ADT vs. Cove Home Security 2021

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

ADT

Monthly price: $27.99–$62.99/mo.
Starter equipment price: Included in monitoring price
Best for Basics

Cove

Monthly price: $14.99–$24.99/mo.
Starter equipment price: $294.00

Author bio: Mindy Woodall, Home Security Editorial Lead

Last updated: May 6, 2021

Table of Contents

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, we recommend ADT because of its long reputation and superior smart home features. 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, and it’s not at all transparent about its pricing. It’s hard to say how much ADT equipment costs because ADT doesn’t release that information.

ADT and Cove home security comparison
Home security companyMonitoring price rangeInstallation typeContract lengthDetails
ADT SafeStreets logo$27.99–$62.99/mo.Professional3 yearsView Plans
Cove logo$14.99–$24.99/mo.DIYNo contractView Plans

Data effective 4/28/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Cove, on the other hand, keeps things 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 with a landline connection, then you’ll pay a lot less than you would for the premium ADT Command option.

ADT monitoring plans
PlanPriceCellular backupSmart home supportLearn more
Essentials$27.99/mo. NoNoView Plans
Complete Monitoring Bundle$36.99/mo.NoNoView Plans
Premium Bundle II + Cellguard$44.99/mo. NoNoView Plans
ADT Command Tier I Remote Access$52.99/mo.NoNoView Plans
ADT Command Tier II Video Security$58.99/mo.YesNoView Plans
ADT Command Tier III Video Security + Home Automation$62.99/mo.YesYesView Plans

Data effective 4/28/2021. Offers are subject to change.

We don’t recommend landline security systems like ADT’s Essentials plan unless you live somewhere rural with no reliable internet or cell signal.

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 plans are its ADT Command plans. ADT Command plans come with a cellular connection, mobile app control, home automation features, and security camera support. But if you want all the top features, then you have to choose the top ADT Command plan, which is also the most expensive.

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.

Those aren’t the only fees you have to pay with ADT. You also have to pay an installation fee of anywhere from $99 to $299 depending on what system you get.

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
PlanPriceMobile app accessSmart home supportLearn more
Basic$14.99/mo. NoNoView Plans
Plus$24.99/mo. YesYesView Plans

Data effective 4/28/2021. 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 Interactive 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, 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 has just by checking its website. You can look at all the sensor options and choose the ones you want. With ADT, you have to call in to find out what equipment they have and how much it costs. No online ordering here.

ADT vs. Cove: Cameras

The winner: ADT. ADT has a doorbell camera, but Cove doesn’t

ADT’s security cameras are a bit better than Cove’s, but not by much. We mainly give ADT the win because it has a doorbell camera, and Cove doesn’t. But honestly, neither of these companies’ security cameras are our favorite.

For better outdoor or indoor security cameras than either ADT or Cove can give you, we recommend brands like Arlo and Eufy.

ADT cameras

ADT has a basic selection of indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras. It has one model of each, and all of them are pretty simple. For example, the ADT Doorbell Camera records in 720p resolution, when pretty much everyone and their mom has been making 1080p security cameras for years.

ADT camera comparison
CameraPricePower sourceStorage typeLearn more
ADT Doorbell CameraQuote required720pNoneView Plans
ADT Pro HD Outdoor CameraQuote required1080pPeople, pets, vehiclesView Plans
ADT Pro HD Indoor CameraQuote required1080pPeople, pets, vehiclesView Plans

Data effective 4/28/2021. Offers are subject to change.

ADT’s indoor and outdoor security cameras do have some smart alerts, which is nice. The cameras can tell you when they spot people or animals. The outdoor camera can also identify vehicles, which is useful if you only want alerts about humans and not every car that drives down your street.

ADT indoor camera on a table

Image source: ADT

None of ADT’s cameras are wireless, so be prepared to string some power cords around, no matter which one you choose.

Cove cameras

Cove security cameras are almost on par with ADT’s options. It doesn’t have a doorbell camera, but it does have an indoor camera and an outdoor camera.

Cove camera comparison
CameraPricePower sourceStorage typeLearn more
Cove Indoor Camera$99.00Power cordLocal storage and cloud storageView Plans
Cove Outdoor Camera$199.00BatteryLocal storage and cloud storageView Plans

Data effective 4/28/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Cove Outdoor Camera

Cove’s security cameras don’t have smart alerts. They can’t tell the difference between people, cars, and pets. But they do have both local and cloud storage, so you can choose to store footage locally on a microSD card and skip paying for a cloud storage plan.

Cove’s outdoor camera is also wireless. It runs on battery power and doesn’t need any extra cords, which makes it really easy to install.

Cove claims the outdoor camera lasts about six months on a single charge.

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 Assistant
  • Z-Wave
  • Kwikset
  • LiftMaster

ADT + Google partnership

ADT announced a partnership with Google in 2020. You can now buy Google Nest smart speakers and displays directly from ADT and have them professionally installed along with your security system.

Google smart displays, like the Google Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, also let you control your ADT system using the touchscreen. With the Google Nest Mini smart speaker, you can still control your ADT system, but with voice only.

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 4.8 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.

Bullhorn icon
We recommend ADT SafeStreets
Of all the many ADT providers out there, we recommend going through SafeStreets. SafeStreets gets excellent customer service ratings. (It has 4.9 stars on Trustpilot, which is even better than Cove.)

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, and it doesn’t have great cameras. 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 hides its equipment and monitoring prices, and it requires three-year contracts and installation fees.
  • 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, and it offers a doorbell camera. Cove’s cameras don’t have smart alerts, and it doesn’t have a doorbell camera.
  • Smart home integrations: ADT. ADT has a bunch of different smart home integrations, including a close partnership with Google. 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 companyMonitoring price rangeCamera typesSmart home integrationsDetails
ADT SafeStreets logo$27.99–$62.99/mo.Indoor, outdoor, doorbellAlexa, Google, Z-WaveView Plans
Cove logo$14.99–$24.99/mo.Indoor, outdoorAlexa, GoogleView Plans

Data effective 4/28/2021. 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 ADT work with Google Home?

Yes, in fact, ADT has a direct partnership with Google. You can order Google Nest products directly from ADT, and you can use Google smart displays (like the Nest Hub) to control your ADT system.

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?

No, Cove does not currently offer a doorbell camera. And it doesn’t integrate with any cameras from other brands, so you can’t add them to your Cove system.

Sources

  1. Trustpilot, “ADT.” Accessed April 28, 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.
  5. Trustpilot, “SafeStreets.” Accessed April 28, 2021.