CPI Security System Review for 2023 (2023)

At first glance, CPI Security seems to offer everything we look for in a home security system. And they’ve been in business for 30 years now, so they certainly have the experience we like to see. But we’ve been doing this a long time, and we know better than to take companies like CPI Security at face value. Instead, we like to roll up our sleeves and really dig into the systems.

With that in mind, we recently tested CPI Security systems from top to bottom. We looked at everything from pricing and features to tech, customer service, installation, and more. So, what did we find? Well, it was the classic example of “skeletons in the closet.” All right, we didn’t find skeletons, per se, but there are a few things you should know about — like limited availability, expensive equipment, and not-so-hot customer service.

But was any of these things a deal-breaker? Not really. And to be fair, there were a lot of things we liked about CPI Security. For instance, they offer excellent video monitoring, a no false alarm guarantee, and innovative inTouch™ products. In some ways, the pros outweigh the cons. So, let’s dive in to see if CPI Security is all that it’s cracked up to be.

  • No False Alarm Guarantee
  • Custom Equipment Packages
  • High-Quality inTouch™ devices
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Smart Home Features
  • Video Streaming and Recording
  • Numerous Add-Ons and Upgrades
  • Expensive Compared to Competitors
  • Learning Curve to Advanced Functions
  • Limited Availability
  • Professional Installation Required
  • Customer Service Requires Improvement

CPI Security Company History

CPI Security Systems, Inc. has been around since 1991. And from what we can tell, they’ve been growing steadily over the years. The company’s headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina.1

Note that CPI Security was named The Security Provider of the Year in 2019 by SDM Magazine.2 So, although they may not be as relevant as today’s home security startups (the “new guard” that’s sweeping the market like Ring and SimpliSafe), CPI still might be a force to be reckoned with. That said, in all of our research about the company, we didn’t come away with any definitive facts or figures that truly stood out. What you see is what you get with CPI.

CPI Security Cost Breakdown

CPI’s pricing actually threw us for a loop. We were excited when we heard their monitoring starts at $29.99 per month. So, we called in, and after going through a consultation and a credit check (yep!), we were told that the $29.99 monthly monitoring was only for their no-frills Essentials package. Still, anything under $30 per month is darn cheap in our book. After all, the industry average is closer to $40 per month for 24-7 professional monitoring.

Did You Know: Some DIY systems only cost between $15 and $20 per month for monitoring, with others (like Ring Alarm) go for as low as $10 per month!

(Video) Before You Buy a Home Security System... WATCH THIS!

Now, don’t get too excited just yet, as you’ll still need to purchase the equipment that keeps the bad guys at bay. With CPI Security, equipment runs $500 or more depending on the package. That said, we can all-but-guarantee their premium package — with security cameras and keyless door lock — costs upward of $1,000. So be prepared for the ol’ sticker shock. Compared to systems like SimpliSafe or Frontpoint, CPI Security is expensive. Here are the package options:

CPI Security Packages

EquipmentinTouch™ EssentialsinTouch™ Essentials PlusinTouch™ VideoinTouch™ Edge
Door/Window SensorsYesYesYesYes
Motion DetectionYesYesYesYes
Motion SensorYesYesYesYes
Smartphone ControlsYesYesYesYes
Doorbell CameraNoYesYesYes
Outdoor CameraNoNoYesYes
Keyless Door LockNoNoNoYes
Standard KeypadYesNoNoNo
Touchscreen KeypadNoYesYesNo

Of course, you can also customize a system from the ground up, which is something we really like about CPI Security. Also, we were happy to hear that all CPI Security packages include their touchscreen InTouch™ Smart Hub. Well, every package except for the Essentials option, which comes with a more basic wireless control panel.
CPI Security System Review for 2023 (1)Unfortunately, CPI Security isn’t transparent about their costs, as prices are nowhere to be found on their site. You’ll have to call in for a quote, which is always disappointing for us to see. However, if you do call in and find that the equipment is too expensive, CPI Security offers 0% financing over 36-60 months with the CPI Smart Pay Program.3 Even still, we found that these home security systems are not best for folks on a tight budget.

Hands-On Experience with CPI Security

Getting Started

The sign-up process for CPI Security was fairly straightforward. First, we spoke with a sales rep on the phone to learn about our options. Then we chose an equipment package (we went with the Edge package) and a monitoring plan. At $49.99 per month, the monitoring plan wasn’t cheap, but that’s the going rate for security + video + home automation these days.

CPI Security System Review for 2023 (2)
Now, remember how we mentioned that CPI Security only has limited availability? Well, here’s something to chew on. If you don’t live in the following 12 states, then you’re out of luck, as CPI only offers service in these areas:

  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Virginia
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Delaware

Another thing to keep in mind is that CPI Security doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. In our experience, we’re used to decent offers here — like 30-day or, 60-day money-back guarantees. The well-established security company ADT actually offers a 6-month, money-back guarantee! Knowing that a company stands behind its products helps to instill trust. Alas, CPI doesn’t guarantee anything.

FYI: Although CPI Security doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, you can exercise your three-day “right of rescission.” This is a federal law stating that you can return your purchase for a full refund within three days of the sale date. It pays to know your rights!4


We like options, and it’s nice to at least have the option for DIY setup. So, we were somewhat disappointed to learn that CPI Security requires professional installation. That said, we’ve almost come to expect it with top brands like ADT and Vivint. Just know that you’ll have to schedule a date and time for a CPI technician to visit your home and get your system up and running.5

Depending on the system and how many devices you purchase, installation can take anywhere between 30 minutes and a couple of hours. So just be prepared. One nice thing about professional installation, though, is that the system is more likely to be installed correctly the first time around. Why break a sweat if you don’t need to? We live by that motto.

Daily Use and Performance

We found that CPI’s equipment was surprisingly well-made — especially compared to the low-end DIY systems out there. One gripe we had was with the door and window sensors. The sensors were either a bit sensitive or “trigger happy,” and they were tricky to pair with the control panel when we reconfigured the system. Also, if we’re honest, they’re chunky as all get-out! That aside, we actually liked the equipment. Don’t worry, we’ll dig into our experience with the cameras in just a bit.

As far as the controls go, we think you’ll like the touchscreen control panel and mobile app. Remember, all their packages (except the base Essentials package) come with the touchscreen InTouch™ panel. It’s a sleek way to arm and disarm your system, view your live video feed, and automate your home with smart features. As for the app, it’s nice to have control of your system from anywhere using your smartphone.6 We were able to access all the features the inTouch™ panel offers, but from the convenience of our phone. However, we think the interface could use some work. It’s definitely not as sleek or easy to use as, say, Ring Alarm’s mobile app or Frontpoint’s app.

CPI Security System Review for 2023 (3)
And what about the 24-7 professional monitoring? Well, one look at the CPI Security website, and you’ll see they really hype-up their monitoring center. Sure, it’s award-winning. And yes, it’s a UL-listed facility with a TMA 5-Diamond Certification.7 But aren’t most of them? We wanted to know how CPI Security performed in real-world situations. So, we simulated some break-in and package theft scenarios to find out!

Overall, we experienced lackluster response times of about 40 seconds (pretty anticlimactic, right?). However, the video doorbell worked decently, and we liked that all CPI cameras offer 1080p HD video quality and night vision, the works.

(Video) Q&A: CPI Security vs. Vivint Smart Home

Pro Tip: UL-listed, TMA 5-Diamond Certification are the industry designations for legitimate monitoring centers, staffed by trained professionals. Most of the larger home security brands meet these standards just fine.

Customer Service

You’ll see that CPI Security offers three main ways to get in touch: phone, online chat, and email. We’ve seen user complaints regarding customer service. Again, we like to get in the trenches and find out for ourselves. Well, what we found was average to less-than-average customer service.

Although CPI’s call center is open 24-7, our wait times varied (but it sure wasn’t fast). And the online chat function seemed impersonal. There is a Customer Care Help Center tab on their website, but it only has a few resources, none of which we found helpful. It got us wondering how CPI Security earned itself an A+ BBB rating.8 We’d give them a B+ in this category.

Features and Technology

24-7 Professional Monitoring — Around-the-clock security and environmental monitoring by highly-trained agents located across the nation.

Video Surveillance — CPI’s video monitoring can help to secure the outside and inside of your home.

IVAN Technology — Intelligent Video Activity Notifications (IVAN) will send smart alerts that distinguish between people, pets, and cars.

InTouch™ App — You can receive instant alerts and monitor your home from pretty much anywhere in the world using CPI Security’s mobile app.

No False Alarm Guarantee — Alarm and video verification helps to ensure emergency responders aren’t dispatched unless necessary.

Environmental Monitoring — CPI offers a heat rise indicator, a smoke detector, and a carbon monoxide detector.

Smart Home Automation — Control your lights, garage door, thermostat, and keyless door lock, as well as create custom scenes.

Voice Control — CPI works with Amazon Alexa and Sonos One for hands-free voice control.

CPI Security Cameras

Of all the different components offered by CPI Security, we actually liked the security cameras the most. We purchased an indoor and outdoor camera to see how they measured up against other security cameras on the market. And we were pleasantly surprised. CPI’s four-camera options include:

InTouch 180™ Indoor Camera

CPI Security System Review for 2023 (4)

(Video) CPI SecurityOutdoor Camera with Perimeter Alert Technology

InTouch™ HD Indoor Camera

CPI Security System Review for 2023 (5)

InTouch™ HD Outdoor Camera

CPI Security System Review for 2023 (6)

InTouch™ Doorbell Camera

CPI Security System Review for 2023 (7)

They offered everything from 1080p HD video quality and night vision to Pinch & Zoom, low-light recording, motion detection, live video streaming, and a few other nifty features. We also had access to 30-day video storage with their Stream Video Recorder (SVR) service, but that’ll cost you extra.

Equipment Options

CPI Security has a pretty decent lineup of equipment. However, the company doesn’t list prices for the add-ons and upgrades anywhere on their site. We think a little more transparency here would be nice. Here’s a helpful chart listing all of CPI’s offerings:

CPI Security Equipment

DeviceType of Device
Entry sensorSensor
Motion SensorSensor
Touchscreen PanelControls
Wireless PanelControls
Light ControlSmart Home
Smart ThermostatSmart Home
CO DetectorEnvironmental
Smoke DetectorEnvironmental
Touchscreen Door LockEntry
Garage Door ControllerEntry
inTouch 180™ IndoorCamera
inTouch 180™ HD Indoor CameraCamera
inTouch 180™ HD Outdoor CameraCamera
inTouch 180™ Doorbell CameraCamera

Final Words and Recommendations

We tip our hats to CPI Security for a few things, like their video surveillance features and their lineup of InTouch™ devices. But that’s about it. Compared to many of the top home security systems today, we think CPI is too expensive and a little too rigid with their professional installation policy. Also, if you don’t happen to live in the handful of states we listed above, then you simply cannot get CPI Security. And that’s a huge limitation.

With that said, it might be a good fit for some folks. For instance, if you live in the south and want access to decent home security + video + home automation (and you don’t mind paying $500 or more for equipment), then CPI just might fit the bill. All things considered, we weren’t all that impressed with CPI Security. We recommend looking into more affordable options on the market that are just as good, if not better.

CPI Security FAQs

Does CPI Security require a contract?

Not always. If you purchase the equipment upfront, you can get month-to-month monitoring. If you have to finance the equipment, they will require a 36-month to a 60-month contract.

(Video) ADT vs. Vivint | Which home security system is better?

Is it DIY or professional installation?

Unfortunately, CPI Security requires professional installation on all systems.

Is video surveillance available?

Yes, in fact, CPI does a great job of offering top quality video surveillance.

Is it available in my state?

You can probably get CPI if you live in the south, but you will have to check with a sales rep to make sure.

How much does it cost?

Equipment starts at $500 and goes up from there, while monthly monitoring fees range from $29.99 to $65 per month.

(Video) Security Camera Buying Guide 2022-2023 - What You Need To Know


Is CPI Security worth it? ›

It has great customer service and support too. Still, CPI Security is not a bad option, especially if you're rooted within its service area. It offers advanced security and automation equipment, monitoring services with video verification, a smooth buying process, and a customer-centric service.

Is CPI a good company? ›

Is CPI Security a good company to work for? CPI Security has an overall rating of 3.9 out of 5, based on over 186 reviews left anonymously by employees. 81% of employees would recommend working at CPI Security to a friend and 71% have a positive outlook for the business.

Do CPI cameras record all the time? ›

Capture 24/7, high-definition, continuous recording with the Stream Video Recorder (SVR).

What is the difference between CPI and ADT? ›

Cost: Depending on the package you choose, ADT offers specific equipment and affordable monthly monitoring rates. On the other hand, CPI Security requires an upfront equipment fee plus a monthly monitoring fee. Contracts: If you don't like being tied down by contracts, ADT is a good option to consider.

Can you get out of CPI contract? ›

Early Termination

If you're a month-to-month contract, either because you've paid the equipment in full or because your initial contract term has ended, you're free to cancel anytime without any penalty. Simply give CPI Security an early notice.

Does CPI charge for the equipment? ›

CPI stands behind the equipment we install. With CPI's lifetime warranty, CPI will repair or replace any malfunctioning device at no additional cost to you. CPI's Service Plus is included with all security packages.

What are the negatives of CPI? ›

It does not measure price changes in regional, rural or remote areas. The CPI also does not take into account the differences in spending patterns between individual households. Households are very different and some may spend a lot more on a certain items than others.

What is the problem with CPI? ›

It may constitute a relatively good measure of price changes in the specific goods in its basket. However, one limitation of the CPI is that the consumer goods it considers do not represent all production or consumption in the economy. Therefore, as a basic economic barometer, the CPI is inherently flawed.

What is the disadvantage of CPI? ›

Doesn't include energy costs: A major criticism of the CPI is that it doesn't include energy costs even though these are a major expenditure for most households.

Can CPI see inside your home? ›

24-7 Professional Monitoring — Around-the-clock security and environmental monitoring by highly-trained agents located across the nation. Video Surveillance — CPI's video monitoring can help to secure the outside and inside of your home.

How many times are you caught on security camera per day? ›

"There are less than 5% chances of an average to be captured on camera per day", many respondents have discussed about it and made the comment.

Does the CPI camera whistle? ›

When CPI's latest technology detects a person within the camera's view, the AI-powered outdoor camera whistles or makes an alarm sound (user's choice) and flashes a light to warn the person they're being recorded.

Does CPI Security require WIFI? ›

Does CPI Security require Wi-Fi? Some equipment, like window sensors, do not require Wi-Fi connectivity, but certain systems, including the inTouch SmartHub panel, require Wi-Fi connectivity to operate.

How many customers does CPI Security have? ›

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, CPI Security was founded in 1991 on an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for helping and protecting others. What started as a company of 10 employees and 300 customers has grown into one of the nation's top 10 largest security providers with over 750 employees.

Does CPI have battery backup? ›

It's also important to note that your panel will run off of the rechargeable backup battery for 24-48 hours during a power outage. Once power is restored, the backup battery should begin to recharge. If it doesn't recharge in 12-24 hours please contact us at digitalcaresupport@cpisecurity.com.

How long is CPI security contract? ›

Additional benefits: Flexible contract options: CPI Security Systems offer a 39-month contract to break up equipment costs over time.

What does CPI fail to account for? ›

Not included in the CPI are the spending patterns of people living in rural nonmetropolitan areas, those in farm households, people in the Armed Forces, and those in institutions, such as prisons and mental hospitals.

What was removed from CPI? ›

The core CPI index excludes goods with high price volatility, such as food and energy. This measure of core inflation systematically excludes food and energy prices because, historically, they have been highly volatile and non-systemic.

How much does CPI cost per month? ›

CPI Security also requires professional monitoring that costs $29.99, $39.99, or $49.99 per month depending on the plan you choose.
CPI Price & Packages.
CPI Security PlanMonthly Plan CostEquipment Cost*
Basic Security$29.99Starting at $499.99
2 more rows
Jun 9, 2022

Can I add cameras to my CPI system? ›

Yes, you can upgrade your system with the latest smart home technology for protection, control and convenience. Add smart locks, garage door control, doorbell cameras, 24/7 recorded video and more.

How much does a CPI Security thermostat cost? ›

Smart Thermostat Cost

On average, a smart thermostat can cost anywhere from roughly $150 – $300, with the final cost determined by the quality and features of the product.

What is better than CPI? ›

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Deflator

The fixed basket used in CPI calculations is static and sometimes misses changes in prices of goods outside of the basket of goods. Since GDP isn't based on a fixed basket of goods and services, the GDP deflator has an advantage over the CPI.

What happens when CPI goes down? ›

If the CPI declines, that means there's deflation, or a steady decrease in the prices of goods and services. The CPI is compiled and released every month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is a sub-agency of the Department of Labor.

What is the benefit of using CPI? ›

The CPI is one of the most commonly used tools to measure inflation and deflation. Inflation is an important indicator of an economy's health. Governments and central banks use the CPI and other indices to make economic decisions. Key among these is whether to raise or lower interest rates.

What are the three accuracy problems with CPI? ›

Three problems with the CPI deserve mention: the substitution bias, the introduction of new items, and quality changes.

How do you solve CPI problems? ›

To find the CPI in any year, divide the cost of the market basket in year t by the cost of the same market basket in the base year. The CPI in 1984 = $75/$75 x 100 = 100 The CPI is just an index value and it is indexed to 100 in the base year, in this case 1984. So prices have risen by 28% over that 20 year period.

Why is the CPI biased? ›

CPI Biases

Since the CPI is a fixed-weight price index, it would not accurately predict the impact of the price increase on the consumer's budget. Quality bias - over time, technological advances increase the life and usefulness of products.

How long is CPI Security contract? ›

Additional benefits: Flexible contract options: CPI Security Systems offer a 39-month contract to break up equipment costs over time.

What does CPI Security do? ›

Best-in-class equipment including encrypted intrusion detection devices, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, full HD security cameras with 24/7 recording, and innovative smart home technology.

How long has CPI Security been in business? ›

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, CPI Security was founded in 1991 on an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for helping and protecting others. What started as a company of 10 employees and 300 customers has grown into one of the nation's top 10 largest security providers with over 750 employees.

What is the current CPI for this year? ›

(ET) Tuesday, February 14, 2023 USDL-23-0277 Technical information: (202) 691-7000 * cpi_info@bls.gov * www.bls.gov/cpi Media contact: (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov CONSUMER PRICE INDEX - JANUARY 2023 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.5 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted ...

What is the CPI so far this year? ›

The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 6.6 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased 0.8 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the past 10 to 12 months are subject to revision.

Do CPI cameras whistle? ›

When CPI's latest technology detects a person within the camera's view, the AI-powered outdoor camera whistles or makes an alarm sound (user's choice) and flashes a light to warn the person they're being recorded.

Do CPI cameras have sound? ›

Many outdoor and indoor cameras are equipped with two-way audio – in fact, all CPI Home Security Cameras have this feature. You can use it to notify a stranger that you see them on your property, interact with a visitor at the front door, or communicate with a family member who's inside or outside your home.

What are the three major uses of the CPI? ›

The CPI is used extensively in many different ways, including three major uses: to adjust historical data, to escalate federal payments and tax brackets, and to adjust rents and wages.


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