Scout: A Low-Cost DIY Smart Home Security Solution

Jan 26, 2015 home automation, home security, motion sensors, 0 Comments
DIY-Smart-Home


Have you been looking for an easy, low cost, DIY smart home security solution? Scout may just be the answer!

The idea of having a home security system appeals to many home and apartment dwellers, but factors such as cost, level of installation difficulty and the inability to customize options hold a lot of us back. Scout now offers budget friendly and versatile smart home security options that are easy to install and use.

How the Scout System Works

You have three choices of finish – white, black and wood, for the hub and other devices – so that you can match the units with most decors. Once you have settled on a color scheme you will need to purchase the hub. The hub is just $129, is Zigbee compatible, and plugs directly into your router for 24/7 connectivity. The hub sends notifications to your email, smartphone and computer whenever a sensor or other device is activated, as well as sounds it’s physical internal alarm to alert you to the possible presence of an intruder in your home.

After you purchase the Scout hub, every additional device and service that you select is completely optional and available a la carte so that you can create a security system as large or small as you wish. Each component of the system can be placed on a surface such as a shelf or table or easily installs with double sided tape so you don’t have to worry about drilling holes or scheduling an appointment with an installer. In fact, most folks can install their entire system themselves in just a few minutes.

Except for the hub, all additional Scout devices are battery powered, so the entire system can be backed up during a power outage. Live monitoring is available for $19.99 a month and includes cellular backup. The live monitoring service can ensure that the authorities are notified in the event of an emergency when you are away. 3G Cellular backup is also offered as a stand along service for just $9.99 a month so that your home remains protected even in the event of a power outage.

Live monitoring and cellular backup may also be connected or disconnected at any time, so there aren’t any contract or early cancellation fees to worry about.

Once installed, the entire system can be controlled from your iOS compatible smartphone or the website dashboard.

Optional Scout Devices

Scout Door Panels are just $69 each, and are RFID compatible. They come with an RFID sticker and two RFID keytags so that you can arm or disarm your door without having to carry your smartphone around all the time. This makes it easy to step outside your home for a quick job down the street or a trip next door to your neighbor’s house. This setup also makes it easy to give a trusted friend or relative access to your home.

Scout Access Sensors are just $29 each and will work on any surface that has a locking mechanism, such as a cabinet, window or drawer. Unlike the door panels, they are not RFID compatible but will alert you anytime a door or window is opened more than 1 inch.

Scout Motion Sensors are $49 each. They work in both bright and dimly lit rooms, and detect motion in a 90 degree angle and up to 25 feet away. This is especially helpful to detect prowlers that might break in to your home during the middle of the night or while you are away.

The Scout HD Camera is $169 and can stream continuous audio and live views or backed up cloud data of your home to your smartphone. The camera also works in low light levels and has a two way microphone so that you can communicate with someone in the home while you are away.

Drawbacks to the Scout DIY Smart Home Security System

Currently, Scout’s system is not compatible with Android smartphones, although an Android compatible app is rumored to be in development.

Scout is also not Z-Wave compatible, which may limit some of the devices with which it can communicate.

You must connect devices to the hub one at a time. If not, you may need to remove a panel from a device to remove and reinstall it’s battery so that it can be added to the system.

If you have a large number or rooms or access points, the system can start to become pricey compared to other options.

Despite these few drawbacks, the ease of installation and use make Scout a low cost and versatile DIY smart home option.

Of course, there are other home security options on the market. If you need more information, why not check out some of our other helpful articles on home security, or learn more about bundled deals in your area where smart home monitoring may be an option?


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Lyn Brooks

Lyn Brooks is a diverse freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the electronics industry. Her articles have appeared in Digital Landing, Stack Media, and various Yahoo! channels. The current focus of her writing is in the areas of tech, personal finance and travel. Brooks is also working on a series of novels in the science fiction genre with an expected publication date in 2014.

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