How Nest Can Turn Your House into a Smart Home

If you’ve heard of home automation, then Google Nest might be familiar—it's one of the pioneers in the smart home revolution. Nest products use intuitive, innovative technology to boost home safety and energy efficiency.

Alongside brainy tech, Nest smart home devices stand out for simple, chic design. Let's look at how some Nest products help turn a regular house into a smart home.

Light Bulb
Works with Hey Google

In November 2020, Nest transitioned from “Works with Nest” integration to “Works with Hey Google,” so some smart home gadgets dropped the “Works with Nest” compatibility.

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Google Nest Learning Thermostat

Smart thermostat
copper nest thermostat with digital display of 70 deg. and green light

*Amazon.com list price as of 09/09/2021 at 3:55 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The first Nest Learning Thermostat hit the market in 2011, changing home people think of home climate control and energy efficiency. Conscientious homeowners no longer need to figure out how to program a complicated thermostat or remember to turn down the heat before heading out the door.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Learns your preferences as you use it
Pro Bullet Regular energy reports
Pro Bullet Attractive design
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Steep initial price

Nest Thermostat pros

The Nest Learning Thermostat is a smart home device that learns your patterns and temperature preferences. It adjusts when a room—or home—is empty, and according to time and weather. You can also control it remotely via a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Since its release, the Nest Learning Thermostat has helped users save billions of kWh of energy. In addition to lower utility bills, users love the ease of installation and the convenience of controlling everything from an app.

Another favorite feature is the attractive design. The thermostat comes in a variety of finishes like copper, stainless steel, black, and white, to complement nearly any home's decor.

Nest Thermostat cons

Even though users rave about the Google Nest Thermostat, there are a few things users complain about. The Farsight feature, which prompts the thermostat to light up and display the current temperature and local weather whenever someone enters a room, was criticized a lot at first.

Customers didn’t like that it displayed only the set temperature and not the actual room temperature. To its credit, Nest paid attention to customer feedback and enhanced this feature.

Price is another point of contention. At around $200, the Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the more expensive thermostats. Still, customers report high levels of satisfaction, and many say that this thermostat more than pays for itself in energy savings.

Learn more in our Nest thermostat review.

Google Nest Cam

Security camera
Nest Cam (Battery)

Info current as of 09/09/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

When it comes to home security, few things make you feel more secure than actually seeing what’s going on at home. The Nest Cam (Battery) provides this comfort, plus the convenience of home automation features that help stop unwelcome guests in their tracks.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Affordable cloud storage
Pro Bullet Unrivaled smart detection
Pro Bullet Great smart home compatibility
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Above-average price
Con Bullet Face and sound detection require cloud plan

Nest Cam pros

The latest Nest Cam works indoors and outdoors—wire-free—so you can keep an eye on everything, everywhere. You can check in on kids and pets, and interact with them no matter where you are. A built-in speaker and microphone help tell Fido to get off the couch.

Customers love the easy installation, crystal-clear picture, and recording that comes with an affordable Nest Aware subscription. It's great at catching burglars in the act. The Google Nest camera tracks pets too, which helps pet owners identify which pet has accidents. Lots of folks use Nest Cams as baby monitors because they like the real-time notifications when their tiny tot moves.

Another perk of the Nest Cam is its compatibility with so many other smart home devices—in addition to working with other Nest products, this camera works with more home automation products than most others on the market. Though its best compatibility comes when you use it with the Google Assistant.

Nest Cam cons

Google Nest products are expensive, so it's natural that folks complain that this camera is too expensive. Still, it's cheaper than some other competitors and way more affordable than Google's previous model: the Nest Cam IQ.

While most of the features work without a cloud plan, it's a bit disappointing that face and sound detection require a subscription.

Learn more in our Nest cameras review.

Google Nest Protect

Smoke and CO detector
nest protect product

*Amazon.com list price as of 09/09/2021 at 3:55 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Home automation meets home safety with the Nest Protect. This Nest device can tell you exactly what’s wrong—smoke or carbon monoxide—so you no longer have to guess why the alarm is going off. It also lets you know where the danger is, automatically tests itself, and can last for up to 10 years. Best of all, you can silence the smoke alarm with just a swipe on your smartphone.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Easy to install
Pro Bullet Voice alerts
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet High price
Con Bullet App required

Nest Protect pros

Overall, Nest Protect has rave reviews across the web—users love everything from the companion Nest App to the installation process.

Like all Nest products, the smoke detector is easy to install. One reviewer reported installing eight Nest Protect alarms in just 90 minutes. People also love that the app allows homeowners to remotely check in and sends instant alerts to the whole family whenever it detects anything dangerous.

Nest Protect cons

There aren't many critical reviews out there, but plenty of reviewers mention glitches with the silencing feature. More than one customer reported an inability to silence the Nest Protect if it detects too much smoke. Others disliked that changing their home Wi-Fi network required manually updating every alarm in their home.

A few users also reported some device failures after three or four years, not good when it should last a decade. Nest Protect also costs far more than the average smoke or carbon monoxide detector, starting at about $110. While many find the convenience and smart device features worth the money, the price can be frustrating for folks experiencing issues.

Learn more in our Nest Protect review.

How Google Nest turns your house into a smart home

One of the most progressive things about the Nest family of products is the interconnectivity. All Google Nest products work with each other and a number of other smart home devices. With the right combination of smart home devices, you could wake up each morning to gentle lighting, the perfect temperature, and the smell of fresh-brewed coffee.

Nest products work with smart lockssmart lightbulbs, and other smart devices and appliances.

Nest has become such a leader in the home automation market that several smart home devices are sold with a special logo that lets consumers know they’re compatible with Nest. This logo program is called Works with Hey Google and is the cheat sheet you need to turn your Nest Thermostat or Nest Cam into an entire Nest automation network.

If you’re ready to save money, increase your home’s safety, and build your smart home, Nest is a great place to begin. Want to fall down the Nest rabbit hole? Check out our related articles below to start your journey. Which Nest product are you most excited to try out?

Related articles on SafeWise


*Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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