Nest Secure Review

Google-owned Nest is a go-to choice for smart home security and automation

Editor's Rating

  • Simple to install and easy to use
  • Google Home automation features
  • A range of no-contract plans
Last Updated on Jan 13, 2020

Nest’s first claim to fame was its smart thermostat, which helped many homeowners start exploring the possibilities of home automation. Since this early success, Nest has expanded into other products, including smart home security systems.

Equipment & Tech

Nest Guard

The Nest Guard is the hub of your home security system and acts as an alarm, keypad and motion sensor that has Google Assistant technology built-in. This allows you to have voice control over the system without relying on a third-party device to add that functionality.

Nest Detect

This combination motion detector and contact sensor works on doors, windows and throughout rooms. Since it has this dual functionality, you get motion sensor protection at every entry point. The device sends notifications if a door or window opens and closes, or if something moves within its detection radius. It has a pathlight feature which acts as a nightlight, and a dog pass to stop smaller animals from activating motion detection. The range for this sensor is 15 feet.

Nest Tag

This device fits on your keychain and easily allows people to “tag” into the security system without worrying about entering a passcode. You can configure it to only work during certain hours of the day, or it can always be eligible to disarm the system. If someone loses a Nest Tag, you can remotely disable it through the Nest App.

Nest Detect looks out for your family, whether you’re home or away. When your kids run out the door to the backyard, you’ll hear an open tone. When you need to leave early, and the house is armed, Quiet Open keeps the alarm silent while you open the door. Pathlight helps you find your way in the dark. And Dog Pass keeps your small pooch from setting off the alarm.

Nest Cam

You have several camera options for indoor and outdoor environments. You can check in on the live stream or record clips in 1080P quality. All the Nest Cams are wired, so you don’t have to worry about changing batteries or having the power run out during critical moments. A three-hour snapshot history allows you to review notable events quickly. You can create video clips of crimes in progress and give them to the police to help with catching the criminals.

Battery back-up keeps you protected if the power fails. Some notable features with these cameras include being able to tell the difference between a person and a thing, zooming in and tracking the activities, using a 4K sensor to get a clear view, offering HDR for better colors and contrast, two-way audio, and identifying familiar faces.

Nest Connect

This device extends the range of your home security system so you can keep Nest Detect sensors connected to the Nest Secure base station.

Other Nest Devices

Nest offers several other devices that will work seamlessly with your home security system, such as smart thermostats, video doorbells, door locks, and smoke+CO alarms. You get an extensive home automation setup along with better visibility when motion is detected, or an entryway opens.

Monitoring & Features

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is built right into your Nest alarm system so you can use it right away. In addition to the voice control that it offers, you can also use it to set up task lists, look up information for you online, and other helpful resources.

Nest App

You get a comprehensive app that is designed to make controlling your home security and home automation system easy. You can arm and disarm via the app, manage the configuration of sensors and other devices, check the live streams if you have videos, use two-way audio to listen in and talk through your equipment, and create clips to share.

Extended Alarm Delay

If you get stressed out at the thought of coming in the house and immediately needing to rush to the keypad to disarm your system, you can create a delay that gives you up to five minutes to disarm your system. You can also reduce the delay for entryways that rarely get opened, such as a basement door.

Create an Access Schedule

Your Nest Tags can run on a strict schedule so occasional visitors, such as a dog walker, can’t use it to get into your house at other times. You also receive notifications when someone uses their Tag to access the property.

Pet-Friendly Security System

The motion detectors will not send alerts for a pet so you won’t have to worry about a lot of false alarms.

Optional Cellular Backup

If you’re worried about your Internet going out, you can pay for an upgrade to a cellular backup service that can cover those outages.

24/7 Professional Monitoring Available

You can use the Nest security system as a stand-alone, self-monitored system. However, you also have the choice of receiving professional monitoring. Nest has partnered with Brinks Home Security to offer this so you can get help quickly in an emergency. You don’t have to worry about watching your Nest system like a hawk to pick up an intruder, or even be anywhere near your house. They make sure that you can have the peace of mind you deserve.

Brinks Home Security is based in the US and has extensive training and certifications in the industry. They can verify an alarm to help out the police and choose the right type of emergency responder to deal with a situation. You get contacted within seconds of an alert or alarm. If you’re unavailable, you can set up a contact list that they will reach out to first before moving forward. If all else fails, they use their expert judgment to choose the best path forward.

Smash Protection

The Nest products are tamper-proofed so that an alert goes out even if someone tries to tamper with the sensors or base station.

Installation & Usability

Nest makes all of its products relatively straightforward to install, and in most cases, you just need to put them in place and plug them in. If you branch out into the video doorbell or thermostat, you have a slightly more challenging installation. If you run into problems, they can connect you to professional installers.

Customer Support

Nest supplies comprehensive customer support resources, whether you want to fix it yourself or reach out to someone for help. You can quickly check on the service status of Nest, look up information on individual products and even get peer to peer support via the Nest community forums. You can reach out via the phone, through chat, or even via Twitter.

Cost & Pricing

You pay for Nest products completely upfront, and the company offers 0% APR financing via Affirm if you’re spending more than $99. The price range for the security system and accessories fall into the mid-range, although you have a lot of flexibility to adjust the system so you can keep it within your target budget range.

If you choose Affirm financing, you can pay over 24 months.

Nest home security products are functional on their own and don’t need an ongoing subscription to use them. However, you do have several options if you prefer a premium experience.

Nest Aware

If you add home security cameras or a video doorbell to your system, then you can use Nest Aware to have continual recording that’s stored in the cloud, intelligent detection and alerts, the ability to clip videos and create time lapses, and custom activity zones. This service is based on the length of history that you want to store: for recordings from the last 5 days, it’s $5 per month, for 10 days, it’s $10 per month, and for 30 days, it’s $30. You can also pay annually to get two months free. You pay for this package on a per-camera basis, but you receive a 50% off subscription discount after the first camera.

Cellular Backup

If your Wi-Fi network tends to go down at the worst times, you can pay $5 per month to have a cellular backup in place.

Brinks Home Security Monitoring

You can opt for month-to-month plans or choose a longer contract. Cellular backup is included in the price of the subscription so you won’t have to pay separately. It’s a 30-day risk-free trial, so you get plenty of time to decide whether you like it. If you sign up for a three-year agreement, you pay $19 per month. If you want to go month-to-month, it’s $29.

Our Conclusion

Nest might be known for its smart thermostats, but they do so much more. Their security system is a solid entry in the home security market, and you end up with a lot of flexibility for protecting your house inside and out. The partnership with Brinks Home Security for professional monitoring is an excellent move on their part as well. While the upfront costs may be a bit intimidating, it’s an excellent choice for homeowners and renters with a budget for mid-range products or a willingness to finance via Affirm.