Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

CPI Security Review

Friday, December 9th

2022 Alarm System Company Reviews

CPI Security Review 2 Star Rating

CPI Security

2 Star Rating
  • 2 packages to choose from, or customize your home alarm system
  • Professional installation required
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Service areas in NC, SC, GA, TN
  • "No False Alarm" Guarantee

Founded in 1991, CPI Security is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company is "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

2 packages - or customize yours

There are three ways to set up your alarm system with CPI Security:

  • inTouch Essentials: this package covers your main entry points with four door/window sensors, plus an indoor motion detector. You'll use either a wireless control panel or the inTouch app to control your system.
  • inTouch Essentials+: this upgraded package includes six door/window sensors and a motion detector, plus a video doorbell and an outdoor camera. It's controlled with the inTouch App or a SmartHub device.
  • Customized Systems: if you'd like a more a la carte alarm system, you can start with the SmartHub and app controls, motion detector and four door/window sensors, then add the Smart Video and/or Home Automation devices you prefer. These can include indoor/outdoor/180 cameras, thermostats, keyless door locks and a garage door controller.

Free professional installation

All of CPI Security's alarm systems require professional installation: no DIY equipment here. This setup comes at no charge. Your system is also covered by a "No False Alarm" Guarantee: if it malfunctions due to an error on CPI's part, any alarm fines will be reimbursed to you. (But note that this doesn't cover user error, "acts of God" , or negligence.)

Extremely limited service area

CPI Security hasn't expanded its service areas since our last evaluation: you still have to be a resident of the NC/SC/GA/TN metro areas of Knoxville, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, Greenville, Charleston, Columbia, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Greenville, Asheville, Greensboro, Raleigh or Charlotte to use these alarm systems.

Best Alarm System Companies

Why so mysterious?

Another thing that hasn't changed is how opaque this company is about its equipment costs and fees. To get any specifics at all, you'll have to submit a contact form or call CPI Security: they don't disclose anything outright on their website. Even their "live chat" takes you to a "call us" or form to fill out, with no way to ask questions first. That's a huge disappointment compared with some rival alarm systems who make it easy to see what you can expect without talking to a sales rep to get it. When you dig around in CPI's terms, you'll discover that you can expect a minimum equipment purchase of $499; customer comments indicate that you can anticipate monthly monitoring fees ranging from $29.99 to $49.99 (or more), not to mention a lengthy contract of anywhere from 39-60 months.

Not dependable enough for all customers

This company gets some mixed client feedback with respect to performance too. On the one hand, the Better Business Bureau continues to give CPI Security its highest "A+" rating and accreditation, which is always a plus. On the other hand, we found hundreds of customer reviews that only give these alarm systems a rating of average, poor or even bad. The biggest complaint is customer service - or lack thereof. People describe being on hold for over an hour trying to get support for a malfunctioning system; one client even said he had to go to a hotel because the alarm wouldn't stop going off and he couldn't get anyone at CPI Security on the phone to help him out. How secure is your home if you can't reach the company protecting it ASAP?

Not a great choice for alarm systems

To recap: CPI Security has a very limited service area, requires prospective customers to talk with a potentially pushy sales rep instead of disclosing terms and fees upfront, and has a history of disappointing customers despite a good record with the BBB. It's no wonder their alarm systems continue to wind up at the bottom of our rankings. You'll probably have a better experience with another provider.

Which Company Offers the Best Alarm Systems?

There are so many options today, from well-known providers that have been around for fifty years or more to brand-new companies selling DIY-installed, wallet-friendly home alarm systems and automation all in one.

You've got plenty of reasons to use an alarm system, whichever route you choose. Not only can they protect you against break-ins while you're away, but they can also give you extra peace of mind if you're one of the millions of Americans who find themselves working from home on a regular basis. Need to know who's at your door before you open it? Many systems will send live video right to your smartphone, letting you decide if you should interrupt that conference call with your team!

The Best Alarm System Companies Compare Alarm System Companies Compare Alarm System Company Reviews What are the best Alarm System Companies Best Alarm System Company Reviews

Alarm System Company FAQ

As many as 21 million households in the US use a security alarm system to protect themselves from burglary, home invasions and other crimes. With almost four million burglaries each year, it's important to have round-the-clock monitoring and an immediate emergency response if someone tries to break in.
It doesn't have to be. There are two costs associated with all alarm systems: the equipment and the monitoring service itself. Some companies give you the equipment at no charge as part of your plan, but the monthly fees are often higher to account for the free gear. Other services may require you to pay for your equipment upfront, but your monthly charge will be lower than the competition. Most alarm systems have monthly fees ranging from the low $30s to the upper $50s.
In the past, alarm systems were 100% wired - and yes, they had to be installed by a professional. While there are still a handful of companies that use these types of systems (including a landline to monitor them), most services today use totally wireless technology. In fact, many alarm systems have equipment that you can install yourself in just a few minutes.
The most basic systems include a few door contact sensors and that's about it. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to include wireless motion sensors for the interior or exterior of your home, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, flood sensors or even a panic pendant. The most advanced alarm systems give you options for video recording as well.
You might. If you got your equipment at no cost, chances are you'll be signing a contract of at least three years (ouch). If that doesn't appeal to you, consider an alarm system company where you purchase your equipment outright: they're less likely to require you to sign a contract to use their monitoring service.
You can rest assured that your alarm system provider wants to keep your business, and they'll make it as easy as possible if you move. Whether that includes setting up monitoring at your new address or even doing a full install, they will help you get it done. The easiest systems to move are the ones with do-it-yourself installation: move the equipment when you go, and don't forget to update the alarm company with your location.
Almost certainly. Savings typically range from 2-10%, depending on the type of alarm system you have and your insurer.
Many of today's popular alarm systems come with a 30-day risk-free trial. However, some companies have hefty fees for cancelling a contract prior to the end date, so you'll want to read all of the fine print before you commit to a provider.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

What are the basics of an alarm system? Most packages come with a few window/door sensors and some kind of control panel. You can still find traditional equipment that includes a wall-installed panel, but most of today's systems have a portable tablet used to arm and disarm it. From there, the options are nearly limitless and can include indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbells, smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and many other features to keep you feeling secure.

Beyond safety, alarm systems now give you plenty of choices for home automation. What might have seemed like space-age tech just ten years ago is commonplace: use your smartphone to turn down the thermostat before you get home from work, arm your system with a voice command even when you're already in bed for the evening, or sign into your system from your computer at work to make sure you really did remember to lock the front door (and take care of it if you didn't!).

With so many options, it can feel overwhelming to choose an alarm system. There are several things to keep in mind that can help make the decision clearer and lead you to the package that will meet your needs:

  • Features. What are the most essential components your alarm system needs to have? For most people, that will be the right number of window and door sensors to cover all easily-accessible entry points (such as the first-floor), and a control panel that works best for all occupants. Is there any nice-to-have equipment on your wishlist? That could include indoor video recording/storage, lots of home automation capabilities, and so on. Use your must-have and nice-to-have lists to determine if a provider has what you need.
  • Cost. There are several costs associated with an alarm system. This usually includes the price of the equipment (either upfront or monthly with a contract), monthly monitoring fees, and possibly installation. The company may tell you straight out what you can expect to pay, or you might have to reach out for a quote. Make sure to carefully read all of the terms and conditions before you commit, especially if your home alarm systems provider requires you to sign a contract of a year or more.
  • Service Area. Most home alarm systems companies service all 50 states, but some have limited coverage areas. Before you get too far into your research, check to see if you're eligible to be a customer and, if so, which authorized retailer might be responsible for your installation and service.
  • Reputation. What do clients say about their alarm systems? Is it worth the money? Have they been able to get prompt, professional support when equipment doesn't work properly? It's not uncommon for the larger companies to have thousands of complaints, but that's not cause for concern if they're responding appropriately each time.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best alarm systems available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the right protection to keep you, your loved ones, and your property safe and sound!

See the Best Alarm System Company
The Best Reviews of Alarm System Companies