Key differences between Protect America and Link Interactive
Protect America and Link Interactive both offer easy, DIY installation and a standard three-year contract, but each has a different approach to security. Below are some key differences between the two companies.
Crash & Smash technology
Link Interactive has Crash & Smash technology, which is a technology patented by Alarm.com. It prevents burglars from destroying your security system before it sends a notification to the monitoring station. If something triggers a sensor and you don’t enter your code to disarm the system, the monitoring station will treat the event as a break-in. Protect America does not have this technology. This isn’t an industry-standard feature, but it is definitely an added bonus.
Free trials to test out the systems
We think all security companies should offer a free trial or money-back guarantee for you to test out the system, and of course, the longer the better. Both Protect America and Link Interactive offer this option; however, Link Interactive offers a 30-day return window and Protect America offers only 15 days to return.
If you have problems with your alarm system equipment, you’ll want to have a warranty to fall back on. Link Interactive offers a three-year equipment warranty, while Protect America’s equipment has a lifetime warranty. Two years is the standard for the industry, so the fact that Protect America offers a lifetime equipment warranty is excellent.
All Link’s monitoring packages are 100% cellular, which is the best form of monitoring because you do not have to worry about a burglar cutting your phone line or your internet going down. Other options for monitoring are broadband and landline, which Protect America offers. All of Protect America’s packages default to landline monitoring but give you the option to upgrade to cellular or broadband. We recommend upgrading to cellular monitoring if you go with Protect America, but keep it mind you’ll pay $10 to $15 more for Protect America’s cellular monitoring packages than you would for Link’s comparable packages.
Link Interactive and Protect America’s monitoring centers are UL listed. Protect America has three monitoring stations while Link Interactive has two. All monitoring stations are redundant, meaning if one of the stations goes down the other stations act as backups. The companies have fairly comparable response times: Protect America claims the monitoring station receives your system’s distress signal within 15 seconds, while Link states that its monitoring center has an average response time of 20 seconds.
Protect America has a spotty customer service record and a history of aggressive sales tactics. Customers complain about agents upselling and not listening to their needs, resulting in a higher amount of negative reviews from customers on ASecureLife. However, Protect America is great at responding to negative comments. Protect America also has many ways to contact its team to get support, including live chat, forums, videos, and phone.
We’ve found that Link Interactive has historically had better, more helpful customer service, though some customers have reported longer wait times with Link. It also has more limited hours of support compared to Protect America.
Contracts and cancellation policies
Both companies have a standard 36-month contract and have rather harsh cancellation policies. Link, however, offers 12- and 24-month contracts as well. After the trial period, you’re responsible for paying 75% of the remainder of your contract if you choose to cancel. Both companies allow you to transfer your service to another account. For example, if you have a friend or family member who is looking to get Link or Protect America, you can transfer the contract to them and they will pay for the remainder of the time.
Setup and installation
Protect America and Link Interactive have easy installations, which is why both can be installed without a professional. Protect America gives you the option of DIY or professional installation, but you’ll have to pay a $199 installation fee if you go the professional route. If you go DIY, you can install the system yourself with a professional walking you through the steps over the phone. Protect America claims most customers complete the installation in 60 minutes. Link Interactive offers only DIY installation but has helpful video guides on its website. The majority of customers say setup is easy. Both companies have equally simple installations, so we think you’d be able to handle either.
Packages and pricing
In the below table, you can compare the monitoring options and prices offered by both companies. At first glance, you’ll notice Protect America offers the least-expensive package at $19.99 per month, but please note that this price is for landline monitoring.
All of Link’s packages are 100% cellular, while Protect America’s require an upgrade if you want cellular or broadband monitoring. The least expensive package from Protect America with cellular monitoring costs $41.99 per month opposed to Link’s $30.99 per month.
Although Protect America’s prices are higher for cellular monitoring, none of its packages have an equipment fee, so you can save a lot on up-front costs. Link’s equipment fees vary based on the equipment you select, but none of Link’s plans have an installation fee. Protect America has an installation fee if you opt for professional installation, which starts at $199.
Wondering what equipment comes with those packages? Link is completely customizable and has no preset packages. You get a free control panel and then select the equipment you want. The only restriction is that your monitoring plan must support the equipment you have selected. Link has an extensive list of equipment, but here’s an overview of what you have to choose from:
- Door/window sensors
- Motion sensors
- Key fobs
- Tilt sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Panic buttons
- Image sensors
- Smoke/heat/freeze sensors
- CO detectors
- Indoor and outdoor cameras
- SkyBell doorbell camera
- Smart locks
- Smart thermostats
- Smart bulbs
Protect America has preset packages but allows for some customizations, which may result in an additional fee. Below are the packages offered from Protect America.
|Simon XT control panel||1||1||1||1||1|
|Camera||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee|
|Garage door sensor||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee|
|Glass break sensor||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee|
|Panic alarm||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee|
|Key fob||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee||Additional fee|
If you are more interested in home automation features like a smart thermostat or smart locks, you should probably go with Link Interactive, since Protect America doesn’t have the extensive equipment selection that Link does. However, both companies are Z-Wave compatible, which means you can purchase Z-Wave equipment and connect it to your Link or Protect America system separately.
Who do we think is better?
Link Interactive's prices are lower, its customer service reviews are better, all of its packages have cellular monitoring, it includes Crash & Smash protection on all packages, and packages are 100% customizable.
You may want to go with Protect America over Link if you don’t want to pay for all your equipment up front. In the end, we think Link is the better of the two for most people.
Need more comparisons? Check out our other picks for best home security system.
Which company do you think is better and why?