This Protect America review covers everything from the components offered to installation, from subscription options to customer support and the Protect America app.
With over 25 years in business, Protect America is a top security system with 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup. They offer monitoring for free, although users will need to pay anywhere from $20 to $60 for cellular backup which keeps the system on in a power outage. Contracts are three years and binding, which may be a dealbreaker for many people looking to avoid long-term contracts. Installation is DIY with support over the phone, and customer support was pretty good, depending on the representative.
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In this video, our Director of Content Gabe Turner shows users exactly what comes with a security system from Protect America as well as how well it works, what installation is like, and more important information.
Protect America offers a few different options for each type of components, all from third-party manufacturers like Simon, Alarm.com and SkyBell. However, our exact system included a Resolution LTE Verizon Cell Module, a Simon XTI-5 Touchscreen Panel, three Micro Door/ Window Sensors, a Motion Detector, a 1.0 Megapixel SmartView Indoor Camera and an August Smart Lock. Let’s take a closer look.
Touchscreen Control Panel
With Protect America, users can choose between the following touchscreen control panels:
- Simon XT
- Simon XTI
- Simon XTI- 5
- QOLSYS IQ Remote
- Concord 4 Master Control Panel
- QOLSYS IQ2
Our system included the Simon XTI-5 Touchscreen Panel, specifically. This device connects all of the Protect America devices, allowing users to control them as well as arm and disarm the security system itself.
Door/ Window Sensors
Many people have different types of doors and windows in their homes, so Protect America has many different entry sensor options that can tell when a door/ window has been opened or closed:
- Interlogix Micro Door/ Window Sensors
- Linear Micro Door/ Window Sensor
- Recessed Door/ Window Sensor
- Recessed Plunger Door/ Window Sensor
- Interlogix Micro Door/ Window Sensor (Legacy)
- Interlogix Slimline Door/ Window Sensor
- Interlogix Crystal Door/ Window Sensor
- Saw Door/ Window Sensor
- Crystal Recessed Door/ Window Sensor
We received the Interlogix Micro Door/ Window Sensors which are wireless and easy to install, with a five-year battery life. Once the two parts of the sensor separate, the sensor alerts the Control Panel which triggers the alarms when the system is armed. To explore other great options, check out our review of the best door/ window sensors of 2020.
Another essential element to a security system is a motion detector. Here are the options from Protect America:
- Interlogix (Legacy) Motion Detector
- Alula Motion Detector
- Linear Wireless Motion Detector
- Interlogix Motion Detector
- Driveway Sensor
Our Interlogix Motion Detector was wireless with a 25-foot range horizontally. By measuring motion through heat missions, the Detector can differentiate between people and animals, meaning that pet-owners won’t get notified from their pets walking by the Motion Detector. As long as the pet is under 40 pounds, it won’t set off the Motion Detector, making Protect America a good security system for pet-owners. Learn more about motion sensors in our best motion sensors review.
Garage doors require different entry sensors than regular doors and windows. Protect America has options for roll-up garage doors, tilting garage doors, and more:
- Hardwire Roll-Up Garage Door Sensor
- Overhead Garage Door Sensor
- Garage Door Tilt Sensor
- Linear Garage Door Controller
Some of these devices control the garage door, while others sensor when it has been opened or closed.
Glass Break Detector
For intruders that choose to smash the glass or a window rather than opening it to avoid setting off entry sensors, glass break detectors come in handy. Here are the options that work with Protect America:
- Interlogix (Legacy) Glass Break Detector
- Linear Glass Break Detector
- Interlogix Wireless Glass Break Sensor
To explore some more great options, check out our list of the best glass break sensors of 2020.
Video Cameras and Doorbell Cameras
- Alarm.com Indoor Fixed Camera with Night Vision ADC-V522IR
- Alarm.com SkyBell Slim Line Doorbell Camera
- Alarm.com Indoor Wireless Fixed Camera
- 1.0 Megapixel SmartView Indoor Camera
- Alarm.com Outdoor Camera V722W
- 1.0 Megapixel SmartView 64GB Outdoor Camera
- Alarm.com WiFi Doorbell Camera
- Alarm.com Pan/Tilt Camera V620PT
- Alarm.com Outdoor Camera V721W
- Vivotek Outdoor Wireless Video Camera
- Vivotek Indoor Video Security Camera
- Vivotek TC5633 Pan/ Tilt
- Alarm.com Image Sensor Camera Kit V2
- Alarm.com Outdoor Camera V723
We received the 1.0 Megapixel SmartView Indoor Camera, which, of course we put through Security Baron’s Necessary Features Test.
Here’s how it fared:
When it comes to video, the 1.0 Megapixel SmartView Indoor Camera definitely fell short of expectations.
Its video quality is only 720p HD, less clear than the current industry standard of 1080p HD. Plus, it has a super narrow field of view of only 60 degrees, with no ability to zoom in or pan at all, so visibility is pretty limited, unfortunately.
On a more positive note, the 1.0 Megapixel SmartView Indoor Camera has two-way audio, allowing users to speak to whoever they’re recording through the Protect America app. This feature isn’t just convenient; it can also let users stop crimes as they’re happening, even if they’re nowhere near home.
As far as night vision goes, the 1.0 Megapixel SmartView Indoor Camera satisfies with four infrared LED sensors.
Given the constraints of the camera’s video quality, the night vision looks pretty clear.
We were also satisfied with the 1.0 Megapixel SmartView Indoor Camera’s storage options. It has a slot through a micro-SD card, a very secure way to store footage, plus, a week of cloud storage is available for an extra $2 a month, a negligible cost at worst.
Smart Platform Integrations
Those in the Amazon smart home ecosystem will be pleased to hear that the 1.0 Megapixel SmartView Indoor Camera works with Alexa. That means that users can ask Alexa to arm their camera or check it’s status. However, for users that have Google Assistant, or Siri, this may not be the best option.
Finally, the 1.0 Megapixel SmartView Indoor Camera lacks person detection, so unlike the Motion Detector, it can’t tell the difference between people and other moving objects. This means that users may receive some unnecessary notifications stemming from movement of pets, cars outside, or other inanimate moving objects.
Overall, this camera was pretty disappointing, especially when it came to video and AI, arguably the two most important Necessary Features. However, be sure to explore all the options, as there are many cameras to choose from with Protect America.
Users that want to simply press a button to arm or disarm their Protect America security system can choose from the following keychain remotes:
- Alula Keychain Remote
- Interlogix Micro Keyfob
- Linear 4 Button Fob
We recommend that users put their keychain remotes with their regular keys or in their nightstands, but make sure they’re not easily accessible to anyone but the users themselves.
Smart locks let users lock and unlock their doors remotely, as well as create temporary passcodes for guests. They’re ideal for anyone that needs to let someone in when they’re not home, whether it’s a dog walker, babysitter, or even a child who forgot their key. Here are the smart locks that work with Protect America:
- August Smart Lock
- Kwikset 916 Touchscreen Deadbolt
- Yale Z-Wave Touchscreen Lock YRD226
- Kwikset 910 Z-Wave Push-Button Deadbolt
- Kwikset Signature Series Z-Wave Traditional Round Deadbolt
- Yale Z-Wave Push Button Deadbolt
Our security kit came with the August Smart Lock, which costs $149 on its own. Available in silver or dark gray, the August Smart Lock is battery-operated which made for a much easier installation than if it were hardwired. However, it does require a single-cylinder deadbolt, so make sure to check for compatibility before purchasing a smart lock.
The August Smart Lock works with Alexa and Google Assistant, letting users lock and unlock as well as check the status of their doors. Note that with Alexa, users will need a PIN code to unlock their doors, while Google users most likely set their smart home up to respond to their individual voices only. This smart lock has a ton of other cool features like geofencing, guest access, an event log and auto-lock, making it one of the best smart locks of 2020, along with its most recent version the August Smart Lock Pro.
One of the most useful smart home products is the smart thermostat. With motion sensors and schedules, they can save users up to 20% on heating and cooling costs, meaning that they could pay for themselves in a couple years. Here are the smart thermostats that work with Protect America:
- GoControl Z-Wave Thermostat
- Alarm.com (Legacy) Smart Thermostat
- Alarm.com Smart Temperature Sensor
- Alarm.com Smart Thermostat
To explore other options, read our picks for 2020’s best smart thermostats.
Another way to arm and disarm the Protect America security system is through a keypad:
- Mini Pinpad
- Talking Wireless Keypad
- Simon 5” Touchscreen Keypad
- Simon XT Two-Way Touchscreen Keypad
The original smart speaker from Amazon works with Protect America:
- Echo Dot
With built-in Alexa, the Echo Dot lets users access thousands of skills, from books to recipes to simply asking Alexa questions.
Related: Echo Dot with Clock Review
Smart light bulbs aren’t just convenient. They can make it seem like someone is home when they’re not, a very affordable way to boost a home’s security. Protect America only offers one compatible smart bulb, but find others in our best smart bulbs review.
- Z-Wave Dimmable LED Light Bulb
Panic buttons are used to alert the monitoring team of an emergency for users that aren’t near the Control Panel. Protect America has two different options:
- Two Button Panic Device
- Resolutions Media Panic Button
For louder alarms, Protect America works with two different sirens:
- Resolutions Wireless Sensor
- Z-Wave Siren with Strobe
Finally, Protect America also offers environmental monitors like smoke and CO detectors as well as temperature sensors:
- Home Disaster Sensor
- Trident Environmental Sensor
- Interlogix Wireless Smoke Detector
- Interlogix Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Firefighter Sensor
- Interlogix Wireless Smoke and Heat Detector
- Alarm.com Smart Temperature Sensor
How It Performs
Now that we’ve gone over the elements available under Protect America, let’s talk a bit about how our security system worked in practice.
How Well It Worked
All of the Protect America components come pre-programmed with each other, which makes setup much easier (not to mention the help over the phone). During setup, the guide will have the user test out each component as they install it, ensuring it’s all working correctly. In our experience, the tests were all aced. Although this isn’t the most sophisticated security system around technologically, it certainly served its function and was easy to arm and disarm.
Most of the Protect America security system we tested is made of hardened plastic, which is pretty durable, save for the Megapixel camera, which seemed a bit fragile. But again, this camera wasn’t our favorite for other reasons, as well.
Smart Platform Integrations
Protect America works with Alexa, so it’s a great choice for those already in the Amazon ecosystem. Using Alexa, users can control their security system and connected devices using their voices alone, as well as check the statuses of devices. Commands include:
- Alexa, ask Protect America to arm my system.
- Alexa, ask Protect America to set my thermostat to 70 degrees.
- Alexa, ask Protect America for my alarm status.
Users in the Google or Apple ecosystems may want to look elsewhere, as Protect America doesn’t currently work with Google Assistant or Siri.
How to Set Up Instructions
Although Protect America technically has DIY installation, users can sign up for an appointment on their website so a technician can walk them through the process over the phone. However, this isn’t required, and users can start on their own using Protect America’s Quick Install Guide, choosing to call 1-800-951-5111 or live chat support if they realize they need help. Nevertheless, here are the first few steps to take to install the Protect America security system:
- Place your Control Panel somewhere easily accessible and central. It shouldn’t be near metallic surfaces, mirrors or large appliances, as they can all cause interference.
- Connect the two red wires behind the Panel, if they exist. Then, connect the Panel to the router via an ethernet cable and plug in the wall cord to either a phone jack or modem. Finally, plug the Panel into a regular outlet.
- Align the door/ window sensors, facing the notches toward each other. Test them by separating them and seeing if the Control Panel catches it. Then, clean the area you want to place them on with alcohol wipes and let it dry before mounting the sensors via their adhesives. Be sure to hold them in the mounting area for about 30 seconds before moving on.
Protect America is the only security system that we’ve reviewed to offer 24/7 professional monitoring free to all of its customers. 24/7 professional monitoring means that a team of people will be available at all times to contact emergency services for the user, if they aren’t able to for whatever reason. They’ll be alerted along with the user whenever an alarm goes off and, after verifying the emergency, they can contact the proper services for you, whether it’s the police, the fire department or the nearest hospital.
Price and Contracts
As professional monitoring is included, users won’t need to sign a contract for that specifically. However, for landline or cellular backup, which keeps the system on in the event of a power outage, users are required to sign three-year, binding contracts. The cost depends on the users’ equipment and needs and is negotiable, but expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $60 a month, which is pretty expensive. However, considering professional monitoring is free, the monthly cost is comparable to many of Protect America’s competitors. But users that wanted to self-monitor only and avoid monthly fees should definitely not choose Protect America as their security system.
As Protect America offers DIY installation, users simply have to alert the company if they’re moving and reinstall their system in their new homes. The company will send a relocation key and update the user’s info accordingly.
Protect America offers customer support over the phone, live chat, and email, along with their online help center.
To call Protect America’s customer support team, dial 1-800-951-5111. For new customers installing their system, click option 3 to activate it, but current customers should select option 4.
Users can email Protect America at [email protected].
Protect America offers support over live chat via their website.
Online Help Center
Protect America has an online help center as extensive as the amount of devices they offer. Users can sort by device type or perform a quick search. We found their website to be very helpful in installing and using their devices.
Our Experience Contacting Support
We had an excellent experience with the customer support live chat feature. Our many questions about the security system were answered in an extremely straightforward and prompt manner.
Unfortunately, our experience with the customer support phone line was not as positive. We had a simple question about cellular backup and was on the phone for over 20 minutes, mostly on hold. The woman we spoke to talked over us and refused to send any information via email. Unfortunately, many companies refuse to send you information so that you’ll have to speak to a sales representative, and Protect America is no exception.
However, this is a small sample size, so to see what other Protect America customers had to say about their support, we turned to Google.
On Google, Protect America has a 4.1 star rating from 146 reviews, at the time of writing, which is excellent. Out of the 83 reviews mentioning customer support or customer service specifically, 70 were positive, about 85%. Many people loved the live chat feature and enjoyed the over the phone support when it came to installing their systems. Lee Arbegast wrote in a recent five-star review,
“Excellent customer service. The representative was knowledgeable with great interpersonal skills. She assisted me in resolving two problems while on the chat. Then she helped me with an order for some additional equipment. I have always experienced great results when working with the customer support personnel.”
Most of the negative reviews surrounded contracts and sales. Many people weren’t aware of the three-year contract and felt that Protect America’s door-to-door salespeople were pretty aggressive and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Unfortunately, that’s a complaint that we see from a lot of different security companies, but overall, Protect America’s customer support is one of their strongest features.
The Protect America App
Although every Protect America system comes with professional monitoring, users can also monitor their system through the Protect America app available for iOS and Android. Let’s take a closer look.
The Protect America app lets users arm and disarm their security systems, livestream footage or view cloud storage, speak through two-way audio, control connected devices, review an event history and receive notifications.
Google Play Store Rating
The app has pretty mediocre ratings with a 3.3 on Google Play with users having varying experiences. While the app worked well for some users, others couldn’t get it to actually arm their security system, so it was really hit or miss.
Apple Store Rating
Unfortunately, the iOS Protect America app fared even worse with only a 2.6 star rating, with the majority of the reviews at one star. However, we did notice that many customers updated their reviews after a recent software update, so hopefully the app is moving in the right direction. One user wrote in an updated five-star review,
“[The app has] since been rectified with a service update and now it works flawlessly. We should not have to call in for the update as paying customers it should be automatic or we should be called, emailed or messaged through the app.”
Although users certainly shouldn’t have to call a company to get app updates, we feel that at least Protect America is trying to improve their app, although iPhone users might want to steer clear.
Now, let’s compare Protect America to three other top security systems, ADT, SimpliSafe and Frontpoint.
Protect America vs. ADT
Both Protect America and ADT require 24/7 professional monitoring, and the monthly prices are negotiable at each company.
But while ADT offers professional installation, again for a negotiable fee, users will be able to install their Protect America systems themselves. Protect America offers better customer support, but the ADT Pulse app has better ratings than the Protect America app. Both companies require that users sign a three year contract. Overall, we recommend ADT for those that want professional installation and Protect America for those that want DIY installation, but they’re very comparable systems in terms of quality.
To learn more, read my full review of ADT vs. Protect America.
Protect America vs. SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe offers much more flexibility than Protect America, with monthly contracting versus a binding, three year contract with Protect America. They also offer a superior app, integrations with Google Assistant and Nest thermostats in addition to Alexa and August smart locks, so SimpliSafe might be a better choice for those on the Google ecosystem.
Both companies have DIY installation, but only Protect America offers such great phone support. In general, Protect America has better customer support, but most likely, users will pay more for 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup, which costs a flat rate of $24.99 with SimpliSafe.
SimpliSafe also gives users the option to self-monitor, although they won’t be able to control their system remotely or receive notifications without paying that $24.99 monthly fee. Overall, we recommend SimpliSafe over Protect America due to its lower monthly costs, self-monitoring option, short-term contracting and superior app. It’s also a better product for users in the Google smart home ecosystem, considering its smart platform integrations.
To learn more, read my full comparison of SimpliSafe vs. Protect America.
Protect America vs. Frontpoint
Protect America and Frontpoint both require 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup. Frontpoint’s monthly fees are either $44.99 or $49.99, but with the cheaper plan, users won’t get livestreaming, cloud storage, motion triggered alerts, night vision, and other essential features, making Frontpoint a pretty expensive option.
However, Protect America may or may not cost less per month, depending on how the user’s negotiations go. Both systems have DIY installation, although Frontpoint lacks the excellent support help over the phone, and both systems work with Alexa, although Frontpoint also works with Google Assistant. Both companies are known for their great customer support, but Frontpoint’s app is much superior. Overall, we’d recommend Frontpoint over Protect America due to its integration with Google Assistant, monthly contracting and better app.
For more information, read my full comparison of Frontpoint vs. Protect America.
We’ve covered everything there is to know about the Protect America security system, but here’s more information on the company itself.
Protect America has been in business since 1992 when it was founded in Austin, Texas. Since, they’ve expanded across the United States and Canada, with over 200,000 security systems installed only nine years after founding. In 2010, Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC purchased Protect America for $100 million, expanding into Canada two years later. The company itself is actually the 13th largest in Texas in terms of the amount of employees. Still headquartered in Austin, Protect America is partnered with the city’s police department, updating their security systems.
Where to Purchase
The best way to purchase a security system from Protect America is via their website. Their equipment is not available on Amazon or Best Buy and is only sold directly on their site.
To contact Protect America, call customer support weekdays from eight AM until nine PM or weekends from nine AM until seven PM, CST. Or, get a free quote over chat weekdays from seven AM until 11 PM or weekends nine AM until seven PM CST.
Use the following links to follow Protect America on various social media platforms:
- Protect America Facebook
- Protect America Twitter
- Protect America Youtube
- Protect America Instagram
- Protect America LinkedIn
Protect America offers a free lifetime warranty for all of their security equipment. They’ll replace defective parts for free except for shipping.
Users have 30 days from the time they purchased their Protect America equipment to return it for a full refund. However, the equipment can’t be visibly damaged and must be in the same condition it was upon purchase.
Protect America is certainly a trustworthy security system that will give users peace of mind. For users that want 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup and don’t mind making a three-year long commitment, it’s a good option. However, users that want to self-monitor or that don’t want to sign long-term contracts should look elsewhere. To explore other options, check out our review of 2020’s best home security systems.
Overall, we recommend ADT for those that want professional installation and Protect America for those that want DIY installation, but they’re very comparable systems in terms of quality. Protect America is certainly a trustworthy security system that will give users peace of mind. For users that want 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup and don’t mind making a three-year long commitment, it’s a good option. However, users that want to self-monitor or that don’t want to sign long-term contracts should look elsewhere. Cancelling Protect America is difficult, as users are locked into three-year contracts. They can only cancel within the first 15 days after the equipment is shipped and returned to Protect America. After that, users can’t get out of the contract. However, they can transfer it to someone they know. If the user has been in the contract for over three years, they can change it to a month-to-month term length, which makes cancelling easier. Otherwise, there’s no way to get out of Protect America’s three-year contract past the first 15 days after the equipment is shipped. To cancel (or attempt to cancel), call 800-951-5111 and choose option 4. Protect America does offer outdoor cameras including the Alarm.com outdoor cameras V721W, the V722W and the V723W, the 1.0 Megapixel SmartView 64GB Outdoor Camera and finally the Vivotek Outdoor Wireless Video Camera. These cameras are all made by third-party manufacturers. The best home security system is Frontpoint, which offers professional monitoring and excellent customer support. Depending on the user’s equipment and services, Protect America can cost anywhere from about $20 to $60 monthly.
Is Protect America better than ADT?
Is Protect America a good security system?
How do I cancel Protect America?
Does Protect America have outdoor cameras?
What is the best home security system to buy?
How much is Protect America monthly?
Overall, we recommend ADT for those that want professional installation and Protect America for those that want DIY installation, but they’re very comparable systems in terms of quality.
Protect America is certainly a trustworthy security system that will give users peace of mind. For users that want 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup and don’t mind making a three-year long commitment, it’s a good option. However, users that want to self-monitor or that don’t want to sign long-term contracts should look elsewhere.
Cancelling Protect America is difficult, as users are locked into three-year contracts. They can only cancel within the first 15 days after the equipment is shipped and returned to Protect America. After that, users can’t get out of the contract. However, they can transfer it to someone they know. If the user has been in the contract for over three years, they can change it to a month-to-month term length, which makes cancelling easier. Otherwise, there’s no way to get out of Protect America’s three-year contract past the first 15 days after the equipment is shipped. To cancel (or attempt to cancel), call 800-951-5111 and choose option 4.
Protect America does offer outdoor cameras including the Alarm.com outdoor cameras V721W, the V722W and the V723W, the 1.0 Megapixel SmartView 64GB Outdoor Camera and finally the Vivotek Outdoor Wireless Video Camera. These cameras are all made by third-party manufacturers.
The best home security system is Frontpoint, which offers professional monitoring and excellent customer support.
Depending on the user’s equipment and services, Protect America can cost anywhere from about $20 to $60 monthly.