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Scout vs. SimpliSafe Home Security Compared

Scout and SimpliSafe are both security systems, but they are a different breed of home security. In many ways, they are hybrids – half self-monitored and half professionally monitored. They have several other similarities but also have differences.

SimpliSafe has been around longer than Scout. Founded in 2006, they’ve built a reputable brand. They’ve won the Angie’s List Super Service Award, the CNET Editor’s Choice Award, and they hold an A+ rating with the BBB. Scout is a startup. They were the favorite of many smart home enthusiasts, but things have changed.

So who wins?

WHERE THEY TIE:

Scout Hub vs Simplisafe Hub

When comparing these two systems, they are the same in three ways.

1. COPS

Ironically, both Scout and SimpliSafe use a company called COPS to provide professional monitoring to those who want it. However, they both charge a different amount for the service and provide different features.

RELATED: BEST HOME SECURITY SYSTEM 2019

2. Not Good Options for Self-Monitoring

Both SimpliSafe and Scout are pretty useless if you want to self-monitor the system. They both charge for access to home automation, their mobile apps, and remote notifications. In the past, Scout offered many of their services for free. However, new customers will be required to subscribe to one of their monthly plans to gain access to push notifications, the Scout web dashboard, the mobile app, integration with Amazon Echo, Google Home, Nest, IFTTT and more. With this change, Scout and SimpliSafe are no more than noisemakers when used as self-monitored alarms. If an event occurs, the siren will sound, but nothing more.

3. Both Work With Security Cameras

Both systems have a video surveillance solution.

With a paid plan, Scout works with Nest Cam. Nest Cams work with Scout in a similar manner to Scout Indoor Cameras. When the camera itself is triggered, it will start recording and notify you of events that occur when your system is armed. You can then view the latest snapshot from your Nest camera via the home screen of the Scout app. If you tap on the snapshot, it will open the Nest app where you can view a live stream. Unfortunately, you cannot live stream Nest video from the Scout app. Also, Nest Cameras cannot trigger a police dispatch.

Scout also has their own security camera called the HD Indoor Camera. The Indoor Camera features a 1080p resolution, night vision, and remote live viewing. It can be used for alarm verification if you’re subscribed to a professional monitoring plan, and it can record and send alert videos to the cloud. However, to enjoy cloud storage features, you must pay at least $3 per month per camera or $10 per month for an unlimited number of cameras. If you are subscribed to Always On+, cloud storage for one camera is included.

SimpliSafe’s indoor camera is called SimpliCam. SimpliCam directly integrates with the SimpliSafe security system. The camera is wireless, records in 720p HD, has a 120-degree field of view, and automatic night vision. They also sell a video doorbell. The Doorbell Pro offers a 162° field of view, two-way audio, a FHD resolution, night vision, and HDR imaging. The Doorbell Pro is wired and requires that you have an existing doorbell setup. You can read our in-depth review of the doorbell here. Soon, they also plan to launch an outdoor camera.

When it comes to video features, Interactive offers the most. It includes cloud storage and the option to opt-in to a Visual Verification service that allows SimpliSafe’s monitoring center to view your camera recordings during alarm events. With Standard, you can view a live video stream. That’s it. You can pay extra for cloud storage which is $4.99 per month for one camera or $9.99 per month for an unlimited number of cameras. Also, you don’t have to subscribe to a plan if you just want to use the cameras. You can live steam from the mobile app for free or you can pay for cloud storage.

WHERE SCOUT WINS:

Scout wins with their more robust home automation offer, but again, you must pay for access. Wrapped up in the smart home offer is an IFTTT integration, Works With Nest, and even voice control through Amazon Echo, Google Now, and Google Home. Scout also supports the Zigbee HA 1.2.1 wireless protocol.

Simplisafe offers integration with the Nest Thermostat, August Locks, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. However, Simplisafe isn’t out-of-the-box compatible; you must subscribe to their Interactive Plan for $24.99 per month and most integrations require that you have the newer SimpliSafe 3 hardware.

In addition, Scout wins with the depth of its integration with Alexa. Although they can both integrate with Alexa, Scout’s Alexa skill is superior. You can directly issue voice commands to Alexa (no need to add “tell Scout to” to every command), ask about the status of your system or individual door/window sensors, and incorporate motion and door/window sensors into Alexa Routines.

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WHERE SIMPLISAFE WINS:

Overall, SimpliSafe’s equipment is less expensive, and as you have to pay for equipment upfront, that can mean significant savings depending upon the size of your home.

WHERE THEY BOTH LOSE:

Instead of providing peace of mind, Scout makes us nervous. There is no keypad to arm or disarm the system, and the key fob doesn’t have buttons. In other words, no visual cue lets you know if your system is armed or disarmed. To us, the two apps on the right are obvious – the system is off. Scout, on the left, isn’t as clear. The whole experience feels confusing.

What we dislike about SimpliSafe is that it’s so new. Though the company has been around since 2006, they launched SimpliSafe 3 in 2018. The system is not backward compatible with older SimpliSafe hardware and is essentially brand new technology. Typically, new technology comes with new technology quirks. Not something you want from a home security system.

Neither system is perfect, but if you’re looking for a no-contract security solution, options are limited. (You might also want to look at abode).

Scout and SimpliSafe Plans Compared

Comparing plans is tricky with Scout and SimpliSafe. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. With Scout, you have the option for advanced self-monitoring starting at $9.99 per month. This plan activates the 4G chip for added protection, adds access to smart home features, and smart alerts. SimpliSafe does not have a comparable option; all of their plans include professional monitoring.

Buy HereBuy Here
PlansNo PlanAlways OnAlways On +No PlanStandardInteractive
Monthly FeeFree$9.99*$19.99*Free$14.99$24.99
DIY Installation
Wireless Technology
24/7 Alarm Monitoring
UL Certified monitoring
SMS/Email Alert
$5.00/month
Battery Backup
PlansNo PlanAlways OnAlways On +No PlanStandardInteractive
Cellular Connection
Smartphone Arm/Disarm
ContractNot RequiredNot Required
Android and iPhone App
Windows App
Home Automation
Nest Thermostat, Amazon Alexa, August Locks, Google Assistant
Indoor Security Camera
Scout Indoor Camera or Nest Cam
Outdoor Security Camera
Limited Integration With Nest CamVideo Doorbell
Return Policy60 Day60 Day
Product Warranty3 Year3 Year
Buy HereBuy Here
*Scout offers a 10% discount if you pay annually.

Though not included in the chart, Scout also offers Cellular Only monitoring and communication. This service level allows users who do not have an internet connection to still use Scout’s system.

Cellular Only ($15/month)

  • Connect to your Scout system via a cellular signal.
  • Receive SMS Alerts

Cellular Only+ ($25/month)

  • Connect to your Scout system via a cellular signal.
  • Receive SMS Alerts
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring

Fair warning, even if your system is connected via a cellular signal, you’ll still need to connect the hub to the internet for software updates. Also, all camera options require internet.

Equipment Compared

Equipment is another area where SimpliSafe and Scout differ. Both systems start with a base unit equipped with battery backup. They both sell motion sensors, key fobs, open/close sensors, smoke & CO alarms, water sensors, and glass break sensors, but that’s where the similarities end.

Scout also sells a smart lock and a door panel that can arm and disarm the system with a tap of your key fob.

SimpliSafe, on the other hand, sells a keypad, an additional siren, and a panic button.

Apples to apples, the price of the equipment is similar, but SimpliSafe is less expensive.

For $350, you can purchase a SimpliSafe kit called “The Knox.” The Knox includes a keypad, base station, a key fob, six entry sensors, two motion sensors, an extra siren, and a smoke detector.

Simplisafe and Scout Home Security Kit on the carpet.

The Scout Large Pack is $449 and includes a hub, door panel, two motion sensors, five access sensors, two key fobs, and a yard sign. If you added an extra entry sensor and a smoke detector to make it more in line with SimpliSafe’s kit, you would pay $527.

Buy HereBuy Here
Hub:$129.00$184.98
Door Panel:$69.00Keypad Included with Base
Access Sensor:$29.00$14.99
Motion Sensor:$49.00$29.99
Glass Break Sensor$59.00$34.99
Yard Sign:$10.00$3.99
Key Fob:$4.99$24.99
Water Sensor$39.00$19.99
Smart Lock$199.00$279.99
Indoor Camera$99.00$99.00
Video Doorbell NA$169.00
Other Equipment:Smoke & CO Sensor, RFID StickerPanic Button, Smoke Detector, CO Sensor, Freeze Sensor, Extra Siren

Where to Buy

Scout and SimpliSafe are both sold online. First, you order the equipment. Once the equipment arrives, you can call to activate a service plan, or you can self-monitor. Again, there are no contracts, so you can add and remove monitoring services as needed.

Buy Scout here or go with SimpliSafe here.

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