Nest Protect

Rest easy knowing the Nest smoke detector has you and your family covered.

SecureScore™: 8.1 /10
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Travis Goodreau
8.1 SecureScore™
How We Review
How We Review
Customer Service
Features & Technology
Ease Of Use

Nest Protect Ratings

Every home needs a smoke alarm, but the Nest Protect takes smoke detection to the next level. This is a unique product that provides alerts to a mobile phone for smoke, CO, or other risks. It can be the ideal addition to any smart home.

  • Easy-to-use app to silence alarms
  • Reliable detection of carbon monoxide and smoke
  • Works with other Nest products and IFTTT
  • Easy to install
  • Upgraded version offers a better design
  • Spoken alerts

  • Limited history look-back


The Nest Protect (the latest version) is a sleek, refined system that does more than just detect smoke. It has a split-spectrum sensor that makes it quite powerful. It also offers a few other nice features such as the ability to test itself automatically. The design allows for the smoke detector to work reliably for up to 10 years. And, there is no need for hardwiring or any difficult installation. Though a bit more expensive than other smoke detectors, it is connectivity makes it an ideal investment for many.

Features and Technology

The Nest Protect works much like having a person helping you due to its innovative, thought-focused design. It removes many of the obstacles faced from the traditional style of smoke detection system. Its features are both innovative and easy to use. Here’s a closer look.

A Thoughtful System

One of the ways Nest markets itself is as a thoughtful system. That is, it does a lot of the work for you. The system tests its sensors and batteries over 400 times every day. It also features a Sound Check that lets its testing is speakers and horn (quietly) one time every month.

Smoke and Steam Difference

The Nest Protect also knows the difference between smoke and steam. The Steam Check feature uses an algorithm to learn the difference between the two based on humidity levels. It will not sound if you are taking a hot shower.

App Access

Users can connect to the Nest Protect through an app on their phone. The device sends a message to the phone if there is a concern. This allows for monitoring the safety of the home from a distance. Another nice feature is the App Salience feature. It does not have to be hard to turn off the alarm using the app unlike other alarms that are difficult at best to silence.

Smart Speaking Technology

Instead of blaring an alarm, the Nest Protect provides an early warning with a friendly, human voice. For example, if it detects smoke in the kitchen, it might warn of this using a human voice before it sounds a loud alarm.


The Nest Protect offers Pathlight technology. When a person walks under the device during the dark, nighttime hours, it detects this automatically. It then lights up enough to create a path of visibility for you. Users can also turn this feature off or adjust how much light it offers using their app.

Emergency Needs

When there is an emergency, such as when carbon monoxide levels get too high or when there is smoke present, the system goes to work. It sounds an alarm and pulses red. It then provides specific information about the location of the fire.

Ease of Use

The system is very easy to install. It takes no more than attaching it to a wall. There are no wires, no need to drill holes, and no annoying falls in the middle of the night due to poor adhesive (like other systems). The Nightly Promise feature is also a nice benefit. When the lights go out, it turns to a quick green glow. It is a type of reassurance that all is well, the system is working, and it will not test in during the night hours.

Customer Service

Nest Labs, the company behind the Nest Protect, is a rapidly growing company. At the time of this writing, it had a low rating with the Better Business Bureau. Though the company offers supportive services and the system is rather easy to use, some key concerns exist. Some individuals struggled with warranty support while others had trouble with the company’s clarity on pricing for subscription models.


The Nest Protect is a bit more expensive than other smoke alarms. It is possible to purchase a single alarm for $99 (at full price). Other options include a three-pack or a six-pack. Both wired and battery versions are priced the same.


The Nest Protect uses six, long-life AA Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries in the battery-powered version or a 120V connector with three long-life AA Energizer Ultimate lithium backup batteries for the wired model. Its features include voice alarms, self-test, and wireless interconnect, among others. The system includes a two-watt speaker. Its split-spectrum sensor has a 450nm and 880nm wavelength and the system also includes a 10-year electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor with a heat and humidity sensor built in. It also features an occupancy sensor, ambient light sensors and omnidirectional microphone.

The Nest Product is just a single device measuring 5.3-inches by 1.5-inches in width. There is a wired version available for those who would like this feature.


There is no doubt that the Nest Protect is a full-service tool. It is far above a standard smoke alarm because of its smart technology. It aims to guide you – telling you where the problem is and what to do. It allows for remote monitoring of your home as well, which can provide people who travel with peace of mind. It provides a 10-day Safety History, too, which lets you look back to see what happened. At the end of the month, it automatically creates a Home Report. This provides a summary of all experiences.

Though a bit more expensive than a non-smart system, the Nest Protect is easy to use, easy to install, and very versatile. Because it constantly monitors your home and tests itself, it really can provide peace of mind.

Reviewed By
Travis Goodreau
Safety and Security Advisor
Travis is a retired Burglary Detective, having tallied 5,000+ burglary and theft cases throughout his career. He also served as an Arson Investigator, where he cracked the case of a serial arsonist, and made the arrest and prosecuted the would-be bomber of ABC-7 Studio in LA. We couldn’t be happier to have him as a Safety and Security Advisor. Learn more about Travis here
Written By
Andrew Garcia
Lead Security Editor
As Lead Security Editor, Andrew strategically guides SafeHome and the resources we publish. He holds a BA in business, and has 10+ years of experience in content development. Today, Andrew edits and publishes articles, guides, and other resources to meet our rigorous standards. Learn more about Andrew here

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  1. Avatar John Gresch says:

    Installed our first hard wired Nest Protect last night. Curious if our experience will exceed that of Mr. Jordan’s.

  2. Avatar Dapper Derek says:

    I have had 3 hardwired Nest Protect 2’s running since Jan 2015. Early on the only issue I had was with the detector nearest to the kids’ bathroom which would confuse steam with smoke for a while but then that just stopped without any effort on my part (meaning the false detections ceased as opposed to the sauna room conditions created by kids that take long hot showers without turning on the exhaust fan). Apparently the Nest did “learn” to differentiate. I also installed some standard smoke/CO alarms in the bedrooms, hallways, etc. in September of that same year and they have been nothing but trouble. I have one of them on my desk right now because of the 2 AM chirping. This one came from my daughter’s room. She has learned to sleep through the chirping!!! This is why I find myself looking at Nest reviews to see if I have missed any updates over the past 4.5 years. Looks like I’ll be replacing this detector with another Nest Protect. This product delivers exactly what it promises which is premium performance albeit at a premium price. You get what you pay for.

  3. Avatar Mike Kalish says:

    I had two Nest Protect units in a previous home. Had them for 3 years and while fortunately never needed them, they provided much peace of mind and we never had a problem with them. Also had two Nest Aware cameras and a Nest Thermostat. All worked great and I felt the subscription price of $80/year was reasonable.
    In our new home, we have the thermostat and the cameras. Will be adding Nest Protect soon. Love Nest products and wouldn’t be without them.

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