Frontpoint and Protect America are both companies of firsts. Frontpoint was the first security company to include smart technology in all of their systems, meaning that they could be controlled remotely. They were also the first to create a self-guided app for setup, which many other companies have since replicated. Protect America, on the other hand, was the first security company to feature DIY setup in the first place. Today, Frontpoint and Protect America are two of the most widely used and highly praised security companies, so I’m super excited to review their customized systems.
In this review, I’ll go over the systems’ key similarities, key differences, installation processes, professional monitoring, customer support, and mobile apps. Let’s get started!
Before I do a deeper dive into this review, I want to talk to you about what Frontpoint and Protect America have in common.
- DIY installation: you’ll install both the Frontpoint and the Protect America systems on your own.
- Good customer support: both companies had Google ratings of at least four stars.
- Long-term contracts: both companies require contracts of at least a year.
Sound good? Let’s move onto their differences.
The companies’ differences are what will determine your buying decision, so here’s a quick preview:
- Professional monitoring: while Frontpoint’s professional monitoring includes a monthly fee, Protect America gives its customers monitoring on the house.
- Cellular backup: all Frontpoint systems come with cellular backup, while Protect America charges you an extra monthly fee.
- App ratings: the Frontpoint app has great ratings, unlike the Protect America app.
Now that you’ve got some solid background information, let’s talk about what each system actually includes.
Frontpoint and Protect America System Components
I bought customized systems from Frontpoint and Protect America, both of which included door/ window sensors, motion sensors, and indoor cameras. My Frontpoint system also included a hub, radio, glass break sensor, keypad, keychain remote, video doorbell, and a smart lock. With my Protect America system, I purchased a control panel, recessed door/ window sensors (which means they’re hidden from view) and garage door sensors. Please note that I also have an August Smart Lock that could integrate with my Protect America system, but I didn’t install it on this round.
Installing Frontpoint and Protect America
Frontpoint and Protect America both offer DIY installation, which I prefer because it means I don’t have to pay any installation fees. I’m looking for two things in my installation processes— ease and speed. Let’s see who wins this race.
Setting up Frontpoint was super-easy, as most of the system is peel-and-stick. If you’ve ever used a sticker, you’ll be able to install Frontpoint with ease. The hardest part of the installation process was installing the camera, as it required ethernet and power cables. From there, you have to add the camera on Frontpoint’s website and connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi. The process took about an hour from start to finish, which isn’t too bad.
Installing Protect America
Although Protect America has DIY installation, you still do it over the phone with one of their customer support staff. My staff member was Tiffany, and she was fantastic. Professional, knowledge, and patient, Tiffany spent a half hour with me on the phone installing and testing the system’s control panel, motion sensors, entry sensors, and camera.
Keep in mind that Protect America’s camera has an incredibly small field of view of 60 degrees, so you’ll need to be especially careful about where you place it. On top of that, the camera comes with an ethernet cable, complicating installation slightly.
Top System Installation
Although I had good experiences installing both Frontpoint and Protect America, I have to give Protect America the win for this category. I love that they have someone from their company make sure that you set up the system correctly, testing it throughout. It was the perfect combo of DIY installation and customer support— they’re not just leaving it up to you to install your system correctly. Shout out to my girl Tiffany for being so thorough!
We recommend Frontpoint due to its unmatched customer support, its user-friendly app, and its awesome camera with 1080p HD video display, two-way audio, and free local and cloud storage. I also love that 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup are built-in.
We love Protect America for its integrations with Amazon Alexa, its great customer support, and its included 24/7 professional monitoring. All in all, we highly recommend Protect America.
Professional Monitoring with Frontpoint and Protect America
Professional monitoring means that there will be a team of people, 24/7, who will be responsible for your home’s security. Say one of your motion sensors go off. The monitoring team will check in to make sure there isn’t an emergency. If they check in with your livestream and see a robbery happening in progress, they can call the police for you.
Both Frontpoint and Protect America include professional monitoring with their systems, but that is where the similarities end. While Protect America doesn’t charge anything for its monitoring, Frontpoint only has paid options.
I recommend doing Frontpoint’s Ultimate plan, as it is the only plan that gets you live-streaming and night vision, two security system essentials. Keep in mind that Frontpoint includes cellular backup in its all of its monthly plans. Cellular backup is what will keep your security system on even if your power goes off, so it’s pretty essential to have.
While Protect America doesn’t charge for 24/7 professional marketing, they do charge for cellular or landline backup. The cost will depend on your equipment and needs, so feel free to negotiate with your sales person. Your monthly price can be anywhere from $19.99 to $60.
Unfortunately, Frontpoint and Protect America only offer long-term contracts. Choose from a one or three year contract with Frontpoint. If you want to cancel your subscription before the contract is up, you’ll still have to pay 80% of its remainder. Only after you run through your contract can you go month-to-month.
Protect America’s cellular and landline backup must be purchased with binding, three-year contracts.
I’m a little disappointed that Frontpoint and Protect America give their customers so little flexibility when it comes to term-length, so make sure you’re ready to make a commitment before signing up for a system from either company.
On a happier note, DIY installation means that moving is a breeze. To move your Frontpoint system, all you have to do is let the company know you’re moving. They’ll send you more double-sided adhesive for your sensors (who says chivalry is dead?) and make sure that your new home has a cellular signal. As Frontpoint uses AT&T, T-mobile, and Verizon for their cellular connections, this shouldn’t be an issue. You’ll move your system yourself without any annoying fees.
Protect America works the exact same way. Just let them know you’re moving, and they’ll send you a relocation key and update your information.
Top System for Monitoring
Although I wasn’t thrilled about the long-term contracts of both companies, I have to give Protect America the crown over Frontpoint due to its free professional monitoring. I mean, you can’t really do much better than free, especially in this economy. Plus, Frontpoint’s plans are expensive— you’d need to pay $50 a month just to livestream video!
That being said, I would find out pricing before making a decision, as your cellular or landline backup from Protect America could be upwards of $60 a month. It really just depends on what system you get.
Customer Support with Frontpoint and Protect America
As a former server, customer support has always been important to me. When it comes to my security system, I need a team behind me that’s a) easy to reach and b) actually knowledgeable. While these may seem like obvious givens, I think anyone who’s ever called a company’s customer support line knows how rare this can be. When it comes to customer support, how do Frontpoint and Protect America measure up?
I’m pleased to see that Frontpoint and Protect America have decent ratings from the Better Business Bureau and Google, save Protect America’s BBB customer rating. But seriously, these companies have two of the best customer support ratings that I’ve seen from a security company.
“Great product, has worked like it is supposed to, and when I have had issues, Protect America has found solutions to handle the situations. Have renewed for the 3rd time and always love dealing with customer service,”
wrote Grand Lambdin in a five-star Google review. “Love” and “customer service” are two words you don’t usually hear within the same sentence, so I’m impressed.
Top System for Customer Support
This was a tough choice, because customers love Frontpoint and Protect America so much, but I’m going to have to give Frontpoint the prize due to its higher ratings. Seriously, a BBB customer rating of over four stars is unheard of for a security company, so I have to give them props. But whichever company you choose, know that the customer support will be on point.
The Frontpoint and Protect America Apps
Your mobile app is how you’ll remotely control your system, among other things. I look for apps that are intuitive, useful, and of course, connect with their security systems flawlessly. Let’s take a closer look.
The Frontpoint App
Given you choose the Ultimate Plan, the Frontpoint app is where you’ll arm and disarm your system, receive notifications, livestream footage, view video history, and control any connected devices.
Frontpoint’s app is one of the highest-rated security apps out there, with ratings of 4.1 from the Google Play store and 4.5 from the Apple store. Clearly, Frontpoint’s software engineers know what they’re doing.
The Protect America App
Similar to the Frontpoint app, you can use the Protect America app to arm or disarm your system, livestream footage, and receive notifications. It’s also where you’ll access video storage. Unfortunately, people didn’t love the app itself. It only received a mediocre 3.1 from the Google Play store and a 2.4 from the Apple store.
“This app has become useless as far as setting my alarm. I’ve been a customer for almost five years and for the last two months or so this app has just been taking up space on my phone as it doesn’t communicate with the system,”
wrote an iPhone user. It’s important to note that he did later update the review, saying the software has improved greatly. However, he had to call in for the update, which is a little strange. In his words, “this is home security not candy crush”.
Top System App
It’s no contest— Frontpoint has a much better app than Protect America, according to iPhone and Android users alike.
Recap of Frontpoint vs. Protect America
Okay, we’ve reached the end of our review, and we’ve come to a resounding tie. While Protect America has superior installation and professional monitoring, Frontpoint wins when it comes to customer support and the mobile app. Ultimately, you should base your decision on what you’re looking for in a security system.
Pick Frontpoint if you’d like…
- Fantastic customer support: customers from the Better Business Bureau and Google raved about Frontpoint’s customer service team.
- Amazing app: both Apple and Android users rated the Frontpoint app highly.
- Cellular backup included: Frontpoint’s required monthly subscriptions all include cellular backup.
Pick Protect America if you’d like…
- Free 24/7 professional monitoring: there’s no monthly subscription required with the Protect America system.
- Customer support through live-chat: only Protect America allows you to instant message with their customer support team.
- More affordable monthly fees: while Frontpoint’s subscriptions start at $34.99 a month, Protect America’s monthly fee can be as low as $20 a month.
Related: The Best Security Systems of 2019