ADT vs Scout Alarm

You'll come across numerous excellent options when looking for a new home security provider. Two great options are ADT and Scout Alarm.

ADT is a premium security provider with an unrivaled history and reputation; ADT has more than 7 million customers across the USA and offers the best equipment in the industry. Scout was launched in 2013 following a successful Kickstarter campaign, reaching its target funds in just 30 days. Scout is known for offering flexible, modern equipment monitored or self-monitored.

Scout Alarm vs ADT: What do they have in common?

  • Cellular backup: You'll have access to cellular backup, which protects you in the event of an outage.
  • Smart home options: You'll have a range of home automation options, including Amazon's Alexa and Google Home, alongside other Z-wave products.
  • Environmental sensors: You can purchase environmental sensors that will save you thousands of dollars in a flood or fire.
  • Mobile app: You can control your home security system via a handy mobile app.
  • Professional monitoring: Professional monitoring is available with both alarm systems.

Scout Alarm vs ADT: What are the differences?

  • Installation: ADT requires professional installation, but Scout allows for DIY installation.
  • Reputation: ADT has been in the business for over 100 years, but Scout is a new kid on the block. While they're developing a solid reputation, it'll be long before they can compete with ADT in this area.
  • Contracts: ADT requires all customers to take out a three-year contract, but you can have Scout's services flexibly.
  • Moneyback guarantee: ADT offers a 6-month moneyback guarantee, but Scout Alarm only provides a 60-day guarantee.
  • Reliability: Scout is pretty new and reported to have various reliability issues, including problems with battery life.
  • Self-monitoring: Scout is ideal if you want a DIY home security system. With ADT, you'll need to subscribe to a monitoring service.

ADT: What you need to know

ADT provides services worldwide; the familiar blue logo lets you know that you're in safe hands. ADT entered the market at the turn of the 20th century and earned an unbeatable reputation - but it's one of the priciest.


You'll need professional installation for your new ADT system. Unlike Scout, you can't DIY install. Professional installation costs $99, but an ADT representative will complete your installation and walk you through your new system.


You can access a wide array of equipment with ADT, but the basic system is made up of:

  • Motion detectors
  • Door and window sensors
  • Key fob
  • Yard signs and decals
  • Push-button keypad for landline monitoring

You can buy extras individually, including additional video cameras. Possible add-ons include:

  • Flood and freeze detectors
  • Panic button
  • Touchscreen control system
  • Outdoor cameras
  • Smart locks
  • Light control garage control
  • Glass break sensors

Home automation

Like Scout Alarm, you'll have a decent array of smart home integrations available. Possibilities include If This Then That (IFTTT) equipment and Z-wave equipment, including a video doorbell, Google Assistant, Nest Thermostat, Apple TV, and Alexa.


When you purchase a new security system, you'll have several costs. For ADT, the prices you'll need to consider include:

  • Equipment fee: You don't pay any equipment fees directly; it's worked into your monthly costs, so you don't pay it upfront.
  • Installation fee: Installation fees begin at $99 but can be as much as $299 for more complex installations.
  • Monthly fees: Monthly costs range from $35.99 to $57.99 per month.

Nerd Pros:

  • Reputation: ADT has an unbeatable reputation with more than 7 million customers in the USA alone. Tag on a century in the business, and you know you can trust them!
  • Hardware: ADT's equipment is pretty reliable, too. You know you won't be stuck with flimsy equipment. You can trust the hardware you get from ADT with a six-month warranty.
  • Professional installation:  ADT will send a professional to your home to help assess your security setup, install your new equipment and walk you through the functionality of your new system.

Nerd Cons:

  • Customer service inconsistencies: ADT has recently begun outsourcing customer support to some third-party brands, hurting its customer service. This can be easily remedied but is something to think about; when paying ADT prices, you don't anticipate poor service.
  • Add-on extras: Nobody chooses ADT for affordability, but the base packages are surprisingly affordable. Unfortunately, the additional extras add up quickly.
  • Mobile app issues: The app is okay, but glitches and can lose connectivity. It's disappointing for such a large company to have an unreliable app.

Scout Alarm: What you need to know

If you're looking for smart home options, a low monthly fee, and a DIY service, you can't go far wrong with Scout. They're new to the market, having launched just shy of 10 years ago after a successful Kickstarter campaign.


Installation is simple, clear, and straightforward. Most people could install a Scout Alarm system in under 30 minutes, but it's worth mentioning that the customer support service our SecurityNerd received was excellent; if you require assistance, it seems easy to get.


Scout offers an excellent selection of equipment, including:

  • Door panels
  • Motion sensors
  • Window sensors
  • Outdoor cameras
  • Indoor cameras
  • Extra keypads
  • Carbon monoxide sensors
  • Door locks

Home automation

Scout offers total control over your smart home devices, with similar benefits to ADT. Your new system can integrate with all Nest products, Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and over 150 smart home partners.


Equipment costs start at $229. While ADT's costs work differently, you'll spend much more than this throughout your contract. There's no installation fee with no contracts required. Wifi backup and cloud storage may require an additional fee, though. Monitoring costs just $19.99 per month and is optional.

Nerd Pros

  • Customization: Your scout system is fully customizable; you can choose extra add-ons and don't need to pay for equipment you won't use.
  • 24/7 monitoring: Most DIY systems only have basic monitoring available, but monitoring is available from UL-certified centers; monitors can dispatch police/fire services and verify the response via video.

Nerd Cons

  • DIY only install: If you'd rather have an all-inclusive installation process, you should consider ADT.
  • Equipment: There are some reports of issues with battery life and unreliable battery backup. It's something to take note of.

ADT or Scout Alarm?

The question of the best home security system is something you'll consider when choosing a home security company; both ADT and Scout make a worthy choice. If you're looking for quality security cameras with cheaper monitoring options and no long-term contracts, you should pay attention to Scout Alarm. But if you're looking for premium products and the best reputation and don't mind paying extra for them, you should consider ADT.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.