These 2 popular home security systems are compared Scout vs Simplisafe go up against each other to find how they match up head to head.
Their approach to third party is monitoring similar but they are different with self monitoring which may in itself be enough to make up your mind as to which is right for you along with the price for the system and for the monthly charge for monitoring if you take that up.
But there a number of other differences to take a look at also.
To prepare this in depth comparison I’ve investigated them thoroughly by reading their manuals, discussed with the manufacturers, read through reviews online and gone through their specifications.
Before seeing how they differ and look at how they fare when they go head to head here is a quick description of them both.
Scout Alarm System
A relative newcomer to home security with it being launched last year. It provides entry sensors, motion sensors , sirens and remote key fobs. The sirens are part of hub (controller) and door sensor and are 105 db loud.
It is a wireless system that you install yourself which can be done in an hour. It can be self monitored or third party monitored for a monthly fee (no contract required or set term).
You can monitor it from anywhere you can access the internet with a smartphone or tablet (Android or iOS). For a monthly fee you can add cellular back up for use when the internet is down providing an extra level of back up not seen with internet only based systems.
It integrates with Nest and IFTTT to provide some home automation features as well as monitoring your home’s environment. This is likely to grow as time goes by.
This is a very popular and highly rated DIY home security system. It was one of the first of the monitored home security systems that didn’t require you to sign up for a long term contract with large penalties if you wanted to change something or stop the monitoring.
You just pay monthly fee that can be cancelled at any time. If you want you don’t have to pay the monthly fee but then it is stand alone security system and can’t be monitored remotely by your or anyone else.
If you do want third party monitoring it doesn’t require the internet or a landline as it works with a cellular network for this and for sending out notifications.
To be able to get notifications and control system with an App on your phone you need to pay a monthly fee.
It is an effective home security system with entry sensors, motion sensors, sirens, remote key fobs, environmental sensors but it doesn’t come with cameras or any home automation features but they are planning on releasing updates to the system (in particular a camera).
The Differences – The Facts
Rather than looking at the similarities I thought it would be easier and more informative to look just at the differences.
Home Automation. Scout can be integrated with Nest, Amazon Echo, LIFX, IFTTT, and Philips Hue lights. This helps you in controlling you home and set up routines for things to turn on and off to a schedule. You can use this functionality to arm and disarm the system automatically using your smartphones location. With Simplisafe there is no integration or home automation functionality.
Environmental Sensors. The Simplisafe offers water, smoke and CO, glass break detectors (to be bought separately) that work with system to notify you and the monitoring center there is an issue that needs to addressed. The Scout can be integrated with Nest and Nest Protect with Smoke and CO detection.
Pets And Motion Sensor. The motion sensors for Simplisafe ignore pets under 40 lbs. The Scout sensors do pick up pets so if you have them you can’t arm them fully unless you want notifications and false alerts when you are away from home.
Back Up. The Battery backup for power outage in Simplisafe is twice that of Scout. If there is a power outage and you’ve not paid for cellular back up you won’t be receiving notifications from Scout as the router is likely to be down to. For both systems you have Cellular either as method for notifications or backup when you pay a monthly fee.
Remote Monitoring And Alerts. With Scout you can monitor and receive notification (push and email) for no extra monthly cost but with Simplsafe you need to pay $19.99 to receive notifications and $24.99 to also control and monitor system (you also get third party monitoring with this).
No Fees Option. The no fee version of the Scout is much better than the Simplisafe because it uses the internet you can still get notifications by way of push and email. With Simplsafe you receive nothing in the way of remote monitoring it works just as a standalone system where just the siren sounds if a sensor is triggered.
Panic Button. Similisafe has a panic button on it key fob, key pad and a separate panic button you can buy for locating where you can press it in an emergency.
Duress Code. With Simplisafe you can have a duress code you can use to turn the system off but tells the monitoring center you’ve been forced to do so and they dispatch the police. With Scout when speaking to them you’ll be requested to give your pass code – if you give them an incorrect one they repeat it back to you and then dispatch the police without telling you.
Siren Loudness. The Scout Alarm has 2 by 106 db internal sirens – one in the hub and one in the door sensor. There sirens are much louder than the one siren you have in the Simplisafe base station at 85 dbs. It is the difference between standing next to a power mower and a food processor. It is possible to buy an additional siren for Simplisafe with 105 db which can be installed inside or out.
Keypad/Control Panel. The Simplisafe system has a separate keypad to the control panel (known as base station). This is a security feature that means if someone breaks in and destroys the keypad the base station will continue to work and send out notifications. The Scout doesn’t have a keypad at all as everything is done using the App (you can do this with Simplisafe in addition to using the keypad when you pay the monthly fee).
Arming/Disarming. As Scout is integrated with IFTTT to set it up so that the system arms or disarms when you leave or arrive home using your smartphone’s location.
History. Simplisafe have been in business since 2006 so have built a reasonably good track record to rely on whereas
Scout have only been around for a year but seem in that short time to have build a reliable system.
Key Fob. This is a minor point but to use this in Scout you need to be inside and touch it to the Door sensor to arm/disarm the system whereas with Simplisafe you can use the key fob to arm/disarm from your drive.
Coverage. Simplisafe works where the devices can be up to 500 ft away from the base station whereas Scout works on a mesh system where the devices can be up to 100 ft from another device and so on as long as there is a device or hub within 100 ft you can set devices up thereby extending the coverage.
What About Price And Fees
Looking at the kits available for sale, they don’t directly compare. To do this I evened up the components. (Prices do change online all the time and was valid when I reviewed.)
To Simplisafe I added a remote key fob and a siren.
To Scout I added 2 window contacts.
With this balancing up Simplisafe was $4 cheaper when I did this.
However, with this as regards to Scout a system that will notify you via the internet of an incident but the Simplisafe is a standalone only system.
If the systems were expanded to 10 entry sensors and 3 motion sensor for better coverage of a home then the price differential is that the Simplisafe is $126 less than the Scout.
For both you don’t need to sign a long term contract and can pay a monthly fee that can be canceled when you want (Scout do offer 12 month subscription for a discount).
The current monthly fees and what you get for each are (at time of comparision):
Simplisafe has 3 different levels:
Scout has 2 levels:
Always On. (cost $9.99 per month as of 11/01/2015). This provides you with cellular back up for when there is an internet outage.
Always On+. (cost $19.99 per month as of 11/01/2015). As well as the Always On features you geet 24/7 professional monitoring.
It is my understanding they both use the same third party UL certified monitoring company.
Which One Should I Buy?
There are different answers depending on what you are looking to do with the system.
If you want to self-monitor and/or have some integration with home automation systems then Scout makes a better choice, and you don’t want to be paying for third party monitoring.
If you want internet back up if there is an internet outage you can add cell back up for $9.99 a month. You can add professional monitoring for $19.99
If you are more looking for a system that is time tested for home security with environmental sensor monitoring then Simplisafe can be relied to be on when you need it with a professional monitoring center to monitor the system.
Pricing ranges from $14.99 to $19.99 to $24.99 depending on the level of service you choose, with the increase in fees providing you with more ability to receive notifications and control the system remotely.
A Side By Side Comparison
The chart below shows the features and specifications of the 2 home security systems to help you quickly see where they are the same and where they differ.
|Feature||Simplisafe 8 piece package||Scout Alarm System|
Cellular back up
|Contract for Monitoring||No||No|
|Ongoing Fees||Yes for optional monitoring plans||Yes optional for monitoring and cellular back up|
|Smartphones Supported||iOs, Windows, Android||iOS, Android, Web|
|Max Sensors/Devices Can be|
(Wireless standard for home automation)
|Return period/money back||60 days||30 days|
|Manufacturers Warranty||3 years||1 year|
|Wireless Coverage||400 -500 ft||100 ft from previous device|
|DIY - 1 hour||DIY - 1 hour
|Panic button||Yes on key pad and key fob|
plus one can be bought
|Yes on key fob|
|Entry Delay||30 sec||As specified|
|Exit Delay||30 sec||45 sec|
|Power Backup||Yes - 48 hours||Yes - 24 hours|
|Door/Window Contacts||4||1 Door
|Siren - Loudness/Type||Internal|
|2 X Internal
|Price||$200 - 300||$300 - 400|
|Review||Yes - Read more||Yes - Read More|
After going through this information have you been able to decide which one is right for you? Hopefully this page has helped you with this.
Please let us know if you have and what you think in the comments below.
Filed under: Buying Advice
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