Scout vs. SimpliSafe Review

Get SimpliSafe. Or get Scout. They’re both low-cost DIY systems, although we like SimpliSafe slightly more.
Best RFID Option


Self-monitoring option
No keypad
Best Value


Wide equipment selection
App costs extra

Scout vs. SimpliSafe 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.

Scout vs. SimpliSafe comparison
Monitoring price range$9.99–$19.99$14.99–$24.99
Installation typeDIYDIY
Contract NANA
Smart home integrationsZ-Wave, Zigbee, Google Assistant, Amazon AlexaAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Starter kit price$229.00$229.00
Mobile app control


Yes, with more expensive plan
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data as of 12/18/2020. Prices subject to change.

Scout vs. SimpliSafe pricing, contracts, and fees

Overall, Scout is cheaper.

Scout and SimpliSafe packages start at around the same price, but their monitoring plans have a $5 difference.

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SimpliSafe equipment prices
SimpliSafe continuously adjusts its package prices. Its lowest-priced package, the Foundation, usually comes in at about $229.
Scout vs. SimpliSafe price comparison
Monitoring price range$9.99–$19.99$14.99–$24.99
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data as of 12/18/2020. Prices subject to change.

As the table states, neither system requires a contract. You can begin and end service at any time.

Scout pricing

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. Always On+ users still have access to the app, so you can check in yourself if you want to.

Adding additional camera storage costs $2.99 per camera. best value award badge for January 2021

SimpliSafe pricing

You can’t self-monitor with SimpliSafe, free or otherwise. You have to pay for professional monitoring at a minimum of $14.99. But at that price, you can’t use the SimpliSafe app or connect to a smart speaker. You’re gonna have to pay $24.99 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 vs. SimpliSafe equipment

SimpliSafe is the winner in the equipment category.

Scout has some competitive stuff, but SimpliSafe has more proprietary devices and package options than Scout. A SimpliSafe package currently comes with a free camera, and you can even pay a small fee for professional installation.

Scout equipment

Scout Small Pack system

One of Scout’s main features is the lack of keypad—if you can call that a feature. We think it’s a little annoying. Sure, there are some safety benefits in not being tied down to hardware, but it still sounds inconvenient. What if you forget your phone?

With Scout, you can choose from four keypad-less package options. If you don’t see one you like, you can also build a custom system.

Just know that Scout doesn’t have all the bells and whistles in its equipment selection. For instance, you can get a Scout RFID sticker, key fob, or smoke alarm, but you can’t get Scout door locks or garage door openers. 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 equipment

SimpliSafe Hearth system

SimpliSafe has 16 different packages, though not all of them are featured 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’ll receive an offer for a free SimpliCam (SimpliSafe’s indoor security camera). The camera normally retails for $99, so it’s a pretty sweet deal.

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Security cameras
Neither Scout nor SimpliSafe has an outdoor camera. They each have a doorbell camera though, respectively called Scout Video Doorbell and the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro.

Scout vs. SimpliSafe home automation

Scout has a lot more home automation than SimpliSafe.

Scout’s signature black-and-white systems integrate with more products than SimpliSafe’s.

Scout vs. SimpliSafe home automation
Smart home integrationsZ-Wave, Zigbee, Google Assistant, Amazon AlexaAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Scout home automation

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: Z-Wave, Zigbee, Google, and Amazon.

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 a lot of 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

Both systems are DIY, but SimpliSafe also offers professional installation.

Scout is completely DIY. By contrast, you can install a SimpliSafe DIY system yourself, but if you’re not up to it, you can also contract a professional through the SimpliSafe website. Just select the option at checkout.

Both companies provide installation guides, so you’re never really alone during setup.

Scout vs. SimpliSafe customer experience

Neither Scout nor SimpliSafe has our favorite customer service.

Scout’s been around for seven+ years, but there are hardly any 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.

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’d recommend SimpliSafe first, but we still like Scout.

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.

You can get more information to help you choose by reading the following pieces: