✔ Hive’s starter security pack costs £313 for the first year, to keep it smart
✔ And you’ll have to pay £120 in every subsequent year
✔ However, we would recommend Hive’s smart thermostat
Hive is one of the most popular smart security suppliers in the UK, with 1.9 million customers.
However, despite some cutting-edge features and a collection of hardware which could rival most security systems, Hive falls short in terms of price – and, to a lesser extent, customer service.
We go into more detail below, but if you’re ready to see which deals you could get, fill in this form to receive quotes for security alarm systems.
How much does Hive home security cost?
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To access your system’s full capabilities, you must subscribe to Hive HomeShield, which costs £9.99 per month.
If you have two cameras, this rises to £11.99, and if you have three or more, you’ll pay £15.99. The first month is free.
HomeShield allows you to:
- Arm or disarm your alarm from anywhere
- Monitor your home
- Receive alerts via automated phone call, app notification, or text
- View live footage of your home
- Create a unique keypad PIN for each household member (and guests)
- Use three customisable security modes – home, sleep, and away – which you can program to arm and disarm different zones of your home
- Keep your products under warranty for as long as you’re subscribed
If you don’t subscribe to HomeShield, you’ll only be able to use your system manually, removing the entire point of buying a smart system.
The features listed above are helpful and innovative, and a fee for cloud storage is standard practice, but it is extremely rare for a home security company to charge a monthly fee simply for the privilege of properly using the products you’ve already bought.
For comparison, the £9.99 that Hive charges camera-less customers every month to continue using their system is only £3 less than SimpliSafe’s basic monitoring service.
This monthly fee takes Hive’s starter pack from a pretty reasonable £203 to costing £553 over the first three years, excluding the installation costs.
If Hive’s features are attractive enough to you that you don’t mind paying this much, that’s your call. Just be prepared to part with £9.99 every month, or your system will turn into a pumpkin – functional and useful, but not very magical.
Total cost for the first year
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Hive pros and cons
- You can simultaneously arm and disarm different parts of your home
- Each person in your home can have a different PIN, so you’ll know who’s home
- Three security modes lets you easily set different alarm programs
- You can easily add smart devices to control heating, lighting, and water
- Unnecessarily expensive
- No monitoring
Hive home security products
If you’re not looking for an entire security bundle, Hive allows you to pick and choose – though you’ll pay more for each product without the special package prices.
Let’s dive deeper into Hive’s hardware offerings.
Hive View Outdoor: decent value, but nothing special
This unremarkable cube ranked ninth in our list of best outdoor security cameras, but didn’t top any individual categories – and that tells most of the story.
It’s an all-rounder: not the best, not the worst. At £143.20, it’s decent value, but not amazing.
You can store footage on the cloud for free for 24 hours – or, if you want to keep the past 30 days of footage, you can pay £3.99 per month, or part with £39 per year to save £8.88.
For this outlay, you’ll get 1080p resolution, five metres of night vision, a 130° field of vision, and two-way audio, all of which is standard for top-tier cameras.
It’s wired, which means you’ll have to find a way to plug it into the mains – but on the plus side, you won’t need to worry about the battery running out.
Installing it is easy enough, as you’ll just need to put a single screw in your wall, but you should expect this level of convenience from a smart camera.
The camera also connects to Amazon and Google’s smart speakers, making it easy to use – but again, this is now a typical feature of smart cameras.
The View Outdoor is more expensive than cameras with better features, like the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery, Reolink Argus 2, and Yale All-in-One Outdoor, and comes with no special features to recommend it over them.
If you have Hive gear already, and it’s more convenient for you to add a Hive camera, then this is a perfectly good smart model – but there are better options if you’re starting from scratch.
Hive View: even less cost-effective than its outdoor sibling
Hive’s indoor camera is the same as the outdoor model above, both in terms of what it can do and in terms of price, which is an identical £143.20.
This makes it even worse value than its outdoor counterpart, as indoor cameras are usually cheaper.
They also typically possess more than the View’s five metres of night vision, which is a full four metres less than the £30 Neos SmartCam.
It’s not a bad camera, but we don’t recommend buying it.
There are cheaper machines of the same quality, like the Nest Cam Indoor, and slightly pricier but better models like the Canary Pro, which has a 90dB siren and measures the temperature, humidity, and air quality of your home.
Smart home products
Hive has other smart products that aren’t security-related, with which you can create a truly smart home. We’ve analysed whether they’re worth it for you.
Hive thermostat: this is how it’s done
Hive got it right with its smart thermostat, to the extent that we’d recommend it over other companies’ products. This model is easy, intuitive, and looks good on your wall or hallway table.
It costs £179, plus £70 for a professional installation, although it’s simple enough to set up yourself. Hive has even created a self-installation guide.
For that relatively low price, you can boost and control central heating and hot water in your home from wherever you are in the world.
You can also add smart radiator valves to each room with a radiator, to heat every room separately, for a comparatively cheap £54 each.
The same basic product is more expensive from competitors like Honeywell and Tado.
Hive smart lights: only the best option if you already have Hive
There are three main Hive smart light models: a dimmable version, a colour-changing bulb, and a cool-to-warm design, which can use shades of yellow and blue.
Dimmable bulbs cost £19 each, cool-to-warm ones are £29 apiece, and one colour-changing bulb will set you back £44.
These are pretty typical prices for smart lights, and considering they’re easy to control from the hub or your phone, and work perfectly well, they provide better-than-average value.
So if you already have a Hive system set up, we’d recommend getting Hive smart lights.
Otherwise, we’d advise going with Phillips’ range for sheer quality, and IKEA’s smart bulbs if you want a more cost-effective option.
Hive leak sensor: cheap and cheerful
For the low price of £3.99 per month, Hive will give you a leak sensor, and enable it to send you notifications whenever it detects a potential leak.
Moen and Phyn make better quality machines in this area, especially as their models can automatically shut off the water if they detect a major leak.
But if you want a basic, cheap machine to keep an eye on your pipes, we’d recommend getting Hive’s offering.
It does what it needs to, and it’s pretty simple to install, if you follow the instructions.
Hive customer service
There is a dedicated customer service phone number (0333 202 9614), and the company offers live chat help on its website. These are standard, though welcome features.
Hive is owned by energy giant Centrica – which owns British Gas too – so you can also rest safe in the knowledge that it probably won’t suddenly go out of business.
However, Hive has a Trustpilot score of 3.7, which is low compared to established home security specialists like ADT, AMCO, SimpliSafe, and Verisure, who all score between 4.5 and 4.8.
Your warranties will be respected, and you’ll always have someone to talk to during business hours, but don’t expect Hive to go to the ends of the earth for you.
Does Hive charge a cancellation fee?
No, it doesn’t. If you cancel your rolling monthly contract with HomeShield, you’ll simply lose all of your HomeShield functions, which are listed above.
That means you won’t be able to control your siren or keypad from the app, among other things. You’ll still be able to manually control all your products.
How long does the warranty last?
The warranty lasts as long as your HomeShield subscription lasts.
As long as you’re subscribed, Hive assures customers in its terms and conditions that if one of your products develops a fault, the company “will repair or replace it free of charge.”
This won’t automatically cover heating products or leak sensors from Hive, so speak to a customer representative about securing a warranty for those products, if you get them.
What happens if I move home?
Nothing – which is perfect. You can move your entire home security system, set it up in your new home, and carry on as normal.
Unfortunately, you can’t take your Hive heating gear with you. They’re part of the central heating system now, and must be left for the new resident. Do take your Hive hub with you, though.
Can I install Hive home security myself?
You absolutely can – as long as you have the right tools, including a tall ladder and a drill.
All the information for self-installation is usefully located in the Hive app, and if you feel comfortable doing it yourself, you could save between £119 and £279.
Hive provides an excellent home security system, with solid products and innovative features like different security modes and unique keypad numbers for each person in your home.
There are even add-ons to make your house a smart home – but the elephant in the room will always be HomeShield.
A minimum monthly charge of £9.99 to make sure your security system stays smart is extortionate, and raises Hive’s prices to a level beyond its competitors.
If you already have a Hive system set up and don’t want to mix and match, it makes some sense to opt for HomeShield. Otherwise, steer clear.
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