Nest Secure System Review

Nest made its name with its smart thermostat that revolutionized the way people heat and cool their homes. The company has since expanded to offer an array of smart products that give you ultimate control over monitoring your home with your smartphone.

The home security offering from Nest — Nest Secure — is an innovative alarm system that puts the power of home security solidly into your hands. Nest Secure includes an alarm system, door-and-window sensors and a key fob to arm and disarm your system. Everything can be monitored and controlled from your phone, but you also have the option to pay for professional monitoring. And, you can add other Nest products — including smoke alarms, CO2 alarms, and doorbell cameras — to get even more safety features for a complete home security package. It does lack some features of more basic alarm systems unless you buy complementary nest products.

Nest Secure

Nerd Rating: 3.5 / 5

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Nest Secure is stylish, easy-to-install and ideal for those living the connected lifestyle, but it’s expensive, and professional monitoring isn’t available for all services.

Here’s how we graded Nest Secure:

  • Hardware: 5 out of 5. Nest products are beautiful, simple to install, and connect seamlessly.
  • Customer service: 4 out of 5. There’s detailed online support pages, the information is easy to navigate, and Nest makes it easy to find a pro for installation if you need extra help.
  • Pricing: 2 out of 5. The basic alarm system is costly; WiFi backup and professional monitoring come at an additional cost; add-on products add hundreds to your bill; and you need to make a 3-year commitment to get discounts on professional monitoring services.
  • The Mobile App: 2.5 out of 5. Nest’s Android app gets 3.7 stars from users but the iOS app gets just 2.3 stars. The app can be complicated to navigate.
  • Smart Home Capabilities: 5 out of 5. Nest shines in its connectivity with a complete array of different Nest products designed to give you control over temperature, CO2 and smoke detection and home monitoring.

Nest Secure Fees & Features

Nest Secure Alarm
Monthly PriceNo monthly fee unless you want optional cellular backup ($5 monthly fee) or professional monitoring $29/monthly fee or $19/month with a 3-year agreement.
Installation Fee$0
InstallationDIY installation or you can hire a professional installer using Nest Pro Finder. Fees vary.
Mobile AccessYes; Nest app
Smoke and CO MonitoringNo; but Nest Protect offers CO and smoke monitoring. There is no third party monitoring with Nest Protect
Medical PendantNo
Video MonitoringOptional Nest Cams
Motion SensorsYes
Door/Window SensorsYes
Doorbell cameraOptional Nest Aware
Smart Home IntegrationYes
24/7 MonitoringOptional for additional monthly fee
Contract LengthNo contract required; discount available for professional monitoring with three year contract
Warranty2 year limited warranty for alarm
Yard SignsAvailable for a $19 fee
iTunes app rating2.3 Stars
Google Play app rating3.7 Stars

Nerd Pros

Customization

You can purchase the basic alarm package including the Nest guard alarm hub, two key fobs and two sensors; add optional doorbell cameras; and add other Nest products including a smart CO2 and smoke detector as well as indoor and outdoor security cameras.

Easy Install

The systems work on WiFi, with optional cellular backup sold in Nest stores for just a $5 monthly fee. You can install it yourself with easy-to-understand guides or can find a professional to help you through the process.

Design & Features

Nest products are known for being sleek, attractive, and practical. You can arm and disarm your system using Nest tags, can customize the time you have to leave your home and arm the alarm, and can take advantage of innovative features such as Pathlight to help you move around in a dark home.

Nerd Cons

Price

The basic package is regularly priced at $399, and add-ons such as an outdoor camera bring the price up to $598. If you want WiFi backup or professional monitoring, this comes at an additional fee.

Limited monitoring options

While Nest Secure provides professional monitoring through Brinks Security, this works only with alarm products, including door and window sensors. If you get Nest’s smoke and CO2 detectors, there is no third party monitoring service — so you have to be on top of reacting to alerts and notifying the fire department if there is a problem.

Equipment available from Nest

The basic alarm package priced at $399 comes with just the Nest Guard, which is the hub of the alarm system; 2 sensors; and 2 key fobs for arming and disarming the system. You can buy additional products or more comprehensive packages, but the price is steep:

  • The basic system with an outdoor camera is regularly priced at $598
  • The basic system with a video doorbell is regularly priced at $628
  • The basic system with a smart lock is regularly priced at $633
  • Additional Nest Detects are regularly priced at $49 each
  • Nest Security yard signs are $19 each
  • A single Nest Protect CO2 and smoke alarm is $119

The Nest Mobile App

Source: Google Nest
Source: Google Nest

Nest has one app that you can use with all different Nest devices including the alarm system, thermostat and smoke detector. The app received a:

  • 2.3 star rating with iTunes
  • 3.7 star rating on the Google Play store

The best feature of the Nest app is that the different Nest products you can add to your home all connect automatically to your mobile device. So, for example, if your Nest Protect smoke alarm detects smoke, it can prompt one of your indoor Nest cameras to turn on and provide you with a video clip showing you what’s going on in your home.

The app supports:

  • Up to three different homes
  • Up to 10 Nest Cams per home
  • Up to 20 Nest thermostats per home
  • A total of 18 Nest Products and 10 Nest accounts per home

With the security features of the alarm app, you can see exactly what is going on in each area of your home, and even detect which doors are open and closed. You also have the option to silence alarms directly from your phone after seeing what’s happening in your home. This is an incredibly convenient feature that ends the inconvenience of false alarms.

However, some users report problems silencing alarms and indicate that in Nest’s efforts to simplify things, it sometimes makes wrong guesses regarding what you intended to do with the app.

Nest Smart Home Capabilities

Source: Google Nest
Source: Google Nest

Nest Secure is one of the most technologically advanced options of any home security system. If you’re willing to invest in a full array of Nest products, you can create the ultimate connected home. Not only can you control every aspect of home security from your mobile device, but Nest integrates seamlessly with smart devices such as the Google Nest Hub. Some of the Smart-home features offered by Nest include:

  • Activating your Nest Hello video doorbell if the Nest door alarm goes off so you can see what’s happening at home.
  • Activate indoor and outdoor Nest cams if the motion sensors or smoke detector identify a problem.
  • Automatically disarm your Nest Security system when you unlock the door if you use a Nest smart lock.
  • Change the temperature of your home from your phone with the Nest thermostat or automatically adjust the temperature and lights when you enter or leave your home.

Unfortunately, the Nest Guard doesn’t allow you to control any third-party devices and automation options are limited since you can only control Nest devices.

Nest Customer Service

Nest has lots of options when it comes to accessing customer service, including an online Nest Community where you can connect with other users to find out how to optimize your products and configure your system.  You can connect to Nest using:

  • Online chat
  • Phone at 855-469-6378
  • Twitter @googlenesthelp (6:00 AM to 8:00 PM 7 days per week)

You can also visit the Nest Community or review comprehensive online support pages. And, if you need a little extra help, Nest will work with you to find a pro in your area who you can pay to install or configure your Nest devices.

To test customer service, our SecurityNerd tested each of the following processes:

  • Sales: Called customer service to ask questions about Nest products and purchasing third-party monitoring service
  • Installation: Reviewed Installation Videos to determine how effectively Nest explained the installation process.
  • Design: Used the Nest store to design a customized alarm system solution
  • Install: Used the Nest Pro Finder to look for a professional installer locally
  • Support: Browsed the Nest community forums to see how quickly questions are answered

Nest support was helpful and friendly, most — but not all — questions were answered quickly in the Nest community forms, and members of the Nest Community appeared helpful and responsive.  However, some alarm users report customer service support wasn’t very effective at troubleshooting problems with their Nest components, and Customers give nest below three stars on the Consumer Affairs website.

Nest covers the following areas

Nest products can be used throughout the United States. If you don’t opt for professional monitoring, they can be used anywhere that WiFi is available. Nest has partnered with Brinks Home Security for professional monitoring, and Brinks provides service throughout the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Nest pricing and packages

Nest offers the following packages for those looking for security solutions:

  • Basic alarm package for $399 with Nest Guard, 2 sensors and 2 key fobs
  • Basic alarm package plus one outdoor camera for $598
  • Basic alarm package with smart lock for $633
  • Monitoring costs $29 per month with no monthly contract or $19 per month with a three-year commitment.
  • Cellular backup with no professional monitoring costs $5 monthly.

Wrapping Up

If you want a sleek, stylish system or if you’re already a Nest user, the Nest Secure is a great system. It’s also ideal for a tech-savvy DIYer who doesn’t want professional monitoring. But, Nest products are much more expensive than the systems offered by many competitors and third-party monitoring is more limited than the monitoring offered by other home security systems.

If you find that the Nest prices are beyond what you’re looking to spend, check out other DIY-installation-based companies such as SimpliSafe or Frontpoint.

If you’re looking for affordability or want to make sure professionals can get you medical help or contact the fire department on your behalf, you might want to look at a larger national player such as ADT. But, if design and smart home integration are top priorities for your security system, then Nest Secure is definitely worth considering.

About the Author

Christy RakoczyChristy Rakoczy
Christy Rakoczy has been a full-time writer for more than a decade. She has a law degree from UCLA School of Law and a degree in English, Media & Communications from the University of Rochester. In addition to writing for the web, she has also written textbooks and educational content and has served as a subject matter expert for online course development.