'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Having a home security system provides peace of mind and an overall sense of security and deterrent would-be burglars. With the increasing availability of high-tech, user-friendly wireless home security systems, more renters and homeowners are able to protect their families and belongings for half the price than that of a professionally installed, hardwired security setup.
When it comes to the DIY home security systems, Scout Security and Frontpoint Security are two of our favorite on the market. In comparing Frontpoint security vs. Scout security, both offer professional monitoring and smart home integration, but both systems have different options that users need to consider before buying.
Frontpoint offers simple DIY home security with top-tier professional monitoring services and reliable customer service.
Scout Alarm provides wireless smart-home security with easy DIY installation, no contracts, and flexible monitoring plans.
Monitoring Prices (starting at)
24/7 Professional monitoring; Self-monitoring
$19.99/month for professional; $9.99/month for self-monitor plan
DIY wireless installation
24/7 Professional monitoring
DIY wireless installation
*Data as of July 24, 2020
Frontpoint Home Security offers wireless, professionally monitored home security. Users can choose from four pre-packaged security bundles or build their own package to meet household needs. It has a wide range of intrusion and environmental sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, home automation equipment (door locks, wireless light controls, and smart LED light bulbs), and accessories (panic alarm, keychain remote, yard signs, window and door stickers).
There are two monitoring plans to choose from. Both offer 24/7 professional monitoring services with no annual contract. The Interactive Plan is $45 a month and includes wireless and cellular connections, Geo-location services, notifications, and more. The Ultimate Plan is $50 a month and includes everything on the Interactive plan plus night vision, smart lock control, and more.
Scout Alarm is newer to the home security marketplace but has earned a place on our 2020 best home security systems list. Scout offers four pre-packaged security bundles or the option for users to build their own. Customers can choose from a list of standard environmental and intrusion sensors, an indoor camera, video doorbell, and optional security accessories (yard signs and window stickers, panic button, remote control, sirens, key fob, or RFID sticker).
There are two monitoring plans with no annual contract. Always On+ is $19.99 a month and offers a 24/7 professional monitoring service, cellular and battery backup, multiple notifications, free cloud storage for one camera or doorbell, and more. Always On is $9.99 a month and is a self-monitoring plan with cellular and battery backup and unlimited notifications.
The Interactive Plan ($45/month; $1.48/day) includes 24/7 professional monitoring, crash-and-smash protection, smart technology features, geo-location services, mobile alerts/notifications, remote access, sensor history, and unique user codes.
The Ultimate Plan ($50/month; $1.64/day) includes everything on the Interactive plan plus motion triggering alerts, night vision enabling, light control, live video streaming, smart-lock control, and video and image history.
Neither plan has an annual contract.
Always On+ ($19.99/month or $215/year -- save 10%) includes 24/7 professional monitoring, 4G LTE cellular and battery backup, email and mobile notifications, SMS and phone call alerts, and free cloud storage for the first camera or doorbell ($2.99/month value).
Always On ($9.99/month or $107/year -- save 10%) is a self-monitoring plan where you can choose to contact emergency services. Features include 4G LTE cellular and battery backup, email and mobile notifications, and SMS and phone call alerts. Camera cloud storage is $2.99 more per month.
Neither plan has an annual contract.
Frontpoint has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since April 2009 and currently holds an A+ rating. However, it currently carries a two-star rating out of 140 customer reviews. Recent feedback indicates customers experiencing cancellation and overcharging issues.
That said, Frontpoint home security has consistently high ratings on Trustpilot. Most customers state they appreciate Frontpoint's easy installation, customer support response time, and attentive monitoring service.
With just seven years in business, Scout Alarm (legally known as Scout Security, Inc.) is not yet listed on the Better Business Bureau database, nor does it have ratings on Trustpilot. It was also challenging to obtain reliable customer reviews for Scout from other online sources other than Amazon, where it carries a four out of five stars from Amazon Alexa users.
However, Scout customers can be reassured knowing it has extensive tutorial support, a full knowledge library, and a money-back guarantee.
The Frontpoint control panel hub arrives pre-configured, so all you have to do is mount it, plug it in, and register your product to get started. However, the initial installation needs to be done with the Frontpoint mobile app setup wizard. Customer care can provide additional help over the phone if you run into trouble.
There are no tools required, and once you've downloaded the mobile app, follow the setup instructions to continue the installation. The app will walk you through the process of connecting your sensors and cameras and integrating any home automation products or accessories.
Installing Scout home security is also simple; it requires no tools, and you can do it yourself right out of the box. Scout recommends you first register an account on mobile or online to facilitate connectivity. You can get installation instructions on your mobile phone or follow step-by-step instructions online.
After registering your device, setup is just a matter of plugging in the hub, connecting to the Internet, and pairing it with your mobile device and the rest of the Scout sensors. If you run into trouble, there are installation videos and phone support.
Frontpoint is a more expensive product but offers a wider selection of hardware and a documented record of reputable service. On the other hand, Scout offers a comparable security product at an affordable price with flexible plans.
Frontpoint costs $45 to $50 a month. Scout can cost as low as $18 to $9 a month if you pay for a yearly plan (it's $19.99 and $9.99 a month if you pay monthly).
Both systems are worth the money -- consider the value of being able to monitor the security of your home and family; it can outweigh the cost of a DIY security system. However, it's important to note here that both systems require your home to have access to reliable Internet and cellular coverage.