ADT vs. Cove Home Security 2022

ADT is a popular security system with more smart home integrations than Cove, but it also costs a lot more

Most Popular
ADT Shield
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    Starting price: $28.99–$59.99/mo.
  • pro
    Starter equipment price: Varies
Best for Basics
Cove
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • pro
    Monthly price: $17.99–$27.99/mo.
  • pro
    Starter equipment price: $294.00
Mindy Woodall
Managing Editor, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
November 21, 2022
6 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

ADT and Cove are about as different as two home security systems can be. ADT is an old company with professionally installed systems and good smart home integrations. Cove is a newer DIY home security system with limited home automation functions.

Overall, because of its long reputation and superior smart home features, we recommend ADT. But ADT is also more expensive than Cove, and you won’t know the final price until installation day.

ADT pros and cons

Pros
  • Professional installation
  • Reliable brand name and monitoring
  • Good smart home integrations
Cons
  • Expensive monitoring
  • No transparency in pricing and fees
  • Contract required

Cove pros and cons

Pros
  • DIY installation
  • Affordable, transparent pricing
  • No contract
Cons
  • Few smart home integrations
  • Younger company than ADT

ADT vs. Cove: Prices and monitoring plans

The winner: Cove. Cove is a lot cheaper than ADT no matter which plan you choose

ADT costs a lot more than Cove. In fact, ADT costs more than most home security systems, even other big names like Vivint.

All told, ADT has extremely expensive professional monitoring plans, but they have more monitoring centers than most other home security systems. ADT also doesn't charge for the equipment, rather the prices are included in the installation of the selected devices, so it is uncertain what you'll pay until after installation.

ADT and Cove home security comparison

Home security company
Starting price
Installation type
Contract length
Details
ADT Shield

$28.99–$59.99/mo.

Professional

3 years

Cove

$17.99–$27.99/mo.

DIY

No contract

Data effective 4/25/2022. Offers are subject to change.

Cove, on the other hand, keeps things transparent and budget-friendly for the frugal among us. Cove lists all of its equipment and professional monitoring pricing online, and the costs for both are pretty cheap, even compared to other affordable home security companies.

ADT monitoring pricing

ADT’s professional monitoring prices vary depending on what type of system you want. If you want a super-basic ADT security system, then you’ll pay a lot less than you would for the premium ADT monitoring plans with video and smart home automation.

ADT monitoring plans

Plan
Starting price
Cellular backup
Smart home support
Learn more
Basic

$28.99/mo.

No

No

Secure

$45.99/mo.

No

No

Smart

$49.99/mo.

No

Yes

Video

$56.99/mo.

Yes

No

Complete

$59.99/mo.

Yes

Yes

Data effective 4/25/2022. Offers are subject to change.

Unless you live somewhere rural with no reliable internet or cell signal, we don't recommend landline security systems like ADT's Basic plan.

Cellular connections are faster and more secure, and we recommend going with a cellular-connected ADT plan if you can. Just know that also means paying more money.

ADT touchscreen control panel and sensors

Image source: ADT

ADT’s best professional monitoring plan is its ADT Complete plan. ADT's Complete plan comes with a cellular connection, mobile app control, home automation features, and security camera support. 

ADT contracts and fees

A lot of home security systems have ditched the contract in recent years, but ADT is still hanging on. You have to sign on to a three-year contract when you get an ADT system. And if you cancel it early, you have to pay a hefty cancellation fee.

Cove monitoring pricing

Cove is a lot more generous than ADT. All of its equipment and professional monitoring plans use a cellular connection, so you get all the perks without paying extra. And even if you opt for the most expensive Cove professional monitoring plan, you’ll still save money over the cheapest ADT monitoring plan.

Cove monitoring plan prices

Plan
Price
Mobile app access
Smart home support
Learn more
Basic

$17.99/mo.

No

No

Plus

$27.99/mo.

Yes

Yes

Data effective 4/25/2022. Offers are subject to change.

Unlike ADT, Cove also makes it easy to figure out what you’ll pay. All of Cove’s professional monitoring and equipment prices are posted on its website, and you can buy your entire system online without making any phone calls.

Cove control panel shown on a countertop alongside a Cove Outdoor Camera and Cove Indoor Camera

Image source: Cove

Cove doesn’t require you to opt into a supremely expensive plan to get smart home support and security cameras.

You do have to subscribe to Cove’s Plus plan to get mobile app access and home automation features, but that plan is still affordable compared to ADT’s options. And you can use Cove security cameras whether you subscribe to a professional monitoring plan or not, whereas ADT makes you pay top dollar.

Cove contracts and fees

Unlike ADT, Cove is contract-free. You can pay month-to-month for a professional monitoring plan and cancel anytime you want without penalties.

Cove also doesn’t charge for installation. It’s a DIY home security system, which means you’ll install the system yourself—no strangers in your house and no extra costs for setup.

ADT vs. Cove: Security equipment

The winner: ADT. ADT has a lot more equipment than Cove, but it’s less transparent about what’s on offer

ADT definitely has more security equipment than Cove. It’s the biggest name in home security and allows its customers to completely customize the equipment in ADT's service packages, so you can pretty much get whatever kind of sensor you need, including door and window sensors, carbon monoxide detectors, and motion detectors.

Cove’s options are a little bit more limited, but it still has everything you need to protect your home against potential intruders, fires, and floods.

You can also see exactly what equipment Cove and ADT have by checking the websites.

ADT vs. Cove: Smart home integrations

The winner: ADT. ADT has several smart home integrations, while Cove has only two limited options

ADT has a lot more smart home integrations than Cove. Cove has only two to speak of: Alexa and Google. And you can’t do much with either. All you can do with Cove’s smart home integrations is arm your system and check its status.

Cove smart home integrations: 

  • Google Assistant
  • Amazon Alexa

Compare that to ADT’s smart home integrations. ADT works with Alexa and Google, sure, but it also works with Z-Wave, which lets you add on compatible third-party devices. You can also use Kwikset smart locks and LiftMaster garage controls with your ADT system.

ADT smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Home
  • Z-Wave
  • Kwikset
  • LiftMaster

ADT vs. Cove: Customer service

The winner: Cove. Cove gets much better customer service scores than ADT does

This one’s barely a contest: Cove gets much better customer service scores than ADT does from both Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau. Cove scores an impressive 4.7 stars on Trustpilot, while ADT has a measly 1.4 stars.1,2,3,4

To be fair, ADT is much better known than Cove and a lot older, so it’s had more time to make people mad. But part of the problem is that ADT works through a bunch of different third-party dealers, so your customer experience totally depends on which distributor you use.

On the bright side, both Cove and ADT have good online resources and 24/7 customer support. You can reach either of them over the phone.

  • ADT customer service number: 800-716-3640
  • Cove customer service number: 855-268-3669

If you hate phone calls, ADT also has support available on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And Cove has live chat and email options.

ADT vs. Cove: Which is better?

We give ADT a slight win because it’s a well-known name with a long history of reliable, professional monitoring. But ADT is expensive. If you want something cheaper and you don’t care about smart home support, then Cove’s a great choice that will save you some cash.

  • Prices and monitoring plans: Cove. Cove is a lot cheaper than ADT, and it’s a lot more transparent with its pricing. ADT requires three-year contracts and you won't know exactly what you'll pay for everything until after installation.
  • Security equipment: ADT. ADT has more equipment on offer than Cove does. Cove has basic security sensors and equipment but fewer options overall.
  • Cameras: ADT. Both ADT and Cove’s cameras are mediocre, but some of ADT’s cameras have smart alerts. Cove’s cameras are cheaper, but they don’t have smart alerts.
  • Smart home integrations: ADT. ADT has a bunch of different smart home integrations. Cove has only a couple of smart home integrations, and they can’t do much.
  • Customer service: Cove. Cove gets much better customer service scores than ADT does. Cove’s a newer company that’s less well-known than ADT, but you’ll get more consistent service from Cove than from ADT’s confusing system of providers.

ADT and Cove home security comparison

Home security company
Starting price
Camera types
Smart home integrations
Details
ADT Shield

$28.99–$59.99/mo.

Indoor, outdoor, doorbell

Alexa, Google, Z-Wave

Cove

$17.99–$27.99/mo.

Indoor, outdoor

Alexa, Google

Data effective 4/25/2022. Offers are subject to change.

Methodology

We assess every security system on the same five criteria:

  • Price
  • Equipment
  • Home automation
  • Cameras
  • Customer service

We’ve worked with both Cove and ADT home security systems for years. We meet with brand representatives from both companies regularly to keep on top of products and services and make the best recommendations for most people.

ADT vs. Cove home security: FAQ

Does Cove work with Google Home?

Yes, Cove works with Google. But you can’t do much with the integration. All you can ask Google to do for you is arm your Cove system or check its status. You can’t disarm your Cove system through Google, and you can’t use Google smart displays to control anything.

Does ADT have a doorbell camera?

Yes, ADT has a basic doorbell camera with motion detection and 720p resolution. It’s not the best video doorbell out there. We’d recommend a bunch of other doorbell cameras over the ADT version any day.

Does Cove have a doorbell camera?

Yes. Cove offers two doorbell camera options: the Kami Doorbell Camera and the Skybell Doorbell Camera. With a price difference of about $100, the more expensive Skybell camera can withstand more extreme temperatures and has infrared night vision. The Kami camera is a more affordable option that includes many of the same features as the Skybell such as night vision (colored instead of infrared), two-way speech, and 1080p video.  

Sources

  1. Trustpilot, “ADT.” Accessed April 29, 2021.
  2. Trustpilot, “Cove.” Accessed April 28, 2021.
  3. Better Business Bureau, “ADT.” Accessed April 28, 2021.
  4. Better Business Bureau, “Cove.” Accessed April 28, 2021.
Mindy Woodall
Written by
Mindy Woodall
Mindy has been writing about technology for seven years. She covers all things smart home for Reviews.org, and keeps track of the latest robot gadgets. Mindy attended the University of Utah and her work has been featured on the likes of Parents.com, Digital Care, Hostfully, and more.

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