Fortress and Scout Alarm both offer somewhat non-traditional DIY home security systems.
Fortress offers pre-programmed, customizable equipment packages, but does not provide monitoring services. Home automation services are also not available.
Scout Alarm offers separate equipment offerings and monitoring services. Available technology is limited and does not include cameras or home automation. However, Scout can be used in conjunction with Nest to add camera, carbon monoxide monitoring, and temperature control abilities.
Your choice will likely depend on how many equipment options you need and if you are seeking professional monitoring services.
- No combined equipment and monitoring packages
- DIY installation
- No traditional home automation offerings
- Fortress has more equipment options.
- Only Scout offers monitoring plans.
- Scout has reliability complaints.
- Scout app comes with featured packages. Fortress app only available with select package options.
Winner and Loser Categories
Packages, Equipment and Pricing
Fortress offers only equipment packages, with no monitoring options available. Packages are all pre-programmed, and range in cost from $99-$570, depending on customizations. Available equipment includes sensors, sirens, and an HD security camera. Fortress technology is reported to be inexpensive compared to the industry standard. Because only self-monitoring is available, Fortress systems rely on sirens, strobe lights, and autodial to alert users to issues.
Scout Alarm also doesn’t offer traditional combined equipment and monitoring packages. Users choose their own a la carte equipment combination, but choices are limited. There are no available video components — though Scout systems can be used in conjunction with a Nest camera — and only three sensor and detector options. Scout Alarm does not offer any specialty sensors, or have any compatible fire or smoke detectors. Monthly monitoring fees range from $9-$19.
Scout Alarm uses proprietary equipment that is more expensive than industry standards like GE or Honeywell.
Both Fortress and Scout Alarm offer DIY installation.
Neither Scout Alarm nor Fortress offer traditional home automation options. However, Scout can integrate with Nest Protect, which monitors smoke and carbon monoxide levels, and Nest Thermostat, which allows you to smartly control temperature settings.
Scout Alarm offers self-monitoring options through mobile apps for a small fee. Fortress offers a mobile app that is only available with specific package options.
Winner: Scout Alarm
Scout Alarm offers users flexible month-to-month or self-monitoring contract options. This is a departure from the industry standard 36-month contract. If you do commit to a full year, a discounted price is available. Fortress notably offers no monitoring packages.
Scout Alarm has multiple user complaints that motion sensors are unreliable, and some users report poor sensor battery life.
Fortress systems have a great reputation for being reliable, and online customer service support has received high marks from users. Alarm delays, however, have been reported.
Who Scout Alarm Is Better For:
- Users who want monitoring services
- Users not looking for a wide equipment selection
- Users interested in using a system in conjunction with Nest products
- Users unconcerned with reliability complaints
Who Fortress is Better For:
- Users hoping to avoid monitoring contracts
- Users not looking for home automation
- Users interested in systems that rely on sirens, strobe lights, and autodial for alerts
Scout Alarm and Fortress both offer viable home security options. If you are looking for monitoring services and basic equipment, you’ll likely be pleased with Scout Alarm, especially if you are interested in using it in conjunction with Nest products. You should, however, note reliability complaints. If you prioritize avoiding monitoring contracts, Fortress will likely be the better fit, and the company earns high customer service ratings from users.
Related: The Best Security Systems of 2019