Nest Secure Alarm System Review

The Nest Secure Alarm system is a sleek, high-tech system with unique features. We're most impressed with its user-friendly app but disappointed with its limited security options.
Written by | Updated March 8, 2019
image of Nest Secure's logo

Best for DIY Self-Monitoring

  • Smart home integration
  • DIY or professional monitoring
  • Intuitive app

Nest Secure at a Glance

Nest Secure Alarm is a security system designed to fit seamlessly into the Nest family of products, using the same app as the popular Nest Thermostat and Nest Protect Smoke Alarm. The Nest app walks you through the entire installation process, making it great for DIYers, but holes in its security options—like no instant alarm—make its high price tag hard to justify.

Nest Secure Features and Pricing


Nest Alarm Starter Pack
Nest Secure Alarm Starter Pack
Price Check Price
  • Nest Guard
  • 2 Nest Detect sensors (battery included)
  • 2 Nest Tags
  • Mounting accessories
  • Quick Start Card
  • User’s Guide
  • Nest Protect Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  • Nest Cam
  • Nest Hello Video Doorbell
  • Nest x Yale Lock
Interacts with Other Nest Products Yes
Connects to Nest App Yes
Monitored with Smartphone Yes
Professional Monitoring Yes
Warranty 2 years
Wireless Yes
DIY Installation Yes

Nest Secure Price and Contract 

At just under $500, Nest Secure is one of the pricier systems on the market, but its stylish design and ability to connect with other Nest products are worth the high price for many customers. There are no monthly contracts through Nest, but you can have your system monitored by Brinks.


  • Optional Monitoring
    Many people use Nest for DIY monitoring, but Nest also offers professional monitoring through Brinks with a month-to-month option of around $30 per month (or about $20 per month with a three-year contract).
  • À La Carte Add-Ons
    You can purchase Nest Detect, Nest Tag, Nest Cam, Nest Hello Video Doorbell, Nest Thermostat, and Nest Protect separately and add them on to the basic Nest Secure package.


  • Cellular Backup Not Included
    Nest Secure offers cellular backup for when Wi-Fi goes down, but it’s an extra monthly fee and is not available in all areas.
  • High Price Tag
    For what it offers, the Nest Secure is much more expensive than similar products on the market.

photo of window and door sensor in home

Tech and Equipment 

One of the main downfalls of Nest Secure is the vulnerability of the system. We love how easy it is to set up, but it has some security flaws, like having the “brain” in the same device as the siren and keypad and a minimum thirty-second alarm delay.


  • Backup Battery
    If the system loses power, it will alert your phone and then draw from its built-in twelve-hour rechargeable backup battery.
  • Sleek Design
    All components of the Nest Secure Alarm are small, minimal, and white, making your system look and feel both stylish and high tech.
  • Unique Features
    You can press a button to open a door while the system is armed without setting it off, and Nest Detect’s motion-triggered Pathlight will light your way at night.
  • Intuitive App
    The Nest app is easy to use and walks you through the entire setup of your Nest Secure system.


  • Alarm Delay
    You can’t arm the system for an alarm delay of less than thirty seconds, which means someone can be in your home for a full thirty seconds before the alarm sounds.
  • No Chime Option
    The Nest Secure has no option to alert you of a door or window opening when the system is not armed.
  • System Vulnerability
    Having the Nest Guard in your home’s entryway makes it an easy target for intruders, and if it’s destroyed it wipes out the system’s brain, keypad, and alarm.
  • Single Speaker
    Because the Nest Guard is placed in your home’s entryway, you can’t hear the speaker well from other areas, like a bedroom.
  • Limited Motion Sensor Range
    Comparable security systems have motion sensors with a 110-degree field of view up to thirty-nine feet away, but the Nest Detect has only a ninety-degree field of view up to ten feet away.

photo of nest secure on the wall of a home

Nest Secure Home Automation 

While some Nest products integrate well with the Nest Secure, others don’t put their features to work with the system, which is disappointing.


  • Single App Operation
    You can control all the Nest products in your home using a single app.
  • Works with Other Nest Products
    You can set your Nest thermostat to change temperatures when you set your Nest Secure, or you can use an alarm from Nest Secure to trigger video recording on your Nest Cam and flash your Nest-compatible smart lights.
  • System Reminders
    The Nest app can send you a reminder to set the security system after you’ve left home.
  • Works with Popular Smart Home Hubs
    Nest products work well with Google Home and Amazon Echo.


  • No Additional Speakers
    There is no way to get Nest Protects to act as additional sirens or speakers for the Nest Secure, which is a big drawback for those with larger homes since only one Nest Guard can work in a home.
  • No Additional Sensors
    Though the Nest Thermostat and the Nest Protect have built-in motion sensor technology, neither can be used as an additional motion sensor for the Nest Secure.

Customer Service

The Better Business Bureau gives Nest’s customer service a grade of C-. Customers complain most about having trouble with returns and encountering rude customer service reps.  


  • 40-Day Money-Back Guarantee
    The 40-day money-back guarantee gives users enough time to see how the Nest Secure operates and return it if they’re not satisfied.


  • Long Wait Times does have a handy chat feature for customer service, but be prepared to wait your turn. Customers complain of similar wait times for help over the phone.
  • System Confusion
    Many customers report frustration that customer service reps are unable to quickly identify and solve connectivity issues.

Nest Secure FAQs

Is there a way to record video from my Nest Cam?

Yes, but it requires a subscription to Nest Aware—a service that stores all video from your Nest Cam, Nest Cam IQ, and Nest Hello for up to thirty days. Plans start around $5 a month.

Do I need to have a certain router to use Nest Secure?

Yes, some Wi-Fi routers are incompatible with Nest products.

What’s in a Nest Secure system?

  • Nest Guard
    The Nest Guard is the brain and keypad of the security system.
  • Nest Detect
    The Nest Detect monitors motion when placed on a wall, or it can be used with a magnet as a window or door sensor.
  • Nest Tag
    Tap the Nest Tag against the Nest Guard to arm and disarm the system.

What are the Nest add-ons?

  • Nest Protect
    The Nest Protect is a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector that will alert you by voice or alarm if there’s a problem.
  • Nest Cam
    The indoor and outdoor Nest Cams and Nest Cam IQs can help you keep an eye on things at home.
  • Nest Hello
    Equipped with facial recognition technology, the camera in the Nest Hello Doorbell can tell your Google Home who is at the door.
  • Nest x Yale
    The Nest x Yale keyless deadbolt allows you to lock and unlock your door from your smartphone.

The Bottom Line

If you’re willing to pay the price, Nest Secure Alarm is a good option if you have a smaller home and want contract-free, DIY security that easily works alongside other Nest products. It’s a good system for self-monitoring via smartphone, but if you want professional smoke or video monitoring, you may want to keep looking.


  • Modern design
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Unique features
  • No contract


  • Hefty price tag
  • Single speaker
  • System vulnerability
  • Alarm delay

How We Evaluated Nest Secure Alarm System

For our Nest Secure review, we thoroughly researched the Nest product offerings on the website, studied customers’ positive and negative reviews, listened to what security experts had to say about the product, and contacted Nest’s customer service department with additional questions about the system. To learn more about how we reviewed Nest Secure Alarm, check out our methodology.

Written by Kasey Tross

Kasey Tross is a stay-at-home mom with four energetic kids, and she's married to a security expert, so safety is a top priority in the Tross home. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, hiking, playing the flute, helping out at church, and eating far more chocolate than she should. Learn more

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  • TurnOutTheLightsOnYourWayOut

    “I just brought this system”, where did you bring it to?

    And as to your question about what makes her an expert, anybody can be an expert these days. All you have to do is say you are. Nobody questions your background, especially when they write for the Patch. Most of the writers don’t know how to spell and they also don’t know how use spell check. For the record, I am not an expert at anything.