ADT vs. Scout Alarm

ADT home security systems require professional installation and maintenance. Scout Alarm sells do-it-yourself (DIY) systems that the user installs and maintains with the help of online service support.

ADT vs Scout Alarm

The companies won an equal number of categories in our comparison review. However, ADT wins overall due to the wider range of offerings, including video and availability of a full complement of smart home Z-Wave appliances.

If you want a very basic, DIY system and do not have Z-Wave products to manage, then Scout Alarm is a reasonable choice.

Get Best Offer
Scout Alarm
  • DIY installation
  • Professional monitoring not required
  • $688 for customized kit 

Doesn't expire

Get Best Offer
  • DIY installation
  • Professional monitoring required
  • $773 for ADT Video Package

Doesn't expire


  • Excellent customer service reviews


  • ADT requires professional installation and Scout Alarm is DIY
  • ADT uses Honeywell sensors and Scout Alarm has proprietary, non-compatible products
  • Scout Alarm has a 30-day, money back guarantee and ADT offers a six-month.
  • ADT connects to Z-Wave smart home appliances. Scout Alarm uses ZigBee protocol.
  • ADT requires a three-year monitoring contract. Scout Alarm offers month to month contracts.
  • Scout Alarm, unlike ADT, does not sell fire, smoke or panic alarms.
  • ADT offers a full range of video surveillance products. Scout Alarm systems do not support video.

Comparison Overview Chart of Basic Packages

 ADTScout Alarm
PackageEssentialsAlways On
Monthly Monitoring Fee$36.99$9.99
Equipment Costnonenone
Activation and/or Installation Fee$199.00none
Contract Length3 yearsMonth to month
Money Back Guarantee6 months30-day
Equipment ManufacturerHoneywellProprietary
Number of Door/Window Sensor31
Motion Sensor Included11
Key FobNoYes
SMS and Email AlertsNoYes
Better Business Bureau RatingA+N/A

Comparison Overview Chart of Top Packages Offered

 ADTScout Alarm
PackagePulse SelectAlways On +
Monthly Monitoring Fee$49.99#19.99
Equipment Costnonenone
Activation and/or Installation Fee*$199.00none
Contract Length3 yearsMonth to month
Equipment ManufacturerHoneywellProprietary
Two-Way VoiceYesNo
Smartphone and Remote Access ManagementYesYes
Z-Wave or ZigBee ControlZ-WaveZigbee
Video availableYesNo
Number of Door/Window Sensor31
Motion Sensor Included11
Touchscreen consoleYesNo
iTune App Rating2.5 stars4.5 stars
Android App Rating3.5 stars4 stars
Blackberry App Rating4 stars4 stars

Comparison Overview

ADT’s Honeywell components are considered some of the best sensors and detectors available. Most of the Scout Alarm sensors receive excellent ratings from users. However, there have been numerous complaints registered regarding the motion detector and sensitivity issues.

ADT service personnel and the online support for the Scout Alarm DIY system receive high marks on most sites.

The monitoring centers for both companies have all licenses and certifications required by law according to user reports.

The smartphone apps used by both companies work well and allow users to manage the systems and receive alerts without difficulty.

ADT lets owners of their systems purchase any Z-Wave product and configure it to work with the consoles. Scout Alarm uses ZigBee protocol, however currently Scout only offers a limited number of ZigBee products that will connect to their hubs.

Winner and Loser Categories

Company Reputation

Winner: Scout Alarm

ADT has had a problem with sales personnel overpromising and using aggressive sales tactics.


Winner: Scout Alarm

Scout Alarm monitoring costs remain well below industry averages and the ADT monthly charges.

The cost of the sensors and detectors for each company, should you choose to purchase additional components, is about the same.


Winner: Scout Alarm

The month-to-month contracts by Scout Alarm make it easy to cancel or start and stop.

The ADT three-year contracts have expensive early termination fees.

Packages and Contents

Winner: ADT

ADT provides a reasonable number of sensors and detectors based on the package level selected by the user.

Scout Alarm provides the same, minimal number of items for the two monitoring packages you can purchase.

Ease of Installation

Winner: ADT

ADT hires and trains competent technicians to install and service their equipment.

The DIY systems sold by Scout take some time to master before you can connect and install the components to the hub and your home Wi-Fi.

Equipment Quality and Technology

Winner: ADT

Honeywell manufacturers top quality sensors of all types, shapes and sizes.

Users report that most Scout Alarm detectors work well. However, there are many complaints registered regarding the motion detectors. Scout also has limited choices in types of sensors and does not offer video.


Winner: Tie

ADT has a six-month, money back guarantee on installation. The Scout warranty is good for thirty days.


Winner: Tie

Users have very few complaints regarding the service provided by Scout or ADT.

Comparison Summary

ADT and Scout Alarm each garnered three wins in our comparison categories. However, the reliability and breadth of offerings by ADT mean that ADT is the winner.  Learn more in my ADT review.

If you have a small apartment to secure, and do not mind DIY, then Scout Alarm might be an appropriate choice for you.  Learn more about this system in my Scout Alarm review.

Related: The Best Security Systems of 2019

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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