Wireless systems are known to be one of mankind’s greatest innovations. Giving you the ease of doing installations on your own as well as avoiding all the fees that come along with it. Pairing ease with security is the main objective of Protect America.
Protect America’s History and Reputation
It hailed from Austin, Texas where the headquarters is still situated. It offers services across all 50 states in the United States. The company started to expand the home security packages in early 2013 to Canada. It now has more than 400,000 customers in its more than 20 years of existence.
The equipments used in the system are a bit pricey but are worth its cost because of its durability.
Last 2010, it was announced that it has closed its sale to Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC in partners with Falcon Investments LLC and Protect America founder, Thad Paschall.
PA has also partnered with the local Austin Police Department in combatting burglary through a donation to be used for advanced equipment for the Burglary department to make operations more efficient. It has also supported projects from different universities such as the University of South Alabama and Michigan State University.
It received numerous citations for its services and performance improvements over the course of the years. The company is ranked 17th in the 2018 SDM 100 Report list of security systems to both residential and non-residential customers in the US. One of its security packages was also in the Consumer Digest’s Best Buy for 5 years straight. It also raked in 4 stars out of 5 from user reviews in 2018 for Best Company.
Recently, Protect America has been known for their 3-year contract. With that being said, the Protect America security reviews have been going downhill. It has been trying to offer more competitive prices to its loyal customers, however, have always made it clear that they would need to sign yet another 3 years with the company.
Plan Pricing and Services
Protect America offers top-notch security in three easy packages. Here are the plans available and its inclusions:
|Main Features||Can monitor small-sized homes using either your landline, cellphone or internet.||Covers mid-sized to large-sized home monitoring.||Monitors business venues and commercial buildings.|
Standard Control Panel
3 Door/Window Sensors
1 Motion Detector
1 Yard Sign
4 Door/Window Stickers
|Has the inclusions of the Copper package but adds 6 extra door/window sensors.||Has the inclusions of the Copper package but adds 11 extra door/window sensors.|
You have the option to add more sensors, cameras, etc. to your package individually. These may cost around $39 up to $150 per piece. Lifetime warranties are guaranteed for all customers and regardless of any additional items, the monitoring fees (monthly fees) will still stay the same rate.
It uses a Simon-powered control panel and included in the package is the standard Simon XT pushbutton device. You also have the option to upgrade to either a Simon XT Touchscreen or Simon XTi Touchscreen panel which has a larger display than the former. This type of panel is able to monitor up to 40 different kinds of devices; may it be for security or automation.
Other equipment included in the basic package are the door/window entry sensors and a motion detector. The number of units for each equipment go higher as you go up the plans.
Unlike other security companies, Protect America does not have an upfront cost. The basic equipment included in the packages are given for free since it is mailed to the customer and there are no additional services in terms of labor.
Included in the packages also is a free lifetime warranty on the equipment which is valid as long as the contract is intact with Protect America. The thing is that the contract length is at 36 months for a locked-in rate.
Also, customers are assured that monitoring rates would never increase over time during the duration of the contract without their approval.
Aside from the basic equipment, you can also opt to add-on other security and safety devices to your place. An additional device typically starts at $99 as a unit cost.
For environmental safety, Protect America offers a smoke and fire monitoring system for an additional $9.99 monthly. It also has available carbon monoxide detectors, flood sensors, and freeze sensors. You would have to shell out a few more bucks to avail of each extra device.
A flood sensor is able to detect the water level as soon as it makes contact with water. This readily activates an alarm back to the monitoring stations. A freeze sensor detects possible frozen pipes or detects a failure in the furnace when the temperature hits below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
A video monitoring option is also available starting from the silver plan and up for another $9.99 a month. It is a high-definition, wireless camera coupled with night vision and a two-way audio. The security camera has a 60-degree field of view and can also be used as a recorder with its 30 frames per second capability.
The live video surveillance can be accessed thru the mobile application which can be downloaded free on smartphones or tablets. You will be able to get the first camera free but would have to pay for any additional indoor cameras to be installed that starts at $19.99 per unit. Again, this service is only available for the broadband and cellular users.
Home Automation System
Protect America also offers a home automation system that includes automatic door locks, garage door controller, Z-wave light and appliance controls, and thermostat controls. You will be able to monitor and connect thru the SMART Connect App available on both Google Play and iTunes.
Some features of the mobile application include remotely disarming or arming the security system, alarm alerts via email or text, and checking of alarm history. You may also be able to view the cameras by zooming in or thru panning. Controlling lights, lamps, and energy are also possible thru the application.
Z-wave devices are the main channels that support the automation system of Protect America. A Z-wave module can be added to allow the wireless control of a Z-wave compatible appliance.
For temperature control, you have the option for a GoControl Z-wave thermostat or an Alarm.com Smart Thermostat. They are both sold separately and may require advanced or professional installation.
It also has different options for the automated door locks that include a Kwikset 916 Touchscreen deadbolt, Kwikset 910 Push Button deadbolt, Yale Z-wave Touchscreen lock, Yale Z-wave Push Button deadbolt, and the August Lock.
The security firm has partnered with Amazon Alexa where you can use voice control over your security system as built into devices such as the Amazon Echo. It is Amazon’s virtual assistant which operates the same way as that of Siri for Apple and Google Assistant for Google. Alexa may be able to deactivate your system but for extra protection, it will require a PIN to continue the command.
The August lock is the latest and most advanced addition to its door locks. It is keyless, includes a micro door sensory and can be accessed thru the mobile application. It can be locked or unlocked by using Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant on your phones. You may be able to know your door’s status through its Door Sense function.
If you are worried about possible hacking or cyber hacking, Protect America uses the 128-bit encryption data which is one of the most secure encryption methods at the moment.
Home automation devices also start from $99 per unit but Protect America gives you an option to buy or lease the equipment. This gives customers a lower upfront cost rather than paying a big amount right from the bat.
Top Tips for Buyers
- Keep in mind that you will be tied for 3 years as soon as you sign the contract with it. If you’re looking into a short-term policy, look for another company. You will pay a large amount of money if you opt out earlier than what the contract states.
- Be responsible for checking and maintaining your own equipment if it is functioning well or not.
- The touchscreen panel is available only for Silver plans and up.
- The motion detector can only detect pets that are up to 40 pounds. So if you have a heavier pet companion, you may want to consider getting a glass break sensor for an additional cost.
- If you are to cancel your contract earlier than 3 years, remove the extra features you’ve initially subscribed before canceling. This can help decrease your expected cancellation fee.
- It only gives the potential customers 15 days to decide if they want to continue using its services. Buyers should return the equipment by then because if not, you would have to pay the shipping and a restocking fee.
You also need to clarify with the agents when the exact trial date starts as some reviews mentioned the vagueness in counting the number of days.
Cancellation and Transfer Policies
If you find that the system is not a good fit for your home, you have the option to return the package for a refund within 15 days of the shipment of the equipment. However, doing so will require you to pay its $79 restocking fee.
The standard duration as per company policy is for 36 months upon contract signing. You would be charged payments directly to your provided card regardless if the service was used or not.
Moving the system comes with no fees. Since it is a plug-and-play system, you will just simply need to unplug the equipment then plug it back in when you get to your new home. It would also provide a free moving kit which includes new door and window decals, a screwdriver, cleaning materials, and special adhesive for easy reinstallation.
You also have the option to transfer ownership to another person. If you ever choose to sell your home and keep the system installed, you would need to contact the customer care specialist for assistance in transferring the account ownership.
Be reminded to update any new information such as the new address, contact number, and any new emergency numbers that you may add.
Many times this past couple of years, due to the faulty systems, customers have resorted to the cancellation of their accounts. Customer service representatives have been coined as rude and condescending. The company also claims that they do not receive the letter of cancellation.
Due to these incidents, consumers have been charged for a service that they know they have canceled. Because of this, the Protect America home security complaints have escalated to quite a hefty amount.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Now, before you go ahead with your decision to purchase a security system, research on all Protect America reviews. Much like reviews for Protect America, whose reputation seems to be slipping off the slopes with all the negative feedback.
If you are not 100% sure with the system that you want to use, then don’t be in a hurry to have the Protect America security system installed. You may have it easy come installment, however, any future plans to cancel the contract may be more difficult than you imagine.
Always go with your gut feeling. Don’t just think about home security, you have to give it a thought to give your finances some security as well.