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      October 1, 2020

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Frontpoint vs Protect America

Best Home Security Systems

To help you find the Best DIY Home Security Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Frontpoint and Protect America.

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Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, no matter how big or small the residence. In the United States, there are over two million burglaries every calendar year, with losses averaging at least $2,000 per crime. Home security systems are the most popular, reputable way to deter would-be criminals and to catch them in the act.

However, many consumers are turning away from traditional home security systems which often involve lengthy service contracts, not to mention the installation of equipment and wiring that can leave unsightly holes in the walls - and that might not even be allowed by a landlord for those who are renting an apartment or house.

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Best Reviews

2020

DIY Home Security Reviews

5 stars
Frontpoint

FRONTPOINT

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Features:

Monitoring plans start at $34.99

Geo-services not found with other providers

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Frontpoint continues to lead the pack when it comes to home security systems with DIY installation. With a low-pressure approach to sales, a month-long money-back guarantee, and a 100% cellular connection (which means you don't need a landline phone or internet connection for it to work), this company works hard to earn and keep your business.

One of the top features that sets Frontpoint apart from the competition is their Geo-Services, which uses your phone's location to activate various system components. You start by setting up a "geo-fence", or an area around your office or home. If you leave that area (with your phone, of course - but who doesn't keep their phone close at all times?), you can set up your system to change your thermostat until you return, or to notify you if you forgot to arm it before you left home.

There are three plans to choose from with Frontpoint, all of which include round-the-clock monitoring through top-ranked, third-party provider Rapid Response:

  • Protection. Their basic plan, covering you for intrusion, fire, environmental hazards and life safety conditions, costs $34.99 per month.
  • Interactive. This is the plan you'll need to start with if you want those geo-services, along with other advanced features like crash-and-smash protection and sensor history. This will cost you $44.99 per month.
  • Ultimate. Take all of the features from Protection and Interactive, then add on video capability, motion-triggered alerts, night vision and light/smart lock control. You'll pay $49.99 per month.

While some of the home security systems on the market, particularly the ones with DIY installation, don't charge activation fees, you'll pay a charge from $99 to almost $200 for the start-up fees with Frontpoint. All plans require a 3-year commitment, and you then have to choose an equipment package to outfit your home security system.

For example, the Pro Package includes one keypad panel, three door/window sensors, one motion sensor, one glass break sensor, and one keychain remote. You can add on other equipment, either when you place your initial order or after you have the system set up. Available add-ons run the gamut from Cameras and Sensors to Home Automation and other accessories.

Where Frontpoint really shines is when it comes to customer service. From an A+ rating with the BBB to the Angie's List Super Service Award, and with countless reviews from satisfied customers, it's easy to see that Frontpoint has been able to not only make a name for itself but also maintain that high standard. They're absolutely committed to their customers, also as evidenced by that 30-day risk-free guarantee and their low-key approach to sales - no pushy tactics designed to get you to buy anything you don't actually need.

Although the competition is stiff, Frontpoint receives our top rating when it comes to home security systems with easy DIY installation, easy-to-understand pricing, and top-notch service and monitoring.

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4 stars
Protect America

PROTECT AMERICA

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Features:

FREE Equipment on all plans

Monitoring plans start at $19.99

Protect America has been around for a long time: more than twenty years and 400,000 customers later, their DIY Home Security Systems have kept pace with all of advances in technology that customers want.

Protect America offers three main home security packages:

  • Copper. This package comes with 3 Door/Window Sensors and a Motion Detector. The equipment is FREE and the monthly monitoring fee starts at $19.99.
  • Silver. This package comes with 9 Door/Window Sensors and 1 Motion Detector. The equipment is FREE and the monthly monitoring fee starts at $37.99.
  • Platinum. This package comes with 14 Door/Window Sensors and a Motion Detector. The equipment is FREE and the monthly monitoring fee starts at $42.99.

Did you notice that small detail on the monitoring costs, "starts at"? Unlike most of the DIY Home Security Systems we reviewed, Protect America does not automatically include broadband or cellular coverage of your system. No matter which package you select - Copper, Silver, or Platinum - the lowest monthly monitoring price only applies to systems that use a standard telephone landline. If you're like most people, you may not even have a landline in your house or apartment. That means you'll have to pay higher monthly costs to run your system. For the Copper package, you'll spend $41.99/month for broadband or cellular, $49.99 for Silver, and $54.99 for Platinum. Considering that you're obligated to sign a 3-year contract, that can be a pretty hefty financial commitment.

So, what if you want to add features, like smart lights or a monitored smoke detector? Protect America does offer those as extra equipment - but if you want to know what it'll cost, you'll have to contact them for a free quote. Compared with most of the other DIY Home Security Systems on the market, we would have preferred to see more upfront information about equipment costs and any extra charges (if any) for adding them to the initial equipment packages.

We also were left wondering about other aspects of Protect America's systems. Would we need a touchscreen control panel - which doesn't seem to be included in the initial packages? How are the systems installed? At first, we didn't see any helpful information on the website that would be useful for first-time customers to know exactly how to place the sensors or other equipment. Only when we dug around to find the Support section of the site did we come across that kind of help, including a live chat option (in very small print).

Of course, Protect America has a long history of satisfied customers that shouldn't be ignored. But, we'd like to see them be a little more competitive with other companies offering DIY Home Security Systems, especially when it comes to letting their potential customers know exactly what to expect with the process and the equipment they offer.

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Continued from above

Instead, customers are opting to use DIY home security systems, which gives them the convenience of setting up their protection equipment exactly the way they choose and taking it with them when they move to a new home.

Of course, every good DIY home security system should be paired with common-sense protective measures, such as using top-rated deadbolts on all entry doors and making sure all doors and windows are secure before leaving home or going to bed in the evening. Home protection experts strongly prefer security systems that include 24/7 monitoring as well, for added coverage and peace of mind particularly when people are at home. Using live monitoring has been demonstrated to greatly reduce the likelihood of burglary or invasion, as most criminals want to avoid being caught red-handed.

An added perk to taking the DIY approach to home security is saving money. These systems tend to be less expensive to purchase and set up, and yet they are usually eligible for the same premium discounts on homeowners insurance: up to 20%.

When considering the various do-it-yourself home security systems on the market, what should you keep in mind? Each company differs when it comes to the type of equipment they sell and service, the ease of installation, and whether or not they offer live monitoring of your system. Keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Equipment Costs. What does the company include with its home security packages? How many sensors will you need, and what will you be charged to get the level of coverage you want? What will you have to spend to get any additional equipment that you need for your particular living arrangements?
  • Monitoring Service. Will your DIY home security system include any kind of monitoring, or is that left as your responsibility through online apps and other features? If 24/7 live monitoring is available, how much will it cost per month? If there's a break-in or other emergency at your home, will the service contact local authorities on your behalf?
  • Reputation. What do other customers have to say about the business, the equipment, and/or the service received? How easy is it to get help, either with your do-it-yourself installation or with the service? Can you expect a satisfaction guarantee or refund if you are unhappy with the home security service?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best DIY Home Security Systems available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best do-it-yourself home security system that will keep you and your family safe for years to come!

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