Protect America

Protect America offers expandable, self-installed home security systems, as well as an excellent 24/7 monitoring service.

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9
Grand Score
8
User Score
9
Grand Score
8
User Score
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Perhaps you have become aware of some break-ins in your neighborhood. This is concerning, of course. Maybe you never thought you would have to install a security system, but now it seems like a necessity. There are items of both monetary and sentimental value in your home, not to mention the damage a break-in would cause. You have decided to purchase a security system and you are thinking of a DIY (do-it-yourself) system for the cost savings. 

You know you have the skills to install it yourself, so all you really need is the equipment. You have several options. One of those options is Protect America. This companyis rated among the top ten home security companies that also offer 24/7 monitoring.Protect America offers five different packages from which you can build your system. The most basic package is $99. If you are looking for a DIY security system, Protect America is a great option.

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 10/10
Warranty 10/10
Cancellation 6/10
Customer support 7/10
Mobile app 10/10
Temperature control 10/10
Voice control 10/10
Ease 10/10
Cost
What is the monthly fee?
Plans start at $19.99/month
Warranty
Can I return or replace equipment?
Yes, within a 30-day risk-free trial period
Cancellation
Can I cancel the service?
If you cancel before your contract ends, you must pay any remaining fees
Customer support
Is customer service available to help?
Yes, during business hours Mon-Fri, and also Sat
Mobile app
Is a mobile app available?
Yes
Temperature control
Does the system adjust the thermostat?
Yes, if you purchase the appropriate thermostat
Voice control
Can systems be controlled by voice?
Yes, if you choose to add Amazon Echo to your system
Ease
Is the system easy to install?
Yes, installation usually takes less than one hour
Age Score:
10
50-65 Years
10
65-75 Years
5
75-85 Years
6
85-Above

Like many other companies that provide home security, Protect America offers a basic system which you can build on to create the type of security system that is ideal for your home. This might include cameras in various areas, window sensors, smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors. In any case, there is no need for a screwdriver. Each piece is peel-and-stick, so it’s easy to install. You should be cautious about where you place each piece, but the company will guide you in determining the best location with the support offered on its website. You can also call the company during regular business hours for guidance. 

Since it’s so easy to install and is wireless, it’s the perfect home security system for any senior. At times, you may need to climb a step ladder. If you are having difficulty with your balance, you may wish to get additional help from a family member or friend. For those who are on a tight budget and know exactly what they want, Protect America has the packages to get you on the right road, no matter your age.

Health Score:
10
Great health
10
Good Health
10
Fair Health
10
Poor Health

If tripped, basic systems will set off an alarm that needs to be addressed. When a ProtectAmerica alarm is tripped, the company will call the homeowner before calling the authorities. A representative will want to know whether you are okay, or if you need assistance. Seniors who are in great health can derive great benefits from this system. If you are mobile enough to get to the control panel to check what might have tripped the alarm, you will have a great sense of comfort knowing that someone is monitoring the system and is concerned about your safety. Even for seniors who might be bedridden, caregivers will appreciate the easy operation of the system and the quick response of the monitoring station.

Furthermore, with the proper equipment, the system can be controlled by voice, which is always a welcome addition, especially if you are less mobile. For healthier seniors, the system is easy to install and can provide the peace of mind that they are looking for. It’s easy to set the alarm, and the system can be controlled using a smartphone. This flexibility provides the freedom younger seniors are often looking for as they move toward retirement. For all these reasons, the value in this system is high for seniors in all states of health.

Pros:

  • Plan ratesare locked in forever.
  • Lifetime warranty on equipment, as long as you continue a monitoring plan.
  • Cost of monthly plans can be as low as $19.99.
  • Protect America offers a price match guarantee; if you find a similar system for a lower cost, the company will match it. 
  • Most of the alarm equipment can be controlled remotely with a smartphone.
  • If you live in a rural area, there are other hookup options: landline and broadband.

Cons:

  • If you cancel early, you must pay 100% of the balance remaining on your contract.
  • The company offers landline and broadband monitoring at a lower cost if the customer desires, but these types of monitoring are more likely to be breached than cellular monitoring.
  • The company’s motion detectors ignore pets up to 40 pounds. This is a problem if you have a larger dog, for example.

Bottom Line:

Protect America is a company that offers self-installed home security systems. It offers three levels of monitoring based on how your system is connected to the monitoring center. If you used a landline (through your phone service), the cost for monthly monitoring is $20. You can also connect with broadband, but the best way to connect to monitoring is via cellular service. It is more expensive, but also more secure. With this service, there is no possibility that a burglar can cut wires and disable your system. 

Protect America seems to cater to people who want a home security system with very little investment. Although the company offers a system that can be expanded to include home automation, the cost for monitoring such a system is over $50/month. You will need to call the company to receive accurate information about equipment and service — it is difficult to find accurate information on the website. There are different pages depending on how you enter the site, and the prices and logos don’t always match. There is very little specific information about the equipment Protect America uses. The help section is minimal, so you may be required to call the company to get questions answered.  

Some concerns have been raised about Protect America by customers, which prompted the BBB to rate the company a B. Specifically, consumers are told when they purchase a system that they can cancel at any time, since they are on month-to-month services. However, some customers complained that when they tried to cancel, they were told that they signed a 36-month contract. The company also states that once a request to cancel has been received,the customer will not be billed for services. In many cases,customers have been charged after the date of cancellation, and refunds were difficult to obtain. 

However, Protect America has many happy customers and is rated well on many comparison sites. If you are not bothered by the lack of clarity about the company or system on the website, you maybe happy with your purchase and the company’s service.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long is the contract for service? 
Protect America's contracts are three years long. The company offers three monitoring levels, depending on the system and type of connectivity you purchase. The cheapest level is for landline service, which goes through your phone. The most expensive is the cellular service.

Is there a fee if I cancel before my contract has ended?
Protect America’s contract is strictly enforced,and requires payment of 100% of the fees remaining on your contract. You must notify the company in writing 30 days prior to the date you wish to cancel. 

Can I communicate with the central monitoring station through the system during an emergency? 
No, this is only available with certain types of panels, which Protect America does not sell. If an alarm is triggered, the monitoring center will call you on the phone before calling authorities, to make sure you actually need assistance.

More Information:

Product Details

Overview: Protect America offers a self-installed system. Every package includes a standard control panel, motion and entry sensors, yard sign and window stickers. You can upgrade to include smart home automation if you desire. Monthly fees will increase for this kind of system. 

Package Details: The most affordable system is the Copper package, which includes the standard control panel, three door/window sensors and one motion detector. The Bronze package includes the control panel, six door/window sensors, and one motion detector. The Silver package, the most popular, includes the control panel, nine door/window sensors, and one motion detector. The Gold package includes the same items as the other packages, but also adds 11 door/window sensors. Protect America’s largest package is the Platinum package, which includes the control panel, 14 door/window sensors and one motion detector. 

Other items can be added to any of the systems. These additional items include a keychain remote, smoke detector, video security camera, garage door sensor and external siren. If you are interested in a smart home automation system, you will need to add an Amazon Echo. 

For each of the packages, you can choose three types of monitoring service: landline, broadband or cellular. The landline option is the cheapest for each package, but is more likely to be compromised by a burglar. All the bad guys need to do is cut your phone line. Broadband is not ideal either, but is an option. Broadband travels through your cable system, so it can also be damaged. The safest option is a cellular system, but it is also the most expensive. 

Monthly monitoring fees using a cellular system are as low as $41.99/month. Furthermore, the landline and broadband options limit the amount of remote access you will have available. 

Other Services:None.

Additional Company Details

Contract Details:At the time you purchase equipment, you will need to include a monitoring plan. Contracts require a three-year commitment. However, if you need to break the contract, the company requires payment of 100% of the fees remaining on your contract. You must notify the company in writing 30 days prior to cancellation date. You can also request a transfer of ownership to another person. The current account holder must provide the name, phone number and email address of the potential account holder. 

If the new account holder does not sign an emailed DocuSign agreement within 15 days, the request will be canceled. The new potential account holder must pass a credit check to qualify. You can add equipment at any time through the website or by calling the company. You can also pay through the website, but the company prefers automatic deduction from a checking account. 

Warranty: Equipment is covered by a lifetime warranty, but you must be signed up for a monitoring planin order for the warranty to be valid.

Accreditations:Protect America rates well on many sites, such as ASecureLife.com and TopTenReviews.com. It is considered a Consumers Digest Best Buy, and has a five-star rating from TopConsumerReviews.com. Protect America is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but maintains a B rating.

Company Details: Protect America has been in business for over 25 years. It was founded in Austin, Texas in 1992. In 2010, the company was purchased by Rockbridge Growth Equity for about $100 million. The self-installed model of home security Protect America offersis now owned by over 400,000 customers across all 50 states and Canada. The CEO of the company is Scott Fleming, the Senior VP is Janet Laird, and the VP is Rylan Francis. The company works with universities to help students provide aid to local area charities. It also provide financing for police initiatives within the Austin Police Department.

Contact:

Protect America, Inc.
3800 Quick Hill Rd.
Austin, TX 78728
Tel: 800-951-5190
Website:https://www.protectamerica.com

Donna McDurfee - Senior Advisor

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