The company

Daniel Roberts and Dave Shapiro are the minds behind Scout. The two entrepreneurs found the necessity of build a truly “thoughtful, curated home security experience from end-to-end” that could bring affordability, simplicity and security to the places of every home.

While in 2013 Dave and Daniel were creating prototypes in order to see how far it was possible to push home automation, it was until when one of the founders was on the process of acquiring a home security system that it was noticed how inefficient and expensive most of them are and that there was a necessity on the market to actually provide something that could be attractive for those 83% of Americans that don’t have a home security system. With that in mind, they started a first round of crowdfunding. It took them just a month to reach and surpass the goal that would enable them to build Scout from the scratches. It can be said that Scout is an effort made by the people for the people in order to get the security everybody deserves at a fair price.

What set this company apart from the competitors, how the affordability meets modern design and new tech. While other companies might also offer low prices, the design of their equipment and the tech that can be pair with them is not even near from what Scout is giving to their clients. The ability of the Illinois based company to integrate their system with the kinds of Nest, Amazon Echo, LIFX, Philips Hue lights and IFTTT is something no other affordable company was able to do yet. This way Scout can provide a great deal to customers looking for basic but solid home security and also a great deal to those that are willing to spend more in order to integrate Scout with more technologically advanced home automation companies.

The proposal from Scout is very attractive and in the sections below we are going to go through the good, the bad and all you need to know in order to decide if the company founded by Mr. Roberts and Mr. Shapiro is what you are looking for.

 

The good and the bad

Positives

  • DIY installation
  • Affordable plans
  • No contracts
  • Great customer service
  • Compatible with several home automation devices from third party companies
  • Compatible with Nest cameras
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Negatives

  • Limited equipment options
  • No camera compatibility offered outside the Nest cameras
  • Just one year of warranty on equipment
  • Motion sensor is not pet friendly

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The tech

The equipment offered by Scout is pretty straightforward, we have a main hub, door panels, access sensors and motion sensors. You can also get smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, glass break sensor, water sensor and door locks, but unlike the four previously mentioned devices, this equipment is offered in partnership with well known brands such as Yale, First Alert and GoControl that also serve more consolidated companies in the home security business. Of course, as we mentioned before, being the main hub Z-Wave compatible, allows for home automation integration and you will be able to pair your system with a Nest Thermostat or Amazon Alexa among other features.

All the equipment must be bought upfront and Scout doesn’t offer the possibility of financing the purchase. Nevertheless we can say that the equipment is not that much expensive when compared to other companies so if you are thinking about getting a new home security system, you should be able to afford it without break the piggy bank.

While solid devices are key to a well protected house, we really appreciate the effort made by the Chicago headquartered company to provide a nice and fine look to the main devices they offer. You can choose to get the Scout Hub in a sleek white color (called Arctic) or you can get the device in a classy black (called Midnight). They used to offer also the possibility to purchase the equipment in a brown wood color (called Walnut), but at the time of this review this option is not available in their website so it might be possible that it has been discontinued; this device uses Zigbee protocols and is Z-Wave compatible, and in the case power and internet goes down in your place, the Scout Hub will work with the internal battery and the 4G LTE connection. When it comes to a main hub, to have this kind of backup and communication protocol is something very much appreciated in the home security business.

The other really nice thing about this main hub is the fact that there is no keypad or touchscreen panel. To arm and disarm your system you just need to tap in your RFID sticker or key fob, or you can use your smartphone to control the system. This concept of easy arm/disarm available for all is something that for sure makes this company very interesting.

That’s true, they don’t offer any camera solution and we are really fond of cameras since we think they are key in order to have a good security and monitoring of your home; fortunately for us they are part of the the Works with Nest network and the Scout system is compatible with Nest cameras. And here there’s another bittersweet issue, if you want to have camera monitoring, you will need to sign up on one of the Nest Aware plans, but more on that later.     

Let’s take a look first at the detailed information and cost for all the equipment provided by Scout.

Equipment

Scout Hub

The Scout Hub is the core of the Scout home security system, it has a built-in 105 dB siren, works with a Zigbee protocol and is Z-Wave compatible. The sleek design makes this device fit in your home almost undetected thanks also for its dimensions (5.3in x 5.3in x 1.1in). Internal battery and 4G LTE will allow your system to not go offline if your power is cut out.

Cost of Scout Hub: $129

Door Panel

The wireless door panel is the first shield of your security system. It has a built-in 105 dB siren that will go off if someone’s try to break in, it communicates with the main hub through the Zigbee communication protocol. The box includes two RFID keyfob and one RFID sticker, tapping an RFID key or sticker over the Door Panel will allow you to arm and disarm your security system (something that can be done also through your smartphone).

Cost of Door Panel: $69 (2 RFID keyfob and 1 RFID sticker included)

Access Sensor

What Scout calls Access Sensor is an elegant door/window sensor. This tiny device (2.6in x 1.9in x 0.8in) will let you know through the mobile app when someone tries to enter your home. Most access sensors will tell you in which zone of the house the issue might be, thanks to the technology used by Scout you can rename the sensors in order to always know, in case of alarm triggering, which exacte device is sending the alert.

Cost of Access Sensor $29

Motion Sensor

This device has a 90-degree field of view and a 25-feet range. It’s a Passive Infrared sensor (PIR) which allows not only for day detection movement but also for night detection. However this might be the weakest device of the equipment as for those who have furry friends, we must say that unfortunately the device is not pet friendly at the moment

Cost of Motion Sensor: $49

As we said, pretty straightforward devices that will help you improve your home security. The fact that can be purchased separately allows you to project the full protection of your house step by step and according to your budget.

Let’s take now a look to the other home protection equipment offered through Scout and, of course, compatible with the Scout Hub

Glass Break Sensor

This Glass Break Sensor is manufactured by Go Control. a company that does home security devices compatible also with other top firms of the home security business. It’s prepared to detect the sound of breaking glass (360 degrees) and up to a distance of 15 feet (with no interference between the sensor and the glasses). Can be very useful when you need to cover an area with many different windows

Cost of Go Control Glass Break Sensor: $49

First Alert ZCOMBO-G Z-Wave Smoke CO Detector

While you can find many Smoke and CO detectors with other companies, it is great that Scout offers the possibility of connect your main hub with this device manufactured by First Alert. Equipped with electrochemical carbon monoxide and photoelectric smoke sensors, this device will immediately let you know through your app and also by the noise of the built-in 85 dB (at 10 feet) siren that something is happening. If you have the Always On Plus plan, the fire department can be alerted by Scout monitoring center if necessary.

Cost of First Alert ZCOMBO-G Z-Wave Smoke CO Detector : $59

Water Sensor

This water sensor will help you in case you need to pointpoint the source of a leak or flood quicker enough to avoid substantial damages to your home and home equipment. It communicates to the main hub through Zigbee protocol and has a battery life of 5 years.

Cost of Water Sensor: $39

Finally we want to take a look at some of the most innovative home automation devices compatible with Scout and also at the cameras offered by Nest, the only cameras compatible with the Chicago headquartered company.

Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen)

While Scout doesn’t sell this device, you can actually pair with your home security system if you are looking for home automation devices, thanks to the Z-Wave compatibility of the Scout Hub. The Nest Learning Thermostat will help you save a lot of energy while keeping your house at the right temperature. It is ENERGY STAR certified, the only of its kind with such certification and according to independent studies it will make you save up to 12% on heating bills and 15% in cooling bills.

Cost of Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation): $249

Yale Door Lock

Yale is possible the best manufacturer of smart door locks. This amazing tamper-proof smart keyless lock can be lock it and unlock with just a passcode. You can give the passcode to any person of your trust and you can also revoke the permission. The device is also capable of auto locking and you can configure the Door Lock to open and close also according to your schedule.

Cost of Yale Door Lock: $200

Nest Cam Indoor

This 1080p HD resolution camera is compatible with the Scout Hub, it is able to stream live 24/7, and you can control it from the app. It has a 130-degree field of view and has a built-in speaker and mic that will allow you to communicate with the person on the other side of the camera. You can also zoom the image so you will never miss a detail.

Cost Nest Cam Indoor: $199

Nest Cam Outdoor

This camera will record everything it sees and when something suspicious is captured on cam or a loud noise is heard in the vicinity, an alert will be sent to your smartphone. You will be able to check immediately and will be able to speak through the cam. The field of view for this device is 130-degree and has a video resolution of 1080p at 30 frames/sec with H.264 encoding. It’s night vision equipped thanks to 8 high-power infrared LEDs.

Cost of Nest Cam Outdoor: $199

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

This is the ultimate indoor camera with 4K resolution, 12x digital zoom and enhanced Close-up tracking view. It has a 130-degree field of view and has night vision equipment (8 powerful LEDs with IR cut filter). Is equipped with a high quality speaker and mics so you can speak and hear loud and clear. It has really everything you want from an indoor camera.

Cost Nest Cam IQ Indoor: $299

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

This great camera is the outdoor version of the IQ Indoor cam. When it detects a person nearby it will follow it and zoom on it. If you have Nest Aware it will recognize familiar faces. This camera is definitely what you really need if you want to have clear live image from outside your home and feel protected from the outside-in.

Cost of Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: $349

As we can see, most of the devices presented in this section are for inside home security and home automation. The only outdoor features you can get are the Nest outdoor cameras and we think that this is a key part that Scout should work on in order to offer a more complete security option. Despite that we like the solid equipment and the big variety of devices that are compatible with the Scout Hub.

We encourage you to talk to a Scout representative for any doubt you might have regarding the products offered in their website and to get a complete list of all compatible devices.

The Tech outside the Equipment

What else does Frontpoint offer?

While Scout offers you the possibility of self-monitoring, they do offer a monitoring plan. COPS Monitoring is the company on which Scout relies for the monitoring, a company with over 40 years of experience in the business and that works also with other top 10 home security companies. This UL-listed company is headquartered in New Jersey but have monitoring stations all over the US and monitor over 2.4 million accounts a year.

Scout also has an app available in the Android and iOS stores that will allow you to control your home security and home automation. You will be able to monitor every device in your home thanks to the easy configuration.

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The Packs

The Illinois company offer two plans, a self-monitoring one called Always On and a monitoring plan called Always On Plus. The main difference between the two is the 24/7 monitoring, beside that, and differently from other companies in the market, the self-monitoring option let you set up everything through your smartphone and allows for push notifications on it when an alarm is triggered.

The other thing worth noting here is that if you decide to integrate your home security with the Nest Camera(s), in order to get video recording and access, you will need to subscribe to one of Nest Aware plans.

Packs:

  • Always On
  • Always On+
  • Nest Aware (if you go with video access and recording)

Prices, Contracts and Equipment Packages

Scout offers one of the cheapest monthly fees of the market with the self-monitoring plan (Always On) at $9.99 and the monitoring plan (Always On+) at $19.99. We love this as much as we love the no contract policy of the company which allow customers to pay a monthly fee and the possibility of upgrading or downgrading the plans according to their needs. This is an excellent option for renters and for those that like to have self-monitoring on a daily basis but prefer to get a professional monitoring when going on vacation.

As we mentioned briefly, in case you decide to get cameras (something we always recommend) and therefore video recording and accessibility, you will need to sign for Nest Aware. The offered plans are 5, 10 and 30 days of video history available at any given time, the prices $5 a month ($50 if you get a one-year contract), $10 ($100 if you get a one-year contract) and $30 ($300 if you get a one-year contract) respectively.

The company offers a 30-day money back guarantee and a one year warranty on the equipment.

Choose your plan

Request a customized quote for your specific situation

Always On

$ 9
99 Per Month
  • Self Monitoring
  • 4G LTE cellular and battery backup;
  • Email notifications
  • Scout mobile app for iOS and Android devices
  • Push notifications to mobile devices
  • SMS alerts
  • No annual contract

Always On +

$ 19
99 Per Month
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring
  • 4G LTE cellular and battery backup;
  • Email notifications
  • Scout mobile app for iOS and Android devices
  • Push notifications to mobile devices
  • SMS alerts
  • No annual contract

Nest Aware Plans (in case you decide to get Nest cameras for your home security system):

5-day

$ 5
Per Month
  • $50
    Yearly

  • 5-Day video history
  • 24/7 Continuous recording
  • Intelligent alert
  • Clips and timelapses
  • Activity zones

10-day

$ 10
Per Month
  • $100
    Yearly

  • 10-Day video history
  • 24/7 Continuous recording
  • Intelligent alert
  • Clips and timelapses
  • Activity zones

30-day

$ 30
Per Month
  • $300
    Yearly

  • 30-Day video history
  • 24/7 Continuous recording
  • Intelligent alert
  • Clips and timelapses
  • Activity zones

There’s no such thing as a “starting pack” like most companies, Scout let you decide how much equipment you want to get and this is great for those on a budget that wants to get a home security system as allows for integration of the system in a gradual way.   

Our review

We really like what we see from Scout, it is a new contender on the market and we love how they are able to offer an affordable home security option while allowing customers to customize their equipment choice. What we would like to see tho is more integration and more developed equipment. A company that wants to fight the top spots in a home security list must have a pet friendly motion sensor and must be able to offer a cheaper camera integration system as despite the fact that we love Nest products, they have above average prices. This goes also against what Scout intend to promote, if you are offering a cheap and affordable solution for home security, you can’t have only an expensive camera integration solution.

Despite all that we think that for a 5-year company Scout is on the right path to become a great home security company; if you are on a budget and want to start building a solid alarm system in order to protect yourself and those you love, Scout is for sure a company you want to take a look at.

Customers reviews (from consumeraffairs.com)

What people say

Customer Reviews (from www.amazon.com)

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