Scout Home Security Review 2021

The Scout system looks nice, doesn’t cost too much, and is compatible with lots of smart home devices, but you have to pay for app access
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Nice aesthetic
Tons of automation
Mobile app requires subscription

The Scout Alarm security system isn’t the most popular, but it looks quite good and has a ton of home automation. Though users must pay for self-monitoring, Scout still offers enough benefits (like prorated refunds and no contracts) to be a real contender in the DIY home security space.

Let’s chat more in this Scout Alarm review.

Heads Up icon
Scout Alarm mascot
Scout has a mascot: a lone wolf. You’ll notice it popping up on the Scout hub and the app.
Scout plans and pricing overview
ProductPriceContractHome automation supportLearn more
Scout Alarm$9.99–$19.99mo.NoneAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Z-Wave, Zigbee, IFTTTView Plans

Data effective 02/16/2021. Offers subject to change.

Scout pricing, contracts, and fees

Scout’s prices are relatively low

Scout’s prices are pretty on par for most do-it-yourself security systems, though we don’t love that there’s no free self-monitoring option.

Scout pricing
PlanAlways OnAlways On+
Monthly price$9.99/mo.$19.99/mo.
Annual price$107.00/yr.$215.00/yr.
24/7 professional monitoring

No

Yes
Camera cloud storage

No

Yes, for one camera*
Mobile app access

Yes

Yes
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data effective 02/16/2021. Offers subject to change.

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

You have to pay a minimum of $10 each month, even if you’re not opting in to professional monitoring. So basically, you’re paying to use the app, which we think is somewhat silly. Most apps, security or otherwise, have some kind of free access.

Contracts

As with many DIY systems, there’s no contract with Scout. Charges are month to month.

You can choose to make a 12-month commitment in exchange for a 10% discount. But even then, Scout will give you a prorated refund if you have to cancel. That’s a pretty sweet deal in an industry known for wringing steep cancellation fees out of customers.

Fees

You install Scout yourself, so you don’t have to pay an installation fee. And if you want to move, you can take everything down and reinstall it on your own. It’s a pain for sure, but it’s free.

Scout equipment

Scout is nice-looking and has a unique door panel

In today’s world of ‘gram-ready houses, Scout stands out for its aesthetics. If we judged systems solely on looks, this one would be at the top of our list. It even comes in two color schemes: white-on-black (Arctic) or black-on-white (Midnight).

Scout Alarm System

Source: Scout

But enough about appearances. Scout’s equipment offering selection is, for the most part, pretty basic. You can get any of the following:

  • System hub
  • Door panel
  • Keypad
  • Access sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Water sensor
  • Glass break sensor
  • Doorbell camera
  • Indoor camera
  • Door lock
  • Panic button
  • Remote control
  • Key fob
  • RFID sticker
  • Siren and Zigbee repeater
  • Yard sign
  • Window sticker
Pin icon
Access sensor
An access sensor is sometimes called a door/window sensor, a contact sensor, or an entry sensor.

Packages

You can buy Scout equipment à la carte. You have to get a hub for $120 because the system won’t work without it, but after that, you can mix and match to your heart’s content.

However, we think Scout Packs are the way to go in most situations. With the bundle, you can save a little money on your equipment overall.

Scout Packs overview
Scout PackPriceSensorsOtherLearn more
Scout Small Pack$229.001 motion sensor
1 access sensor
2 key fobs
1 RFID sticker
1 yard sign
View Plans
Scout Large Pack$319.002 motion sensors
5 access sensors
2 key fobs
1 RFID sticker
1 yard sign
View Plans
Scout Elements Pack$349.001 motion sensor
4 access sensors
1 water sensor
2 key fobs
1 RFID sticker
1 yard sign
1 smoke alarm
View Plans
Scout Architect Pack$549.001 motion sensor
4 access sensors
1 glass break sensor
2 key fobs
1 RFID sticker
1 yard sign
1 smart lock
View Plans

Data effective 02/16/2021. Offers subject to change.

As we mentioned earlier, the equipment packages are comparable to brands like Ring and SimpliSafe. You get about the same value from Scout—maybe even a little better.

For instance, we compared the $549 Scout Architect Pack to the $509 Fortress from SimpliSafe. The Architect Pack includes a Yale smart lock, which Scout sells for $249 on its own. The Fortress has a couple more pieces than the Architect Pack but doesn’t offer anything as valuable.

Door panel

Scout door panel

Remember how we said Scout’s offerings are pretty basic? The door panel and its accessories are the exceptions to that statement.

Unlike most control panels, Scout’s door panel is an access sensor. Instead of putting a sensor on the front door, you install the door panel. Any time it opens or closes, you’ll know.

The Scout door panel doesn’t come with a keypad.

The door panel doesn’t come with a keypad, although you can buy one separately if you really want to punch in a code. Otherwise, you disarm the system with the app, a key fob, or an RFID sticker.

You slap the RFID sticker on anything (key chain, picture frame, vase, wax fruit), and it becomes a key to your system. You can then hold that object to the door panel to arm and disarm your Scout security. Pretty neat, if you ask us. And handy if you don’t want to buy extra key fobs for a big household!

Security cameras

Scout refers to its two cameras as the Scout Alarm Video Doorbell and the Scout Indoor Camera

Scout doesn’t offer a separate outdoor camera at this time.

Scout Alarm Video Doorbell

The video doorbell includes the following features:

  • 1080p vision
  • 180° field of view
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion detection
  • People detection
  • Pre-recorded messages

Overall, that’s not bad. This camera could potentially hold its own against some leading video doorbell cameras.

Scout Indoor Camera

The Scout Indoor Camera has a distinct, round appearance. It has 1080p video quality, night vision, motion detection, and even sound detection. That way, if something happens offscreen, the camera will pick up on any noises.

Money icon
Camera storage
If you don’t get the Always On+ plan, you’ll pay $2.99 per camera per month for cloud storage. And even if you opt for the more expensive plan, it covers only one camera. You’ll pay $2.99 apiece for the rest. Sadly, even when paying, you only get 14 days of cloud storage, which is … not a lot.

Scout home automation

Scout offers just about all the automation you could want

When it comes to automation, Scout pretty much has it all. It’s compatible with all of the following:

And it’s not only compatible with hubs and protocols. It also works directly with security and smart home devices, like Yale locks, Kwikset locks, Nest cameras, LIFX bulbs, and Philips Hue bulbs.

Hands down, that’s some of the best automation on the market.

Scout installation

Installation is in your hands

Again, the Scout Alarm system is DIY. The pieces come with adhesive backing, so you don’t even need a screwdriver.

Scout installation steps:

  • Download the app or visit the website and follow the instructions for setting up an account.
  • Plug the hub in.
  • Connect the hub for Wi-Fi.
  • Type the installation code in the provided field on the app or website.
  • Pair the hub with the account.
  • Follow the online instructions to connect the rest of the system.

Scout offers tons of videos and resources to help customers out. You can also contact customer service if you get confused.

And, of course, you can always outsource the installation to someone you trust if you don’t think you can do it yourself.

Scout customer experience

Scout is oddly absent from the web

At the time of this article, Scout has no reviews on Consumer Affairs or the BBB and only one review on TrustPilot. The system used to sell on Amazon, but all the reviews there are 5+ years old.

In some ways, that’s encouraging, since it suggests customers don’t have many recent complaints. But it makes it hard for us to pin down what the Scout alarm customer service is like.

From what we do know about Scout, it offers some neat customer-friendly features. The lack of contracts, the prorated refunds, the automation, and the DIY installation resources are all positive signs for us. But we’re still side-eyeing the lack of free app access, so it’s not totally a customer’s dream.

Recap: Is Scout good?

Scout is good if you like the look or compatibility

The Scout security system has a lot to offer, especially for a lesser-known brand.

Pricing: Scout’s prices are reasonable, but we don’t like that the company charges for the app.

Equipment: This equipment looks weirdly nice for a home security system and has some standout functions.

Home automation: Scout has extremely good home automation.

Installation: The Scout Alarm system is self-installed, but there’s a lot of support to help you along the way.

Customer experience: Scout hasn’t made much of a name for itself, though it offers several customer-friendly features.

If you’re looking for a system that won’t charge you to use the app, we suggest Ring Alarm. Or, if you want a bigger name, ADT or Vivint would be our picks for you.

Is your house ready for Scout?

When you get a home security system, you need some extras to make it accessible, like Wi-Fi and a mobile phone plan.

Recommended internet plans

Security systems with no landline tend to rely on an internet connection. And the more devices that depend on your Wi-Fi, the more download speed you’re going to need.

Recommended internet plans for Scout
ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
AT&T FiberAT&T Internet 1000$60/mo.*940 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/04/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Ltd. avail/areas for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. Autopay & Paperless Bill req'd. $10/mo equip. fee applies

Recommended mobile plans

You’ll want to access your app from anywhere, especially if you choose to self-monitor. With that in mind, we recommend trying a plan with unlimited data.

Scout FAQ

If we didn’t already answer a question you have about Scout, you might find the answer here.

Is the Scout Alarm app good?

The Scout app has middling reviews on the Apple store and Google Play. We haven’t come across anyone who hates it, but we also haven’t found anyone who loves it.

Does Scout have cellular backup?

The Scout Alarm security system offers both 4G cellular backup and battery backup in case of connection or power loss.

Should I self-monitor or use professional monitoring?

Self-monitoring is a cost-saver in theory, but it’s pretty much impossible to do in reality.

To truly keep your system monitored, you would always have to keep your phone on, nearby, and charged. You could never turn it on silent or ignore a push notification while doing something else. You might even feel skittish about napping or watching a movie because you might miss something.

So generally, if you can afford it, we suggest going with professional 24/7 monitoring. Scout’s professional monitoring is one of the cheaper options out there for sure (though not the cheapest, which is probably Ring).

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