Cox Homelife Security Review

Cox offers home security services with cable, phone, and internet packages. See if these bundles are worth the buzz.
Cox Homelife
Cox Homelife logo
2 out of 5 stars
2
  • Professional installation
  • Free app trial
  • Limited availability
Katie McEntire
Staff Writer, Safety & Security
Read More
Published on February 06, 2020

Cox specializes in internet and cable, but now you can add home security to the list. Cox Homelife is a home automation service through Cox Communications that includes devices like LED lightbulbs, smart locks, and door/window sensors. Homelife can be expensive if you aren’t already a Cox customer. But for those who know and love Cox, Homelife is a smart way to save some money on your current utilities while adding an extra layer of security to your home.

Cox Homelife Pros and Cons

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Home automation-only package
Pro Bullet Thorough professional installation
Pro Bullet Test the app before you buy
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Poor customer service
Con Bullet Hidden fees and lots of fine print
Con Bullet Available in 18 states

Cox Price Comparison

Plan

Smart Home Automation

Smart Home Automation + Monitored Security

Monthly Cost
Installation Fee

$25

$50

Activation Fee

Varies

$49.99

Trial Period

30-day money back guarantee

30-day money back guarantee

Professional Monitoring

No

Yes

Contract Length

2 years

2 years

Cancellation Fee

Yes

Yes

Learn More

Cox Homelife comes with a lot of fine print and hidden costs. In addition to your initial sign-up fee, you can expect an activation fee, an installation fee, and potential cancellation fees, to name a few.

We found four hidden fees in the plan details for the Home Automation with Monitoring package alone (five if you live in Las Vegas). Plus, rates change from state to state and throughout the year, so it’s hard to say for sure what security costs through Cox.

Cox Tech and Equipment 

Cox offers garden-variety security and home automation equipment. Packages include standards like an HD camera, door/window sensors, motion detectors, and touch screen control panels. Cox Homelife is more focused on home automation, so you’ll find a range of smart devices available, but safety equipment like smoke alarms or glass break detectors cost extra.

The self-monitored Cox Home Automation package costs $30 per month for equipment and includes an HD video camera, smart LED bulb, and one door/window sensor. It’s nice to have a small amount of equipment if you’re in charge of watching your system, but we’ve found better deals that include professional monitoring from other home security systems.

The Home Automation with Monitoring package costs $54.99 per month for an HD camera, two door/window sensors, and a motion sensor. If you want to drop an extra $200, you can get additional cameras, sensors, and lightbulbs. You’ll have to pick this package if you prefer to have professional monitoring, and it’s the only way to get smoke, CO, glass break, or flood alarms added to your home through Cox.

Cox Smart Home Automation 

Cox Homelife’s emphasis is home automation. The suite includes a touch screen control panel, smart thermostat, smart outlet, smart lock, and smart LED lightbulb.

From the Cox Homelife portal or app, you can control all the smart devices in your home. From the Cox Homelife portal, you can control your smart home devices, change settings, and set automations based on activity. So you can do things like keep the lights on for your pets when you leave, control the thermostat at night, and record clips from the camera when a sensor picks up movement.

Cox Professional Installation

Like cable, internet, and phone services, Homelife needs to be installed by a Cox professional. We like professional installations because you get the expertise of a trained technician in your home as well as a personalized consultation on what your home needs for security and automation.

Cox estimates that most installations take “about four hours,” but that seems like a generous estimate for a system with such a small starter kit. Timing all depends on how much equipment you purchase and how large your home is. Just be aware that installation fees apply and you may face an activation fee depending on where you live and what plan you purchase.

We found a few accessories from Cox that can be self-installed. If you order an HD camera, smart LED lightbulb, smart lock, or smart plug, you can add them to your system without professional installation. But the initial Homelife installation will have to be done by a professional.

Cox Homelife Customer Service 

In our research, we found consistently poor reviews from Cox customers. Homelife earned two stars from Consumer Affairs. We found reports of exaggerated promises, no-show technicians, and equipment confusion. We also found Cox Communications had many complaints about its other services through the Better Business Bureau, though the BBB itself gives Cox an A rating.

If you do need help with your Homelife system, there are plenty of online resources available. Homelife articles, videos, and an extensive FAQ are at your fingertips whenever you have questions about your system. If you need to contact Cox directly, you can chat with a live agent or call one of the three helplines available for Cox customers.

How Cox Homelife Stacks Up

Best For

Service Bundling

Home Automation

Professional Monitoring

Company Logo

Vivint

ADT

Monitoring Fee

$54.99/mo.

$29.99/mo.

$36.99/mo.

Installation Fee

Yes

Yes

Yes

Contract Length

2 years

Up to 5 years

3 years

Learn More

Data effective 02/06/20. Offers and availability subject to change.

Cox has a lot in common with systems like Vivint and ADT that claim spots in our best home security systems, but we still find it lacking in several departments. While all three are professionally monitored and installed brands, you’ll end up paying much more every month with Cox Homelife.

And with devices like doorbell cameras and compatibility with Alexa, Vivint and ADT also have a fuller range of equipment and options. Cox Homelife keeps a lot of equipment info under wraps—we weren’t able to find specs and technical information about the company’s equipment. Overall we found that Cox charges more for less gear than you’d get with our top recommended security systems.

Cox Homelife FAQs

Cox Homelife has only one type of camera, but it is flexible and easy to set up. This HD camera is Wi-Fi enabled and can be set up inside or in a protected area outside like a patio or under an awning.

The Homelife portal is the control center for your Cox system. From here, you can set rules, schedules, and automations for your system to follow. You can also monitor video, lock doors with smart locks, turn on smart LED bulbs, and more. Basically, it’s a remote control for your home.

No, Cox Homelife isn’t compatible with Amazon Echo or the Google Home at this time.

Cox is one of the nation’s largest ISPs, but it’s available in only 18 states and Washington D.C.
Cox Homelife is available in these states: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Kansas, and Virginia.

Final Word

While Cox won’t make our list of best home security systems for 2020, Homelife is a nice add-on if you already use this company’s internet, cable, or phone services. But as for home security, you can find other services with more affordable equipment and professional monitoring available in more states than Cox Homelife. Check out our Best Home Security Systems to see our top picks available nationwide.

How We Reviewed Cox Homelife

Cox Homelife isn’t available in our state, so we weren’t able to get the full experience. Instead of testing, we sifted through pages of customer reviews, watched instructional videos, and read all the fine print we could find to get a better idea of what life is like with Cox Homelife. If you’ve used Cox Homelife, please comment below and tell us about your experience with this system. Read our full methodology to learn more about our evaluation process for home security systems and other safety products.

Related pages on SafeWise


Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at Overstock.com and Top Ten Reviews.
  • Frank

    Cox Homelife is by far the worst way to try to secure your home, I
    say try because you will not succeed in securing your home.. They have
    brought a service with products to market specifically designed to make
    Cox the most money possible without thinking of security or usability
    even the slightest, period. I love cox, well used too, I’ve been with
    them for TV/Internet/Home Phone for over 16 years in four different
    houses. Moving was super easy, Cox has great support, well HAD great
    support. The techs are pressured to lie or make people think they’re
    getting something they’re not just to close the deal or make that up
    sale, I know because my mother worked there 14 years until she recently
    quit because they were going to fire her because she wasn’t making her
    required quota for up sales, even though she was a level 3 tech support
    representative and regularly received awards for being the highest
    performing support representative overall, not just in her team and not
    just in my state, overall. That’s not all, they failed to inform me, via
    email, mail, text, call, anything that a data cap was being placed on
    the internet of 1TB, then it’s $10 per 50MB. That resulted in $100 in
    overages and they refused to do anything about it, not even a bill
    credit or anything, even though they failed to tell me, if they would’ve
    told me I would’ve gotten the $49.99 unlimited plan immediately as I go
    over 1TB every month, which is why I originally even bought the
    Gigablast service, not for the speed but for the unlimited data.

    I could go on, but let me get to my Homelife review. Let me just start
    by saying IF YOUR CONSIDERING COX HOMELIFE, RUN AWAY NOW!!! DO NOT
    WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY!! First off, after you are all setup if you
    want to add more products to your package, the prices are straight out
    of this world. It’s hard to even find the prices for the stuff on the
    website, but just for a door sensor it’s $60, the front door lock that
    can be used with the app to unlock but has no camera is $230, $180 for
    the stationary “HD Camera with Night Vision”, that isn’t very good HD,
    is horrible to look at at night because the 3 bright green lights on the
    front, $25 for the “Smart Light Bulb”, $60 for the “Smart Plug”. I mean
    that’s just overpriced for cheap, white labeled equipment. I get more
    features from my $23 camera I ordered from Wish, that is 1080p, rotates
    360 degrees, has a 180 degree field of view, pivots up and down, has
    super good TWO-WAY audio, and never misses any movement and doesn’t stop
    recording until the movement is gone, and the night vision is
    incredible and it also has no monthly fee…. If you want a decent
    system look into ring video doorbells, $59,99 just for the doorbell, and
    they have starter bundles and what not.

    Cox HomeLIE: The truth from a loyal, long-time Cox customer:

    The
    camera is only good for is the live feed, but I can’t even say it’s
    good because there’s no audio. The camera only records 15 seconds at a
    time, and once a motion event triggers the recording motion must stop
    for the 3 minutes to start, it sure misses EVERYTHING.. Hypothetical:
    Someone is robbing your house, backs a truck right in the cameras view,
    the camera will record for 15 seconds, then will stop recording for 3
    minutes, but that 3 minutes does not start until there is NO MOTION. How
    is that call to the police going to sound. Oh my house got robbed, and
    when they ask for the footage from your security cameras all you are
    able to show them is the robbers backing there truck in and that’s it,
    no description, can’t even read the license plate because the HD is so
    shitty(I’ve tried to read mine,impossible) Then if you want to make the
    camera record all the time, yup gonna cost you for another monthly
    “service” to make a little “CVR” (continuous video recording) toggle
    available in your app. AND your limited to 50 of those 15 second
    recordings, 50 pictures, and 100 text message notifications (which i can
    not get to work) per day unless, that’s right you buy more. The door
    sensors work, and the lock as advertised just extremely overpriced, and
    the motion sensors sense SOME motion, not nearly all of it, Take it from
    me, do not waste money on these overpriced, feature lacking, terrible
    app having, shouldn’t even be called a security system, system. Oh one
    more thing, they require an additional “hub” to be plugged in, so that’s
    now 2 plugs cox takes up not including the boxes or router, just to
    “run the system”.

    Don’t forget there’s
    service agreements with a $750 early cancellation fee, with no grace
    period if you decide you do not like the system, so if you want to
    cancel early it’ll cost you $750, and you HAVE to pay it, they won’t
    waive it or lower it even for a loyal customer who’s been paying over
    $300 a month for the last 16 years,.I escalated it so many times and
    even wrote the CEO and all the upper management emails, but have yet to
    get a response and that was weeks ago. GREED HAS TAKEN OVER COX!!!