Scout and SimpliSafe are both security system companies, but they are a different breed of home security solutions. In many ways, they are hybrids — half self-monitored systems and half professionally monitored. If you're looking for a hybrid security solution, this guide will help you choose between Scout and SimpliSafe.
Scout Alarm Pros & Cons
- Works Without Monthly Fees
- Easy to Install
- Limited Equipment Offer
- Works as a Local Alarm Without Subscription
- No Progress in a While
SimpliSafe Pros & Cons
- No-Contract Professional Monitoring
- Option Between Professional and Self-Monitoring
- Affordable Monthly Rates
- Limited Device Lineup
- Functions as Local Alarm When Self-Monitored
- Limited Camera Options
- Online Availability
- Choice of Professional or Self-Monitoring
- Affordable Monitoring Rates
- Three-Year Warranty
- Limited Equipment Options
- Alexa & Google Home Compatibility
- Home Automation — Scout's solution has a more robust home automation platform that works with Zigbee, IFTTT, Alexa, and Google Home. SimpliSafe has fewer integrations.
- Self-Monitoring — SimpliSafe only functions as a local alarm if self-monitored. Scout has a subscription plan allowing you to self-monitor with remote alerts.
- Cameras — SimpliSafe offers a standalone video doorbell and an indoor camera. Scout has an indoor camera but lacks a video doorbell.
- Controlling the System — Scout Alarm lacks a control panel and relies mostly on the app and key fobs for control. SimpliSafe has a control panel in addition to the app and key fob.
- Cellular Monitoring — Although both companies offer cellular monitoring, Scout requires an additional $5/month payment if you want to make cellular signal your primary communication method.
Sales & Pricing Comparison
Unlike traditional alarm companies, SimpliSafe and Scout are both more focused on selling their equipment without employing door-to-door sales reps. Typically, you can buy their products online. SimpliSafe offers their equipment in packages and Scout allows you to build and choose your security system components.
SimpliSafe's equipment packages cost around $200. Their packages typically include a base station, a remote keypad, and several security sensors, such as motion sensors and entry sensors. Scout's packages are priced similarly, but the difference is that you have more options with SimpliSafe. Scout only offers four packages, with the most complete of which being sold for $550. If you need more components for your system, you can buy them individually at their regular price. With SimpliSafe, you have much more options in terms of price and combination of equipment.
Before you can get started with either SimpliSafe or Scout, you're required to purchase the equipment upfront. This is different from traditional alarm companies that typically allow you to finance your security system and pay it over a period of several years. That said, getting started with SimpliSafe and Scout requires a higher upfront investment. On the bright side, buying the equipment upfront means you have no responsibilities to SimpliSafe and Scout, allowing you to cancel service anytime without penalties.
SimpliSafe and Scout systems are both wireless and designed for self-installation. After placing an order, they will ship the system to you and it's up to you to set it up however you like. However, Simplisafe offers optional professional monitoring. If you encounter problems installing the system, you can ask SimpliSafe to send a technician to help you out for $79.
Key Features & Tech Comparison
Although SimpliSafe and Scout's systems look nothing alike, they offer the same types of standard equipment. They have motion sensors, door/window sensors, glass break sensors, and smoke/CO alarms. However, not all packages include all these devices. Most standard SimpliSafe and Scout packages only include a motion sensors and door/window sensors. If you want to have the other types of equipment, you can either buy them individually or choose a package that includes them.
One huge downside of both SimpliSafe and Scout is their lack of home automation products. However, they both make up for that with their integrations. SimpliSafe works with Alexa, Google Home, Nest Thermostats, and August Smart Lock Pro. Scout also works with Alexa and Google Home, in addition to hundreds of smart home products and services through IFTTT. The catch? You have to get a subscription in order to enjoy these integrations. The same goes for SimpliSafe.
SimpliSafe offers two cameras — the indoor camera SimpliCam and the video doorbell called SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro. Both cameras integrate well with the SimpliSafe security system and app, but they can also act as standalone products. Scout, on the other hand, only offers an indoor camera. Also, it's not a standalone device, so you can't use it without a Scout security system.
Scout and SimpliSafe are both hybrid security systems that you can self-monitor, and for such systems, having smartphone access is important. Unfortunately, a subscription is required. With SimpliSafe, you must be on the Interactive Plan with a $24.99 monthly rate. With Scout, you must be on the Always On plan for $9.99/month.
Scout Alarm security systems can function three ways. Without a paid subscription, it can function as local alarm, sounding its base station's siren when a threat is detected. It won't call for help or send you a notification. With an Always On plan, it functions as a self-monitored system that sends alerts to you in case of an emergency situation so you can contact emergency responders. With Always On+, you get professional monitoring. A group of trained operators will receive alert signals in case of a threat and call for help on your behalf.
SimpliSafe has two modes of operation. Without a subscription, it functions as a local alarm just like Scout. With the Standard plan ($14.99) or Interactive plan ($24.99), you also get professional monitoring. The difference is that Interactive gives you access to home automation and the app.
Customer Service Experience
One key advantage of hybrid security systems like SimpliSafe and Scout over traditional security systems is that there are no contracts. You can use both systems without a subscription, and even if you get a subscription, you're free to come and go as a paying customer. With Scout, you can even switch between professional monitoring and self-monitoring your system.
Both companies have a pretty generous return policy, allowing you to return your equipment and get you money back within 60 days of the purchase. Just ensure that you return all equipment and accessories in good condition. Otherwise, SimpliSafe and Scout reserve the right to refuse the returned system or impose a penalty.
SimpliSafe and Scout also offers a fairly reasonable warranty period for their equipment. They will replace or fix your devices free of charge within the first three years of use, assuming the defect is not caused by improper use.
The Bottom Line: Who Wins?
Scout Alarm and SimpliSafe fill the same space in the alarm industry, and both are pretty great companies. Scout started out as one of our highest recommended alarm companies. Over the years, SimpliSafe caught up maintained a stable reputation with us. On the other hand, Scout eventually lost the things that made it special. Although it's still a good company, Scout has lost its edge to SimpliSafe, which is why we're declaring SimpliSafe the overall winner. If you're looking for a hybrid alarm company with no contracts and affordable monthly fees, SimpliSafe is most likely the better option for you. You can read more about SimpliSafe in our in-depth SimpliSafe review.