Nest Secure Home Security Review

Nest Secure packs premium features into pretty—but pricey—equipment.
nest logo
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Flexible monitoring options
Unique sensors and features
High upfront cost


Nest Secure sets itself apart from other DIY security providers by focusing more on premium equipment and features than budget-friendly entry prices. The Nest Secure starter kit costs double the price of a SimpliSafe starter kit, for example.

Nest Secure Home Security Pricing
nest logoMonitoring priceStarter kit costContractDetails
$0-$29/mo.$4990 or 36/mo.View kit

It’s definitely pricey by comparison, but Nest Secure has completely redesigned sensors, imaginative yet practical new features, and flexible integration and monitoring options.

It’s not perfect by any means, but we’re pretty impressed overall. Nest Secure gets a lot of things right and offers a really smooth experience—especially if you’re already using other Nest products. We’d recommend it to anyone willing to spend a little more on a sleek, tech-heavy security system.

Nest Secure equipment

Nest Secure’s redesigned sensors and multiple entry options stand out as the best upgrades to security equipment in years.

The first thing you’ll notice when you pull the Nest Secure out the box is the clean, modern design of the equipment. Everything feels very sturdy and high-quality, which is very reassuring after dropping 500 bucks on this bad boy. Here’s a rundown of everything that comes in the box.

What equipment comes with Nest Secure?

  • Nest Guard base station
  • Two Nest Detect multipurpose sensors (motion/door/window)
  • Two Nest Tags
  • Power cord
  • Mounting brackets and accessories

So far, the Nest Secure comes only in this matte white option—which, depending on your home’s interior, can either make it look super sleek or stick out like a sore thumb.

Nest Guard base station

The brain of your Nest Secure is the Nest Guard base station. It controls all your sensors, registers Tag entry, and ultimately connects your entire system together using your in-home Wi-Fi.

Nest Guard has three separate sentry-mode buttons on the outer rim of the keypad. You can use these to quickly arm or disarm your system by a single touch. Your three options are Disarm, Arm Stay, and Arm Away, which set your Nest Secure to varying levels of protection.

  • Disarm means the system is completely shut off—sensors and all—so you won’t be notified of any activity like doors opening or motion being detected. You will need to enter an eight-digit passcode in order to disarm your Nest Secure.
  • Arm Stay activates your door and window sensors but deactivates motion detection triggers. Most people use this setting to arm their system overnight. It means your system will still protect your home, but it won’t set off the 85-decibel siren when you get up for a midnight snack.
  • Arm Away fully activates your system. This means if anything triggers a door/window sensor or motion sensor, the alarm will sound and send notifications to your smartphone. (This will also alert a professional monitoring center if you choose to activate monitoring.)
Nest Secure can sense that no one is home (or hasn’t moved for a while) and send you a reminder to arm your system remotely.

The base station itself has built-in motion detectors and will register lack of motion just as well as motion. This means if you forget to set the alarm before you leave, Nest Secure can sense that no one is home (or hasn’t moved for a while) and send you a reminder to arm your system remotely.

We’ve had a mixed experience with this feature. We keep getting reminders to arm the system when we’re just chilling on the couch, bingeing our shows. Maybe we’re getting a little too comfortable.

Nest Tag

A key fob? Yeah, we weren’t all that impressed when we first heard about the Nest Tag addition. It just seems too basic for a sophisticated system like Nest Secure. But after over a month of testing, we’re here to tell you we were so wrong.

The Nest Tag works for the exact reason we were skeptical about it: it’s basic. It’s so simple to arm and disarm your Nest Secure using these little silver-dollar sized key fobs—especially when you’re walking in with an armful of groceries and a tiny human on your hip.

Because each Nest Tag is assigned to the system individually, you can add or revoke access through the Nest app, and you don’t have to give out or change passcodes. And if you lose your keys, you can just deactivate that Nest Tag. It’s the ultimate temporary access solution for babysitters or dog walkers, and it gives you total control.

Nest Detect sensors

The Nest Detect sensor is about as close to perfect as a home security sensor can get.

Nest combined door and window sensors with motion detectors to create a truly unique and powerful sensor for its new security system. This new sensor design has opened the door for Nest to introduce new features that allow you to interact with the system on a more practical level,

Nest Secure home automation and smart home features

The Pathlight and Quiet Open features that Nest has implemented are perhaps the most innovative and useful features to hit the security and smart home market since the smart thermostat was introduced. Check out what these practical features do.


Nest borrowed the popular Pathlight feature from Nest Protect and crammed it into the Nest Secure, and it’s glorious. Pathlight uses motion detection to sense when someone walks by and then triggers a night-light-esque LED light to guide your way. Pretty handy for midnight snackers like us. The real marvel is actually that Nest was able to add both motion detection capabilities and an LED light to this tiny sensor.

Quiet Open

Quiet Open is the ultimate pet-friendly feature. Nest has engineered the Nest Detect sensor with a deactivate button. Quiet Open deactivates only the sensor you choose and leaves the rest of the system armed. This means you don’t have to disarm your entire system to let the puppers out to pee, and the sensor will automatically reactivate when the door is closed again.

Mobile control

Like all Nest devices, you can control your Nest Secure through the Nest app. You can monitor each sensor, assign names, and activate or deactivate your system all from the security screen.

Because it’s all part of the Nest ecosystem, it’s easy to jump from your Nest Secure to a Nest Cam live feed or change your thermostat, all with just a few swipes. It’s a clean, intuitive experience.

Nest Secure home security cameras

Nest Secure does not include any Nest Cams in the initial starter kit.

Nest Cam options
CameraNest Cam IndoorNest Cam Indoor IQNest Cam OutdoorNest Cam Outdoor IQ
Check priceView priceView priceView priceView price

A common misconception about home security systems, in general, is that you’ll get cameras with your system. That’s not the case with Nest (or in most cases, really). Cameras always cost extra, so for any Nest Cam you want, you’ll have to buy it separately. But the Nest Cam does integrate seamlessly with Nest Secure and can be monitored from the same app, as previously mentioned.

Nest Aware

Each model of Nest Cam is equipped with certain advanced features—like advanced motion detection, which allows your Nest Cam to learn the difference between a car passing by and a burglar approaching your house. Other features include the following:

  • Cloud syncing capabilities
  • Alert summaries
  • 24/7 continuous recording
  • Advanced motion detection
  • Advanced footage review
  • 5-day video history (45/mo.)
  • 10-day video history ($10/mo.)
  • 30-day video history ($30/mo.)

However, some of these features are hidden behind a monthly subscription called Nest Aware—and paying for this subscription is the only way a Nest Cam can unlock its full potential.

With Nest AwareWithout Nest Aware
Live video feedLive video feed
Motion and sound alertsMotion and sound alerts
Night visionNight vision
Two-way audioTwo-way audio
Advanced features depending on camera modelNo advanced features

We’re not fans of hiding features behind a paywall—especially when the product already comes with a relatively high price tag—but these particular features might be worth the extra $5–$30 per month.

Nest Secure pricing

nest secure

We touched on it earlier but plan on paying around $500 for Nest Secure. Not the most expensive we’ve seen, but also not the cheapest route.

That’s just to get started though—any add-ons, like motion detectors or more key tabs, or even a Nest Aware subscription, will cost extra.

Also, as an FYI, you probably won’t find many Nest Secure deals—or Nest Secure at all—on Amazon, since Nest is owned by Google, and Google and Amazon don’t always play nice together.

Professional monitoring price

Nest offers professional monitoring as an option if you want something a little more secure that you don’t have to monitor yourself. Nest partners with Brinks and offers both a month-to-month plan and a 3-year agreement.

Package nameMonthly priceLearn more
Month-to-Month Agreement$29/mo.View Plan
3-Year Agreement$19/mo.View Plan

You are not required to have professional monitoring with Nest Secure. You can choose to self-monitor (DIY) your system using the Nest app and avoid this cost altogether. However, we do believe professional monitoring offers better overall security.

You don’t have to sign a contract if you decide to go month to month, but you do get a $10 per month discount if you lock in for 36 months with the 3-year agreement.

The bottom line

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We recommend Nest Secure for anyone already using Nest technology or looking to up their security game without being too concerned about budget. It’s a streamlined security solution that offers advanced, practical features unlike those of any other home security system out there.

That being said, it’s not for everyone—especially if you’re looking for a budget-friendly security option for your home. Nest Secure is pretty. But it also costs a pretty penny.

Hit us up in the comments below with any questions or concerns about Nest Secure. Or if it doesn’t seem like the right security fit for you, check out our Best Home Security Systems review.