Ring Alarm vs Scout Alarm
Our experts tested out each DIY security system, and here's which one we liked better.
Ring Alarm Security Kit
- Professional monitoring for $10/mo.
- No contract required
- Amazon-owned company
- No long-term contracts
- Award-winning monitoring
- 60-day money-back guarantee
If you want to be in total control of your home’s security, then you’ve come to the right place. Both Ring Alarm and Scout offer DIY installation, optional professional monitoring, plus systems you can customize to your liking. Ring Alarm began with the Ring Video Doorbell, originally debuting on Shark Tank in 2013 before they were purchased by Amazon in 2018. I’ve reviewed tons of other products from Ring Alarm, like the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, so I’m excited to see how their security system matches up to Scout.
Scout began with an independent crowdfunding campaign in 2013, exceeding its goal within a month. Since, they have sold over $500,000 worth of systems, although they’re clearly a smaller operation that Ring Alarm. So will David win over Goliath? Read on to find out!
Key Similarities of Ring Alarm vs. Scout
Before I go into detail, I want to make sure that you’re in the right ballpark when it comes to selecting your home security system.
- DIY installation: Both systems have DIY installation, so their components are specifically designed to have a simple installation process.
- Amazon Alexa integration: Both systems work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, although Scout also works with IFTTT, unlike Ring Alarm.
- Professional monitoring optional: Both companies give you the options of self-monitoring or paying for 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup.
Key Differences Between Ring Alarm vs. Scout
If the above similarities sound okay to you, then we can move onto the meat of the review, also known as the differences between Ring Alarm and Scout.
- Warranties: Ring Alarm’s warranties start at only one year, while all Scout systems have three-year warranties.
- System components: Although you can add on components to each system, the Scout system I bought had way more components than Ring Alarm.
- Pricing: Scout is more expensive in terms of equipment and professional monitoring costs, plus you have to pay a monthly or yearly fee no matter what with Scout, unlike Ring Alarm.
Ring Alarm vs. Scout System Components
I bought the Ring Alarm Security Kit from Ring and added on the Ring Stickup Cam and the Ring Video Doorbell 2. With Scout, I completely customized my system, choosing a variety of components.
Ring Alarm System Components
The Ring Alarm Security Kit is super simple, consisting of only a base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector, and range extender. I added on a security camera plus a video doorbell, only two of Ring’s many options for both products. Unfortunately, Ring Alarm doesn’t currently make a glass break sensor, although they claim it’s in the works. To monitor your windows, you can make up for it with motion and entry sensors.
In total, my Ring Alarm Security Kit plus the camera and video doorbell cost $547, or $239 without the camera and video doorbell. I think this is a really fair price considering the quality of the components!
Scout System Components
My customized kit from Scout was more extensive, consisting of a hub, door panel, contact sensors, motion sensors, glass break sensors, a smart lock, plus an indoor camera. All of these items cost $688, about $140 more than the Ring Alarm equipment. However, you do get more components, so this increase in cost makes sense.
Now, on top of Scout’s integration with Alexa, which Ring Alarm shares, it also works with Google Assistant, making it a good choice for those in the Google smart home ecosystem. Aside from the two most popular voice assistants, Scout also works with IFTTT as well as Yale and Kwikset Z-Wave locks and products from Nest, LIFX, and Philips Hue. That means that you’ll be able to trigger your Scout devices up with tons of other connected devices, automating your smart home.
For example, you can have your Philips Hue smart light bulb shut off whenever your security system is armed, meaning you’re not home. Not only is this convenient, but it can also save you energy and thus money! When it comes to smart platform integrations, Scout definitely takes the cake over Ring Alarm.
Installing Ring Alarm vs. Scout
You’ll install both Ring Alarm and Scout all by yourself, which means you won’t have to pay a fee for professional installation! However, you want to make sure each system is easy to install, which is why I tested them out myself.
Installing Ring Alarm
To start installing the Ring Alarm security system, first, you plug in the base station.
Its ring of light will turn on, and from there, you can connect it to Wi-Fi or hardwire it using an ethernet cable. Once the base station is set up, you can begin syncing all of the other components, ideally one at a time. Ring provides video tutorials making for a very straightforward installation process. From start to finish, the process took about ten minutes.
Like Ring Alarm, you should install the Scout components one at a time. First, set up the hub using a power adapter and ethernet cable, along with an activation code from the Scout box. Next, I paired the door panel and sensors with the hub using my app. The sensors themselves came with adhesive backings, making installation as easy as putting a sticker on a notebook.
What wasn’t so easy to install was the Scout indoor camera. Getting the power adapter into the back of the camera was a struggle, and then I realized that in order to use the camera at all, I had to pay a monthly or yearly fee, which I don’t appreciate. Next, I had a reset my password multiple times after accidentally putting a space in it. Overall, it wasn’t the smoothest process around.
Top System Installation
It’s no contest— installing the Ring Alarm security system was much easier than installing the Scout security system. Ring one, Scout zero!
Professional Monitoring with Ring Alarm vs. Scout
If you want maximum security, then you should definitely invest in 24/7 professional monitoring. That means that a team of people can handle any alarm that goes off if you’re not available to respond to the notification. After verifying that the emergency is real, they can contact emergency services for you, be it the police, a hospital, or even the fire department. Let’s face it: no one is available to deal with home emergencies 24/7, so that’s why having a monitoring plan can be really helpful. However, if you want to save some cash, you’ll be able to self-monitor each system through its mobile app.
Keep in mind that with Scout, you’ll pay either $9.99 a month or $107 a year even if you don’t have monitoring just to use your camera, while Ring lets you use your camera for free if you prefer.
Ring Alarm vs. Scout Monitoring Options
If you want professional monitoring, it’ll cost you either $10 a month or $100 a year with Ring Alarm, and $19.99 a month or $215 a year with Scout, more than twice as expensive. These plans both include cellular backup in order to keep your system on during a power outage.
But if you don’t want professional monitoring with Scout, the ‘Always On’ plan still includes cellular backup for $9.99 a month or $107 a year, about the same cost as the Protect Plus plan from Ring Alarm. As you can see, Ring Alarm gives you more features for less money, so it’s clearly a better value when it comes to monitoring and cellular backup.
On top of its lower costs, all paid Ring plans include 60 days of cloud storage, while with Scout, 14 days of cloud storage will cost $2.99 a month (or free for the first camera if you have multiple). Local storage is included in all paid Ring plans and both Scout plans. Ring also gives you a discount on the Protect Plus plan, 10% off all Ring products purchased at their website. However, when it comes to warranties, Scout takes the cake, with a three-year warranty under both of their plans.
Ring Alarm vs. Scout Contracts
Neither company forces you into any long term contract, although they both offer annual options at discounted prices. The good news? If you cancel, you won’t have to pay a cancellation fee, so it’s a lot more flexible than contracts from some more old school security companies that I’ve reviewed.
Ring Alarm vs. Scout Moving Policies
Since both systems have DIY installation, if you move, you can just pick up either system and bring it to your new home, without having to pay any additional fees!
Top System for Monitoring
Ring Alarm vs. Scout Customer Support
This is your home’s security we’re talking about, so if anything goes wrong, you want to make sure you have a great support team that’s actually supportive. Sound too good to be true? To find, out, I scoured customer reviews for people’s experience with customer support.
Both Ring Alarm and Scout have awesome ratings on Amazon, a 4.4, and a 4.2, respectively. For Ring Alarm, 17 reviews mentioned customer support specifically, and 11 of them were positive. For Scout, the numbers were five out of seven, which is even better. On Google, Ring Alarm has a 3.6 while Scout has a perfect five stars. Ring’s customer support reviews on Google were split 50/50 between positive and negative, while Scout only had five-star reviews, although none of them included any text comment.
Top System for Customer Support
Overall, Scout wins when it comes to customer support, and this was true in my own personal experience as well. Now it’s Ring Alarm two, Scout one. It’s down to the apps to either create a tie or to tip Ring Alarm even further into the winner’s circle. Who will come out on top?
Ring Alarm vs. Scout Apps
We’re talking smart security here, so a user-friendly app is a necessity. It’s important to check out app reviews on either the Google Play and Apple stores, depending on the brand of your mobile device. Of course, I include both for all of you readers out there.
The Ring– Always Home App
The Ring— Always Home app is where you’ll livestream footage, speak through two-way audio, set up your Alexa integration, and even receive crime and safety alerts from your home and neighborhood.
It has a 3.3 on both the Apple and Google Play stores, which is decent but not great. One Android-user named David Engelman wrote in a recent one-star review,
“I now have to delete and reinstall the app at least once a week as the notifications regularly stop working. My settings are fine. The app is great when it works, it doesn’t play nicely with Android. The alerts stop working after a while (a few weeks usually) and the only way to fix it is to uninstall and reinstall.”
Ouch. It sounds pretty annoying, and I was disappointed to see that so many of the recent reviews were also one star.
The Scout App
The Scout app is where you’ll control your system, check out your home’s recent activity, control all connected devices, and more. The app faired slightly better than Ring’s, with a 3.6 on the Google Play store and a 3.3 from the Apple store. Unfortunately, most of the recent reviews are pretty negative, apparently after a bad update. Android user Matt C wrote in a recent five-star review,
“I use to give this 5 stars. I noticed that now once an alarm is triggered it stops sensing and logging motion in other rooms. This is a huge problem.”
Top System App
Clearly, apps are not Ring Alarm nor Scout’s biggest strength, but overall Scout has a better app when compared to Ring.
Recap of Ring Alarm vs. Scout
While Ring Alarm has easier installation and more affordable monitoring plans, Scout has better customer support as well as a better app. Overall, however, I’d go with Ring Alarm over Scout, as the first two categories are more important. Of course, there are certain things that come down to personal preferences, which is why I’ve broken it down for you right here.
Pick Ring Alarm if you’d like…
- More affordable monitoring and equipment: You’ll save hundreds with Ring Alarm versus Scout, and you can even pay for just the equipment if you want.
- Easier installation: If installing security systems isn’t your strong suit, Ring Alarm is going to be a much more convenient choice.
- 60 days of cloud storage: Both paid Ring plans come with 60 days of cloud storage, while Scout’s cloud storage plan costs extra and only lasts for 14 days.
Pick Scout if you’d like…
- Google Assistant integration: Only Scout works with your Google Home, as well as a ton of other IoT companies like Nest, Kwikset, Yale, and Philips Hue, among others.
- Superior Android app: Although neither company has a great app for Android, Scout’s is definitely superior.
- Better customer support: Scout provides you with more ways to contact help, and better support when you do.
You can find even more answers to your burning questions about Ring Alarm and Scout Alarm here in our frequently asked questions section.
Do both Ring Alarm and Scout Alarm offer self-monitoring options?
Yes, both Ring Alarm and Scout Alarm offer self-monitoring options. Ring offers completely free self-monitoring. Scout offers self-monitoring as well, but no free option. Their cheapest plan, Always On, is $9.99 a month.
Which is better, Ring Alarm or Scout Alarm?
Ring Alarm is better than Scout Alarm. Both companies have easy DIY installation and solid customer service, and both work with Alexa and Google Assistant. However, Ring’s prices are more attractive than Scout’s, whether it’s equipment or monitoring. Ring’s lowest priced package runs $199, $30 dollars cheaper than Scout’s cheapest package. Meanwhile, Ring offers a completely free self-monitoring option. Scout doesn’t. In addition, Scout offers 60 days worth of cloud storage for just $3 a month. In contrast, Scout charges a base price of $9.99 a month for self-monitoring, and that doesn’t include storage. Storage for Scout runs another $2.99 per month per camera.
Features Ring free plan Ring Protect Basic Plan Ring Protect Plus Plan Scout Always On Scout Always On with additional cloud storage Scout Always On+ Alerts ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Livestream x ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Review, share, and save videos ✓ ✓ ✓ x ✓ ✓ Cloud Storage No cloud storage 60 days 60 days No cloud storage 14 days 14 days of 1 camera included, each additional camera $2.99 Professional monitoring x x ✓ x x ✓ Price $0 $3 per month ($2.50 with annual subscription) $10 per month ($8.33 with annual subscription) $9.99 per month ($8.92 with annual subscription) $9.99 per month (8.92 with annual subscription) + $2.99 per month for each additional camera $19.99 per month ($17.92 with annual subscription)
Does the Ring Alarm system call the police?
The Ring Alarm system does call the police if you’re signed up for Ring’s Protect Plus Plan. This plan costs $10 a month or $100 for an entire year. Ring doesn’t automatically call the police, however. If monitoring detects a burglar alarm, a panic alarm, or an SOS alarm, it will first try to contact you, then your emergency contact. If no one answers this call, they will then call the police. In addition, they will contact the police immediately if you trigger an alarm to signal you are under duress. On the other hand, emergency dispatch is not available with Ring’s free and Basic Protect plans.
How well does the Scout home security work with smart home technology?
Scout integrates better with smart home technology than any other security system we’ve tested. Scout works seamlessly with both Alexa and Google Assistant, first of all. It’s easy to check your security status with voice commands like “Alexa ask Scout what mode is armed” or “OK Google. Ask Scout if the alarm is on.” Scout also works with Yale locks, Kwikset locks, Nest, LIFX, Philips Hue, and IFTTT, which means you can set lights to turn on if a motion sensor is triggered or doors to unlock if your sister comes over to check on your pets.