Nest Shield assessment (2015): Improved security makes it simpler to advocate

Nest Protect review (2015): Improved safety makes it easier to recommend

There’s nothing cool about security. Sure, security is necessary, however it’s very not often cool. The fashionable Nest Shield is, at its core, a smoke detector — the least stylish merchandise in your house. Nonetheless, when the corporate that introduced us the sensible thermostat launched a smoke alarm, it stood out from its rivals with swanky options like lighting your means in the dead of night and a companion app. These have been and nonetheless are good, nevertheless it’s the security options that make the gadget a worthy addition to the house. Particularly, Nest just lately up to date the Shield with extra exact air detection. This can be a welcome flip after the corporate’s wave-to-silence function within the final mannequin ended up by chance silencing the system. That experiment in parlor tips led Nest to halt gross sales of the Shield, solely to put it again available on the market with the movement-management function disabled.

As earlier than, the up to date smoke/carbon monoxide detector makes use of a human voice to calmly warn you when the alarm is about to go off. As soon as once more, too, the Shield reminds you that it is there because of a useful night time-mild function. At $ninety nine, it is greater than double the worth of different smoke alarms you will discover in your native ironmongery shop. However, because of a companion app and its integration with the Nest Cam, Nest Thermostat and different Protects you’ll have put in, it is a strong funding for anybody who needs to always monitor their house, however extra importantly, it is a safer answer than what you could have in your ceiling proper now.


Shield (2015)

$ninety nine Purchase Now


  • Fewer false alarms
  • Works with Nest’s different merchandise to inform you when one thing is amiss
  • A number of Protects can talk with one another even when your WiFi goes down
  • Alerts you to issues whenever you’re away from residence
  • Path mild function retains you from stubbing your toe at night time


  • Expensive in comparison with common smoke detectors


A dear, however strong addition to your house. The Nest Shield takes one thing as boring as detecting smoke and makes it barely thrilling. Up to date sensors scale back false alarms and are faster to find out when there’s an issue. The companion app, path mild and integration with different Nest merchandise are good-to-have options, nevertheless it’s the corporate’s give attention to security that makes the Shield worthy of your ceiling.


Nest Protect review (2015): Improved safety makes it easier to recommend

The Shield is a clear piece of hardware with a glowing mild ring and plenty of tiny holes all through. Given the smoke detector’s location close to the ceiling, all that fancy design work would principally go unnoticed till catastrophe struck or the battery wanted altering. However that illuminated circle forces you to note the Shield. When the lights are turned off, the ring glows inexperienced after operating a fast diagnostic scan that Nest calls the “Nightly Promise.” That nocturnal mild present continues when the movement sensors detect motion, at which level a path mild activates and fades out as you stroll away. I get up a couple of occasions an evening to examine on my cat and the trail mild has shortly develop into my favourite function.

Nicely, apart from not letting me die in my sleep as a result of a fireplace or carbon monoxide leak.

Nonetheless, by turning into a movement-detecting night time-mild, the Shield reminds you that it is there. It calls for you discover it. That is one thing most common detectors fail to do. I noticed how necessary that is at the start of my evaluation once I came upon that that my present detector had been off all the six years I’ve lived in my condominium. The battery (which was put in backward) had an expiration date of March 2005. It is my fault for being neglectful. Should you’ve additionally forgotten to examine your smoke detector for the previous six years, having a security gadget in your house that sometimes tries to get your consideration is a good suggestion.

Consideration is good, nevertheless it’s the elevated security that is necessary. Particularly, the brand new Shield makes use of a cut up-spectrum sensor with a second blue LED for enhanced monitoring of the air getting into the gadget. The extra mild given off by the blue LED helps the detector to see extra and decide if a particle is trigger for alarm. The know-how that measures all these things is housed in a stainless-steel case that retains mud and fibers out whereas letting smoke enter. Based on Nest, this results in fewer false alarms. Certainly, throughout my exams, it ignored steam from my close by toilet — a transparent step up from the smoke detector at my previous house, which would normally flag steam as smoke and emit an ear-splitting alarm as I used to be preparing for work. That could be why my present smoke alarm was deactivated: It is proper in entrance of my toilet.


Nest Protect review (2015): Improved safety makes it easier to recommend

The Nest Shield is out there in black or white and with two energy choices: wired and battery-powered (I examined the latter). Connecting the smoke detector to the Nest app requires scanning a QR code on the again of the system. After you’ve got carried out that, pull a tab to show it on, pair it together with your telephone after which choose the place it’s going to reside in your house (e.g., the kitchen). If in case you have a number of Nest Protects, the app will immediate you so as to add all of them. The thought is that in case you have a number of smoke detectors in your house, they will hook up with the identical Nest Conscious account and talk by way of a mesh community referred to as Nest Weave. Even when your own home community is down, then, the units will nonetheless have the ability to speak to one another.

Regardless of what number of of those units you purchase, it should not take lengthy to put in them in your ceiling. If in case you have a step stool and a screwdriver (or higher, a drill), then setup is a breeze. After screwing within the mounting plate, simply line up the detector with the bracket tabs and twist it on. Accomplished. Nest Conscious additionally makes onboarding easy by pairing the units within the app utilizing a QR code. As soon as the whole lot is up and operating, the detectors are managed by way of a cellular app (for iOS and Android) or with an internet portal.

And whereas Nest does so much to make the set up course of painless, I like to recommend hiring an electrician in case you determine to get the wired model. That’s, until you are the kind of one that routinely swaps out home equipment and is aware of the place your breaker field is and what it does.

In use

Nest Protect review (2015): Improved safety makes it easier to recommend

Nest despatched alongside some pretend smoke to check the Shield. It is the identical canned spray that arrived with the unique Nest for its assessment. To my disappointment, it does not truly spew smoke, nevertheless it does trick your smoke detector into considering that you’re in peril. After a number of very fast sprays on the system, it went from, “Hey, there could be one thing improper,” to, “OMG! We’re all gonna die!”

Nicely, perhaps not that. In actuality, a feminine voice says to you, “Heads up. There’s smoke in the lounge. The alarm might sound.” Then, if the issue will get worse: “Emergency! There’s smoke in the lounge!” Each of those are preceded and adopted by alarms: a quieter one for the warning and an ear-piercing tone for precise emergencies.

Earlier than all hell breaks unfastened, whereas the Shield is in warning mode, hitting the massive button on the gadget or utilizing the app turns off the alarm. After some points with a function on the primary-era Shield that gave customers the choice of waving their hand to close off the alarm, Nest eliminated it. The system was misinterpreting actions within the house as hand waves and disabling the preliminary warning. Not one thing you need occurring throughout an emergency. However, you possibly can nonetheless use the app to silence warnings in the event you’re underneath six ft tall and do not need to maintain a stepladder close to your detectors. As soon as the Shield determines that the smoke or carbon monoxide degree is at a harmful degree, you possibly can’t flip off the alarm till the perceived menace has cleared. This can be a authorized requirement to maintain individuals from deactivating detectors and ignoring a probably harmful state of affairs.

When the coast is obvious, the alarm and the app inform you that the smoke has dissipated. As well as, the app will make observe of the date and time of the incident in order that when you’re not at residence, you possibly can examine what triggered the alerts. Even in the event you do not use the app each day, it is there if you need to discover out what occurred.

Software program

When you’ve gone all in with the Nest merchandise and haven’t only a smoke alarm, but in addition a Nest Thermostat and a Nest Cam, the Shield will get extra helpful because of the Nest Conscious app. The Thermostat nonetheless turns off fuel-powered units (like furnaces) and the app continues to inform you when the Shield senses an issue. However the Nest Cam and Dropcam integration is new. When an alarm is triggered the cameras start recording and the app sends out a notification that one thing is amiss. At which level, you’ll be able to launch the appliance and see what’s occurring in actual time. Should you’re out of the home, this info could be the distinction between calling 911 and realizing that somebody simply overcooked a meal.

Nest Protect review (2015): Improved safety makes it easier to recommend

As a result of I solely had one Shield, I used to be additionally unable to check its means to speak to different Protects even when the WiFi in your house has failed. The Nest Weave function makes use of onboard WiFi to maintain them speaking to at least one one other and alerting you to a state of affairs even when the facility goes out. For instance, if Shield detects a carbon monoxide leak within the household room and you may’t hear the alarm from that room, the Protects in different elements of the home will have the ability to provide you with a warning.

If in case you have a big residence, this function might be tremendous useful, but in addition pricey when every gadget rings in at $ninety nine a pop. Sure, it is expensive, however when your house community goes down and the detectors are nonetheless speaking to at least one one other as a result of one in every of them has recognized an precise hazard as an alternative of steam, it is undoubtedly value it.

The competitors

All you need to do is lookup towards your ceiling to see what Nest is competing towards. A lot of the smoke detectors on the market have been put in for years and changing almost all of them will value you lower than $50 apiece. They’re cheaper, however when you begin including sensible options, the worth shortly climbs. A type of sub-$50 units is the type-of-sensible Kidde 2-in-1 Wi-fi Alarm. It really works with the Wink app and hub and options voice alarms, detects smoke and carbon monoxide and runs on a mesh community. However, it requires a separate system, the $50 Wink Hub, to reap the benefits of these extra superior options. The mixed worth places it on par with the Shield, however with out the comfort of getting all this performance packed right into a single gadget.

The remainder of the smoke and carbon monoxide detector market (each wired and battery-powered) are smoke/carbon monoxide updates of the tried-and-true smoke detectors. Some, just like the $forty three First Alert Speaking Mixture Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm have — because the slightly lengthy identify implies — a voice function. However none have all the “sensible” package deal of the Shield.


Nest Protect review (2015): Improved safety makes it easier to recommend

In comparison with the typical smoke detector, the Nest Shield looks like an extravagance. It is greater than double the worth of a backyard-selection system and though it is fairly, it is also one thing you will not often take a look at. However, if you’re interested by security, it is just a little simpler to justify the added value, particularly because the Shield is rated for 10 years of use, is extra delicate to harmful parts whereas decreasing false alarms and provides you mild warnings earlier than a state of affairs actually turns into unsafe. Most of the Shield’s sensible options carried over from the earlier model, and that is nice, however it’s the interior security upgrades that finally hold you protected. The Shield might look cool on the surface, however like we have discovered from each after-faculty particular, it is what’s inside that counts.


Shield (2015)

$ninety nine Purchase Now