Nest Secure Home Security System Review - 2020
Nest Secure doesn’t disappoint with its sleek looks and unique features. It’s expensive, priced at $499 for a minimal – yet robust – security system apt for a small house with two entries. If your home is larger, extra Nest Detect sensors and Nest Cam will quickly bloat your bill. So it doesn’t appeal to everyone, but if you already run a Nest ecosystem in your house, Nest Secure seems like a logical expansion.
Nest Secure looks posh and offers some unique features, but it’s only attractive if you’ve already invested in a Nest ecosystem. Long delivery times for Nest Secure security notifications undermine the value of the system’s advanced features.
- Beautiful design
- Unique features
- Cellular and battery backup
- DIY or professional installation
- Easy-to-use Nest app
- Multiple entry options
- Self-monitoring and professional monitoring with Moni
- High upfront cost
- Nest Aware is confusing
- Unacceptably slow alerts for self-monitoring with the Nest app
- Condescending customer service
Nest Secure offers a limited 2-year warranty on all of its components. It designs and manufactures its equipment, so you can count on top-tier quality.
Nest Secure equipment relies on WiFi connectivity. You can get an additional backup solution via Nest’s partnership with T-Mobile to have a backup cellular connection for your security system at an additional monthly cost.
The Nest Secure starter kit comes with one Nest Guard (keypad/main hub), two Nest Detect door/window/motion sensors, two Nest Tags, and mounting brackets.
Nest Guard is the brain of your security system. It’s stylish and versatile, allowing four ways to arm and disarm your system:
- Enter your 4-8-digit code into the keypad
- Use your Nest mobile app
- Ask your Google Assistant to do it for you
- Tap your Nest Tag on top of the keypad
Nest Tag is a wonderful little RFID keychain that lets you arm and disarm your system without punching out your passcode on the keypad or reaching out for your phone. The Starter Kit includes only two Nest Tags, but you can add more if you have a big family, or would like to give temporary access to dog walkers and babysitters without providing them with the passcode to your system.
No Rush arm/disarm allows you to set the time during which the system won’t beep after you’ve armed it – a voice assistant will tell you how much time you have left.
Nest Guard comes with an embedded motion detector that can sense motion at a distance up to 10 feet. It has a 90-degree horizontal field of view. It has a reduced sensitivity mode, but it’s not what you would call pet-friendly since Nest requires that it should be no more than one dog under 40 pounds. Not love for cats and large dogs then.
You can also set Nest Guard’s motion detector to send you a notification if it senses prolonged inactivity while the alarm system is not armed (in case you leave and forget to arm it).
Nest Detect door and window sensors have embedded motion detectors and lighting capability:
- Quiet Open lets you deactivate a single sensor by pressing a button on its bottom – helpful if you need to let the pet out without deactivating the entire system.
- Pathlight is a motion sensor-triggered light that enables in low-light environments. In human speak, it lights up when you walk to the bathroom (or kitchen) in the middle of the night without blasting you blind with full light. Nest uses LEDs, so the batteries don’t wear out quickly.
Nest Detect sensors can also sense open/close and beep. This could be helpful if you want to know when your kids run out the back door.
You can also buy indoor and outdoor Nest Cams with a Nest Aware subscription to record video clips when motion is detected and be able to send them directly to your local police department.
Nest Secure alarm system starter pack is priced at $499, and includes one Nest Guard, two Nest Detects, and two Nest Tags.
You can expand that with a Nest Cam $99-199 (depends on available promotions) and additional Nest Detect sensors at $59 each.
A $10/mo cellular backup via T-Mobile integration enables mobile notifications if your WiFi goes down or your Nest Secure loses power. It also works well with Nest Aware, which is an optional subscription to the cloud storage for your Nest Cam video recordings.
Nest Secure is ideal for self-monitoring aficionados. For 24/7 professional monitoring, Nest partnered with Moni, offering cellular backup, a free month of monitoring, a $200 discount on Nest Secure, and two subscriptions:
- Month-to-month for $29/mo
- Three-year agreement for $19/mo
Since Nest Secure is a self-monitored system with straightforward DIY installation, you are unlikely to need any help. But if you do, Nest offers a 24/7 live chat support.
Unfortunately, BBB features predominantly negative reviews for Nest that revolve around condescending support and warranty. It appears if one of your Nest units is defective, the company replaces it but does not provide any warranty for the replaced unit.
Nest Secure is easy to install – the Nest app walks you through the process step by step. Each unit comes with peel-and-stick strips and a QR code. When you scan it, the unit connects to your Nest Guard.
If you need help, you can order professional installation via Nest Pro, which locates Nest-certified technicians in your area.
Things to Consider
- Alerts from Nest Secure are delivered to your Nest app and can take up to an hour. Chances are your good neighbors will call you sooner because the alarm is loud.
- If one of your units is defective, Nest replaces it but doesn’t offer the warranty on the replaced unit.
- Nest is owned by Google. Think twice whether you want a security system that potentially records data about when you’re home or away, or whether you have pets, and sends it to Google to be used for advertising purposes.
Nest Aware for Nest Cam has a somewhat convoluted setup if you need to relocate your Nest Cam. It appears you need to remove the previous location and only then add a new one. But when you remove a location, it triggers an odd cancellation of your Nest Aware subscription. The Nest support seems to lack information on how the whole process works when you need to relocate your Nest Cam with Nest Aware. So it might be a good idea to request tech help before relocating to ensure you don’t lose your Nest Aware subscription.