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      December 10, 2019

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Guardian vs CPI Security

Best Home Security Systems

To help you find the Best Home Security Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Guardian and CPI Security.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Home Security Systems, please Click Here

Where can you find the best home security system? Today's marketplace gives you more options than ever, with packages ranging from budget-friendly, basic home monitoring with equipment you install yourself, to technician-installed systems that include smoke and flood detectors.

Before you determine which home security system is right for your needs, it's important to understand why you should have one. Although crime rates have been dropping in some areas, there are still nearly 2 million break-ins nationwide every year, resulting in losses of at least $2,000 on average. And, even if a burglary doesn't lead to a big financial loss, there's no way to put a monetary value on the peace of mind that vanishes when you find out that an intruder was inside your home.

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Best Reviews

2019

Home Security Systems Reviews

3.5 stars
Guardian Protection

GUARDIAN PROTECTION

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Features:

Strong reputation for excellent customer service

Professional installation required

Limited service area

With almost 70 years in the home security systems market, Guardian Protection has delivered peace of mind to hundreds of thousands of customers. The company has won several awards for their monitoring center's fantastic service and even won the coveted Angie's List Super Service Award. As you can see, Guardian Protection has an excellent reputation, as demonstrated by an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and hundreds of 4- and 5-star reviews from satisfied customers. From the sales associates to the installers and customer service reps, Guardian does a fantastic job of being friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient.

Since our last review, Guardian has changed its packages for home security systems. Here are the three plans you can choose from now:

  • Standard Security: this entry-level package gives you standard devices (1 touchscreen keypad, 3 door/window sensors, 1 motion sensor, yard sign/window decals), wireless and cellular coverage, 24/7 monitoring, smart home control, and life safety features.
  • Essential Security: this plan includes home automation, HD video doorbell (or your choice of 4 other home automation devices, like a thermostat or door lock), standard devices, wireless and cellular coverage, 24/7 monitoring, smart home control, and life safety features.
  • Premium Security: as Guardian's top-tier package, this service level gives you all of the features of the first two plans, along with video surveillance and your choice of a video doorbell, indoor camera or outdoor camera.

Every system lets you arm and disarm from anywhere using your internet-connected tablet, smartphone or computer. You'll also get event-driven email or text alerts when a sensor has been activated or the alarm goes off. Regardless of which one you choose, all packages require professional installation by a Guardian technician.

Guardian has a limited service area. You may want to consult their coverage map to see if your area is included; if you don't live in Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Indiana, Tennessee or Arizona, you may not be able to use Guardian as your home security system provider.

What we don't love about the Guardian website is that it is extremely tight-lipped, so to speak, about what you'll pay for their services. Many of today's top providers of home security systems are very transparent with their equipment costs, installation fees, and monthly service charges, but Guardian - like several of their "old guard" competitors - require you to speak with a sales rep to assess your security needs and get recommendations for equipment and monitoring features.

From what we gathered from other customer comments, it's safe to assume you'll pay installation fees of at least $99 with Guardian - but as for what the equipment costs and what you'll spend month-to-month, that depends on your service area, any deals or discounts the rep may offer to try and close the deal, and so on.

Because Guardian Protection has established such an outstanding reputation for service and quality, we've kept their rating steady at 3.5 stars. But, to really compete with our top home security systems, this provider would need to be much more open about their costs and have a greater coverage area that could serve a wider range of customers.

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2.5 stars
CPI Security

CPI SECURITY

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Features:

Technician-installed home security systems customized to your needs

100% wireless - no need for landline

24/7 monitoring starting at $29.99/month

"No False Alarm" guarantee

Equipment costs start at $499: pay in full or 0% interest over 39 or 60 months

CPI is a trusted name among providers offering home security systems. In business for nearly three decades, the company is well-known for its excellent customer service - including a "No False Alarm" guarantee that will credit your account if a system malfunction ever results in a fine from your local authorities.

There are three main packages you can get from CPI:

  • inTouch Essentials: secures your main entry points with 3 door/window sensors and 1 motion detector. This package includes a wireless control panel and the inTouch app for controlling your system with your smartphone.
  • inTouch Essentials Plus: This mid-range package includes the same 3 door/window sensors and motion detector as the Essentials tier, but also gives you a doorbell camera and a SmartHub instead of a wireless control panel.
  • inTouch Edge: The top-tier package offered by CPI adds an outdoor camera and touchscreen/keyless door lock, above and beyond what you get in the first two plans.

Keep in mind that all of these packages are 100% customizable to your home's needs. Maybe you need sensors for 10 doors and windows, or you want an outdoor camera for both the front and the backyard. No problem! Your CPI sales representative will create a package and plan that addresses all of your areas of concern and desired coverage.

When choosing among the packages and plans offered by CPI, it's important to know that you'll be obligated to a monitoring agreement of either 39 or 60 months, unless you decide to purchase your security equipment upfront. Equipment prices start at $499, increasing as you add features and devices beyond the basic package. Given that many of CPI's competitors give you the equipment for free with a contract, rather than spreading it out over 3-5 years, that makes their home security systems some of the most expensive on the market. On a more positive note, you'll get your equipment at a 0% interest rate when you choose one of the two contract lengths, so at least you won't be paying more than the original price.

What will your individual package cost? The only way to find out is by speaking with a sales representative. CPI tells you in their FAQ that monthly monitoring starts at a minimum charge of $29.99, with higher fees as you add more sensors and detectors in your package. Even the live chat doesn't connect you with an online rep - it's more of a glorified "contact us" form that gives CPI your phone number so that someone can call you.

Because you'll be speaking with a sales representative, the pricing and packages CPI offers you may vary. But, as a general guideline, here's a ballpark of what you can expect:

  • Basic Security: $29.99/month for monitoring
  • Basic Security + Smart Home: $39.99/month for monitoring
  • Basic Security + Smart Home + Video: $49.99/month for monitoring

At the time of our most recent evaluation of CPI's home security systems, there was also a promo in place offering a free inTouch Doorbell Camera and Outdoor HD Camera as part of your smart home security package. That could be a good deal if you were already planning on installing one of the top two tiers of monitoring, but it wouldn't be a bargain if you were only looking for the most basic coverage.

CPI has a limited service area. Unless you live in the southeastern part of the United States (the greater metro areas of Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Asheville, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Atlanta or Knoxville, to be exact), you won't be able to use this company's home security systems.

If you do live within their service area, you may appreciate CPI's strong reputation, as demonstrated by accreditation and an "A+" rating from the BBB over nearly 30 years of service, plus an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars over more than 200 independently-verified customer reviews.

While we give CPI high marks for having a strong reputation, we can't get past the fact that their home security systems are only available to a small fraction of potential customers in the US. And, with high equipment costs, lengthy contracts, and monitoring fees that are more expensive than some providers', CPI still winds up towards the bottom of our rankings.

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Continued from above

You may feel like your home won't be a target because you live within a gated community or you have strong deadbolts and motion-activated floodlights. While those preventative measures can make it less likely you'll be the target of a home invasion or robbery, the most determined criminals can still gain access to your house. For that reason, the experts strongly recommend that you invest in a 24/7 monitored home security system. Not only does it make it less likely that a criminal will target your house to begin with, but it also ensures that any attempts to break into your home will be detected immediately and reported to you and to local law enforcement.

When considering the many home security systems on the market today, you'll quickly see that they vary widely with respect to features, provided equipment, and service fees. Some providers give you all of the sensors and other equipment at no cost, with the understanding that you'll install the needed components on your own. Other services require you to make an appointment with a technician who will set up your home security system for you. Also, while most systems are monitored using wireless connections, some companies still use landlines - which can add to your costs if you are one of the millions of homeowners who rely solely on mobile phones and need to add a landline to use the home security system.

As you look through home security systems reviews, it's easy to get bogged down in the numerous packages, price points, and add-on features. Keep in mind the following basic criteria, to help you narrow down the options to find the right protection for your home:

  • Equipment and Installation Costs: What will you pay to get the equipment needed for the level of coverage you want? If the equipment isn't given to you free of charge, do you own it outright or do you pay monthly to rent it? If there's no charge, are there add-ons not included with the basic setup that you'll need to pay for? If a technician install is required, how much will you pay for the service?
  • Monitoring Service. Will your home security system be monitored around the clock? What do customers say about the response time of the service? Will local authorities be contacted directly and immediately, or will the company reach out to you first (e.g. false alarms)? How much does the monitoring cost per month?
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. If you're unhappy with your home security system for any reason, can you get a refund? Is there a warranty period on any provided equipment?
  • Reputation. What do current and previous customers say about their experience with the home security system? Has the provider been rated by the Better Business Bureau? Does the company deliver on its promises to keep you safe?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best home security systems available today. We hope this information gives you all of the insight needed to identify the home security system that will protect you and your loved ones now and in the future!

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