If you're looking for a new home security system, you'll have an abundance of security providers. Two great options are Vivint and Scout. Vivint has been in the industry for over 20 years and is becoming somewhat of a giant with over 1.4 million customers across North America. Scout Alarm was funded by a Kickstarter campaign back in 2013 after its founder struggled to find quality security equipment for an affordable price.
Vivint vs. Scout Alarm - What are the similarities?
- Professional monitoring: You can choose to have a professionally monitored system with either provider, including 24/7 response and assistance.
- Cellular backup: Cellular backup is crucial to protecting yourself in case of tampering or an outage.
- Video doorbell: You can purchase a doorbell camera from either provider. Doorbell cameras with two-way talk are a helpful way to talk to delivery people or give the impression that you're home - even if you're not.
- Mobile app: The smartphone apps offered were rated similarly by our SecurityNerd and provide similar functionality. Using this handy app, you can arm/disarm your system remotely, receive push notifications, and monitor your security cameras.
- Smart home capabilities: This is another area where Vivint and Scout are similar, offering compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Nest Thermostat, and Google Assistant, among other IFTTT equipment.
- Environment sensors: You can purchase environment sensors, such as water sensors, which can save you thousands of dollars in an emergency.
Vivint vs. Scout Alarm - What are the differences?
- Professional installation: Vivint only offers professional installation; Scout Alarm requires you to complete DIY installation.
- Monitoring service: The monthly fees charged by Scout are much lower; if you want a cheaper monitoring service, this is something to pay attention to.
- Customer support: Vivint's customer service is known for being a bit pushy. Scout has helpful and reliable customer service.
- Battery life: Scout is reported to have issues with battery life and equipment reliability.
- Long-term contracts: Scout doesn't require long-term contracts, but Vivint will require you to sign up for a 5-year contract to use their services.
Vivint: What you need to know
Vivint offers qualified technicians great equipment, professional monitoring, and smooth installation. Vivint provides an array of smart home options and is compatible with Z-wave technologies, like Scout.
Fitting is completed by a qualified technician that comes to your home. In addition, you'll be walked through everything you need to know. You should be wary of upselling, though, as Vivint technicians may be paid a commission based on your orders.
Vivint offers three different home packages, in addition to equipment that you can purchase individually:
- Security cameras
- Smart home devices
- Window sensors
- Key fob
- Door sensors
- Smoke detectors
- Motion sensors
- Freeze detectors
- Glass break sensors
- Carbon monoxide sensors
- Control panel
- Panic button
- Tilt sensor
Vivint offers Z-wave compatibility allowing you to set up a system that comprises Amazon Echo, Google Home, Nest thermostat, etc. You can also buy dedicated home automation technology such as smart door locks, video doorbells, garage door sensors, etc.
- Equipment costs: Your equipment costs will usually be paid monthly; there are no upfront costs. Once your equipment is paid for, your monthly fee drops considerably. However, a basic equipment bundle comprising a door sensor, motion sensor, smart hub, and yard signs will set you back at $599 (or $9.99 a month). You should contact Vivint for an accurate quote.
- Installation costs: Vivint quoted our SecurityNerd $100 for installation but did advise us that promotions occasionally reduce this to $0. You should ensure you check for current promotions.
- Monthly costs: Professional monitoring is offered, and monthly monitoring plans are $39.99 to $59.99 per month, depending on how many cameras you maintain and whether you want video monitoring.
- Customization: You can customize your security equipment with the help of a professional; be mindful of upselling.
- Smart home options: You'll have an array of smart home options, from smart locks to smart thermostats and more, with Z-wave compatibility increasing the integrations available.
- Price: The price is relatively high; if you're looking to save some money, you should consider a DIY system like Scout.
- No satisfaction guarantee: Some companies offer a moneyback guarantee, but Vivint only offers a three-day return window, which may not be sufficient to understand how it works.
Scout Alarm - What you need to know
Scout is an excellent, low-cost DIY service. You can access smart home options and other great features for a low monthly fee. Let's take a more in-depth look at what they have to offer.
Installation is an easy, DIY process. It's straightforward and takes less than 30 minutes for most equipment, but if you need customer service, it's good to know that our SecurityNerd found the customer support line to be helpful, knowledgable and they didn't try to upsell.
Scout offers various equipment on an a la carte basis:
- Door sensors
- Window sensors
- Door panels
- Motion detectors
- Indoor cameras
- Outdoor cameras
- additional keypads
- Environmental sensors
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Door locks
Scout gives you total control over your smart home devices. They offer similar benefits to Vivint. Your new Scout system will integrate with all Nest products (including Nest Protect, alarms, and thermostat), Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, LIFX, and IFTTT. Overall, Scout can be used side-by-side with more than 150 smart home partners.
The equipment costs start at $229, though Vivint is financed, and you can expect to pay more than $2000 throughout your contract. There is no installation fee, and no warranties are required, WiFi backup does cost $9.99 a month, though, and monitoring costs $19.99. Cloud storage may incur an additional fee.
Customization: You're able to customize your Scout Security system fully. You can choose extra add-ons.
24/7 monitoring: Monitoring is available 24/7 from UL-certified monitoring centers. Monitors can dispatch police or fire services to your home when your alarm alerts; monitoring also comes with a verified video response.
DIY only install: If you're not comfortable with a DIY alarm system, you should consider Vivint.
Equipment: Some users report battery life and reliability problems with the battery backup; while we didn't have this issue, it's something to notice.
When looking for a new home security system, you’ll have many things to consider, such as smart home integrations, self-monitoring or professional monitoring, etc. Not all companies are created equal, though. Vivint and Scout are two great systems; if you’re looking for the best equipment and don’t mind paying extra for it, Vivint is a great choice. If you’re looking to save some money or maybe even self-monitor, Scout is one of the best DIY home security systems available.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer 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.