My Nest Secure Review: Is It Worth It?

Over the years, Nest has proven itself when it comes to delivering good quality products for the home.  It started with Nest Learning Thermostat, and soon branched out to devices that help you keep your home safe, such as the Nest Protect and a wide variety of surveillance cameras.

Now, the company offers Nest Secure, which aims to help you protect and monitor your home.

Nest Secure starter pack

The starter pack includes the Nest Guard, two Nest Tags, and two Nest Detects.  It sells for $499 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).  You can add the Nest Cam Outdoor for only $99, while another Nest Detect would cost you $59.  You can also get an additional Nest Tag for $25.

Nest Guard.  The Nest Guard acts as your security system’s keypad, where you can enter your pass code to disarm the alarm.  It has a muted design, mostly white with white backlit buttons and soft keys that you can use to set security levels with just one tap.

The 12 white buttons are numbered from 1 to 0 and the two extra buttons allow you to accept or cancel your inputs.  There are also four security level buttons, one for each side of the keypad.  At the left side of the keypad is the Disarm button, which turns off your alarm system.

At the top is the Home and Guarding button, which secures your house even when you are home by turning on the window and door sensors to sound when it is unexpectedly opened.

The right side of the keypad has the Away and Guarding button, which turns on the window and door sensors, and the motion detectors as well.  At the bottom, you would see the Info button, which you can press to hear the important messages about your system.

Pressing the Info button, you could be alerted when you have left a door or window open, or when it is time to change the battery.

A summary of the security levels possible for Nest Secure

Security level Motion is detected Detects open/close Alarm and alerts are on
Away and Guarding Yes Yes Yes
Home and Guarding No Yes Yes
Off No No No

The light ring that surrounds the Nest Guard changes its colors depending on what is happening.  Green light means that you have armed the system and that the countdown has started for you to leave home.

After the countdown, this means that the alarm siren will sound if the door is opened.  When the light ring turns yellow, it means that you need to disarm the Nest Secure before the siren is sounded.  When it turns red, it means that the alarm is about to go off.

The Nest Guard also acts as a motion detector and alarm for the room where you place it.  At the side, you would find the panic button, which would trigger the alarm and send alerts to everyone who has access to your Nest Secure.

The Nest Tag. The Nest Tag is an easy way for you to arm or disarms your alarm system.  No need to key in your passcode, you only need to tap your Nest Tag on the Nest Guard to disarm the alarm.

You would surely love how Nest added in the ability to disable any Nest Tag using your mobile app.  In case you lose your Nest Tag, you can be sure that nobody can use it to disarm your alarm.

You can also create schedules for the Nest Tag using the mobile app.  This means that you can set the Nest Tag to work only at certain times of the day.

This is very useful if you have a cleaning lady or a dog walker coming in, they would be able to disarm the alarm when they come in when they are supposed to, but not at other times.

The Nest Detect.  The Nest Detect works like a door or window sensor, letting you know when somebody opens or closes the door or windows.  It can also function as a motion detector.

With other sensors, you are forced to disarm your alarm system or else you will be bombarded with a lot of false alarms.  Not with Nest Secure.

Aside from being able to activate the Home and Armed mode, which disables motion detection, you can also enjoy a few additional features that Nest has given the Nest Detect.

For one, you can press a button on the Detect so that you can open or close doors and windows without it ringing the siren, and you do not have to disarm the entire system.

If you have dogs, you can turn the Dog Pass feature on, which will prevent your dogs from setting off the motion sensors. The Nest Detect also has a Pathlight that lights up when you walk past the Detect, helping you see where you are going at night.

Customize to your heart’s delight

The good thing about Nest Secure is that it allows you to customize settings so that the alarm system works with you, instead of you working around it.

  • Choose the amount of time for the alarm countdown. There really is no reason why you should always feel rushed when you enter or exit the house.  You can set the alarm to go off in up to five minutes, giving you enough time to get out of the house or to disarm it after coming in.
  • Make sure your kids do not play with Nest Guard. Set up a passcode to arm your security system so that nobody in your house can accidentally arm it.
  • Disable motion detection on your Nest Detect. This would be very useful if your doors and windows have curtains on them, and you don’t want the curtains to trigger the motion sensors.
  • Set up the “remind me” alerts. You can enable the Home/Away Assist feature in your settings so that the Nest Secure will know if you are coming home or if you have already left.
  • Choose your emergency contacts. You can specify the names and phone numbers of your emergency contacts, the police, 911, and other emergency services.  In case of a security alert, you can easily call your emergency contacts.

Other features

  • Remotely arm or disarm your security system using the smartphone app. Let’s say that you are on your way to work and you forgot to arm your Nest Secure.  You will get a reminder on your phone telling you about it so that you could arm Nest Secure from your mobile phone.  Or perhaps, you are on your way home and you have a lot of groceries.  You can disarm the Nest Secure from your car even before you pick up the groceries from your trunk.
  • Nest Secure also helps you become more secure by giving you reminders. For instance, it will tell you if you have left the kitchen window open.

What you would like about Nest Secure

With the Nest Secure, you can arm or disarm your security system in three ways: enter your passcode, use the Nest Tag, or use the Nest app.

You would also love the No Rush feature, which allows you to set the time delay you need before the security system kicks in.  This means that you do not have to rush everybody out the door once you arm the alarm.

Conversely, it will give you enough time to put the groceries down on the kitchen table when you arrive before you need to key in your passcode.

The Nest Secure might use white plastic, but compared to other DIY security systems out there with the same material, Nest Secure looks and feels more elegant.  The Nest Secure’s white color also blends easily with your home’s interior design or decor.

Furthermore, setting up the Nest Secure is pretty simple.  You have step-by-step instructions that you can follow, making setup a breeze.

Plus, it works really well.  Nest has really put a lot of thought into the Nest Secure and it shows.  Everything works as it should.  Each device has useful features that you can customize, and you can really live with Nest Secure.

It is very convenient to use, and the 85-decibel siren is loud enough to startle would-be intruders and even alert your neighbors in case of a break-in.

Nest also offers or plans to offer, everything you like in other DIY smart security systems.  It will soon offer professional monitoring via Moni, T-Mobile will provide cellular Backup, and the company already has Nest Aware.

Nest Aware is the company’s optional cloud video storage and recording service.  You can even add a Nest Cam to your security system, allowing you to see what’s going on at home when the alarms are triggered.

What could be better

Nest Secure is very expensive for a DIY home security product.  This is especially true if you consider the fact that iSmartAlarm has a starter kit priced at $150, which includes one contact sensor, one motion sensor, the iSmartAlarm Cube, and one remote tag.

So if you are in the market for a capable home security network without busting your budget, you can choose from Scout, iSmartAlarm, SimpliSafe, and Abode, all of which are at least $200 cheaper than Nest Secure.  If you are looking for the best deal among all these options, check out Abode.

  Nest Secure Abode Scout iSmartAlarm SimpliSafe
Starter kit price $499 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) $300 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) $236* (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)  $150 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) $230  (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)
Monthly fees are required No No Yes No No
Professional monitoring Yes** Yes Yes No Yes
Cellular backup Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Power outage backup Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Camera support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ZigBee compatibility No Yes Yes No No
Z-Wave compatibility No Yes No No No
Smart home partners Nest Alexa, IFTTT, Nest Alexa, IFTTT, Nest IFTTT Nest


* Scout does not offer a starter kit.  This price represents a comparable system to Nest Secure.

**Not currently available, but Nest plans to offer professional monitoring soon.

Final Say

Having a high price tag would usually spell a death sentence for a new product coming into a crowded market such as DIY home security systems.

Consumers who are looking for a capable home security system would certainly factor in the different prices and most of the time the ones with the budget-friendly price tags come out on top.

With good offerings already available in the market such as SimpliSafe, Abode, and Scout Alarm, having a $499 price (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) can really deal a blow to Nest Secure.

Fortunately, it has some good things and features that help justify its high price.  It is very easy to use, it performs really well, and it comes with an app that is very intuitive to navigate.

Nest added advanced and unique features into Secure as well.  You would certainly love Quiet Open and Pathlight.

But what potential buyers should consider is that the Nest Secure comes from Nest, and that certainly means something.

For one, it means that the Nest Secure would be able to work with other Nest devices, as well as with Google devices.  Already, you can hook up a Nest camera with Nest Secure, and compatibility with Google Assistant is expected to be available soon.

If you have other Nest devices, then the Nest Secure should prove to be a good choice.  But if you are looking for a decent DIY home security system that is more affordable, you should consider other capable brands.