The Scout home security system is one of the few home security solutions that allow you to buy only what you need. There are others out there, but Scout is more flexible. This isn’t the best option for everyone out there, but if you’re looking for easy to install DIY security kit, it should be one of your short list choices.
The Scout System Starts with the Hub
The Scout security system is built around the hub. The devices you choose after that are up to you. The hub integrates with your home wireless network and connects to the various devices using the ZigBee protocol. Once you plug the Scout hub into your Wi-Fi router and configure it, you can access the features of the system using the iOS (no Android compatibility as yet, unfortunately) app. When an alarm is triggered, the hub has a 106 decibel siren that will sound, alerting everyone.
The Scout Home Security System Comes in Multiple Colors
The Scout home security system lets you choose from a wide range of colors for the components that you buy. This means instead of standing out from your home’s décor, you can match the décor. I like this because of the fact that the components all appear to be designed with flexibility and mobility in mind. In other words you don’t install them inside the building structure but attach them to exterior of the structure.
The Scout Door Panel Arms and Disarms the System
The Scout Door Panel mounts to the outside of the wall near any door you wish to control access to. There are two key fobs and an RFID (radio frequency identification) sticker that when placed against the panel, similar to the keycards you may have for work, the alarm will arm and disarm. The two pieces of the Door Panel attach using tape so no tools are needed for installation.
The system doesn’t seem to be able to integrate natively with any of the connected door locks on the market, so locking and unlocking will have to be done manually. However, if the connection between the door panel and the frame receiver is broken, the alarm will sound.
During the setup of the system, you tell the system who has what entry/exit device. This way when someone comes or goes, a notification will be sent to your device telling you who and when. Since the system has an Internet connection, if someone who doesn’t have a key fob or RFID sticker who you wish to let in without alerting the neighborhood, you can send a disarm command from your phone.
The Scout Access Sensor
As a gun owner, this is the single feature that overrides the negatives of the system and makes it a keeper for me. The Scout Access Sensor is like the Door Panel, but much smaller. It’s meant for things like interior doors, cabinets, drawers, anything you want to know when someone opens, such as the panel in the drawer that hides the gun safe. The sensor and switch attach easily and quickly with tape.
Motion Sensor Coverage for Large Rooms
Scout doesn’t currently offer sensors that detect when someone breaks a piece of glass. The Panel and Sensor mentioned above will only let you know if someone opens a protected door or window. The Motion Sensor fills in the gap in coverage by detecting motion within 25 feet.
Now the Bad News
The bad news begins with the price — $130 buys you the hub. If you buy one of everything, including the video camera, you’re looking at around $450. The Door Panel is going to run you about $70, while the smaller Access Sensor goes for about $30 apiece. If you want the motion sensor you’re looking at another $50, and one camera will cost about $170. There’s also an option for 3Gcellular backup that runs about $10 a month and live monitoring is a reasonable $20.
I don’t like that the Scout home security system doesn’t seem to offer integration with any of the connected door locks out there. That seems to be a glaring shortcoming in my book. It’s not taking full use of the ZigBee protocol which gives much more flexibility than is being used. The Scout system is well-designed but missing a few key capabilities.