SimpliSafe has been on the market for quite some time at this point and was one of the first smart home security systems to make a splash. Recently, relative newcomer Scout now also offers a competitive product as well, bringing in an innovative control mechanism that promises convenience and ease of use. In this case, however, we feel that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. SimpliSafe’s more traditional control scheme is difficult to beat, and we feel that it still has the edge due to its support for a keypad.
When comparing Scout vs. SimpliSafe, you’re essentially comparing a product that offers something new and innovative versus a tried and true upgrade of a more traditional security system. Scout has a very unique way of arming and disarming the system, but in its current implementation, it seems to fall short of what the creators intended. While SimpliSafe is not without its issues, there’s some truth to the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
Below we go into detail on the benefits and drawbacks that these two systems have to offer. If there are specific aspects of the products that you’re specifically interested in, however, feel free to use the navigation bar to jump right down to the appropriate section.
Scout vs. SimpliSafe — Differences
Difference #1: Technology – One of the most notable differences when comparing Scout Security vs. SimpliSafe is in the technology that they use to communicate.
Scout supports both Z-Wave and Zigbee — two of the most common smart home frequencies on the market. This means that your Scout system should integrate well with most third-party smart home equipment.
SimpliSafe, on the other hand, only supports WiFi connections. While it actually interfaces with a pretty wide range of products considering the lack of ZigBee and Z-Wave support, it’s not quite as flexible in terms of integration by default.
Difference #2: Internet Connection – With the Scout system, you’ll have to plug your smart home base directly into the router. This is a little unfortunate, as it means you’ll have to locate the main hub of your security system with at least somewhat close proximity to your router — unless, of course, you’re willing to run an Ethernet cord across the entire house.
The SimpliSafe router works over WiFi and doesn’t require a hard-wired connection, which means you have much more flexibility with placement.
Difference #3: Hub Battery Backup – Both alarm systems have a battery backup that will kick in in the event of a power outage. However, SimpliSafe will last for a full day on the backup power while Scout will only keep running for 12 hours.
If you’re worried about losing access to your monitoring system in a storm, for example, it’s nice to have that extra 12 hours of charge in case it takes a little while for things to get back up and running.
Difference #4: Keypad – One of the biggest disadvantages of the Scout is the lack of a physical keypad. That means you can’t arm or disarm your security system from the hub itself, instead of being forced to use the app to control your alarms.
While app control might be the way of the future, the lack of a keypad seems like the company removed a useful feature for no reason. Losing flexibility in terms of control is never really a benefit, and the forcing of app control also makes it quite difficult to give home access to friends, family, or household staff.
People who want to access your home with your permission need to be added into your app and then download the app themselves. Forcing your family to download something on their phone just to access your home without setting off alarms is super inconvenient, and one of the main ways why it’s difficult to give Scout a solid recommendation.
SimpliSafe, on the other hand, comes with an excellent backlit keypad that is easy to use in a pinch. If that wasn’t convenient enough, you also have the option to buy extra keypads to place wherever it’s convenient. Add one in by your garage door, on the patio, or on the second floor to make it easy to disarm or arm your system from wherever you happen to be.
Difference #5: Extra Siren – Both the Scout and SimpliSafe support an extra siren, so that you have extra coverage in the case the main hub takes damage.
The Scout comes with a Door Panel. This panel includes an RFID reader that allows for easy arming and disarming of your system using a key fob. The panel also includes a 106 dB siren for added volume on your main living floors.
The SimpliSafe has a siren built into the hub, but you can also buy additional sirens to place around your home so you can project the alarm loudly and clearly while keeping the main base hidden and protected.
Difference #6: Remote Panic Button – Another benefit of the SimpliSafe system is the inclusion of a remote panic button. In the event that you find yourself in an emergency situation, it’s as easy as pressing a button to contact the monitoring center who will check to make sure that you’re okay. The panic button will also sound an alarm to deter intruders, but commercial customers might also be interested in the silent panic button which will signal for help without alerting trespassers.
Ultimately, the panic button gives that extra line of defense and instant access to help. Unfortunately, the Scout doesn’t have any analogous feature, which is a pretty significant drawback.
Difference #7: Maximum Number of Devices – One of the areas that Scout does pull ahead is in the maximum number of devices that it can support. While we couldn’t find any documentation saying a solid number of devices that the Scout can communicate with, it’s a hub that uses Z-Wave and ZigBee technology which means it should easily support hundreds of sensors if you so choose.
SimpliSafe, on the other hand, only supports up to 100 connections. For most homeowners, this should be more than enough, but for those who want truly comprehensive coverage and have a lot of ground to cover, it’s possible to run into the limitations of that 100 device capacity.
Difference #8: Subscription – In order to unlock the full potential of your new smart security system, you’ll need to purchase a subscription plan.
Scout features Always On and Always On+ plans. Always On is the base level plan that costs around $10 per month. Despite being the cheaper subscription, it includes 4G LTE cellular and battery backups, email notification, access to the Scout mobile app for both iOS and Android devices, and push motivations / SMS alerts for mobile. The main thing you’re missing with Always On is access to the 24/7 monitoring.
Always On+ is around $20 per month and has identical features with the monitoring added in.
In addition to these two plans, Scout also offers a “Cellular Only” plan for around $16 per month that allows your security system to function entirely without WiFi. Scout is one of the only brands that offers this option, so it’s probably your best bet if you don’t have internet at home or if your connection is spotty or unreliable.
SimpliSafe also offers two different subscription options: Standard and Interactive.
Standard offers 24/7 live monitoring, Cellular Connection, and Environmental monitoring. It’s basically essential to at least have this subscription, as some of the sensors like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors won’t work without it. This plan is available for $15 per month, but to unlock the ability to access your security system from your phone, receive secret alerts, and start video recording as soon as the alarm system is triggered, you’ll need Interactive for $24.90 per month.
Comparing the subscriptions of Scout vs. SimpliSafe is a little weird, as they essentially offer the same features with the different tiers reversed. To elaborate on that a little further, Scout offers everything but 24/7 monitoring on their most basic plan and includes phone access on their more basic plan. SimpliSafe, on the other hand, requires the premium subscription to access your system via the phone and includes monitoring in the less expensive plan.
Overall, we feel that Scout has the more attractively priced subscription setup and a distribution of features across the plans that makes more sense. Having to pay almost $25 a month just to use your phone app control the SimpliSafe system just seems a little bizarre and outrageous.
If you’re looking for an alternative system that offers phone control without a subscription, consider checking out our comparison on SimpliSafe vs. Nest Secure.
Difference #9: Smart Home Integration – Last but not least, there are some pretty significant differences in terms of smart home integration. A smart security system is great to have in any case, but being able to add it into the rest of your connected home is truly what makes for intelligent technology.
Because it supports both Zigbee and Z-Wave technology, Scout is much more compatible with a lot of the most popular smart home equipment.
For example, Scout and Nest can work together to protect your home in any way you see fit. Combine your Scout secure system with the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm in order to sound your security alarms whenever your Nest equipment sounds danger. You can also sync Nest Thermostat with your Scout sensors in order to dynamically adjust the temperature when you enter or leave your home.
One of the best features that the Scout has to offer in terms of integration, however, is support for IFTTT. This conditional trigger system is one of the most powerful on the market and essentially opens up Scout to power integration with over 175 smart home partners. If connecting your security system into the rest of your home is your primary concern, you won’t do better than Scout.
Scout vs. SimpliSafe — Comparison Chart
|Hub to Router Connection||Ethernet||Wireless|
|Hub Battery Backup||12 hours||Up to 24 hours|
|Extra Siren Support||Door panel with
106 dB siren
|Multiple Keypads Support||No||Yes|
|Key Fobs||Yes||Yes (keychain remote)|
|Disarm Options||App, key fobs, RFID stickers||App, keychain remote, keypad|
|Advanced Subscription||$19.99/month. Adds
24/7 professional monitoring
remote app controls,
smart home integrations
|Remote Monitoring & Notifications||Subscription required||Subscription required|
|Cellular Backup||Included with paid plans
Add-on: Cellular Only
(Starting at an additional $15.99 / mo.)
|Included with paid plans|
|Sensors||Access, Water Leak Sensor,
Glass break sensor
|Motion, Entry, Glassbreak,
Smoke, Carbon Monoxide,
|Remote Panic Button||No||Yes|
|Monthly Contracts Available||Yes||Yes|
|Other Smart Home Compatibility||SmartThings, Nest,
Yale Locks, LIFX,
August Smart Lock
|Technology||Z-Wave and ZigBee||WiFi|
Scout vs. SimpliSafe — Things in Common
24/7 Professional Monitoring – Part of the appeal of any security system is knowing that it can protect your home while you’re away. While it’s important to have a security system keeping track of things while you and your family are in the house, it’s equally important to have a system that can alert both you and the authorities to break-ins while you’re away.
When you subscribe to 24/7 professional monitoring with either brand, you’ll have access to a service that is keeping an eye on your sensors continuously. Whether you’re in bed fast asleep or halfway around the world on vacation, you can rest assured that there are security professionals keeping an eye on your home. As soon as sensors are triggered, you or your trusted contacts will receive a call to make sure everything’s okay. If the monitoring service doesn’t get a response or you can’t provide a safe word, they will dispatch the authorities to your home to make sure you are safe.
Many feel that the monthly fee for such a service is more than reasonable, and it’s nice to have access to the capability regardless of your choice in brand.
Flexible Contract – Unlike some older and more traditional security systems, you won’t be tied into some long term monitoring contract. Both alarm systems provide monthly contracts that you can cancel at any time, with no termination fees or hassles to deal with. This makes it easy to give the more premium monitoring service a try to figure out whether you like the extra features it offers, or if you’d be better off skipping that bill and saving some extra money.
DIY Installation – Installation with either system is easy. Simply pull it out of the box, plug the base in, and place sensors around the most vulnerable areas of your home for easy protection that’s ready to go in a matter of minutes.
Expand & Customize – One of the biggest benefits of either model is the ability to expand and customize your alarm system to suit your needs. You can start small and expand your sensors over time, fixing any gaps in your coverage and adding in extra utility over time.
Motion and Entry sensors are perhaps the most straight forward. Motion sensors are perhaps what most people think of when the topic of a security system comes up, with full room coverage that will trigger an alarm when a person is detected. The sensors are also designed to react to unique heat signatures of people, so you won’t have to worry about your pets setting off the alarm unless they are bigger than 50 pounds. Entry sensors are best used in doorways or on windows to receive an instant alert when your home is accessed.
Glassbreak sensors are some of the more unique features we’ve seen, with the ability to detect the sound of breaking glass. These are best used in first story rooms with a lot of windows, as those are potential points of access for a would-be intruder. Pair it with a motion detector for the rest of the room, and you have the recipe for a perfectly-secured home.
Outside of security, both systems also offer a wide range of sensors that offer protection in other areas as well. For example, smoke and carbon monoxide sensors will set off your security system when they detect fire or a gas leak.
Water sensors are also great to add in in areas where there might be leaks, such as a bathroom or basement. Having a heads up right when moisture levels start to become a problem will give you ample opportunity to fix a leak before it starts to get really expensive and frustrating.
Last but not least, temperature sensors can detect when your home gets too cold, giving you plenty of time to remedy the situation before you end up with burst pipes!
Video Monitoring – In addition to the sensors that are responsible for the majority of your security, both alarm systems also support video monitoring. SimpliSafe has their own 1080p camera that you can use to keep an eye on your home and enhance your sensors. Scout has its own 1080p camera system as well, but it will also integrate well with any Nest Cam so you aren’t necessarily tied to their own equipment.
Cellular Backup – Both alarm systems offer 4G LTE cellular backup, so you’ll be able to access your security system and keep your home protected even if something were to happen to your WiFi. Scout and SimpliSafe are also built with a battery backup as well, so you’ll be able to continue powering your sensors even in the event of a power outage.
One thing to keep in mind with these backups is that the extra battery is available by default, while the cellular backup requires an extra subscription.
Siren – Both hubs have their own built-in siren, so you’ll be instantly alerted when there’s unexpected activity. The loud alarm is also an excellent deterrent against invaders, as it’s likely to scare them into leaving rather than continuing to trespass in your home.
Voice Control – Scout and SimpliSafe both integrate well with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which allows you to access a lot of information and easily handle the arming of your system without lifting a finger.
For example, you can use commands like “Alexa, ask Scout/SimpliSafe about the last five activities,” to have an idea of the recent detections in your home, or “Alexa, ask Scout/SimpliSafe if the alarm is armed,” so you can be extra sure that your home is currently being protected.
It’s a useful utility that you may find yourself using pretty often if you’re already familiar with using an Amazon Echo or Google Home. Most smart tech has started to integrate voice control in one way or another, so it’s great to see it integrated so cleanly with Scout and SimpliSafe as well.
Remote Monitoring & Notifications – Both brands offer remote monitoring and motivations but, unfortunately, you’ll have to opt for a subscription in order to check in on your home through the app. It’s unfortunate that this feature isn’t available by default, but it’s at least good to have the option there — despite the fact that you’ll need to pay an additional fee.
Design – In terms of design, the Scout and SimpliSafe alarm systems actually look quite similar, and are available in either black or white.
Scout vs. SimpliSafe — Our Thoughts
When comparing the Scout vs. SimpliSafe, it really comes down to one main aspect: ease of use.
The Scout doesn’t have a keypad, and that holds it back in a major way. In order to disarm your system, you’ll have to use the smartphone app or use the key fob. Using the fob sounds like it would be a convenient alternative, but it’s not as easy to distribute among family and friends and is a little finicky in the way it works. Arming and disarming the system through the fob is not very reliable, and requires passing it over the door panel in a specific pattern that is somewhat difficult to get right when in a hurry.
While SimpliSafe is not without its issues, we have to give it the edge due to the fact that it’s pretty flexible and easy to use. You can easily arm and disarm it when needed, and you don’t always have to be carrying a fob or your smartphone with you. It’s also easy to expand later on if you’d like to take your home to the next level, has a 24-hour battery backup, and functions wirelessly without requiring a hardline into your router.
So we do feel that SimpliSafe is the superior device. The monthly fees are still a little outrageous, however, so we recommend taking a look at options like the Ring Alarm, Nest Secure, or abode as a superior alternative.
For more information about SimpliSafe system, check out our SimpliSafe Review — Things You Should Know article.
Last update on 2020-01-20 at 04:29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API