Cove Home Security Review 2019

Cove’s totally DIY system has a lot of thoughtful features, but home automation isn’t really an option.
Cove logo
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Affordable pricing
Easy installation
Limited smart home integrations

Cove is a serious up-and-comer as a DIY security system. We know, we know, there are so many DIY systems out there that it’s hard to keep track. But we were actually pretty impressed with Cove’s features. Plus, it gives you some impressively designed equipment at the same price you’d pay for a SimpliSafe system.

Its website could use some work, and Cove doesn’t really offer any smart home integrations (yet). But we see promise in this little company.

Cove plans and pricing overview
CompanyMonitoring price rangeContractHome automation integrationsLearn more
Cove$14.99–$24.99/mo.NoneLimitedView System

Cove monitoring and pricing

Cove’s pricing is one of its best features. Both its equipment and its monitoring are pretty affordable.

If you’re looking for a self-monitored system, then this one’s not for you. Cove backs up its systems with professional monitoring (which we think is better anyway). And it’s still way more affordable than what you’d see from ADT or Vivint.

Cove monitoring plans
PlanPriceContract lengthLearn more
Cove Basic$14.99/mo.NoneView System
Cove Plus$24.99/mo.NoneView System

There are a few differences between Cove’s monitoring plans. Cove Basic gives you professional monitoring and a one-year equipment warranty, but you don’t get smartphone control unless you subscribe to Cove Plus.

We don’t like when security companies make you subscribe to the higher-priced plan to get smartphone control. (SimpliSafe does it, too). It feels . . . sneaky.

That said, Cove Plus also gives you a lifetime equipment warranty and a monthly equipment credit you can save over time for upgrading your devices down the road. That’s honestly a pretty good deal.

Cove Basic features:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • One-year equipment warranty

Cove Plus features:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Smartphone control
  • Lifetime equipment warranty
  • Voice assistant support (Google Home and Amazon Alexa)
  • Lifetime rate-lock guarantee (for monitoring)
  • $5-per-month equipment credit (rolls over from month to month)

That extra $10 per month for Cove Plus doesn’t seem so bad now.

Contracts

Technically, Cove doesn’t do contracts. But it does let you pay off some of your equipment costs over 36 months if you don’t want to shell out the big bucks to buy it all up front.

Your costs get a little less predictable when you do this because you have to opt into a higher monitoring plan rate, plus you might still pay some of the cost of your equipment up front—kind of like a down payment.

Cove lists all the costs before you place your order, so you won’t be going in blind. And you can still cancel your service anytime—you just have to pay off your remaining equipment costs first.

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How much more is the monitoring plan?
If you opt to pay for your equipment over time, the monitoring price goes up to $25 per month for Cove Basic and $35 per month for Cove Plus.

Cove technology and equipment

Cove’s equipment has some top-notch features, especially considering its price.

Cove’s equipment doesn’t look very DIY—it looks more like something you’d get from a traditional security provider, like ADT or Link Interactive.

Cove control panel

Source: Cove

Cove gives you a touchscreen control panel that lets you talk to the monitoring center right through the screen. (That’s a feature we’ve only seen from a few other companies, like Vivint.) The monitoring center can also send you text messages or call you if someone triggers your system.

Basic security equipment

Cove has a full range of basic security sensors, and they’re all super affordable. You’d pay the exact same price if you went with SimpliSafe, but we think Cove’s equipment looks a little more high-end (especially that panel).

Cove basic security equipment
EquipmentPrice
Entry sensor$15
Motion detector$30
Smoke/heat/freeze detector$30
Flood sensor$20
Glass break detector$35
Carbon monoxide detector$50
Panic/medical alert button$20
Touch alarm panel$184
Key fob$25
Learn moreView System

Cameras

Cove doesn’t have its own cameras—instead, it offers a Yi indoor model. Yi’s not one of the best security cameras we’ve seen, but it does give you some of those gotta-have features, like HD resolution and night vision.

Cove camera specifications
FeaturesYi Indoor Camera
Inside/outsideInside
Resolution1080p
Field of vision112º
Digital zoom4x
Two-way talkYes
Night visionYes
Free cloud storageNone*
Learn moreView System

* Camera does include microSD slot for free local storage. MicroSD card not included. 

We’d love to see better cameras from Cove, especially an outdoor camera and maybe even a doorbell cam. (That’s one thing SimpliSafe has that Cove doesn’t.)

Home automation

Yet another SimpliSafe comparison—Cove has virtually no smart home features. If you opt for the Cove Plus monitoring plan, then you do get Google Home and Amazon Alexa integration, but that’s about it. No Z-Wave, no Zigbee, no smart home devices.

Cove’s still a pretty new company, so hopefully it’ll introduce smart home options down the line. In the meantime, if you want smart home stuff, you’re better off with something like Abode.

Mobile app

Cove does have a mobile app you can use to control your system and get alerts. Just remember, you have to subscribe to Cove Plus (the higher-priced monitoring plan) to get app access.

If we ran the world, mobile apps would always come standard. But unfortunately, Cove’s not the only one who wants you to pay a bit more for smartphone control.

Installation

Cove is a totally do-it-yourself system, but it does make installation a little easier by preconfiguring your system before it ships out to you.

Cove entry sensor

Source: Cove

You can name your sensors during the ordering process, so that when your system arrives, you can just put them in the right place and you’re good to go.

Cove’s panel set-up is also super easy—when we tried it out, it took just a few minutes to test all the sensors and connect the panel to Cove’s monitoring center.

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Pro tip
Cove has a bunch of instructional videos on YouTube that tell you how to set up everything from the panel to the key fob. We think the system’s easy enough to install that you won’t even need videos, but they’re there if you do.

Cove customer experience

Cove gets excellent customer reviews, and its support resources make it easy to figure out issues.

Customers seem to have nothing but good things to say about Cove. It gets five stars on Trustpilot,1 and Cove definitely knows that people want options for support, so you can contact Cove through phone, email, chat, or social media.

Also, you can order your equipment entirely online, or you can have a rep help you figure out what you need. Remember, Cove has a ton of resources on YouTube to help customers install equipment and troubleshoot issues.

Our only real complaint is that Cove’s website could use a refresh. You’ll notice some things like blurry equipment photos—and, at least for us, there were a couple of points where we were confused about how to adjust our cart. But all in all, Cove’s customer experience is pretty good.

Recap

Cove isn’t quite the DIY security leader, at least not yet. We like its system overall, but we’re just waiting on home automation.

Cove is a hybrid offering between the kind of equipment you’d get from a bigger security company like Frontpoint and the prices you’d get from a company like SimpliSafe.

We could really use more home automation options from Cove, and we’d like to see better cameras as well. But from a new company just starting out, we’re already pretty impressed with where it’s headed.

  • Monitoring and pricing: Cove gives you two monitoring plan options, and both are pretty affordable. And, if you opt for Cove Plus, you get some great benefits like equipment credits and a lifetime warranty.
  • Basic security equipment: Cove has the full range of basic security equipment, and we especially like its touchscreen control panel.
  • Cameras: Cove offers only one camera right now (the Yi Indoor Camera). We’d like to see more and better camera options from Cove, especially a doorbell camera.
  • Home automation integrations: Cove has almost no smart home integrations, although you can get Amazon Alexa and Google Home support if you opt for the Cove Plus monitoring plan.
  • Installation: Cove is purely DIY installation, but it’s pretty easy. The equipment comes partially set up for you and Cove has lots of support resources.
  • Customer experience: Customers seem to like Cove. It gets good reviews, and Cove makes it super easy to contact its customer support team.

Do you use a DIY home security system, or do you prefer professionally installed equipment? Which one do you think is better? Have you tried Cove out for yourself? Let us know in the comments!

Sources

1. Trustpilot, “Cove