2021 Cove Home Security System Review

In our tests, we loved Cove's customer-focused practices and innovative emergency response.
Most customer-focused security brand
4 out of 5 stars
  • Pros
    Efficient dispatch technology
  • Pros
    Customer-first policies
  • Cons
    Limited smart home
Monitoring plan
Monitoring fee
Mobile access
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes

Info current as of 8/27/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Rebecca Edwards
Security Expert, Safety & Tech Reporter
Read More
Published on August 27, 2021

Is Cove right for you?

Cove brings together two things we know our readers want: good prices and great customer service. Its DIY home security system features have evolved quickly, and so has Cove’s reputation for doing right by its customers.

While we wanted a few more smart home integrations, we were pleased with the ease of setup and equipment selection of the security system we tested.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet 60-day money-back guarantee
Pro Bullet Lifetime warranty available
Pro Bullet RapidSOS and text messaging alerts
Pro Bullet Two-way audio with monitoring center
Pro Bullet Great customer reviews
Pro Bullet Super easy installation
Con Heading
Con Bullet New to market
Con Bullet Limited smart home compatibility

Learn how to install Cove

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Compare Cove monitoring plans

Monitoring plan
Monitoring fee
Mobile access
Learn more
Cove Basic
Icon No  LightNo
1 year
Cove Plus
Icon Yes  LightYes

Info current as of 08/27/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

All Cove home security packages come with these features:

  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • DIY installation
  • No-contract options

Both monitoring plans also include three technologies that stand out in the home security world: RapidSOS, InstaText, and LiveAssist.

Cove partners with RapidSOS

RapidSOS allows Cove dispatchers to communicate more effectively with emergency responders, which the company says results in improved response times (up to three minutes faster). It's effective because it stores vital information (location data, household information, health needs) in a format that's easier to send to 911 responders than sharing the same info over the phone.

Cove was the first security company to use RapidSOS, but now SimpliSafe offers it too.

See how Cove compares to SimpliSafe overall.

Cove InstaText

This feature uses text messaging to send you immediate alerts if an alarm is triggered. You can respond instantly to false alarms and dispatch emergency services if you need help—all with a text. This feature is useful for people who may not always be able to answer the phone but rarely ignore a text. It’s adapting age-old security protocols to the way we live and communicate today. Pretty smart.

Cove LiveAssist

With Cove LiveAssist, you have a dedicated line of communication with Cove right through your panel. You can use this two-way audio feature to communicate in real-time if you need help or need to address a false alarm.

This feature provides an extra layer of security and gives you more control over your home’s security. And you can count on it even if your panel gets unplugged or if your power goes out—its backup battery lasts for 24 hours.

How Cove stacks up

Best for
Lowest monitoring price
Starter equipment price
Contract required
Smart home compatibilityIcon Tooltip  Dark
Learn more
Read review
Best overall$599.00
Icon Yes  LightNo *
Reader favorite$229.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Whole-property pick$99.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Pro monitoring pick$0.00
Icon No  LightYes
Customer-focused pickQuote required
Icon Yes  LightNo *
Blue by ADTBlue by ADT
No-contract DIY pick$199.15
Icon Yes  LightNo
Smart home pick$279.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon, Apple, Google, Z-Wave, Zigbee
Budget pick$199.99
Icon Yes  LightNo
Link InteractiveLink Interactive
Sensor selection pickQuote required
Icon Yes  LightNo *
Simple package pick$199.00
Icon No  LightYes

Info current as of 08/27/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Full ADT disclaimer

Cove is an economical, customizable home security system that delivers the basics and makes protecting your home super easy. Even though Cove has been the new kid on the block, the company has moved quickly to build out its home security offerings and expand both equipment and mobile app functions.

One thing we don’t like is that you have to jump through a few hoops to find out how much Cove costs. Cove used to require you to talk to a phone rep, but now you can take an online quiz for faster results.

Still, we prefer no-hassle online stores from companies like SimpliSafe and Frontpoint.

How much does Cove cost?

Cove is one of the most affordable home security choices you’ll find. One of the company’s core values is to be economical, and on that point Cove delivers. There aren’t any contract requirements, and monthly monitoring is pretty cheap, even if you opt for the higher-priced Cove Plus Plan.

Cove monitoring costs $24.99 per month, or about the same as a weekly splurge at Starbucks—and for a lifetime warranty plus mobile access to your security system, we think it’s worth it.

You can control your equipment costs with Cove too. Most equipment is available à la carte, and you can get a basic setup for around $275, which includes the control panel, yard and window signs, a few window and door sensors, a motion sensor, and a (free) indoor camera.

If you aren’t sure what you need to protect your abode sufficiently, Cove’s website has a simple quiz that will help you figure out where to start.

Cove lets you pay for equipment up front or over time. If you opt for $0 up front, you’ll pay an extra $10 per month if you keep Cove monitoring for 36 months. If you cancel early, you’ll have to pay for the equipment cost—but you’re not on the hook for the remaining months of monitoring fees like you are with other home security companies.

Contracts and warranties

For customers who pay for equipment up front, Cove doesn’t have contracts. But that’s not Cove’s only customer-first policy.

No-hassle cancellation

Cove told us that they don't believe in holding customers up with the fine print. If you don't love your Cove security system, or your needs change, Cove is committed to letting you off the hook without a big runaround or a huge final bill.

Cove's 60-day money-back guarantee

You can try out the Cove security system risk-free for up to two months. If during that time you don’t think it’s a good fit for your home security needs, you can return your equipment and cancel your monitoring service without a penalty. Cove will give you a full refund, no questions asked.

Cove's warranty

We like that Cove offers a lifetime warranty for its equipment, but you can only get it with the higher-priced monitoring plan.

Cove isn’t the only home security company to wrap up a better warranty in a more costly plan. ADT does the same thing with its Quality Service Plan that is only available with higher-end offerings.

BrandCove ADT
Monitoring fee
WarrantyLifetimeQuality Service Plan
Service call fees
Icon Yes  LightNo
Icon No  LightYes
Contract requirementsNone36 months

Info current as of 08/27/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The warranty from Cove is the better deal—and when we asked Cove representatives how much hassle you have to go through to get a new door sensor if yours putters out, they said, “None.” Cove simply sends you a replacement, no questions asked.

Cove equipment and prices

Cove isn’t the most technologically advanced home security system, but it provides reliable basics that get the job done. Because the company is so new, its equipment offerings are limited. 

  • Cove Touch Panel, $249 ea.
  • Indoor camera, $99 ea.
  • Outdoor camera, $199 ea.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detector detector, $55 ea.
  • Door sensor/window sensor, $15 ea.
  • Motion detector, $30 ea.
  • Security key fob, $25 ea.
  • Glass break detector, $35 ea.
  • Flood/freeze sensor, $20 ea.
  • Panic/medical button, $20 ea.

Info current as of 08/06/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Light Bulb
Does Cove have a siren or doorbell camera?

Yes, the Cove touch alarm panel includes an 84-decibel siren.

No, Cove Security does not currently offer a doorbell camera.

Cove tech and equipment standouts

Standout feature: Preconfigured equipment

Many home security systems tout preprogrammed security equipment that’s easy to install, but Cove’s is the easiest one I’ve seen. And it talks to you—when you name a sensor (e.g. back door), you’ll hear “back door” every time it’s activated. We like that the only option isn’t a deafening and difficult-to-stop siren. We’ve tangled with those in the past (Ring), and it can be stressful.

hand unboxing Cove security system

Image: Vanessa Sigman, SafeWise

Newest equipment: Indoor and outdoor security cameras

We think having eyes on the outside of your home is vital to keeping your property, people, and pets safe. The Cove system uses indoor and outdoor security cameras through a partnership with Kami. In the last year, it upgraded its cameras to include AI so users can reduce notifications about things like trees blowing in the wind.

We tested both of these cameras and found them great if you're a Cove customer wanting integration with the Cove app. Otherwise, there's not much that differentiates them from the competition.

Learn more in our full Cove security cameras review.

Cove DIY installation

Cove security box with Start Here instructions

Image: Vanessa Sigman, SafeWise

Here's what happened during testing

We’re impressed with the simplicity of Cove’s installation and setup process. All the components of your security system come preconfigured. You can even name them when you order so your son’s bedroom window sensor will come ready to be installed in his room. 

If you make a naming mistake or decide to move a sensor to a different place, it’s easy to give it a new name using the control panel. But we found it easiest to plan placement before installation so you only have to name things once.

Before installing sensors

In testing, our smoke detector fell and one contact sensor peeled some paint. Before you stick all your sensors in place, select placement, make sure they fit where you want them to, and wipe down the surface with a little rubbing alcohol to get the best grip. A little preparation beforehand means you only have to place them once.

The control panel is the heart of the Cove home security system—it walks you through setup and tests each sensor to make sure they’re working correctly. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you set up a window or door sensor the right way, so we like that Cove’s audio confirmation leaves no doubt.

Don't want to set Cove up yourself? They now offer $79 professional installation. 

Cove smart home features and compatibility

Cove’s smart home offerings are fairly scant. The system is focused first on providing security, and home automation is a lower priority. The system currently works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but other smart home options, like smart locks and climate control, are limited. Right now you can integrate a Nest thermostat or August smart door lock with your Cove security system.

Cove told us that expanded smart home compatibility is coming this year. We’re eager to see how that impacts the company’s home automation offerings.

Cove smart home compatibility

Smart home featureThird-party compatibility
Voice controlAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Climate controlNone
Lighting controlNone
Smart home hub

Amazon Echo, Google Home

Smart door locksAugust

Does Cove work with Ring?

No, Cove doesn't work with Ring Alarm or Ring video doorbells.

Does Cove use Z-Wave?

No, Cove doesn't use Z-Wave.

Cove customer service and support

Although Cove is new to the scene, the company has already garnered a hefty collection of positive customer reviews. In our experience with the company, it’s been friendly, responsive, and eager to please. You can tell that the people who created Cove and work for the company enjoy what they do and believe in their product.

Here’s a look at current Cove ratings for customer service and satisfaction.

  • Google reviews: 3.6 stars
  • Trustpilot rating: 4.8 stars out of 5, Excellent
  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB customer reviews: 2.5 stars out of 5

Info current as of 08/27/2021. 

Cove app reviews

Despite overall praise, we did notice that some Cove customers weren't too happy with the mobile app or Cove's lack of attention to their complaints. Most of the 1-star Cove reviews mention issues logging into the Cove app. Several said it was difficult to get in touch with Cove customer service to resolve the issue.

  • Cove Security app on Google Play: 2.5 stars out of 5 
  • Cove Security app on Apple App Store: 2.0 stars out of 5 (from 123 ratings)

Info current as of 08/27/2021. 

Final word

We’re pretty excited to see Cove entering the DIY home security arena. It’s a young company, but they’re doing a lot of things right—especially when it comes to the way Cove treats customers.

If you want a customizable home security system that’s easy for you to install on your own and doesn’t lock you into a contract, we think Cove is a solid choice.

Cove FAQ

Right now, you can use the Cove mobile app to remotely arm and disarm your system using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

You can also check your system’s status, bypass sensors, and add or delete user accounts. To save you from constantly checking your alarm system’s status, the app sends text and email alerts when the system is either triggered or disarmed.

Cove is currently in the process of further development on the app and we’re excited to see more smart home control and options.

Yes. Like many other home security companies, Cove provides you with a certificate that you can present to your insurance company for a discount on your premium.

To get your certificate, your system has to be installed and activated. Details on discounts vary by insurance company, so be sure to talk to your agent for specifics.

Because Cove puts together each security system to your specifications, it may take four to six days for your system to be delivered.

The company strives to get all orders out within one day of ordering, but sometimes it may take a day or two to assemble your security system and get it in the mail.

Yes. Cove is a good match for both homeowners and renters. And if you move, all you need to do is pack up your Cove security equipment (along with everything else) and let them know your new address.

Changing your address with Cove is essential to make sure the monitoring center knows where to send help if you need it.

In our ranking of the top 10 best home security systems, we place SimpliSafe in second place and Cove in seventh. Read our in-depth comparison of Cove vs. SimpliSafe for more information about their similarities and differences. 

It depends. Most Cove home security equipment uses a cellular connection. Some equipment, like the Wi-Fi door sensor and outdoor camera, do need a Wi-Fi connection.

Cove Smart, LLC was incorporated on March 8, 2018.

It's possible for a Cove security system to be hacked, but so can virtually all home security systems if you don't take some basic precautions. 

Learn more with our guides:


How we evaluated Cove security

When we learned about Cove home security, we got in touch with them to find out more. Cove came out and met with us to explain who they are, why they do what they do, and what makes their DIY security system stand out from the rest. (We’ve met with the company multiple times since our initial testing).

We got to meet the founder of the company, hear from sales and marketing, and grill the tech team about Cove equipment, its features, and how they’re improving the mobile app.

Plus, we got to try out Cove’s equipment. We ran a system through the setup process and then tested all of the sensors to see how they worked. We also pored over online customer reviews, read other expert reviews, and compared Cove to other DIY security systems.

Find out more about our process on our methodology page.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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