever someone disarmed your system.

  • Window/Door Sensors

White Window and door sensors

The whole idea behind window/door sensors is to create a normally closed (NC) circuit, by aligning the transmitter and receiver on the windows, doors and their frames. But once a door or window is opened, it breaks the flow of current between the transmitter and receiver, and therefore triggers the control panel.

Normally closed system vs normally open system

The wireless sensor will make the whole installation process a breeze. Also, the sensor makes it easier for the user to move from one home to another, since there is no involvement of hard wire.

User can buy additional window/door sensors if more points need to be covered.

  • Motion Detectors

white and plastic Motion detector

Motion detector allows you to detects any moving elements in an area. They are important devices that should not be left behind when setting up a home alarm system.

Protect America’s motion detectors use a passive infrared (PIR) technology to detect heat and movement, within 25 foot range in a 90° arc.

Motion sensors are the perfect fit for burglar deterrent. Also, they provide backup protection for door and window sensors.

Incorrect placement of motion sensors can savage the whole effort of securing your home. They should be placed between 6 to 8 feet high in order to detect any intrustions.

Protect America’s motion detectors don’t confuse pet with human being as long as the pet is not above 40 lbs.

Protect America’s motion detector comes along with all plans. Additional motion detectors can be added if desired if you need to cover more sensible area in your property.

  • Security Cameras

Security Cameras with Protect America Provider

Protect America’s cameras are very sleek and have a radiant look. However, we are not quite impressed with the indoor and outdoor cameras from Securenet, they have a very narrow field of views. Capturing an image with 60° field of view on both cameras is rather too small. Maybe they just want you to pay more in order to have enough cameras. 

Meanwhile, the indoor and outdoor cameras are also 720p HD resolution, which is nowaday kind of outdated. The cameras have built-in infrared LEDs to record at night even if the light falls to zero. The indoor camera is able to record night vision up to 15 feet, while the outdoor is up to 65 feet.

However, Securenet compensated the indoor camera with 2-way audio that allows back and forth communication. With 2-way audio, you will be able to talk to your kids from the office, really practical feature.

Furthermore, the outdoor camera come with a 64GB class 10 internal microSD card.

It is a different story for Alarm.com security cameras, as they are provisioned with neither 2-way audio nor internal memory, but they are able to capture images in wide angles.

The indoor and outdoor cameras come with a 1080p full HD resolution, with a viewing angle of 113° and 88° respectively.

They both have built-in infrared light to help the cameras produce black and white footage with up to 15 feet for indoor, and 40 feet visibility capacity for the outdoor.

  • Yard Sign/Window/Door Stickers

Yard Sign/Window/Door Stickers Security

The yard, window/door sticker serves as first line of defense. Burglars are discouraged on sighting the security sticker because they know their activities will be busted.

It is important to use original security stickers on your yard, windows, or doors. Experienced burglars may also recognize fake sticker when they see one. Using fake ones can pose a lots of potential danger to you and your family. You do not want to be attacked by villains or do you?

Provision of security lights in your yard is necessary to enable the yard stickers to be illuminated. You need to step up your game by protecting what you love most from home invasion.

When burglars try to visit your home and see you are protected, they simply leave to the next home that is not protected.

  • Keychain Remote

kaychain remote security camera system

Just like a remote control car key fob, Keychain remote is a powerful touchpad that functions as an electronic key to arm and disarm your alarm system wirelessly. This remote can also be used to turn lights on/off, or even open garage door from 500 feet away.

  • Glass Break Detectors

White glass break detector

Glass break detector uses Pattern Recognition Technology which is the process of recognizing patterns by using machine learning algorithm. The detector recognizes the actual pattern of breaking glass across the full audio ban. Glass break detector enhances home security, and provides backup for other sensors.

Since window sensors can’t work on permanent window glass, then glass break detectors are very useful at detecting when window glass is been vandalized by burglars.

  • Smoke Detectors

White Smoke Detectors

Smoke detector is a necessity when setting up your home security or home automation.

Smoke detectors should be mounted in bedrooms and common living areas. At least, 2 feet must be set apart between the corners and a smoke detector.

They should not be mounted where children are, they could easily trigger the smoke detector by using any form of body spray or aerosol deodorant.

Protect America clearly states that areas within 10 feet of kitchens, bathrooms, fluorescent lights, or heaters of any kind should be avoided in order to not trigger the alarm uselessy.

  • Door Bell Cameras

Black Door Bell Camera

The Skybell video doorbell contains a built-in camera, PIR motion sensor, digital microphone and speaker. This video doorbell will allow you to know who is at the front door of your home.

It enables you to answer the door and speak to visitors via the two-way audio. It is really practical for instance if you’re not at home and that the postman delivers you some packages that you were waiting for, you can just talk to him through your smartphone.

There is an intelligent motion detection as well, which lets you receive snapshot of who is standing in front of the doorbell even without pressing it.

  • Protect America Smartphone App

Protect America Smartphone App

While other providers are constantly updating and upgrading their mobile app to improve user’s experience, Protect America is a bit behind regarding their own smartphone application.

It is very painful to see Protect America having a poor rating of 3.1 on Google play, and 2.8 on iTunes. The app has some bugs and it seems that they aren’t really doing anything to improve it.

This is a bad point for Protect America. Nowadays, it is really important to provide a good customer experience through your smartphone application. Otherwise, your customers will get quickly upset and bad reviews will shortly follow.

We truly hope Protect America will take this issue seriously as son as possible.

Protect America’s Pricing

Protect America has everyone at heart, and one of the reasons why Protect America is so popular is because of their affordability. If you are on a low budget, then Protect America is the right solution for you. Maybe it’s time to check them out.

Although, what you pay determines the number of equipment you will receive from Protect America. The more you pay, the more number of equipment they will send to you. Notwithstanding, you can still get started with their basic plan.

Let’s see together their different pricing plans and packages:

  • COPPER – From $29.99

This plan is ideally meant for one bedroom apartment owner, or someone who is just looking for a basic system.

You will need to protect the important door such as the exit door, burglars do not like coming through the front door.

The yard sticker and the door/window security stickers are enough to provide backup for the main alarm system.

If you are not sure how many doors/windows sensor you need, you can place a call to Protect America, they will help you out.

THE LANDLINE OPTION – THE MOST AFFORDABLE

Protect America never mentioned anywhere on their website why the sudden increase from $19.99 to $29.99. We found out the increase only affects the landline monitoring. If you are paying flat rate for the first month, then you need to pay the sum of $29.99/month.

The “Pay more” Option

Protect America pay more to save more

There is a “pay more” slider which is set to $100 by default, this means if you pay $100 + the flat rate of $29.99, you will be able to pay the subsequent billing at $19.99 per month, while you will also enjoy $260 waiver over time.

Protect America pay more to save more

If you move the slider to $50, you will pay $79.99 to enjoy $24.99 per month; hence, you save $130 over time.

Protect America pay more to save more

Limitations under Landline Monitoring

Homeowners will not have access to the following features:

  • Alert via Email, Text, and Push Notifications
  • Self-Managed Account Services
  • Mobile App Arm/Disarm
  • Sensor and Alarm History
  • Home Automation with Thermostat, Door Lock, Garage Door and Light Capability

This is the most affordable plan for any homeowner who is on a tight budget. We will rather advice not to use landline plan because of its shortcoming. If the phone line is cut, the connection from the control panel to the monitoring station is disrupted and this could become a threat.

THE BROADBAND / CELLULAR OPTION

Broadband and cellular monitoring attract the same fee, but the cellular monitoring is a win-win for us simply because it has a 99% uptime, and it is not affected by electricity.

The pay more discount of $130 or $260 is applicable to broadband and cellular plan.
Activating the $130 discount with $50 will result to $36.99 per month, whilst activating $260 discount with $100 will result to $31.99 per month.

  • SILVER – From $37.99

This plan is perfect for three bedroom apartment, all the entrance and exit doors should be installed with the door sensors before extending the sensors to the rooms. No matter how experienced a burglar is in forcing any of the doors open, his cover will be blown.

Surprisingly, the “pay more” introduced by Protect America also extends to this plan, which is a brilliant idea. There is now 3 types of billing.

  1. Flat rate
  2. Pay $50 to unlock $130
  3. Pay $100 to unlock $260

You can decide to go with the flat rate or utilize the option 2 or 3 to pay less.

THE LANDLINE OPTION

Landline monitoring attracts flat rate of $37 per month. Going with option 2 from above will result in paying $32.99 per month, whilst option 3 will fetch you $27.99 per month.

THE BROADBAND / CELLULAR OPTION

Homeowners will enjoy the seamless experience and the freedom of controlling their alarm system from their own comfort zone.

The flat rate for selecting broadband or cellular is $49.99. Unlocking the $130 discount with $50, or $260 discount with $100 will result to $44.99 and $39.99 per month respectively.

  • Platinum – From $42.99

With this plan, you get to protect up to 14 doors/windows. This is an exclusive plan for big homes having many doors and windows. The Platinum also qualifies for the bounty discount as the other packages.

  1. Flat rate
  2. Pay $50 to unlock $130
  3. Pay $100 to unlock $260

 

THE LANDLINE OPTION

Landline monitoring goes for flat rate of $42.99 per month. Utilizing the bounty discount is the smartest choice one can ever tap.

Going with option 2, homeowners just have to pay $37.99 per month, while option 3 will be pegged at $32.99

THE BROADBAND / CELLULAR OPTION

Broadband or Cellular monitoring come with a lot of advantages, homeowners have all it takes to control the alarm control panel. They can arm or disarm any sensor right on their smartphones.

The flat rate for selecting broadband or cellular is $54.99. Unlocking the $130 discount with $50, or $260 discount with $100 will result to $49.99 and $44.99 per month respectively.

Adding Additional Equipment to your Existing Plan

  • Add video service with free camera (720p) cost $5.00 per month
  • Additional Door/Window sensors cost $39.00 each
  • Additional Motion Detector cost $99.00 each
  • Glass Break Detectors cost $99.00 each
  • Keychain Remotes cost $49.00 each
  • Mini Pin pad cost $49.00
  • IQ2 7-inch Touchscreen Control Panel cost $99
  • Garage Door Sensor cost $99
  • Flood Sensors cost $99.00
  • Freeze Sensors cost $99.00

Each additional equipment you add to your monitoring plan attracts extra cost of the equipment.

Addons

  • Add Alarm.com indoor 1080p FHD resolution video camera with video service currently cost $99.00, and $5.00 per month.

Requirement: Cellular monitoring plan, IQ2 touchscreen control panel

 

  • Add Skybell doorbell camera with video service currently cost $179.00, and $5.00 per month

Requirement: Cellular monitoring plan, IQ2 touchscreen control panel

Adding add-on equipment to your monitoring plan will attract upfront payment of the equipment and also add-up to your monthly plan billing.

14 Days Trial / Cancelation

If you decides Protect America does not work for you, you can terminate your contract within the first month of subscription. However, you need to call the support and inform them. Return their equipment within the same period of 14 days.

Attention! You will have to pay a restocking fee of $79.00 in order to be free.

Subscribing to a Plan

In order to enter the 3 year contract, you need to have a minimum credit score of 600. Whilst completing the customer information under billing page, you need to enter your social security number in order for Protect America to check your credit score.

If you do not get your credit score approved, you don’t have to panic as there is a way out. You will be given the option to pay the entire contract in full upfront.

Customer Support

You can reach the customer service over the phone or through their online chat during the below time period:

Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Central Time

Saturday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Central Time

Protect America treat their customers with respect. They will patiently listen to your queries, and they will handle them in a professional manner. They also know how to convert and handle aggressive customers. Their business model is based on attractive prices and therefore expect them to have an agressive sale speech.

All their customer support staffs we had conversation with are so friendly, and will be ready to stay on line to resolve your issues. They will even call you back especially if you request a call back.

Customer’s Reviews

Protect America Customer Review
Protect America Customer Review
Protect America Customer Review

There are praises and abuses on the customer’s review page hosted by Bestcompany.com.

There are over 60% praises, while the remaining fraction comes from furious customers and bystanders. Many customers complained about the buggy app, 3 years contracts, failed sensors and so on.

No matter the amount of positive reviews a company has, there will always be negative reviews.

What more can we expect from this? Protect America tried to address many of the negatives reviews, which shows how committed and loyal they are to their customers. But we shouldn’t forget that they are targeting low budget customers and therefore they can’t offer a complete premium experience.

BBB Reviews

BBB Review of Protect America
BBB Review of Protect America
BBB Review of Protect America

The few negative reviews and complaints we saw on BBB were all about their 3 year contract terminations that were unsuccessful. Protect America took their time to addressed the issues.

Overall, closed to 85% of the reviews on BBB are positive. We noticed Protect America never sidelined any question, complaint, or allegation.

Final Verdict

Amongst home security provider in the United States, Protect America focus on affordability. But these affordable plans may not be for you. Protect America only offers 3 year contract, and not everyone will be willing to subscribe to time lenght. 

Once 14 days which is set for trial period is over, there is no way out of the 36 month contract. There is no cancellation except you cue yourself in to fulfil the contract

Protect America provides good home security solution that pave way for total control of your home with security gadgets, but be sure this solution is the right for you and that you’re ready to sign for 3 years.