The Scout alarm is touted as an affordable, contract-free, DIY home security option that has received mostly positive reviews online. Previously customers were able to enjoy versions of Scout that allowed them to receive free access to many of its security features, but the company now requires monitoring subscriptions for most remote functionality, beginning at $10 per month.

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To get started, customers buy the hub, priced at $129. It’s somewhat restricting, because the tool has to be connected to a modem via Ethernet to operate. Afterwards customer can setup a combination of whichever products they choose, including door panels for $69 and motion sensors for $49. Customers can also add key fobs and RFID (radio frequency identification) stickers for little cost. These allow you to turn the system on or off without keypads. Scout claims they’ll eventually have video cameras, but none are available to purchase on their website.

With so many DIY home security systems on the market, what separates Scout from others? Is it worth it?

There’s Some Pros 

Similar to other smart home security options, Scout is set up and connected via smartphone, tablet, or computer. Through the Scout app you can tell the product how to react in different situations, or set location or context based modes for the system. Scout can also auto alert a trusted network if you end up out of reach.

Scout has a sleek, modern look, and three styling options of black, white, and a wood finished design. The access sensor and door panels both have 100 foot range.

If the product ever encounters trouble, it comes equipped with a battery backup and 3G cellular backup.

It’s a simple setup, no contracts, and easy to expand or take with you if you move to a new home.

It Doesn’t Compete With All-Inclusive Equipment 

One of Scout’s selling points was its affordability, but now that the company has forced customers to pay for monitoring, the selling point of no contracts or monthly fees is lost. Also, one you add equipment additional equipment, the price tag can get pretty large. It may appear cheap from the outset, but you’re likely to end up in the hundreds of dollars. And that’s not a very good deal for a product that isn’t providing video cameras with streams to your smartphone.

It’s location in the home is restricted since the hub has to be set up via an Ethernet cable. Some necessary home security products aren’t available either, including cameras, CO and fire detectors.

There’s a few issues with the motion sensors. Pets and sunlight are common triggers, and the sensor only has a 20 foot range with a 90° field of view.

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Reviewers also say the alarm is fairly quiet whenever it goes off. At this current time Scout doesn’t integrate with Zigbee, Z-Wave, or WiFi devices. They do, however, integrate with Amazon Echo, Nest, LIFX, IFTTT, and Philips Hue Lights.

Other than false alarms, and a few product mishaps, there aren’t too many complaints online. The product seems useful for people who are seeking the bare minimum in their home security system, but for these large upfront costs, missing safety features (CO and fire detectors, and no cameras), we suggest you stick with an all-inclusive home security offering.