Earlier this month, Google brutally pulled the plug on Nest Secure, its 3-year-old alarm system that doesn’t have a successor of any kind in sight. While that product won’t be fully left out to dry anytime soon, Google has been completely silent regarding a new alarm system. Here’s why they shouldn’t give up on it.
Cameras are great, but alarm systems give peace of mind
The cornerstone of the Nest brand is cameras and, admittedly, they’rep an excellent way to keep an eye on your home. But as far as security is concerned, they aren’t foolproof. Cameras have blind spots, they can be blocked, they can lose power. A proper alarm system like Nest Secure, though, is a lot harder to trip up.
Generally speaking, it’s hard to beat an alarm system. The Nest Guard hub is the only way for a potential intruder to disarm the system — assuming they haven’t stolen your phone that is. Before they reach that Guard, they have to get in a door or window that’s connected to the Guard with a Detect sensor. That sensor immediately sets off the alarm countdown when opening the door or window and, should that fail for some reason, there’s also a motion sensor that will go off. The alarm as a whole can even be tied to a professional monitoring system which can alert the local authorities.
The Nest Guard hub is a central point for an entire home security system, and importantly it’s also the most reliable. If it loses power, it continues to sense motion and opening doors even once the cameras go out by using a battery backup. The sensors themselves, too, run on battery power all of the time which means they can be used in more places compared to Google’s wired cameras.
Nest Guard actually made Nest Cams easier to use
Beyond the very real security benefits that Nest Secure delivers, Google’s decision to pull the plug on its alarm systems has further implications for the company’s cameras. For quite some time, Nest has offered “Home” and “Away” presets. These can be used to automatically adjust various settings on your cameras, thermostats, and other Nest products.
With a Nest Guard hub installed in your home, this feature becomes far more powerful. Instead of relying on a switch on your phone or the automation of your physical location, you can have the Nest Guard determine the status of your home.
In my case, I don’t like having my various cameras watching over me all day, so I leave them off. As a result, I have my cameras set to record on a timer. That would be flawed if I left during the day, though, so I use my Nest Guard to turn on the cameras any time I actually leave my home. If it weren’t for that product, I would have to use the Nest or Google Home apps every time I left to manually turn those cameras on, or I’d have to rely on the location-sensing features which, frankly, I don’t trust since I use more than one phone.
None of this applies to everyone, but in my experience, Nest Guard has made my various Nest Cams easier to use, made them feel more reliable, and more under my control.
Price is probably the only reason Nest Secure wasn’t a hit
Frankly, $500 is asking a lot of anyone for a DIY alarm system that only covers two doors/windows. Even after a $100 price cut later on in its life, that’s a lot of cash. Google would have been smart to make this product even more affordable by cutting out some of the unnecessary points.
The tags really aren’t that big of a deal. Codes are easy and you could probably just use NFC on at least Android phones instead. Take those out of the kit and save people $50. It would have also been nice to be able to buy everything individually. For the first two years I had a Nest Secure, I lived in an apartment that only needed a single Detect sensor. The second one went to waste until I bought my first home. That’s another $50 that could have been saved on the initial investment. $299 is a much more attractive and competitive price!
If Google does make the smart and rational call of making a successor to this system, I think price is key. It needs to be more affordable from the getgo. There is still a market for this product, especially given the popularity of Nest Cams, locks, and speakers. All Google needs to do is put it within reach.
On a final note, here’s the thing that really irks me about this whole situation. The Nest Secure isn’t an app or a service that people can go without. It was positioned as a legitimate home security product and, with that, comes the expectation that it should last for years upon years. Google has essentially told customers who made that upfront investment — and those out there who surely spent the better part of $1,000 expanding their system — that full support should only last three years.
That’s unacceptable Google. This is why people have trust issues with your products. I was never one of those people. Now, I am.
More on Google Nest:
- Google discontinues Nest Secure alarm system with no replacement in sight
- New $129 Nest Thermostat features sleek new design, full Google Home app integration
- Google Home app gains Home & Away Routines, presence sensing
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