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ByAnne Dennon Technology and Finance Writer

Anne has written for Reviews.com for two years. She's interested in the digital transformations of home and money and in tech ethics.

CPI Security Review

CPI Security offers a lot of the benefits of working with a large provider, with the added perk of actually being a regional company, and thus being more customer-focused. This Southeastern home security company operates in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, and Florida. If you live in the area (and plan on doing so for the foreseeable future), a home security contract with CPI Security will equip your home with up-to-date security and automation devices (hello door cams and temperature control), all easily controllable by app.

CPI is unique in that it designs, installs, monitors, and services its own security system. Video and sensors are professionally monitored out of CPI’s North Carolina headquarters. The plan, the app, and the devices carry the same name: inTouch. This holistic system allows CPI to make guarantees that other companies, selling third-party devices and giving the option for DIY monitoring, can’t. For example, CPI offers a No False Alarm Guarantee. If a system malfunction leads to a false alarm and you get charged a fine, CPI will credit your account for the cost.

The Claim

CPI Security promises “innovative, worry-free solutions.” The company stakes its reputation on the competitiveness of its in-house equipment, professional monitoring, and local ties to the Southeast.

Is it true?

Yes. CPI Security is unique amongst home security options in that it marries top-tier tech with a local feel — the 24/7 monitoring is based out of CPI’s North Carolina headquarters.

CPI’s inTouch equipment lineup includes all the sensors and remote capabilities you find from other, bigger names. The lot is controllable via app or 7-inch touchscreen hub. Professional installation means you won’t have to worry whether everything is properly functioning. And because faulty installation is the cause of many false alarms, if you have a false alarm and get fee from the city, CPI will credit the total to your account.

Product Overview

Best for

People looking for a regional company that provides service guarantees and smart home security on par with the big, national players

Not for

Those who aren’t interested in committing long-term to a home security system or who will be moving away from the Southeast in the near future

Features

Price inTouch Essentials — $29.99/mo.
inTouch Essentials Plus — $39.99/mo.
inTouch Edge — $49.99/mo.
Standout features Smart home devices
Free professional installation
No False Alarm Guarantee
States served North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, and Florida
Fees Early termination fee
Reinstallation fee
Terms 30- or 60-month monitoring agreement, or month-to-month if you purchase all equipment upfront

Flexible payment plans

The cost of equipping your home with the latest smart home security devices can be prohibitive. With CPI, you can purchase the devices gradually without being charged interest. CPI SmartPay offers 0% interest for the duration of the contract you choose — around three to six years. Paying off your suite of home security devices could tack just $10 on your bill every month. On the other hand, if you purchase them upfront, there’s no need to sign a contract. You can opt for the month-to-month agreement.

Free professional installation

We live in an era of DIY, but sometimes the frustration and time-consuming nature of electrical installations aren’t worth the bragging rights. CPI provides free professional installation. Its ready fleet of trained technicians do the work, which allows CPI to offer the No False Alarm Guarantee. Because the company installed and tested the system, if it malfunctions and leaves you with a false alarm fee, CPI will reimburse you for it. The company also offers the Service Plus Program: free replacement parts and installation for normal wear-and-tear or equipment malfunctions.

Able to take over an existing system

While CPI designs and supports its own lineup of home security products, it’s also capable of monitoring your home via existing devices. Did you outfit your home with a hodgepodge of cameras and sensors or go all-in with one company whose monitoring services ultimately disappointed? CPI can take on up to 20 pre-wired contacts, provided they are in working condition.

A Breakdown of CPI Security Plans

  inTouch app Door/window sensors Motion detector Doorbell camera Fire communicator Smart hub Keyless door lock
inTouch Essentials
inTouch Essentials Plus
inTouch Edge

Possible drawbacks

No trial period

While other home security companies allow you some time to change your mind after installation (ranging from a few days to a month or more), CPI Security doesn’t do a trial period. Once you have signed up for monitoring and have the equipment installed, it’s yours for the duration of your contract. You do have the flexible option of paying month-to-month, which makes canceling a lot less messy, but you have to make a big commitment in order to make that smaller commitment: You have to purchase all the equipment upfront, which can total $500 or more.

Limited geographical range

The positive side to CPI’s Southeast focus is personalized customer service. The national companies carry one-star ratings with the Better Business Bureau — consumer dissatisfaction born from having to climb through phone trees and lodge complex, unresolved complaints with a company that’s just too big, too corporate to take care of its customers. Meanwhile, CPI is small enough to resolve issues and provide support. But if you move outside of CPI’s operating range, you’ll have to pay to get out of your contract. And if you don’t have a contract, you have bought all the equipment outright and now have to shop around for a new provider that can work with another brand’s devices.

The Competition

  CPI Security ADT Vivint
Our review Our review
Install
Professional Professional Professional
Monitoring
Professional Professional Professional
Starting price
$30 $37 $40
Package options
3 5 2
App store rating
4.6/5 4.7/5 4.4/5
Contract length
Monthly
30 months
60 months
36 months Monthly
60 months
In business since
1976 1890 1999
Warranty
1 year 90 days 120 days or lifetime
Trial period
N/A 30 days 3 days
View plans View plans View plans

CPI Security vs. ADT

ADT is synonymous with home security. The name and logo are enough to stop any would-be burglars in their tracks, but there are truly effective security measures backing up this heritage brand. Like CPI Security, ADT keeps its equipment on the cutting edge of home security and home automation. Both also offer plenty of integration capabilities with third-party-friendly Z-Wave technology. The apps are also on par, though ADT Pulse app scores slightly higher among users. On the other hand, ADT falls short on customer service. A smaller company, CPI keeps consumers happier according to the two companies profiles with the Better Business Bureau.

CPI Security vs. Vivint

Vivint is a forerunner of home automation. If home automation — rather than plain and classic home security — is your end goal, you may be better off securing your equipment with it. Vivint is both tech-savvy and competitively priced. But if you aren’t particularly interested in filling your home with smart tech and don’t want to sign on to Vivint’s particularly lengthy five-year contract, then CPI Security can still provide you with up-to-date devices with the bonus of more personalized care. Vivint excels at home security for the tech-focused. CPI stands out for those who want professional assistance with a more intimate, consumer-first company.

CPI Security FAQ

How much does CPI Security cost?

There are three service tiers available with CPI Security. The basic plan, inTouch Essentials, comes in at $30 per month and offers a base layer of home security: door and window sensors and motion detectors, controllable by app or control panel. Level up to inTouch Essentials Plus at $40 per month for a doorbell camera, smart home hub, and fire communicator, which instantly alerts the monitoring center of smoke. For $50 per month, inTouch Edge tacks on an exterior camera and a keyless door lock.

You can either buy your equipment ($500-plus) at the outset or tack on the gradual purchase of them over the course of a contract — 30 or 60 months.

How do you cancel CPI Security?

Call to cancel at 800-948-7133.

If you purchase all of your equipment outright, you hold a month-to-month contract with CPI Security and can cancel at any time without penalty. But if you hold a contract with CPI Security — either 30 or 60 months — and are still paying off the equipment, you will have to pay an early termination fee. In this scenario, the cost of canceling depends on the number of months remaining in your contract.

Can you take CPI Security with you when you move?

If you are moving within CPI Security’s service area, you are eligible to take your security system with you. You can either leave your equipment at your former residence (potentially increasing that residence’s value and going price) or transfer it to your new home. If you are enrolled in SmartPay, you’ll need to pay off your existing devices before purchasing a new set for your new home. Whether you purchased your equipment upfront or are still paying it off, if you opt to take your devices with you, you will need to pay to have them professional reinstalled to ensure functionality.

If you’ve been with CPI Security for more than 24 months, you won’t have to pay anything but the reinstallation fee. Less than two years, and you will pay a transfer fee. Here are the full details.

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of elements to consider when choosing a home security company — the sophistication of the devices, the quality of customer support, the cost. CPI Security nails a lot of the top concerns with a good track record and solid equipment, all professionally monitored and controllable by a highly rated app. But while the monthly monitoring price is competitive with other providers, you could get stuck with an ugly bill if you move outside of CPI’s service area. For those who are sure to stay within the Southeast corner of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, CPI is a great home security option.

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