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Google Nest home security review: Smart home devices tested

Verified by Molly Dyson

To deliver a comprehensive, impartial review of the Google Nest home security systems, our experts have dedicated over 150 hours to meticulously examining its products, ensuring you receive a reliable assessment.

A smart home security system offers enhanced protection, real-time monitoring, and greater control for homeowners. They detect potential threats, such as burglaries, fires, or gas leaks, and send instant alerts to your device, enabling swift action. These systems adapt to normal household patterns and minimise false alarms, leveraging advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Google Nest is a line of smart home products owned by Google. The catalogue includes a range of devices that aim to make your home safer, more comfortable, and more convenient through smart technology. Fully compatible with each other, your home system can easily be expanded with other devices from Google. 

The Nest Secure alarm system’s innovative products include security cameras, smart doorbells, and sensors, all of which can be controlled via the Google Home app on your smartphone. Paid-for professional monitoring is not available in the UK, but a professional installation is an option, although the devices are designed to be self-installed. 

Our experts have closely examined Google Nest’s security products, analysing the quality, performance and value for money, allowing you to decide on your home security.

60-second review

Rating: ★★★

Google Nest offers a suite of home security products designed to work together for comprehensive coverage, including video doorbells, a wide range of cameras, and several pre-packaged systems. They fully integrate with any other smart home devices you have, with the aim of creating a comfortable, secure home. 

The security systems are easy to install, although there is the option for professional installation at an additional fee, if you are a less confident DIYer, and there are optional subscriptions providing additional features. Professional monitoring is only available in the US, but with a user-friendly app, UK homeowners can control their system easily, setting automations, receiving instant alerts and viewing live video anywhere they have a wifi signal. 

However, Google Nest products come with a premium price tag, and the company has a poor Trustpilot rating, both points suggesting you should consider whether you want to invest in Google Nest or look at other packages for your home security solutions.

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How we test smart home security systems

100+
hours of research
16
customer service calls
59
home security systems compared
6
experts consulted
500+
customer reviews read

Our team of Independent Advisor experts investigates and scrutinises each home security system, delivering balanced and unbiased reviews. Google Nest has been subjected to a thorough analysis of its products’ attributes, performances, and prices in conjunction with industry opinions and customer reviews.

Our Google Nest review is determined by the following categories:

  • Upfront and contract pricing
  • Packages available
  • Features and functionality
  • Usability
  • Customer experience

We examine 18 elements within these categories, including:

  • Monitoring services and contract types
  • Data backup and storage
  • Warranties
  • Flexibility/customisation in bundles
  • Quality (image, sound, product)
  • Installation

Every Independent Advisor home security article undergoes verification by our internal team of fact-checkers. This ensures we give consumers the insights they need to make well-informed choices. For more information, read our article on how we review home security systems.

How does a smart home security system work?

Google Nest’s home security system operates as a smart security network, employing interconnected devices and a core hub that can be conveniently accessed via a mobile app. Unlike traditional security methods that primarily depend on alarms and direct notifications to emergency services, Google Nest affords the homeowner an enhanced degree of command, personalisation, and interaction.

When a sensor or detector is activated – for example, a door is opened, or movement is spotted, the core hub processes this information and reacts based on preset configurations. The response could be initiating a camera capture, illuminating lights, or enabling two-way communication. Critically, Google Nest will also relay a notification to your smartphone through its companion app, keeping you informed about any event in real-time, irrespective of your location.

This higher degree of control and customisation sets smart home security systems like Google Nest apart from traditional alarm systems, marking a significant upgrade in home security solutions.

Google Nest overview

  • Equipment cost: £89.99 for the indoor wired Nest camera
  • Monthly fee: £5 per month for Nest Aware
  • Power outage backup: Yes
  • Mobile phone backup: Yes
  • Live streaming: Yes
  • Push alerts: Yes
  • Remotely arm/disarm system: Yes
  • Voice assistants: Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
  • Apps for: iOS and Android

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Well designed products
  • Multi-purpose sensors
  • Simple integration with other smart home products

Cons

  • High price band
  • Overly complex subscription plans
  • Limited to three hours of recorded history without a subscription
  • Many features only available with a subscription

How does Google Nest compare with its competitors?

Google Nest has an extensive product range beyond home security, including smart speakers, thermostats, cameras, and video doorbells. These offerings are competitive in their scope and technological advancement; however, other brands, such as Ring or Hey! are less price heavy. 

It should be noted that many Google Nest features are only available through its Aware subscription service.

Key feature ↓ Google Nest ADT SimpliSafe Ring Hey!
Minimum equipment cost (without installation) £239.99 £199 £249.96 £219.99 £129.99
Starting monthly fee £5 £35.99 (36 months minimum) From £15.90 £3.49 (optional) £3.49 for optional cloud storage
Power outage backup 12-hour battery backup Checked daily by ADT 24-hour backup battery 24-hour battery backup Battery backup on floodlight camera and long battery charge specified on some items
Mobile phone backup Yes Cloud storage 4G data backup Yes, cloud storage with subscription Cloud storage or SD card
Live streaming Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Push alerts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remotely arm/disarm system Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Best alternative to
SimpliSafe offers a huge range of customisable home security systems to suit any size house. Homeowners can choose self or professional monitoring, with monthly prices starting at £15.99.
4
Excellent Trustpilot rating
Easy to install yourself
No long-term contracts
LEARN MORE At SimpliSafe

How much does Google Nest home security cost?

Google Nest offers a range of packages designed to provide comprehensive security solutions. Additional devices can be purchased separately, allowing a tailored system that can be incorporated into your smart home.

Google Nest provides options to pay for your devices in monthly instalments spread over 24 months and offers discounts of at least 10 per cent for students.

Our experts feel the existing packages could be more competitively priced, or include additional devices for the price.

Equipment costs

Package name Equipment Cost
Front Door Monitoring Package x1 Nest battery doorbell x1 Nest hub (2nd generation) £239.98
Outdoor Monitoring Package x1 Nest battery camera x1 Nest hub (2nd generation) £239.98
Total Security Package x1 Nest battery doorbell x1 Nest battery camera x1 Nest hub (2nd generation) £508.98

Monthly costs

Google Nest’s features are not available across the board, with some cameras offering features as standard, while other features are only available with Aware or Aware Plus.

Subscription plan Features Cost
No subscription 3 hours’ event history Motion detection Person detection Animal detection Vehicle detection Parcel seen Live view Talk and listen N/A
Aware 30-day event history Motion detection Dog barking Person talking Person detection Animal detection Vehicle detection Parcel seen Live view Talk and listen £5 per month (£50 annually)
Aware Plus 24/7 video history 60-day event history Motion detection Dog barking Person talking Person detection Animal detection Vehicle detection Parcel seen Live view Talk and listen £10/month (£100 annually)
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Editor’s Choice
40% off! Use UKINDY40 at checkout
Best Monitoring
Over 148 years of experience
Best DIY
Easy DIY installation
Best Bespoke
Rated 4.6 on Trustpilot

Equipment overview

All Google Nest products include any necessary installation fittings, batteries, and comprehensive instructions and are made from a high percentage of recycled materials, according to the company. 

Nest battery doorbell

Google Nest home security review battery doorbell different colours
The Google Nest Doorbell comes in a variety of colours (Google)

It should be noted that the Nest battery doorbell requires the Google Home app and a Google Account – it’s incompatible with the Nest app. 

Incorporating three hours of event history, the doorbell has a built-in rechargeable Li-Ion battery, and offers motion and proximity detection, night vision, and two-way audio with noise cancellation. It also covers a 145-degree viewing range. 

Nest battery camera

Google Nest home security review Nest cam v2
The Google Nest Cam can be used indoors or outdoors (Google)

It should be noted that the Nest battery camera requires the Google Home app and a Google Account – it’s not compatible with the Nest app. 

The Nest battery camera, which can be used indoors or outdoors, offers a 130-degree viewing range, a 2MP sensor, and HDR night vision. It includes a three-hour event history and a x6 zoom option. 

Nest hub (2nd generation)

Google Nest home security review Nest hub v2
The Google Nest Hub allows you to control all of your smart home security devices from one display (Google)

Nest’s second-generation home hub allows you to control all your smart devices from this one central display. 

The Nest hub boasts a 7in screen, three far-field microphones, and a full-range speaker incorporating voice match technology and ultrasound sensing. Google Assistant is built in, and it’s compatible with wifi and Bluetooth.

What do customers say?

Google Nest is rated 1.2 out of five stars on Trustpilot, the lowest score for any home security system we’ve reviewed. While it’s important to be aware this rating is across all its products, it is still ranked as ‘poor’. Only 5 per cent of reviewers awarded four and five stars, with 94 per cent giving one and two stars, mentioning poor customer service and faulty products. 

“I have a Nest outdoor cam, [and] it often goes offline and plays up. I had to turn [it] off [at the] mains yesterday and ever since it has been offline. I can’t reconnect despite scanning and entering [the] serial number manually. [I’m] fed up with it.”

Conversely, Amazon customers award Nest products an average of four out of five stars.

“[I] bought this for my mother-in-law to replace an existing outside light and give them some security. They love watching the wildlife in their garden at night (foxes and badgers mainly), and it’s a great peace of mind for us, as we can see the video feed also – no worrying about [whether] they have fallen over outside.

“The picture quality is great, and the floodlight settings offer a level of variability both in sensitivity and brightness to stop it going off too often. The floodlight can also be turned on and off separately via the app to act as an outside light.”

App overview

Google Nest home security review Google Home app
The Google Home app allows you to control your Nest home security system remotely (Google)

Google has designed two apps for its devices – Google Home and the Nest app. Its security cameras are only compatible with Google Home, and this appears to be the most widely used app across its equipment; a Google account is necessary to access it. 

The Home app is available for iOS and Android devices and gives you control over your security system wherever you have wifi access. 

The recently updated Home app has a clean, uncluttered interface, providing a simple list of which devices are connected, with each being customisable under the settings tab. Automation capabilities allow you to pre-programme a set of commands upon a trigger signal; for example, living room lights switching on if someone triggers the doorbell, or disarming your alarm when you arrive home. Using the ‘favourites’ tab gives you access to the live camera feeds, with the option to scroll through the footage from multiple cameras.

Google Nest’s best home security packages

Our experts have reviewed three Google Nest home security packages, looking into their installation, performance and value for money.  

Total Security Package: Best overall

Google Nest home security review Total Security Package
The Total Security Package allows you to monitor your front and back doors (Google)
  • What you get: 
    • x1 Nest battery doorbell
    • x1 Nest battery camera
    • x1 Nest hub (2nd generation)
  • Upfront cost: £508.98
  • Monthly fee: From £5 

The Total Security Package lets you fully monitor your home, via the video doorbell and the battery camera. The high-resolution hub screen shows live video feed, allows two-way communication with anyone on your doorstep, and sends instant alerts to the Home app. Using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa voice commands provides control over what your cameras show, and from both the hub and the app, settings and automations can be customised. 

While it’s more expensive than some competitors, we feel this provides a good security solution for most homes. 

Front Door Monitoring Package: Best for front door monitoring

Google Nest home security review Front Door Monitoring Package
The Front Door Monitoring package includes a Nest Doorbell and a Nest Hub (Google)
  • What you get: 
    • x1 Nest battery doorbell
    • x1 Nest hub (2nd generation)
  • Upfront cost: £239.98
  • Monthly fee: From £5

Google Nest’s battery doorbell features parcel detection alongside people, animal and vehicle detection, sending instant alerts when the camera is activated. It also provides two-way communication with someone on your doorstep and lets you prerecord messages such as: “Leave the parcel on the porch, please”. 

The Nest hub allows you to view live footage and communicate with anyone at your door. It sends instant alerts if the camera is activated. 

Outdoor Monitoring Package: Best for homes with large gardens

Google Nest home security review Outdoor Monitoring Package
The OutDoor Monitoring Package includes the Nest Cam, which has a wide viewing angle perfect for monitoring back gardens (Google)
  • What you get: 
    • x1 Nest battery camera
    • x1 Nest hub (2nd generation)
  • Upfront cost: £239.98
  • Monthly fee: From £5

Costing the same as the Front Door Monitoring Package, the outdoor package offers a 110-degree horizontal field of view, and a range of 7.5 metres (25ft), providing footage that can be viewed on the 7in hub screen. 

If your property has a large driveway, outbuildings, or an extensive garden, this package is well worth considering, especially if combined with the doorbell camera to monitor the immediate access point.

Independent Advisor’s verdict

Google Nest provides several pre-packaged home security solutions, which can easily be expanded upon with other devices from its catalogue. However, we do feel that, for the price, other brands offer more competitive options, especially when considering Google Nest’s poor Trustpilot rating. 

Rating: ★★★

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Frequently asked questions about Google Nest home security

Alexa allows you to control your Google Nest devices with voice commands, such as asking Alexa to show you the video feed from a particular camera. You can also set up pre-programmed automations that are voice-controlled. However, you may need to enable specific skills in the Alexa app to connect devices.

Google Nest devices can be used without a subscription, but Google offers Nest Aware and Aware Plus subscription services from £5 a month. These provide additional features for Nest devices, such as an extended video history, intelligent alerts, and camera activity zones. 

You can still use Nest devices without a subscription and receive basic features, but more advanced functionality is tied to a Nest Aware subscription.

Google Nest devices offer user-friendly design, easy installation, and remote access via a simple-to-use app. Integrating these devices with the Google Home ecosystem makes them convenient for homeowners already using Google products. 

However, Google Nest devices are typically more expensive than some alternatives on the market, advanced features can only be accessed with a Nest Aware subscription, and the brand has a low Trustpilot rating.

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.