Scout Alarm started as part of a crowdfunding campaign when one of its founders was frustrated with the installation hassle, expensive monthly fees, and dated appearance of traditional security systems. The system is great for easy DIY installation, and it’s simple to take with you if you move. Scout Alarm relies solely on key fobs and RFID chips for arming and disarming, so there are no access codes to remember.
Scout doesn’t require you to sign a contract, but keep in mind that to have smartphone control and monitoring you’ll have to sign up for a monthly or yearly plan.
No Contracts While you’ll need a monitoring plan for personal or professional monitoring, there’s no contract, so you can cancel at any time.
No Unnecessary Equipment All devices are sold separately, so you won’t have to buy a pricey starter kit that may contain equipment you don’t need.
Annual Payment Discounts Scout Alarm offers a 10% discount if you pay for your monitoring plan annually rather than monthly.
We Don’t Like
Smoke Monitoring Not Included If you want to include smoke monitoring in your system, you can purchase a Nest Protect to work with your Scout Alarm. But you’ll have to monitor it yourself—there is currently no professional monitoring available for Nest Protect.
Tech and Equipment
The wireless system is easily portable, and we’re impressed with its sleek, understated design and variety of finishes, but the equipment options are limited.
RFID Stickers RFID stickers essentially act as hidden keys for your security system—you can attach an RFID sticker to any object in your home and simply wave the object in front of the Door Panel to disarm your system.
Expansion and Portability This is a great system for those who think they may move from a smaller home to a larger one, since it’s easy to take with you and add on additional sensors as needed.
Cellular-Only Option If you have spotty internet coverage or simply don’t want to run your security system off your internet, Scout offers a cellular-only option for an additional monthly fee.
Water Sensors If your basement regularly floods or you’re concerned about older appliances malfunctioning, having a water sensor tied into your security system can bring a lot of peace of mind.
We Don’t Like
Limited Equipment Currently, the only security devices Scout offers are the main hub, door sensor, access sensor, motion sensor, and water sensor. We’d like to see security cameras and smoke monitoring options.
Bulky Door Panels Scout’s Door Panels are essentially door sensors, but because they also act as a siren and a keyless keypad to disarm your system, they’re larger than typical door sensors at 4.3″ by 3.5″.
Scout’s ability to integrate with Nest products is a definite plus, but we’d like to see more home automation options, like integration with appliances. Scout is fine for a basic combination of home automation and security, but other companies have a wider variety of options for those who want full home automation.
Connection to Nest While Scout falls short in its own equipment, it does connect to Nest products like the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide sensors and Nest Cams.
IFTTT Integration IFTTT (If This, Then That) can help you create specific scenarios for your Scout system, like having it alert your neighbors via Facebook if you have a break-in.
Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home You can sync your Scout Alarm with your Amazon Alexa or Google Home, allowing you to arm and disarm your system using voice commands.
We Don’t Like
Separate Monitoring If you decide to incorporate Nest products into your Scout system, you’ll need to have a separate subscription with Nest to allow you to monitor your Nest devices.
Scout’s biggest stumbling block with customer service is that it’s new on the home security scene. The company doesn’t have enough customers yet to have established itself positively or negatively in the marketplace, but we’ll be watching to see how that changes.
Clear Website The Scout website is easy to navigate, and the products and pricing are easy to understand.
App Tutorials The app has plenty of tutorials to help you with system setup and troubleshooting.
We Don’t Like
Lack of Reputation To help us rate customer service we usually factor in grades and reviews from the Better Business Bureau and Yelp, but Scout currently has no presence on these consumer ratings platforms.
What is the range on the motion sensor? The motion sensor has a ninety-degree field of view and a range of twenty-five feet.
Is the mobile app easy to use? Most Scout Alarm app users are happy with the app, but it does get better reviews from Android users than Apple users. The main complaints from both users are about having difficulty getting the mobile app to connect to the security system again after an update.
Why doesn’t Scout Alarm offer window sensors? Scout Alarm offers Access Sensors, which can be placed on either doors or windows.
Scout Hub The Scout Hub acts as the base station to communicate with your system’s sensors and your smartphone.
Door Panel You can arm and disarm your system whenever you go in and out of a door with a Door Panel, and it’s also equipped with a chime and a siren to alert you when the door opens.
Access Sensor The Access Sensor can be placed on any door or window to alert you when it opens.
Motion Sensor Infrared Motion Sensors work day and night to alert you to motion.
Water Sensor Placing a Water Sensor in areas with the potential for flooding—like basements or laundry rooms—can give you added peace of mind.
Key Fob The Scout key fob is a remote that allows you to arm and disarm your system without using a keypad.
RFID Sticker Adhere your RFID sticker to any object to use it to arm and disarm your system.
The Bottom Line
Scout is a simple, attractive security system that can cover your basic home security needs, but if you’re looking for complete coverage with video monitoring, professional smoke monitoring, and integration with your home appliances, this isn’t the system for you. While we like Scout’s integration with Nest products, we’d prefer to have the ability to monitor those devices from the Scout app.
To write our review, we studied Scout’s website and compared the company’s equipment, pricing, and options with similar security providers. We talked to experienced security experts and contacted Scout Alarm customer service with additional questions. To learn more about our evaluation process, check out our methodology, and to find out more about the top security systems on the market, check out our Best Home Security Systems of 2018.
Written by Kasey Tross
Kasey Tross is a stay-at-home mom with four energetic kids, and she's married to a security expert, so safety is a top priority in the Tross home. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, hiking, playing the flute, helping out at church, and eating far more chocolate than she should. Learn more