Looking for a DIY alarm installation solution? Take your pick; there are a ton of options out there. The latest and arguably hottest kid on the block is none other than Google's Nest Secure security system.
As a firm with 46 years of experience installing, servicing and monitoring security systems, we are pretty excited by all of the new tech hitting our market. So we thought we would share with you our take on this new solution.
Simplicity and Ease of Use/Installation
Nest App is free if you don’t want monitoring or video storage.
It is extremely easy to set up. People seem to love the user experience of the install. They also love the design of the product.
Professional WiFi monitoring option by MONI. $29 for month-to-month, $19 for a 3-year contract.
Their Pro install channel can do the work for you. Make sure to check company policy around background checks and using subcontractors before using one.
Integration and Features
Works with Nest ecosystem which now includes locks, cameras, smokes and doorbell cameras.
Door/Window contacts are also motion-sensing.
Cellular communication offered for an additional $10.
High Upfront Costs
The Nest Security System is really expensive. $499 for a base station, 2 door contact/motions, 2 keys fobs. Additional doors/motions are $59, yard signs $19, key fobs to turn it on and off are $25, booster modules are $69.
System with Controller, 10 Windows, 3 Doors, 2 Key Fobs, 2 Yard Signs = $1118
Their "free" app is only free if you want the absolute minimum in video storage: 3 hours. For any of the good stuff, you have to pass through a bunch of pay-to-play gates. If you would like to have your video stored for longer, an additional $5/month gets you 5 days, $10/month gets you 10 days, and $30/month gets you 30 days.
Poor Support System, Unproven Technology
When I called the customer support number on the Nest website, I was put on hold for 43 minutes before I hung up. Wasting customers' time is not the way you provide them with a positive user experience.
They have Nest PRO Installers but who are those people? Are they background-checked and licensed? Nest builds the product, MONI monitors, and T-Mobile provides cell service. Whose fault is it when it breaks?
The website omits a lot of key info that the customer ought to know before making a purchase.
The description of their Door Contact/Motion Detectors says that it's pet-immune for small dogs, but does not include the weight limit.
What if you can’t have motion sensors in your house due to pets or children?
How many zones can the system hold?
Answering some of these basic questions could save customers a lot of headache down the line.
Lack of Transparency and Options
It's not exactly clear what their goal is with your data. Do you really want Google knowing every coming and going in your house when they sell your info to advertisers?
Given Google's history of their products and software, there's a strong possibility that they're entering the home security space to gather more user data.
Your privacy isn't the only thing that matters; having a variety of options is important for you to create your customized security solution. Every person has different security needs, and there's no one-size-fits-all security package out there.
Google's product offerings lack a lot of customization options that you might expect from an established security company. They don't have panic buttons, glass breaks, recessed door contacts, outdoor motions or secondary keypads. The keypad also cannot be mounted on the wall.
The Bottom Line
Google brings some interesting product ideas to the home security industry, but their high costs and underwhelming customer support raise several red flags. You'd think that paying a premium price would get you premium service, but with Nest, that doesn't seem to be the case.
Thinking of protecting your home? We can help you out by giving you all the information you need to make an informed choice about what helps you protect your home and what doesn't.
Download the Ultimate Guide to Home Security and learn:
Top 5 misconceptions about home security
How to assess vulnerabilities in your home
Why home security is about more than preventing burglaries
Cutting-edge security equipment: how home security has changed