Sep 21, 2017

Nest's home security system costs $499 and comes with magnetic door sensors

Nest Secure is a modular system for arming your doors and windows.


Nest is getting serious about home security with an entirely new product family it's calling Nest Secure. Announced today at a hardware event in San Francisco, Nest detailed a new modular system that is designed to make home security more modern and simple.

The centerpiece of the system is called Nest Guard, and it's a small, hockey puck-shaped device with a keypad on top. The device sits indoors facing your front door and communicates with a series of smaller devices, called Nest Detects, that can be placed throughout your home. If anyone enters the house and doesn't disarm the Nest Secure system, the alarm triggers and a large loud siren sound is sent out. For every action along the way, the system sends alerts to your phone.

There are a ton of moving parts to Nest Secure, and while the company's aim is to design a dead-simple security system, it's worth going over in detail how it's all supposed to function. For one, the Nest Guard acts as the central hub, so all the disarming and arming of the security system is done through that device, which contains a motion sensor, connects to your home network via Wi-Fi, and can communicate with Nest's mobile app.

To arm it, you tell your Nest app that you're leaving, and you're given a countdown before the system rearms. (You can also arm the system remotely if need be.) To disarm the system when it triggers or when you're coming home, you can enter the key code on the Guard itself, disarm through the app, or turn it off via NFC using one of two included key fobs called Nest Tags. Nest thinks the tags are perfect for children, other family members, or for temporary access like babysitters and dog walkers, and you can set temporary access time limits on the tags by time of day and day of the week.

While the Guard is designed to sit at your front door and detect any opening and closing on that front, the Nest Detect is for the rest of your home. Nest is bundling two Detect devices into the Secure starter pack — it's also selling individual units separately — and the company says they're mostly designed for back or side doors and windows. They do not need to be plugged into power, like the Guard, or connected to Wi-Fi, but instead run on batteries and communicate with the Guard using Nest's mesh networking technology Weave.

The Detect is designed to be placed near the upper corner of doors, on the jam itself, and separated into two pieces. The two pieces communicate the strength of a magnetic field, so that when that field is disrupted by a door or window opening, the alarm is triggered. Nest is including a feature it calls Quiet Open, that lets you tap a button on the Detect itself to disarm just a single door, in the event you'd like to leave the house early in the morning for, say, taking a jog or running a quick errand and you don't want to wake the house by disarming the whole system. Nest Detect can also just be used as a simple motion detection tool, if you'd like one room of the house to be monitored.

For those who want a bit more security, Nest will be selling a professional home monitoring and alarm response service through third-party provider Moni. That will effectively loop Nest Secure in with local law enforcement in the event you want any trigger of the alarm system to be taken very seriously. Nest doesn't have pricing for that service available just yet. The company is also selling cellular backup service through T-Mobile for $5 a month or $50 a year, in the event your power goes out or your Wi-Fi is down and you want Secure to stay online.

Nest is selling the whole Secure system in a starter pack, which includes the Guard, two Detects, and two Tags, for $499 this November starting in the US; Canada and Europe are coming next year. It will also start selling the standalone Nest Detect units for $59 and additional Nest Tags for $25 apiece. Preorders start today.

To round out the whole product family, the company also designed a signal booster, called Nest Connect, for those with large homes who worry about connection issues. The Connect helps strengthen the mesh networking technology that helps the Detect devices communicate with the Guard. Nest also partnered with lock maker Yale to develop a joint smart lock, aptly named the Nest + Yale lock, that will tie into the Secure system as well. That way, when you unlock the front door, it can disarm the system alongside any of the other three available disarm methods. Nest hasn't released pricing or availability details for the Connect or the Nest + Yale lock yet.

The Verge

by Nick Statt