Monitronics Vs. Scout Alarm

Update: Monitronics is now Brinks Home Security. 

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.

Get Best Offer
  • DIY installation
  • Professional monitoring optional 
  • $500 for Brinks Home Complete with Video 

Doesn't expire

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

Doesn't expire

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.

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Scout Alarm
Scout Alarm
Scout Alarm

We like Scout Alarm for its DIY installation, many smart platform integrations, and lack of monthly fees. 

Key Similarities:

  • One type of installation offered
  • Additional fees for full mobile management

Key Differences:


  • 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

Winner: Monitronics

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.

Mobile App

Winner: Tie

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.


Winner: Tie

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.

Home Automation

Winner: Monitronics

Monitronics has available Z-Wave home automation options. Scout is home automation compatible with certain brands that use Zigbee Protocol rather than Z-Wave.


Winner: Monitronics

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

Full Monitronics Review

Who Scout Alarm is Better For:

  • Users interested in DIY installation
  • Users looking for basic equipment
  • Users seeking flexible monitoring contract options

Full Scout Alarm Review

Get Best Offer
Scout Alarm
Scout Alarm
Scout Alarm

We like Scout Alarm for its DIY installation, many smart platform integrations, and lack of monthly fees. 

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.

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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