(Last updated on April 21st, 2020)

Frontpoint vs Protect America, which is a better option in 2020?

Read this detailed Frontpoint versus Protect America comparison to make a smart decision.

Frontpoint and Protect America both offer self-install home security equipment and integrate home security into their packages. But how well do they compare from the consumer’s point of view? Which of the two service providers would be best suited to your needs? 

It’s not obvious which of the two is better, so we’ve compared the two companies on a number of different criteria to help you make an informed choice.

Every year, over 2 million homes in the US are burglarized. And there’s good evidence that having a home security system installed, and clearly visible, can help deter thieves. Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized, according to statistics from Alarms.org. Yet only 17% of homeowners have put a security system in place.

That’s inexplicable. You wouldn’t walk out of your home in the morning and leave the front door wide open. But many people, once they’ve locked the door, don’t put any more thought into protecting their possessions. 

It may be because security systems used to be expensive. A front door key costs a few dollars, but many of the old-style security companies used to charge well over $1,000 to install a system. Often, first-generation systems involved drilling holes in the walls, running cabling, and installing unsightly and bulky control panels by the front door. 

You might also remember that the first Apple Mac cost $2,495. Now you can get far more processing power on a $100 smartphone. In the same way, developments in technology have pushed down the cost of home security systems while making them more powerful. 

Now, systems don’t just provide protection against intruders, but also fire, smoke, CO2, and flooding. You can monitor your home from miles away, lock or unlock your doors or control the temperature remotely, or program particular lights to come on if an alarm is triggered. 

But there’s a huge choice of different systems and packages on the market. Selecting the right one isn’t easy. Even choosing one of two – Frontpoint and Protect America – isn’t all that easy, since each provider has three different pricing packages and a wide range of different equipment choices.

To make your decision easier, we’ve compared the two companies under a number of headings such as price, what’s included in the packages, installation, and customer service.  We’ve declared a winner in each category, and an overall winner. And if you’re really in a hurry, you can just look at the infographic and short verdict below.

So, let’s get into the detail and see how these two companies compare on each separate criterion. First of all, let’s see what each company includes in its monitoring packages.

What’s Included in Frontpoint’s Monitoring Packages?

Frontpoint offers three different monitoring packages: Protection, Interactive, and Ultimate. These do not include the equipment; customers must choose from six different bundles of products, ranging in price from $130.95 to $1032.84. (Customers with a credit score of at least 600 can get better prices, and there are occasional promotions with lower pricing, too.) Installation is DIY; the system doesn’t require any cabling.

1. The Protection Plan

The Protection Plan is the least expensive of Frontpoint’s monitoring packages. It includes:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring using outsourced provider Rapid Response Monitoring’s monitoring centers in New York and California
  • a self-diagnosis capability which enables the system to communicate faults automatically to the monitoring center
  • 100% cellular, totally wireless communication, using both cell and wi-fi to ensure continuity of signal
  • expandable and portable equipment (useful for home movers)
  • unique, time-restricted user codes, allowing you to give particular users (for instance a babysitter or cleaner) their own code and specify and record who has access to the house
  • fire and environmental protection as well as intrusion monitoring.

2. The Interactive Plan

The Interactive Plan includes everything offered by the Protection Plan, but adds the following features:

  • remote arming and disarming of the system using a mobile app
  • email alerts if the alarm is triggered by intrusion or environmental factors (eg flood), as well as access notifications
  • crash and smash protection for the control panel (which is often an intruder’s first target)
  • geo location services allowing family members’ whereabouts to be linked to your smartphone, and alerts sent if necessary
  • a complete history of sensor activity stored on the system.

3. The Ultimate Plan

The Ultimate Plan is the highest specification package offered by Frontpoint and integrates home automation into the security package. As well as offering all the features included in the other two plans, it also includes:

  • live video streaming, plus storage of video and image history
  • video or image captures included with motion triggered alerts
  • automated door locks
  • remote energy management, lighting, and thermal control.
Frontpoint Packages

What’s Included in Protect America’s Monitoring Packages?

Protect America’s service is structured in three levels, the ‘Copper’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Platinum’ packages. The ‘Copper’ package offers a fairly small system, and each successive package adds further sensors to the mix,  up to ‘Platinum’ which would suit a larger property with several different entry doors. While the packages vary in the number of sensors offered, they all offer the same professional monitoring, a choice of communication protocol, and lifetime warranty on equipment.

1. The Copper package

The Copper package is the most basic level of protection offered. It includes: 

  • a standard control panel, three door or window sensors and a motion detector, as well as a yard sign and door and window stickers.
  • 24/7 professional monitoring by Protect America staff.
  • Either landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring.
  • A lifetime warranty on all equipment.

2. The Silver package

The Silver package is the most commonly purchased of the three, and includes:

  • up to 9 door/window sensors, in addition to the other equipment included in the Copper package.
  • 24/7 professional monitoring by Protect America staff.
  • Either landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring.
  • A lifetime warranty on all equipment.

3. The Platinum package

The Platinum package is the top of the range and includes

  • up to 9 door/window sensors, in addition to the other equipment included in the Copper and Silver packages. It still only includes a single motion detector.
  • 24/7 professional monitoring by Protect America staff.
  • Either landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring.
  • A lifetime warranty on all equipment.

While both companies offer good packages, Frontpoint’s extra features and its expandability and portability give it the edge.

Protect America Packages

Winner: Frontpoint 

Frontpoint Vs. Protect America: Which Company is Better in terms of Pricing?

What does Frontpoint Charge for its Service?

Frontpoint’s monitoring packages start at $34.99 a month, which is a relatively high entry point compared to Protect America’s most basic package. The Ultimate Plan, at $49.99 a month, is quite well priced for the level of sophistication it offers.

PlanPrice
Protection $34.99
Interactive $44.99
Ultimate $49.99

However, the price does not include the equipment, which must be paid for separately. Six equipment packages are offered, starting at $130.95, and ranging up to over $1,000. the most basic equipment package includes a hub and control panel, two door/window sensors and a single motion sensor, while the top end Safe Home Elite includes six door/window sensors, two motion sensors, two glass break sensors, a smoke/heat sensor, wireless indoor and outdoor cameras, and a wi-fi doorbell camera. 

Each package can be customized, and extras such as flood and glass break sensors as well as panic pendants can also be added at further cost. There is no installation fee as equipment is intended for self-install.

Frontpoint does not charge an activation fee.

What does Protect America Charge for its Service?

Protect America’s pricing is slightly complicated, since it uses a 3×3 pricing grid. The technology used to deliver the service influences the price, as well as the selected package. So, for instance, the Copper package is priced at a very affordable $19.99 for landline-based systems, but if you want to use cellular or broadband coverage, you’ll have to pay $41.99 a month.

That makes the landline service very attractive in price terms. However, the cellular/broadband packages are not as attractive. Currently, cellular and broadband are priced identically, but this may not always remain the case.

PlanLandline Cellular Broadband
Copper $19.99 $41.99 $41.99
Silver $37.99 $49.99 $49.99
Platinum $42.99 $54.99 $54.99

Like Frontpoint, Protect America charges no installation fee as the system is intended for self-install by the homeowner, and there’s no activation fee. Unlike Frontpoint, Protect America doesn’t charge for the equipment, so there’s no upfront payment.

Protect America also gives a lifetime warranty on all equipment, at no extra cost. What you see is exactly what you get. 

Protect America has the cheapest basic package for landline-only users. But Frontpoint offers more for less if you want a cellular/broadband package.

Winner: Frontpoint

Frontpoint Vs. Protect America: Which Company is Better in terms of Ease of Installation?

Neither Frontpoint nor Protect America install security systems. The systems they provide have been designed for DIY installation by homeowners. No cabling is required, and systems stick on to windows or doors rather than needing to be screwed or nailed.

Frontpoint says its systems can be installed in just 30 minutes. The system is already preconfigured by experts, and the company provides a mobile phone setup wizard. That means wherever you are in your house, you’ll have access to the right information to get the system property installed. The hub automatically searches for its network as soon as the power is connected.

FrontPoint DIY

Frontpoint also offers easy expansion; extra sensors or additional products can be ordered at any time.

Protect America allows customers to choose professional installation; but it’s not available but not in all areas, and costs $199.

However, self-install is recommended. The equipment has been designed to need minimal installation, with no cabling required. Door/window sensors are already paired, and attach with sticky pads. The online instructions are clear, with a worksheet provided to record each sensor’s location; the company provides a live assistance line and web chat, too.

Protect America DIY

Renters should note that because there’s no cabling to run and the sensor attachments don’t require screwing in, both Frontpoint and Protect America systems can be installed with minimum fuss and no damage to the property.

Winner: it’s a tie

Frontpoint  Vs. Protect America: Which Company is Better in terms of Customer Service?

Frontpoint has a good reputation for its customer service – not always a strong point in the home security sector. Emergency lines are staffed 24/7, while its customer service center in Virginia is open for calls 8am to 11pm (EST) weekdays and 10 am to 7 pm on the weekend.   

The Better Business Bureau awards it an A+ rating and it gets an average of three and a half star reviews. However, its average is pulled down by a number of complaints about difficulty canceling contracts. It also gets four stars on Yelp.

While Protect America’s monitoring is 24/7, its customer service isn’t. However, its hours are quite long, with phone support from 8 am to 9pm (weekdays: 9am-7pm weekends) and live internet chat extending those hours to 7-11 during the week.

Maintenance calls are generally answered by simply mailing out replacement devices. Since all products are self-install, that’s all that’s needed. Customers report a generally speedy response to service requests.

However, Protect America has received poor reviews for its pushy salespeople – not an isolated problem in the home security industry. Some customers also report encountering difficulties when trying to cancel existing contracts. It’s these failings, rather than poor support, that accounts for the company’s low rating on Yelp.

All in all, Frontpoint pulls ahead with its customer review ratings and some extra technical expertise.

Winner: Frontpoint

Frontpoint Vs. Protect America: Which Company is Better in terms of Contracts?

Frontpoint requires a 1 or 3 year initial contract, though a risk-free trial period of 30 days is offered. Can celling during the contract term makes a customer liable to pay the remainder of the contracted package subscriptions.

However, Frontpoint offers customers who move house the ability to pack up their security system and take it with them. This should be easy enough, since all the devices are DIY installed and easy to remove, but Frontpoint even helps by providing a free Mover’s Kit. It also allows customers to move within the same contract, that is, without restarting the 3 years from the date of the move. 

Frontpoint Contract

Protect America, has a 3 year initial contract period. It offers a 14 day free trial; however, customers who cancel after that have to pay off 100% of the balance of the contract. 

Protect America Contract

It’s worth noting, though, that while the initial contract is 3 years, the average Protect America customer apparently stays for 8 years, so this is something that affects a minority of those taking up the service.

Frontpoint’s assistance for movers and longer free trial period makes it the winner here.

Winner: Frontpoint

Frontpoint Vs. Protect America: Which Company is Better in terms of Technology?

Frontpoint has developed a flexible and quite high tech equipment package. In particular, its Qolsys IQ touchscreen control panel (an upgrade to the Simon XT panel included in the regular packages) adds some interesting functionality, such as being able to take pictures of everyone who arms and disarms the system. It has good home automation functions, including smart lock/unlock, and is Z-Wave compatible. 

Frontpoint offers a full range of sensors, from regular door/window and motion sensors to garage door, glass break, smoke/heat, flood, and CO2 detection. It can also work with a broad range of third party equipment, such as locks from Yale, Kwikset, Schlage, and August.

Frontpoint Technology

One slight weakness is that Frontpoint cameras can’t store continuous footage like some other brands’ equipment. However, they store 35-45 second clips surrounding activation of a sensor, which should be sufficient to identify who or what set the alarm off. 

Protect America’s self-install policy is possible because it uses robust equipment that’s foolproof and easy for non-experts to install. But that policy also prevents it using the most cutting-edge technology. It has also been slower to move into integration of third party products than many of its competitors. 

Till recently, Protect America didn’t provide smoke alarms or CO2 alarms and was unable to integrate third party products. That was a failing, since these alarms are vital in protecting occupiers against asphyxiation if a fire breaks out when they are asleep. 

Recently, the company has concentrated on improving its offer in home automation. It is now able to help integrate many home automation products, and allow access to them through its touch screen control panel. 

A limited range of video cameras is provided. Glass break sensors, useful for properties with large areas of plate glass, can also be provided. The system integrates with Z-Wave’s lights and appliances module, and remote door locking and unlocking capability can be added using August Smart Lock Pro. 

Protect America Technology

Not only is the latter helpful if you need to let in cleaners, maintenance staff or other professionals, it means you can easily check if you think you forgot to lock the door – and put things right without having to go home.

Protect America has significantly upped its game, but right now, Frontpoint is still the superior choice.

Winner: Frontpoint

Frontpoint Vs. Protect America: Which Company Is Better Established?

Frontpoint was founded in 2007, making it one of the newer large home security companies – though quite senior for a home automation business. By 2011 it had won an Angie’s List Super Service Award. It has a refreshingly 21st century feel to its website, and claims a couple of firsts:

About FrontPoint

the first nationwide alarm company to include smart security in all its systems,

the first to introduce a self-guided installation app on mobile phones.

Over 250 employees work for Frontpoint directly, and it outsources its monitoring services to Rapid Response, which has both East and West Coast monitoring centers.

Protect America was founded 15 years earlier than Frontpoint, in 1992, and has installed more than half a million systems over the years. Now, it has around 300 employees and over 400,000 customers, and operates in 50 US states as well as in Canada.

About Protect America

Winner: Protect America

Final thoughts

Both Protect America and Frontpoint are professional, good quality security companies which offer robust self-install systems. While Frontpoint has pushed its technological capability and smart security from its inception, Protect America has recently made a big effort to improve its home automation package.

If you are looking for a basic home security system with no upfront cost, and can live with the 3 year initial contract, Protect America fits the bill. It’s also a good system if you want to use Alexa or Z-Wave to integrate a home automation package.

But if you’re a frequent mover, or if you want a system that includes home automation features integrated into the basic package, Frontpoint might be more suitable. It also has an excellent reputation for its customer service.

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