Cove vs. Ring Alarm Home Security Systems 2021

When it comes to Cove vs. Ring, we land on Ring’s side … for the most part.
Best for Basics
Monitoring price: $14.99–$24.99/mo.
Starter equipment price: $309.00
Best Budget Buy
Monitoring price: $0.00–$10.00/mo.
Starter equipment price: $199.99

Time for a Cove Security vs. Ring Alarm home security showdown!

While we generally recommend Ring over Cove, your choice will depend on where your priorities lie. Ring saves money and is extremely convenient, but Cove doesn’t have Ring’s bad rap.

Cove pros and cons

Pros

  • Unique emergency response features
  • No Wi-Fi reliance
  • Continuous video recording

Cons

  • Paid app
  • Limited camera options

Ring pros and cons

Pros

  • Low monitoring price
  • Free app access
  • Unlimited camera options
  • Cellular backup

Cons

  • Controversial

Cove vs. Ring Alarm pricing and monitoring plans

Ring’s price squeaks ahead of Cove

Cove and Ring both have reasonable costs, although at this time, Ring offers more bang for your buck with monitoring and package prices.

Cove and Ring home security comparison
Home security companyMonitoring price rangeBase equipment package priceMonitoring typeDetails
Cove logo$14.99–$24.99/mo.$309.00ProfessionalView Plans
Ring logo$0.00–$10.00/mo.$199.99Self, professionalView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/27/2021 3:00 MST)

Price Tag icon
Kit costs
Cove equipment is frequently on sale. You can typically get your touch alarm panel, door sensor, window sensor, and motion detector for much less than the non-sale price of $300+.

Ring, on the other hand, has started selling packages for even less than $200, but for the bare necessities, we still recommend starting with the five-piece kit.

Cove monitoring pricing

Cove’s monitoring is not a bad deal. It’s far less than monitoring with traditional home security companies like ADT or Vivint, and it’s right on the level with popular DIY offering SimpliSafe.

Cove monitoring plan prices
PlanPriceMobile app accessSmart home support Learn more
Basic$14.99/mo.

No

No
View Plans
Plus$24.99/mo.

Yes

Yes
View Plans

Data effective 05/27/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Both plans come with Cove innovations.

Both plans come with Cove innovations, like the following:

  • TripleTouch (alerts through three different communication methods)
  • InstaText (quick text responsiveness)
  • LiveAssist (live voice help through your alarm panel)

But to take full advantage of the smart security setup, you have to pay for the Plus plan. Otherwise, you won’t get smartphone control or smart home integration.

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

Source: Cove

Megaphone icon
RapidSOS
Cove uses a system called RapidSOS, which supposedly makes its response times faster than other DIY security systems. We aren’t sure of the veracity of this claim, and it would be difficult to prove or disprove.

Ring monitoring pricing

We call Ring the “best budget buy.” By that, we mean that Ring is your avenue to get as much out of your security as possible while spending as little money as possible. And yes, that applies to monitoring too.

With Ring, you can even choose to self-monitor for free.
Ring Alarm monitoring plan prices
PlanPriceMobile app accessSmart home support Monitoring type
Protect$0.00/mo.

Yes

No
View on Amazon
Protect Plus$10.00/mo. OR $100.00/yr.

Yes

No
View on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/27/2021 3:00 MST)

The Protect Plus plan is one of the best deals we’ve seen in the home security space. You get a $20 discount if you sign up for a year at a time, and the cost includes cloud storage for unlimited Ring cameras.

But even if you just go for the Protect plan, you’re getting mobile app control, smart home integration, and the option for self-monitoring. In short, Ring offers for $0 what Cove charges $25 for.

Ring equipment

Source: Ring

Cove vs. Ring Alarm: Security equipment

These companies are fairly evenly matched when it comes to standard security equipment

Both these companies offer proprietary equipment, except for Cove’s cameras, which we’ll talk about in a minute. And both have prices roughly in the same ballpark (with the exception of Cove’s alarm panel, which of late has gone up in cost significantly).

The biggest equipment difference is probably the companies’ approaches to system connectivity.

Cove equipment uses cellular signals and doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi. That’s good if you worry about loss of Wi-Fi connection but bad if you live in an area with poor AT&T cellular coverage.

Ring, on the other hand, uses a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection to work. If your base station loses its internet signal for whatever reason, its cellular backup will keep your alarm system functioning.

Info Box icon
If my Wi-Fi loses connection, will my security system be disconnected?
Not necessarily. Like Ring and Cove, most Wi-Fi-based security systems have a cellular backup in case of network outage. See our wireless system FAQ to learn more.
Cove and Ring equipment pricing comparison
DeviceCoveRing
Alarm panel/base station$249.00Starts at $159.99 with minimal package
Door/window sensor$15.00$19.99
Motion detector$30.00$29.99
Flood sensor$20.00$69.98 for 2
Panic button$20.00$34.99
Indoor camera$99.00$59.99
Outdoor camera$199.00$199.99
Learn moreView PlansView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/27/2021 3:00 MST)

What you see here isn’t everything. Cove offers more products that don’t have Ring equivalents, such as the following:

Ring also sells some useful accessories, including the following items:

Cove vs. Ring Alarm: Cameras

Cove can’t compete with Ring’s thorough lineup

Cove’s cameras aren’t bad, but compared to Ring’s extensive selection, they don’t measure up—especially when you compare the camera plans.

Cove cameras

Cove used to sell just one camera, which is produced by YI. But good news! The company’s website now offers an outdoor camera as well.

Cove camera prices
CameraPricePower sourceStorage typeLearn more
Indoor camera$99.00PlugCloud and localView Plans
Outdoor camera$199.00BatteriesCloud and localView Plans

Data effective 05/27/2021. Offers are subject to change.

The YI indoor camera is a plug-in option with both cloud and local storage. It also includes person detection and baby crying detection, which makes it a good option for a baby camera or pet camera.

The outdoor camera looks like it may also be a Kami/YI offering, though we aren’t certain. That one includes a 140° field of view, “enhanced” night vision, and two-way audio.

Both cameras have motion detection.

Although these cameras come from a separate manufacturer, both work with the Cove app.

However, Cove doesn’t sell its own camera storage. If you get a camera from Cove, you can choose to sign up for YI Cloud. Or you can just use an SD card to take advantage of the local storage feature.

Cove camera prices
PlanPrice# days cloud storageCVRLearn more
7-day$66.00/yr.7

No
View Plans
15-day$99.00/yr.15

No
View Plans
30-day$149.00/yr.30

No
View Plans
30-day$199.00/yr.30

Yes
View Plans
30-day$14.99/mo.30

No
View Plans
30-day$19.99/mo.30

Yes
View Plans

Data effective 05/27/2021. Offers are subject to change.

All YI camera plans work with up to five cameras. When you reach the 30-day threshold, you have the option to pay monthly instead of yearly. You also have the option of adding continuous video recording (CVR), which is a standout feature for YI.

These plans aren’t the worst deal we’ve seen, but they definitely can’t compare with unlimited camera plans like Ring’s.

Ring cameras

Ring makes just about every kind of camera imaginable! Instead of talking about every single one, we created an abbreviated table that highlights three products: the Indoor Cam, the Spotlight Cam (outdoor), and the Video Doorbell Pro.

Cove camera prices
CameraPricePower sourceStorage typeLearn more
Indoor Cam$59.99PlugCloudView on Amazon
Spotlight Cam$199.99Battery/wired/solarCloudView on Amazon
Video Doorbell Pro$169.99WiredCloudView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/27/2021 3:00 MST)

All three of these cameras come with two-way talk, night vision, and motion detection. And they integrate seamlessly with the security system app, creating a quick and easy way to check your entire setup.

Ring cameras don’t have local storage, requiring users to purchase a cloud video storage plan. These plans are a lot more cost-effective than YI’s—they offer storage for more cameras and more days at lower prices. But it would be nice to also have local storage like YI does.

Ring Alarm cloud storage plan price
PlanPrice# days cloud storage# camerasLearn more
Basic$3.00/mo. OR $30.00/yr.601View on Amazon
Protect Plus$10.00/mo. OR $100.00/yr.60UnlimitedView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/27/2021 3:00 MST)

You might notice that there’s some crossover between the Ring monitoring plans and the cloud storage. That’s because the Protect Plus plan covers the camera storage and system monitoring. It’s a super good deal!

Cove vs. Ring Alarm: Smart home integrations

Ring offers more options for home automation than Cove

Cove’s home automation isn’t quite to the level we like to see, while Ring has better-than-average connectivity.

Cove smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant

This isn’t a lot of automation, but it does allow you to control your Cove smart security system through your smart speakers.

Also, the YI cameras don’t work with Google Assistant, curtailing your options for connecting your cameras with the rest of your smart home.

Ring smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Z-Wave
  • IFTTT

Ring’s automation is definitely a step up over Cove’s.

The addition of Z-Wave creates direct compatibility between the Ring Alarm system and other smart home devices. And IFTTT is a popular platform for cause-and-effect chains, adding even more smart home possibilities.

Additionally, Ring has some in-house smart home equipment, like its smart light options. Cove doesn’t have anything like that yet.

Cove vs. Ring Alarm: Customer experience

Cove doesn’t have a ton of fans, but its reputation is much shinier than Ring’s

Cove is newer and smaller than a lot of security companies, and it’s still building its customer base. As an infant company, it doesn’t seem to generate a lot of enthusiasm—or ire. It’s just not getting as much attention and customer reviews as some of the other security systems.

For those who try the system and run into snags, the customer service department responds to both emails and phone calls.

Ring, on the other hand, has people who super love it and people who super hate it. There’s good reason for that. Ring’s accessible, inexpensive, and relatively easy to use. But it’s also embroiled in tons of unsavory issues.¹

In addition to its customer support phone number, Ring has a help center and an extensive community forum.

  • Cove customer service number: 877-456-2683
  • Ring customer service number: 800-984-1596

Cove vs. Ring Alarm: Which is better?

In the showdown between these two systems, we have to say Ring is the better choice overall.

  • Prices and monitoring plans: Ring. Overall, you’ll spend less money with Ring than you will with Cove.
  • Security equipment: Both Ring and Cove make their own devices at affordable prices. And while Ring may actually be the cheapest home security offering out there, Cove isn’t much more expensive.
  • Cameras: Ring has a larger camera selection with more features and a better monitoring plan than Cove.
  • Smart home integrations: The addition of Z-Wave and IFTTT compatibility make Ring a better automation option than Cove.
  • Customer service: Cove’s reputation is fairly neutral with few complaints, while Ring has become majorly controversial.

But all these points withstanding, for many folks, Ring’s reputation alone is a good reason to go with Cove or with something else entirely.

Of course, these aren’t your only options. There are other inexpensive DIY systems out there. Learn more about additional alternatives in our Best Home Security Systems Review.

Cove and Ring home security comparison
Home security companyMonitoring price rangeBase equipment package priceCamera modelsDetails
Cove logo$14.99–$24.99/mo.$309.00Indoor, outdoorView Plans
Ring logo$0.00–$10.00/mo.$199.99Indoor, outdoor, doorbellView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/27/2021 3:00 MST)

Methodology

We give a score to the following features to figure out each system’s final star rating:

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

In our versus pieces, the highest-rated system doesn’t always emerge victorious. If one of the systems is really good at something, we might pick it over its competitor, even if it didn’t shine in every area.

Cove vs. Ring Alarm home security: FAQ

We’ve got answers to a few questions that may have popped up in your mind.

Do I need CVR with my security cameras?

No, but it’s nice to have.

Continuous video recording captures everything that happens whether there’s a motion alert or not. That way, if your camera’s motion detection misses something (which happens from time to time), you’ll still have footage.

Is DIY home security better than ADT?

It’s not necessarily better, just different.

DIY security tends to be less time-consuming, more affordable, and more customizable than a professional system like ADT. But there are pros to using a more traditional installer, like experience, expertise, and professional monitoring with every package.

Learn more in the Best Professionally Installed Security Systems.

Sources

  1. Rachel Cericola, Wirecutter, “Ring Neighbors Is the Best and Worst Neighborhood Watch App,” March 3, 2021. Accessed June 2, 2021.