Nest Safe positive appears fairly whenever you set it up. The hockey puck hub, with its blue lighting results and backlit keypad, the smooth mixture door/window/movement sensors, these cute little Nest Tags… it’s all so dainty and complicated that it’s simple to neglect you simply shelled out almost $500 for what quantities to 2 sensors and a siren.
However earlier than we bag on the value, let’s not less than give Nest some credit score: The corporate has produced one of many best-looking DIY safety techniques in the marketplace. There’s additionally actual innovation right here, because the Nest Safe can pull off fairly a couple of methods that nobody else within the trade has been in a position to muster.
The Nest Safe starter equipment contains simply three major items, however that’s a bit deceptive. You’ll discover a base unit referred to as the Nest Guard and two sensors referred to as Nest Detect items. You additionally get two Nest Tags, which I’ll get to in a bit. That isn’t a lot equipment for the cash, however the bundle ought to cowl you moderately effectively—if you will have a really small home with simply two entrances.
The first controller
The Nest Guard is the self-described brains of the system. It features a numeric keypad, an ear-piercingly loud siren, and an built-in movement sensor. It’s particularly designed to be set on a desk close to your entrance, not mounted to the wall. It have to be related to an AC outlet (a particular locking mechanism helps you to screw the plug into the socket, making it tough to rapidly disable), however its precise connectivity is all wi-fi.
There’s a discreet panic button on the rear of the unit, in case of emergency, and, as a result of the unit doubles as a movement sensor, it additionally contains the dim Pathlight system that illuminates the world whenever you cross by en path to a midnight toilet run, very similar to the Nest Shield smoke alarm. When the alarm is activated or deactivated or when a sensor is tripped, useful voice instructions provide you with updates all through the method.
Certainly one of Nest Safe’s huge promoting factors is that it gives a number of methods to arm and disarm the system. You should use the app, faucet in a code on the keypad, or use one of many Nest Tags, which I discussed earlier. These are little discs, fobs designed in your keychain, that use NFC expertise to show the alarm on or off with a faucet. Whereas these work as anticipated, I didn’t discover them completely helpful—tapping in a code is simple sufficient—though they might be a boon for babies coming residence after faculty who haven’t mastered their numbers. That mentioned, when you can afford the Nest Safe, you may in all probability afford a babysitter to look at your children.
The Nest Detect sensors are simply the most effective a part of the Nest Safe package deal. These are the scale and form of conventional, magnetic door/window sensors, however additionally they have a movement sensor in-built, giving them double the capabilities. The design does have the unlucky downside of constructing the gadgets appear like dismembered fingers, full with glowing fingernails (as a result of these sensors additionally provide Pathlight).
In case you favor door sensors that may be hidden inside the door and door frame, or sensors that may hang from your door’s hinge, you’re out of luck. Nest’s sensors are in any other case stable, performing effectively with door and window opens and closes. I’ve encountered extra delicate movement sensors, however at shut vary (i.e. passing by the door), they’re ok.
The Nest Safe app
All of that is designed to combine with Nest’s monolithic app, so if in case you have a Nest Thermostat or Shield already, getting issues up and working is painlessly easy. Simply scan a couple of QR codes and also you’re able to go. That mentioned, it takes just a little effort to rise up to hurry with the system in every day use. The Nest Safe revolves round three operational modes: Off, Guarding, and House & Guarding. The principle distinction right here is that House & Guarding disables the movement sensors, however the alarm will go off if a door sensor is tripped.
With full Guarding mode on, all the pieces is energetic. It’s largely the identical concept as the standard “Keep” and “Away” modes on extra conventional alarm techniques. And as with higher safety techniques, Nest Safe has an choice that allows you to open a door and depart the home whereas the system is in House & Guarding mode with no need to show the alarm off and again on once more.
The main characteristic lacking in Nest Safe? There’s no door chime choice to warn you when a door or window has opened no matter whether or not the system is armed or not. In my expertise, most individuals hardly ever flip their precise alarm techniques on, however they do depart the chime system on on a regular basis as a handy means of checking that people who find themselves speculated to be inside are literally inside, and vice versa. For Nest Safe to not have this straightforward characteristic seems like a large oversight.
Battery and mobile backup choices
The Nest Guard has a built-in backup battery, so the system will proceed to function in a blackout or if a burglar cuts energy to your house, and you’ll add a mobile backup service ($5 per thirty days), in case your Wi-Fi goes down or a burglar cuts your cable or cellphone line. There’s additionally an optional professional monitoring service through MONI that can request a police dispatch if an alarm is verified or when you (and nobody in your contact listing) could be reached. Charges for this service vary from $34.99 per thirty days on a month-to-month foundation, to $29.99 for a one-year dedication, to $24.99 per thirty days for three-year dedication. We didn’t check any of those choices.
As with most Nest merchandise, Nest Safe is designed to combine tightly with the Nest ecosystem, however this gadget doesn’t actually play effectively with others but. There is no such thing as a present help for IFTTT (not like different Nest merchandise), and it doesn’t help different good residence hubs or assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. These will all doubtless change in time, however for now they’re absent.
So for $499, what are you actually getting? A smooth safety system, albeit one with some surprisingly restricted options. If your house is bigger, you’ll want so as to add further Nest Detect sensors ($59 every). Nest Tags run $25 a pop. In case you’re a nut for Nest merchandise, the flexibility to combine a safety system with the remainder of your gear, and in a single app, would possibly sound interesting. For the remainder of you, extra inexpensive—and extra refined—choices are doubtless a greater guess.