Scout Security System Review

on Sunday, December 21, 2014
We’ve reviewed a lot of crowd-funded home security devices this year. There is a clear demand for DIY home security systems and the hardware to meet that demand isn’t far behind. Scout is one of the options now shipping post a successful campaign on the crowdfunded site Kickstarter. They offer hardware that users can install on their own and self-monitor via a browser or even via an iPhone/Android friendly app. As of right now their primary focus is home security but they are integrating their hardware with Zigbee technology which gives them an advantage as they expand into the home automation market in the future. Scout Alarm offers the same equipment you would get from any major home security player = a brain, a motion sensor, a door/window sensor, and a sign but the big difference is that they do not force equipment packages. You can pick any combination of equipment. Whatever you want. Once your equipment arrives you simply self install and connect via an interface that allows you to create rules and control your system.  

How is Scout different?

So far you may think Scout sounds a little bit like iSmartAlarm, Canary, or even Piper but each one is just a tad different. Scout is unique in two ways:
  • They offer professional monitoring for $19.99 per month
  • They are integrating Zigbee technology.
Like iSmart and Piper, Scout has managed to fully understand the need for home security. They have designed an incredible looking product with all the right components including motion sensors, window sensors, signage and HD video surveillance. All of Scout’s packages are available without contracts and you have the option of self-monitoring for free. 

Scout has decided to partner with Zigbee to provide home automation. Scout doesn’t currently have a list of certified Zigbee devices as they are still figuring out which subset of Zigbee devices will work with Scout at launch. In a note to backers, Scout announced their plans to launch three new products including the Scout Light Socket for light automation. However, they’ve recently been very quiet about the launch and have started focusing more on IFTTT integration which would allow Scout to play with others. They also have plans to integrate with Lockitron. In some ways I think this is a better idea than the actual hardware launch. If they are able to achieve IFTTT integration you could create a very cohesive ecosystem between Scout Security and automated home events.

What do I get with Scout?

You get what you want and for a reasonable price at that. Amazon’s price is $319.99 which includes a base station, entry door panel, motion sensor, 2 window sensors (pictured left), 2 key fobs, and a slight discount compared to buying the pieces alone. Amazon offers a choice between arctic (white) or midnight (black) finish.

The Base Station is the brains of the operation and must be hard wired into your router. The Base Station has a 3G cellular chip that can be activated via a monthly monitoring plan for added protection in the event of an internet outage. It also has built-in battery backup to protect from power outages. Scout currently sells their base station for $129 stand alone, their arm/disarm door panel for $69, and their open/close sensors for $29 each. Finally, you can add a motion sensor for $49 and an HD camera for $169.00. All of the equipment can be self-monitored using their free cell phone app or you can add one of their monitoring packages. Scout’s first package is a self-monitored option but provides access to the 3G cellular backup built into the Base Station for $9.99 per month. The second package is $19.99 per month and provides professional monitoring and the 3G backup. 

Scout Video Surveillance

Scout launched their alarm system without video surveillance and it was a big hang-up for us but they won our hearts when they announced the Scout Camera…and it was worth the wait. The camera can stream in full 1080p to your phone, tablet, or computer. Video streaming is included but their cloud based DVR option for event storage comes at a price. They offer 7 days of backup which they define as 168 hours of video for $9.95 per month and 30 days of backup/720 hours of video for $29.95 per month.
The Scout Camera has two-way audio, night vision, and can work alone or with a Scout Alarm system. If you use Scout’s monthly monitoring service, the camera will actually connect to the monitoring service. If you cannot be reached, Scout’s team will be notified to verify the event and dispatch the police.

Total Cost of Ownership:

No contract, no pre-built packages, self installation, no monthly monitoring fees (unless you want them) means that your total cost of ownership is cheap. In theory, you can get started for around $300.

A Summary of Things to Think About

  • Low TCO
  • Slightly Clunky Hardware
  • ZigBee Home Automation Integration
  • Rumors of IFTTT Integration
  • Their app is designed to allow you to grant and revoke access for friends and family
  • Great solution for pet owners (who are more susceptible to false alarm fines)
  • Optional professional monitoring for $19.99 per month
The Scout Home Security system is an attractive option for home automation and security.  We tested the Scout system and have scored it at 85%


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