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Scout Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

Scout home security is a great solution for those looking to save money with DIY setup, optional monitoring, and an a la carte menu of features.

4.0
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We all know that purchasing a home security system is a monumental decision. Weighing the costs and benefits is more difficult than with normal products because the risks are far greater. We want to get the best product for our money, of course, but we want to know that we will be safe and secure for the foreseeable future, too.

We are taking a look at Scout home security systems to figure out what sets them apart from the competition, and what makes them a worthy choice when it comes to protecting your home and your family.

For those with a bit of technical know-how and a level of comfort when it comes to working with devices, this company might be a great choice. The tradeoff for a lower price in this market is a more DIY-oriented setup, which is exactly how Scout works.

Things to consider before buying a home security system

Everyone who’s owned and maintained a home security system knows that the long-term investment will easily justify its cost, as long as it works as advertised. Setups like those offered by Scout are designed to not only monitor and protect your home seamlessly; they are meant to notify the proper authorities in the case of an emergency via professional monitoring.

One of the key features of Scout is that the professional monitoring feature is optional, which means you can actually operate the technology without a monthly fee. However, this comes with a tradeoff of higher risk if your home is burglarized while you are away or otherwise unable to contact the police. Still, it makes for an intriguing spot between higher-cost solutions and, well, no security at all.

When selecting your own home security system, you’ll want to weigh the available options and decide what is most important to you. Many companies offer simple tiers of service, with accompanying hardware suits and feature levels, but Scout allows you to purchase the equipment a la carte and select only the features you want. This means you’ll want to be educated about the product and your own needs before you take the plunge.

What is Scout?

Scout is an a la carte security system, similar to competitors like SimpliSafe and Viper Home, with an extra helping of freedom of choice. That means you, the homeowner, get to pick and choose which components go into your own setup. You’ll be able to install all of the equipment you need and nothing more. This means that, in many cases, you’ll be saving money in comparison to other offerings.

With a focus on DIY installation and customization, Scout is nearly the polar opposite of brands like ADT that sell suites of devices that must be professionally installed in your home. This translates into savings in the long term, but naturally requires a bit of technical know-how on your part as the homeowner.

Let’s look at a list of the major pros and cons to Scout’s approach.

Pros:

  1. A la carte device selection – only get what you’ll use
  2. Optional service plan – zero monthly fees if you choose
  3. Live monitoring is optional and lower priced than competitors
  4. Smart device integration

Cons:

  • No Android support for smartphone app
  • Limited selection of devices
  • Initial costs can add up if all devices are purchased
  • DIY installation means problems are yours to fix

Features & Benefits

A La Carte Selection

Unlike almost every other option in home security, Scout is happy to let you pick and choose the components that you want, free of constricting service tiers. While that means that the initial selection process is more intensive, it also means that you only get the pieces that you need to secure your own home. Of course, the device selection means that the initial cost may be higher than other services, but you’ll own the components forever and will not necessarily have to pay a monthly fee if you don’t want to.

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Optional Monthly Monitoring

This brings us to the next standout feature: professional emergency monitoring is completely optional with Scout. While most systems are inextricably tied to an ongoing service, Scout allows you to set up an ad hoc security system of your choice and use it however you choose. Of course, professional monitoring is always the safest route and should be taken advantage of where possible, but it’s good to know that the option is there.

Smart Devices

The hardware Scout uses is some of the smartest around, with a central hub device that connects the whole ecosystem to each other and to your mobile device. This allows for integration with smart home products you may already own, from thermostats to light switches. Even better, it allows you to monitor and control every aspect of the system from your phone, tablet, or computer, no matter where you are. The built-in wireless chips mean that your security system is always connected, too.

scout-modern-security-products

Always On Technology

Scout boasts about its always-on service because it’s one of the most reliable features of any home security setup out there. With battery backup and built-in wireless 3G chips, their components will stay alert and connected even when the power goes out. You’ll still be able to get alerts, check status, and do more with the remote mobile app no matter what. Also, if you spring for the 24/7 professional monitoring, you can rest assured that it will continue to function no matter what.

Scout Reviews by Real Users

We always make sure to check around the web to see what real customers think about a given home security product. In this case, we searched high and low to find a number of informative reviews for Scout. Here are a few good examples.

“I considered many of the different DIY home security/automation systems out there. I looked at SmartThings, Piper, Canary, Viper, Simplisafe, iSmartAlarm, etc. Each one of them had good and bad things and it was hard to find a company that had all of the things that I wanted. I was leaning towards Simplisafe because of the professional monitoring service, but I really, really hated that their system was closed and had no way of including a camera. I really wanted to have professional monitoring services. That, coupled with the cost and features of Scout, is what sold me.” – Jacob C.

“Setting up the alarm was extremely simple. You can do it from your phone or from a computer. I opted for my computer, but should have used my phone because every time I wanted to hook up a new window sensor I had to go all the way to my office to click the mouse a few times and then go back to the window to set it up. With the phone, you can do everything from wherever you’re standing and the interface is exactly the same as on a computer.” – OllieMcJeeves

“My final thoughts are that the wireless aspect of this system is a non-starter in it’s current form. Unfortunately, for ultimate reliability, a hard-wired system is going to be the best. I think Scout should keep trying – The app and all that stuff is great, and the infrastructure is there, but I just think the hardware isn’t reliable enough (or diagnosable enough) to really have it make the cut for anything serious. It’s better than nothing, but I’d definitely recommend having a camera system so you can verify false alarms remotely.” – Andy B.

Alternatives

Because we value a thorough comparison, we looked at how Scout compares with its biggest competitors in the home security industry. Here are the top three companies to consider:

Vivint

Vivint is a major player because of its focus on home automation, providing entirely wireless home security technology. Unlike Scout, Vivint offers a comprehensive installation and setup process in which techs come into your home to set the product up professionally. There are charges for equipment and installation, but this is a boon for anyone who wants to avoid working directly with the technology. If this sounds like you, it might be a better option, provided the costs are acceptable.

  • Price: Plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Vivint boasts the same features, plus full home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months, while Scout requires no monthly contract

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

ADT is the most popular name when it comes to home security in America. It’s been around for decades and has an according reputation. ADT’s standard service is known for its attention to detail, including full consultation and installation. This ease of use comes with a higher price.

  • Price: Plans run from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top tier plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer remarkably similar features, but ADT includes video with its plans
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts here

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint offers a similar suite of features, including DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access to your home security setup. They are also well known for their quality customer service, all-cellular monitoring, and lower costs.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless and cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

While Scout is one of the newest players in the home security game, they’ve stepped directly into the future with a new a la carte pricing model and completely modular setup. You only buy what you need, which means you could be looking at a much better price than the competition, provided your needs are met. Their newness brings with it a lack of long term experience, but user experience and professional reviews indicate that they’re off to a very promising start.

 

AT&T Digital Life Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

AT&T Digital Life is one of the most feature-rich home security solutions, with a slick app interface, smart home automation options, and a sizeable cost to match.

3.4
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We know what it’s like to search high and low for a home security solution that won’t make us broke. That’s why we are now taking a look at the AT&T Digital Life, a relatively newer entry to the world of remote monitored home security.

We know it’s impossible to evaluate all options when it comes to a product like this, so we’re stepping in to do the hard work of figuring out which companies are worth your time and money. This is a product you’ll depend on to keep your family and your home safe, so we look at the aspects that really matter.

For anyone looking to secure their own home for the first time, the array of options might seem intimidating, but in the end the choice boils down to a balance of cost and effectiveness. Which features will serve your family best? How much will you pay? Most importantly, how well does it work?

We’re looking closely at AT&T Digital Life to share the features, reliability, cost, and overall effectiveness of the program so that you won’t risk your time or money.

Things to consider before buying a home security system.

If this is your first time buying a home security system, you’re going to be understandably wary of every claim that a company makes; after all, it’s your safety that’s at stake. Every customer wants to enjoy peace of mind and confidence that their home and family are safe whether they’re at home or traveling abroad.

If you’re looking to change home security services, you know where this is going. You’ll first want to consider the cost, remembering that it doesn’t always correlate directly with a certain level of service. A higher price tag often indicates better hardware or additional features, but a lower price doesn’t automatically translate into a poor product.

You’ll also want to consider the reputation of the company, because trust in the remote monitoring quality is the very foundation of owning a home security system. Without that foundation, it’s just a bunch of electronics in your home.

In the case of AT&T Digital Life, we are looking at a product that is aimed toward the higher end of the spectrum, with a host of smart home features and a hefty two-year contract to match. The value depends on what you need most in a home security setup.

What Is AT&T Digital Life?

AT&T Digital Life home security solution revolves around a slick app interface and smart home integration, making it one of the more notably forward-looking setups on the market. This product is definitely future-proofed, with a wealth of features that set it near the forefront of home security today.

While the comprehensive service and professional installation comes with an appropriately hefty price tag, the lack of DIY guesswork or home integration struggles might make it a very worthy purchase for you.

Let’s look at some pros and cons of the product.

Pros:

  • AT&T Digital Life includes solid security devices
  • Very solid home automation functionality, including making your ownautomation programs
  • All plans include remote smartphone, tablet, and computer access
  • Automation packages include keyless door lock and outdoor camera

Cons:

  • Mandatory 2-year contract, potential early cancellation fees
  • Some important pieces of equipment only available a la carte
  • Initial setup and installation fee
  • Customer service may not be up to par

Features & Benefits

Around-the-Clock Monitoring:

As with any worthwhile home security setup, AT&T Digital Life comes with a professional monitoring subscription that guarantees the most important part of the system: a real human being alerting the authorities when needed. When any of the door, window, or motion sensors goes off, someone is there to help you out and determine if it’s just your child who forgot the code, or if there’s a real emergency.

digitallife5

Smart Home Integration:

We believe that smart homes are the way of the future, helping us live safer, more convenient, and more efficient lives. Smart home devices range from learning thermostats to lights that can be triggered remotely, and AT&T Digital Life is ready to integrate with all of it. Available on their second and third tiers of service, this includes lock control as well as monitoring and control of thermostat and other small appliances. The best part is that this integration works well with the next big feature.

Help protect and manage your home from your smartphone, tablet o

Remote Access and Control:

As with many of the best home security companies out there, AT&T Digital Life offers the ability to use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to control the system from anywhere on earth. This brings immense peace of mind, especially to those of us who are prone to wondering if we left the door unlocked or the lights on, right as we are boarding a plane. With the highest tier of service, you’ll be able to control all of this, in addition to smart enabled appliances, no matter where you are.

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Cost:

While not normally considered a feature, the cost of AT&T Digital Life needs to be addressed. This high level of technology and services comes at a premium. The three tiers of pricing are as follows: $39.99 for just the security equipment, $54.99 for security plus home automation, and $64.99 for the full suite of smart home automation features, including smart appliance integration. These prices aren’t bad at all, but they don’t account for any extra pieces of equipment you may need, or the fact that you’ll be locked into a two-year contract if you sign up.

AT&T reviews by Real Users

We took a look around the web to find out what real customers think about AT&T Digital Life, because if there’s anything we know to be 100% true in the home security market, long-term experience is valuable. Below we share a handful of reviews representing the opinions we found.

“We have had Digital life going on two years and have had no problems at all. The install went great and we are happy with everything. It would be nice if the outdoor camera could zoom in but it’s really a great view and clear picture so it’s fine for us.” – Cheryl Roberts

“Inherited the service and it seemed to work ok but if you need customer service be prepared for over an hour wait (literally, over 60 minutes!) to get through to (ironically named) retention department. And they won’t/can’t help you via online chat, online site or in store.” – SAEaffairs

“Went to AT&T Store.  Met with the Manager and explained my problem.  He indicated that it had to be the door lock and not the system.  He took ownership of the problem and contacted the Service Center to cancel my cancellation request and schedule a 3rd Tech to come out with the specific order to replace the door lock.  The Tech did and the system worked for a few minutes then the app timed out without completing the function selected on the IPhone.  The Tech relocated the system box to the forward part of my home and I am happy to report that the system has worked for 32 hours now.  Previously the problem surfaced within 3 hours after the tech left.  Thanks to the Manager – Paul and Tech that continued to think critically while at my residence to solve the problem.” – E. C. 

Alternatives

In our quest to get the whole picture, we always make sure to compare a product with its biggest competitors. This way we can contrast the features and costs. In this case, we’re showing the relative strengths of the AT&T Digital Life package versus the top three alternative companies you’ll want to consider:

Vivint

Vivint focuses big-time on home automation, providing entirely wireless home security technology with their selection. The company offers professional installation and setup, so you don’t have to lift a finger or worry about getting it right. This level of attention comes at a cost, which is why Vivint is aimed aimed at homeowners who want to avoid the risks that come with DIY installation.

  • Price: Vivint plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Vivint boasts similar features, including smart home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

ADT is the most famous name in American home security. Their little blue signs have been seen around neighborhoods for decades. The company is known for its high level of service, including full consultation and installation. The price is accordingly higher than comparable DIY services.

  • Price: Plans go from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top tier plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer similar monitoring features, but ADT includes video cameras standard with its plans
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts here

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint has a different focus, with DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access as its central services. They have a reputation for quality customer service, all-cellular monitoring, and low costs.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

Overall, AT&T Digital Life can be considered a solid home security effort that brings a hefty price with its high-quality equipment, round-the-clock monitoring, and mobile control app. With a two-year required contract and steep cancellation fee, you’ll want to be sure you are choosing the best option. The solid home security functions and array of home automation options are an important consideration. If you value your time and freedom more than money, it could be the best solution for your home.

LiveWatch Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

LiveWatch is a great home security system, especially for those with short-term needs. Their DIY approach and fast monitoring response make for a solid first choice.

4.0
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If you’re looking for a home security solution that won’t break the bank, it might seem like you’ve got a tough road ahead. But fear not, because we’re doing the hard work of figuring out which companies are worth your time and money. There’s a wide world of options out there, but only a select few belong in your home, protecting your possessions and loved ones.

When looking to secure your own home, your choice boils down to balancing cost and effectiveness. Which features will serve your family best? How much will it cost? Most importantly, how well does it work?

We’ve been in the exact same place, asking the same questions. We bring our experience to the table in hopes of sorting out the home security system that will serve you best. We’re taking a close look at LiveWatch security to let you know about the features, reliability, cost, and overall effectiveness of the program so that you don’t have to risk your own time and savings.

Things to consider before buying a home security system.

Everyone wants to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing their home and their loved ones are safe and secure at all times. Whether you’re just moving in, buying your first security system, or looking to make a change, we’re here to help guide the process.

The ideal customer for LiveWatch is going to be somewhat comfortable working with technology, because the company offers full DIY installation in order to save costs. Additionally, a level of familiarity with smartphones and computers is beneficial, because the best features on offer will fully integrate with these devices for more comprehensive coverage.

LiveWatch is also ready to embrace smart home automation. Its hardware integrates with any smart home devices you may already own, allowing you to achieve easy, comprehensive control of your home environment from anywhere with an internet connection.

What is LiveWatch?

LiveWatch entices with affordable rates and short contract time. Their plans start at $34.95 per month for the most basic level of protection and top out at $49.95 per month with full home automation and video monitoring. Of course, all plan levels come with full, round-the-clock wireless remote monitoring by professionals.

The free DIY installation is somewhat offset by an upfront equipment fee, usually between $200 – $300 but often lower thanks to discounts.

The most unique selling point for LiveWatch is that their contract is only for 1 year, which is surprisingly short compared to its peers. After that, your service continues on a month-by-month basis and you can cancel anytime. Even better, if you cancel before 1 year, you can even get a full equipment refund.

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of the product.

Pros:

  • Short contract length
  • Decade-plus in business
  • DIY installation
  • Fast monitoring response
  • Touchscreen control available
  • A+ BBB rating

Cons:

  • High starting costs
  • No standout features
  • Average equipment
  • Basic home automation

Features & Benefits

ASAPer monitoring:

ASAPer is the name of the monitoring system that comes with LiveWatch Security systems. It aims to connect and respond faster in emergencies than the average competition. LiveWatch’s system sends you alerts instantly when an alarm has been triggered, allowing you to resolve the alarm from your smartphone or computer if there’s nothing to worry about. Of course, if you’re unavailable, the professional monitoring center dispatches the police to your home. As with any home security system, the reliability of the remote monitoring team is perhaps the single most important aspect. Reviews indicate that LiveWatch nails this feature.

No Early Termination Fees:

LiveWatch customers can cancel their service at any time with no early termination fees, although depending on your situation, you may still have to pay for your equipment. This feature stands in contrast with most of the competition, as many companies require their customers to pay the remaining balance of their contract. This fact alone makes them a great first choice for anyone looking for a home security solution because you won’t be stuck for years if you dislike the service. Even better, once the 1-year contract is done, you continue on a month-by-month basis without any further risk.

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Remote Control:

As with many of the top home security solutions available, LiveWatch offers a tier of service that includes instant, always-on remote control from your smartphone or computer. This is a serious boon for your peace of mind, allowing total command of the system from anywhere with an internet connection or a cellular signal. Of course, when at home the entire system is controlled by a central hub device mounted on your wall. Still, we know from experience how valuable it is to be able to check in on things while at work, out and about, or even on vacation. Their included smartphone app lets you know anytime a door has opened or an alarm has gone off, allowing you to reset status, turn alarms on and off, and even command your smart home devices.

Modular Hardware:

While LiveWatch offers a variable set of starting equipment to customers, selected based on your individual needs, they also offer the ability to add on more hardware as your home or your needs change. The system is designed to allow for expansion, with the central hub allowing up to 40 devices to be placed throughout the home, from motion detectors to window and door sensors, and even video surveillance with an additional monthly fee of $10. It’s reassuring to know that no matter what hardware package you begin with, you can expand components to make it more comprehensive. While installation is DIY, the equipment is mercifully easy to set up.

LiveWatch-Plug-and-Protect-IQ-Package

LiveWatch Reviews by Real Users

“It hurts when you have to cancel service with a business you have zero complaints about.  After researching a number of home security systems last year, I chose LiveWatch Security b/c of their pricing and service options.  I haven’t been disappointed at all.  Their customer service is great (knowledgeable, prompt, professional and friendly) and I had zero problems with the security system – and cancellation happened without any hassle.  The only reason I’m canceling my service is because I’m moving to a new home that won’t require another layer of home security.  But, as I told the customer service guy today – if I require the service in the future, LiveWatch will be the first company I contact.” – Shikha B.

“We have had the system for about 2 months and we find it very easy to use and install. The sales team and technical support people were knowledgable, very helpful and responsive. We haven’t had much experience yet with the monitoring system response time.” – Michele G.

“You just pay for what you want to install and use. The system is pretty open and easy to configure. Have been adding new automation one by one and it make the alarm even smarter.” – Yann Mathieu

Alternatives

We wanted to show a well-rounded take, so here’s how LiveWatch compares with its most well-known competitors in the home security market. These are the top three alternative companies you’ll want to consider:

Vivint

Vivint offers a big focus on home automation, providing quality wireless home security technology with their packages. They offer a comprehensive installation and setup process, with professional techs coming into your home to set the product up. There is a charge for this level of attention, which is aimed at homeowners who want to avoid the risks that come with working directly with the hardware.

  • Price: Plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Vivint boasts similar features, including smart home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

ADT is the most well-known name in home security. They’ve been around the longest and built up a solid reputation over the decades. ADT is known for its high level of service, including full consultation and installation. This comes with an accordingly higher price.

  • Price: Plans go from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top tier plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer similar monitoring features, but ADT includes video cameras standard with its plans
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts here

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint similarly focuses on DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access to your home security setup. They are well-known for quality customer service, all-cellular monitoring, and low costs.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

LiveWatch fits into a unique space in the home security world, offering a comprehensive level of service along with cheaper DIY installation. Their focus on instant communication and control is refreshing, as is the ability to expand the hardware as your needs grow.

While plans are in the lower-middle of the pack, as far as pricing goes, the initial hardware costs could be off-putting. However, this is easily balanced by one of the most consumer-friendly contracts around, allowing you to cancel any time and to continue on a month-by-month basis once the short 1-year contract has completed.

LiveWatch is an especially attractive investment for those looking to install their first home security set up with as little risk as possible.

 

Vivint Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service and Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

Vivint is an often overlooked heavyweight in home security, offering high-tech gadgets and automation at premium prices.

4.0
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Home security is an important concern for most people, but there are so many options out there, it can be tough to figure out the best choice for your needs (and interests). Of course keeping your property safe is the primary concern, but for me – and many others – so is staying on the cutting edge of technology.

In looking for modern home security options, tech is certainly going to be a major player in the systems you use, but determining how high-tech you want to get is going to be a matter of how savvy you are… And how much you’re willing to spend.

If price is less of an issue for you, Vivint offers some serious technology that satisfies both the need for security and (sometimes unnecessary) desire for the coolest new toys.

Things to consider before signing up for Vivint service

Any time you’re considering installing new technology, it’s important to understand what you want to achieve, what parts of your home you’re planning to protect, and what kind of commitment you’ll have to make to operating the system(s) you choose.

Any home security system worth buying will include cameras, door and window sensors, and monitoring to protect against theft/invasion. The sophistication of these pieces, though, will depend on how much you want to spend and how robust you want the features to be.

The ideal Vivint customer will be looking for discreet security equipment that blends easily with interior and exterior decor. They will be tech-savvy and concerned with security, and won’t be afraid to fork over premium pricing for stylish, high quality products and services.

For those looking for a more traditional setups and monitoring, Vivint may not be the best option. In fact, the services offered go beyond many home security systems in look, features, and your ability to control the system, but all of that comes with a higher price point.

What is Vivint?

Vivint is all about “smart home technology” – meaning that they don’t exactly specialize in home security (even though many of their products fall into that category). It also means that all of this “smart technology” will be dependent on internet, wifi connections, and your smartphone for controls. Being comfortable with touchscreen displays (like the Vivint SkyControl Panel) is also a must for a potential Vivint customer.

Pros:

  • Simple design that blends easily with other home decor (indoor) and doesn’t draw attention or scare visitors (outdoor)
  • Customizable Packages
  • Smartphone control (in most cases)
  • Lifetime Warranty

Cons:

  • Long contract (60 months vs. most company’s 36 months)
  • Hidden fees
  • One of the more expensive options
  • Mixed/negative reviews on customer service
  • Not every package includes the same SkyControl panel

Features & Benefits

Vivint services and products are generally bundled together in various packages (including customizable options). We will look at components first, and then the packages that bundle them together.

Cameras:

Ping Camera

The Ping Camera is a simple video camera and motion detector, accessible from from the Vivint Sky App. It can be placed on a shelf or countertop, and allows you to monitor any activity in your home remotely. You can also receive alerts to your smartphone if the Ping Camera detects motion in your home, access short clips on demand, and have the option to record continuous video footage. Like other Vivint cameras, the Ping Camera also has night vision – so you can see recordings of even the darkest rooms.

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Outdoor Camera

Similar to the Ping Camera, but designed for outdoor installation, Vivint’s Outdoor Camera shoots HD video, offers night vision, allows for monitoring via smartphone, can record continuous footage, and has instantly available 20-second video clips.

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Doorbell Camera

One of the most impressive pieces of technology in Vivint’s lineup, the Doorbell Camera is a small, wifi connected doorbell fitted with a speaker, microphone, motion sensor, and 180º video camera.

You can set notifications for when people approach your door, monitor activity happening in front of your house day or night (with night vision), and communicate with visitors through 2-way talk. Integration with Vivint Sky controls means you can lock and unlock doors with your smartphone or SkyControl Panel, and Smart Visitor Detection helps identify when people are actually approaching – so you don’t get a notification for every passerby.

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Security:

Burglary Detection

Sensors on doors and windows, including “Glass Break Detection” let you know if anyone is trying to break in, who’s coming and going, and allow you to set mobile notifications for any entry when you aren’t home. The sensors are all discreet and wireless.

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Smart Locks

Exactly what you might expect from the name, Smart Locks are wireless and digitally controlled, allowing you to lock and unlock doors remotely, either with the SkyControl Panel or your smartphone. The locks still use keys as well, and are also fitted with a keypad for code entry. Like the rest of these products, you can also receive notifications related to any activity with your door locks, attempted entry, and so on.

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Garage Door Control

This one is quite simple: the technology integrates with the SkyControl Panel and mobile app so you can open and close your garage door remotely. You can also receive alerts if you’ve left the garage door open.

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Controls:

Vivint Sky App

The Vivint Sky App is a way for you to control your home security through a smartphone. Of course, this is where you receive notifications from camera activity or door/window sensors, but it’s also where you can lock and unlock doors, monitor video feeds, arm and disarm alarms systems, open and close your garage door, change settings, manage preferences, and so on. It’s your mobile control panel. The Sky App requires the SkyControl Panel.

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SkyControl Panel

A wall-mounted, 7-inch touchscreen display, the SkyControl Panel is the primary control of your Vivint system. The panel is essentially an expanded version of the app on a dedicated device. You can control all of your cameras, monitor video, lock and unlock doors, manage system options, and so on.

Your SkyControl Panel is also connected to 24-hour support, where you can talk live with a monitoring professional in case of an emergency.

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Amazon Echo

Another futuristic feature of Vivint systems, the SkyControl Panel can easily pair with an Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker. Pairing with Vivint Sky lets you control your security systems through voice commands.

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Smart Home Services:

The Smart Home Services are the wifi connected, app and SkyControl managed services that accompany some of Vivint’s devices. When signing up for various Vivint packages, you can choose which services you want to include.

The options are:

  • Doorbell video
  • HD video recording
  • Remote door access
  • Smart temperature control*
  • Garage door controller
  • Outdoor video

* Note: Vivint offers “smart thermostats” for remote temperature control and monitoring, but because it doesn’t really fall into their home security category, we haven’t included them in the list of devices and systems.

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Packages:

Vivint security systems are generally designed to work in conjunction with one another. While equipment can be purchased and installed individually, the packages seem to offer the best functionality, and create the most complete security systems. Most packages, including customizable options, include the SkyControl Panel.

Smart Complete

The most robust package available, the Smart Complete package includes the SkyControl Panel, 1 smoke detector, 3 door and window sensors, 1 motion detector, 1 yard sign, a 1- terabyte wireless cloud storage drive (for on-site storage of photo and video), Vivint’s 24×7 monitoring service, and your choice of 3 Smart Home services.

Smart Protect & Control

The “middle tier” package, Smart Protect & Control includes the SkyControl Panel, 3 door and window sensors, 1 motion detector, 1 smoke detector, 1 yard sign, 24×7 monitoring service, and your choice of 2 Smart Home services.

Smart Protect

What you could consider the “basic” option, the Smart Protect package includes the SkyControl Panel, 3 door and window sensors, 1 motion detector, 1 smoke detector, and 1 yard sign. The Smart Protect Package does not include any Smart Home services.

Add-Ons & Custom Packages

Vivint allows you to build custom packages of devices and services, as well as add extra cameras, services, sensors, storage, and the like. If something isn’t offered in the package that seems to best suit your needs, you can add it for an additional cost.

Smart thermostats and other smart home controls are available in some packages, and can be added on as well.

Vivint Online Reviews by Real Customers

“When I got the system installed yesterday, the only question I had was ‘why didn’t I get this sooner?’ Being able to monitor and lock and unlock my door from my cell phone is amazing.” – Stephanie

“I had camera, locks, glass break and smoke detector, and the doorbell included in Vivint’s service package that I purchased. Their sales rep was great and their installer was really good as well. However, my door lock gets stuck when I lock it, but other than that, everything has been okay.” – M

“Me and my husband have a new home we just bought and are expecting a baby boy soon, we thought it’ll be a good idea to get a security system. Had Vivint for less than 30 days and already experiencing problems. From lies, bad customer service, and security system not working. We received our services and two days later decided we didn’t want them because we got a better deal from another company (Guardian) Vivint then told us to try them for another week and see if we will just decide to stay, really what the rep did was hold us off until we are out of the cancellation window. 3 days to cancel, which she told us 30 days which was a lie. please save yourself the time and money. Our cameras jump off line all the time, we are lied to EVERY time we call in to have the cameras fixed and the customer service is horrible, the rep told me that if i won’t except some deal she had which meant me paying more to fix the service she can hang up in my face, and she did, please don’t do it.”

“‘Well I have to say their salesmen are good but the security cameras suck. My doorbell camera will pick up and detect every change in sunlight but won’t reliably detect people coming on and off the porch. My driveway camera detects me pulling in and out of the driveway but missed someone stealing a 300 pound air conditioning unit from right under the camera. Worst part is I signed a 60 month contract and now wish I hadn’t I could have installed better cameras for a fraction of the cost.”

Alternatives

In an effort to provide you with a comprehensive look at home security systems, we also checked out some of Vivint’s major competitors. Comparing features, service, and pricing, here are three alternative solutions:

ADT

ADT is one of the most recognizable names in home security. Their track record speaks for itself, and they have remained an industry leader for decades. Like Vivint, ADT offers full home installations by professional service technicians.

Monthly service fees for monitoring are comparable, but Vivint’s installation prices tend to be much higher than ADT, and actually increase as you move toward more basic packages.

  • Price: Plans are comparable, and equipment prices for ADT are hard to determine – as they offer consultations and home visits to build packages. Not seeing equipment price up front may be a turnoff for some customers. Vivint equipment is generally free with installation and contract signing.
  • Features: ADT features tend to be more basic, with less automation and control than Vivint’s technology. In short, Vivint has more features and ADT has more stability.
  • Warranty: ADT offers limited warranties; Vivint offers lifetime warranties
  • Contracts: ADT offers 36-month contracts, Vivint primarily offers 60-month contracts

Learn more about ADT here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint is another relatively high tech home security solution, similar in design and control to Vivint. Like Vivint, Frontpoint also offers the option to upgrade packages and add devices. Frontpoint has a reputation for excellent customer service, a low-pressure sales teams, and offers many of the same features as Vivint.

  • Price: With Vivint, you pay for installation and the equipment is mostly free. With Frontpoint, it’s the opposite – installation is DIY (and therefore free), but you pay for the equipment.
  • Features: Many of the offered features are the same, but Frontpoint offers a wider selection of equipment to meet your exact needs. Both offer 24/7 monitoring, motion detectors, cameras, etc., as well as smartphone integration and a touchscreen control panel.
  • Warranty: Frontpoint offers a 3-year warranty, where Vivint offers a lifetime warranty.
  • Contracts: Frontpoint contracts are 36 months; Vivint contracts are typically 60 months.

Check out more Frontpoint information here.

Protect America

Protect America has garnered a reputation as one of the more affordable options in home security, immediately putting them at the opposite end of the spectrum from Vivint. Instead of a focus on technology and numerous features, Protect America focuses on simplicity and ease of use. Both companies offer free smartphone apps and free equipment with contract signup.

  • Price: With monthly plans as low as $19.99, Protect America is generally the more affordable option, though some of the more premium offers fall into a similar price range as Vivint packages.
  • Features: Vivint products offer more bells and whistles, including outdoor cameras and automation features – which must be installed by professionals. Protect America’s equipment is also filled with features, but requires a DIY installation and may not meet all of your concerns.
  • Warranty: Both companies offer a lifetime warranty, and Protect America offers a 2-week, free return policy. Vivint does not offer a return policy.
  • Contracts: Protect America offers 36-month contracts; Vivint offers 60-month contracts.

Find out more about Protect America here.

Conclusion

Vivint security systems are technologically advanced and full of features. The products and services available meet every potential home security need, from cameras to around-the-clock monitoring, motion detectors to remote locking, and many others. The devices are attractive and packages can be customized…

However, two major hangups become increasingly apparent as you dig into Vivint’s offerings. First, Vivint is a generally more expensive option than its competitors, perhaps without enough of an improvement in features to justify the cost. Second, the offers themselves can get confusing. The website advertises SkyControl panel for all packages, but in speaking to a customer service representative, I was told that some packages may come with an older model panel – which also means using the Vivint Classic App, not Vivint Sky App (which only works with the newer panel).

If you’re going to opt for one of the top-tier packages, and can afford it, Vivint seems like a fine option, and you can further customize the products you install to make sure you’re getting the most out of your system. If you are looking for a budget security system, plan on moving in the near future, or would be considering a smaller, custom package, Vivint is likely not the best choice – and may end up costing far more than anticipated.

Overall, Vivint is suited for tech-loving, automation seeking homeowners who are willing to pay extra for premium features, installation, and sleek looking gadgets.

 

Protection 1 Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

Protection 1 offers a focus on professional monitoring and smart home integration, resulting in a high-tech home security solution tailored to your exact needs.

3.8
User Rating 0 (0 votes)
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We value clarity, comprehensive support, and solid options in a home security setup at any level of pricing. It’s important to have that reassurance that your home, your possessions, and your loved ones are protected by a system that you pay monthly for.

If you’re aiming to install a home security system in your own home, you’ll want to focus on the features that matter to you most, at a price you can afford. While every major home security provider shares a few basic features, some companies offer additional components that put them ahead of others.

We’ve been in the same place you are, looking at the broad array of options out there and wondering what’s best. We want to help you decide if Protection 1 is the best bet for you and your family. This review is designed to give you the answers by covering the features, options, and reputation of this company so you can make an educated choice.

Things to consider before buying a home security system

No matter your living situation, you want to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your possessions, your home, and most importantly, your loved ones are safe and secure. If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to protect your home as soon as possible after moving in. If you don’t already have a home security setup in your permanent residence, it’s probably a good time to consider it.

The ideal customer for Protection 1 is someone who is fairly comfortable using common technology, such as smartphones and computers, because the best benefits on offer will fully integrate with these devices for more comprehensive coverage. Still, the company offers professional installation only, so you won’t need to be an expert at technology and you won’t need to get the tools out to set everything up. They take care of it for you.

The company also has fully embraced home automation, which means that their hardware will integrate with any smart home devices you may already have. This allows for simpler and more comprehensive control of what goes on in your home.

What is Protection 1?

As of 2016, Protection 1 is the second largest home security company in the United States. Founded in 1988, the company has built a strong reputation over the years, growing in size and customer base all along. According to the Better Business Bureau, they enjoy an A+ reputation as well as 95.6% customer satisfaction rating, both hallmarks of a solid home security choice.

Protection 1 focuses on a simplified package system, centered on round the clock live monitoring, with additional elements added as they are desired by the homeowner. All plans share an impressive list of basic features, including a touchscreen control keypad, motion detector, intrusion detectors, keychain remote, and professional installation.

They bill their service as a comprehensive package, with home installation to ensure that everything is setup properly without any effort required on your part as the homeowner. The idea is that you give them a call and they come to you and take care of everything from there on out.

Here are a few pros and cons of the service:

Pros:

  • Great customer service record, including A+ accredited BBB rating.
  • Mobile app for interactive monitoring from anywhere.
  • Full-service professional installation
  • Two-way voice communication
  • Optional video monitoring

Cons:

  • Protection 1 website doesn’t offer much detailed information about their services, so you’ll have to call them for a personalized quote.
  • Standard package does not include remote control or video monitoring
  • Possibly high setup costs

Features & Benefits

Broad range of services:

With a standard $99 installation fee, service tiers bring the bulk of the cost into focus. These are as follows: Secure: $34.99, Secure+: $44.99, Smart Control: $49.99, and Video:$54.99. Each tier brings incremental additions to the scope of the service, allowing you to choose one tailored to the price level you’re most comfortable with. All levels cover basic intrusion protection, 24/7 monitoring, and integration with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, while the upper tiers add features like cellular communication, web and mobile remote control, and video surveillance.

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Remote Control:

While not available on the lowest-cost plan, Protection 1 offers remote monitoring and control via your computer or smartphone. This means that any function you perform with the keypad in your home can be done from anywhere with an internet connection. You’ll be able to monitor the sensors and cameras in your home, arm and deactivate the security system, and even use two-way voice communication to speak with anyone inside the home. The accompanying app is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phone devices.

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Around-the-clock monitoring:

As with any quality home security company, Protection 1 offers 24 hour, 7 day a week professional monitoring from a remote station. Their monitoring works with all devices integrated into the system, whether you have the basic motion and intrusion detectors, or a more thorough suite including video surveillance. They’ll monitor any integrated thermostat and keep tabs on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The high ratings on BBB and elsewhere on the web show that this, the backbone of their service, is reliable and trustworthy. This is perhaps a boring point to make, but it’s important to know that when you or your home are in trouble, they will be there to summon the proper help needed.

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Smart home integration:

Protection 1 is ready to fully integrate with your smart home devices, including Z-wave support that allows it to control thermostats, lights, and more. Combined with the remote monitoring and control via your smartphone or computer, you’ll be able to command the features of your home from anywhere on earth. As smart home technology becomes more commonplace, it’s important that your home security setup recognizes and works with it. That way, you don’t end up with two completely parallel sets of controls that need tending to while you’re at home or away.

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Protection 1 Reviews by Real Users

To supplement our own evaluation, we scoured the internet to find out what customers have been saying about Protection 1. We found abundant reviews from regular people who have dealt with the product and the company. Here are a few examples.

“It was great installing the Protection 1 device and the team at Protection 1 has all been fine. I haven’t had any problems or issues and they’ve been very responsive. It’s been a little over a year since having the device and it’s always nice to be able to go to bed and turn it on and know that I got someone keeping an eye on the house for me.” – Rebecca of Alexandria, VA

“In the ten years I have relied on Protection One, I have never been dissatisfied with either service or features. The monitoring service is good in that it is not overly intrusive, but still responsive when issues come up. I would like to see their pricing come down to a more comparable rate since there are less expensive options available.” – Andres A.

“I’ve been with Protection 1 for almost a year and it’s a great service.The installation process ran smoothly. It was pleasurable. My family members use their mobile controls to arm and disarm the system, and it’s convenient. Protection 1 team has always been knowledgeable, polite, acceptable, and just very courteous overall.” – Carol of Clarksville, TN

Alternatives

In our quest for thoroughness, we took at look at how SimpliSafe compares with its most well-known competitors in the home security industry. Here are the top three companies to consider:

Vivint

Vivint has a major focus on home automation, providing quality wireless home security technology. They offer a similarly comprehensive installation and setup process, with professional techs coming into your home to set the product up. They charge for this level of equipment and installation, resulting in a product aimed at those who want to avoid working directly with the technology.

  • Price: Plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Vivint boasts similar features, including home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

You probably recognize ADT as the most popular name in home security solutions. The company has been around the longest and has an accordingly strong reputation. ADT is known for its attention to detail and thorough service, including full consultation and installation. This comes with a higher price.

  • Price: Plans run from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top tier plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer similar features, but ADT includes video cameras standard with its plans
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts here

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint goes in a different direction, focusing on DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access to your home security setup. They’re known for quality customer service, all-cellular monitoring, and lower costs.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless and cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

Protection 1 is a comprehensive home security solution designed for those who want to protect their home with the latest technology, including remote monitoring and control via smartphone. Their smart home integration, cellular monitoring, and two-way communication allow for a level of control that stands above most offerings on the market. While not all levels of service offer all benefits, their overall selection is a solid bet for up-to-date home security.

 

SimpliSafe Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

This uniquely contract-free home security solution is a solid bet with its focus on simplicity and low costs.

4.0
User Rating 0 (0 votes)
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If you’re looking to install a home security system in your new home, you’re going to want to focus on the factors that matter to you most, with functional protection as a given. Of course, the system has to work properly to keep your home and your family safe, but once you’ve got that base covered, there are a surprising amount of options out there.

We are here to help you decide if SimpliSafe is the solution for you and your family. We’ve struggled with the same questions you have, balancing cost against features to find the best products out there. With this review, we will show you whether SimpliSafe is your best bet or not.

Things to consider before buying a home security system

There are dozens of factors to consider before buying any expensive product, but it’s especially important to weigh all options before dropping cash on something designed to keep you, your loved ones, and your possessions safe from harm.

First and foremost is the cost. This determines the level of service you receive and the amount of features your system boasts. While a higher price tag can often mean additional perks, a lower price does not necessarily mean a low quality product. Some companies cut costs by offering DIY installation, extended contracts, and more.

Another factor to consider is your level of comfort with operating the system. Some products are more user-friendly than others, and some companies offer better help than others.

In the case of SimpliSafe, we’re seeing a product that’s aimed at those who want to keep costs down, so long as they are capable of installing the electronics themselves. We found the trade-off refreshing, but your mileage may vary.

What is SecuriSafe?

SimpliSafe is a home security system that’s designed to protect your loved ones and your possessions at a lower cost than its similarly-equipped competitors. The first thing you’ll notice is that there are zero contract requirements. That means you will never be locked into a 2- or 3-year contract, and you’ll be free to move, replace your devices, or change services entirely without penalty.

On top of this, the company boasts a 60 day money back guarantee, adding to the initial value for a product that can often bring thousands of dollars in upfront costs.

But beyond the price, what sets SimpliSafe apart? For starters, the devices themselves operate wirelessly, which is a huge advantage in our increasingly electronics-cluttered homes. Secondly, it operates via cellular communication, ensuring security even if lines are cut. Third, the monthly rates for round-the-clock monitoring compare very favorably with those of its competitors.

Here are a few pros & cons of this product:

Pros:

  • Wireless, easy to install hardware
  • Company enjoys an A+ BBB rating
  • 3-year equipment warranty
  • Dedicated cellular monitoring at low cost
  • 60 day money back guarantee
  • No contract

Cons:

  • No smart home automation
  • No security cameras included
  • Upfront equipment costs can be high
  • Interactive access from a computer or smartphone increases price by $10 monthly and $100 for the initial fees
  • No contract means monitoring costs could increase in future

Features & Benefits

24/7 remote monitoring:

Any home security setup worth its salt will include around-the-clock monitoring. It’s the core promise that makes the product worth it in the long run. Without remote monitoring, your alarm system is simply a loud warning to thieves, a possible deterrent that will not have the authorities on their way. For SimpliSafe, the monitoring is done by cellular network, which means that even if intruders cut your phone or power lines, the alarm will still sound at the remote monitoring station. Batteries ensure that the devices run even when the power is out.

Interestingly, SimpliSafe offers a non-monitoring setup which means a total lack of monthly costs, but we don’t recommend it.

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Remote Control:

Available with SimpliSafe’s remote monitoring plan, a companion smartphone app allows you to instantly see what’s going on at home, no matter where you are. The system allows for the checking of an event log, which means peace of mind for parents wanting to know when their children arrive home. All alarm statuses can be monitored from your smartphone or computer, as well. Even better, if you spring for the optional video cameras, you can view live streaming video of your home.

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Wireless Setup:

SimpliSafe is designed to expand, allowing you to install up to 41 sensors throughout your home for total protection. The best part is that installation itself is incredibly easy. The company boasts that you’ll actually enjoy setup, because of the ease of use and professional look. Devices are mounted with an adhesive surface so that you won’t even have to drill holes in walls. This means that installation is a breeze and moving the devices is just as easy. Because the whole ecosystem is wireless, you won’t have to run or organize cords of any sort. However, fresh batteries must be maintained, so the system remains functional over a long period of time.

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Low Cost:

SimpliSafe boasts a remote monitoring program that costs $14.99 per month, with no hidden costs or fees. For $10 more, you get the interactive feature, which means smartphone and computer monitoring from anywhere on earth.

The biggest cost with SimpliSafe is in the equipment itself. While this makes for a high initial hardware cost, the savings can be felt over time, given the low monthly monitoring rate. Hardware packages range from a five-piece starter kit at $230 to a $540 ultimate package, with build-your-own kits filling out prices in between. While these numbers might seem high, they pale in comparison to the overall cost of a system from one of the bigger-name competitors.

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SimpliSafe reviews by Real Users

While we were confident in our own evaluation, we wanted to see what other people thought about SimpliSafe. We searched the internet to find reviews from regular people who have firsthand experience with the product. Here are a few examples.

“We absolutely love SimpliSafe. The service is excellent and the equipment is good. Today, I accidentally set the fire alarm off while cooking. I smoked the olive oil, and it made a mess. Within seconds, the fire alarm was ringing, and so was my phone. SimpliSafe had called to verify what was going on, and I told them the fire department wasn’t needed.” – Kevin S.

“Updating my review:  Alarm is installed and functioning.  It was a bit complicated determining which sensors to get and where to put them (I may make some changes).  I do have a rather large and odd shaped house, though.  I got several e mails from customer support asking how installation was going, and when I had questions, they emailed me right back.  Customer support is fantastic!  All components work.  No problems.” – Rita C.

“Great product for DIY that doesn’t want to be stuck in a contract. This took me about 30 minutes to setup and test. The app is the most basic of basics. You can turn on and off the alarm, and text alerts get a bit annoying. The web tools are great for setting your own customization and personalizing to your needs. Overall you can’t beat the price!” – A. Bagwell

Alternatives

In our quest for thoroughness, we took at look at how SimpliSafe compares with its most well-known competitors in the home security industry. Here are the top three companies to consider:

Vivint

Vivint is a big player because of its focus on home automation, providing quality wireless home security technology. Unlike SimpliSafe, Vivint offers a comprehensive installation and setup process in which techs come into your home to set the product up professionally. There are charges for equipment and installation, but this is a boon for anyone who wants to avoid working directly with the technology. If this sounds like you, it might be a better option, provided the costs are acceptable.

  • Price: Plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Vivint boasts the same features, plus full home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months, while SimpliSafe requires no monthly contract

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

ADT is the most popular name when it comes to home security in America. It’s been around for decades and has an according reputation. ADT’s standard service is known for its attention to detail, including full consultation and installation. This ease of use comes with a higher price.

  • Price: Plans run from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top tier plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer remarkably similar features, but ADT includes video with its plans
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts here

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint offers a similar set of features, including DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access to your home security setup. Also similar to SimpliSafe, Frontpoint is known for its quality customer service, all-cellular monitoring, and lower costs.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless and cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

Let’s face it: home security solutions can be prohibitively costly. Of course, we all want to ensure the safety and security of our homes, our families, and our possessions, but we don’t want to spend more than we can afford to do so. The DIY approach and a la carte style hardware selection from SimpliSafe is meant to cut costs in an innovative way for those with the confidence to self-install.

If you’re looking for a system with one of the lowest monthly costs around, look no further. While there are a handful of drawbacks, including battery maintenance and optional video monitoring, SimpliSafe is one of the most price-conscious yet solidly equipped options available.

 

Link Interactive Review

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

Link Interactive is a competitive home security provider with a focus on DIY installation and accessible pricing.

4.2
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Link Interactive is a competitive home security provider with a focus on DIY installation and accessible pricing.

If you’re anything like me, you’re highly interested in getting the best deal possible, even when it comes to something as crucial as home security. You probably want to know that getting a great price doesn’t have to mean a low quality product. That’s what we’re looking into here: whether the benefits of self installation outweigh the costs.

While Link Interactive is by no means alone when it comes to self-installed home security products, they’ve made their name focusing exclusively on this part of the industry.

If you’re like me and you’ve got a little bit of tech savvy, you’ll be looking for a solution like this because the initial setup costs can skyrocket when you’ve got technicians coming into your home with loads of tools. This is where a company like Link Interactive becomes much more attractive.

Things to consider before buying Link Interactive

Home security is about a lot more than simply protecting your stuff. It’s about even more than protecting your loved ones. What it can truly bring you is peace of mind, day and night, week in and out. A good home security setup will take one of the biggest lifelong worries off your mind for as long as you keep it. That’s the ultimate criteria.

Beyond protecting your home from burglary and vandalism, a home security product can help you maintain control over many aspects of home life, from lighting to thermostats. This is a boon for anyone who’s ever worried if they’re wasting energy while out of town.

While Link Interactive aims to solve all home security conundrums, it certainly is aimed at some homeowners and not others. Those with more income and less technical know-how are probably better served by doing through a more traditional company, such as ADT or Vivint. They offer a standard professional installation and mostly hands-off operation. You pay up and they secure your home.

However, if you’re comfortable setting up and installing the suite of devices that comprise the Link Interactive security system, you might be able to save a lot of money while giving your home and your family the same level of safety and protection.

There are some broad qualities that every major player in the industry must bring to the table, the core of which is remote monitoring. This is what makes a home security system worth more than the sum of its parts. Your alarm goes off and a professional at another location will immediately notify the proper authorities. No matter which company you purchase from, you’ll want this fundamental part of the deal.

Thankfully, Link Interactive wraps its entire DIY process around this core feature. How does the rest of the package stack up?

What is Link Interactive?

Link Interactive has actually been around for more than sixty years, first as Mountain Alarm, a trusted home security provider that launched Link as its DIY offering just a few years ago. In the time since, Link has gained a reputation for solid customer service and competitive pricing.

Link originally began as a partnership with Costco, but has now grown into a formidable force in the home security industry. The total focus on DIY helps keep costs down and allows for a wider potential audience. While this focus limits the potential audience to those who feel comfortable with self installation, it broadens the available price range.

Another major focus for Link is in their communication, using Alarm.com as a host for your mobile control and monitoring of the home. This offers the advantage of simple, smartphone-based awareness and control, no matter where you are.

Compared to market leaders like ADT and Frontpoint, Link Interactive may appear more pared down and simple, but the tighter focus lends it a greater value for many people, depending on their budget, comfort with technology, and security needs.

Let’s look at some pros and cons of the product.

Pros:

  • Around-the-clock central station monitoring
  • 64 years of experience in the industry
  • Fire monitoring is included in every plan
  • Multiple contract options, including 12, 24, and 36-month plans
  • 30-day money back guarantee, a virtual trial period
  • A+ rating with the BBB

Cons:

  • DIY installation only, with no professional home visit option
  • Steep upfront costs for all equipment you may need
  • The sheer variety of equipment can be overwhelming for inexperienced security buyers

Features & Benefits

Now we can take a look at some of the key features of Link Interactive. Every home security company has its own distinct advantages, so it’s important to get a closer look and see what makes it tick.

Round-the-clock Monitoring:

Link Interactive boasts 24/7 cellular monitoring as the lynchpin of its entire system. With this approach, you don’t have to worry about a cut landline or access to high speed cable internet to secure your home. Their professionals monitor for intrusions and fire, but they also offer a unique feature. They call it crash and smash protection, and what it means is that even if an intruder were to destroy your equipment, an alarm signal will still make it out to the monitoring station, getting you the help that you need. This is a crucial positive no matter how you look at it.

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Price:

Prices for Link Interactive plans run on three simple tiers: $29.99, $34.99, and $39.99. With a simple graph they convey the levels of service available at each. Importantly, the most important features are included across the board. This means around-the-clock professional monitoring over a 100% cellular network, covering intrusion, fire, and crash and smash alarms. Additionally, for the lowest price you’ll also get integration with smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as extreme temperature monitoring.

As the price rises, they add features like two-way voice communication, email and text alerts, a supply of 10 sensors for doors and windows, and most importantly, smart apps for your phone or tablet that allow total control from anywhere on earth. The top tier, only $10 more a month than the basic one, even offers motion activated live video streaming and recording.

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Live Video:

Speaking of video recording, this is one of the biggest ways Link Interactive sets its service apart from the competition. While not available at all price levels, their video services go beyond what most other security companies offer. For starters, you’ll be able to see who’s at your front door via the main control panel or your smartphone. Even better, you can set up custom triggers to send live video to your smartphone, no matter where you are. In the event of an alarm, video will automatically begin recording and storing, so that you can rewind and check it out from anywhere with an internet connection.

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Home Automation:

As smart home technology becomes widespread and prices drop to affordable levels, you’re going to want a home security system that integrates with your smart devices. Link Interactive connects all of the smart devices in your home, giving you responsive automation and control from one single user interface. This means that you’ll be more aware and in command of every aspect of your home, from thermostats to lights, windows, and more. This means that the company is future-proofed in a way that many competitors are not.

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Link Interactive Reviews by Real Users

We wanted to learn what people thought about Link Interactive, so we scoured the internet to find reviews from regular people who have spent their hard-earned money on the product. What we found was refreshingly positive. Here are a few examples.

“If you are handy at all, this is the way to go. Same equipment as the big players, but at much better prices. The packages were customizable, so I was able to get all the options I wanted without anything I didn’t need. The ability to connect my garage door control, is very handy.” – Karl S.

“This is the best of all worlds – DIY installation with professional monitoring. I love, love, love how much I can configure everything. I love that the Control Panel is also a Z Wave Controller, so I now have the beginning of a smart home – starting with my connected thermostat.

I have installed window or door sensors, two interior cameras, one exterior camera, two additional motion detectors. I will add a few more things on later, but I can’t believe the features and functionality.” – Lesley A.

“I purchased the system directly through Link Interactive’s 800 number via their website.  I had an excellent sales experience and was able to use my existing sensors since my old security company used the same panel.  Installation wasn’t that difficult but I did have to read up on the panel a bit and make a couple of calls to Link Interactive tech support.  Each time I called they were very helpful.  They give you complete control of your system so you are free to expand it by buying affordable sensors.   I love the control and ability to expand the system myself.” – Joey E.

Alternatives

In making sure that we did a thorough job appraising Link Interactive, we researched their biggest competitors to compare the feature sets and pricing. These are the three most well-known alternative home security solutions around:

Vivint

Vivint is an important company when it comes to home automation, providing some of the best wireless home security technology available. Unlike Link Interactive, Vivint offers a more comprehensive installation and setup process, coming into your home to set the product up professionally. They charge for equipment and installation, of course, but if you’re not comfortable working with technology, it could be a better option, provided the higher costs aren’t prohibitive.

  • Price: Plans start at $39.99 a month
  • Features: Similar features but Vivint also offers full home automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional, foolproof installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months, while Link Interactive goes for 12, 24, or 36 months.

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

ADT is the most well-known home security name in America, and has been for decades. Their standard service is known for its thorough attention to detail. The company sends people to your home, giving a full consultation and installation themselves. There’s no work required on your part, but it comes with a higher price.

  • Price: Plans run from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The top plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer remarkably similar features
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: 36 month contracts.

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint offers a similar set of features, including DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access to your home security setup. They’re also known for offering top tier customer service, cellular monitoring, and a uniquely comprehensive approach to security.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless and cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months, with a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

With a wealth of smart features, solid hardware design, and reliable cellular monitoring, this service is a serious contender for your best home security bet. The simple pricing and clear set of options make it especially attractive to anyone on a budget. If you’re comfortable installing electronics and working with light tools, Link Interactive should be on your short list of home security solutions.

Click here to check out Link Interactive.

 

Protect America Review

Protect America is a great home security value with its combination of versatile service and low prices.

  • Ease of Installation
  • Customer Service And Monitoring
  • Cost
  • Equipment
  • Technology

Summary

Protect America would have been a great solution to my problem if only I’d known about it at the time. It covers all the important security bases while flying under a low price threshold for average income families.

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User Rating 5 (1 vote)
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I’m here to talk straight about home security, something we all value but we don’t all have. Since price is often a barrier to entry, we’re looking at one of the best deals in the market.

As a new homeowner, I was interested in setting up a security solution that was not only affordable but easy to maintain. That is, I wanted a product that would continue to run seamlessly as I lived my life without much upkeep or input from me or my family. I knew that if I was going to actually utilize the full potential of a security system, I’d need one that was simple but effective. When you’re living in a new neighborhood, it’s important to obtain peace of mind quickly so you’re able to settle in and get on with living.

 

Things to consider before buying signing up for Protect America

Home security can mean something different to everyone, but there are certain core services that are universally understood as essential. When it comes to protecting your house, your possessions, and most importantly your family, you don’t want to skimp where it counts. Homeowners and renters alike need to protect against burglary and home invasion, fire, and any other unforeseen circumstances that can put your property and your life at risk.

A quality home security setup will include video surveillance, motion detectors, window and door sensors, an alarm system with remote monitoring, and some form of direct control for the homeowner. Any setup worth its salt will include these features and more, regardless of price. If a security system lacks an essential feature, it’s not worth considering. Given that baseline level of service, there are a wealth of options out there to consider, and I’m here to pin down what makes this a product worth your consideration.

Middle-class homeowners are probably the ideal customer for a product like Protect America, with its range of pricing options that begin surprisingly low and scale up reasonably as more features are added. But to be sure, even their most basic setup will provide the essentials you’ll need to protect your home. As with almost all products out there, the more you are able to pay, the more ambitious a security setup you can afford. The great news is that for families on a budget, there are very effective solutions available. This is one of them.

When you consider a home security solution, you’ll want to take into account a number of factors to help make your decision, including the number and placement of windows and doors in your home, any blind spots in the area outside your home, and of course the pricing level that you’re able to comfortably afford.

What is Protect America?

Protect America is a home security solution with a focus on simplicity. The company promises a seamless service that can protect your home while you live your life uninterrupted, using wireless technology and always-online connectivity to monitor your home around the clock. It offers comparable levels of service to industry titans like ADT and Frontpoint, but at a lower price and without any hidden fees for getting started.

Protect America is aimed right at the heart of the US population, with a focus on affordable subscriptions, ease of setup, and the ability to move with you anywhere in the country.

Pros:

  • Self-setup with no initial costs or hidden fees
  • Get the most equipment per plan out of any security company
  • Available for renters
  • Free to move and take anywhere nationally
  • Free smart mobile control

Cons:

  • Basic control panel
  • Limited home automation
  • No free trial
  • Cellular service requires additional costs

Features & Benefits

Smart Control:

At the center of all levels of its security setup, Protect America provides the Simon XT, a modern control panel that allows for seamless smartphone integration. This means that you’ll be able to control all home security features, including motion detectors, cameras, window sensors, and so on right from one central device or from your phone, no matter where you are. With this product, you’ll never have to worry if you turned everything on before leaving on vacation; control is right there in your hands with a simple app, provided along with the service.

The Simon XT provides a large touch screen that acts as a single, optional point of access for your entire home security system. Think of it as the brains at the center of the network. You’re encouraged to mount the device in a central location, such as your kitchen or main entry area, for total ease of access and control. While every good home security setup includes a central point of access, few provide such a wealth of options at a touch. Even better, function on the Simon XT is replicated on your smartphone with the included app.

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Wireless Cameras:

Protect America provides WiFi-enabled cameras that allow for true freedom of placement throughout your home. You’ll be able to place these low-light capable cameras exactly where you need them, without having to worry about video wires that can not only cause clutter, but can be cut by burglars. The cameras can be placed in the most effective spaces and will be harder to spot without wires running all over the place. As soon as the alarm goes off, these cameras begin recording footage. This footage is stored in your own private online account, which means you’ll be able to access it from anywhere with an internet connection.

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SMART Connect App:

Home automation is a big thing these days, with smart home devices becoming some of the most popular electronics purchased today. The great thing about Protect America’s system is that it integrates some of these features right into its setup. The app mentioned above allows you to monitor and control your security setup from anywhere on the globe, whether you’re simply at work across town or on vacation far away. The mobile app will grant you control over door locks, lighting, and appliances, giving you an instant smart home upgrade without the separate equipment. Much more importantly, the app can arm and disarm your entire security system, as well as stream and record live video footage from up to two of your security cameras at the same time. If you’re like me, you’ve often found yourself worrying about what’s happening back home. This app is the cherry on top of a solid security setup, allowing that extra peace of mind that comes with personally seeing inside your house from anywhere in the world.

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Security Monitoring:

Remote monitoring is the core functionality of every quality home security system. Without real live people paying attention and alerting authorities, you’ll only know about problems in the home after the fact. As with much more expensive security setups, Protect America offers a variety of monitoring options at different budget levels.Your home can be monitored via regular old phone landline, the least expensive option, or can be connected via broadband internet and cellular network. Not many competitors offer all three of these options, which is a great positive point for Protect America. If you live in a more rural area with lower quality internet connectivity or poor cellular coverage, you’ll be thankful for the landline service. If you prefer a more data-intensive route, with streaming video and other features, the broadband connection is the best. Finally, for those with great cellular reception, the full wireless setup means that even if lines are cut to your home, an alarm signal will still get out. This highest level of security comes with a slight premium, but the price level is still favorable compared to its closest competitors.

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Price:

Finally, we get to one of the most important and frankly attractive parts of the Protect America package: the price. Beginning at $19.99 per month, you’ll get all the basics needed for securing your home, including window and door sensors, motion detectors, the Simon XT control panel, and remote monitoring via landline. Compared to competitors, this is a unique offering, bringing total home security down to a range of affordability not really seen elsewhere.

Even better than the standard pricing options are the lack of initial costs. If you have never dealt with a home security company before, you might be surprised to learn that many companies charge anywhere between $100 and $400 in upfront costs, just to get the equipment inside and installed in your home. In a pleasant surprise, Protect America charges nothing for this initial setup. You can install the equipment entirely on your own, or get guided instruction from their experts to ensure that everything works properly. Even better, they’ll ship out replacements for any defective equipment at no charge for as long as you’re subscribed.

Protect America Online Reviews by Real Users

To make sure that our initial impressions were backed up with proof from around the country, we searched the internet to find user reviews. They appeared overwhelmingly positive, which is a great sign for any product, especially one designed to protect your home and family. Here are a couple examples:

I love this company! They have been great from the beginning. They have the cheapest pricing with the most protection. They have wireless protection, touch panels, cameras, garage sensors, glass break sensors. The best part for me was no hard-wiring anything and you set the system up yourself! Super easy to do.

“I’ve been using them for a couple of months now. The system is reliable, it hasn’t failed not has any sensor fallen. A few times that the alarm went off we did get a call immediately. The equipments were free (a part of the contract) and each time we call they’ve been very helpful. ”

“After reading the other reviews I felt compelled to write one myself. I have been 100% satisfied with Protect America. All equipment and service has been exactly as described during the purchase process. The contract is completely up front and clear. The equipment was delivered promptly, and it was very easy to install.”

Alternatives

We wouldn’t have done a thorough job without checking out Protect America’s main competitors and comparing the feature sets and pricing with these well-known alternatives. The following are the three most important alternative home security solutions in the country:

Vivint

Vivint is a major player in home automation and thus provides some of the best wireless security system technology around. The main difference here is that Vivint offers a more comprehensive approach to installation and setup, coming to your home to get the product set up professionally. They also charge for equipment and installation, due to this more hands-on approach. If you’re not well versed in technology, it might be a better option, provided you can afford the higher costs.

  • Price: Plans start at $39.99 a month, versus $19.99 a month for Protect America
  • Features: Similar features but Vivint also provides outdoor cameras and full automation
  • Benefits: 24/7 customer service, professional, foolproof installation
  • Contract: Vivint contracts stand at 42 months, while Protect America goes for 36 months.

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Vivint right here.

ADT

ADT is perhaps the most well-known home security company in the country, and have been for decades. Their service is known for its thoroughness, in which they come to your home, give a full consultation, and install the security system themselves. It’s old school and effective, which comes at a higher price point.

  • Price: Plans go from $28.99 to $55.99 a month. The $55.99 plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
  • Features: Both companies offer similar features, with ADT adding central video monitoring, remote thermostat control, and a few other unique details.
  • Benefits: Professional installation, remote locking, ADT branded warning signs.
  • Contract: Both companies offer 36 month contracts.

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out ADT right here.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint offers a similar suite of features, including DIY installation, wireless security, and smartphone access. What sets them apart is their top tier customer service, cellular monitoring, and comprehensive approach.

  • Price: $34.99 to $49.99 a month. All plans include 100% wireless and cellular system with 24/7 professional monitoring but do not include all equipment.
  • Features: Outdoor camera, remote app, and top plan offers video streaming, automated door locks, and advanced thermostat control.
  • Benefits: Simple DIY installation, pet-friendly motion detectors, Z-Wave compatible
  • Contract: 36 months but they offer a 30 day trial period

If you’re curious about the full benefits, check out Frontpoint right here.

Conclusion

You’re unlikely to find a more affordable quality home security solution than Protect America. For value alone, it’s one of the best options out there for protecting your property and your loved ones. With a low monthly fee and zero upfront costs, it’s a very cost-effective investment to make in ensuring the safety of your family.

The lifetime equipment warranty is a great special feature that few other companies can match, as long as you’re comfortable installing and setting it up yourself. While the 36-month warranty may give you pause, the ability to move with you anywhere in the country is a great reassurance. Customer reviews across the web seem to back this idea up, with a lot of positive feedback to be found.

I feel confident recommending Protect America to anyone eager to begin protecting their home, especially with a price that makes home security solidly affordable for a majority of Americans.

Click here to check out Protect America.