Cove vs. Vivint Home Security Systems 2021

We recommend Cove unless you want an amazing smart home setup

Best for Basics
Cove
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Check
    Monitoring price: $14.99–$24.99/mo.
  • Check
    Starter equipment price: $309.00
Best Professionally Installed
Vivint
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Check
    Monitoring price: $29.99–$44.99/mo.
  • Check
    Starter equipment price: $599.00
Brianne Sandorf
Staff Writer, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
Published on July 15, 2021
7 min read

When we pit DIY system Cove against professional giant Vivint, Cove is the unlikely winner. Although Cove doesn’t have the smart home automation or brand recognition that Vivint has, it’s less expensive and doesn’t have Vivint’s current reputation problems.

However, if you really want the best smart home setup money can buy, you’d be better off with Vivint in spite of its customer service issues.

Cove pros and cons
Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 24/7 customer service hours
Pro Bullet Affordable
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited camera selection
Vivint pros and cons
Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Major smart home automation
Pro Bullet Good camera selection
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Questionable reputation
Con Bullet Expensive

Cove vs. Vivint: Pricing and monitoring plans

Cove is the more affordable option by far

Cove and Vivint both offer proprietary equipment and professional monitoring for their home security systems. But despite these similarities, a Vivint system and monthly monitoring can cost twice as much as a Cove system and monthly monitoring.

Cove and Vivint home security comparison
Home security company
Monitoring price range
Base equipment package price
Monitoring type
Details
Cove

$14.99–$24.99/mo.

$309.00

Professional

Vivint

$29.99–$44.99/mo.

$599.00

Professional

Data effective 06/04/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Cove sells custom packages where you pick and choose the equipment you buy. The $309 price tag includes the control panel, a window sensor, a door sensor, and a motion detector.

Vivint’s starter kit is about $599, although you won’t see that price on the website since Vivint doesn’t share prices directly with the public. This starting package typically includes a control panel, two door sensors, a water sensor, and a motion detector.

Vivint prices
Money

We get why Vivint doesn’t widely share its prices. It’s one of the more expensive services out there, which could deter potential customers. But we don’t like that Vivint forces people to call in to get pricing.

Most industries are moving away from sales by call, and we think home security should too. Online ordering is more convenient for most people and more accessible for people with hearing loss, severe anxiety, and other disabilities.

Cove monitoring pricing

Cove’s prices are pretty standard in the DIY industry. Unfortunately, though, you have to pay for the more expensive plan for mobile app access and smart home support.

Still, Cove’s most expensive plan costs less than Vivint’s cheapest.

Cove monitoring plan prices
Plan
Price
Mobile app access
Smart home support
Learn more

Basic

$14.99/mo.

Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo

Plus

$24.99/mo.

Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 06/04/2021. Offers are subject to change.

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

Source: Cove

Vivint monitoring pricing

Like some of its other traditional home security counterparts, Vivint is quite expensive. And to get the best use from the system, you have to subscribe to the most expensive plan. Otherwise, you won’t get mobile app access, smart home support, or video storage.

Cove monitoring plan prices
Plan
Price
Mobile app access
Smart home support
Learn more

Smart Security

$29.99/mo.

Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo

Smart Home

$39.99/mo.

Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon No  DarkNo

Smart Home Video

$44.99/mo.

Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 06/04/2021. Offers are subject to change.

You’ll notice that the most expensive Vivint plan costs nearly twice the amount of the most expensive Cove plan. We can’t stress this enough: Vivint is not for folks who want to save money on their home security. If you want a bargain, Cove is the better choice.

Vivint Smart Home equipment in a line

Source: Vivint

To learn more, read How Much Does Vivint Cost?

Cove vs. Vivint: Security equipment

Cove’s equipment is much more affordable than Vivint’s, but it has better smart home connectivity

Although Cove and Vivint both make their own equipment, their focuses are very different.

Cove’s equipment is more basic, and the buyer installs it. Vivint has more advanced equipment, with a wider selection, and it only offers professional installation.

Cove and Vivint equipment pricing comparison
DeviceCoveVivint
Alarm panel/base station$249.00Price not given
Door/window sensor$15.00$50.00
Motion detector$30.00$100.00
Flood sensor$20.00$69.99
Glass break detector$35.00$100.00
Smoke/CO detector$55.00$100.00
Indoor camera$99.00$199.99
Outdoor camera$199.00$299.99
Medical pendant$20.00$34.99
Learn more

Data effective 06/04/2021. Offers are subject to change.

As you can see, Vivint’s equipment is massively more expensive than Cove’s. And Cove prices are much more in line with what we expect to see in home security: Vivint is an outlier.

However, Vivint equipment comes with some perks you won’t see with Cove. Vivint sells tons of smart home equipment in addition to the standard stuff you see in the table. Those items include locks, lights, garage door controllers, and thermostats. All of the equipment syncs directly with the system and can be controlled with the sophisticated Vivint app.

Cove, on the other hand, doesn’t really offer anything in the way of smart homes.

Cove vs. Vivint: Cameras

Vivint’s cameras are a step above Cove’s cameras

Neither Cove nor Vivint has exactly what we look for in security cameras. Cove’s cameras are low on features, but they’re more reasonably priced. Vivint’s cameras offer more extras, but they cost way more than good home security cameras should.

Unfortunately, as far as we know, neither of these systems connects to any other cameras. So if you want video coverage in your home security setup, you’re stuck buying what the companies sell.

Cove cameras

Cove doesn’t have much in the way of cameras. But the two cameras it sells have cloud and local storage, which is a plus.

The indoor camera also has baby crying detection.
Cove camera prices
Camera
Price
Power source
Storage type
Learn more

Indoor camera

$99.00

Plug

Cloud and local

Outdoor camera

$199.00

Batteries

Cloud and local

Data effective 06/04/2021. Offers are subject to change.

The camera prices are a little more expensive than we see with standalone cameras. While they aren’t outrageous, we don’t see all the features we’d like to justify the price tags.

Interestingly, Cove doesn’t make its cameras. It uses a manufacturer called YI, which offers its own storage plan structure.

YI Cloud storage plan price
Plan
Price
# days cloud storage
CVR
Learn more

7-day

$66.00/yr.

7

Icon No  DarkNo

15-day

$99.00/yr.

15

Icon No  DarkNo

30-day

$149.00/yr.

30

Icon No  DarkNo

30-day

$199.00/yr.

30

Icon Yes  DarkYes

30-day

$14.99/mo.

30

Icon No  DarkNo

30-day

$19.99/mo.

30

Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 06/04/2021. Offers are subject to change.

The 7-day plan is good for only one camera while the 15- and 30-day plans allow for up to five cameras. And the more cameras you have, the more cost-effective the plans are.

Vivint cameras

For not being a camera-centric company, Vivint has a rather robust camera line with an outstanding doorbell camera.

Vivint camera prices
Camera
Price
Power source
Storage type
Learn more

Indoor Camera

$199.99

Plug

Local and cloud

Outdoor Camera Pro

$299.99

Wired

Local and cloud

Doorbell Camera Pro

$249.99

Wired

Local and cloud

Data effective 06/04/2021. Offers are subject to change.

The highlights of these cameras are as follows:

  • The indoor camera offers one-button video calls to a preprogrammed number of your choice.
  • The outdoor camera has person detection and a feature called Smart Sentry that deters loiterers.
  • The doorbell camera has the outdoor Smart Sentry feature plus package detection and protection.

Vivint doesn’t sell separate camera plans. You need to subscribe to the $44.99-a-month Smart Home Video plan if you want a camera. And if you want more than one camera, you’ll need to pay $5 more per month for each camera you add.

It definitely gets expensive, but at least there’s a limit to the spending—you can only add up to five additional cameras for a grand total of six.

The Vivint cloud storage plan comes with 30 days of footage retention.

So how does that compare to the YI plans that Cove offers? Once again, Vivint comes up short on price. We ran the numbers, and any 15- or 30-day camera plan with Cove for five cameras is a better deal than getting six Vivint cameras.

Cove vs. Vivint: Smart home integrations

Vivint’s smart home setup far outstrips Cove’s

As mentioned, Cove doesn’t offer many smart home devices. And it doesn’t directly connect with many devices, either, just the two most popular smart home speakers.

Cove smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant

You can connect other devices to Amazon Echos and Google Homes, too, to create an indirect connection between those items and Cove. With just a few words to your speaker, you’ll be able to both arm your security system and perform other smart home functions.

However, you won’t be able to access any of those devices through your Cove app. You would need a direct connection, such as Z-Wave, to do that.

Vivint smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Z-Wave

Vivint has the direct Z-Wave connection that Cove lacks, opening up more smart home opportunities.

Vivint also has its own smart home feature that works similarly to IFTTT. You can use the app to create your own cause-and-effect smart chains (e.g. when the front door unlocks, the lights turn on).

Vivint has its own smart home feature.

Cove vs. Vivint: Customer experience

Unlike Cove, Vivint is under major fire for being unethical

Cove definitely wins here.

While Cove is still building its reputation and fan base, it offers unbeatable customer service hours (24/7) and doesn’t have a history of lawsuits like Vivint does.

Vivint, despite its amazing smart home offerings, has lost a lot of trust in the industry with shady sales tactics. It was slowly starting to build a better reputation, but a huge lawsuit in spring 2021 has once again set it back.¹

To reach either Cove or Vivint, call their customer support phone numbers or make use of their live text chat features.

  • Cove customer service number: +1-877-456-2683
  • Vivint customer service number: +1-800-216-5232

Cove vs. Vivint: Which is better?

If you want standard security for an affordable price and aren’t a smart home junkie, Cove is right for you. But if an amazing smart home setup matters to you, try Vivint.

  • Prices and monitoring plans: Cove. Cove offers far better prices for its monitoring services than Vivint does.
  • Security equipment: Vivint’s the best of the best, but it charges an arm and a leg, while Cove charges more modest prices for its equipment.
  • Cameras: Vivint’s three cameras are state-of-the-art, while Cove offers two basic cameras.
  • Smart home integrations: Vivint’s use of Z-Wave and its own smart home functions put it far ahead of Cove’s smart speaker-only compatibility.
  • Customer service: Cove pulls ahead in this category by default since Vivint’s customer service reputation has taken a big hit.
Cove and Vivint home security comparison
Home security company
Monitoring price range
Base equipment package price
Camera models
Details
Cove

$14.99–$24.99/mo.

$309.00

Indoor, outdoor

Vivint

$29.99–$44.99/mo.

$599.00

Indoor, outdoor, doorbell

Data effective 06/04/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Methodology

Comparing security systems is no easy feat. We’ve broken our comparison points down into the five following categories:

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

We’ve spent a lot of time testing the Vivint system and have done thorough research on both Cove and Vivint. All of our conclusions can be backed up by findings from our testing and research.

Cove vs. Vivint home security: FAQ

Have questions? We’ll answer.

Do I need a video doorbell?

You don’t absolutely have to have a video doorbell, especially if you have a backyard- or hallway-facing apartment door. But if your front door faces the street or your driveway, we strongly encourage you to get one.

Doorbell cameras are a great way to keep track of visitors, package deliveries, and any crimes that might occur on or near your property.

At this time, Cove doesn’t offer a video doorbell, although Vivint has a great one.

Or, if you want a system with lots of doorbell camera options, try Ring. Ring video doorbells are some of the best on the market.

What are the benefits of a smart smoke alarm?

Both Cove and Vivint offer smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarm options.

These smart devices do everything that a typical smoke or CO alarm would do plus give you a notification on your phone. You’ll know immediately that something is amiss.

Sources

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

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