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ByAnne Dennon Home Technology Writer

Anne has covered home security and home automation for Reviews.com for two years. She's interested in human-computer interaction and tech ethics.

Guardian Security Review

This Seattle-based home security company offers both business and residential protection. While its service area is small (just Washington state), its service scope is broad. Guardian Security provides home security and automation as well as fire and life security and medical alert systems. A regional company with a lot of monitoring bandwidth, it’s won the business of major Pacific Northwest corporations. Guardian Security’s protection includes home security and home automation, as well as.

Its headquarters are clustered in western and central Washington (Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham, and Yakima) and its central monitoring station is located in Seattle, but Guardian Security offers its services statewide — “from Puget Sound to Tri-Cities.”

The Claim

Washington state’s first choice in security.

Is it true?

While there’s no home security market share data to confirm Guardian Security’s claim of being the largest independently owned home security company in the state, it’s certainly a popular choice. And popular not only for residential clients, but commercial ones as well. Some very high-profile buildings, including schools, hospitals, and even downtown Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, are protected by Guardian Security.

While regional companies often can’t compete with national players in terms of technology and low monthly monitoring costs, they soar when it comes to customer service. Washingtonians in the market for a helpful, hassle-free experience with home security will be happy with Guardian Security. The plan that will serve the needs of most households doesn’t feature the glossiest new equipment, and costs a little more than industry giants like ADT, but in exchange you get low-cost professional installation and a live, local person on the phone.

Product Overview

Best for

Washington state residents who prioritize customer service and can commit to a three-year contract.

Not for

Those prioritizing low cost monitoring or cutting-edge tech, or those who would rather pay month-to-month.

Features

Price
$35 per month — Landline
$45 per month — Standard (includes smartphone controllability)
Standout features
Low-cost professional installation
$5 per month service plan for no-cost service visits
Exceptional customer service
States served
Washington
Fees
Installation fee
Service fee
Cancellation fee
Terms
36-month contract

Equipment sourced from market

Some regional home security systems install their own equipment. The quality of this tech varies, but for obvious reasons — research and development strength, production bandwidth — they rarely keep up with the technological sophistication of market leaders. Guardian Security sidesteps this issue by installing their choice of third-party equipment. For the sensors and keypad, they rely on offerings from Bosch, Honeywell, and Samsung.

Additional smart home tech that can be purchased through Guardian Security includes:

  • Honeywell Total Connect IP cameras
  • Lynx Touch keypads
  • Tuxedo Touch keypad
  • Vista keypads
  • DSC keypads
  • Qolsys IQ Panel keypad
  • ZWSTAT thermostat

You can also add to your smart home system using any compatible with Z-Wave devices. They will be controllable via the Alarm.com app, which you can also use to arm and disarm your Guardian security system.

Earned trust of high-security clients

Guardian Security is trusted by public and commercial entities like schools, hospitals, and performance venues throughout Washington state. Its client list serves as credentials for trustworthiness, a primary characteristic you want in a home security company — they are the ones to make the call in the event of an emergency.

Low-cost bundle for equipment and installation with contract

Guardian Security cuts you a major deal on equipment costs when you purchase through them and sign the three-year contract. If you were to separately buy the devices that come with the Standard kit, your total would be around $500. With Guardian, the equipment plus installation is $99. That said, if you want to expand your system, your initial investment will increase quickly.

Have more than three windows and doors you want monitored? Each additional sensor will run you $80. Want to beef up your security with cameras? Surveillance cameras and video doorbells typically cost around $200. You’ll pay an additional $30 per month for cloud storage of the footage of one to four cameras. For four to eight cameras, you’ll pay an additional $45.

A Breakdown of Guardian Security Plans

3 door/ window sensors Motion sensor Keypad Video doorbell Security cameras
Landline plan
Optional
Standard plan
Optional
Optional

Possible Drawbacks

Third-party equipment and app

Guardian Security doesn’t have in-house equipment, and instead install devices from “top brands in the industry” — such as Bosch, Honeywell, and Samsung. There’s few tech details of devices on offer on Guardian Security’s site, but you can access their user manuals in the troubleshooting section. Guardian Security also outsources its app. The company relies on Alarm.com, an industry standard application for home security and automation control. While this may feel like a hodgepodge of equipment and platforms, all should run in smooth synchronicity thanks to their shared Z-Wave protocol.

Limited online resources

Most big home security companies present nearly all the information you need to make a purchase decision on their sites. Some even offer online chat so you can get a question or two answered without having to get on the phone. While Guardian Security has a fairly robust set of online resources for established customers (though there’s a broken link or two), it’s not all that informative for prospective ones. This is a company that you call. To hear equipment recommendations and monitoring plan details, call their (extremely helpful) customer service line at (206) 451-5859, or fill out an online form for a call-back.

The Competition

Guardian Security
ADT
Vivint
Install
Professional
Professional
Professional
Monitoring
Professional or DIY
Professional
Professional
Starting price
$35
$37
$40
Package options
2
5
2
App Store rating
4.8/5
4.7/5
4.4/5
Contract length
36 months
36 months
Monthly to 60 months
In business since
1976
1890
1999
Warranty
1 year
90 days
120 days or Lifetime
Trial period
N/A
30 days
3 days

Guardian Security vs. ADT

There are few companies that so dominate their industry as ADT does home security. And while disruptive newcomers and strong regional options keep ADT on its toes, the legacy company is doing a great job at keeping abreast of the latest technology and setting competitive rates.

Like Guardian Security, ADT provides for plenty of third-party integration thanks to its reliance on Z-Wave technology. Again like Guardian Security, ADT offers a low-tech alternative: the landline home security system. But Guardian Security actually bests ADT with its better-rated Alarm.com app, and there’s no denying that you can reach a human on the phone sooner with Guardian than you can with the national ADT.

Guardian Security vs. Vivint

Vivint is hard to beat when it comes to home automation. If your primary interest in equipping your house with smart home technology boils down to automation — rather than old-fashioned home security — you may be happier with Vivint. The devices are sleeker, and the cost of outfitting your home with them is more competitive if you sign Vivint’s long-term contract. Note that that long-term contract is long, Vivint requires you to sign on for five years or you’ll pay for those top-of-the-line devices upfront. Guardian offers a more standard three year contract and better customer service, but doesn’t wow in the tech department.

Guardian Security FAQ

How much does Guardian Security cost?

Guardian Security keeps it simple. The cheapest option is a landline plan for $35 per month. A little less than the industry average of $40 per month, but a landline plan is vulnerable to literal cord cutting and can’t provide the smartphone control or home automation features that have come to be synonymous with home security. If you want a cellular plan that provides those abilities, you’ll pay $45 per month. And while you can forego professional monitoring and keep an eye on the alerts generated by your smart home security system yourself, it will still cost you $45 per month. Might as well let the professionals keep an eye out.

How do you cancel Guardian Security?

Like for anything else with Guardian Security, you’ll have to get on the phone with customer service at (206) 451-5859. Just know that if you’re cancelling before the end of your three-year contract, you will be on the hook for cancellation fees, and these can total as much as the full remaining financial obligation on your contract. In other words, all the monthly fees you would be paying if you retained their services.

Can you take Guardian Security with you when you move?

Yes. There’s a transfer process in place, and you can get the ball rolling by emailing customercare@guardiansecurity.com or calling their hotline at (206) 451-5859. Because Guardian Security requires professional installation, you may have to pay for two service visits: one to remove the system from your existing home, and another to set it up at your new residence. Also note that Guardian Security operates only in Washington state. If your move crosses state lines, you will need to shop around for a new home security provider.

The Bottom Line

Guardian Security is a customer-first local company well-equipped to serve the security needs of Washingtonians, whether they are in the market for commercial or residential protection. If you prioritize cost, state-of-the-art smart home tech, or instantly recognizable names (all hail the ADT sign in the flower bed), then Guardian Security probably isn’t the choice for you. But if you’re fine paying the industry average of around $40 a month, Guardian has solid security and automation options with the added benefit of being a truly good company to interact with. We spoke on the phone with a representative for a half hour, were supplied with tons of helpful information, and not once pressured to take the next step and sign up.

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