Scout home security ratings

Editor's Rating

Customers choose from attractive monthly plans -- just $9.99 and $19.99 each -- or save 10 percent with yearly agreements. The components of each Scout Alarm system generally connect through household WiFi (cell radio provides backup) and can be installed without damaging walls. Overall Scout is designed to be affordable, modern and portable security for the convenience of renters as well as homeowners.
customer service
3
value
4
equipment
2
features & technology
3
ease of use
4
3.2 overall score
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PROS

Low Monthly Rates
DIY Installation
No Long-Term Contracts
Wireless Equipment
WiFi Communication w/ 3G Cell Backup
Mobile Control
Compatible with Smarthome Devices
Compatible with Environmental Sensors
60-Day Return Policy

CONS

No Professional Installation
Up-Front Equipment Expense
Narrow Range of Scout Products
Scout Products On Backorder
Backup Power Just 24 Hours
Sirens Not Very Loud; Fix Expected by December 2016


Overview

Scout Alarm was founded in 2013 with enthusiastic crowdfunding support. The Scout idea — providing affordable and modern home security — attracted more than $500K in pre-orders. Scout’s Chicago-based founders combined their backgrounds in engineering, design and business with the goal of replacing competitors they described as “behind the times” and too expensive. Scout security systems are completely wireless yet very affordable, and they’re uniquely discreet in terms of design with clean Arctic White, Midnight Black and Walnut finishes available. They’re the only security company on our review site to use household WiFi with cell backup.

Scout manufactures the devices it sells. Customers pay for equipment up-front and can shop online without pressure from salespeople. Our equipment expense to arm a one-bedroom apartment was about $300, which is very reasonable. Each Scout Alarm security device is under warranty for either one or two years.

Emergency monitoring is sold separately from the equipment, but it’s required for the systems to work. For $9.99/month a person gets mobile access to their alarm, so they’ll get mobile alerts whenever Scout sensors are triggered. For $19.99/month security alerts will also be sent to a top-notch COPS Monitoring center that can dispatch emergency responders. There’s a choice of monthly or yearly service, and with yearly service there’s a 10% discount.

Customer Service

Scout Alarm provides customer service by phone, through social media, with online answers and tutorials, and through a user community forum. The hours for phone customer service are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST.

Customer service is not available on New Year’s Day and during several other major US holidays. Emergency monitoring is separate from customer service. Scout emergency monitoring through COPS is always in effect with the $19.99/month monitoring plan.

In our review Scout’s leadership is committed to delivering top quality in products and service. Like many start-up companies, however, Scout has had some challenges with logistics. For example, shoppers are awaiting backordered products and product improvements.

As of this writing, Scout Alarm does not have a record with the Better Business Bureau. That’s not unusual for a new business.

Value

Scout components are sold separately for alarm system customization and cost control. Prices for Scout security devices (taxes and shipping included) are listed below.

  • Hub $129
  • Door Panel $69
  • Access Sensor $29
  • Motion Sensor $49
  • Key Fob $5
  • RFID Sticker $2.50
  • Yard Sign $10

Scout’s door panels and RFID stickers can work together. A sticker works like a key to grant access to an armed area without setting off the siren. For comparison, Scout’s access sensors cost less than their door panels and do not have the RFID technology.

Additional equipment such as glass break sensors, carbon monoxide detectors and security cameras can be integrated through the Scout Alarm mobile app. Scout’s hub is compatible with security and smarthome devices from Hue, Nest, IFTTT and other brands.

No Long-Term Contract

Scout Alarm, unlike many other security companies, does not require long-term contracts. Customers choose from monthly or yearly plans. The monthly plans cost $9.99 (self-monitoring) and $19.99 (pro monitoring). With annual agreements customers get 12 months for the price of 11.

Scout security systems do not have local alarms as of late 2016. In other words, a paid monitoring plan needs to be in place for them to work. Scout is working on security systems that work without monitoring. This option is already offered by the competing security company SimpliSafe.

Equipment

Scout has developed the following products for home security. Customers can add devices from other brands for environmental monitoring and home automation. Check with a Scout tech rep to confirm compatibility.

Controls

  • Hubs
  • Keyfobs
  • RFID Stickers
  • Mobile App

Sensors

  • Door Panels
  • Access Sensors
  • Motion Detectors

Features & Technology

Highlights of Scout Alarm security include…

Award-Winning Monitoring
Emergency monitoring for Scout Alarm is provided by C.O.P.S. This award-winning provider has multiple stations and signal carriers to help ensure fast processing of calls.

Battery Backup
Scout uses household wifi networks to send security alerts, but equipment has backup power and 3G cellular chips to use in case of power failures. Scout Alarm systems can run for 24 hours without external power.

RFID Stickers
Each door panel from Scout is packaged with two keyfobs and an RFID sticker. RFID stickers use radio waves for security and can give trusted people access to your home.

Access Sensors
Access sensors primarily guard windows, but they can also be placed on safes, cabinets, desk drawers and other areas to protect property and privacy.

Mobile Notifications
Both the $9.99/month and $19.99/month Scout Alarm plans include use of the Scout mobile app for Android and iPhone. It can send text alerts, emails and push notifications about system activity and also lets a smartphone or tablet serve as a control panel.

Ease of Use

Wireless security systems are easy to use. A single Scout Alarm hub can monitor many sensors when plugged into a router with an ethernet cord, and Scout’s mobile app is modern and user-friendly.

System setup is straightforward. However, some customers have had to adjust their doorways with slight grooves for successful installation. Removing a Scout Alarm sensor might leave a mark, so be prepared to repaint if you move the security system to a new home.

Summary

Scout Alarm is the youngest security company on our review site. It shows great potential but isn’t yet a “top security company” in our review. Scout has a very limited selection of equipment compared with its top competitors, plus the most popular products have been on backorder. The company is addressing shortcomings such as one-day-only battery backup and not-so-loud alarms. We’ll update this home security review in 2017, by which time Scout should have equipment improvements and expanded options.


Scout Home Security

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