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Cove Security System Review

DIY Security System

Cove security system

Cove Security System

The Cove security system provides a good option for professionally monitored systems, starting at only $15/mo. The devices are reasonably priced and you can build the exact system you need. Sensors, motion detectors, flood or freeze devices, medical alarms, and more—there is a wide range of Cove security items to customize your preferences. Based on our tests, we found Cove easy to install, easy to use, and well built.Check Price

Pros

  • Easy setup that requires no tools
  • Based on cellular connections instead of WiFi
  • Low start up cost for each device

Cons

  • No Cove cameras to add to the system
  • No free subscription available, professional monitoring required

Scoring

Feature-Rich Professional Monitoring
  • 98%
    Design - 98%
  • 97%
    Performance - 97%
  • 95%
    Quality - 95%
  • 97%
    Usability - 97%
  • 94%
    Value - 94%
96%

Summary

The Cove security system is sold in preset kits or as custom bundles with exactly the sensors and detectors you need for your specific space. All Cove subscriptions have professional monitoring (starting at $15/mo) and the Cove Plus plan also offers smartphone control or integration with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. The system installs tool-free with simple parts that plug into a standard wall outlet, are battery-powered, and / or mount with double-sided adhesive tape. If you’re looking for a DIY system that is incredibly simple, with professional monitoring, and with low start-up costs, Cove could be right for you.

Pricing & Packages

Cove has quite a few different security system packages, depending on the size of property you are securing.

All of their kits rely on the same cellular data-based system with just a different number of accessories between each kit.

All kits also include a 30-day free trial with professional monitoring and 100% cellular connection.

Here’s an exact list of what each Cove kit includes:

Cove Security System Sets

Cove 5-piece security system

5-Piece Set

Includes:

  • 1 Base Station
  • 1 Contact Sensor
  • 1 Motion Sensor
  • 1 Flood/Freeze Sensor
  • 1 Key Remote
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7-piece Cove security set

7-Piece Set

Includes:

  • 1 Base Station
  • 2 Contact Sensors
  • 1 Motion Sensor
  • 1 Flood/Freeze Sensor
  • 2 Key Remote
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8-piece Cove security system

8-Piece Set

Includes:

  • 1 Base Station
  • 3 Contact Sensors
  • 1 Motion Sensor
  • 1 Flood/Freeze Sensor
  • 2 Key Remotes
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10-piece Cove security system

10-Piece Set

Includes:

  • 1 Base Station
  • 4 Contact Sensors
  • 2 Motion Sensor
  • 1 Flood/Freeze Sensor
  • 2 Key Remotes
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13-piece Cove security system

13-Piece Set

Includes:

  • 1 Base Station
  • 7 Contact Sensors
  • 1 Motion Sensor
  • 1 Flood/Freeze Sensor
  • 1 Medical Alarm
  • 2 Key Remotes
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Monitoring Pricing

Cove Basic

$15 / mo

Cove Plus

$25 / mo

Cove Protect Basic vs. Cove Protect Plus

 Cove Protect: BasicCove Protect: Plus
Price Starting At$15/month$25/month
Motion-activated NotificationsYesYes
Live ViewYesYes
Environmental MonitoringYesYes
2-Way AudioYesYes
24-Hr Battery BackupYesYes
24/7 Professional MonitoringYesYes
Warranty1-year manufacturer's warrantyLifetime equipment warranty
Smartphone ControlNoYes
Alexa/Google ControlNoYes
Lifetime Monitoring Rate Lock GuaranteeNoYes

Equipment

The equipment provided with the Cove system includes a variety of sensors, a home base, and a remote for when you’re not at the base station.

Cove security devices
Cove security devices

Here’s a complete rundown of what each part does and why it’s important to the Cove system.

#1. Base Station

The Base Station is the central command center for the Cove system. From this touch screen panel, you can arm or disarm the system, adjust the volume, view personal settings, or even make a dispatch phone call in the event of an emergency.

Cove touch alarm security system
Cove Security – touch panel / base station
  • Using that control display you can add / remove sensors and adjust all of the various settings of your system and sensors from a single location.
  • Using the control display you can set up a hostage passcode…a code that you enter that disarms the system and then silently alerts the authorities

This touch panel also has a 24-hour backup battery in the event of a power outage or other emergency.

Our Testing Thoughts

  • Nice display with a bright, full color touch screen
  • Touch controls were quite responsive
  • Easy setup and intuitive

How does it work?

The base station holds all of the controls of the Cove System. When motion is detected from sensors or when doors / windows are open or closed, it can also send an alert or an audible chime to notify you.

Cove touch panel - base station

This panel can be mounted on the wall or it can also sit freestanding on a table or countertop and it plugs into a standard wall outlet.

One unique feature of the Cove touch panel is the two-way on-site voice communication. The two-way audio allows dispatchers to immediately check in on you using the home panel.

Testing It Out

You can test various elements of the system using the control display…including cell connection, sensor signal test, signal walk test, sound audio, siren audio, etc.

Speaking of audio, let me add here that the siren is ABSURDLY loud…and I do mean utterly absurd.

I tested the siren from close range and I may have caused some hearing loss. Do not test this unit unless you’re ready to turn it off or it is an actual emergency.

#2. Contact Sensor

The Contact Sensor is designed to secure movable partitions, like doors and windows. The sensor is broken down into two parts with each part mounting on a separate part of the door or window.

Cove contact sensor security system
Cove security – contact sensor

Our Testing Thoughts

  • Easy to install
  • Straightforward and to the point

How Does it Work?

When a door or window is opened, the contact sensor will send an alert or emit an audible chime notifying you of the activity.

Cove contact sensor installed
Cove contact sensor installed

It’s easy to use and quick to install, no tools required. The sensor adheres to and flat surface using the double-sided tape.

#3. Motion Sensor

The Motion Sensor can be used anywhere you want to monitor any motion. These Cove sensors pride themselves on being pet-friendly, with the ability to ignore motion from pets and instead focus only on motion detected from people.

Cove security motion detector

Our Testing Thoughts

  • Like the contact sensors, easy to install
  • Can use for a doorway or motion in an entire room
  • During our tests, we did not experience any issues with false alarms from motion due to pets or from robot vacuums.

How Does It Work?

Motion sensors from any DIY security system are pretty simple. Similar to the contact sensors above, these motion sensors are designed to detect motion and sync up with the home touch panel, letting you know when motion is detected.

Cove security motion detector
Cove security motion detector

#4. Flood / Freeze Sensor

The Flood / Freeze Sensor detects water or freeze hazards and lets you know so that you can take action before it gets out of hand.

Cove Flood & Freeze detector
Cove Flood & Freeze detector

Other competitors, like Ring Alarm, also have this sensor, but with the Cove system it comes standard with many kits, and with Ring, this accessory is sold separately.

Cove freeze and flood detector

How Does It Work?

This sensor is installed on the floor and when it detects water or freezing temperatures it will emit an alert to the base station and / or a notification text directly to your smartphone.

NOTE: No testing notes here since our system did not come with this device.

#5. Key Remote

The Key Remote is a small in-hand key fob, about the size of the fob you’d use to lock or unlock your vehicle.

Cove security key fob remote

It serves the purpose of a mobile base station, allowing you to perform basic functions at the touch of a button, even when you are not near the home base.

Our Testing Thoughts

  • Incredibly easy to setup
  • Low price point so you could add more remotes to your system as needed
  • Great range. Even 50’ish feet away and through an external wall it was able to communicate with the system.
  • Button prices do require a surprising level of force. Which I suppose could be good so you don’t accidentally press a button without intending to.

How Does It Work?

Using the Key Remote, you can alternate modes (Away, Stay, Disarm) or press “SOS” and have it work like a remote panic button.

It comes with a 5-year battery life and a lifetime warranty available as well.

Some may consider this device to be a bit of an unnecessary “extra”, but I found it to be a nice addition.

Sure, smartphone control is simple too, but recall that only the Cove Plus system will have smartphone compatibility.

#6. Medical Alarm

The Medical Alarm is only included with the 13-piece set but it can also be purchased separately.

This device syncs up with the rest of the Cove system and can dispatch proper local personnel in the event of a medical emergency.

Our Testing Thoughts

Although this device did not come with the set we tested, here are some of our initial thoughts:

  • Low price point
  • Flexible to be carried around or even worn on your body
  • Waterproof design is good for people who have a high fall risk, as showers or baths are one of the most dangerous places for these risks

How Does It Work?

This alarm is a single push button alarm that sends a signal back to your central base station in the event of a medical emergency. It’s incredibly easy to use and quick to access.

Cameras, Doorbells, Sensors, and Other Items

In addition to the items listed above, there are a few other sensors available to expand the capabilities of your Cove system.

Here is a quick list of some of their most popular items:

  • Glass Break Detector: sends an alert if it detects the sound of glass breaking
  • Smoke Detector: detects smoke and emits an audible alarm
  • CO Detector: detects the presence of carbon monoxide, a poisonous, odorless gas, and emits an audible alarm
  • Indoor Camera: have eyes on the spaces you are monitoring by adding one (or more) indoor cameras to the Cove setup

Cove Security Camera

I will add here that the Indoor camera is a third party camera and not native to the Cove name. It doesn’t pair up with the security system so it feels a little odd to even offer it as an addition.

Cove security YI indoor camera
Cove security YI indoor camera

Customer service says a Cove camera is in the pipeline, but since it hasn’t launched yet, I can’t really speculate as to how that will integrate.

Cove Glass Break Sensor

We were also able to test out the glass break sensor. Although it is not included with any of the kits mentioned above, it is a pretty handy device.

Cove security glass break detector

It’s small, about the same size as the motion detector, and has the same double-sided adhesive on the back so it’s easy to stick on any smooth surface.

Installation & Setup

The easy setup DIY security systems is largely why many people are opting out of traditional systems in lieu of a more non-invasive, contract free agreement.

DIY Systems vs. Traditional Security Systems

DIY systems are generally:

  • Contract free
  • Flexible to mix and match different cameras and sensors
  • Wireless or battery-powered (unless you specifically want a wired system)
  • Easy to take the system with you if you move
  • Inexpensive cost per month; only pay for what you need

Traditional systems generally:

  • Have lengthy contracts
  • Costly start-up fees
  • Require professional installation
  • May have penalties if you move or cancel the contract before the term is up
  • Feels a little “behind the curtain” and company may lack transparency

Getting Started with Cove

The Cove setup takes about 20-30 minutes, including unboxing, setup, and installation. Of course, this was with the relatively small system we tested. If you opt for a system with more devices setup could take longer.

Unboxing Time

5-10 mins

Setup & Install Time

15-20 mins

Setup was extremely easy. Basically, you plug in the control tablet / display first and then simply follow along. It takes a few minutes to make a connection, but after that it rolls along quickly and smoothly.

  1. The control display walks you through the setup of each sensor. 
  2. Touch panel prompts tell you what sensor to get, what to do with (press a button, contact the sensors together, etc.), and how / where to install it
Sensor display with the Cove security system

The setup also included some helpful graphics and measurements for how and where the sensors are best installed.

Installing the System

Touch Panel

  • Setup is easy. Plug it in, let it connect to Cove, then follow along the display
  • Sits freestanding or can be mounted on the wall; plugs into a standard wall outlet
  • The power cord on the control display includes a screw so that you can insert a drywall anchor into your wall. This prevents it from being easily unplugged. A small, but noteworthy added security measure.

Contact Sensor

  • Provides double-sided adhesive on the back that easily sticks to a flat surface
  • Install up high for best results

Motion Sensor

  • Provides doubled-sided adhesive on the back that easily sticks to a flat surface
  • Install up high for best results

Flood / Freeze Sensor

  • Sits directly on the floor

Key Remote

  • It’s a wireless remote you can take on-the-go, virtually no install

Medical Alarm

  • Put it on a nightstand, in a pocket, or wear it as a necklace

Finalizing with Cove

The final step to the install process is a call from Cove directly. They can call you via the control display or on your phone.

Setting up the Cove security system - touch panel

They call to verify the system has been correctly setup, verify / create your secret word, tell you a bit about the system, and also tell you that you have a 2 hour window before the system will be fully armed.

This window gives you extra time to play around with the system without the worry about issuing false alarms.

Features

Some of the most attractive features of the Cove security system are nods to how user-friendly and intuitive the system is.

Whether you are in a rented, leased, or owned home, Cove is a non-invasive, secure system that can provide peace-of-mind.

Cove security sign
Cove security sign

Here’s a quick list of some of the best Cove features:

First and foremost, Cove boasts its 3-factor alarm response. This “three-touch” strategy can help reduce false alarms and provide help faster response times in the case of an emergency:

  1. LiveAssist: a dedicated two-way communication channel between you and Cove built into your alarm panel. Whenever your alarm goes off, day or night, we’ll speak to you directly through the panel.
  2. InstaText: sends an SMS text to your smartphone if your alarm goes off so you can quickly dismiss the alert or dispatch help
  3. Direct Phone Call: calls you directly to check on your status. If you don’t answer, they’ll contact emergency services immediately.

Other Cove system features include:

  • Cellular Backup: Relies on cellular connection instead of a potentially spotty WiFi network
  • 24/7 Customer Support: professional monitoring service provided with all Cove Protect subscriptions
  • “Smash and Grab” Technology: if intruders try to destroy the home panel, during a break-in, it will still dispatch the police

The Modes

The Cove security system has three different modes it can operate in. The modes include:

Disarmed

  • Disarms all sensors

Stay

  • Disarms interior motion sensors
  • Keeps door / window sensors activated

Away

  • Arms all sensors

The ‘Stay Mode” is useful when people will be staying inside the home. This mode is commonly used at night or when you know you won’t be leaving the home for a while.

Disarming the Cove security system
Disarming the Cove security system

Smart Home

The Cove Plus plan is the only subscription that offers smartphone or smartphone connectivity. With Cove Plus you can control the system using your smartphone, an Alexa-enabled device, or Google Assistant.

Echo Dot 3rd generation size scale
Amazon Alexa Echo Dot (3rd gen)

Using voice control, you can:

  • Change security modes
  • Check the status of your security system
  • Send an SOS for immediate assistance from local dispatch

Monitoring

As mentioned above, professional monitoring is available with both Cove subscriptions—Basic or Plus. This is a little abnormal (relative to other DIY systems) as the nicer feature also means highly monthly fees.

That being said, professional monitoring does do an excellent job of providing peace-of-mind and guaranteed access to help in the case of a true emergency.

Hands-free Control

There are two kids of hands-free control with the Cove security system:

  1. Key Remote
  2. Smartphone App (with Cove Plus only)
  3. Voice Control (with Cove Plus only)

The Key Remote is the easiest of the three. It comes with all Cove systems and you can also purchase additional remotes seperately.

NOTE: The next two control options are only available with the Cove Plus system.

The smartphone app provides all of the same features as the Key Remote and even a few more. You can control the system directly from your smartphone and receive push alerts or text notifications whenever anything unusual happens.

Voice control is a handy feature, especially if you already have an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device already in the home.

The App

The Cove app seems pretty basic, but still serviceable. When I tested it out, it didn’t seem that you are able to adjust device settings on the app, which is a bit disappointing.

Setting up the Cove app

You can only adjust the device settings on the touch panel itself.

Customizing It

You can add multiple locations and manage them all from a single app. It’s a pretty nice feature, especially if you have a 2nd home, office, guest home, etc. You can also add multiple users that have account access.

Lastly, the app has an event history log, just like the touch panel display.

Cover security history on the app
Cove security history on the app

Routines

Routines is perhaps the most advanced and interesting feature on the app.

When a specified event or schedule occurs, the Routine can trigger a notification, an individual device action, or a scene (a group of devices with actions).

For example, you can set the system to arm at a specific time.

Cove security app menu

The “scenes” integrate with Amazon Alexa and can trigger a wide range of options.

For example, I could have it start to play a song, turn on a security light, or auto lock a door, etc.

Customer Service

A good customer service program excels in two different areas, in my opinion. Here are the two parts I like to consider when envaluating how good (or not so good) a customer service team is.

  • Part 1 is support when making the initial purchase.
  • Part 2 is support when / if things go wrong after install.

A good company needs customer service that excels in both of these areas in order to ensure customer satisfaction.

#1. Making the Initial Purchase

To purchase a kit, Cove is user-friendly. They offer a range of security system kits that are already ready to go or you can build your own system.

To build something custom, the website will ask you a series of prompts to help determine what your needs are. If you already know exactly what you need, you can skip these questions.

Cove security - building your system

If you get stuck on the questions or still aren’t sure exactly what you need, there is a Cove online chat, which you can open up anytime to get some answers.

I cannot say how much I love when a chat is available and avoid a phone conversation.

NOTE: I did have to wait around 8 minutes for someone to finally connect to the chat when testing that out.

#2. When Things Go Wrong

After you setup your Cove system you may still have questions or issues that require customer support. In this instance, there are two main resources that Cove provides.

  1. Online Chat
  2. Resource library

As mentioned above, the online chat thread is a great option for quick questions or small issues. If they can’t assist you, chances are that they will be able to forward your request to the right department to get things resolved.

The resource library is a blend of FAQ articles, images, diagrams, and even short videos to walk you through different aspects of the system you may be struggling with.

Cove Customer Support

Overall, I would say the Customer Service department at Cove is helpful. It is full of information, but in a way that is digestible and accessible.

And if you get stuck, it’s reassuring to know you can access the online chat, email customer service, or just pick up the phone and call without much issue.

The Bottom Line

Cove was just launched in 2018, but has already caught the attention of professionals and DIY-installers alike. The Cove system is affordable if you’re looking for professional monitoring, starting at $15 / mo.

If you want all the bells and whistles, you can opt for the $25 / mo subscription to Cove Plus which provides other smart features like smartphone integration and Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice control.

Cove touch panel - security system

While it doesn’t offer much in terms of cameras you can add to the system, if you primarily want sensors, it’s a fantastic option.

The Cove security system is a good option for users who want:

  • Professional monitoring: comes standard with Basic or Plus subscription plan
  • Low start-up costs: affordable to add different sensors or detectors and build the exact system you need, without paying for extras that you don’t
  • Cellular connectivity: relies on cellular network instead of WiFi which can sometimes be spotty; no need for range extenders to expand your reach

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have pay for a monthly subscription?

Yes. Unlike other security systems where you can just opt for cameras, the Cove system requires all users to pay a monthly fee in order to use their system. (But it is contract-free so there’s that.)

What if you don’t like it?

If you find that the Cove system isn’t for you, there are still options. Cove offers a 60-day trial period and if you decide at the end of the trial that you want to return the system, Cove will even pay return shipping.

Does Cove offer professional monitoring?

Yes. Professional monitoring is included with all Cove subscriptions. There is no way to self-monitor the Cove system.

Can you buy more sensors after you’ve already made the initial purchase?

Yes. Just email customer support with the items you want and how many. They can set up a sales order and you can easily add products to your security system.

Does Cove offer security cameras?

Yes and no, but mostly no. Currently, Cove is including a Yi camera with many packages for free. However, that camera does not integrate with the overall Cove system. To monitor that camera you’ll need a separate install and app. Cove is expected to launch a Cove branded camera in 2021.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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