Nest Security System Review
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Nest Secure Security System Review

Nest Secure is Google’s Nest version of the smart security system. With Nest, users have a lot to choose from, whether it’s self monitoring vs. 24/7 professional monitoring or their vast array of cameras and other IoT products. This Nest Secure review covers the possible components, our installation process, the monitoring options, customer support, and the Nest app, along with some other company information. 

  • Users can either monitor their systems themselves or get 2/47 professional monitoring from Brinks Home Security. 
  • In terms of video, audio, artificial intelligence and night vision, Nest has some of the best security cameras on the market. 
  • The system works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Chromecast and Philips Hue lightbulbs.
Get Best Offer
Nest Secure
Nest Secure
Nest Secure
  • Price: $399 
  • Best Feature: Minimalism 
  • Great For: Renters 

Overview

When it comes to home security, Nest Secure is one of the best options in terms of quality. It’s beautiful and sleek system can be as minimalist or as expansive as the user prefers, and it’s all easy to control remotely in the Nest app. However, Nest Secure may work for some people better than others. 

<We Recommend For>
  • Someone that wants either self-monitoring or 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Anyone that wants easy and quick DIY installation
  • A person that wants the highest-quality products available
<We Don't Recommend For>
  • Someone on a budget
  • Anyone that wants local storage for cameras
  • A user that wants excellent customer support

Video Review 

Our full video review of Nest Secure goes over the system components, installation process, monitoring options, customer support and app. Subscribe to our channel for more great content on Youtube. 

System Components

We purchased the Nest Secure security system, which includes a Nest Guard, two Nest Detect Sensors, and two Nest Tags. We also have the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, which we’ll be including in this review, along with some other IoT offerings from Nest. 

Nest Secure System
Nest Secure System

Nest Guard 

The Nest Guard is a base station, keypad, and motion sensor rolled into one. It’s where users can arm and disarm their security systems using a passcode. Another way is to tap the Nest Tags, or key fobs, over the Guard, which is super convenient. The Nest Guard connects all of the other Nest components, helping them to communicate to the user via the Nest app. 

Nest Guard Lit Up
Nest Guard Lit Up

Nest Detect

The Nest Detect sensors would be called door/ window sensors, contact sensors or entry sensors with a more traditional security system, but they serve the same purpose: to alert the user when doors or windows have been opened or closed. 

Nest Detect Sensors on Door
Nest Detect Sensors on Door

One cool thing about the Nest Detect sensors is how much we were able to customize them, having certain ones armed and disarmed simultaneously and having some make sound notifications and some not. At night, the sensors even turn into Pathlights, which was really helpful to increase visibility. Plus, pet-owners will love that the sensors are pet-sensitive, so they won’t go off if your pet passes, preventing false or unnecessary notifications. 

Nest Detect Sensors Pathlight
Nest Detect Sensors Pathlight

Nest Tag 

Finally, the Nest Tag is a key fob that can be used to arm or disarm the security system by being tapped on the Nest Guard. Users can give multiple Nest Tags out to people and set them on schedules so that they only work during specific time periods, which can be really useful for a babysitter or dog walker. But if someone happen to lose the Tag, it’s possible to disable it in the Nest app pretty easily. 

Nest Tag
Nest Tag

Cameras

Nest has four security cameras to choose from: 

Nest Cam IQ Indoor
Nest Cam IQ Indoor

Their latest indoor camera is the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, which of course, we had to put through Security Baron’s Necessary Features Test. Here’s how it fared:

  • Video: The Nest Cam IQ Indoor has clear video quality in the form of 1080p HD, plus the ability to zoom in 12 times for those hard-to-see details. It also has a wide, 130 degree field of view, satisfying our requirements for video. 
Nest Cam IQ Indoor Video Display
Nest Cam IQ Indoor Video Display
  • Audio: The camera also has two-way audio which lets users speak to whoever the camera’s on through the Nest app. In contrast to the Nest Cam Indoor, the IQ’s speakers are seven times more powerful. 
  • Night Vision: The Nest Cam IQ Indoor has fantastic infrared night vision from 16 LED sensors, a high number compared to competitors. 
Nest Cam IQ Indoor Night Vision
Nest Cam IQ Indoor Night Vision
  • Storage: Although the Nest Cam IQ Indoor lacks local storage, users will get three hours of cloud storage for free. Beyond that, they can buy 30 days of cloud storage for $6 a month or $60 a year, or 60 days of cloud storage for $12 a month or $120 a year. We are glad to see that Nest has lowered its storage prices significantly, as they used to be a major drawback. 
  • Smart Platform Integrations: Like the rest of Nest’s products, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor works with Google Assistant, Alexa and Philips Hue lightbulbs. 
  • Artificial Intelligence: Person detection is included with the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, meaning that users will only be alerted if the camera detects a person as opposed to a car, pet or other moving object. With Nest Aware, users will also get “familiar face alerts”, meaning that the camera can, over time, learn the faces of specific people for even more specific notifications. Other alerts include dog barking alerts and person speaking alerts. 

Learn about other top cameras in our review of the best security cameras of 2020

Nest Hello 

The Nest Hello is Nest’s video doorbell, which has a lot in common with the Nest Cam IQ Indoor. Both have person detection, infrared night vision, two-way audio, integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as the same storage options.

Nest Hello
Nest Hello

However, Nest Hello has superior video quality with 1600 HD, going above and beyond the industry standard of 1080p HD. It also has a wider field of view, 160 degrees, and can zoom in eight times. Wired into an existing doorbell and chime setup, Nest Hello allows users to greet and speak to their visitors remotely, increasing home security and convenience. To learn more, read our full review of Nest Hello. Or, see what else is out there with 2020’s best video doorbells

Nest Yale Lock

We used the Nest Yale lock with our Nest Secure system. Smart locks can be controlled remotely, and users can create passcodes for specific time periods to let people in when no one is home in a secure manner. With a touchpad, users can either enter through the passcode, or through a voice commands using Google Assistant.

Nest Yale Lock
Nest Yale Lock

However, when it comes to price, the Nest Yale lock is a bit much as $249, so it’s definitely not the best choice for users on a budget. For more information, read our review of the Nest Yale Lock or explore other options with our best smart locks review

Aside from smart home security products, Nest also makes some environmental monitors that will increase the safety of homes. 

Nest Protect

Nest Protect is a smoke and CO monitor that’s incredibly impressive in terms of its sensing capabilities. Not only can it detect smoke and CO, but also temperature and humidity, so it covers both slow and fast burning fires, the latter of which are more common for homes.

Nest Protect
Nest Protect

The sensor tests itself over 400 times a day to make sure it’s working properly, which is very reassuring, plus, it works with a ton of connected devices from LIFX, Philips Hue, SkyBell, Logitech Harmony, Wink, Nexia, abode, IFTTT, and more. Read our Nest Protect review to learn more, or check out our list of the best smoke and CO monitors of 2020.  

Smart Thermostats 

Finally, Nest offers two smart thermostats which could save you an average of 10%-12% on heating and up to 15% on cooling, according to an independent study: 

The Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat E are pretty similar. Aside from requiring low-voltage 24V systems, these thermostats can sense proximity, occupancy, humidity and ambient light. That means that they’ll adjust based on who’s home and whether or not they’re sleeping as well as dim based on the natural amount of light in the room.

Scheduling the Nest Learning Thermostat
Scheduling the Nest Learning Thermostat

Users can also set the thermostats to schedules, although both can learn their schedules after only a few days. They can also enable geofencing, connecting the thermostats to their phone’s GPS so that they adjust accordingly. 

The Nest thermostats work with even more connected devices in addition to the voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant: LIFX, Fitbit, MyQ, Lutron, EVE for Subaru, Wemo, Jenn-Air, Logitech, Haiku and more. Read our review of the best smart thermostats to see some more options, or compare the two options from Nest in our review of Nest Thermostat E vs. Nest Learning Thermostat

How It Performs 

Now that we’ve gone over the components to the Nest Secure system, let’s talk about how well it worked when our experts tested it out. 

How Well It Worked

Once it’s set up, Nest worked like a charm, with an app that’s easy to navigate. It was easy to add more components to the system, and considering we have nearly everything Nest offers, this came in handy. We really appreciated the multi-functional nature of many of their products, particularly the Nest Guard and Nest Tags. More functionality meant less devices to setup, which is always a good thing in our book. 

Arming the Nest Guard with the Nest Tag
Arming the Nest Guard with the Nest Tag

Durability

We found the Nest products to be very durable and well-made, not sacrificing durability in their quest for minimalism. 

Smart Platform Integrations 

Nest works with the voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant, but specific products work with different third-party connected devices like LIFX, Philips Hue and Kasa. However, in this section, we’ll focus on how users can command their Nest devices using their voices alone through Alexa and Google Assistant. 

Alexa

The Alexa skill is called Google Nest. It lets users control their thermostats, cameras, and video doorbells. Users will be able to view Nest footage on their Echo devices as well as Fire TV and Fire Tablets. Here are some sample commands: 

  • Alexa, set the living room to 70 degrees. 
  • Alexa, show the living room camera. 
  • Alexa, hide the bedroom camera. 

Unfortunately, users can only tell Alexa to show or hide their streamed footage on Echo or Fire devices like the Echo Show, but they can’t have Alexa arm or disarm their cameras. It also doesn’t work with every Nest device, making this integration pretty limited. 

Google Assistant 

As Google owns Nest (rebranded as Google Nest), the devices work much better with Google Assistant. Users will be able to control their Nest thermostats, cameras, and security system with their voices using the following commands: 

  • Hey Google, set my thermostat to Heat mode 
  • Hey Google, cast my living room camera to the bedroom 
  • OK Google, set Nest Secure to Away and Guarding. 

Users will be able to cast their Nest camera footage to all Google Nest smart displays including the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. Note that users won’t be able to disarm their systems using voice commands, a necessary security feature. 

How to Set Up Instructions

Since Nest has DIY installation, users will install their Nest Secure systems themselves using directions from the Nest website. Here are the first few steps: 

  • Plug in the Nest Guard and download the Nest app, which will walk you through everything step-by-step. 
  • Then, use the app to set up the Nest Tags and assign them to household members. 
  • Set up the Nest Detect sensors through the app and put them on doors and windows, but make sure to do the app setup before installing them. 

Subscription Plans

Nest offers two optional subscriptions: Nest Aware and professional monitoring through Brinks Home Security. Like we said, Nest Aware refers mostly to advanced AI features and cloud storage, so this section will focus on the monitoring and cellular backup options. 

Nest Storage Options
Nest Storage Options

For users that want to avoid monthly fees, they’ll be able to monitor their Nest systems themselves through the Nest app. However, for those that want 24/7 professional monitoring, it’s available through Brinks Home Security. Professional monitoring means that, in addition to receiving alerts through the Nest app, a team of people will be alerted if any alarms go off. From there, they can verify the emergency before contacting the police, the local hospital or the fire department; whatever service the emergency requires. We recommend getting professional monitoring with any system. 

Price and Contracts 

With Nest, professional monitoring is $19 a month if you sign up for three years and $29 a month if you sign up on a monthly basis. Monitoring comes with cellular backup, which will keep the Nest system on in the event of a power outage. Otherwise, it won’t work without power and Wi-Fi. 

Moving Fee 

Since Nest installation is DIY, there’s no fee to pack up and move a security system, reinstalling it in the new home. 

Customer Support

For help with Nest products, users can check out their online support articles or contact a customer support representative via live chat, phone, Facebook Messenger or Twitter. 

Support on Nest Website
Support on Nest Website Screenshot.

Phone Number

To reach Nest’s support phone number, call 1-855-469-6378

Email 

Nest doesn’t have an email option, unfortunately. However, you can write to them online through Twitter or Facebook Messenger. 

Online Help Center 

Nest has a really comprehensive online help center consisting of articles on specific products, FAQs, and a community forum where their specialists can respond directly to users. We found the majority of our answers in this online help center, not necessitating much other contact. 

Live Chat 

Nest also offers live chat, which provides quick and straightforward answers. 

Our Experience Contacting Support 

Since we got most of our answers online, we only had to call Nest one time, and it wasn’t a great experience. The person we spoke to really didn’t know much about Nest and was clearly looking up all his answers on the website we were already looking at, which wasn’t super helpful. Overall, we’d recommend trying to use the online help center before calling Nest directly. 

Unfortunately, Nest Secure isn’t on Amazon and all of the Google reviews are about their campus itself, so we couldn’t find out much more about what other customers thought of their support. 

The Nest App 

All Nest users will setup, monitor and control their Nest devices from the Nest app. Let’s take a closer look. 

Nest Secure History on the Nest App
Nest Secure History on the Nest App

Features

Using the Nest app, users will be able to arm and disarm their security systems, view cloud storage, receive notifications, send email notifications to guest, livestream footage, speak through two-way audio, and control connected devices, among other capabilities. 

Google Play Store Rating

Currently, the Nest app has a 4.2 rating on the Google Play store, with the majority of the reviews at a perfect five stars. 

Apple Store Rating 

Nest has greatly improved its iOS app. Now, it’s at a 4.7 rating, up from under three stars. We are glad to see that Nest has improved its iOS app, and we must agree that it’s super easy to use. 

Comparisons

Now, let’s compare Nest to three top security systems, SimpliSafe, Ring Alarm and ADT. 

Nest Secure vs. SimpliSafe

One of the biggest differences between Nest and SimpliSafe is the capabilities under self-monitoring. With SimpliSafe, users must pay $24.99 a month to control their system remotely and receive notifications under the Interactive Plan, while free Nest users get the same capabilities. Of course, the Interactive Plan also includes 24/7 professional monitoring, cellular backup and 30 days of cloud storage, which would cost either $25 or $35 a month with Nest, as they sell storage and monitoring separately, so the cost ends up being about the same for users that sign a three-year contract.

However, all SimpliSafe contracts are monthly, so we’d recommend Nest for users that want to self-monitor or sign a long-term contract, but SimpliSafe for those that want monthly professional monitoring. To learn more, read our full review of SimpliSafe

Nest Secure vs. Ring Alarm 

When it comes to pricing, Ring Alarm is among the cheapest around, with 24/7 professional monitoring and backup plus 60 days of cloud storage available for only $10 a month or $100 a year. This would cost either $31 a month or $41 a month with Nest, three or four times as much. Plus, Ring’s contracts are all monthly while Nest’s less expensive option would require signing a three-year contract. 

Nest vs. Ring Monitoring and Storage Options
Nest vs. Ring Monitoring and Storage Options

However, Nest has more types of products and more technology advanced products, especially when it comes to their cameras and video doorbells. While their equipment is also more expensive, it comes with better video and AI, as Ring cameras don’t have person detection. We’d recommend Ring for users on a budget but Nest for those that want the highest quality smart home devices on the market. Read more in our full comparison of Nest Secure vs. Ring Alarm, or read our comprehensive review of the Ring vs Nest smart home ecosystems. 

Nest Secure vs. ADT 

Nest Secure and ADT are at opposite ends of the security spectrum. While ADT requires that all of its users sign binding, three-year contracts for professional monitoring and cellular backup, Nest offers self-monitoring and monthly contracts. Nest also has lower prices, with a maximum of $29 a month for monitoring compared to up to $60 with ADT. And while ADT requires users to pay a fee for professional installation, Nest allows users to set their systems up for free, offering more expansive and advanced equipment. Check out our full review of ADT to learn more. 

Company Information

Here’s some general information about Google Nest and its policies. 

Company History

Google Nest, originally called Nest Labs, was founded in 2010 by former Apple engineers and introduced its first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat, in 2011. Two years later, they unveiled the Nest Protect and then, in 2014, they acquired the company Dropcam, introducing the original Nest Cam the next year. 2014 was also the year that Google bought Nest Labs for $3.2 billion, although it functioned independently until 2018. It was then that Google merged Nest into its home-devices unit, then renaming it Google Nest in 2019. 

Where to Purchase 

Purchase Nest products on either the Nest website or at Best Buy. There are also some products available on Amazon, but the selection is very limited limited. 

Contact

Contact Nest via phone at 1-855-469-6378, via live chat on their website or through one of the below social media platforms. 

Social Media 

Reach out to Nest on social media using the following links: 

Warranty Info 

Net offers a one year warranty for the Nest Thermostat E and Nest Temperature Sensor and a two year warranty on all other products. 

Return Policy 

Nest products can be returned. However, the customer has to contact Nest support within the first 30 days after purchase and explain why they want to return the product, including where and when they purchased it.

Then, they’ll get an RMA, or Return Materials Authorization, that has to be included with the return shipment. However, this only applies to products purchased directly on the Nest website, so other return policies might apply on third party websites like Amazon or Best Buy. Once the user gets the RMA, they have 14 days to return the product. They will refund the price as well as the delivery cost within 30 days of the day they receive it. 

Recap

We definitely recommend Nest Secure as a security system. We really enjoyed the minimalist, multi-functional system, and the fact that they offer flexible monitoring and affordable DIY is such icing on the cake. However, for users on a budget, Nest might not be the best option. To learn about some other great security systems, read our review of the best home security systems of 2020

FAQs

Does Nest Secure have a monthly fee?

Nest Secure has an optional monthly fee if you want more cloud storage, professional monitoring, cellular backup, or advanced artificial features.

Is Nest Secure worth it?

Nest Secure is worth it for those that are willing to spend a little more on excellent home security. We really enjoyed the minimalist, multi-functional system, and the fact that they offer flexible monitoring and affordable DIY is such icing on the cake. However, for users on a budget, Nest might not be the best option.

Does Nest Secure call the police?

If you pay for professional monitoring, Nest Secure’s monitoring team can call the police for you in the event of an emergency.

What comes with Nest Secure?

Nest Secure includes a Nest Guard, two Nest Detect Sensors, and two Nest Tags.

Can Nest be hacked?

Like any other WiFi-connected security system or any online system of any kind, Nest can be hacked, which is why users should update their passwords frequently and enable two-factor authentication on devices with the Nest app.

Is Nest better than ADT?

Nest is better than ADT in terms. They have a self-monitoring option, which ADT lacks, plus, they offer monthly contracting, while ADT requires that users enter a binding, three-year contract. Nest also has more technologically advanced components to its system, particularly the cameras.