This paper presents a novel and cost-effective solution for detecting the islanding condition at embedded generators using an innovative new type of phase angle detector, the ‘Quasi-PMU’. The method works by checking the synchronism of the embedded generator with respect to a robust reference location. The method is low cost, effective, and easy to configure using a modern broker based ‘one-to-many’ solution for the telecommunications needs. The new ‘Quasi PMU’ is validated against appropriate IEEE compliance standards and shown to be effective in detecting the islanding condition using data obtained by an experimental study and through simulations. The islanding detection method presented in this paper is particularly suited to grids with increasingly large dynamic events and frequency excursions arising from lowering system inertia. The authors’ design gives the system operator confidence for consistent operation of embedded generation protection. The method is affordable, reliable and is ready for immediate implementation.