Travis Goodreau

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Between these two security systems, our favorite is ADT.

SecureScore™: 9.1/10

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ADT and Cox Homelife are two home security companies at opposite ends of the spectrum. ADT confidently dares criminals to outsmart its monitoring equipment that took years to perfect. Cox Homelife, a branch of Cox Communications, is fresh-faced in the industry, but they are more than ready to bring a brand new eye to security with their quality equipment and affordable package prices.

Choosing between these industry contenders is no easy feat. This side-by-side comparison of ADT and Cox Homelife shows how each one stacks up against the other. Let the showdown begin!

Differences Between ADT and Cox Homelife

Both ADT and Cox Homelife work to secure your home so that you feel safe and protected. While the mission is the same, we did uncover some key differences between the two that were worth noting.

Customer Satisfaction

Did You Know: ADT reaches customers throughout the nation with a substantially high customer service rating. Cox Homelife struggles with customer service and is developing its reach all over America. Nevertheless, the innovative company already covers 12 states.

ADT has worked hard over the years (over 140 to be exact) to develop a nationwide reach and complete customer satisfaction. Because of these efforts, they’ve become known for their quality customer and in-home monitoring services. Also, because ADT is among the few providers that still employs a landline, they can connect with clients at all times (even in more rural areas).

Cox Homelife, on the other hand, does not currently have as broad of a reach. The company is still developing its strategy, finding its demographic, and is struggling to build an adequate customer support service team. It currently offers home security services in the following 12 states:

  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia

Innovations and Perks

During our review of Cox Homelife, we found them to be a modern-age company with new, innovative ideas for the field of home security. Because this company is a part of Cox Communications, it can offer home security services alongside its other service packages. Cox Homelife’s bundles allow customers to combine different services such as phone, internet, and television invoice plans with their monitoring system packages, which allow you to monitor your home from multiple devices (including your tablet or smartphone).

As mentioned before, ADT is a prominent, long-standing home security organization that has been around for over a century (longer than sliced bread). So while their price point is a bit higher than many others, the quality of service is hard to beat. Standard ADT packages come with a money-back-guarantee up to six months beyond the purchase (a win in our book!). One of ADT's innovative features we particularly liked was their video doorbell that allows residents to communicate with people outside.

Blue by ADT doorbell and App

Blue by ADT doorbell and App

FYI: Cox Homelife is a modern, up-and-coming company with new, innovative ideas in the industry. ADT has a long-standing history with quality and ideals customers have become accustomed to.

Similarities Between ADT and Cox Homelife

Both home security systems are designed to protect you, your property, and your family (pets included). Here are more particulars of things ADT and Cox Homelife have in common.

Monitoring Packages

When it comes to monitoring, both ADT and Cox Homelife ensure that you have a variety of package options to choose from and these packages come at a range of price points to satisfy most budgets.

The equipment that comes with a basic ADT home monitoring system includes:

  • Control panel (push-button or touch-screen version)
  • Keychain remote
  • Motion sensor (1)
  • Sensors for entryways (3)
  • Loud siren
  • Backup battery
  • Indoor/outdoor video surveillance
  • Signs
ADT Outdoor Camera

ADT Outdoor Camera

Cox Homelife monitoring system packages come with the following standard equipment:

  • Wireless router
  • Motion sensor (1)
  • Sensors for entries (2)
  • Indoor/outdoor video surveillance
  • Signs
  • Touch-screen control panel (for an extra $4/month)
Cox Homelife Touch Screen Control Panel

Cox Homelife Touch Screen Control Panel

Both ADT and Cox Homelife offer user-friendly mobile app features with their home monitoring systems, which we found convenient since we (sadly) use our smartphones on a daily basis.

To top things off, both ADT and Cox Homelife include an indoor/outdoor video surveillance option. Trained professionals will monitor your system at all times and will immediately alert the authorities if needed. Knowing there are “eyes” watching your home while you're asleep or away will give you the peace of mind you’ve been looking for.


ADT and Cox Homelife each require a long-term contract and professional installation of their equipment. While this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for us, it is something you should consider if you’re hesitant to engage in a long-term commitment.

With ADT, expect a minimum three-year term. However, we were pleased to discover that you have a whopping six months from purchase to cancel your plan and get your money back in full! Also, should you happen to move during your contract period, ADT will relocate the equipment for you and resume your service once you settle.

Unfortunately, Cox Homelife offers long-term contracts with a cancellation window of only three days after purchase (no pressure). To make things worse, there are considerable fines and fees should you decide to move out of one of their 12-state service territories and have to cancel. Something to think about before taking out your pocketbook or purse.

Environmental Hazard Protection

Another similarity between ADT and Cox Homelife that we were quite fond of was their environmental protection offerings. Every day you and your home run the risk of facing unexpected (and sometimes invisible) threats courtesy of Mother Nature herself.

ADT and Cox Homelife look out for you with environmental hazard protection devices like moisture sensors, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide (CO) monitors. The systems can also monitor the home's humidity level and temperature, which helps you maintain decent air quality for added wellness.

Emergency Connectivity

Last but not least, both ADT and Cox Homelife offer both landline and wireless connectivity options with their setups.

If a dire situation pops up, ADT covers all the bases with its fast, reliable response plan. They also offer Wi-Fi, cellular, and landline backup when there is a trigger to the system, ensuring that you get the help you need ASAP.

Cox Homelife does offer both landline, internet, and cellular connectivity options, but there’s a catch: You must carry these services through Cox Communications.

Did You Know: To take advantage of Cox Homelife emergency connectivity, you need to have services with Cox Communications for landline and the internet. But cellular backup also exists.

Price Points for ADT and Cox Homelife

Whether you’re budget-minded or a “big spender,” both ADT and Cox Homelife have something to offer.

ADT offers three primary packages, all of which provide 24/7 monitoring. With each of these plans, there is an up-front cost of $125. After the initial cost, your monthly payment can range from $29 up to $56 to cover the equipment and your chosen services.

Cox Homelife, on the other hand, charges an initial fee of $99 that covers activation and installation costs. You can choose from the Essential Plan at $29.99 a month or the Preferred Plan at $39.99 per month; you can also include add-ons like the control panel for $4.99 and cloud storage for $14.99/month.

Final Thoughts

It can be challenging (and a bit daunting) to choose the right home security system, especially with so many qualified companies on the market today.
And while we can’t make that final decision for you, hopefully we’ve shed some light on two of the industry’s most competent selections.

ADT certainly has a long-standing reputation in the home security marketplace, as well as a broad reach throughout the nation. The quality the company provides is excellent, but comes at a higher price. However, are they staying
up to date as the years pass with technological advances while the digitized world evolves?

Although Cox Homelife is considered more of an up-and-comer, it’s still a viable contender with a modern edge. But the provider has a much smaller landscape and proves a bit stingy with what would be adequate quality for budget-friendly prices. With a few more enhancements, the potential is there for the company to go far.