guardian-protection-logoGuardian has been in the security business for over 65 years. They began as Guardian Alarm Systems of Pittsburgh, Inc., with a sole focus on jewelry store security. In 1975 the company was purchased by Russell L. Cersosimo, who built it into a home security operation from the ground up, marketing and installing systems throughout Western Pennsylvania.

In 1991 the company was brought into the The Armstrong Group family of companies, and the rest, as they say, is history. Today the company services a quarter million clients – both commercial and residential – and maintains a focus on small business-like customer service. It’s the largest privately-held security company in the U.S. Here’s a look at some of the ups and downs of going with Guardian Protection Services.

Pros:

  • Long history of experience in the industry
  • Professional installation of wired or wireless systems
  • Cellular monitoring, considered the most reliable method
  • Owns its own monitoring center for complete customer service control, for which it has won industry recognition
  • Utilizes latest technology, yet does not offer the newest, unproven products until they’ve passed rigorous assessment for reliability
  • A+ Better Business Bureau rating and Angie’s List Super Service Award winner

Cons:

  • Difficulty obtaining pricing information without an in-home visit
  • Not available in all areas, including several major cities
  • Mediocre customer service reputation
  • Long contract requirement – up to 60 months, and cancellation requires full pay-off
  • Uses third-party contractors, which could introduce risk if there is no background check performed

Security Packages Offered

Here is a run-down of the 4 different packages that are offered by Guardian Protection.

 Edge EssentialEdge ControlEdge PlusEdge Premium
24/7 MonitoringYesYesYesYes
Cellular ConnectionYesYesYesYes
Free Mobile AppYesYesYesYes
Touch Screen Control PanelYesYesYesYes
3 Door/Window SensorsYesYesYesYes
Motion DetectorYesYesYesYes
Yard Sign and Window DecalsYesYesYesYes
Home Automation YesYesYes
Image SensorYesYes
2 Indoor Night-Vision CamerasYes

Edge Essential

This is Guardian’s entry-level package, with basic monitoring equipment and services.

What’s included:

  • Color, touchscreen control panel
  • Three door/window sensors
  • One motion sensor
  • Yard sign and window decals
  • Mobile control of your system – arm or disarm from your smartphone or other device
  • Email/text alerts
  • Guardian VoiceLink (2-way communication with the monitoring center)
  • Geo-fencing (allows you to create a zone that triggers user-defined actions when you exit or enter, such as arming your system or turning a light on)

Edge Control

The second level of service, Control offers everything Essential has, but with the added choice of one home automation device. Choose from a smart door lock, thermostat, two light modules, or a garage door switch.

Edge Plus

Edge Plus comes with all of the equipment and services of the above two packages, but with the addition of an image sensor. This device is like a normal intrusion sensor, but it captures an image of whatever triggered the event. It’s also a great way to check on pets or children.

Edge Premium

Premium comes with everything listed above – except the image sensor – and adds two indoor Wi-Fi cameras with night vision.

These are just an example from the outlines provided on the company’s website. You’ll want to keep an eye out for specials – for example, at the time of this writing, the website shows a promotion for $1600 worth of equipment for $99 (including 10 door/window sensors). Just be sure to closely examine the terms, as these promotions can require longer contract commitments or other fine print you’ll want to know about.

Cost of Guardian Protection

The Guardian Protection Services website lists four available packages. They do not offer pricing on the site, which puts consumers at a distinct disadvantage as far as comparing rates between companies. On the plus side, they do have one of the most comprehensive, user-friendly interfaces explaining what is included in each plan. Because they customize their systems to your home, they claim to need to do an in-home evaluation to give you an exact price. Other sources indicate their basic package may start around $35/month, going up to roughly $55-60, with a $99 setup fee.

Equipment Options

Even though Guardian isn’t the largest company out there, they do a good job of offering the typical array of security, life safety, and home automation devices, just like the bigger guys. Choose from extra control panels, indoor and outdoor video cameras, a streaming video recorder, a pan-and-tilt camera (difficult to find even among the home security giants), key fobs, medical buttons, smoke detectors, smart home components, and more.

Other Considerations

Most of Guardian’s offerings are on par with other home security companies. One thing that does set them apart is that they offer a few different guarantees and programs. With the Best Price Guarantee, Guardian will match a “comparable written quote” or “qualified internet offer” for installation and activation of a base system. They consider a comparable written quote as an original hard copy of a quote or an advertisement for professionally installed, 24-hour monitoring by a “recognizable, appropriately licensed security systems company”. The same holds true for internet offers, which must be printed off on a hard copy.

The Home Theft Protection Guarantee pays up to $500 of your home insurance deductible should you be burgled while being monitored by Guardian services. They join ADT in this offer, although Protection 1 gains an advantage over the coverage with a $1,000 deductible reimbursement policy.

If you experience problems with your system’s functioning and Guardian doesn’t fix it within the first six months after installation, they will fully refund your installation and monitoring fees paid to that point.

The Home Relocation Guarantee provides you with a free base security system for the new house, plus 25% off additional devices. The catch – you must sign a new 60-month contract and the move has to be more than one year after you originally became a Guardian client.

Guardian also makes allowances for our soldiers, with their Armed Forces Appreciation Program. If you are in the military and must relocate for 90 days or more to an area where Guardian doesn’t provide service, you may suspend your service until you return or cancel your contract.

In a Nutshell

Guardian has decades of experience and keeps up with the latest equipment and monitoring solutions. Owning their own monitoring center means that they have 100% control over the entirety of the system. Their pricing, from what little information is available, is comparable, plus they offer price matching. On the other hand, their customer service doesn’t have the best reputation. It’s not the worst, either, but it’s one aspect to take into consideration as you make your home security system choice.

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