Cove 2023 home security system review (2023)





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Cue the theme song from "Cops"! A big problem was brewing when I tried out the Cove home security system. Yes, it's a policeman at my door. It's a testament to just how effective the Cove is, and I'll break it all down here in an in-depth review of this popular home security system.

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Policeman monitoring us thanks to Cove Monitoring

Cove is new to the market (circa 2018), but that hasn't stopped the company from snapping up huge market share and making big claims. His goal is to change the way home security is done. But do they really have what it takes to compete with the established home security systems out there? Spoiler alert: definitely yes.

This fast-growing home security company has a few things going for it. First, Cove competes with SimpliSafe when it comes to ease of installation. (Setup took just 10 minutes.) Second, the sleek touchscreen control panel makes arming/disarming quick and simple. And finally, starting at just $17.99 per month, Cove has some of the cheapest monthly monitoring in the industry.

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cove protect

Cove has a few weaknesses to share, but honestly, they're all pretty minor. So join us as I unpack Cove and test it for nearly 100 hours in my home.

expert banned

By Travis Goodreau, retired burglary detective

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“In an emergency, I like homeowners to have as many options as possible for seeking help. Cove hits the mark with its three-tier response system. Using the control panel, Live-Assist allows you to speak directly with an agent who is professionally monitoring your home. Insta-text is another option that can send notifications via text messages to your phone if the alarm goes off. You can also choose to receive a phone call directly from an agent who monitors your home when the system detects an intruder."

More about Travis and Methodology →

  • Simple DIY installation.
  • No contracts, month-to-month service
  • controles do smartphone
  • Touch screen control panel
  • 1080p HD indoor and outdoor cameras
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • low cost monitoring
  • Lifetime warranty option
  • App experience could be improved
  • Limited home automation features
  • No self-control option

Cost Plans and Cove Monitoring

One of the things that makes Cove attractive is its affordable price. I bought a complete system for around $250 and they gave me a free security camera. Depending on the equipment you buy, it can cost less than $200 or you can spend as much as $400. Clamp prices are in line, maybe even a little cheaper than,ring alarm prices. You can read our complete guide toCove home security plans and costs, but here's a quick rundown of how much your equipment will cost.

Cove equipment options and prices

product typeregular pricereal price
Touch Cove alarm paneltouch screen control$ 249,00$ 124,50
door/window sensorInput sensor$ 15,00$ 7,50
Motion detectorSensor$ 30,00$ 15,00
glass break detectorSensor$ 35,00$ 17,50
inner chamberSecurity camera$ 99,00$ 49,50
external cameraSecurity camera$ 199,00$ 99,50
SkyBell doorbell cameravideo bell$ 189,00$ 189,00
Kami doorbell cameravideo bell$ 99,00$ 99,00
Smoke and CO detectorenvironmental sensor$ 55,00$ 27,50
flood sensorenvironmental sensor$ 20,00$ 10,00
Remote control with security keyTo control$ 25,00$ 12,50
panic/doctor buttonhelp button$ 20,00$ 10,00

However, Cove doesn't offer self-monitoring like other companies, so you'll have to pay for professional monitoring service. But don't worry, it's cheap and it works great. If someone breaks into your home, Cove will send whatever help is needed (as evidenced by that cop at my door).

Pricing starts at $17.99 per month, which is much cheaper than the industry average of $39.99. Ensenada has two monitoring plans: Basic and Plus. We'll talk more about tracking plans later, but here's a look at what they include.

Professional Cove Monitoring Plans

Basic CoveCove Plus
monthly priceUS$ 17,99$ 27,99
24/7 professional monitoringSimSim
4G LTE connectionSimSim
Environmental monitoringSimSim
InstaText™ CoveSimSim
LiveAssist™ CoveSimSim
smartphone controlNoSim
Works with Alexa and Google AssistantNoSim
flat rate guaranteeNoSim
equipment warranty1 year warrantylifetime warranty

Unboxing Cove and first impressions

You can expect your Cove gear to arrive at your doorstep approximately two to three days after you order it. When you open your package, you'll be amazed at how organized everything is. Each of the equipment boxes has a number that indicates the exact order in which they are opened. And personally, I think the turquoise branding is cool. Good design inspires confidence.

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cove packaging

The equipment is robust, especially the control panel. In fact, on the third day of testing, my youngest son slammed the control panel against the hardwood floor (whoops!) and took a beating like a champ. You can leave the control panel freestanding or mount it on the wall. Either way, it needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet.

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Door/window sensor detail

As for the Cove's sensors, they're a little big. They aren't very big, but I prefer a thinner profile. The more discreet the better, right? Although when mounted on top of our old Vivint sensors, the Cove sensors weren't very big in size. Here, take a look…

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Cove sensors (top) and Vivint sensors (bottom)

This brings us to the Cove's motion sensor, which is one of the smallest motion sensors out there. It's about the size of a lemon, so I was able to discreetly place it in the corner of my living room where it could cover a large area of ​​the room.

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cove motion detector

Overall, Cove makes a positive first impression. Next: install the system and get really familiar with it.

Do-it-yourself installation coverage

In the box you will find a small booklet titled "Start Here". There are four easy steps for a do-it-yourself installation. Now, you're right to be skeptical of a four-step setup for something as complex as a home security system. DIY systems can often take an hour or more to set up, and it's not uncommon to find yourself on hold with tech support to help you get through the hiccups. But, not so with Cove! Installation only took 10-12 minutes from start to finish.

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Steps 1-2 for trim installation

Here's how to get Cove up and running:
  1. Decide where to place your panel and plug it in.
  2. Complete the on-screen installation wizard.
  3. Place the yard sign and stickers on the windows.
  4. Submit your securities ownership certificate to your insurance company.

For your information:When installing the Cove, be sure to plug the control panel into an electrical outlet.nocontrolled by a switch. You don't want to risk rebooting your system every time you press the button.

When connecting the control panel, the screen will turn blue while the panel returns to factory settings. (Mine took about two minutes.) When it's done, it will display a greeting: "Hello, welcome to the Cove."

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Cove Panel – Installation process

You will then set up your four-digit Master Code, which you will use daily to access your system from the app or control panel. (Once everything is set up, you can add additional users so everyone in the house can use the system.)

Then you will need to assemble the sensors. Instructions for doing this are included in the equipment package. Here's that unassuming motion sensor installed on my wall. It's barely noticeable.

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cove motion detector

The sensor assembly instructions are simple. like allbest DIY home security systems, Cove includes peel-and-stick adhesive on the back of its sensors. Then you can paste them and move on to the next step. But here's a pro tip: Mount your door/window sensors with Velcro straps so they're easy to remove when it's time to change batteries or move.

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Door/window sensor on back of trim

Given the substantial size of the Cove's sensors, they can be a little tricky to fit in tight spaces. For example, I used every available inch to mount a sensor on my sliding glass door. It almost doesn't fit! It would definitely be great to see Cove move towards smaller input sensors.

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Concave door/window sensor

For your information:Cove also sells glass break sensors. You'll want to buy one (or several) if you have a large room with lots of windows. That way, if someone breaks a window trying to get in, the sensor will detect the sound and activate the alarm.alarm.1Glass Break Sensors have a 15-foot range and are easy to install.

If you choose environmental sensors, such as a smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detector, the setup wizard will ask you to "test" them when installing them. Get ready for a burst of loud, high-pitched beeps at close range. It's enough to make you jump out of your skin if you're not ready for it. The mage doesn't warn you, but I learned the hard way and thought you should know.

Finally, Cove will ask you to walk around the house and test the sensors by opening and closing doors and windows. This is to ensure a connection with the monitoring station. The same with the key chain and the anti-panic pendant. And just like that, your Cove system is up and running.

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Ensenada: complete installation

When I got to this point in the process, I looked at the clock and realized that only 10 minutes had passed since I opened the box. All things considered, this installation was at least as quick asInstallation of SimpliSafe, and maybe even faster. This is a big problem. After all, SimpliSafe built its reputation on quick installation and ease of use. This is definitely a feather in the Cove cap.

Now… let's see how the system works.

Professional 24/7 monitoring with RapidSOS

Whether you choose Cove Basic or Cove Plus, your system will have 24/7 professional monitoring using the fastest and most reliable connection on the market: a cellular connection. What does this means? Well, most other DIY home security systems use a Wi-Fi signal to connect to the monitoring center. While it's a good connection, cellular is simply more reliable because it doesn't slow down or drop due to poor Wi-Fi signal.

It's impressive that Cove offers cell phone monitoring for just $17.99 a month. And in case you're interested, the Cove uses AT&T's 4G LTE cellular network.

So… does it work?

Yes! Here's the process: Suppose someone tries to pick your lock or climb a window. The sensors will activate and you will receive an instant alert on your smartphone. When I tried that, my alert came as a text message, but you can customize how you receive alerts if you're on the Cove Plus plan.

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Cove Text Alerts

Meanwhile, your Cove panel will send a distress signal to the professional monitoring center. And within 30 seconds, you should have a customer service agent calling you.

RapidSOS and ultra-fast response

expert banned

By Travis Goodreau, retired burglary detective

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“Cove Home Security is the only home security system that uses RapidSOS technology. This unique feature sends dispatchers detailed information about your emergency. From a law enforcement perspective, there is a big difference between a routine "alarm" call and a detailed description of the alarm with notifications such as "rear window broken and interior motion detected". Crimes that occur in real time are given much higher priority and RapidSOS can greatly improve response times.”

Now, here's what really sets Cove apart from the competition: something called RapidSOS Ready. Cove uses the same technology your smartphone uses to transmit information digitally to 911 dispatchers. Instead of having to transmit information verbally like every other home security company, Cove's signal is transmitted automatically (digitally and without errors). This, says Cove, dramatically speeds up submission times so you get help FAST.

RapidSOS ensures that police, fire or emergency medical services are on the scene in minutes and ready to save lives. Once again, Cove is an exclusive partner of RapidSOS. I have not seen this technology from any other home security company.

Did you know:Both of Cove's monitoring plans offer something called 'RapidSOS Ready'. This technology should make the emergency dispatch process faster and more accurate with electronic integration to 911Centers.2After verifying an alarm, the Cove monitoring center can send the alarm information directly to 911, which can save three to four minutes in the dispatch process.

When my Cove's alarm went off and sent the distress signal, the agent who called me was kind enough to ask for my "secure" code. Long story short, I forgot on the spur of the moment and gave the wrong code (big mistake). Then 15 minutes later the police were pulling into my driveway.

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Cove Video Quality – Office closer to home

False alarm weaknesses

Fortunately, I wasn't the victim of a robbery, but I had some explaining to do. I did what any self-respecting home security expert would do: I invited the officer over for tea. He checked my ID, just to make sure I actually lived there. Then I did a mini photo shoot for posterity.

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Officer sent to our home by Cove Monitoring

Did I feel safe with Cove? You can bet it is. If it was a real robbery, the police would show up. With every other security company I've used, I've had to blindly assume that the monitoring works. With Cove I have firsthand experience that it works! It's a trust thing. And it's nice to know that a police officer will be there when you need it most.

Cove features and technology

One reason to choose the Cove's Plus plan is to unlock more features like smartphone controls and smart home automation. If you opt for the Basic plan, you won't have Alexa or Google Assistant compatibility, and you'll only be able to control your system using the Cove's touchscreen panel (no mobile app!). So I recommend spending an extra $10 per month on the premium plan. And since it's month-to-month, you can always switch to the basics at any time.

As a Cove Plus subscriber, I expected to use the smartphone app regularly to arm and disarm the system, play around with the features, etc. But honestly, I didn't love the Cove app's interface and functionality; I found the touchscreen panel more to my speed.

Cove touchscreen control panel

The control panel is the brain of any home security system. And when it comes to control panels, Cove's is right up there with the best. It's similar to Frontpoint's control panel (which you can read about in ourBaseline review) and just one notch below Vivint's Smart Hub panel (as explained in ourVivint Home Security Review).

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Cove touchscreen - ready-to-arm screen

You can arm and disarm the Cove directly from the home screen. (A single tap “wakes up.”) It has a factory-set delay that counts down from two minutes to give you time to get in or out of the house. Don't worry, you can always change the default delay in Settings. I'm not a big fan of lags, so I always keep mine as low as possible. But you can configure yours however it suits you.

For your information:One gripe I have with the Cove is that the siren isn't as loud as the competition's. Most home security sirens are rated around 100-110 dB, but the Cove siren only emits 85 dB. It's enough to scare off a burglar, but when it comes to protecting your home and your family, I live by the "higher is better" mantra.

Another interesting feature of Cove is "Night Mode". This stops all delay counts. Why is it important? Well, let's say it's 3 am. m. and you're fast asleep when someone breaks in. If there is a delay, the intruder can wait 30 seconds or more before sounding the alarm. That's a lot of advantage! I want my siren to sound like a banshee the moment a door or window is opened, and "Night Mode" does just that. So look for it on the dashboard home screen.

Another thing to look for in the Cove's control panel is sensor settings. In fact, you can get quite a bit of granularity with each sensor. For example, you can set your motion sensor to "Active in Stay mode". In this way, even when you are at home, the motion sensor will protect an area of ​​your home, such as your basement or attic, that you rarely use. Note that motion sensors can also be flagged to take your furry friend into account. (They are pet sensitive!)

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Staple move settings

Did you know:Cove's control panel has a small phone icon that serves as a panic button. Once pressed, the display will show: Police, Fire or EMS. Please note that when making your selection you will not be calling this agency. Instead, it will send a distress signal to the monitoring center and an agent will respond through the dashboard to provide assistance. If necessary, the agent will call the emergency services and remain on the line until help arrives.

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cove emergency call

You'll also have access to your activity log on the Cove dashboard. You'll find this in the Settings tab under "History". You'll keep an ongoing record of when your system was armed or disarmed, which doors/windows were opened at what time, and much more. This is a pretty standard feature, but still, it's nice to have.

Now, at this point, I've been very happy with the Cove's functionality, especially considering the affordable price of the system. On the other hand, I haven't really discovered any breakthrough technology. So let's take a look at the mobile app's features to see if Cove can gain some ground there.

A quick tour of the Cove app

The Cove app unlocks features you simply won't get with the basic plan. The most obvious is remote access and control, from virtually anywhere in the world. This is important, especially if you want to arm or disarm your Cove system while you're away, check your activity log on the go, and generally have more control over your home's security.

When it comes to design, the mobile app dashboard doesn't have much to do with it. Compared to other apps I've used, the Cove app could use a facelift. On the other hand... this is not a beauty pageant.

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Cove app dashboard

There is a really cool feature in the Cove app called Routines. It's like having IFTTT (If This, Then That) built in, which really shows Cove's intelligence. Of course, I've seen this feature on other brands. (I wrote about this in myhome security check.). But you don't often see this kind of customization with DIY systems as accessible as this.

You can establish routines, also called "recipes" or "rules", to automate your home security system. For example, I programmed a routine that automatically armed my system at 10:30 pm. m. each night. (If it ended up forgetting to set the alarm before pulling over!) I established another routine to disarm at dawn each morning, which translates into fewer false alarms when I leave the dog in the first hours of dawn, before my breakfast tomorrow. And finally, I set one up to send a push notification every time my front door was opened.

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cove routines

You will really like the customizations you get here. But remember, you can only enjoy the Routines feature with the Cove Plus plan.

From the Cove app, you'll also be able to access a live video feed from your Cove indoor and outdoor cameras. This is common functionality with most brands, but until recently Cove didn't offer it. (Their older camera model, the one I tested, was made by a third party, and you can only view video footage in the third-party app.) But more on the cameras in a moment.

Did you know:Another useful feature of Cove is Cross Zoning. This requires multiple zones to activate before your system sounds the alarm. If you want to set it up, you'll need to call Cove tech support and they'll walk you through it.

smart home automation

In addition to the aforementioned Routines feature, the Cove is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free voice control. I have an Amazon Echo device, so a quick "Alexa, tell Cove to arm my system" is all it takes to lock it down. And I don't even have to get up from my comfortable spot on the couch!

If you don't already have one, it might even be worth buying an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device just to take advantage of those voice controls. But please note that this feature is only supported on the Plus plan.

One thing missing from Cove's smart home arsenal is integration with Z-Wave or another smart platform. The Cove system is currently not compatible with third-party devices such as smart locks, lights or thermostats. This is something we hope they add in the future.

To use:The folks at Cove are slated to release a Smart Home Hub sometime in 2021. That way, Cove customers on the Plus plan can add it to their system and control Z-Wave smart devices through the Cove app. We will keep you informed.

cove cameras

Cove has made three nice improvements to their camera offerings since I last tried the system: 1) They now offer an external camera, 2) Both internal and external cameras allow for easy viewing of footage right there in the Cove app, 3 ) I have added support for SkyBell and Kami doorbells.

On the other hand, when I tested the system, they still didn't have an external camera or video doorbells, and their internal camera didn't connect to the Cove app.

Cove Camera Features and Pricing

inner chamberexternal camera
$99 Total Price / $49.50 Current Price$199 Total Price / $99.50 Current Price
Vídeo HD 1080pVídeo HD 1080p
110 degree wide angle lens140 degree wide angle lens
bidirectional communicationbidirectional communication
improved night visionimproved night vision
AI detectionAI detection
24 hours of unlimited cloud recording24 hours of unlimited cloud recording
Ability to add a memory card for local storageAbility to add a memory card for local storage
Upgrade to Cove Cloud+ for 30 days of cloud storage: $2.99 ​​per month, per cameraUpgrade to Cove Cloud+ for 30 days of cloud storage: $2.99 ​​per month, per camera

When I tried the Yi indoor camera previously offered by Cove, it was quite impressive. As for the video quality, I was very happy with the 1080p HD resolution. That's the same high resolution you'll get with Cove's current indoor and outdoor cameras. You can also expect two-way talk, night vision, live video streaming, video recording, and 24/7 emergency response. (The last two features require an additional fee.)

These are solid, albeit fairly standard, features for indoor cameras in the $70-$100 range.SimpliSafe camera reviewit is oursRing inner camera review, also. So check them out if you want to do a comparison.

But here's the icing on the cake with the Cove: its indoor camera is only $49.50! Heck, you can even get it for free, as Cove often includes one with the purchase of a home security system.

One more thing to note: when I tried Yi Camera, I wasn't thrilled with the subscription fees required for recording. But Cove has made some interesting changes with its current camera offerings. You now get seven days of unlimited cloud recording for free if you purchase the Cove Plus monitoring plan.

For your information:Looking for an affordable third-party camera? If yes, read myYi Security Camera Review. It's the same camera Cove used to offer, and if you can look past the subscription fees, the camera itself is well worth the $26 it'll cost you.

Environmental Sensors

If you buy a Cove flood sensor or a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, you can access and test them from the Cove control panel. And you can enjoy Cove's environmental protection no matter which monitoring plan you choose; is included with both levels. Also, at around $20-$50 per device, these sensors are competitively priced.

Other Cove gadgets and features

InstaText— No, this is not the latest trend on social media. This is Cove's method of sending text messages with an instant alert that lets you handle an emergency or alarm right from your text messages.

LiveAssist— LiveAssist is another name for the control panel's two-way talk feature. There's a built-in microphone and speaker, so you can communicate with first responders directly through the touchscreen panel.

RapidSOS— With RapidSOS Ready technology, Cove monitoring center can streamline the dispatch process with electronic integration to 911 centers. Once an alarm is verified, Cove monitoring agents can send alarm details directly to 911. Cove, this feature can save three to four minutes in the dispatch process.

The customer service experience

In all of my interactions with the Cove customer service team, I left feeling cared for. And that's not always the case with home security companies. Sometimes the service can be a mixed bag.

But Cove met my needs and the staff seemed to go out of their way to help. For example, after calling tech support, the gentleman I spoke with sent a text message, just to follow up. It was so...

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Cove supported text messaging

Final Words on Home Security at Cove

What can I say? Cove blew me away with its feature-rich systems that are easy to install, easy to use, and very affordable. The system protected my home and family, and I have police photo evidence to prove it! But Cove is really "changing the way home security is done," as its chairman, Robert Shelley, put, in a way, they are.

Typically, you won't see AT&T 4G LTE cell phone monitoring from other low-end DIY brands, especially at $14.99 a month. And while other brands may offer Alexa compatibility, I like that Cove is "smart" enough to support custom automations as well.

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cove security team

Now, the Cove isn't the smartest home security system out there. (For that, check out our guide to thebest home automation security systems.) But you really can't beat the Cove for the price. And I like Cove's 60-day money-back guarantee; most companies only offer a 30-day trial.

All things considered, there's a lot to love about the Cove. Just make sure you choose the Cove's Plus plan, as the Basic plan is very basic. I also recommend getting your indoor camera. It's powerful for the price. And Cove's camera game is even stronger now than when I first experienced them.

Cove FAQ

Is Cove wireless?

Yes, Cove is a 100% wireless home security system. This means there are no wires for thieves to cut and it's easy to take the system with you when you move.

Is the Cove difficult to install?

No, Cove has one of the fastest and easiest installations on the market. It only took 10 minutes to install from start to finish.

Does Cove have cameras?

Yes, Cove sells indoor and outdoor cameras with 1080p HD resolution and lots of great features.

Does professional Cove monitoring work?

Professional Cove monitoring works like a charm. I accidentally turned on the alarm and couldn't give the correct access code, so the monitoring center sent the police to my house.

Does Cove have smart home automation?

Cove is pretty limited in terms of smart home automation. It works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control, but doesn't currently integrate with smart lights, thermostats and other smart devices.

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