Although Nest began as a smart home thermostat company, it has branched out into home security. In 2014, Google purchased Nest Labs and merged it with the rest of its Google Home products, so Google Nest now offers an integrated suite of products, including security, entertainment, energy, and lighting.
The Nest name still applies to the line of security products, including indoor and outdoor security cameras, video doorbells, sensors, and more. Nest offers a wireless home security system with optional 24/7 monitoring through Brinks Home Security.
In this review, we’ll dive into Nest home security and help you determine if it is the best home security system for you and your home.
Our Take on Nest Home Security
We rated Nest a 9.2 out of 10. It offers home security without the monthly fees and has an easy installation process. However, it’s not rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Nest home security reviews include complaints about the company’s customer service.
Pros and Cons of Nest Home Security
|✔ Flexible monitoring plans with no contract required||✘ Equipment is relatively expensive|
|✔ High-quality security cameras||✘ No professional monitoring for smoke or carbon monoxide detectors|
|✔ Products integrate easily with each other and other smart devices||✘ No glass-break sensors or panic buttons|
|✔ Easy DIY installation||✘ Poor customer service reviews|
Nest Home Security Packages and Equipment
Unlike traditional home security systems, Nest equipment is easy to install and move from place to place. You can choose whether to self-monitor the system or pay for professional monitoring, as well.
Sorting through Nest’s variety of hardware can be a little confusing, since everything is given a branded name that isn’t necessarily intuitive—do you run the system from the Nest Protect or the Nest Hub?
Here are some of Nest’s foundational security and safety products:
- ‘Nest Hub’: The central hub of the security system is the Nest Hub, a small tabletop device with touchscreen controls. You control the basic system with the Hub, which can send you a Remind Me alert to your mobile device if you forget to set it.
- ‘Nest Detect’ Motion Detector: Nest Detect is a combined motion detector and entry sensor that can be placed on doors and windows. When the system is armed, an interruption of the sensor will trigger an alarm from the Hub.
- ‘Nest Tag’ Disarming Fob: You can use the Hub’s keypad to arm and disarm the system, but you can also do so by tapping the hub with an RFID-enabled Nest Tag keychain fob.
Other Nest Home Security Products
- ‘Nest Hello’ Doorbell: Nest Hello is Nest’s video doorbell, an HD camera with night vision and a two-way audio speaker that detects motion in a 160-degree field of view. You can stream the video feed live from your mobile device or record it to the cloud, and the camera can even recognize people and packages to send you special alerts.
- ‘Nest Cam’ Security Camera: Nest offers multiple options for security cameras, including indoor and outdoor models and IQ versions of both. Nest Cams have the same motion and person detection capabilities as the Hello doorbell, as well as night vision and two-way audio. The IQ models have all the standard capabilities plus higher-quality video, greater zoom enhancement, and facial recognition.
- ‘Nest Protect’ Air Monitor: More than just a smoke detector, the Nest Protect is an environment monitor that screens for carbon monoxide. Although the system can send you alerts, there’s no option for professional monitoring.
- ‘Nest x Yale Lock’ Keypad: Nest also offers Yale smart keypad locks and the Nest Connect to extend the Hub’s signal throughout large buildings.
Nest Home Security Monitoring
You can use Nest as a basic alarm system without any monthly fees. However, if you have a Nest Cam and want to have access to the full capabilities of any of the cameras, you’ll need to pay for a Nest Aware subscription.
Alternatively, you can connect the Nest Hub and any cameras to 24/7 professional monitoring from Brinks Home Security. You won’t need to sign a contract with Brinks to engage their services, but there is a discounted monthly fee if you do.
Nest Home Security Pricing
The overall cost of a Nest system will depend on which pieces of equipment you buy. There are a couple of package deals with Nest you can pick. One is the Front Door Package, which comes with the Nest Hello Video Doorbell and the Nest Hub. This package costs $288.99 or $12.04 for 24 months. Another is the Nest Outside Security package. This provides you with a Nest Hello video doorbell, Nest Cam Outdoor, and a Nest Mini for $427 upfront or $17.79 per month for 24 months.
For professional monitoring, you’ll pay Brinks Home Security $29.99 a month, though that can be reduced to $19.99 a month if you sign a three-year contract.
Nest Aware subscriptions can be paid monthly or yearly and cancelled any time. Here are the prices you’ll pay for 5, 20, or 30 days’ worth of video playback:
- 5-Days of Video Playback: $5.00 per month / $50.00 per year
- 10-Days of Video Playback: $10.00 per month / $100.00 per year
- 30-Days of Video Playback: $30.00 per month / $300.00 per year
Other Nest products can be purchased on an a la carte basis:
- Nest Hello: $229.00
- Nest Indoor Cam: $199.00
- Nest Indoor IQ Cam: $299.00
- Nest Outdoor Cam: $199.00
- Nest Outdoor IQ Cam: $399.00
- Nest Protect: $119.00
- Yale Smart Locks: $279.00
- Nest Connect: $69.00
- Additional Nest Detects: $49.00 each
Nest Home Security Customer Service
All Nest equipment is protected by a two-year limited warranty, and it can be returned for a refund within 30 days if the hardware appears to be new and unused. For problems with the Nest devices themselves, you’ll need to go through Google customer support.
Nest Home Security Reviews
Since Nest is owned by Google and monitored by Brinks Home Security, it doesn’t have any ratings or reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, Nest does have some product-specific ratings on Trustpilot. There’s a mix of positive and negative reviews, with negative reviews focusing on poor customer service and connectivity issues. Here’s what some Nest customers had to say:
“Fantastic doorbell from Nest. Records all the time and I can view from anywhere with an internet connection.” — Ellis M., 9/19/19
“Outside camera stopped sending notifications. They don’t know what customer service is, they cut you off when you question them! They take you through the same troubleshooting rubbish every time you live chat!” — Will G., 5/3/20
Nest Home Security vs. Competitors
If you’re still unsure whether Nest is right for you, compare it to other top-rated home security companies below.
Top-Rated Alternatives to Nest
|Get a free quote||Not available through This Old House||View Plans||View Plans|
|Equipment prices||$288.00 and up||$599.00 and up||Bundled with contract|
|Monitoring prices (per month)||$20.00 to $30.00||$40.00 and up||$29.00 and up|
|Contract required||No||No||36 months|
|Professional installation||$100.00 and up||Pricing by quote||$99.00 and up|
|DIY installation||Yes||Not available||Not available|
|Mobile app access||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Smart home compatibility||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Video surveillance||With Nest Cam purchase||With camera purchase||Available|
|Video streaming capability||With Nest Cam purchase||With camera purchase||Available|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||Warranty only||6 months (installation and monitoring fees)|
The This Old House Reviews Team gives Nest a 9.2/10. Nest is a good alternative to traditional home security services, especially if you’re purchasing a portable system that can be taken from one residence to another. It’s also easy to configure other smart home products to work with Nest, so if you already have a Nest thermostat or Google smart devices, you can control all your systems through the same app.
However, the poor marks for customer service gave us pause. Google is a vast company with many hardware and software products, and even searching the Google Store for specific information about Nest can be confusing.
Additionally, though Nest Cams are high-end security cameras, you’ll pay a premium for it, particularly if you need more than one IQ camera. The starting price for the basic Nest system is fairly high.
More Reviews on Home Security Systems
- ADT Home Security Review
- Vivint Home Security Review
- Alder Home Security Review
- SimpliSafe Home Security Review
- Scout Home Security Review
- Canary Home Security Review
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for home security providers is on a 100-point scale based on 10 factors:
- Number of systems (5)
- Special features (10)
- Installation options (5)
- Connectivity and smart home automation (15)
- Pricing (15)
- Contract period (5)
- Warranty (15)
- Trial period (15)
- Usability (5)
- Trustworthiness (10)
Our team reviewed 32 companies and spent 744 hours researching and testing out products to help us compare home security systems on key factors such as package options, cost, reliability, and ease of use. Read more on our methodology here.
Frequently Asked Questions about Nest Home Security
How Does Nest Work?
Nest is set up to be a simple, easy-to-install system. You simply plug in the Nest Hub and set it up using the mobile app. Nest Detect door and window sensors can be applied with screw mounts or adhesives. If you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself, Nest can send a professional to help you for an extra fee.
If you’ve chosen self-monitoring, the Nest system will send alerts and updates to your mobile device. If you’ve chosen professional monitoring, any alarms triggered by the system will notify the Brinks Homes Security dispatch center, which will then contact you to see if further help is needed.
How do I pair my thermostat to Nest?
If you already have a Nest thermostat installed, pairing it with your new Nest system should be easy. Once the Nest Hub is connected to your WiFi, the free Nest app can provide instructions throughout the set-up process.
How much does it cost to get a full Nest home security system?
Nest’s cost for a system depends on nest which individual products you by. You can receive some packages though. Such as the Front Door Package. This system comes with just the Nest Hello Video Doorbell and the Nest Hub. This package costs $288.99 or $12.04 for 24 months. You also have the Nest Outside Security package. This package has a Nest Hello video doorbell, Nest Cam Outdoor, and a Nest Mini for $427 upfront or $17.79 per month for 24 months.
Does Nest offer a panic function?
No, Nest has no panic button devices.
What does the Nest cancellation process look like?
If you’re unsatisfied with your Nest equipment, you can return it within 30 days as long as it’s new and unused. After that, you can only cancel Nest Aware or Brinks Home Security subscriptions, though the month-to-month option means that you won’t incur additional fees from cancelling a contract.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at email@example.com.