Scout DIY Home Security Tested

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Dec 11, 2015

This hipster startup claimed it would crush cavemen alarm companies, with a DIY disruptive offering.

Now in production, we bought a Scout Alarm system to see just how well it delivered.

The DIY alarm market has been getting a lot of attention, with mega funded Simplisafe making the most noise (see our Simplisafe Test Results).

We tested Scout, looking at the quality of the app, the range of the sensors provided, the system's hardware quality, and alerting capabilities, compared to Simplisafe and conventional intrusion systems.

**** ******* ******* ******* ** ***** ***** ******* ***** *********, **** * *** ********** ********.

*** ** **********, ** ****** ****** ***** ****** ** *** **** *** **** ** *********.

*** *** ***** ****** *** **** ******* * *** ** attention, **** **** ****** ********** ****** *** **** ***** (*** our ********** **** *******).

** ****** *****, ******* ** *** ******* ** *** ***, the ***** ** *** ******* ********, *** ******'* ******** *******, *** alerting ************, ******** ** ********** *** ************ ********* *******.

[***************]

Key ********

*** * *** *******, ***** ******** ****** ****, *** **** offers ********** **** **** ********** *******. *** ******** *******:

*********

  • ***** ***/*********:***** **** **** **** ** *********** *** ****** *****. ** the **** ** **** *** ****** *** ********** ***, ****** control *** ****** ******** *** ********. ** *********** ** **** or ***** ****** *** **** **** ****** *********.
  • ******** ******: * *** **** ** '**** **********' ** ***** ****** is ** **** ****** ****** ** **** ********** **** **** occur. ** *** **** ** *****, ** *** ****** *** email, *** ****, *** **** ************* ******* *** *** **** no ****** ******.
  • ****** *******: *** *** *** ******* *******, ***** **** ** ****** installation *** ********** ** ******* **** *** ********** *** *** nice, ** ** ***** ******** ***** ******* ****** ******** *** a ***********. ******* ***** ** ***** **** *** ********** ***** they **** *********.
  • ********, ***** ******* ***********: **** ******** ******* *** **** ****** *** ** ******** state ******, *** *****-***** ********** *** ***** **** ******* **** updating *** ****.  **** *** *** *** **** **** *****, where ******* ******* ** **** **** * ****** ** *** web ** *** *********, *** ** ******/***** ****** ******** ****** our ****.
  • ****** *****: ****** **** *** ******* **** **** ******* ** **** one ****, ***** ****** ******** **** *** ************ ** ****** grouping ******* *** *** ****** **** **** ** ** ********** basis.
  • ***** *******:***** ******** ***** ****, **** **** **** ****** ** ******** *********** **** ********** *** ******** ********* together.  **** ** ***** ******* ** *** *******, ***** ******* standardize *** ********* ** ***** ******* ******** ***** ** ****** actions.
  • ******* ******:*** ***** *** ******** ********** ******* ****** *** **** ***** and *** *************, *** ** ***** ***** *** ****** ***** still ****.  ** *** ****, *** ******* ****** ***** ** minutes.

*******, *** ********** ****** ****. *****'* ********* *** **** ** a *********** *** ****:

*********

  • ***** ****: *** ***** ***** ************, ***** ** *** **** ******. Despite ******** *** ** *****, *** ***** ** ************* *****.  A ****** ** *****'* ****** ******* **** ** ** ***#* ********* **** ** ***, ** **** *** *** *** ****** ** a *** **** **** ** ***-*** *****.
  • ******** *****: *****'* ***** ******* *** ******** *** *** ****** ******* *******. The ******* ****** **** ***** *** ***** **** ** '***** 100 **** (***)', ******* ** *********** ************ ******** ** ** feet, *** ** *********** ** *** ****** ** ****, **** with ***** *********.
  • ** ***-****** ***:******* ****** ******* ** *** *** ** *** ********* ** being ******* ** **** *** ****. ***** *** ** *** for ****, ***** **** ************ ************** **** *** ******** ** *** ******* **** ****.  *** ****.
  • ***** *******:******* ******** ** *** ****** ** *** ***** ******** **** of *** *******. ***** ****** *** *** ** *****, *** footprint ** ****** *** ***** ******** *** ********* ********. ** detail **** ** *** '******** ********' ******* *****.
  • ** ******: *** **** ****** ***** *********** **** *** ****** ** through ********** *** ** **** ***. ** ***** **** ***** or ** *** **** ***** ******, **** **** ** *** of ******* ***/********* ** ****** *** ******.
  • ***** ************: * ***** ******, *** **** *********** ** *** ****** the ****-***** ****** **** ****** ******* **** ************.  ***** ****** anticipate **** ********** ******** ** ****** ** * ******* *** to ****** ********* *******.

***** *** ************

  • ** ***** ******: ** ****** ** ********* ** ********** ******* *****. ***** the ******* *** ********-******, *** **** *** ****** ****** ** withstand ******** ******** *** ***********/******** ******* ******* *******.  *** *** main "***', ** ******** ** ********* *** ***** *** ****** it ** * ***** ** **** **** ***** *** ******* connects *** ****.  *** ********* ******** ***** ** *****, ** 'non-DIYers' ************* **** ********* ********, ***** ** **** ** **********.
  • ** ******* ***: ******* ***** ** ***** ** ****** ******* ** ******,**** ***** *** *** ******* ** ******** ****, *** *** **************** **** *** **** ************* *****. 

********

****** *********

** *** ***** *****, ** **** *** **** ***/****** ********* available *** *** ****** ** ********** ***:

 

*** *** ********* *** ****** ******** ** ***** ************* *** function ** *****. ****** *** ****, ***** ***** ***** **** should **** **** ******** ***, *** ** ***** ******** ********.

***********, ******* *********** **** *** ****** *** *** ****** ** the *** (*** ***** **** ** *** **** ****), ******** worked *** *********. ***** ******* *** ***** *** ********** **** commercial ******** ***** *******.

*** *** **** *** **** **** *** *** ******** ****.  In *** ******* ********** *****, *** '****** *****' *** ****** is ***** **** ****** ***** **** ********** ****** *** ********* options ** **** ****** ** ****** *** ****** ** ****** actions:

** **** * **** ** ******* ***** ************* *** ***** report *********** ** *** ***** *****:


******** ********

** **** *****, ** ******* *****'* *** *** ****** ******. 


***** *** ******* ************ ** *****, *** **** ** ******* is ***** *** **** *** ** ************* ******** ** *** ***** and *******.

*** *******, *** *** ***** '****** ******' **** ********* ** unevenly ******* **** ***** *** ****, *** ** *** ************** difference ** ***** **** ******* *** **** ** ****. ** best, ************* **** ****** *** ** ***** ********** ********* ******* sensor ***** *** *** ** ********:

************, ***** *** ******** ****** ***** ******* ****, ** **** requires ******** ********* **** *** ***** *** ********* ******** ** users **** ****.

System **********

***** *********, **** ***** ***** ******** *** *** **** ** keypad ******** *** *********** ** **** *****:

** *** ************, *** *** **** **** ** *** ***:

  • ******** ***********: * *********** ******* *** **** ***** **** ** *** ******* ******** range ** ****** *******. ******* *** ***** ** ** **** *** no ******** *** *********, *****'* **** *** ** *** *****, ****** ***** apartment ***** ***** **** * *** ***** ** *******.  
  • ** ******:******* *** ******** ** *** **** ** ** ********* ****** to ***/****** *** ****** ** ****** ***** *****. *******, ***** uses * ***** '**** *****' **** ****** **** ***** ******* 125 *** **** ** ******** ** ******** *** ******. ***** can **** ***/****** *** **** ***** ***** **** *** ***** smartphone ***, *** ** **** ******** ***** ***** ** ***'* have ***** ******, **** ****** ****** ***** * ****** **** into * ****** ** ******* **** ********* *******.

System *******

***** ******* *** * ******* ****** **** ****** **** *** cost ** ***** *****. ******* *** * ******* ****** **** run $*** - $*** ********* ** ***** ****** ** ****** points.

* ****** **** * ***, * **** '**** *****', * motion ***, *** *** '****** *******', *** **** **** ** about $*** **** ** ********** *****.  *******, **** **** ** window * **** ****** ** ******* **** $** - $** each *****, *** **** * ****** **** **** ***** ***** and **** ******* **** ***** *** $*** **** ***** ******.

*** **********, ***** *********** ****** ***** *******:

  • ****: *** **** ****-********** ****** **** **** ** **** ****** and ****** ** **** *****. ***** ******** **** **** ****** "Keeps *** ** *** **** ***** ****'* ***** ** ** home, *** **'* **** ** **** ** **** ******** **********", because ** ***** ******** ****** *** ****** ********.
  • $*.** *****:*** '****** **' **** ***** ** *** ******'* ** ***** for ******** ** ****** ****** *************, ** ** ***** **** goes **** *** ****** ***** *** **** ******.
  • $**.** *****:*** '****** **+' **** **** ** ********* ******* ******* **********, essentially ******* ** **-*** **** ************** ********* ***** *******. ***** $20/month ** **** **** **** ********* ******** ********** ******, ** still ********** ****** $***/ **** ** ********* **** *** * Scout ******.

***** ****** * **% ******** ($***.** ** $***.** ********) ** users ***** ******* ******** ****** ***** ******** *******. 

Deep *************

***** ****** ***** * ****** ******** ***** ** ************* *******.  Unlike ***** *** ******* **** ********** ** ****** **** ** not ******* ******** *****, ***** ****** ******** **** **** *******.

*** *******, ** ***** **** ** ****** ** ***** ******* that **** **** ***** *** *** *******, ** *** ***** floor *** *** *** ******, **** *** ****** ***** *** custom ******** *** ****** ******** ******* **** * ********** ****** trips.

***** *** ********* *** **** ******* **** *** ***** **** opens *** * ********* ******* **** *** **** **** ***** and ** **. 

Wireless ***********

*******, * *********** ******* *** **** ***** **** ** *** limited ******** ***** ** ****** *******. ******* *** ***** ** ** feet *** ** ******** *** *********, *****'* **** *** ** *** *****, single ***** ********* ***** ***** **** * *** ***** ** windows.  

Market **********

*** ***** ******* ** *** * ****** ***** *** ** entry ***** *** ******, ***** ******** ****. *** *******, ***** Scout's ***** ****-*********, **** ****** ****** **** ~$***, **********'* '******* *******' **** ****** ****** ***** ~$***.

***** ********* ***** ************* *** ******* ****** *******, ** *** basic ******** *** ***.  ** ********, ********** ****** * ***** of *******, ********* ********** ********* *** * '***-******' ***.

Our ************** 

** ***** *** ******* *** ** ************* *** ************ *** alarm ******, ***** ***** ** * **** ******.  ****** **** intrusion *******, ********** *** *********, ***** *** ** ********** **** other **** ********** ********* (********** *****, ****, ******** ********, *** Amazon *****).

*** ***** ************ *** ***** **** ***** ********* ****** ** think *****, ** ** ** ******* * ******** ******** ** platforms **** *****.*** *** ********* ***** *******.

*******, *** *** ****** ******* ** ***** ** ***** *******, with ********** ********* ***************** ** ****** ******, *** ***** ******** ****** ********* ****************** ******* ***** *******.

 

Comments (7)

Would this be considered a "pre-configured" system?

Aside from local sensor enrollment and user and zoning, yes.

The user spends no time configuring the panel to communicate with sensors/cloud, and if they want to just throw a four/five sensor system up with minimal tweaking, it will take about 30 minutes.

I use the large door panel (with the RFID reader) as my arm/disarm interface. It is not associated with a door, instead it sits on a wall with the associated contact tight up next to it.

While the door contacts are on the large side, once up after a while you hardly notice them.

The NEST integration is great as it pulls in the Nest protect smoke detectors so you effectively get a full Burg / Fire system that is monitored.

On the down side the cellular backup seems to only show poor connection regardless of where I have placed it in the house.

Thanks for the feedback. Scout is apparently working on an option to change 3G carriers if users have reception issues. I believe they currently use TMobile, but there are rumors (nothing official) they are going to also implement Verizon in the future.

One usability question: have you experienced 'false alarms' due to the PIR sensor tripping on pets? That particular aspect has a lot of users hot, and aside from the lens tape mask solution, no one has a suggested workaround.

Their original PIR was terrible so I have not deployed it and it as you said, does not deal with pets at all. I am waiting for a new version but I really want glass breaks too. Also on their list but down the road.

Why they have to develop their own from scratch instead of modifying an existing device that is proven seems odd.

Thanks for the info on the 3G. That will help.

Now... if you just had the option of using the NEST thermostat face to virtualize the dial on a padlock for a keypad... and incorporate its 150 degree presence sensor into the system for another sensor...

[Update]

Scout has announced an option to upgrade system/sensor firmware to use default Zigbee wireless.

This is a fairly drastic change, because it changes system design. Scout described them in an email blast:

Scout is ready to offer a more standardized approach, which is completely optional: a firmware release that uses Zigbee. In such a scenario, there is no mesh routing.

The Benefits:

  1. Longer battery life: Sensors will not route messages, so they “sleep” until they are triggered, which helps push battery life to 2 years or more.
  2. Integration with Zigbee devices: This gives the hub the ability to integrate with a number of third party devices.
The Tradeoffs:
  1. Range extender needed: Any sensors that are not within 100 ft. of the hub would need a range extender to connect.
  2. No battery backup for extender (yet): If the range extender is not plugged into a power supply with backup battery, that sensor would be offline in the event of a power outage
  3. No going back: Once you switch over to the new approach, we cannot switch the system back to the old firmware.
  4. Repair Sensors: It will be required that you to reinstall each sensor after they are successfully updated (Over-The-Air).

We are going to be working on creating a range extender that does include 24 hours of backup battery to eliminate the downsides of releasing this new firmware. That product will not be available in the immediate future, though. In the interim, there are a number of great range extenders we can recommend on the market already.

Overall, an option to move Scout to a default Zigbee network is an interesting one, given the wide array of sensors and hubs that then could be made to work with Scout. Lighting, thermostats, other contact/motion sensors, and door locks are just a few options of Zigbee products currently available.

Given that Scout's range already tested shorter than advertised (in our test, 30' vs claims of 100') and the core issue of battery life (that we did not evaluate over extended time), this optional unlocked firmware could be a good move for Scout.

Other DIY systems like Simplisafe do not offer similar 'unlocked' firmware options.

No going back: Once you switch over to the new approach, we cannot switch the system back to the old firmware.

Is this a scare tactic or is there some technical reason to not allow firmware downgrades?

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....
ADT Stock Drops After Announcing Loss And Amazon Delay on Mar 12, 2019
ADT's stock price dropped significantly after reporting heavy losses and delays in its Amazon partnership, as seen in the screenshot below: In...
Church Technology Director Security Interview on Mar 07, 2019
With 40+ years of experience in IT from a wide array of verticals, including US and foreign military, and large corporate and industrial settings,...
Verified Response Discontinued in Silicon Valley San Jose on Feb 28, 2019
Almost all security alarms are false. This has driven some municipalities to require verified response before dispatching police. However, now San...
Police Department Surveillance Manager Interview on Feb 28, 2019
Former Memphis PD Surveillance Manager, Lt. Joseph Patty retired months ago, but kept busy during his decades on the force, working to build up...
Salient CompleteView 20/20 VMS Tested on Feb 27, 2019
In IPVM's last test of Salient 3 years ago, we found various problems and deficiencies. Now, Salient says their new CompleteView 20/20 "unified...
Private School IT Manager Surveillance Interview on Feb 22, 2019
This IT manager describes himself as the "oft-maligned IT person" whose "opinions may not always be appreciated by the integrator crowd." But he is...
BluB0x Company Profile on Feb 20, 2019
BluB0x has doubled in revenue every year since its founding in 2013, according to CEO Patrick Barry. We originally reported on them in 2015. At the...
Ubiquiti Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 18, 2019
Ubiquiti has quietly grown into a $1+ billion annual revenue company, with offerings across wireless, wireline network and video surveillance (see...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Hikvision Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 18, 2019
Hikvision favorability results declined significantly in IPVM's 2019 study of 200+ integrators. While in 2017 Hikvision's favorability was...
ONVIF Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 15, 2019
In the past decade, ONVIF has grown from a reaction to the outside Cisco-lead PSIA challenge, to being the de facto video surveillance standard...
Hanwha Aerospace / Techwin Korean Tax Evasion Raid on Mar 15, 2019
A Hanwha group subsidiary was raided as part of a tax evasion probe. While a Korean news media report listed the raided entity as 'Hanwha...
Installation Course - Last Chance on Mar 14, 2019
This is the last chance to register for the March Installation course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....
US Drafting Separate Rule for NDAA Dahua/Hikvision 'Blacklist' on Mar 14, 2019
The most debated provision of the NDAA ban of Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, et al. is the so-called 'blacklist' provision which would ban any company...
OpenALPR Acquired By Mysterious Novume on Mar 13, 2019
Startup OpenALPR has been acquired by Novume, a company virtually unknown in the industry. While there are many LPR providers (see our directory),...
Milestone Machine Learning Camera Auto-Setting Examined on Mar 13, 2019
Milestone wants to improve image quality using Machine Learning to solve the problem of "a camera doesn't know what it is being used for",...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact