Protection 1 provides a full range of home security products and packages, including smartphone monitoring and Z-Wave appliance control. The company started doing business out of their headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas in 1988. Since then, they have grown into one of the biggest providers of home and business security in the country.
The company has five monitoring stations around the country. They sell home security systems to single-family residences, commercial establishments, and wholesale agents. Protection 1 has a network of dealers in all fifty states and does some international sales and service through affiliates.
Their systems use mainly Honeywell components. They offer four types of residential home packages. The basic package uses a landline but cellular comprises the bulk of their service sales. Protection 1 sells security sensors such as door and window contacts and detectors for carbon monoxide, smoke, and fire. The more expensive packages have video and Z-Wave smart home appliance service management. There is also a medical alert component available.
The Protection 1 smartphone app is available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. Called e-secure, it is a proprietary app for the company. You can also use alarm.com for remote access.
Protection 1 Pros
- No outsourced Monitoring
- A+ Better Business Bureau Ratings
- Honeywell Technology
- Variety of product offerings
- Excellent customer service record
Protection 1 Complaints
- No do-it-yourself (DIY) option
- Lack of transparent pricing
- Relocating the system to a new residence is pricey
Home Security Packages Overview and Charges
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Like many home security providers, Protection 1 uses Honeywell products. This includes security sensors like door/window contacts, glass break, and motion components. They have Honeywell smoke, fire, water and temperature detectors also. Some of the add-on equipment comes from different manufacturers.
Home Security Service Overview
Protection 1 advertises a $99 installation cost. The fee covers installing the essential equipment that comes with each package. The cost may vary depending on the types and amounts of add-on equipment. There is no provision for DIY. If you move to a new apartment or house, you will have to pay for removal and re-installation.
The three-year monitoring contracts come with a choice of four different packages. The four packages each have the same basic equipment:
- Control Console
- Keychain remote
- Three door/window sensors
- Motion detector
- Window and yard signage
The cheapest package, Secure, uses a landline connection to transmit to the monitoring station. The other three packages use cellular and have the capacity through the Honeywell keypads to have a landline as a backup if desired.
The top three packages have a two-way voice. This lets you speak directly with the monitors at the touch of a button or screen icon. Only the top two packages, Smart Control and Video, let you use your smartphone or another remote device to manage the console and attached sensors and detectors. The top-of-the-line package, Video, provides one camera with the camera and allows remote management. Adding on a camera to Smart Control will require upgrading to the monthly Video package to receive texts or emails and control your home security cameras.
Monitoring is done through one of five monitoring centers located throughout the United States: Texas, Florida, California, New Jersey, and Oklahoma. The center in Irving, Texas monitors all national business accounts for the company.
Each center is Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and FM Global third-party certification for their systems. The centers have triple redundancy: a primary computer system, monitoring centers’ on-site backup system and an off-site Disaster Recover Center system.
The centers provide three types of monitoring for their home and business security clients. Critical Conditioning monitoring keeps track of sensor signals reporting on conditions such as carbon monoxide levels, temperature issues, and water levels.
Asset monitoring reports the status of any tampering detectors installed.
The backup communications service utilizes various forms of communication, including cellular and landline, to communicate with and test the different components of a system.
Protection 1 sells a range of products beyond those provided with the packages compatible with any of the systems they provide. Theoretically, any Honeywell sensor or detector and any Z-Wave appliance control unit will work with their systems. Some foreign manufactured devices that transmit on the same frequency as Honeywell products should work too, but sometimes slight manufacturing differences will preclude strong connectivity or make the sensor or detector work erratically at best.
- Additional Touch Screen Remote
- Additional Wireless Keypad Additional Wireless Keypad
- Carbon Monoxide Detector Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Emergency Button Emergency Button
- Fire Fighter Fire Fighter
- Freeze Sensor Freeze Sensor
- Garage Door Controller Garage Door Controller
- Glass Break Detector Glass Break Detector
- Indoor Night Vision Camera Indoor Night Vision Camera
- Indoor Pan/Tilt Camera Indoor Pan/Tilt Camera
- Lighting & Appliance Control Lighting & Appliance Control
- Motion Detector Motion Detector
- Outdoor Camera Outdoor Camera
- Remote Door Locks Remote Door Locks
- Remote Thermostat Control Remote Thermostat Control
- Smoke & Fire Detector Smoke & Fire Detector
- Water & Flood Sensor Water & Flood Sensor
- Wireless Doorbell Wireless Doorbell
Protection 1 brands a Honeywell/Ademco touchscreen keypad for managing their home security systems. The control consoles have built-in two-way voice, though this service is not provided with the Security package. There is also a built-in siren that will sound, depending on your programming, whenever an alarm is activated.
These consoles work with landline, hardwired phones or cellular GSM. The touchscreen pad has a local weather app included. The icons on the home screen will take you to a step-by-step process to manage any component of your system.
The panels that come with all four packages can manage any component sold by the company. You may, however, need to upgrade to install a Z-Wave module depending on the console model.
The four-button keychain remote can activate or deactivate your system at the touch of a button. There is also a panic alarm and “at home” mode. There are additional key fob types manufactured by Honeywell available through the dealers also.
Three Door/Window Sensors
The door or window sensors come in two parts: the sensor and the magnet. The sensor section measures about four inches in length. Normally you attach the sensor to the door/window frame and the smaller section with the magnet to the actual door or window.
The technician can mount the sensor with the self-adhesive tape or by a bracket. Other types of less intrusive door and window units are available as add-ons.
The motion detector has a 15 foot range. Normally you mount it about seven feet above floor level on an interior wall. The passive Infrared device will detect movement and transmit the alarm to the console. You can program the console to notify the monitoring station silently or also activate the siren.
If you have the Smart Control or Video package, you can receive an alert on your smartphone too.
Window and Yard Signage
All packages come with one metal yard sign at 2-3 window stickers.
Additional Touch Screen Remote
Additional touchscreen remotes or keypads can be purchased. The selection includes the top-of-the-line Honeywell Tuxedo. The Tuxedo has all the functionality of the regular touchscreen pad and also has voice command capability.
Additional Wireless Keypad
Relatively inexpensive, usually less than $75 depending on the dealer, the keypads have a simple, phone number pad that allows you to enter your user code to arm or disarm your system. You can also perform many other functions by using the pad
Carbon Monoxide Detector
The wireless carbon monoxide detectors have sensors that last approximately two years before needing replacement. Battery operated; they also have a built-in siren that will sound along with the console siren in the event carbon monoxide is detected.
Emergency Button Emergency Button
The wireless emergency buttons usually get placed in a bedroom or in your office. You must press and hold the button for two seconds and the console will detect the signal and notify the monitoring center. You can receive a text or email alert too if you have the Smart or Video packages.
These temperature sensors run on lithium batteries. Wireless, a rapid rise or drop in temperature will sound the alarm and send a signal to your control console. Batteries usually last up to five years.
Freeze Sensor Freeze Sensor
The freeze sensor will alert whenever the temperature drops below a certain level, around 45° F. Connected to the rest of your home security system, you usually deploy it near pipes which may freeze or near you furnace.
Garage Door Controller
The Liftmaster garage door controller will work with almost any remote controlled garage door. As part of your home security system, your panel will notify you by text or email message whenever the garage door is opened or closed.
Glass Break Detector Glass
The glass break detectors will detect the sound of breaking glass through use of an acoustic sensor tuned to the specific glass-breaking frequency. It can serve as a cost effective substitute for securing a bank of windows rather than purchasing individual window sensors.
You mount the sensor on a wall or place it on a shelf facing the area you want to protect.
Indoor Night Vision Camera
The fixed-lens night vision camera has an infrared lens that allows it to obtain a good picture in low light conditions. The camera can be activated by the user or the monitoring station remotely. There is also a privacy button which obscures the lens to prevent video from being transmitted.
Indoor Pan/Tilt Camera
You can program the pan and tilt camera to focus in on a specific range vertically and horizontally. Alternatively, you can control the angle remotely through your console or smartphone app. The camera uses AC power.
Lighting & Appliance Control
The lighting and appliance control module allows you to plug in any light or small appliance and control it through Z-Wave technology and your home security console. You can program certain on/off times or immediately switch it on or off using your system.
The add-on motion detector is “pet safe” and will not activate if a pet approximately 60 pounds or lighter walks within its range. The battery is good for about five years.
The outdoor camera uses AC power. Weatherproof, it is usually mounted underneath an overhang or by the front door. It has low-light capability and a fixed lens.
Remote Door Locks
Protection 1 has an agreement with Kwikset to provide their Z-Wave remote locks. Kwikset has a smart key feature that allows you to rekey the lock without a locksmith. You can lock/unlock any door equipped with the lock. You can program up to 30 different user codes depending upon the model you choose.
Remote Thermostat Control
The Honeywell Thermostat lets you control your HVAC system through your keypad or smartphone. You can program times to turn the system up or down as well as turn it off. You can control the fan settings and your heat pumps.
Smoke & Fire Detector
The smoke and fire detectors combine the benefits of smoke and temperature alarms. There are two sensors inside, one for smoke and one that detects rapid rises in temperature. There is an internal siren and the detector is powered by a lithium battery.
Water & Flood Sensor
Users most frequently install the water and flood sensors along the baseboard in a bathroom, near an appliance connected to your water or by your water heater.
The wireless doorbell can be installed anywhere and without drilling any holes. It will alert the console whenever anyone rings the bell and send out a signal to smartphones that someone is at the house. You can program a camera to activate whenever the doorbell is rung.
The PacificCorp West Coast Utility Company founded Protection 1 in 1988. PacificCorp eventually merged with Westar Energy, and the merged company began expanding their home security arm. The company has two c0-headquarters, one in Lawrence, Kansas and the other in Romeoville, Illinois.
In mid-2015, Apollo Global Management LLC, an alternative investment management company, acquired Protection 1. Apollo has announced that Protection 1 will continue to operate under its own brand name. Other terms of the merger have not been announced, but it is expected that the merger will give Protection 1 access to funds for further expansion.
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Protection 1 has developed a solid reputation over the past 27 years. Their customer service receives high marks from most users. Package pricing, from around $35 at the low end to $55 at the high end, remains competitive, as does the three year contract length.
The actual price, however, may vary somewhat depending on the part of the country you are in and the dealer. If you are looking for an inexpensive, DIY system that lets you self-monitor, then Protection 1 likely is not for you. If you are planning on moving before the end of your three-year contract, you might also want to research other brands. A Protection 1 system can be costly to reinstall. In addition to uninstall and reinstall costs, if you choose not to take the system with you, you may incur costly penalties for early contract termination.