ADT vs Cox Homelife

ADT and Cox Homelife are two great security providers with excellent reputations. Cox is a branch off of Cox Communications, one of the largest American Telecom brands. Cox offers simplified security packages and plan options, with professional installation and reliable services. You can even bundle your Cox services to save money.

ADT is one of the most popular home security providers, with over 7 million customers and 140 years in the industry. ADT is well-known for offering professional installation and monitoring services.

Cox Homelife and ADT: What do they have in common?

  • Professional monitoring: You have excellent professional monitoring with either service. If the alarm system is tripped, the monitoring centers will respond quickly, offering homeowners peace of mind.
  • Mobile app: You'll have access to a mobile app that allows for remote monitoring of your security system. You can also arm/disarm your security system remotely.
  • Professional installation: You can't DIY install with this system - you'll need a representative to come to your home and complete the installation.
  • Smart locks: You can control your door locks as part of a smart home security system.
  • Security equipment: ADT and Cox Homelife sell similar homeware, with high-quality HD cameras and motion detectors.

Cox Homelife and ADT: What are their differences?

  • Activation fee: Cox Homelife charges an activation fee; the cost starts from $25. ADT doesn't charge activation fees.
  • Smart home options: ADT is Z-wave compatible; you can use it with Amazon's Alexa, Nest thermostat, and other third-party integrations.
  • Bundle options: Cox offers several bundle options that allow you to save money as a Cox customer. You can combine a security system and internet services.
  • Installation fee: ADT's installation fee starts at $99 and can be $299. Cox's installation fee is a relatively tame $25.
  • Doorbell cameras: Cox homelife security doesn't seem to offer video doorbells.
  • Service area: ADT covers all states, but Cox only covers 18 states. If you live outside of those 18 states, you can't use their services.
  • Warranty: ADT offers a lifelong warranty and a 6-month satisfaction guarantee.

Cox Homelife - What you need to know

Cox is a famous telecom provider, but it's not common knowledge that they offer security services. You can rely on them to provide security services and even bundle your services so you can save money on your other services.


Like ADT, Cox offers pro install. The installation is much cheaper than ADT, though. It's just $25, or $49 for a monitored plan. Still, it's better than $99-299.

Home automation

Cox doesn't offer many third-party integrations, but they do provide some smart locks, LED light bulbs, automated plugs, and more, which you can control with a handy smartphone app.


Cox offers two security packages, but you can purchase extras on an a la carte basis if you want to.

The Smart Home system includes:

  • Security camera
  • Smart light
  • Door/window sensor

The Monitored Security plan includes: 

  • Touchscreen control panel
  • Motion detectors
  • Yard signs

Add-ons include: 

  • Yard sign
  • Environmental sensors
  • Door sensors
  • Window sensors
  • Door locks
  • Glass break sensors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Smart thermostat
  • Smoke alarm
  • Keypad


  • Equipment costs: You can purchase a limited selection of equipment in Cox's bundles, buying individual items. You'll pay $80-$230 per item.
  • Installation costs: Your installation fee will vary depending on whether you have monitoring or not - your installation fee will be $25-49.
  • Monthly costs: Monthly fees range from $29.99 to $54.99. You can also get a discount by bundling your services.
  • Activation fee: The activation fee varies from $25-$99 depending on whether you choose a monitored plan or not.

Nerd Pros

  • Bundles: You can cut costs by purchasing a bundle that gives you extras like cable and Wi-Fi services. It's convenient to have all of your home services for a monthly fee.
  • Professional installation: A Cox representative will visit you and complete the installation before walking you through how your system works.
  • Simplified plan choices: Cox offers just two plans, which keeps things simple. You can purchase extras if you desire.

Nerd Cons

  • Pricing: Cox can be more pricey than you'd initially think; there are many hidden fees. For example, if you need a keypad, that'll cost you an extra $4 per month.
  • Limited service area: Cox Homelife isn't available for most people - they only cover 18 states, unlike ADT.
  • Contracts: Some customers report confusion about contract length or being misled into signing a more extended contract. Some have also spoken about early termination fees and other clauses they weren't prepared for—triple-check any contracts before you sign.

ADT: What you need to know

ADT is a recognizable global brand with over 7 million customers. The familiar blue and yellow logo reassure you that you're in safe hands. They have one of the fastest response times in the industry and multiple monitoring centers across the USA. ADT is available nationwide.


It's not possible to DIY install an ADT system, but for $99-$299, an ADT representative will come to your home and do it for you. You'll be shown how your system works and be allowed to ask questions.


You can pick from an assortment of equipment, but the basic system comprises:

  • Motion sensors
  • Window sensors
  • Door sensors
  • Key fob
  • Window decals
  • Yard signs
  • Keypad

However, you can buy individual add-ons, such as security cameras, on an a la carte basis.

  • Control panel
  • Outdoor security cameras
  • Smart locks
  • Garage control
  • Light control
  • Smart thermostats
  • Automated plugs
  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • Flood sensors
  • Glass break sensors

Home automation

ADT offers third-party integrations (Z-wave) with products such as Apple TV, Alexa, and Nest thermostats, but they also provide dedicated smart home options such as smart locks, thermostats, garage door controls, and more.


If you choose to buy an ADT system, you'll need to consider several costs, such as:

  • Equipment costs: With ADT, the equipment expenses are included in the upfront costs. The value of the equipment starts at $850, depending on the kit you choose, but you won't be expected to pay upfront.
  • Installation costs: Depending on the complexity of the installation, costs vary from $99-$299.
  • Monthly costs: Monthly monitoring fees range from $35.99 to $57.99 per month.

Nerd Pros:

  • Reputation: ADT is one of the biggest security companies globally, which means you can trust them. They've been in the business for more than a century.
  • Easy installation: You don't have to worry about the installation; you'll have a home consultation to help you understand your security needs, followed by a professional installation.

Nerd Cons:

  • Customer service inconsistencies: ADT is known for outstanding customer service, but third-party companies operating under the ADT name in some places cause a variation in customer experiences.
  • Add-on extras: The core packages are surprisingly affordable, but add-ons can quickly become unaffordable.
  • Mobile app issues: The app glitches occasionally, so it's not great. A company of this size should have a better app.

ADT or Cox Homelife?

If you're looking for a home security company with reliable security monitoring, cellular backup, Z-wave compatibility, and other smart home integrations, look no further than ADT. They offer excellent customer support and reliable equipment. If you're looking for a more extensive service plan, including Cox internet, you can look into Cox Home Security.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.