scout systemstars42Rating: 4.2 Reviewed by Paul

 

The Scout Alarm Wireless Home Security System is a DIY home security internet based system that you own outright. You can install this in your home without drilling into your walls and can take it with you when you move.

You can self-monitor using your computer or smartphone. If you want you can add

                      buy5._V192207739_                       professional monitoring for a monthly fee that is payable on a month by month basis without signing a contract and can be cancelled at any time.

You can monitor doors/windows opening and rooms with the sensors available currently. The system is Zigbee compatible which means there is the  opportunity to add home automation features from other manufacturers  with  Zigbee devices like automatic light switches and locks.

It is a good looking system and is available in 3 colors – artic, midnight and wood finish.

Installation

It appears installation is straightforward (according to the company). There is no special DIY or technical skills required. It comes pre-programmed to work out of the box. If you want you can use it as it comes and there is no need to change how it works but you can customize it if you want. You need internet access to complete the installation and set up process.

To set it up you need to plug the base station into the wall and router. You then follow the instructions from their site to complete set up and installation.

The base station needs to put near the router as it requires internet access (although if your internet is down it can access through the 3G backup if activated). The sensors and door panel can be installed using double back tape on the doors/windows and the walls as required – so not drilling required – you just position and stick.

Contract

There is no need to sign up for a contract to install this in your home you need only buy the equipment you want. It will be a self-monitored system that is controlled using the internet. There are no monthly fees.

However, it does mean if the internet is down or there is a power outage the system works can only work as a local alarm system.
There is a choice of 2 monthly packages:

If you take up the cellular backup for $4.99 a month, which you can cancel at anytime you can get 3G cellular backup switched on so the system continues to work and you can continue to control and monitor the system if the internet is down. If you don’t have this when the internet is down the system will continue to work as a local alarm

Also, in a similar way to Simplisafe you can pay a monthly fee to have it monitored by a third party monitoring company for $19.99 per month. Again, no contract is needed and you can cancel at anytime. You also get the 3G back up included in the price. The monitoring is done by UL certified monitoring center. They will attempt to phone you first if the alarm has been triggered before dispatching police.

Support

monitoring optionsCurrently the system is in pre-order stage. They don’t have a number to call to ask questions. They have some FAQ’s on their site and you can contact them by email. When researching this preliminary review I did see them responding to questions in comments left on other sites.

I contacted them in writing this article via email and I received a reply after a few weeks –I guess they are busy with the pre-orders. Still it was disappointing that they took so long to  answer.

As noted by Irwun in the comments below there have been delays in production and it is difficult to determine exactly when the orders will be going out.

But, the test really happens once they start selling and delivering the system to customers.

Cameras

No cameras come as standard for the system but you may be able to add other manufacturers’ Zigbee cameras at a later date when they have been tested for compatibility.

Video Storage

Not applicable.

Alarms

The system comes with two 106 db sirens which are like standing near at power mower in loudness. One is in the door panel and the other is in the base system.

Notification

install windor contact
You can receive emails, texts or phone calls from the system when there is an incident or other event you have programmed in to the system. The notifications are able to be customized to suit your requirements. All communication goes through the internet, so if the internet is down no notifications can be sent unless you get one of the monthly monitoring plans.

Remote Monitoring

The system can be monitored from a computer or smartphone anywhere in the world you can access the internet. You can either use their mobile friendly site to do this or if you have an iOS or Android device you can download the app and control them from it. It is using the App or your internet account that you control and monitor the system.

This is where you can see a log of events that is stored by the second. It logs all events – arming/disarming, mode changes and includes all of them from the time the account was opened.  These can be great to use to check up on something if you suspect something has happened and you can check who was around or whether the alarm was armed or disarmed.

It can cope with large families by being able to give access to as many people as you want to your alarm network through the App. You can assign them rights so you can set it so the user can only arm/disarm the system and not make any changes to the set up or add other users.

If you have children or elderly parents you can set it up to send you notifications when they come home and disarm the system or when they leave and arm the system.

Battery

The batteries for the sensors and door sensor are expected to work for 6 to 12 months. The remote control batteries should work for 6 months even with heavy usage.

The batteries needed for the sensors, remote controls and door panel are included.

The motion sensors and window/door sensors both require 2 CR2 batteries. They are available at Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Walgreens and more. The price for 6 Duracell CR2 batteries when I checked was under $15.

The door panel requires 2 CR123A batteries. I have not yet been able to determine the type of battery required for the remote control. You can get 10 of them for just over $20 on amazon at the moment.

When the batteries are ready to be replaced you will see a message in dashboard of the App letting you know. They are easy to replace by opening the faceplate using the fingernail slot.

The remote key fob works without a battery as it is a passive device.

The base system is powered by the house supply with a battery backup in case of power outage.  In the event of an outage the battery should continue to give you power of around a week. This is one of the longest times I’ve seen for a backup battery. However, you need to contact Scout if you want to replace it as it is not able to be serviced by the user.

motion sensorSensors/Detection

The system comes with one motion sensor. It works by detecting changes in infra red coming from bodies. They are used to cover rooms within the home to detect movement. They usually work best when positioned in a corner so there are no blind spots. They have a filed of vision of ninety degrees and length of view of between 20 to 30 feet.

The motion sensor is pet friendly for pets under 40 lbs so you can fully arm your system when a way from the home and your pets should not trigger the alarm.

Door/Window Contacts

The system comes with 2 standard door/window contacts known as window/door sensors and a door panel that you can also arm/disarm the system using the RFID remote control.

Both of these devices work in the same way in detecting if a door or window has been opened. They are made up of 2 parts a magnet and sensor. If they are separated by more than an inch and 1/8th as the door/window is being opened the sensor is tripped and it sends a signal to the base unit (control panel).

Panic Button/Duress Codes

There are no panic buttons or duress codes with this system. (To be confirmed.)

Setting The Alarm

The alarm can be armed/disarmed using the smartphone app, accessing the internet or using the remote key fob.
The remote key fob is an RFID enabled device and works in conjunction with the door panel. To arm/disarm the system you touch the key fob to the door panel.

You can add people to your system using your internet account and smartphone app. There is no need to issue pass codes. It is also straightforward to remove their smartphone from the system and also to remove a remote key fob if it is lost. You can disable your phone access if it is lost using your internet account by computer.

Control Panel

base unit arcticThis system does not have a control panel as the programming is done using your smartphone or using your internet account. The system instead has a base station that is a nicely designed box that communicates with the sensors wirelessly and through the router to get instructions and to send out notifications.

The Scout Alarm Wireless Home Security System is designed to work with other Zigbee compatible devices. There is also a lot flexibility being promised in how you set the system to respond to various events – such as turning lights on and off, notifying you when your children or others arrive home and much more.

Timers

When using the key fob to arm the system there is a 30 second delay before the system is armed but this can be changed.

When you enter the home you also have 30 seconds to disarm the system. The base station and door panel beep to remind you to disarm the system. This default setting can be changed.

Protection against it being switched off

With some internet based alarm systems when the internet is down or the power is out they stop working. This system continues to work as standalone alarm system with an audible alarm if the power and internet is down. If you pay $4.99 per month you can have 3G cellular backup so the system will continue to send out notifications to your smartphone or internet account.

Coverage

Each sensor will work within a 100 feet of another sensor and they are not dependent on how close they are to the base station. They work in a series or chain as long as the first sensor in the chain is within 100 feet of the base station. This gives you the opportunity to cover a large area as long as you have the devices to extend the range.

door-window contactsWireless or Wired

This is a wireless system that works on 2.4 ghz frequency. All the sensors, contacts and the door panel communicate wirelessly with the base station and are battery powered.

The base station is plugged into the router by Ethernet cable to communicate with your account and sends notifications to you or the monitoring center (if chosen). It is also powered by plugging into your house supply.

The system does have 3G chip included which is used as a backup when the power and/or the internet is down. There is a monthly charge to activate.

Zones

Each sensor can be separately named and you customize the system to respond as you want for each sensor giving you lots of flexibility in your settings. For instance, if you have a window/door contact on your liquor cabinet you might want this to notify you when it is open whether the system is armed or not and you may not want the siren sounded – the system can be set up this way so I understand. At the same time other window/door contacts will be armed/disarmed as required.

Dimensions

Base Station –  7.48 by 7.48 by 1.73 inches

Door Panel – 5 by 3.05 by 0.75 inches

Motion Sensor – 3.93 by 2.4 by 1.06 inches

Window/Door Contact Sensors – 2.52 by 2 by 0.67 inches

Scout Alarm Wireless Home Security System Features

door panel midnightBase Station – this controls the system. It communicates with the devices and when there is an incident it notifies the phones numbers programmed into it. It also houses a 106 db siren

Door Panel – this is installed on your front door or other doors. It works in a similar way to window/door contacts – it is triggered when the door is opened. In addition to this it also has a 106 db siren and is an RFID device (like a barcode reader) that works with the key fob to arm and disarm the system.

Motion Sensor – detects movement within a room using passive infrared technology by “seeing” changes in body heat.

Open/Close Sensor – 2 window/door contacts are included to secure the entry points of the house. When a covered window or door is opened a signal is sent to the base unit

Remote Key Fob – This works with the door panel. It is an RFID device meaning that it needs only to touch or be close to the door panel to arm/disarm the system – like you find with many work security passes.

Smartphone App – free to download and works with iOS and Android devices.

Accessories

There is no limit to the number of devices that work with the system. As this system is Zigbee compatible it can work with a number of other manufacturers devices. Currently no Zigbee devices have been announced as compatible by the company. I’m sure these will be announced shortly after it is released. In theory it is possible for it to work with cameras, locks, light switches and other home automation devices using the ZIgBee.

As they develop the system and software it will be possible to control the devices from their smartphone app. You can do this from anywhere you have internet access, so you can turn your lights on and off remotely to make it look like you are home when you are sitting in a café in Paris (for instance).

Pros

It is a DIY install – no need to have anyone in your house and can be up and running quickly

No need to drill holes in your home to run wires as it is wireless

It is portable so you can take it with you, making it great for those in apartments as well as home owners

No long term contracts to be signed or hidden fees

Has a backup power if there is a power outage or the internet is down and continues to work as local alarm system

It the 3G cellular backup is purchased it continues to work as if connected to internet for monitoring and notifications Can monitor system from anywhere you can access the internet

It is Zigbee compatible so you will be able add other manufacturers devices for additional security and home automation features

Back up battery keeps the unit working for up to a week in the event of power outage

Motion sensors pre friendly for pets up to 40 lbs

May get a discount on your home or renters insurance

Cons

There is no track record and the bugs may still need to be ironed out

No panic button or duress codes for sounding the alarm instantly

May get expensive when setting up a large home but monitoring options are more affordably priced than other systems

It is not compatible with Zwave (an alternative home automation wireless protocol) so can’t access these products

You are reliant on the company’s servers to be up to be able to monitor remotely and get notifications

Base station (control unit) needs to be plugged into the router

No environmental sensors been tested as compatible as yet

No cameras to use with the system – may be able to use other manufacturers Zigbee cameras

Not all information on system is available on things like who is doing the monitoring

Scout Alarm Wireless Home Security System Consumer Ratings

There are no customer reviews as the system is in pre-order currently. The blogs and newspapers reviews are positive and they like the company behind it. They like the look of it and the potential it has to secure your house without you having to be tied into a contract. They don’t like the fact it is new and untested, as there maybe problems when it is rolled out with bugs still needing to be fixed.

The real proof will be when customers get their hands on it and get to use it.

Scout Alarm Wireless Home Security System Price

scout alarm wireless home security system midnight blackThe starting price includes coverage of 3 doors or windows and one room which are good for a small apartment. For a larger home to get complete coverage you are going to want to buy more sensors and as they become available you may want environmental sensors too. So, plan on spending more to secure your home.

Also, when comparing total cost with other DIY and internet home security systems it is important to compare the ongoing costs. For this system you have the $4.99 per month for 3G Cellular backup or $19.99 for professional monitoring. These are not needed to run the system but do provide additional protection if you want it. The prices for monitoring compare favorable with other monitoring plans offered. There two colors offered on Amazon and you can check the current price here: Scout Alarm Wireless Home Security System

Summary

Currently information about this system is a little scarce as it hasn’t been officially released but is only ready for pre-order.  From scout alarm reviewwhat I have seen this looks like a very good home alarm system and it appears to have been properly thought through and designed.

There are some things missing from the range of devices available and it hasn’t been tested by the market yet. There may be some problems with the software and customer use-ability to start with but once they get over the initial bugs it looks like it could develop into a good solution for protecting your home, family and valuables.

I will be adding more details to this review as I get more information.

Filed under: Reviews

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