Pros / The motion sensor does not trigger alerts for pets weighing under 100 pounds.
Cons / Unless you pay for an extended warranty, the equipment warranty is only 90 days.
Verdict / Cox Homelife gives you good basic equipment and monitoring choices, but service is not available nationwide.
Cox Communications has offered TV, phone and internet service for years, and it now provides home security and automation. Its internet-based security system, Cox Homelife, comes with 24/7 monitoring that's about average for a home security system. It also has reasonably good options for equipment. However, you need decent credit, and Cox internet and cable customers get better prices.
Cox's Essential plan costs $39.99 a month, but you get a $10 discount if you're already a Cox internet or cable subscriber. Additionally, you can expect to pay $4 a month to lease the control panel, bringing the minimum monthly cost to $43.99. Its residential security alarm systems, with or without home automation, have contracts that run for two years. At the end of those two years, your contract automatically renews on a month-to-month basis.
If you cancel early, Cox Homelife requires you to pay a prorated fee – in the past, you had to pay 80 percent of the remaining cost, but the latest public contract terms we found on Cox's website don't give a specific figure. You only have three days after purchase to cancel your service and return the equipment without incurring termination fees, which, while short, is common among home security companies.
Although you pay a somewhat average fee each month, there are some startup costs. For example, you must pay $99 for professional installation and activation. In addition, Cox Homelife requires a credit check, so if your credit score is low, you might not qualify for this system. Similarly, unless you pay a monthly fee of $4.99, you get a disappointingly short equipment warranty that lasts only 90 days, the shortest warranty period of any home security systems we reviewed. However, this extended warranty is comparable to that offered by Brinks Home Security and ADT.
You can choose from two packages. Cox’s basic package, Essential, comes with a control panel, two door and window sensors, a motion sensor, a wireless router, two window decals, and a yard sign. The control panel has battery and cell backup, and you can access your system through mobile devices or a computer. It can also send text alerts.
The motion sensor is immune to pets that weigh under 100 pounds. This is considerably less sensitive than the sensors other home security companies use, which often trigger alarms when they sense something weighing over 40 pounds. This helps avoid false alarms and can save you money if your municipality charges for false alarm responses.
Cox's more advanced Preferred package has more equipment options, including smoke and heat detectors, and it can monitor for water leaks and carbon monoxide. This package also has home automation controls that let you turn lights on and off, lock and unlock doors, change the temperature, and turn off small appliances. This plan comes with a surveillance camera, which is typical of premium home security systems.
If you have questions, you can contact Cox Homelife over social media, phone and live chat – the company doesn’t offer email support. This home security company also has a webpage with FAQs, troubleshooting information, how-to videos and consumer forums.
- Monthly Monitoring Fee
- Contract Length