Scout Home Security System Review - 2019
Scout launched in 2013 by crowdfunding its first product line. Since then, the company has established itself as one of the most affordable and transparent contenders catering to homeowners and renters alike. Scout’s system is flexible – it’s DIY, WiFi, customizable, and integrates well with a variety of smart devices. Its monitoring plans are some of the most affordable, and if you’re looking for a contract-less option, Scout could make the cut.
Scout gets an A+ for transparency and flexibility. It manufactures its equipment and ships it with 1-3-year limited warranty complete with a 60-day return policy and a full refund, shipping excluded.
You pay for the equipment upfront and can shop online – the company’s website is a breeze to navigate, and all products come with specs and pricing.
Scout also lets you return some of your devices if you ordered too many. You can return a sensor and request the same of a different color or a different type of sensor. There are two colors on offer – Arctic White and Midnight Black.
Scout’s home security system is wireless (WiFi) and uses cellular connection as a backup. Self-monitoring with Scout’s mobile app comes at $9.99/mo, while professional monitoring with COPS kicks in at $19.99/mo.
Scout hub plugs in your router via an Ethernet cable and has a 12-hour backup battery and a 3G cellular backup. It has no keypad and requires Scout Alarm mobile app (or web-based UI) to adjust settings, arm/disarm, and add devices.
Scout Alarm mobile app is the control panel of your system. You use it to arm/disarm your system, create IFTTT recipes and integrate third-party home automation devices with your hub, as well as set notifications, view history, pin events for future reference, use a preset mode (Home, Away, Sleep, and Vacation) or create a custom preset. You can access the same interface via any web browser, too.
Also, you can see all your connected devices and edit members to control which rights (arming/disarming) they have and during which times.
Door panels – come with RFID stickers and two key fobs you can use to arm/disarm your system without the mobile app or share with trusted people.
Scout access sensors have a motion-activated trigger and a temperature sensor. You can place them on doors and windows, but also anything you don’t want opened without you knowing (cabinets, drawers, you name it).
Scout motion detector has a 20-foot range and 90-degree view but isn’t pet-friendly.
Scout water and CO sensors – you can name them based on where they are located. That way, you always know which sensor is triggered and where.
Siren – 105Db and appropriately loud, it is backed up by the door panel sensor with an embedded secondary klaxon.
Home automation – Scout works with Amazon Alexa Echo and Dot, IFTTT, Google Home, Roomba, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Lifx, Phillips Hue lights, and more devices via ZigBee and Z-Wave.
Scout’s pricing comes in two parts – equipment and monitoring. Here’s the breakdown of its component prices:
- Hub $129
- Key fob $5
- RFID sticker $2.50
- Door panel $69
- Access sensor $29
- Motion sensor $49
Scout also offers water leak ($39) and glass break sensors ($59), door locks ($200), and CO detectors ($69). But if you need a video camera, you’d have to buy a third-party device.
The company also offers several packs, all of which bundle one hub, one door panel, and one yard sign:
- Small $299 – 1x motion, 2x access, 2x key fobs
- Large $499 – 2x motion, 5x access, 2x key fobs
- Elements $599 – 1x motion, 4x access, 1x smoke/co, 1x water sensor, 2x key fobs
- Architect $799 – 1x motion, 4x access, 1x smart lock, 1x glass break, 2x key fobs
As far as monitoring goes, Scout offers two options in month-to-month and yearly flavors:
- Always On $107/year or $9.99/mo – 4G LTE cellular and battery backup, email notifications, Scout mobile app, push notifications, SMS alerts.
- Always On+ $215/year or $19.99/mo – 4G LTE cellular and battery backup, email notifications, Scout mobile app, push notifications, SMS alerts, 24/7 professional monitoring.
You can’t self-monitor without a monthly subscription because you need access to its mobile app to receive notifications from your system. Otherwise, you need to keep tabs on your browser at all times. So if you need the system but not the monthly subscription, Scout may not be for you.
Scout phone, social networks, and email support is available 9 am – 6 pm CST, seven days a week except for major US holidays.
You can also browse tutorials, knowledge base, and Scout community forum for guidance. Scout emergency monitoring is through COPS, which is active 24/7/365.
Scout is by far one of the most transparent companies – everything from ToS to warranty, refund, and returns terms is easily accessible on their website.
The company doesn’t have a record with BBB, which is not unusual for a new company. But their support has quick response rates, and they don’t try to upsell you on the equipment you don’t need.
The ordering process is straightforward, too. Whereas many security companies hide their pricing (to avoid sticker shock), Scout lists its prices with clarity you will appreciate.
You plug Scout’s hub directly into your router with an Ethernet cord. Other than that, everything is wireless, peel-and-stick, and easy to install and use, or relocate. No professional installation is available, however.
Scout’s mobile app is intuitive but is apparently geared toward mobile-savvy users.
Things to Consider
- Scout is for fans of mobile device control because it’s hub doesn’t have a traditional keypad, and you need your mobile app to arm/disarm the system. You can use the RFID stickers and key fobs to control the system without the app, but these tend to get lost. If you need a simpler way to let your kids, dog walkers and babysitters in, you need to buy additional door panels.
- No proprietary cameras are on offer.
- Sensors are not pet-friendly.
Scout app tells you exactly which sensor in which part of your house is triggered. You can even create names for each sensor.
Scout is a rather basic security system, but it’s elegant, affordable, contract-less, and expandable through third-party devices. If you want a system you control with your phone, Scout could be a viable option.
- Contract and contract-less
- Simple DIY installation
- For homeowners and renters
- Modern design
- Money-back guarantee
- One- to three-year warranty
- WiFi w/ 3G cell backup
- IFTTT, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, Nest and Amazon Alexa integration
- Z-Wave and Zigbee support
- No professional installation
- No proprietary camera
- Relies heavily on mobile app
- Self-monitoring without a subscription is via web-based UI only (no mobile app)