Best Home Security Systems in Charlotte
Frontpoint is our favorite nationwide home security company, but what about Charlotte’s local options? We found seven of the city’s most prominent home security businesses to compare against the national heavyweight and reviewed each of them on a bunch of factors (competitive pricing, home automation, and contract length, to name a few). In the end, Protection1 impressed us with its no-money-down approach; however, Frontpoint’s still the best — and cheapest — choice for long-term value.
The Best Home Security Systems in Charlotte
Charlotte Home Security System Reviews
Protection1 has one key advantage over the rest of the competition: Its “Basic Secure Plus” cellular security package is $0 upfront, and includes three contact sensors, a motion detector, a control panel, and a keychain remote. No other company in the area will get you up and running this cheap. (Out of the nine we evaluated, we saw startup prices range anywhere from $100 with Frontpoint to as much as $300 with Safe Home Security.)
Here’s the bad news: Even though you aren’t paying any money upfront for the equipment, you will pay more in the long run. After three years (pre tax) Frontpoint will cost you $1,324 thanks to its $34 monthly monitoring payment. Protection1 tied with Guardian Protection Services for the highest monthly monitoring payment in the city: $45 per month for a cellular system. So after three years with Protection1, you’d pay $1,620 — a full $300 more.
Protection1 also isn’t very competitive with its service agreements. For starters, it requires that customers sign a 36-month contract like the rest of its competitors. (In fact, we didn’t find a single company in Charlotte that offers an agreement for less than 36 months.) Secondly, it charges $5 extra each month for an equipment warranty. Most every other company included at least one year’s worth of labor coverage without the extra expense. (Frontpoint includes a parts and labor warranty for the full life of its contract.)
An interesting plus with Protection1 is that it regularly offers a variety of discounts (according to the representative we spoke with), like discounts on extra equipment and pro-rated monitoring rates, which can sometimes be locked-in for the lifetime of a contract. That said, it’s worth getting a quote from Protection1 just to see if there any particular deals you could cash in on.
It’s also important to note that even though the equipment comes free, you can’t take it with you if you move. Instead, Protection1 will install a new, carbon-copy system into your new home and leave the old one alone (which is a pretty smart way to get new customers). And anything extra you’ve ever purchased will transfer as well.
What about customer service? Protection1 is part of a regional chain, so it’s on the same level as Frontpoint communication wise. So when you call, don’t expect to get a real person on the line from the start. Once we got passed the intro, though, our experience with both representatives was incredibly pleasant, and all our questions were answered promptly — which is something we can’t say for all the businesses in the area.
All in all, Protection1 is the cheapest to get up and running, but it can’t quite compete with Frontpoint’s long-term affordability.
Power Home Technologies is right in line with Frontpoint at $35 per month for cellular monitoring. It’s landline monitoring, however, runs $25 a month, which is $5 cheaper than the next-best deal from Protection1. That doesn’t mean PowerHome is necessarily the best choice if you need landline monitoring though — the company requires you to have an in-home evaluation before getting a quote. We couldn’t even get the representative to give us an estimate of what the equipment and install would cost (but based on our research, it’s probably in the range of $250-$400).
Here’s the catch: PowerHome is only the better deal if it quotes you a system for less than $200 (which is unlikely). Otherwise, three years with Protection1 landline service lands at $1,080, which is $20 cheaper.
Companies That Didn’t Make the Cut
To find the absolute best home security system in Charlotte, we evaluated and scored seven local businesses on several factors, including customer service, the quote process, competitive pricing, contract length, and more. In the end, only two of those companies made it all the way through our testing. Some were incredibly difficult to communicate with (one actually never returned our calls or emails), while others just couldn’t compete with Protection1 and Frontpoint on any level. Below you’ll find a list of the companies that we couldn’t stamp with the Reviews.com seal of approval:
CPI Security, Guardian Protection Services, Piedmont Security Systems, CSG Security, Safe Home Security, Security Systems Charlotte.
Charlotte City Policy
What about false alarms?
False alarms are a bigger deal than you might think. Stan Martin, executive director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, told The New York Times that approximately 80 percent of alarm calls nationwide are no-gos. And when you consider that the average response call takes 20 to 30 minutes of an officer’s time, you can understand how the cost of false alarms is up in the millions of dollars.
To help keep the number of false alarms to a minimum, Charlotte fines residents according to the following schedule:
- First and Second False Alarm: Fines are waived.
- Third through Fifth False Alarm: $50
- Sixth and Seventh False Alarm: $100
- Eighth and Ninth False Alarm: $250
- Tenth False Alarm and on: $500
Check out our guide for more information about how to prevent false alarms.
The Bottom Line
Frontpoint and Protection1 are the best home security companies in Charlotte, but choosing the right one primarily depends upon when and how you want to pay. Protection1 will set you up with a basic cellular system free of charge, but you’re going to pay $45 a month for monitoring, which is $10 more expensive than Frontpoint. Frontpoint’s system cost $100 upfront, but customers will save money in the long run (as in two years or more).