If you’re shopping for a home security system, Frontpoint and Protect America are both smart choices. Frontpoint is only about a decade old, but is known to be an excellent option for those who want to DIY their installation. Protect America has been in the home security game since 1992 and offers durable GE-made equipment. So how do you make your pick? With all the facts, of course. Here’s the full scoop on what these two home security companies in common, the main differences, and what you need to know about each before making the ultimate decision.
|Smart Home Capabilities||5||4|
|Monthly Monitoring Cost||$34.99 - $49.99 depending on plan||$19.99 - $42.99 depending on plan|
|Upfront Cost||$99 and up||None|
|MoneyBack Guarantee||30 days||3 days|
|Contract Length||1 or 3 years||3 years|
|Installation||DIY||Pro or DIY|
|Basic Equipment||$99 and up||Included in monthly cost|
Frontpoint and Protect America: What do they have in common?
Frontpoint and Protect America have a few important things in common. They include:
- Good quality equipment. Since Protect America equipment is manufactured by GE, it’s got a good reputation for durability and reliability. Plus, Protect America offers a lifetime warranty on its products. Frontpoint’s gear isn’t too shabby either: users give it good reviews, and it’s warrantied for the entirety of your contract with them.
- Plenty of security options. Both companies offer base packages with mostly likely everything you need to get started with home security: control panel, door and window sensors, motion detector, etc. They also both have options you can add on to upgrade your system, including indoor and outdoor cameras, doorbell cameras, flood detectors and smoke detectors.
- A few home automation options. If you want to make your home into a smart home, both companies have options that allow you to do that. When you purchase extra products, you can choose to control your lights, door locks and/or garage door remotely through their apps.
- DIY installation. If you prefer to install your security system yourself—and eschew installation fees—you’re in luck as both of these companies. (You can request installation with Protect America, but it will cost you.)
Frontpoint vs Protect America: What are the differences?
- Package options and pricing: Frontpoint and Protect America both offer equipment packages starting at $99, but Frontpoint has more options to choose from (5 packages vs. 3). With Frontpoint, you purchase the equipment, then pay for monthly monitoring. With Protect America, equipment is included in the monthly cost.
- Monthly monitoring pricing: Protect America offers a super low price point on monthly monitoring for its cheapest package—starting at $19.99 per month—while monthly monitoring for Frontpoint starts at $34.99 per month. Note though, that with that lowest cost Protect America package, you get landline monitoring (instead of cellular, which is usually preferred) and you won’t have access to your security system with the app or smart home features. Most homeowners are going to be looking to utilize the app, making the most inexpensive option a no-go.
- Cellular vs. non-cellular options: The fact that Protect America offers a non-cellular option might be desirable for some people, especially those who live in an area that doesn’t get reliable cell service or those who want a low-cost option.
- App rating: Protect America’s app gets considerably lower ratings than Frontpoint’s app does. Users say it’s unreliable and glitchy, even when you’re on wi-fi.
- Customer service rating: Frontpoint’s customer service gets excellent reviews, while Protect America may be slightly tougher to deal with. Our SecurityNerd reported some frustration when trying to get information about pricing from Protect America customer service. Frontpoint is routinely brought up as an example of a home security company with fantastic customer service.
- Option to get professional installation: If you’re not into the idea of installing your security system yourself, you can have Protect America professionals do it for you—for a fee of $250. Meanwhile, Frontpoint doesn’t offer installation services.
Frontpoint: What you need to know
Before you commit to Frontpoint, know all the pros and cons of this company’s security systems.
- Hardware options: You’re bound to find the right equipment package for your home when you go with Frontpoint. It offers five different packages to choose from and there are plenty of options.
- Simplicity: If you’re a DIY-type, installing and setting up a Frontpoint security system should be a cinch. The company says it should only take a half hour or so and most customer reviews back up that claim. (This helped make Frontpoint one of our top picks for the best home security systems for apartments.)
- Automation options: Tech lovers who want to soup up their home will love the ability to add on smart locks, wireless light controls and smart home equipment from a few other, compatible brands, including Yale smart locks and Amazon Alexa. They also offer a glass break sensor and a carbon monoxide sensor for additional peace of mind.
- Satisfaction guarantee: With its satisfaction guarantee, Frontpoint customers have the option to return everything within 30 days of purchase and receive a refund.
- Contract length: Noncommittal types won’t love having to sign a one-year or three-year contract, which is required when you go with Frontpoint. (They do offer a money back guarantee, which is as close to a trial period as you’ll get.)
- Upfront cost: Upfront cost for equipment can be $99 or more, depending on the features you choose.
- Credit checks: Don’t have good credit? Frontpoint bases upfront costs partially on credit score. So you might pay more to start than someone with a higher score would.
Check out SecurityNerd’s full review of Frontpoint for more on this security company and its offerings.
Protect America: What you need to know
Now, for Protect America. These are the pros and cons to consider before you sign up.
- Budget-friendly options: It’s hard to beat its $19.99 per month professional monitoring package. But remember this is the bare-bones package without any bells and whistles. We think it won’t be enough for most people.
- Well-made equipment: There are very few complaints about Protect America’s GE-made equipment, including the touchscreen control panel.
- Automation options: Protect America offers similar smart home options to Frontpoint. It also works with August smart locks and the Amazon Echo Dot (Alexa).
- Non-cellular options: If you want to use your security system with a landline, instead of cellular, Protect America may be the way to go.
- Price matching: Protect America offers to match the price of a competitor for the same coverage, so you may be able to get a good deal with them no matter what.
- Unreliable mobile app: Ratings for the Protect America smartphone app are some of the lowest we’ve seen. When it comes to controlling your home security system with your phone, reliability is important.
- Limited customer service: Protect America doesn’t have stellar customer service reviews.
- Prices may be higher than they seem: Some customers choose Protect America because it offers low-priced packaging but if you’re going to want cellular monitoring, use of the app to control your system and/or home automation, then you’ll want a package that’s priced similarly to other security companies’ packages.
- Contract length: Protect America customers must sign a 3-year contract. Not a great option for those looking to avoid long term contracts.
Frontpoint or Protect America?
We picked Frontpoint because it offers more package options, has an easy DIY setup and is highly praised for its customer service. However, both security companies are strong choices. They both offer good quality equipment with packages at various price points, as well as smart home add-ons to control your home’s lights and doors from afar. Weigh the pros and cons of each to make the best choice for your home and your family. You may also want to read our comparison of Frontpoint vs ADT to help finalize your choice.