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ADT vs. Protect America—Your Only Landline Monitoring Options

Overview

ADT and Protect America both have a landline monitoring option—a crucial offering if you can’t get cell coverage in your area. Most other security companies offer cellular monitoring only. And while cellular monitoring is safer and more reliable, we appreciate that ADT and Protect America provide an alternative to customers who can’t get cell coverage or who need a cheaper monthly plan.

Below we’ll compare the two companies in more detail so you can find the security plan that’s right for your home.

ADT vs. Protect America

Lowest monitoring cost$27.99/mo.*$19.99/mo.*
Installation & activation fees$99None
Contract length36 mo.36 mo.
Home automationStandardStandard
Learn moreView plansView plans
Lowest monitoring cost
Installation & activation fees
Contract length
Home automation
Learn more
$27.99/mo.* $19.99/mo.*
$99 None
36 mo. 36 mo.
Standard Standard
View plans View plans

Data effective 11/16/2018. Offers and availability subject to change.
*ADT and Protect America’s base plans offer only landline monitoring, which is less secure than cellular monitoring. Both companies also offer cellular monitoring, but you’ll have to choose a higher-tier package to get it.

Pros and cons

ADT pros and cons

Pros

  • Longer trial period than all competitors
  • Same-day or next-day installation usually available

Cons

  • Higher monitoring prices

Protect America pros and cons

Pros

  • Low entry-level price
  • Broadband monitoring available for customers without cellular options

Cons

  • Complicated package structure

Price

Both ADT and Protect America offer inexpensive base plans if you get landline monitoring—but if you want a system with mobile control, home automation integration, or video monitoring, you’ll need to opt for one of the more expensive plans.

  • ADT plans range from $27.99 to $59.99 per month. (The lowest price for cellular monitoring is $48.99 a month.)
  • Protect America plans start at $19.99 and go to $54.99 per month. (The lowest price for cellular monitoring is $41.99 a month.)

ADT also charges a $99 installation fee, which means you pay a bit more up front. Protect America’s systems are DIY install, so you won’t pay an up-front fee.

Features and equipment

ADT-Equipment-Image

ADT equipment

Unique monitoring coverage

ADT and Protect America are two of the few security companies left that provide landline monitoring as well as cellular monitoring. And while we don’t recommend landline monitoring over cellular, it’s a low-cost option that’s better than having no security system at all—especially if you live in an area without cell coverage.

On that note, Protect America stands out by offering another unique monitoring option: broadband monitoring. It’s more expensive than landline monitoring, but it costs the same as cellular monitoring. Broadband is a great alternative if you don’t have good cell coverage, but you still want high-tech features like live video monitoring, mobile control, and smart home support.

Standard equipment

We love that ADT and Protect America both give customers a base set of equipment with monitoring. Those equipment packages limit initial costs so you can get a security system without clearing out your savings account.

You can get all the basics from either ADT or Protect America. Neither company makes its own equipment or offers anything revolutionary, but both companies use high-quality, dependable, third-party gear that’s standard in the security industry.

You can get cameras, window/door sensors, and environmental sensors to monitor things like water leaks and smoke. Plus, both ADT and Protect America systems are compatible with third-party Z-Wave equipment, so they’re smart home friendly.

Customer service

ADT is ahead of Protect America on the customer service front. ADT has not only more availability but also a better reputation among customers.

ADT is ahead of Protect America on the customer service front.

ADT’s customer support team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And you can reach them over the phone, through email, or through online chat.

Protect America offers phone and chat customer support with the following hours:

  • Phone: Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
  • Chat: Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–7 p.m.

Aside from availability, the main differences between ADT and Protect America are installation, cancellation policies, and trial periods.

Installation

ADT sends professional installers while Protect America sends you gear to install on your own. There’s lots to like about both professional and DIY installation, so it comes down to personal preference.

Cancellation

Both ADT and Protect America require three-year contracts, but ADT’s cancellation policy is more flexible than Protect America’s. Protect America requires you to pay 100% of your remaining balance, while ADT requires only 75%.

Trial period

ADT’s trial period is a staggering six months—dramatically longer than any other company in the industry. By comparison, Protect America offers a 15-day trial period.

ADT’s trial period is a staggering six months—dramatically longer than any other company in the industry.

Our recommendation

ASL Insider Tip

ADT is the better option in most situations, but it will cost more up front.

If you’d like a professionally installed system with all the bells and whistles, go with ADT. Read our full ADT review to learn more.

If you’re looking for low up-front costs or an alternative to cellular monitoring, try out Protect America—we particularly like its broadband monitoring option. Learn more in our full Protect America review.

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