Scout Home Security Review

Scout has impressive smart home integrations, but its equipment range is relatively limited—and it costs more than other DIY options.
Scout has impressive smart home integrations, but its equipment range is relatively limited—and it costs more than other DIY options.
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
No-contract professional monitoring
Lots of smart home integrations
Relatively limited equipment range

Scout’s part of a pack of DIY home security options on the market these days. (Seriously, there are so many now.) And just like its competitors, Scout offers install-it-yourself security equipment and contract-free professional monitoring (if you want it).

Scout plans and pricing overview

ProviderProfessional monitoring priceContractHome automation integrationsLearn more
Scout Alarm$19.99/mo.No contractYesSee packages

So how does Scout stack up against its many competitors?

Well, we love how many smart home integrations Scout offers. Other than that, Scout’s equipment can be tricky to use, and it costs a bit more than other systems.

But if you want to add in a bunch of smart home devices from different companies and want a security system that’ll work with all of them, then Scout might be a good choice for you.

Scout Alarm monitoring and pricing

Scout has middle-of-the-road pricing for professional monitoring, and it charges for mobile app access.

Professional monitoring doesn’t always come cheap. If you go with a high-end system like Vivint or ADT, then you’ll pay somewhere around $40 or $50 bucks per month.

The nice thing about DIY systems like Scout is they give you professional monitoring for much less than traditional security companies. Scout also has an even cheaper self-monitored plan if you prefer to do everything yourself.

Scout monitoring plans

Always OnAlways On+
Price$9.99/mo.$19.99/mo.
24/7 professional monitoring?NoYes
Camera cloud storage?NoYes, for one camera*
Mobile app access?YesYes
See planSee plan

*You can add cloud storage for additional cameras for $2.99/mo. per camera.

Scout’s $19.99-per-month price tag for professional monitoring is pretty affordable. But for the hardcore penny-pinchers out there, we’ve seen cheaper.

For example, you can get professional monitoring with Ring Alarm for only $9.99 per month, and SimpliSafe’s entry-level monitoring plan costs only $14.99 per month.

What about the self-monitored plan?

If you’d rather skip professional monitoring altogether, then Scout does offer a self-monitored plan for half the price of the professional version.

The Always On plan gives you access to Scout’s mobile app and SMS alerts, so if anything triggers your alarm system, you’ll know about it. Then you can call the police (or fire department) yourself.

Personally, we think professional monitoring is the way to go. That way, someone’s always watching your system for you, and you don’t have to worry about missing an alert that your house is on fire. But for true blue DIY-ers, self-monitoring is cheap and easy.

Scout Alarm technology and equipment

Scout equipment works with both Z-Wave and Zigbee. But don’t expect too many device options.

Scout doesn’t have a ton of equipment on offer. At least not when you compare it to SimpliSafe or Abode. It covers the basics though, with one notable exception: a keypad.

Source: Scout Alarm

At its heart, Scout’s system has a hub that communicates with all of your various sensors. The hub runs off your internet router through an Ethernet cable—just plug and play. It also has cellular back-up, so if your power goes out, your security system won’t go out with it.

To actually arm and disarm your system every day, you’ll use Scout’s door panel instead of a keypad.

How does Scout’s door panel work?

Scout’s door panel goes on your door (in case that wasn’t obvious), and you use it to arm and disarm your system with little RFID tags or stickers.

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What is RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. It basically uses radio frequencies to figure out who you are through little programmed stickers or tags you can hook on your keys (or just about anywhere else).

The nice thing about Scout’s door panel is it has a siren in it. Scout’s main siren is in the hub, and since your hub has to stay connected to your internet router, an intruder might not hear it if it’s in your basement or garage. The door panel gives you a back-up.

The not-so-nice thing about Scout’s door panel is it’s less convenient to use than a traditional keypad. If you can’t find your RFID tag, or if it’s at the bottom of your overstuffed bag, then sometimes you just really wish you could punch in a code.

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Keep in mind

You can also arm and disarm your Scout system with a key fob or the mobile app.

If you like the tag thing, but you also want a keypad option, then we’d say go with Nest Secure—it gives you both.

Scout Alarm sensors

Scout has a basic array of sensors. You’ll get your classic entry and motion sensors, plus a leak sensor and a glass break detector.

Scout basic equipment and prices

EquipmentPrice
Door panel$69
Entry sensor$29
Motion sensor$49
Water sensor$39
Glass break sensor$59
Key fob$4.99
RFID sticker$2.49
First Alert smoke/CO alarm$69
Yale smart door lock$229
Learn moreSee packages

Keep in mind that Scout’s leak sensor can’t detect freezing, so if you’re worried about your pipes freezing in a Midwestern winter, then you’ll need an extra device.

Scout camera

Scout offers one indoor camera. At $99, it’s pretty affordable, and it comes with night vision and 1080p recording.

Scout indoor camera details

Camera nameField of viewTwo-way audio?ResolutionLearn more
Scout Indoor Camera115ºNo1080pSee camera

That said, we expect even cheap(er) cameras to have two-way audio, which Scout’s do not. It does have sound detection, but we prefer to be able to talk through indoor cameras (especially if you use it to watch pets).

We’d recommend going with something like Wyze Cam if you’re looking for low prices plus top-notch features.

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Note

Scout’s system does integrate with Nest Cams, which is nice. Just keep in mind that Nest cameras are expensive.

Scout installation

Scout’s installation is the same as basically every other DIY security system out there. You just plug in the hub, connect your sensors, then put the sensors wherever you want them. We recommend covering all your entry doors and main ground floor windows.

You can name the sensors whatever you want, so if someone triggers your system, you’ll know exactly which sensor the alert is coming from.

Scout Alarm home automation

Scout has an impressive number of smart home integrations.

The best part about the Scout system is how many smart home integrations it has.

Scout’s hub has both Z-Wave and Zigbee integrations, which means you can add on any smart home device that uses one of those frequencies (which is basically all of them).

On Scout’s site, you’ll also see a long list of partnerships with other smart home companies.

Scout smart home integrations

  • Nest
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Philips Hue
  • IFTTT
  • Google Assistant
  • Lifx

If you want smart locks or smart smoke/CO detectors, Scout also sells Yale smart locks and First Alert smoke/CO detectors right on its website.

Recap

Scout’s keypad-less system is a little annoying to use, but we like its smart home integrations.

When Scout first introduced its system, DIY home security was still pretty novel. Now, there are so many systems like it on the market that Scout has to fight to be seen in the crowd.

  • Monitoring: Scout’s Always On+ plan gives you professional monitoring for $19.99 per month—which is affordable, but not the cheapest we’ve seen. If you want to monitor the system yourself, you’ll pay $9.99 per month for access to the mobile app.
  • Basic security equipment: Scout’s equipment is pretty standard, but it doesn’t have a keypad option, which can make its system a bit annoying to use.
  • Cameras: Scout offers only one indoor camera, which is lacking some key features. But Scout does integrate with Nest cameras if you want a higher-end model.
  • Home automation integrations: Scout’s hub uses both Z-Wave and Zigbee, which means you can add in just about any smart home device on the market. Scout also integrates with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, as well as with big companies like Nest and Philips Hue.
  • Installation: Scout installation is just as easy as every other DIY system on the market—just plug in the hub and then peel and stick your sensors.

What do you think of DIY security systems? Do you currently use one in your home? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Additional contributors

Trevor Wheelwright