Looking for a home security system that doesn’t need you to pay a whole lot in the beginning? Protect America is probably a good option for you to consider. Unlike many other security systems, Protect America is financially a good idea because they come with free installation and activation with some Do It Yourself equipment.
Also the equipment, worth about $1400, comes with lifetime warranty. This means that as long as you use Protect America, your equipment is covered and will be replaced whenever there is damage. However, it would cost you extra when you add in fire and smoke monitoring to your system.
Protect America is offered only in 36 month contracts. The cancellation fees are also quite heavy, and this makes it too expensive to leave the contract. This option wouldn’t be right for you if you are looking for only month-to-month security. The system is DIY in nature, making it easy for you to take with you even if you move to a different residence.
Protect America offer you home security equipment and accompanying mobile app from Alarm.com. This is a common system that is adopted by many security companies, and that makes it easy to use and familiar to handle with. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but it functions effectively.
Protect America offers lifetime warranty on their equipment, something that we have yet to see in any other systems that we have reviewed. The warranty covers any defects in the system, as well as any harm that could have been brought on by the intruders. However, self-inflicted damages might not be covered.
Home security in most premises could be as simple as having an eye on all the access points, and setting an alarm that would notify them or a monitoring system when something is off.
You can start off with the basics with the Protect America Security System – the control panels, access sensors on the windows and door, and motion detectors.
You would also want to connect the smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors to the main system, and link up the flood sensors too. They work as sound disaster sensors because they would alert you of all problems caused by water, gas, and fire. Smoke monitoring, unfortunately, costs another $10 extra a month.
Here is a list of the main security equipment that is offered by Protect America. They offer sensors for the doors, garage door, and windows, motion sensors, smoke and heat detectors, carbon monoxide monitors, high definition wireless video cameras that works indoor and outdoor, external sirens, mini keypads, keychain remotes, door locks, smart plugs, thermostat and lighting controls, Z-wave appliance modules and compatible devices, flood and freeze sensors, as well as medical pendants.
You can use either the Simon XT or Simon XTi control panels when you install the Protect America system. The XTi panel is touchscreen, making it more intuitive to use and understand what’s happening between the panel and your smartphone. To get the XTi panel, you would need to purchase the silver package, costing $49 or higher, and pay an additional one-time payment of $99.
The touchscreen control panel is certainly easier to use, and much easier to understand as it is quite the same observing the system on your phone and at home.
When you use Protect America, you can also add smart home features to the home security system and provide home automation. The system works on Z-wave technology and X10 standards, making it easy to connect the security products together, and find compatible devices to work with it.
Protect America allows you to create IFTTT scenes, or in other words, if this, then that types of scenes. For instance, you could set the system up so that the lights in your living room and bedroom turn on when you open the front door. Home automation not only makes your day to day activities easier, it could also be a life saver for those with disabilities and issues such as hearing problems.
By being Z-wave compatible, this home security system allows you to add a whole lot of third party equipment, such as automatic deadbolts, Ring doorbell camera, and the Nest thermostat.
A great feature of the Protect America system is how it allows you to control so much in your home remotely through your mobile device. You can automate the lighting in your home to go out after everyone leaves; set the thermostat to turn on before you come in, and so much more.
Here are some features you can control via your mobile device when you have Protect America. You can view and control your alarm system, lighting system, door lock, lights, and appliance. You also get to see the live stream of your security video, and monitor appliances, energy usage, thermostat, and other equipment.
SMART Connect is the app that is provided by Protect America. You can get total control of the security system when you use this app that works with iOS and Android smartphones. It literally turns your phone into a remote control to operate the entire security system, energy management, and home automation features of the system. All while you can the live video feed to know your premises is still safe.
Along with all this security control, you can also get text notifications and emails at set triggered events. It certainly adds the touch of automation, which we are certain that you would want to take advantage of.
Just as we expected, the app does come with its set of bugs. While the notifications, arming and disarming worked well when we tried it, there were customer complaints that said otherwise. Also the app did freeze from time to time as we attempt to connect to the live stream. We are hoping these are bugs that Protect America would work on improving over time.
The security cameras that come with your system come with features like 2-way audio, high definition feed, night vision via infrared LEDs, and a 60 degree field of view.
These cameras are easy to set up. All you do is plug them in and install them via the app. You can get access to the live feed via the interactive platform and access the recording anywhere you want to via cloud storage.
One of the best features is their two-way audio. This way you can communicate with those at home and hear back from them. This is a good safety and convenient feature to have. The cameras take pictures in 720p HD at 25 frames per second. The field of view offered works great when it comes to reaching the corners. However, you need to place it in the right position so it truly covers the entire room. You also get night vision capabilities for up to 16 feet ahead of you. This gives you coverage in the day time and the night time. Also, the cameras provide you with a livestream to your mobile device.
I am sure at this point that you are weary of hackers, With Protect America, you can ease these fears too. Protect America uses 128-bit AES, which is known that the safest and most method of encryption. One could never break such a level of encryption. Your data and video feed is safe.
Ordering System At Protect America
Activation and installation is free for all plans. The equipment you receive depends on the service plan you sign up for. You also are offered the following delivery systems to choose from – cellular, broadband, and landline. That means customers have a total of 15 plans to choose from, which is a fact that confuses most potential customers.
Since broadband and cellular plans both cost the same, we recommend the cellular type plans. This makes them more reliable without much interference and disruptions.
When you use the landline option, you use the phone lines. While they are cheaper, you do face the risks of the intruders simply cutting off the landline connection. Also you do not get access to home automation and video features. You can’t use the smartphone when on the landline plans as well.
Broadband works like cable does on your TV. You can rely on this more than a landline, but even these lines are at risk of being cut off. Protect America charges the same for both broadband and cellular plans. However, cellular plans are far more advanced and more reliable. Therefore, we would recommend that you just go for the cellular plans.
If you wish to cancel your plan with Protect America, you would need to act within three days to get all your money back. You have up to 15 days to cancel and get equipment and contractual cost returned. However, you are still responsible for the first month’s services. They do not charge any restocking fee for equipment returned.
Protect America offers price matching if you are able to find a lower price on security systems that are of the same caliber. This discovery must be made within 7 days after you buy the plan.
Protect America lets you install the system yourself, which means that you would not have to pay for a technician to come and do the work for you. You also do not have any activation fees to pay up – keeping the initial cost at a very minimum.
While the installation guide provided by Protect America is very clear and thorough, you can also choose to have a professional help you over the phone. These phone calls usually take less than an hour to help you get started.
Protect America is certainly one of the most financially sound security plans that you could use to protect your property. The lowest plan costs $19.99 a month with the important landline monitoring, and you can expand to higher plans with more desired gadgets and methods of delivery.
With each upgrade, you get three extra sensors. The copper plan, comes with the standard control panel, 3 door and window sensors, and 1 motion detector. The bronze plan has the standard control panel, 6 door and window sensors and 1 motion detector.
To get video access and access via the smartphone app, you would need the Silver plan or higher. The Silver plan comes with the standard control panel, 9 sensors for windows and doors, and a motion detector. The Gold plan comes with the standard control panel, 1 motion detector, and 11 door and window sensors. The Platinum plan has the standard control panel, 14 door and window sensors, and a motion detector.
Each type of plan comes with the added option of choosing landline, broadband or monitoring via cellular connections. While this gives the users more options to choose from, this could be a little too complicated.
You would need to choose a broadband or a cellular plan with the Silver plan for higher if you prefer the touchscreen control panel. Other than these, the service provided by both set of plans offer all the same feature. A plan on a higher level simple ensures you have access to more equipment.
One of the biggest drawbacks and concerns is the extra $10 a month that you would need to do to add on fire monitoring. However, many insurance companies require that the home security service comes with this, so the owners can enjoy a home security service discounts. With other companies, this normally comes for free.
Also adding on video monitoring adds on another $10 to your monthly bill.
When you start off at Protect America, you first need to sign up for a 36 month contract. Once that is completed, then you can choose to continue on a month to month plan. In the event you want to cancel your plan mid-term, you would have to pay all remaining fees and equipment fee back to them. This is such a huge cost that it makes more sense just to downsize your plan and pay less till your plan runs out.
Another option that you have is that you can transfer the ownership to somebody else that qualifies. This could be a better solution to cancelling your plan.
Overall, Protect America is a good home security system that comes with no up-front cost, and works great with home automation software to make your home safe, comfortable and highly functional. Their equipment comes with lifetime warranty and they do offer price matching services too.