ADT vs. Cove
What is the difference between ADT and Cove?
ADT and Cove both offer great home security systems. The main difference between the two is that ADT is more traditional in its approach — the company offers professional installation and requires contracts. Cove, on the other hand, specializes in flexible DIY solutions without contracts. The right one for you depends on your budget and what you’re hoping to get out of a home security system.
Installation and cost
|Installation type||Pro install||DIY|
|Installation fee||$99 to $199 (may be included in package price)||None|
|Upfront cost||$599 to $1,049 upfront or $9.98 to $17.48 monthly for 60 months||Varies based on equipment|
|Trial period||6-month money-back guarantee||60-day money-back guarantee|
|Contract terms||36 months (60 months if financing equipment)||No term contracts|
|Pro install||$99 to $199 (may be included in package price)||$599 to $1,049 upfront or $9.98 to $17.48 monthly for 60 months||6-month money-back guarantee||36 months (60 months if financing equipment)|
|DIY||None||Varies based on equipment||60-day money-back guarantee||No term contracts|
Monitoring plans and pricing
|Monitoring price range||$28.99 to $57.99||$17.99 to $27.99/month|
|24/7 professional monitoring||Starting at $45.99||Starting at $17.99/month|
|Upgraded professional monitoring||$57.99/month||Starting at $27.99/month|
|$28.99 to $57.99||Professional||—||—||Starting at $45.99||$57.99/month|
|$17.99 to $27.99/month||Professional||—||—||Starting at $17.99/month||Starting at $27.99/month|
|Wired or wireless?||Wired and wireless||Wireless|
|Camera options||Indoor & outdoor cameras||Indoor and outdoor cameras|
|Glass break sensor|
|Panic button||Not listed||Medical panic button|
|Wired and wireless||Indoor & outdoor cameras||Not listed||Not listed|
|Wireless||Indoor and outdoor cameras||—||Medical panic button|
|Garage door control||—|
|Temperature sensor||Heat detector within smoke detector|
|—||—||—||—||Heat detector within smoke detector|
|Mobile app||MyADT Mobile App for account management; ADT Control for system management|
|Mobile app monitoring||Yes, via ADT Control app|
|iOS rating||4.8 for MyADT; 4.8 for ADT Control||2.3|
|Android rating||4.4 for MyADT; 4.8 for ADT Control||2.5|
|Notification/alert options||App, text and email||Phone, email, text and push|
|Home automation capabilities||—|
|Other integrations||Alexa, Google Home and Samsung devices||—|
|MyADT Mobile App for account management; ADT Control for system management||Yes, via ADT Control app||4.8 for MyADT; 4.8 for ADT Control||4.4 for MyADT; 4.8 for ADT Control||App, text and email||Alexa, Google Home and Samsung devices|
|2.3||2.5||Phone, email, text and push||—||—|
Reputation on ConsumerAffairs
|Overall star rating||4.6||2.2|
|Verified customer reviews||ADT reviews||Cove reviews|
All information accurate as of publishing date.
ADT is a well-known name in the security industry — the company has more than 145 years of experience and serves more than 6 million customers. With ADT, renters and homeowners have the option to buy security packages outright or finance their system over 60 months. Some equipment can be purchased a la carte, but most customers choose packages with monitoring. The company also offers apps and smart-home integrations.
- Secure Package: The Secure Package is ADT’s base-level security solution. This package starts at $599 and comes with a control panel, three door/window alarms and a motion detector. Customers also have the option to finance their package starting at $9.98 per month for 60 months.
- Smart Package: With the Smart Package, customers get all of the equipment from the Secure Package plus smart-home equipment, including a smart door lock and a smart plug. This package starts at $919, or $15.32 monthly for 60 months.
- Complete Package: The Complete Package includes everything from the first two packages plus a Google Nest Doorbell camera and an indoor camera. This package starts at $1,049. Financing is available starting at $17.48 per month for 60 months.
What ADT customers say
ADT seems to be liked by most customers, with verified buyers giving the security company above a 4-star rating on our site as of the time of publishing. Common themes in positive reviews include customer service, knowledgeable and courteous installation service and good system features. Some customers take issue with the cancellation process and mention some spotty equipment issues. Overall, the system is considered easy to use, and customer service is described as polite and respectful.
Cove is known for its build-it-yourself security systems, and the company offers an easy-to-use quiz to help customers decide what they might want for their specific situation. This gives customers the ability to find a solution that fits their budget and their needs without having to do a lot of research or heavy lifting on their own.
The price for the base unit is $249, with additional equipment available at an extra cost. The product line and smart-home features are somewhat limited — live monitoring and live video footage is only available with a monitoring plan. But for customers who just want a straightforward approach to home security, Cove can be a good option.
- Cove Basic: Cove Basic monitoring is 50 cents per day, or about $183 per year. This monitoring plan includes 24/7 live alarm monitoring through a direct line to professional monitors, environmental monitoring and an hourly automated system check. It also includes additional features like instant group texts if there’s a threat and direct communication through the alarm panel in your home. The plan also includes a one-year warranty on all equipment.
- Cove Plus: Cove Plus is about $305 per year, or 83 cents per day. The Cove Plus plan includes everything from the basic plan, including 24/7 live monitoring, environmental monitoring, hourly automated checks and instant texting. It also includes the ability to control your system through your smartphone or with voice integrations. The plan bumps up the warranty to a lifetime warranty on all equipment.
What Cove customers say
Cove has received mixed feedback in reviews. Many comment on an easy installation process, affordable pricing and good support team, while others have expressed frustration with equipment troubleshooting, false alarms and the cancellation process. While not across the board, there is a fair amount of positive feedback indicating that the customer service team goes the extra mile for customers.
Bottom line: ADT or Cove?
Both ADT and Cove offer a good solution to home security, but there are a few key differences. ADT is more expensive, but it’s hard to beat as a full-service provider that offers a wide variety of products and service benefits. Cove offers a more flexible approach to home security and uses a quiz to find the right solution. Plus, its monitoring rates are hard to beat. That being said, it may be frustrating for some individuals that they can’t get live monitoring without paying for professional monitoring too.
- ADT is best for someone who wants to finance their system and monitoring through monthly payments.
- Cove is best for people who want add-on capabilities but aren’t concerned about smart-home integration.
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