Security

Scout Alarm vs. SimpliSafe Security: Which Wireless Home Security System to Love?

(Last Updated On: November 8, 2017)

Wireless home security systems are very popular right now because they present a cheaper and more hassle-free alternative to traditional home security systems.

A wireless home security system is very simple that you could probably install it yourself rather than have a professional installer do it for you.  Two of the best systems available right now are SimpliSafe and Scout Alarm. 

SimpliSafe  

 

SimpliSafe allows you to have a security system that would adequately protect your home from thieves and environmental threats such as fire and frost.  Some of its main features are: 

Easy to install 

 

With traditional home alarm systems, you need to make sure that each alarm or device is near a power source or you have to lay down wires for each of them.  The installation can get very complex that some people opt to have their alarm systems professionally installed.

This is no longer the case with the SimpliSafe system, which is modular and wireless.  You do not have to worry about wiring the individual components because they work together right out of the box.  All you need to do is to figure out where to place them.

Complete home security and monitoring 

 

SimpliSafe has several devices that can help keep your home safe from burglars and even from environmental threats.   

  • Keypad:  SimpliSafe has a keypad that allows you to choose between ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ modes.  In the Away mode, the keypad will activate all sensors, while in the Home mode, it will deactivate the motion sensors but will keep the windows and door sensors on.  The keypad has a separate base station that is hidden away.  This will ensure that even if the keypad is smashed, alerts from your sensors will still get transmitted to the monitoring service. 
  • Entry Sensor:  This will alert you if your door or window is opened.  A door chime will also sound to let your know that somebody is entering. 
  • Motion Sensor:  This will alert you if it detects movement within 30 feet. 
  • Keychain Remote:  This allows you to arm or disarm your system with just one button press.  The remote also has a panic button, which will tell the monitoring service that you need immediate help. 
  • Smoke Detector:  This will alert you if there is a fire.  The photoelectric sensors will be able to alert you earlier, giving you ample time to get out of the house. 
  • Panic Button: This will instantly activate your alarm and send an emergency alert to the monitoring service for it to send help your way. 
  • Glassbreak Sensor:  This will alert you if there is glass breaking in your home. 
  • Water Sensor:  This will alert you if there are water leaks and flooding around your home. 
  • Freeze Sensor:  This will alert you once temperatures in your home become colder than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • CO Detector:  This detects carbon monoxide around your home and will alert you if it gets dangerously high. 
  • SimpliCam:  Add a camera to your system so that you can see things and visually confirm if everything is all right or if something needs your attention. 

Pet friendly 

 

One of the pitfalls of having sensors around the house is that these are, more often than, not falsely triggered by pets.  With SimpliSafe, pets that are 50 pounds or less are ignored by the motion sensors.

After setting everything up, you can test each sensor by activating the special test mode to see if these will be tripped by your pets. 

Optional professional monitoring 

 

You can get 24/7 professional alarm monitoring service wherein a third-party company will be monitoring your alarms so that they could act whenever any of your smoke, frost, fire, or burglary alarms are triggered.

The professional monitoring service will call you when these alarms are triggered to make sure that you are safe and then will contact emergency response or the police for assistance.  SimpliSafe offers two monitoring plans.

The Standard plan would cost you $15 a month for the monitoring service and cellular connection, while the Interactive plan, which costs $25, gives you the monitoring service, cellular connection, remote controls, and SMS or e-mail alerts.

The good thing about these is that you can cancel anytime you want and not have to worry about any contract. 

Check on your home remotely 

 

Even if you are at work or on vacation somewhere halfway around the world, you can still check on your home to see if everything is okay.  The SimpliSafe system comes with a mobile app that allows you to arm or disarm the alarm with just one tap.

You can also see a history of events, allowing you to know if any alarms have been tripped and then disarmed.  You can also track the temperatures around the house, allowing you to avoid frozen pipes.  The mobile app only works with an interactive plan. 

Scout Alarm 

 

Like SimpliSafe, Scout Alarm is modular, but instead of a base station, it uses the Scout Hub, where you connect everything.  The Scout Alarm system is similarly easy to install.  You can install it in minutes without having to drill holes into your walls. 

Monitoring plans 

 

With Scout, you can get smart features for your Scout Alarm System for only $9.99 per month.  With the Always On plan, you can get 3G connections, battery power, e-mail notifications, and push notifications.

If you want to have your Scout Alarm professionally monitored, you would need to get the Always On+, which will set you back $19.99 per month. 

Customized alerts and actions 

 

With Scout Alarm, you can set different actions for different situations.  You also know which sensor triggered an alarm, and even set up location and context for each alarm.  Furthermore, you can specify other people who would be notified if you would be unavailable when an alarm is triggered. 

Works well with others 

 

Your Scout Alarm system is able to integrate with other smart home devices you already own.  It has its own IFTTT channel that allows you to connect your Scout Alarm with smart devices and other services.  You can have it send you e-mail alerts, phone call alerts, and even set up geofences.

For instance, with an IFTTT recipe, Scout Alarm can use your mobile phone’s location and automatically arm or disarm the system.  Scout is also certified to work with Nest products.  This will help you integrate the Nest Thermostat and Nest Protect with your Scout Alarm system.

You can also use voice commands to control your security system; you only have to tell Alexa to arm or disarm Scout. 

If you have Zigbee devices, you can automate your lights, lock and even energy devices to work with Scout.  For instance, when you leave the house and arm Scout, it can tell your smart thermostat to turn down the heating or cooling.

You can also set it up so that when the motion detector is tripped, it will open the lights near the area where the sensor is.  If your access sensors send an alert, the porch lights can also come on. Scout also has a partnership with Samsung SmartThings, allowing you to monitor your SmartThings devices together with Scout. 

Comparing Scout and SimpliSafe 

 

It is obvious that these two systems are vying for the same market, and the good news is that each system is different from the other and each has its own strengths.   

Scout Alarm wins in its integrations, allowing you to have it work with other connected devices. 

SimpliSafe wins with the number of different sensors it offers.  The system allows you to protect your home from burglaries and environmental threats.  Scout, on the other hand, only offers three different sensors: entry sensor, motion sensor, and water sensor.

The thing with Scout, however, is that it can use sensors and devices from other manufacturers.  For instance, instead of offering its own smoke detector, you can use Nest Protect. 

Nevertheless, SimpliSafe really simplifies everything by providing its own sensors to protect you from every threat imaginable, and these sensors are programmed to work together out of the box. 

SimpliSafe is generally more affordable than Scout.  With SimpliSafe, you can get a starter pack for only $244.00, which includes the base station, two entry sensors, a wireless keypad, a keychain remote, and a motion sensor.

With Scout Alarm, the hub itself costs $129, adding two entry sensors costs $58, and adding a motion sensor costs $49.00.  This brings up the cost to $236.00, and that’s still without the keychain remote and wireless keypad. 

Just look at the prices of individual sensors from each system: 

  SimpliSafe Scout 
Entry Sensor  $14.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) $29.00 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)
Motion Sensor  $29.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) $49.00 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)
Water Sensor  $19.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) $39.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)
Camera  $99.00 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 
Glassbreak Sensor  $34.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 
Smoke Detector  $29.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 
Carbon Monoxide Detector  $49.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 
Panic Button  $19.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 
Keychain Remote  $24.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 
Extra 105dB Siren  $59.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 
Extra Wireless Keypad  $69.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 
Freeze Sensor  $29.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 
Yard Sign  $3.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 
Starter pack  $244.00 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here) Not offered 

Comparing monitoring plans 

Overall, you get a more affordable subscription with Scout.  Scout and SimpliSafe have different pricing schemes for their professional monitoring service and other services that they offer on subscription.

Scout allows you to get smart features for $10,while professional monitoring service is available for $20.  With SimpliSafe, it is reversed, you get professional monitoring at a cheaper plan than the one that gives you smart features.   

Depending on what you want, either SimpliSafe or Scout can be a more affordable choice.  For instance, if you just want a cellular backup, you should go for Scout, but if you want the monitoring service, you can save on the monthly fees from SimpliSafe. 

  SimpliSafe Scout
Email notifications  $25.00 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)  $9.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)
Mobile app access  $25.00  (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)  $9.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)
Push notifications to mobile devices  $25.00 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)  $9.99  (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)
3G cellular backup  $15.00  (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)  $9.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)
SMS alerts  $25.00 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)  $9.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)
Professional monitoring service  $15.00  (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)  $19.99 (For the latest prices & discounts, check here)
Secret alerts  $25.00  [(For the latest prices & discounts, check here)  n/a 

 Final Say 

If you have a smart home with a lot of connected devices, you will want to consider the Scout Alarm.  You can probably save on sensors if you already have connected devices that could serve the purpose.

Like Nest Protect in lieu of smoke detectors.  What’s more, you could save more on the monthly fees even if you get the full Always On+ package. 

However, SimpliSafe does offer you a wider range of protection from environmental threats such as fire, water, smoke, carbon monoxide, and frost.  It even comes with the SimpliCam camera, which can give you a visual of what is happening at home.

SimpliSafe is also great if you only want a local alarm because you are not forced to pay for a subscription, unlike with Scout.

In addition, if you have pets, then SimpliSafe just might be the better system for you!  If only SimpliSafe allows it to integrate with other connected devices and smart home automation platforms, then it would be unbeatable! 

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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