Both SimpliSafe and Cox Homelife are reliable and trusted home security options.
Cox Homelife is a home security offering from Cox Communications, the largest private telecom company in the United States. 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 must live in one of these coverage areas.
Based out of Boston, SimpliSafe is a home security company covering over 3 million homes in America. It's perfect for the DIY crowd; SimpliSafe is a high-tech/low-cost option that does not require a landline or Wi-Fi as the system communicates utilizing a built-in cellular connection. Homeowners can choose to go wholly unmonitored and pay no monthly fee at all or to go with a fully-monitored system complete with automatic notifications and remote arming capabilities.
Today we'll be looking at both side-by-side to see which will best meet your needs.
SimpliSafe vs. Cox Homelife - What are the similarities?
- Mobile App: Both SimpliSafe and Cox Homelife offer an easy-to-use mobile app that will allow you to monitor your security system from home. You can receive notifications, arm/disarm, and remotely assess your security system. Cox's app provides more functions than SimpliSafe's, particularly smart home integration. However, SimpliSafe's app is rated better on the App Store
- Pricing: SimpliSafe and Cox Homelife offer some of the most affordable pricing on the market, though SimpliSafe is cheaper
- Professional Monitoring: Professional monitoring is offered by both for an additional monitoring fee
SimpliSafe vs. Cox Homelife - What are the differences?
- No Outdoor Cameras: SimpliSafe doesn't offer outdoor cameras at this time
- Limited coverage: SimpliSafe is nationwide, but Cox only covers 18 states
- Activation Fee: SimpliSafe doesn't charge an activation fee, whereas Cox Homelife does
- Cost-saving bundles: Cox can offer great deals with additional services for your home, which brings the overall cost down for you
SimpliSafe - What you need to know
The DIY installation is straightforward, but users have reported longer wait times if you require assistance. With that said, when we called the IT line for help, we were connected with customer support staff in under 5 minutes.
With SimpliSafe, you get advanced security equipment with a simple setup at a fair price. The best part is, you can pick and choose which gear you want to use based on the size of your home and desired security. All equipment comes with a 3-year warranty.
Some of the available equipment includes:
- Security Cameras
- Motion detectors
- Control Panel
- Base station
- Window sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Smoke detector
SimpliSafe has a select range of Home Automation products.
Here are some smart home devices compatible with SimpliSafe products:
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Assistant
- Apple TV
- August Door Lock
- Nest Thermostat
SimpliSafe remedied part of their compatibility issues by releasing a video doorbell, But this won't work for those who already have a doorbell camera in place.
You purchase equipment upfront either from a pre-determined package deal or à la carte. There are over 15 different packages in different price ranges to choose from. Compared to Brinks, the costs are tiny. You could buy an entire security system for under $150 with no monthly fees (if you choose a self-monitoring option).
Costs: Even the highest-level security bundle comes in under $500, making this an attractive option for homeowners who aren't looking for expensive home security. A home monitoring service is an optional addition.
Satisfaction Guarantee: SimpliSafe offers a 60-day money-back promise that you can return it if you don't like the system. They'll even cover shipping.
Flexibility: You can begin customizing your system as soon as you buy it by buying exactly what you want. You can design the system to your tastes. You can choose whether or not to have security monitoring; DIY is an option for those looking to save money.
No Outdoor Cameras: SimpliSafe offers camera monitoring, but the cameras only work indoors, which means you only have footage of any incidents once they've entered your home. Not to mention, having an outdoor camera is a significant deterrence.
Equipment Incompatibility: If you purchase security with SimpliSafe and decide to upgrade later, new equipment is not compatible with older equipment, necessitating much more significant upgrades if you want to upgrade even a tiny part of your system.
Cox Homelife - What you need to know
When you purchase your security system, you'll make an appointment for a professional installer to visit your home. Some items such as smart lights and other add ons you can put in by yourself.
There is a $25 installation fee for most installations with the Homelife Automation plan, though it's free with some qualifying bundles. There is a $49 installation fee for the Monitored Security plan.
Cox Homelife offers an array of different products; the offerings include:
- Door sensor
- Window sensor
- Alarm System
- Motion sensor
- Smoke and heat detector
- Carbon monoxide detector
- Glass break sensor
- Leak/flood detector
- HD video camera
Cox Homelife offers a great range of home automation options. 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 away and make sure it's comfortable upon your arrival back home
When purchasing a security system, here are the essential 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
- Monthly costs: The SmartHome Automation plan starts at $29.99 per month, though it may be available for $19.99 per month with specific 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
Flexible plans: They offer just two plans to choose from, unlike other companies that provide 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.
Convenient Bundle Options: If you're already a Cox customer or are looking to sign up for their other services, then bundling your home security system in with them can be convenient as you only have to deal with one company and one monthly bill.
Low Priced Bundles: If you're going to use Cox for other services, such as cable and internet, then you will receive a significant discount on your monthly service fee.
Hidden Fees: While Cox Homelife's packages appear to be fairly competitive on the surface, it seems like there's an extra fee everywhere you turn. For example, there's a $4 monthly fee to have a touchscreen keypad, which is required with their Monitored Security plan.
Limited Service Area: 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.
SimpliSafe vs. Cox Homelife?
Both represent solid, trusted options if you're looking for the best DIY home security system, but Cox Homelife is only available in 18 states. Cox Homelife is ideal for those who use other related products from the telecom giant.
SimpliSafe is ideal if you're looking for a nationwide, cheap system that will allow you to have a monitoring plan on an optional basis.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer 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.