Editor’s Update:

Nest has dropped the price of their security system to $399 and $49 per Detect. 


It’s sleek, aesthetically pleasing, and (moderately) simple…oh yea, the somewhat well-known Nest logo is branded into the side of each component —yes, we’re talking about the Nest Secure. If you haven’t heard, or read, yet, the relatively recent DIY home security system trend is the new big thing that has swept the globe among tech gurus and luddites alike.

Before we delve into the drawbacks tied to the Nest Secure, I would be wrong to disregard a few of the positives. The Nest Secure is sleek, simple to install, incorporates multi-purpose sensors, and it works with the rest of the Nest product line. That being said…here’s why you should steer clear of the Nest Secure and opt for any one of the other DIY home security systems on the market.

Secure Breaks the Bank

The entry level Nest Secure starter pack costs $499 no matter how you spin it. Again, that’s for the bare-bones starter pack, which consists of one Nest ‘Guard’ (central hub), two Nest ‘Detects’ (multi-purpose sensors) and two Nest ‘Tags’ (user keys to arm/disarm system).

If your security needs surpass the included hardware, you’re looking at an additional $59 per Detect and $25 per Tag. Let’s take a four-person home with fifteen windows and three doors on the main floor—that’s thirteen additional Detects ($767 extra) and two extra Tags ($50 extra), which brings your starting cost up to a whopping $1216 before the system is even plugged in to a power source…ouch! This is a stark comparison next to the GetSafe Home Security system (hardware starting at $249) and the SimpliSafe Home Security System (hardware starting at $229.26).

Secure is Anti-Social

A home security system is a great idea, especially if you live by yourself and a voice-assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home can help pass the time in the most dire of situations. However, the Nest Secure is by no means compatible with either voice-assistant, which makes for some quiet evenings and an automated home that is less than spectacular, not to mention conversation skills that leave more than enough to be desired.

Secure is Exclusive (and not in a ‘Fortune 500’ kind of way)

There are two primary digital signals present among most of home security systems, voice-assistants and other various devices within the IoT (Internet of Things)—Zigbee & Z-Wave. Without going 100% tech-talk, Zigbee and Z-Wave are the two most dependable and reliable signals available. Sadly, Nest opted to integrate a different combo consisting of Thread & Weave signals into the Secure system. First and foremost, Weave is homegrown Nest communication protocol. This alone renders the entire Nest Secure system incapable of communicating with any other IoT devices, which in turn creates a major hurdle when it comes to streamlining a home automation system consisting of a diverse array of brands.
Secure-Doesnt-Mesh-with-IFTTT

Secure Doesn’t Mesh with IFTTT

In addition to being anti-social and refusing to communicate with either Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, the Nest Secure system also gives the cold shoulder to IFTTT (aka “If This Then That” for those not in the loop). IFTTT is to home automation (and modern technology in general) as music or sign language is to communication—it’s universal…except in cases involving Nest Secure.

Secure is Contagious

Contagious may not be the perfect descriptor here, but it works. Due to the Thread/Weave communication foundation on which the Nest Secure is built, any user of the system is essentially forced to use other Nest products if there are any plans to expand the current automated system. If you wish to add video surveillance (indoor or outdoor) later on, your only viable option is the Nest Cam; if you plan to add a smart doorbell option down the road, sure hope you like the soon-to-be released Nest Hello; curious about saving a few dollars with a smart thermostat…look no further than the Nest Thermostat. Get the picture?

Final Thoughts

The Nest Secure does the job, but there are other options out there that do a better job. The array of alternatives also does the same job (and then some in most cases) for a fraction of the cost. Unless you’re a devote Nest user, your best bet is to consider alternatives such as SimpliSafe or the Abode Home Security kit.