Cox Homelife Review
Cox Homelife is a home security offering from Cox Communications, which is the largest private telecom company in the United States. Like other heavy hitters in the cable industry (AT&T and Comcast’s Xfinity) who have made similar moves, Homelife is Cox’s step into the home security and home automation space. Cox only offers service in 18 of the 50 states. While you don’t have to be a Cox customer to sign up for one of their security packages, you do have to live in one of these coverage areas.
The best thing about Cox Homelife is the convenience and cost savings they offer if you bundle their plans with other Cox services such as cable and internet. As standalone systems, however, there’s nothing special about them, and there are more attractive options on the market.
Here's how we rated Cox Homelife:
- Hardware: 4 out of 5 stars. Cox Homelife offers all the standard equipment when it comes to home security and home automation, and customers find it to be well-made and reliable.
- Customer Service: 3.5 out of 5 stars. Cox Homelife reviews for customer service are mixed, with many complaints about billing and contracts.
- Pricing: 3.5 out of 5 stars. Their basic plan prices aren’t outrageous, but they include little equipment. Bundling with other Cox services makes them more affordable, but the purchase of additional equipment is likely necessary to truly secure your home.
- The Mobile App: 2.5 out of 5 stars. Customers report frequent outages and glitches galore. Its rating in the Apple store is incredibly low, while it’s higher in the Google Play store, with customers noting that when it works, it works well.
- Smart Home Capabilities: 4 out of 5. They offer a solid selection of home automation products.
We like Cox Homelife’s straightforward approach to plans. They offer just two plans to choose from, unlike other companies who offer an array of choices that can be overwhelming. You can also customize them beyond the two packages with add-on equipment for an additional cost.
Cox Homelife only serves 18 states, so if you’re not living in one of them, their service isn’t an option for you. Also, unlike other smaller, regional companies that may be attractive for their localized, more personal service, you’re still dealing with an enormous, national company for whom home security is only part of their business.
Equipment available from Cox Homelife
Cox Homelife provides many of the same standard offerings as the leading home security companies. Their packages only include limited equipment though, and anything beyond that costs extra.
- Video camera
- Smart LED bulb
- Door/window sensor
The Cox Homelife Mobile App
The Cox Homelife app has a:
- 1.9 rating in the Apple App Store
- 4.0 rating in the Google Play Store
Yikes. Users slay this app in the Apple App Store, reporting frequent outages and glitches galore. It fares better in the Google Play Store, but there are still numerous complaints from customers regarding its unreliability. If you are an Apple user and being able to control your home security system through your phone is high on your list of must-haves, Cox is probably not the right company for you.
When it does work, it offers quite a bit of functionality, including the ability to:
- Control lights and appliances
- Receive notifications when doors and windows are open
- Watch real-time video from camera
- Adjust the thermostat
- Change the duress keypad code
- Lock and unlock doors
Note, however, that some of this functionality requires the purchase of additional equipment.
Cox Homelife Smart Home Capabilities
Cox Homelife offers most of the standard smart-home products offered by other leading home security companies. Many of them must be purchased separately and require that you sign up for their Monitored Security Plan.
- Smart LED light bulbs: Turn your lights on or off and even dim them, not with the click of a switch but with a tap on the app.
- Smart door lock: No keys necessary, just set a code, and you and whoever you choose to give it to can enter without issue.
- Smart outlet: Frequently forget to turn off the coffee pot? Smart outlets let you turn it and other small devices on and off remotely.
- Smart thermostat: Control the temperature to save energy when you’re away and make sure it’s comfortable upon your arrival back home.
Cox Homelife Customer Service
Cox Homelife offers technical support 24/7 for existing customers via telephone. Sales and billing support is offered from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays. Support is also offered via chat. Friendly representatives respond promptly both via chat and phone.
While Cox has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, there are more than 1,000 online complaints about the company in general. Many complain about poor customer service, particularly when it comes to billing issues and ending a contract.
To test customer service, the SecurityNerds tested each of the following services:
- Sales: Called customer service to enquire about a potential security system.
- Service: Called Cox Homelife to see how long it takes to speak with a human
- Chat support: Initiated a chat to see how responsive and informed the representatives are.
Call and chat inquiries with Cox Homelife representatives were answered quickly by Homelife staff, instead of having to navigate the entire Cox system to get to the department. When called, representatives were enthusiastic, knowledgeable and forthcoming with a la carte pricing, which is a nice change from other security companies who will only provide pricing in terms of packages or who require an in-home visit before giving you any real quotes. Chat service appears to be designed for current customers, as most questions were met with a suggestion that we call customer service.
Cox Homelife covers the following geographical areas
Cox provides service in 18 states, including:
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
Cox Homelife pricing and packages
When purchasing a security system, here are the key costs to consider:
- Equipment costs: Limited equipment is included in both of Cox Homelife’s plans, and additional equipment is available a la carte. Both of their plans require an internet connection, but service doesn’t have to be provided by Cox.
- Installation costs: There is a $25 installation fee for most installations with the Homelife Automation plan, though it’s free with some qualifying bundles. There is $49 installation fee for the Monitored Security plan for standalone plans.
- Monthly costs: The SmartHome Automation plan starts at $29.99 per month, though it may be available for $19.99 per month with certain bundling options. The Monitored Security plan starts at $54.99 per month ($44.99 with some bundles), but also requires a touchscreen pad that costs $4 a month.
- Activation fee: There is $25 activation fee for the SmartHome Automation Plan. There’s an activation fee of $99.99 for the Monitored Security plan.
Beyond the two basic plans, you can purchase equipment a la cart from Cox Homelife. Prices for individual products are as follows, but they also offer bundled equipment with significant savings.
- Smart door lock $230
- Door/window sensor $60
- Smart light bulbs $25
- Motion sensor $100
- Smart outlet $60
- Smart thermostat $200
- Smoke and heat detector $125
- Carbon monoxide detector $125
- Glass break sensor $150
- Leak/flood detector $85
- HD camera $180
The Bottom Line
For existing Cox customers, Homelife may be a convenient and cost effective way to add a home security and home automation system. Their offerings are significant and generally reliable, though problems with their app are frequently reported. We like the straightforward plan offerings, but beware of extra fees and costs for equipment that are likely required to get the coverage you want.
If you’re not a Cox customer and are happy with your existing internet and phone provider, then there’s nothing wow-worthy enough about Cox Homelife that should sway you to choose them, as there are more affordable systems with a greater array of options available. For example, those who like the security of a large company with a good reputation, may want to consider ADT or Vivint, while those who want to self-install a system and save money may want to consider options like SimpliSafe and Ring systems. If, however, you’re an existing Cox customer and are looking for an easy and relatively affordable way to protect your home, then their plans are worth considering.
About the Author
Kristen Bolig is the founder of SecurityNerd. When Kristen and her husband moved from Philadelphia to North Carolina, they bought their very first home. A month after moving in, a security system salesman knocked on her door selling a system that she had seen signs for all over her new neighborhood. Turns out - it was a bad deal. Kristen started SecurityNerd to help others and ensure they have all the info she needed before signing that two year commitment.