Cove vs Simplisafe

We put Cove and SimpliSafe head-to-head to see which DIY security system is the best.
Best equipment
  • Icon Pros  Light
    60-day money-back guarantee
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Customizable plans and equipment
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Required up-front equipment costs
Best monitoring
  • Icon Pros  Light
    60-day money-back guarantee
  • Icon Pros  Light
    RapidSOS
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No smart lock

SimpliSafe comes out ahead of Cove for its equipment selection, including a smart lock and video doorbell you won't find with Cove. But, if you look beyond the equipment, both brands seem like clones since the prices and monitoring options are almost identical. Read our comparison to see why we chose SimpliSafe and why Cove's RapidSOS monitoring evens the odds a bit.



Compare Cove vs. SimpliSafe

Best equipment Best monitoring
SimpliSafeSimpliSafe
CoveCove
Monitoring price
Lowest equipment cost* Icon Tooltip  Dark
Build-your-own system
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Outdoor camera
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes

Info current as of 05/28/21.  Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*This is based on the default equipment price without any promotional discounts.
†SimpliSafe offers an outdoor case for its indoor camera, but it isn't a purpose-built outdoor camera.

Similarities

It's uncanny how similar Cove and SimpliSafe are—right down to pricing, policies, and smart home support.

  • Monitoring prices: SimpliSafe and Cove each charge $14.99 a month for basic professional monitoring service and $24.99 a month for upgraded service.
  • Equipment prices: Most of the core alarm system equipment (motion sensor, entry sensor, glass break sensor) costs the same amount.
  • DIY installation: The companies pre-program your equipment before shipping to make the installation process easier on your end.
  • Mobile app: Both brands restrict mobile app controls to the more expensive plan ($24.99 a month).
  • 60-day money-back guarantee: You can receive a full refund if you cancel your service and return your equipment within two months of purchase.
  • Basic smart home support: SimpliSafe and Cove each work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and August smart locks. This is sufficient for most folks, but DIY systems with Z-Wave support like Abode and Ring Alarm are much more flexible for adding new home automation devices.

Differences

Even in their differences, Cove and SimpliSafe are still quite similar:

  • Contracts: While both security providers offer no-contract options, Cove also offers an optional contract so you can spread out your equipment costs over three years.
  • Cameras: SimpliSafe sells a doorbell camera and an indoor security camera that work independently of a SimpliSafe system (with affordable cloud storage to match). Cove sells an indoor camera and a battery-powered outdoor security camera but no video doorbell. Cove's cameras do not work without a Cove Plus monitoring plan.
  • Customer service: While SimpliSafe is no slouch for customer service, Cove has a much more positive customer experience, based on online reviews we found during our research.
  • Equipment selection: SimpliSafe's smoke alarm doesn't have a carbon monoxide detector like Cove's. Similarly, Cove doesn't sell a temperature sensor or extra siren, as SimpliSafe does.
  • RapidSOS: Cove uses RapidSOS to directly share important information (location data, medical needs, household info) with emergency responders for a quicker response.

SimpliSafe: Best equipment

SimpliSafe normally wins high marks for its hallmark traits that compete well against big names like Vivint and Frontpoint: affordable equipment and a 60-day money-back guarantee. But, against Cove, SimpliSafe tastes like a different flavor of vanilla—one that has a smart lock, video doorbell, and equipment bundles.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Better equipment selection
Pro Bullet Equipment bundles
Pro Bullet Better warranty on $15 monitoring plan
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Equipment purchase required upfront
Con Bullet No outdoor security camera
Con Bullet No carbon monoxide detector

Equipment

SimpliSafe also has a slight edge on equipment costs—its keypad and base station cost around $66 less than the equivalent from Cove. Additionally, SimpliSafe sells a temperature sensor, doorbell camera, smart lock, and siren—four pieces of equipment Cove doesn't have. But SimpliSafe's equipment costs and overall selection are nearly identical to Cove's.

We're big fans of SimpliSafe's online shop that offers both pre-made equipment packages and a build-your-own system option. Although we prefer the option to customize your system, the equipment packages are helpful for those of us who have trouble deciding which equipment to buy for our homes.

Unlike Cove security, SimpliSafe doesn't offer a financing option for equipment, so you'll need to swallow the costs up-front when you buy an alarm system. But it's worthwhile considering SimpliSafe's superior equipment selection with a video doorbell and smart lock. It's still a trade-off since SimpliSafe doesn't have two of Cove's most potent devices: an outdoor security camera and a carbon monoxide detector.

Warranty

SimpliSafe's base monitoring plan may cost the same as Cove's, $14.99 a month but offers more favorable warranty terms: three years of coverage versus one year. This makes SimpliSafe the better option for protecting your equipment without mobile app controls.

Why should you choose SimpliSafe?

If you value having the convenience of a smart lock and doorbell camera, SimpliSafe is a better wireless security system than Cove. But SimpliSafe doesn't quite match Cove's monitoring services and warranty, especially when you pay for the pricier monitoring plan. Read more about why we love SimpliSafe in our full SimpliSafe review.

Cove: Best monitoring

At first glance, Cove is almost like a carbon copy of SimpliSafe—particularly with its pricing and equipment. But Cove's RapidSOS monitoring changes things. Unlike monitoring centers relaying information to emergency responders over the phone, RapidSOS shares vital information (location info, medical needs) directly with 911 dispatchers' computers. This speeds up communications and makes it easier to send an appropriate response to your home.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet RapidSOS
Pro Bullet Lifetime warranty on top-tier plan
Pro Bullet Outdoor security camera
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited smart home compatibility
Con Bullet No doorbell camera
Con Bullet No smart lock

Equipment

The biggest difference in the Cove security system is a sleek touchscreen control panel that's a bit more attractive than SimpliSafe's keypad. The large screen is great for folks that might have trouble reading a smaller print, though it doesn't have tactile buttons that are easier to use without looking at the screen.

We also like Cove's wire-free outdoor security camera, which uses rechargeable batteries for maximum installation flexibility. Recharging the batteries every few months may be a chore, but it's a nice step up from SimpliSafe's indoor-only security camera.

Cove Smart also sells a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. It's almost twice as expensive as SimpliSafe's smoke detector, but the ability to spot CO gases justifies the higher price. Still, it's a bummer that Cove lacks a smart lock and doorbell camera. Although Cove has an optional contract, it covers only the equipment costs and doesn't require payment of any monitoring fees when you cancel.

Warranty

While the warranty on Cove's cheaper plan doesn't compete with SimpliSafe, it ups the ante with a lifetime warranty when you upgrade to the $24.99 monthly plan. This means that you can replace defective equipment after three years (as long as you properly maintain it before it breaks).

Why should you choose Cove?

Cove excels with its monitoring, especially the RapidSOS system that streamlines communication when calling for help. Still, its equipment selection lags behind SimpliSafe's. Learn more about Cove's unique monitoring features in our full Cove review.

Winner: SimpliSafe, by a hair

While there are advantages specific to each DIY security system, SimpliSafe wins thanks to its equipment selection with a smart lock and video doorbell. It's just a touch more tempting than Cove's innovative RapidSOS monitoring tools. Otherwise, these systems are way too similar to recommend one over the other for core features and costs.

How we decided: Cove vs. SimpliSafe

When we compare two brands, it's usually an exercise in pricing, contracts, equipment selection, and testing experiences. But we found so many similarities between Cove and SimpliSafe that we couldn't make an easy decision on that information alone.

Other than a simple bulleted list above, we ignored most of the similarities to zero in on the few differences between the brands. Check out our methodology to learn more about how we test and review products.

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Disclaimers

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over eight years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.