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Protection One, also branded as Protection 1, provides customizable, tiered monitoring packages for both residential and commercial spaces and has been in the home security industry since 1988. While it hasn’t been around for quite as long as former competitor ADT, Protection One merged with this home security giant in 2016 under Protection One’s parent company, Apollo Global Management. Now, it’s known as a “division” of ADT, LLC and probably carries some of ADT’s long-time brand recognition with it. But this doesn’t necessarily mean Protection One and ADT offer the same services — although similar in some respects, the two home security services take on slightly different approaches to warranties, packages, and home automation.
There are also key differences between Protection One’s services and those with a greater focus on DIY installation methods like Ring, SimpliSafe, and Abode. In order to suss all the features that make Protection One really stand out in a saturated home security market that’s shifting toward DIY interest, we dug into the fine print and stacked it against three other companies and evaluated its pros — like a burglary or fire-related insurance deductible reimbursement — and its cons, which include lengthy, rigid contracts and less wiggle room for third-party integration and savings.
Protection One claims to be “one of the nation’s premier home security companies,” boasting 24/7 customer service, and a guarantee that you’ll receive a human on the other end of the line when you call for assistance. Protection One says you might even save some money, and that it’s dedicated to making sure you get the “biggest bang for your buck.”
Is it true?
The answer depends on what you value most in a home security system. Like ADT, Protection One forces you to call for a quote and attaches a 36-month contract to its plans (with added fees if you decide to cancel within that window). Unlike ADT, Protection One doesn’t have as robust of a warranty or trial period for equipment, meaning you only have 90 days to decide whether everything works for Protection One to repair or replace any defective part of the equipment. ADT, on the other hand, gives you a full six-month money-back guarantee (with certain stipulations, of course).
Protection One is also expensive when compared to other home security companies on the market — even some professionally-installed ones, which can be notorious for delivering high prices. However, if paying extra to have a professional install a security system for you — environmental sensors and all — is more appealing than trying to tackle it all on your own, Protection One might be for you. Plus, it offers the most generous insurance deductible reimbursement offering that we’ve seen in the event your home is burglarized or faces a disaster.
Those looking for a robust home security system with a few warranty offerings, professional monitoring and installation, and who don’t mind being tied down to a 36-month contract.
Those who feel they can self-monitor or want to save money.
|Price|| Secure: $34.99/mo |
Smart Control: $49.99/mo
|Standout features|| Theft|
|Number of locations / states served||50|
|Ratings|| Better Business Bureau (BBB): A+|
J.D. Power: N/A
|Services|| Residential and commercial security monitoring|
Medical alert monitoring
|Fees||$99 installation fee, additional charges that vary by municipality, remaining cost of the contract upon cancellation|
|Terms||36 month contract required, leased equipment only|
Burglary and fire warranty
Your home insurance company may not be the only actor helping you recoup some of your losses after a break-in. Not only can the name Protection One potentially score you a discount on your homeowners insurance, the company’s Safety Net Warranty also offers to reimburse up to $1,000 of your deductible after filing a claim involving losses due to burglary. It also offers an equal reimbursement for losses resulting from a fire (as long as you have a monitored smoke or high heat sensor). This is a decent amount of protection offered by a home security company in the grand scheme. For context, companies like Brinks, SimpliSafe, and Nest, don’t offer any kind of insurance deductible reimbursement for burglary-related incidents, and ADT only offers to reimburse $500 toward your deductible.
Security tailored to businesses
Selecting the right type of security for your business or home can be overwhelming. Like many companies, Protection One offers security monitoring for commercial properties, but Protection One organizes systems by specific industries. Whether it’s monitoring temperatures in a pharmaceutical or transportation facility, or catering to other specialized needs, Protection One claims to offer customizable security for your needs, while tending to necessary compliance and regulatory standards (HIPAA, TSA, etc.).
Relatively flexible relocation terms
Like any home security company with a contract, it’s best to be absolutely sure on the terms and conditions before signing anything. In this case, you should also think about when and if you’ll be moving in the future — some professionally-installed/monitored home security companies have strict rules (and fines) when it comes to relocating, like Vivint. If you have to move under your contract with Protection One, Protection One says it will “activate a new or existing security system at your new location and provide you up to $150 credit toward that activation.” This means that $150 will go toward the installation of a new system or an upgrade to the system you currently have.
Remember: A professional installation fee with Protection One costs $99, so this could help cover that expense. So, no, Protection One doesn’t let you pack up and move for free, but it does give you some breathing room.
Per Protection One’s pricing and terms, there are a few key points to know before you decide to move:
- You have to be a Protection One customer for at least one year at the address where you activated the system
- You have to be the “owner” of the new location
- You still have to sign a residential monitoring contract at the new location
Good for home automation
If you consider yourself a smart home connoisseur and use a voice assistant for just about everything — you won’t have to totally relinquish this way of living with a Protection One system. (Just know that it might cost you, as some of the more advanced features are saved for the higher price tiers.) You can control your system from your smartphone, tell your Amazon Echo to arm the system while you walk out the door, manage the status of your garage door from your Protection One app with the LiftMaster MyQ garage door controller, and utilize geofencing to activate/deactivate security cameras, thermostats, and lights based on your location drawn from your phone.
Protection One might not be for you if you’re not ready to commit to the service for three years: All of Protection One’s contracts require a 36-month commitment, just like ADT. Opting out of this commitment can be tricky, too, as Protection One may require you to pay the remaining balance of your contract upon termination. So if you don’t want to be tied down to contracts, we suggest trying a provider like SimpliSafe.
Customer service reviews
We know these need to be taken with a grain of salt more often than not, because experiences may vary depending on the individual agents you speak to. However, Protection One has pretty consistently garnered average or below average customer service reviews on third-party rating sites like Trustpilot and ConsumerAffairs. Customers have complained about the quality of the customer service and equipment (including technical support for the equipment).
Not as cost-effective
Compared to some other providers, Protection One falls on the pricier side and reserves some of the most fundamental pieces to a home security system for higher tiers, including smartphone control and mobile notifications, cameras, cellular connection, and video storage. In fact, video surveillance only comes with the highest price tier at $54.99 per month. This isn’t actually that uncommon in the home security space — others like Frontpoint and ADT do this, too. If you want to purchase a security camera separately to save money on your Protection One plan, the chances you find one that works in conjunction (read: controlled via the Protection One app), are pretty slim. If saving money and creating your own system of mismatched equipment is of interest to you, companies like Abode make this possible.
|J.D. Power Consumer Satisfaction Survey||N/A||833/1,000||N/A||N/A|
|Better Business Bureau rating||A+||A+||A+||A+|
|Contract options||36 months||36 months||36 months||N/A|
|Money-back guarantee||No||6 months||30 days||60 days|
Protection One vs. ADT
ADT is one of the biggest names in the home security industry, and Protection One likely enjoys some of this recognition by association as a sister company. Deciding which to choose really boils down to your personal preferences: ADT might be a little more versed in the home automation sphere by using Z-Wave and Google Assistant integrations. But Protection One isn’t far behind with plenty of opportunities to make securing the home seamless and app-controlled.
Again, it’s worth noting that both companies require three-year contracts and save video surveillance for the highest price tier. ADT offers cellular backup with its cheapest option (unlike Protection One). Additionally, Protection One’s optional installation costs remain at $99 across packages, while ADT’s lowest advertised professional installation cost runs at $129. But it’s tough to determine which service will provide you the best protection at a price that suits your budget — that all boils down to your preferences.
Protection One vs. Frontpoint
Frontpoint has a more sophisticated suite of equipment than Protection One and a tad more leeway when it comes to deciding whether you want to sign a contract or not. Technically, Frontpoint doesn’t require contracts, but not choosing to go that route may set you back on upfront equipment costs. You can save a significant amount of money on the initial cost of the equipment by opting for a three-year contract, but even with the contract, you’ll still be paying $35 per month (at minimum). This is the exact same price you’d be paying for Protection One’s lowest package.
Frontpoint offers a handy 30-day money back guarantee, whereas Protection One makes no such claim. Instead, Protection One offers to replace or repair equipment within the first 90 days. However, Frontpoint doesn’t offer the same deductible reimbursement perk that Protection One does — so if you want a little extra financial protection in the event of a theft, Protection One might be the better bet.
Protection One vs. SimpliSafe
Protection One and SimpliSafe — while both claiming to be dedicated to protecting what you value most — are fundamentally different companies. Protection One’s premise homes in on professionally-installed equipment, monitoring, and a safety net in the form of a consumer contract. SimpliSafe, on the other hand, steers clear of red tape or contractual restrictions and prides itself on being a totally DIY company (with professional help, if you choose). In fact, if you’re unhappy with the system within the 60-day window, SimpliSafe will return all your money. Plus, if you want to cancel your subscription with SimpliSafe, SimpliSafe will let you go without a fuss.
SimpliSafe doesn’t provide a guarantee against theft like Protection One does, so if this is of major concern to you, Protection One might be the safer bet.
Protection One FAQ
What all is included in a Protection One package?
This depends on the type of package you want. Protection One gives you a full rundown of what’s included in each tier, but for the most basic, $35/mo deal, you’ll get these on the services front:
- Monitored fire and carbon monoxide protection
- Environmental and life safety protection
- Intrusion protection
- 24/7 monitoring
In terms of equipment for the Secure package, Protection One includes its color touchscreen control panel, three door/window sensors, a motion sensor, keychain remote, yard sign and decals, battery backup, and a five-day weather forecast. If you want to bump your package up to the Secure+, you can say goodbye to your landline and welcome cellular alarm control. Geofencing and smart cameras are reserved for the higher price tiers.
What’s the benefit of a professionally monitored system?
Depending on what allows you to sleep at night, a professionally-monitored system may provide greater peace of mind. These systems allow your monitoring company to keep a close eye on your home at all times, whereas if you’re monitoring yourself, it might be easy to miss that mobile notification on the motion detected on your front porch in the middle of the night. However, professional monitoring is typically more expensive than self-monitoring, but if you feel as though you need an extra layer of protection — a professionally-monitored system could be right for you.
Can I opt out of professional monitoring with Protection One?
No. All of Protection One’s packages come included with 24/7 monitoring. If you’re interested in having the option and flexibility to opt in or out of professional monitoring, check out some of our favorite DIY home security companies.
The Bottom Line
If navigating the home security market is daunting, researching companies that claim to do everything for you is a good place to start. Protection One is no exception, especially if you’re interested in having the added peace of mind in knowing your monitoring company will help you foot your insurance bill (if your home suffers an intrusion). Again, deciding what home security system is right for you depends on how you define safety (and, sometimes, how confident you feel in your own monitoring abilities).
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We know finding the right home security system can be an overwhelming feat. That’s why we’ve done the hands-on research, pored through fine print, and talked to the experts to make the search easier for you.