Monitronics and Scout Alarm offer viable but varying home security systems. Monitronics uses primarily Honeywell and GE equipment, and has professional installation and available Z-wave home automation.
Scout Alarm offers a more basic system with DIY installation, limited equipment options and select Zigbee home automation capabilities.
Users should note Scout has received complaints about poor sensor battery life and motion sensor reliability, but has highly-reviewed customer service.
- One type of installation offered
- Additional fees for full mobile management
- Monitronics has professional installation. Scout Alarm is DIY.
- Scout Alarm has reliability complaints.
- Monitronics offers Z-Wave home automation. Scout Alarm is only Zigbee compatible.
Winner and Loser Categories
Packages, Equipment and Pricing
Monitronics offers three packages advertised as ranging in cost from $35-$55 with activation fees ranging from $99-$149, plus equipment costs. Monitronics has a well-regarded centralized monitoring system, but uses local dealers for installation, leading to varying on-the-ground user experiences. Local dealers also have final control over activation costs and contract terms. This means specials and coupons can potentially lower a system’s cost. But overall, local variation makes Monitronics pricing unpredictable. Most equipment is Honeywell or GE. Medical alert packages are additionally available.
Scout Alarm doesn’t offer traditional packages. Users choose their own a la carte equipment combination, but there are limited choices. There are no available video components and only three sensor and detector options. Scout Alarm does not have any compatible fire or smoke detectors. Monthly monitoring fees range from $9-$19.
Scout Alarm uses proprietary equipment reported to be more expensive than industry standards like GE or Honeywell.
Winner: Scout Alarm
Monitronics offers the industry-standard 36-month monitoring contract. Scout Alarm offers users more flexible month-to-month or self-monitoring contract options. If you do commit to a full year, a discounted price is available.
Both Monitronics and Scout Alarm have some smartphone management options available.
Monitronics has remote smartphone control capabilities, but only text and email notifications and remote arm/disarm are free. Additional remote features are available at extra cost.
Scout Alarm offers self-monitoring options through mobile apps available for a small additional price.
Monitronics and Scout Alarm each offer only one type of installation, so choice will depend on what services you’re seeking.
Monitronics offers professional installation done by local dealers. The customer service experience varies by location and is therefore less reliable. Installation is free but users will likely pay significant activation fees.
Scout Alarm offers DIY installation.
Monitronics has available Z-Wave home automation options. Scout is home automation compatible with certain brands that use Zigbee Protocol rather than Z-Wave.
Scout Alarm has multiple user complaints that motion sensors are unreliable, and some users report poor sensor battery life.
Who Monitronics is Better For:
- Users requiring professional installation
- Users seeking home automation
- Users ready to commit to a long-term monitoring contract
- Users fine with local variance in offerings
Who Scout Alarm is Better For:
- Users interested in DIY installation
- Users looking for basic equipment
- Users seeking flexible monitoring contract options
Both Scout Alarm and Monitronics offer strong options for home security systems. If you’re looking for a basic DIY system with no frills and flexible contract options, you’ll likely prefer Scout Alarm. If you’re looking for professional installation, Z-Wave home automation options, and a long-term monitoring contract, Monitronics is likely the better choice.
Monitronics is now owned by Brinks. Check out our review of the Brinks home security system.