Update: Vivint now offers 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup for $39.99 a month plus $5 per camera for 14 days of cloud storage. Without this plan, your system will be a local alarm only.
Scout Alarm and Vivint both offer home security systems that will meet essential safety needs. Vivint has more comprehensive technology and contract offerings, but requires professional installation and has notably poor customer service. Scout has excellent customer service reviews and DIY installation, but does not offer technology options like cameras or home automation.
- Month-to-month contract options
- Pricier end of the home security industry
- Vivint offers home automation. Scout does not.
- Vivint has more advanced mobile control.
- Vivint offers long-term contract options. Scout only offers month-to-month.
- Vivint offers traditional packages with more extensive equipment options. Scout offers build-your-own packages with basic technology.
- Vivint requires professional installation. Scout is DIY.
- Vivint has notably poor customer service reviews.
Winner and Loser Categories
Packages, Equipment and Pricing
Vivint offers comprehensive, customizable packages with modern, top-tier equipment options. Cameras are included in its two advanced packages.
Scout does not offer traditional packages, and has less available technology options. Users must choose their own a la carte equipment combination, with the company offering no video components and only three sensor and detector options.
Prices will depend on how you customize with each company. Both Vivint and Scout are known to be somewhat pricey.
Vivint offers both a low-commitment month-to-month contract option or long-term contract options for 42 or 60 months.
In contrast, Scout only offers month-to-month monitoring, so it would not be ideal for those looking for a bigger commitment.
Winner: Tie (professional vs. DIY)
Vivint requires professional installation, but does so at no additional cost. (Exceptions include outdoor cameras at a $99 installation fee and doorbell cameras at a $29 installation fee). Activation fees will likely also apply.
Scout Alarm offers only DIY installation, but has excellent customer service support for the process.
Mobile App and Home Automation
Vivint offers smart home appliance capabilities with its two more advanced plans. It also has a well-rated mobile app that comes with all of its packages.
Scout Alarm uses Zigbee Protocol, as opposed to industry-standard Z-Wave for remote mobile control. This limits smartphone management to certain mobile brands.
Scout does not offer home appliance control.
Winner: Scout Alarm
Vivint has notably low customer service scores. The company has a history of reports of aggressive sales tactics, and customers have filed multiple lawsuits filed against it. Complaints include misrepresentation and deceptive sales tactics.
Users also have cited unanswered customer calls, lack of support after contracts are signed, and billing problems.
Scout has excellent customer service reviews, including support for its DIY installation process.
Scout Alarm has multiple user complaints that motion sensors are unreliable, and that equipment has poor battery life. Some users report they must change sensor batteries every two to three months.
Who Scout Alarm Is Better For:
- Users looking for DIY installation
- Users looking for a basic system
- Users uninterested in cameras or home automation
- Users desiring excellent customer service
Who Vivint Is Better For:
- Users seeking advanced technology options like cameras and home automation
- Users who don’t mind poor customer service
- Users who want a long-term contract option
- Users who prefer professional installation
Users looking for a very basic DIY system with no long-term commitment will find what they are looking for with Scout Alarm, and can count on excellent customer service support. Users looking for a more advanced system with home automation and cameras, or those seeking a long-term contract agreement should opt for Vivint.
Related: The Best Security Systems of 2019