When I moved to a new home a few years ago, the house had no alarm systems. With a home invasion occurring every 26 seconds, I knew I needed an alarm before becoming the next victim. One company I tried was Protection One. Here's a thorough Protection One review covering my experience.
- Benefits of Protection 1
- Downsides of Protection 1
- Protection 1 Reviews: What Are People Saying?
- History of Protection 1
- 12 Considerations Before Buying Protection 1
- FAQs - Protection 1
- Our Recommendation
Benefits of Protection 1
A significant benefit of this company is its ability to customize a package that is good for you. Aside from the four basic options, you can further add to your package through extra equipment such as indoor PTZ cameras, remote door locks, motion sensors, and more.
Downsides of Protection 1
Some Customer Service Complaints
The company doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to customer satisfaction. When I initially conducted research, something that stood out was the many complaints calling out poor customer service. Some of the primary complaints were that the customer service often seemed too scripted. Also, when scheduling service appointments, the technician wouldn't show up on time or at all.
No Refund Policy
This is the chief complaint I had with the company. They do not have a refund policy. Because you sign up for a 3-year contract, you are on the hook for all 36 months. If you want to cancel for any reason, you will have to pay an early termination fee and return all of the provided equipment. If any of the equipment is damaged, you will be responsible for covering the cost of damages. The company also lacks any kind of money-back guarantee.
Protection 1 Reviews: What Are People Saying?
Reviews for this company are mixed. I've included what I feel is most representative of both the positive and negative reviews:
Just moved and...they walked us through how to set up our new system and made sure everything was working correctly...
- Protection One Customer (3)
"they make it as difficult as they can [to cancel]..they put [phone calls] on hold forever and no one helps. I would not recommend...them.
- Protection One Customer (4)
History of Protection 1
The company was founded in 1988 but merged with the ADT in 2017. Apollo Management runs both alarm companies. The company offers complete security services, including security units, surveillance systems, and medical alert services. They hold an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB rating).
12 Considerations Before Buying Protection 1
1. Budget & Pricing
The company provides four basic packages that range from medium to high priced when compared with other home security companies in the United States. The plans are Secure, Secure+, Smart Control, and Video. You can also create a custom package that will change the total price.
2. Costs & Fees
The Secure package runs $34.99 per month, the Secure+ costs $44.99 per month, the Smart Control costs $49.99 each month, and the Video package costs $54.99 each month. Aside from the basic cost, there are extra charges that differ depending on additional services such as fire and carbon monoxide monitoring plan and home automation. Other fees include:
- Monthly monitoring fee
- Equipment fees
- Activation fee
- Early cancellation fee
- Professional installation fee
3. Home Size
Each basic package comes with three door/window monitors. But, you can add additional sensors to create a completely custom package. Addons will add to the total monthly price but allows you to expand based on how large your home is. Out of the box, the security system is best for small to medium-sized homes.
4. Features & Technology
The actual features Protection offers with your home security system depends on which package you choose. With the first two plans, it's the basic monitoring, including 24/7 professional monitoring and fire & flood monitoring. For the more expensive packages, you get video surveillance, energy & home automation, and mobile plus web control.
5. Provider Options
The company offers many of the standard options as other providers, including homeowners insurance discounts, a 24 hour a day home monitoring center, and military discounts for USAA members.
6. Equipment and Packages
All four of the security system packages come with door and window sensors, motion sensor technology, a yard sign, window decals, keychain remote, color touchscreen control panel, system monitoring, and a battery backup.
The Smart Control plan gives you added thermostat control, web control and monitoring, home automation features, and security monitoring when the system is disabled. At the highest level, the Video plan, video monitoring service is included. The company also offers add on equipment including:
- Garage door controller
- Motion detector
- Additional control panel
- Security cameras
- Panic button
- Smoke detectors
Something to think about is that you lease all of the equipment. The company retains ownership, including with add on equipment, and you must return it when you end your contract.
7. Cellular Monitoring
The company offers both traditional landline monitoring and cellular monitoring. On the cheaper plan, landline monitoring is used, which is typically less reliable. The three top tier plans offer mobile monitoring, which is expensive but more stable.
Cellular monitoring utilizes your cellular signal, which is great for urban areas. But, if you are in a rural area, you will need to see if this option is right for you.
8. Smart Home Automation
Smart homes are a big deal right now. There is a big push in the home security industry to create systems that control everything (1). This includes your thermostat, smoke detectors, flood monitors, CO detectors, and door and window locks, all controlled from the alarm console. The company offers this smart home technology with its Smart Control and Video plans.
9. Video Surveillance System
Video surveillance is one of the cornerstones of a complete security system. While the company does offer video surveillance, you have to purchase their most expensive monthly package. This was another downside of the company.
They offer three different types of cameras, an indoor night vision camera, an indoor PTZ camera, and an outdoor camera. None of these are top of the line, and I would recommend higher quality PTZ cameras if you are looking for a good video system.
PTZ cameras can be operated...in an automatic scan mode, thus capturing the most relevant video possible.
- US Department of Homeland Security, CCTV Technology Handbook (2)
The home security company handles all the necessary installation. There are extra fees for installation, which is standard for many companies. Something to consider is that the installation fees are different. Since some of the packages have more equipment to install, there will be extra fees.
11. Customer Service
The company offers 24/7 customer service for all home security systems systems. This includes access to their monitoring centers and any service call. Though the company notes customer service as a primary selling point, during my evaluation, I found many customer reviews that were unsatisfied with the alarm provider on this point.
The alarm company does not offer any guarantees on their systems. There is no refund policy, and any cancellation of the contract will result in early termination charges. The company does, however, have a safety net warranty. If you suffer a loss due to a burglary, the company will reimburse your home insurance deductible up to $1,000.
FAQs - Protection 1
Protection One is not the same as ADT. ADT is the sister company of Protection with both owned by the private equity firm Apollo Management. The two companies were merged in 2017 after Apollo purchased ADT.
Protection One became a part of ADT LLC in 2017. The two companies merged after being purchased by a private equity firm. The purchase made ADT the largest residential home security provider in the US.
A Protection One contract lasts for three years. The exception to this is in the state of California, where the contract is for 24 months, or two years. You can break your contract early but will need to pay early termination fees.
To cancel your Protection One contract, you must contact the company's customer support. This can be done anytime during the day or night as their customer service is available 24 hours a day throughout the year.
During my review of Protection 1, there were things that I liked. Overall though, with their three-year contract and numerous complaints of customer service, it isn't a company I would recommend. Ultimately, I ended up with Simplisafe. The biggest draw is that there are no contracts. You aren't locked into something you either don't want or don't need anymore.
I also like that you own the equipment so don't have to pay extra fees each month. The pricing is straightforward, as well. There are no hidden costs, so you won't have any surprises when you open your monthly statement. If you're looking for security for your home, check out Simplisafe.