Get SimpliSafe. Or get Scout. They’re both low-cost DIY systems, although we like SimpliSafe slightly more
Scout vs. SimpliSafe Review
Scout vs. SimpliSafe home security is a tough comparison. Both are DIY, no-contract systems that require you to pay for mobile access. They’re also really different in some ways. SimpliSafe is a better-known service with lots of equipment, while Scout is cheaper and has more home automation.
Let’s talk more about which you should choose.
|Monitoring price range||$9.99-$19.99||$9.99-$29.99|
|Smart home integrations||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Z-Wave, Zigbee||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Starter kit price||$229.00||$189.47|
|Mobile app control|
Yes, with more expensive plan
|Learn more||View Plans||View Plans|
Scout vs. SimpliSafe pricing, contracts, and fees
SimpliSafe continuously adjusts its package prices. Its lowest-priced package, the Foundation, usually comes in at about $244. That’s comparable to the Scout Small Pack, which is a similar price but offers a little bit more equipment.
As the table states, neither system requires a contract. You can begin and end service at any time.
Scout’s self-monitoring option isn’t free, but it lets you take home safety into your own hands. For $9.99 a month, you get access to the Scout app to keep eyes on your system.
If you go up a tier, Scout’s Always On+ monitoring gives you 24/7 professional monitoring and cloud storage for one camera. (Cloud storage can be added to the self-monitoring plan for $2.99 per camera.) Always On+ users still have access to the app, so you can check in yourself if you want to.
You can sort of self-monitor with SimpliSafe for free, but not really. Without paying, all you can do with the app is glance at the security camera or doorbell camera feed and lock or unlock a smart lock. But if you pay $9.99 a month, you can self-monitor and access 30 days of video recordings for up to five cameras.
To get anything beyond that, you have to pay for professional monitoring at a minimum of $19.99. But at that price, you can’t use the SimpliSafe app or connect to a smart speaker. You’re gonna have to pay $29.99 if you want any of that.
Also, if you want cameras, you have to pay extra. It’s $4.99 per camera per month to record and/or download video clips. That adds up fast!
Scout app vs. SimpliSafe app
We don’t love that either of these companies charges for app access, but we prefer Scout’s approach over SimpliSafe’s. At least you’re only paying $9.99 to use the Scout mobile app, rather than having to pay extra per camera with SimpliSafe. But the SimpliSafe app has better ratings.
Scout vs. SimpliSafe equipment
Scout has some competitive stuff, but SimpliSafe has more proprietary devices and package options than Scout. A SimpliSafe home security system package currently comes with a free camera, and you can even pay a small fee for professional installation. SimpliSafe also recently enhanced benefits for customers of the Fast Protect (formerly Interactive) Monitoring plan by offering a 10% discount on equipment add-ons and a lifetime warranty on equipment as long as they maintain their subscription.
One of Scout’s main features is the keypad-less access sensor system. It’s nice (and in many cases, safer) not to be tied down to a piece of stationary hardware, but some users will find it equally frustrating to be dependent on a phone/key fob/RFID sticker. The upside is that if you're renting, Scout's door panel can be easily moved. You won't have to put unnecessary holes in the wall to install your Scout hub.
Luckily, if you don’t like the four keypad-less package options, you can also build a custom system.
Just know that a Scout security system doesn’t have all the bells and whistles in its equipment selection. Don’t get us wrong; Scout has a few more options than it did previously. For instance, you can get a Yale door lock as part of a Scout home security package, which is great . . . but you still can’t get a garage door opener. You’ll have to bring in some third-party equipment for a full smart home experience (more on that later).
FYI: Scout relies mainly on RFID for device communication and also uses cellular backup. If your home loses its Wi-Fi connection, you should still be good to go.
SimpliSafe has 16 different packages, though not all of them feature prominently on the website. That gives you plenty of options to choose from. You can even create a customized system using SimpliSafe’s vast array of equipment. (SimpliSafe makes a motion sensor, entry sensor, smart lock, key fob, carbon monoxide alarm, smoke detector, panic button, and more. It’s definitely better-equipped than Scout, although it doesn’t have every smart home feature.)
A SimpliSafe system comes with the following features:
- Simultaneous cellular and Wi-Fi connections so you never lose communication
- SmashSafe backup to keep you safe after damage to your base station or keypad
- Base station 24-hour battery backup for power outages
At checkout, you may receive an offer for a free Wired Indoor Camera. The camera normally retails for $99, so it’s a pretty sweet deal.
Scout vs. SimpliSafe home automation
Scout home automation
Scout’s signature black-and-white systems integrate with more products than SimpliSafe’s. Scout has some of the best compatibility we’ve seen in a home security system. It integrates with four of the most important protocols/brands: Amazon, Google, IFTTT, Z-Wave, and Zigbee.
Scout also works directly with certain smart home products, like some Nest, Yale, Kwikset, LIFX, and Philips Hue devices.
This high compatibility level means that you can connect your Scout system to a lot of third-party smart devices. You can add this system to a smart home full of locks, lights, thermostats, and environmental sensors, to name a few.
SimpliSafe home automation
SimpliSafe’s compatibility is a lot less impressive than Scout’s. You can connect with a Google Home or Amazon Echo. That’s super useful, and you can build a nice smart home by connecting many different brands through your smart speaker.
But it’s not quite the same as connecting your security system directly to your other devices. You have to take that extra step of running everything through Google Assistant or Alexa first.
Of course, because SimpliSafe has more proprietary equipment than Scout, there’s less need to connect to third-party products.
Scout vs. SimpliSafe installation
No matter which alarm system you use, you’re responsible for setting it up—unless you’re willing to pay SimpliSafe a little extra to send an installer.
Scout is completely DIY. Each piece has adhesive backing, so it should be relatively easy, even if you’ve never installed a home security system before.
By contrast, you can install a SimpliSafe DIY system yourself, but if you’re not up to it, you can also contact a professional through the SimpliSafe website and pay $99 for professional installation. Just select the option at checkout.
Both companies provide installation guides, so you’re never really alone during setup.
Scout vs. SimpliSafe customer experience
There are more recent reviews of SimpliSafe than of Scout, making it easier to judge SimpliSafe’s strengths and weaknesses.
Scout customer experience
Scout’s been around for seven+ years, but there are hardly any customer reviews of its customer service. It doesn’t even have any BBB complaints. So it’s hard to judge what you’re gonna get with Scout.
SimpliSafe customer experience
There are plenty of SimpliSafe reviews. The chief complaint that we see is that it’s hard to get ahold of SimpliSafe reps. It also apparently takes a while to process returns or refunds.
Recap: Which system is better?
We really like SimpliSafe because of its equipment selection and flexibility. But if you aren’t a fan, Scout is an excellent alternative. Its low prices and high level of home automation make it a solid choice.
Here’s a more detailed recap.
- Pricing: The pricing is very similar, but you may get a little more bang for your buck with Scout’s lower monitoring plan prices and higher-value equipment packages.
- Equipment: SimpliSafe’s equipment is better than Scout’s by a hair.
- Home automation: The Scout Alarm system has a ton of home automation, while SimpliSafe doesn’t offer that much yet.
- Installation: Both security systems are self-installed, though SimpliSafe will gladly install for a little extra.
- Customer experience: SimpliSafe is better known and has more customer feedback than Scout.
SimpliSafe's equipment warranty was updated in January of 2022. If you bought your equipment before then, your equipment has its original limited hardware warranty of three years from the purchase date or the date the equipment was delivered.
If you bought your SimpliSafe security equipment after January 17, 2022, your equipment has a 1-year limited hardware warranty, starting from the original purchase or order date, including equipment bought through SimpliSafe's authorized retail partners.
And if you sign up for SimpliSafe's Fast Protect (formerly Interactive) monitoring plan before your warranty's up, you'll get a limited lifetime warranty on your products for the duration of your subscription. Just keep in mind your subscription can't be interrupted or canceled during that time or you'll lose the lifetime warranty benefit.
Scout's security equipment are covered by a three-year limited warranty that covers device defects. The warranty period begins on the date of purchase, and in order to get covered, you'll have to register for the warranty on Scout's site.
SimpliSafe's return policy lets you return your equipment up to 60 days after your system arrives. SimpliSafe will even pay for the return shipping on top of your full refund.
Scout Alarm's return policy is only applicable to equipment purchased directly from its site. Scout gives you 60 days to return your equipment. If you're eligible (Scout will decide eligibility after receiving your return), Scout will give you a full refund, but you'll have to pay for the shipping. And Scout's return policy doesn't apply to international orders.
And make sure to include all equipment attachments and documentation in your return packaging.
You can check out Scout Alarm's full return policy if you want to take a deeper dive into all the details.