- Budget-friendly prices
- Innovative burglary sensors
- Full customizable packages
- DIY Installations
- Lack of detectors
- No home automation
- Thin security equipment variety
- No Android app
Scout has a fairly unique background, as the company was founded by a group of security engineers and designers, who implemented their innovative idea with the help of crowdfunding. Although a relatively new player on the field, they already sold over $500,000 worth of security equipment in the U.S. Scout’s strength is undeniably their ergonomic equipment: their access and motion sensors fit almost everywhere, and everyone can install the system in minutes. A door panel is also available for those who wish to silently monitor those who enter the house. Other than the well-designed security units, Scout offers a dependable monitoring system, coupled with a multifunctional smartphone app. The system lacks home automation and cameras, but it makes up for it with the low prices, as the monthly fee starts from $9.99.
Home safety and 100% protection is what Scout aims to offer, without the need of unwieldy and stogy equipment disfiguring the style of the room. That’s why the company’s products come in three colors: arctic white, midnight black and walnut, as these colors compliment every living room. The soul of the system is the hub unit, the “brain” of the system that stays in touch with all the other sensors around the house. The hub is roughly the size of a book, and fits easily into any slots you find. This sleek device is capable of communicating via a 3G cellular network or VoIP connection.
Versatile Motion Sensors
To ensure safety, Scout utilizes a large range of sensor units. The door panel sticks to the frame of your front door, and relentlessly guards it after being armed. In case someone tries to open the door without disarming it first, it instantly sounds the alarm and sends a message to the residents. The door panel comes with a free RFID sticker that acts as a hidden key. Just put it on the back of an innocent household item, and wave it in front of the sensor to disarm the system. You also get a keyfob that serves similar purposes.
The motion sensor can be your backup plan for an attempted intrusion through a window or back door. It senses all movement at the proximity of 25 feet radius, and it can be mounted on a wall, frame or a shadowy corner. The motion sensor is using infrared technology to identify movement, thus it works at night too. However, Scout’s equipment is showing mixed results when tested with pets of different sizes roaming the house.
Last but not least, the small access sensor is a device supervising the usage of indoor cabinets and shelves. Just stick it to a frame, and moving the object even an inch would surely trigger an alarm. Besides safes and jewelry cabinets, you could also use it with doors and windows, as it’s cheaper to get multiple sensors than having more door panels.
The true essence of a security system only shines when it’s paired with a comprehensive monitoring service. This can be done either by a team of professional operators, or the residents themselves. As such, when purchasing the system customers are offered the chance to decide themselves which option they prefer more: they can choose between Always On and Always On+.
Always On & Always On+
Always On is the simpler version, granting email and push up notifications for iOS smart devices. Customers can also benefit from the 3G cellular contact, which compliments the free smartphone application really well. As an added bonus, this service includes a backup battery too, an extra line of defense in case of an emergency blackout. Always On+ possesses all these traits, and as its extra, it grants access to Scout’s very own monitoring service. It operates in a similar fashion as any other company’s service: the security hub forwards the alarm signal to the central, where the UL certified operators take the initiative, and simultaneously contact the police and the residents. Having a team of professionals on your side greatly escalates the reaction time, as it improves the chance of intercepting the burglars while they are escaping. Sadly, the professional monitoring only covers home intrusions, since Scout is missing any forms of video cameras or detectors. As such, their operators don’t assume the monitoring of these systems, even if they are ordered from other sources.
All the available equipment Scout has to offer is converged to communicate with their smartphone application, called Scout Alarm. It’s a useful tool that serves as remote controller for all your devices. Scout Alarm remotely arms and disarms the system, and provides a continuous flow of feedback. You can even customize these alerts, so they won’t be a bother for you.
Another missing feature in Scout’s offer is home automation. This means that they don’t feature any kind of equipment that allows remote control over smart locks, lighting modules or intelligent thermostats. It’s a sad fact, as they are licensing products from Nest, which has some very advanced smart home products available. Although it’s possible to order other Nest products from different retailers, integration still remains a problem. As stated before, Scout has its own smartphone application which is linked to the security products. But any device, other than the ones sold by Scout, is more likely to be incompatible with the smartphone app, thus the remote control – the smart product’s key attribute – will be disabled. This is very unfortunate, as home automation is not only a comfortable way to manage household appliances, but a clever use can also reduce the energy bills.
Plans and Pricing
Scout is very transparent about its pricing strategy, displaying all the important information upfront. Even better, customers receive complete freedom over the customization. You are not only allowed to choose whether you want the professional monitoring or not, but you’re also entitled to decide the color and exact quantity of your equipment. Ordering can be done 100% online, including the payment. Scout’s products are designed to be easy to install, thus DIY fans galore in possibilities. All devices are fitted with one year of warranty, so any broken or damaged unit is replaced for free during this period. Scout doesn’t work with contracts, which means that all customers are free from any long-term obligation. Even better, unsatisfied homeowners can take time by its forelock, and request a full refund, as long their initial 30-day trial period is active.
As mentioned earlier, Scout provides two types monitoring services. Always On is the more budget-friendly version that has a monthly fee, charging $9.99 for one month. It can be paid on a month-to-month basis, but the longer annual payment plan is more advantageous, since it’s reducing the overall price by 10%, reducing the price to $8.92 per month or $107 for one year. Always On+ is the more feature-full version, as it knows everything Always On has to offer, coupled with the relief of the 24/7 professional monitoring, done by Scout’s operators. This service also has two payment options, the pay-as-you go being $19.99 for a month, while the annual charging $215 for a year. Interestingly enough, if you still find these relatively low monitoring prices unaffordable for your budget, then you can go without them. Choosing not to request any monitoring service still entitles you to use the free smartphone app and receive the email notifications, but that’s all. Also, no monitoring necessitates an initial commitment.
As for the equipment, purchasing any of them invokes a one-time payment. Scout’s wireless hub system is available in three color variations (arctic white, walnut and midnight black), and comes for $129. The access sensor is available in the same colors, and continuously monitors the usage of any doors or windows it’s placed on. One sensor costs $29, but you might need more for a full protection. The door panel firmly protects the front door – it can be colored in black, white or brown, and has a price of $69. The wireless motion sensor is also a must have, each of them has a price tag of $49. Additional accessories can be purchased too, like a key fob for $4.99 or an extra RFID sticker for $2.49.
Matching its innovative service, Scout has a well-designed website, displaying all the necessary information visitors might seek. Along the supply of safety equipment, people find useful tips and suggestions about the ideal amount of sensors needed to protect the house. The order can be freely customized via the online shop, and customers are able to easily finish their purchase online. The customer service is ready to answer all the available questions during regular workhours, except on holidays. They can be contacted in regular ways, including email and phone calls. As of present, Scout isn’t rated by the Better Business Bureau.
The main focus of Scout’s security system is burglary prevention. Unlike other companies in the industry, Scout doesn’t stretch out to video monitoring and home automation. On the plus side, this resulted in some innovative and convenient security products, that are not only easy to use, but a breeze to install. On the downside, supplementing the system with cameras, glass break sensors, environment detectors and smart thermostat can be only done by seeking out other dealers, which is a nuisance. This fact is eased by a bit with Scout’s low prices and fully customizable packages.