Last updated on Feb 17, 2021

ADT vs. Scout

Advertiser Disclosure:
We recommend products and services based on unbiased research from our editorial team. We make money via affiliate links, which means if you click a link on our site, we may earn a commission. Any commissions we receive do not affect our recommendations; if you want to know more about how that works, read more.

Your home should be a haven for you and your family to live without fear. Installing a quality home security system is a great way to protect your home from problems and give you the peace-of-mind that you deserve.

ADT is the giant of the industry and trusted by 6.5 million customers. It’s proven over time that it can adapt to changes in technology and customer needs to continue serving them well. But the growth of smart homes and connectivity has birthed several competitors who take a new approach to how security systems and monitoring.

Scout Alarm is one of the newcomers hoping to simplify home security with contract-free monitoring and wireless devices. But which is the better option to keep your family safe? We’ll compare Scout vs. ADT to see who comes out on top for pricing, plans, customer service and ease of installation so you can make the best choice for your home.


ADT Home Security has been protecting homes for over 140 years and is the most recognized brand in the industry.


  • Professional installation
  • Multiple protection options
  • Six-month money-back guarantee


  • Requires a long contract
  • Expensive cancellation fee
  • High prices for monitoring
  • Lack of transparency


Scout Alarm started in 2013 and offers simple, wireless security systems


  • Wireless Wi-Fi connection between devices and the hub
  • No contracts
  • Customized responses for various alarm types


  • Limited product lineup
  • No professional installation and setup
  • Monthly charge for self-monitoring
 Monitoring OptionsMonitoring Prices starting atInstallation Options

Data as of 07/24/2020



ADT offers three plans to choose from.

ADT Secure provides basic 24/7 monitoring services to protect your home from break-ins, fire, flood and carbon monoxide. You’ll receive monitoring equipment, including the main control panel that ADT will professionally install. 

ADT Smart allows you to control your home security system remotely and includes everything in the Secure package. You can set custom schedules and alerts to make sure your home is secured exactly how you’d like it.

ADT Complete adds video capabilities to your plan, giving you access to live stream feeds from security cameras both within and outside your home. You can view, record and save videos from your security feed. 


There are two monitoring plans from Scout.

Scout Always On is the company’s most basic plan, which includes self-monitoring and 4G LTE backup to keep your system working even if your Wi-Fi is offline. You’ll have access to the Scout home security mobile app and receive alerts and notifications through email, text, phone call, and push notifications.

Scout Always On+ includes 24/7 professional monitoring, which can dispatch police and the fire department to your home when your alarm is activated. You’ll also receive free cloud storage for your first doorbell or camera. 

Who is it best for


  • ADT Secure — Best for simple 24-hour monitoring from an established security company.
  • ADT Smart — Best for connecting your home to other home automation equipment
  • ADT Complete — Best for video monitoring without having to set it up yourself


  • Scout Always On — Best for budget-conscious DIYers
  • Scout Always On+ — Best for those who want professional 24/7 monitoring without a contract.

Contracts and Pricing


ADT security requires, in most cases, a three-year contract for monitoring services. You’ll pay a monthly fee for monitoring plus any upfront costs that ADT charges for installation and equipment. You may qualify to pay for your equipment over time, which will cause your monthly rate to go up.

ADT makes it tough — and expensive — to get out of your contract early if you decide that you no longer want to use the service for your home security. You’ll have to pay 75% of the total amount you still owe on your contract to cancel. ADT does offer a six-month money-back guarantee, but you can only use it if the equipment is malfunctioning in your home — not if you’re unhappy with the service.

The industry veteran holds its pricing information close to its chest, requiring you to go through a soft credit check and a home walkthrough with an ADT salesperson before receiving a quote for service. Service plans range from $28.99 to $62.99 per month when we called an ADT sales representative.


Scout Security, on the other hand, offers home security with no contracts. You’ll pay an upfront cost for equipment and a monthly service fee to keep your security system up and running. 

Scout Always On+ — its self-monitored plan — costs $9.99 per month and includes unlimited notifications and 4G LTE backup. Scout Always On+ costs $19.99 per month and includes 24/7 professional monitoring, emergency dispatch, and cloud storage for your first camera or doorbell.

The Scout Hub — the main terminal that communicates with all of your other devices — costs $120 if you buy it on its own. You can then choose the sensors that you need to secure your home. Alternatively, you can buy bundled Scout Packs, which start at $229.

Customer Service


ADT is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business, a distinction it earned in March 2013. BBB gives ADT Security an A+ rating based on its number of complaints, type of business, transparency, and other factors. In the last 12 months, ADT has received over 1,300 official complaints to BBB.

Customer reviews on the BBB website, on the other hand, give ADT an average of 1.1 stars. Many of the negative reviews cite difficulty getting out of a contract, unreasonably long contract terms, and unhelpful customer support.


Because Scout Alarms is a newer company that is still growing, it does not yet have a rating with the Better Business Bureau. Even on Trustpilot, the company only has one review (which is negative). Still, the overall ranking on that site is 3.2 out of five stars, indicating that most customers don’t have a problem with Scout.

Ease of Installation


ADT offers professional installation when you sign up for a service plan. You won’t have to worry about figuring out where to place your main control panel or install any of your security devices like cameras, door and window sensors, or smart connected smoke detectors. The ADT installation professional will walk through your house with you, install all of your devices, and ensure they work correctly. The installer will also show you how the system works so you’re ready to protect your home confidently as soon as your new system is installed.


With Scout Alarms, you’ll need to install your hub and any additional equipment yourself. Fortunately, the company makes the process simple with a clear installation guide that comes with your order. Scout walks you through, step-by-step, how to set up your hub and connect your devices to it. If you need help at any point during the installation process you can either live chat with customer support online, email Scout directly or visit the Scout troubleshooting guide.

Further Reading

The Best DIY Home Security Systems

Tips for Building Your Home Security System


About the Authors

Trevor Wallis

Trevor Wallis Contributing Writer

Trevor Wallis is a personal finance writer for Over the last year, he has covered credit cards, insurance, banking, and more at The Simple Dollar and NextAdvisor.