Cox Home Security Review

Cox is a smart home automation system you can bundle with your home internet (and cable TV, and phone line)

Cox
cox
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • con
    Price: $20.00–$40.00/mo.
  • pro
    Smart home control
  • pro
    Professional installation
  • con
    No Alexa or Google integration
  • con
    No doorbell camera
Mindy Woodall
Feb 27, 2024
Icon Time To Read7 min read

Cox is similar to ADT and Vivint home security systems, except that it’s cheaper, and you can bundle it with your home internet plan—assuming your home internet plan is from Cox Communications.

We like Cox's smart home devices and range of security equipment. But you will have to pay a bit extra for Cox's professional installation (no DIY option here), and its monitoring service isn’t the cheapest one out there.

Is Cox right for you?

Cox is a good option for existing Cox internet or cable TV customers. It costs more than ultra-affordable DIY security systems like SimpliSafe, but bundling it with your other home services could save you some cash on your overall bill.

We particularly like Cox's array of smart home devices. You can connect everything from smart light bulbs and locks to your Cox system, and you can even get a cool voice-controlled remote that works on both your smart home and your Cox cable TV. Just know it won’t work with your Alexa or Google smart speakers.

pro
Pros
pro Good smart home integrations
pro Voice control through Contour remote
pro Professional installation
con
Cons
con No Alexa or Google integration
con Limited camera selection
con Restricted availability
Heads Up
Cox isn’t available everywhere

Cox is currently available in only 19 states.1 Check our ZIP coverage tool to see if you’re in a service area before you get your heart set on Cox.

Cox monitoring plan comparison
Monitoring planAutomationSecurity
Price
$20.00
/mo
$40.00
/mo
24/7 professional monitoringNoYes
Mobile app accessYesYes
Smart home integrationsYesYes
Text or email alertsYesYes
Environmental monitoring (smoke, flood, etc.)NoYes
Details

Data effective 2/8/22. Offers subject to change.

We recommend the Security plan

Cox has two different plans: Automation and Security. We recommend the Security plan, even though it costs twice as much per month as the Automation plan. The bigger hit to your wallet is worth it in exchange for 24/7 professional monitoring.

Professional monitoring is the service that keeps an eye on your house, day and night, in case someone tries to break in or in case your 12-year-old caught the kitchen on fire trying to make scrambled eggs (again). Professional monitoring reps are going to be the ones calling first responders for you.

The cheaper Automation plan works for people who want smart home features and not much else. But if you want a more full-fledged, pro-monitored home automation system, then the Security plan is where it’s at.

Cox pricing and monitoring

Cox is middle-ground as far as pricing goes. You’ll pay more for Cox professional monitoring than you would for DIY brands like SimpliSafe, Abode, or Cove, but compared to other professionally installed systems, Cox looks downright affordable.

Cox monitoring plan features comparison
Plan
Price
Smart home features
Security features
Learn more
Automation
$20.00
/mo
Mobile app control, camera supportStarter kit
Security
$40.00
/mo
Mobile app control, camera support Starter kit, touchscreen control panel, 24/7 pro monitoring

Data effective 2/8/22. Offers subject to change.

If you opt for the Cox Automation plan, you’ll have to monitor your security system yourself. Automation gives you smart home support for smart stuff like lights and locks, but you won’t have any pros watching your security system if something (or someone) trips a sensor.

We think $20 per month is a bit pricey for a smart-home-only plan. But even Cox's more expensive $40-per-month plan will save you money over an ADT or Vivint home security system.

Cox also includes starter equipment in its monitoring plan pricing, so you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars just to get things like basic entry sensors and a control panel. For comparison, Vivint’s starter equipment pack costs almost $600.

Cox security equipment

Cox's security equipment is pretty basic. If you opt for the Security plan, Cox offers a touchscreen control panel, which looks nicer than the basic keypad. Other than that, Cox's entry sensors, motion detectors, and smoke detectors aren’t going to be winning any design awards. They’re built for function, not beauty.

Cox package comparison
Package
Price
Security equipment
Smart devices
Learn more
Automation Starter EquipmentIncluded with Automation plan*1 indoor/outdoor camera, 1 entry sensor1 smart bulb
Security & Automation Starter EquipmentIncluded with Security plan*1 indoor/outdoor camera, 1 motion sensor, 2 entry sensorsNone
Digital Home Starter Kit$200.002 indoor/outdoor cameras, 1 motion sensor, 2 entry sensors3 smart bulbs

Data effective 2/8/22. Offers subject to change.

* Included with qualifying credit

Cox also keeps its equipment selection simple. You won’t find any specialized sensors here, like stovetop or pool-cover sensors. But if you live in an average house or apartment and just want to protect your entry doors and windows, then Cox has what you need.

Cox Homelife Touchscreen

Image source: Cox 

Cox security equipment:

  • Door/window sensor
  • Garage door sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Glass break sensor
  • Smoke detector
  • Water and flood sensor
  • Digital keypad
  • Touchscreen control panel

Cox cameras

Cox doesn’t have the most versatile camera selection around. We consider a complete camera lineup to include at least one option each for an indoor, outdoor, and doorbell camera. Cox has one camera you can use either indoors or out, but that’s about it.

The one camera Cox does have isn’t anything to write home about. Sure, it has basic camera features like night vision, HD resolution, IP54 weather rating, and motion detection. But compared to the smart features you’d get from high-end security cameras like Arlo, Eufy, or Wyze, the Cox camera is B-list at best.

If cameras are really important to you, then we recommend getting an indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cam setup from a different brand. It won’t integrate with your Cox system and you’ll have to use a different app, but it’s worth it if you want the best view on multiple points of your property. Check out our Best Security Cameras review for options.

That said, if you just want a basic camera you can use to check on your dog while you’re at work or keep an eye on your kids when they’re left with the babysitter, then the Cox HD camera will do the job.

Cox Homelife Camera

Cox home automation

Smart home integrations are where Cox shines. You can control your smart home devices from the Cox mobile app. The mobile app also lets you set up scenes, which is where you can make rules for a bunch of smart home devices to work together.

For example, you can set up a good morning scene where your smart lights turn on, your smart plug turns on your coffee maker, and your smart thermostat warms up your house.

Cox smart home devices:

  • Smart LED light bulb
  • Smart plug
  • Smart thermostat
  • Smart door lock

Even though we don’t recommend Cox's smart-home-only plan as highly as we do its full security monitoring plan, we do like that Cox gives you the option to pay less if you don’t really care about security sensors.

And if you do care about security sensors, those can work with your Cox home automation system. You could set a rule where if your front door opens, your living room lights turn on to light your way. Pretty sweet stuff. 

One big downside: no Alexa or Google integration

Before you buy into the Cox smart ecosystem, you should know that it doesn’t work with your favorite smart assistants. Cox doesn’t currently offer an Alexa or Google integration. And no, Siri fans, it doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit either.

You can control your smart home system with your voice if you have the Cox Contour voice control remote. But if you don’t subscribe to Cox’s cable TV service, then you’re a bit out of luck.

Cox Contour remote = privacy win
Info Box

We don't love Cox's lack of Alexa and Google integrations, but there is a privacy benefit to using Cox's Contour remote for voice control instead. 

The Contour remote is push-button activated, so it's not constantly listening to your conversations and reporting all your secrets to Amazon. 

Cox installation

Good news for the, uh, work-avoidant among us: Cox is professionally installed. You don’t have to spend your Saturday afternoon deciphering instructions and putting up sticky tape. Cox will send a bonafide pro to do all the dirty work for you.

Professional installation is nice because that installation tech is also a home security expert. They can point out which areas of your home are most important to protect and recommend specific products for specific spaces.

That said, every extra piece of equipment you add on to your installation will cost more money since only the basic starter pack is included in Cox’s monitoring prices. So don’t go too wild without checking how much your final cost will be.

Cox customer experience

Like a lot of internet service companies, Cox doesn’t get high marks for customer support. Judging by Trustpilot, Cox customers have complaints about everything from their internet service performance to customer service.2

That said, most Cox complaints aren’t about its system, and Cox has a pretty impressive library of resources on YouTube and its website for troubleshooting and answering questions. Ideally, you’ll never even need to talk to an agent.

If you do, we recommend live chat. When we tested out Cox’s live chat service, we were connected to an agent in four minutes and they answered our questions directly and without making us sit through a long sales pitch. The live chat can also send you an email transcript so you have an exact record of your conversation.

How does Cox compare to other companies?

The Cox system is most comparable to ADT and Vivint. Like ADT and Vivint, Cox is professionally installed and has a decent array of smart home integrations. But ADT and Vivint don’t have internet services and cable TV plans you can bundle with your smart home system.

Cox pricing compared to the competition
Brand
Monitoring price
Installation type
Smart assistant integrations
Learn more
Cox$20.00–$40.00/mo. ProfessionalNone
Vivint$29.99–$44.99/mo.ProfessionalAlexa, Google
ADT$27.99–$62.99/mo.ProfessionalAlexa, Google
SimpliSafe$17.99–$27.99/mo.DIYAlexa, Google
Ring$10.00–$20.00/mo.DIYAlexa, Google

Data effective 2/8/22. Offers subject to change.

If you want a smart security system that will work with Alexa, Google, or HomeKit, you’re going to have to choose something other than Cox. Vivint and ADT both work with Alexa and Google, as do a bunch of DIY home security systems. Cox really only works with itself.

Recap: Is Cox a good security system?

Cox is a decent smart home system, especially if you’re an existing Cox customer who wants to bundle it in with your internet or TV service. We still recommend ADT or Vivint over Cox because Cox doesn’t offer Alexa or Google integration or multiple camera options, but, on the whole, it’s not a bad choice.

  • Pricing: Cox has middle-ground pricing that’s more expensive than cheap DIY systems, but less than other professionally installed systems. You’ll pay between $20 and $40 per month for a monitoring plan.
  • Equipment: Cox has a good selection of smart home devices as well as basic security sensors. But it doesn’t offer a doorbell camera.
  • Home automation: Cox has smart lights, locks, and plugs that work with its overall system. But keep in mind you can’t control Cox with Alexa or Google.
  • Installation: Cox requires professional installation, which is nice. But expect to pay a reasonable installation fee.
  • Customer experience: Cox doesn’t get great customer review scores on the web for its internet and cable services, but our own experience with Cox's live chat went smoothly.
Cox Homelife
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
pro Good smart home integrations
pro Voice control through Contour remote
pro Professional installation
Starts at
$20.00
/mo

Methodology

We research, test, and compare home security systems based on these five categories:

●      Price

●      Equipment

●      Smart home integrations

●      Security cameras

●      Customer experience

Cox scored points for smart home devices aside from its lack of an Alexa or Google smart assistant integration. We rated Cox as average for price and security equipment, and it got a lower rating for its security cameras because it doesn’t offer an outdoor or doorbell camera.

For customer experience, we tested out Cox’s online buying experience for ourselves and talked to its customer service representatives via live chat.

Cox FAQ

No, Cox doesn’t currently offer a doorbell camera. You can get a security camera that works both indoors and outdoors. 

No, Cox doesn’t currently work with Alexa or Google. It does have a variety of smart home devices that work together, including smart lights and smart locks. You can also get voice control through the Cox Contour remote if you have Cox’s cable TV service.

Yes, you will pay a fee for Cox's professional installation. The cost can run anywhere from $25 for smart home installation to $100 for home security installation. 

Sources

  1. Cox, “Cox Service Areas.” Accessed February 8, 2022.
  2. Trustpilot, “COX.” Accessed February 8, 2022.
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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