LifeShield and Scout Alarm both offer wireless home security systems with DIY installation options and mobile apps. LifeShield is a more traditional comprehensive service with packages combining monitoring contracts and excellent proprietary equipment. Scout Alarm provides basic systems with more flexible month-to-month contracts.
Just weeks ago, it was announced that LifeShield is changing ownership. Therefore, details of its services could potentially soon change.
At this point, LifeShield takes the lead in the most categories and is our overall winner.
- Easy DIY installation
- Not ideal for home automation
- Mobile app available
- LifeShield offers professional installation.
- LifeShield offers 36-month contracts. Scout Alarm offers month-to-month contracts.
- LifeShield has more extensive equipment options, including a one-of-a-kind fire safety system.
- Scout Alarm offers self-monitoring.
Winner and Loser Categories
Winner: Scout Alarm
Scout Alarm offers more contract flexibility. Users can choose self-monitoring or month-to-month professional monitoring. For those that do commit to a full year of monitoring, Scout offers a discount on the monthly charge.
LifeShield offers the industry standard 36-month contract.
Lifeshield packages range in monthly cost from $30-$50 and include state-of-the-art equipment and monitoring, but you will likely also have additional fees for equipment add-ons.
Scout users must pay a one-time upfront fee for proprietary equipment, which is expensive compared to industry standards like GE or Honeywell.
Scout monthly monitoring fees then range from $9 (self-monitoring) to $19 (professional monitoring).
Packaging and Equipment
LifeShield offers three packages that include equipment and monitoring services. The company uses extremely well-reviewed, top-of-the-line proprietary equipment. All packages come with a one-of-a-kind fire safety system, and wireless cameras are available as add-ons.
Scout offers separate monitoring contracts and build-your-own equipment packages, and receives low marks for equipment. The company offers no video components and only three sensor and detector options. Additionally, sensors and detectors are large with limited range and field of vision, and have been reported to have poor battery life. The system has no compatible fire and smoke directors.
LifeShield offers both DIY and professional installation options. Users report the DIY installation is simple and user-friendly. Professional installation is available for $99.
Scout only has a DIY installation option, but it is extremely well-reviewed. Customers say the process is simple and the customer service is excellent.
Neither Scout nor Lifeshield are ideal choices for users interested in home automation.
Lifeshield offers no home automation capability.
Scout uses Zigbee protocol and should theoretically function with other Zigbee devices like Amazon Echo and Nest. However, the company has not released any information as to the specific Zigbee devices that are compatible with Scout alarm, which gives us pause.
LifeShield has a very well-reviewed mobile app that comes with all three of its packages: Security Essentials, Security Advantage, and Security Professional.
Scout charges a small fee for its iPhone app, which is not available on the Blackberry.
Scout Alarm has multiple user complaints that motion sensors are unreliable, and that its equipment has poor battery life. Some users report they must change sensor batteries every two to three months.
Who LifeShield Is Better For:
- Users looking for top-of-the-line equipment
- Users who want camera and specialty sensor options
- Users interested in professional installation
- Users willing to take a chance on a changing company
Who Scout Alarm Is Better For:
- Users looking for self-monitoring or low commitment month-to-month monitoring options
- Users interested in a basic system with no specialty sensor or camera options
- Users okay with DIY installation