8 things you need to know about Nest Secure

The thermostat maker brings some smart ideas to home security

Nest has gradually grown from the connected thermostat company into one that's trying to smarten up your entire home. And now it's getting tough.

Unveiled yesterday, Nest Secure is the company's new line of home security devices, letting you build your own connected system with ease. As you might expect from its other offerings, Nest Secure isn't cheap, but it's stylish and it comes with some really helpful-looking perks.

Nest Secure isn't quite available yet (keep reading), but if you're looking to secure your flat with a modern solution, then this might be the smart system of your dreams. Here's everything you should know about Nest's new security suite.

1) It has a brain called the Nest Guard

The Nest Guard is the heart and hub of the Nest Secure system. This Wi-Fi enabled device sits near your front door, perhaps wherever you toss your keys and mail, and it acts much like the main gatekeeper for your residents.

It's the actual alarm at the core of Nest Secure, plus it has a keypad and motion sensor all bundled in. Everything's all controlled via your smartphone if you please, but the keypad is also there if you just want to pop in a code instead of fumbling for your handset when you get home.

When triggered, it blares out an 85dB siren that'll startle anyone in earshot, hopefully sending any intruders off to the races, and the motion sensor works for up to 10 feet in a 90° radius from the face of the device. The Guard also has a 12-hour battery backup in case the power is out.

2) Nest Tags are like magical keys

When you open the door and need to disarm the system, you can enter a code or use the app to disable the system – or you can just wave a Nest Tag near the Nest Guard.

These small dongles, with a diameter of just less than 1.5in, can hang out on your keychain for easy personal access. But more usefully, they can be given to other people who don't have or need full system access.

Give one to your kid to use when he/she comes home, a dog walker, or a house guest. You can set and revoke privileges at any time, which is especially great if you happen to lose one of them, plus you can set time limits for each.

3) Nest Detect sensors can go everywhere

How does the Nest Secure system actually monitor your home? Mainly, it uses Nest Detect sensors that you can attach to any external door or vulnerable window in your space.

Each battery-powered Detect sensor has two parts that are magnetically paired, and one goes on the door with the other on the frame – or the window frame and sill, or top and bottom window. However you position it, they should be right next to each other when the door or window is closed.

If the system is armed and the door or window is opened, the Nest Guard will ring out as expected. You'll get two sensors with the starter set, but Nest Secure is modular, so you can add as many more as you need based on the size of your flat.

Got a large home? You can also grab a Nest Connect booster, which ensures that the mesh network that links them all extends to every protected corner of your flat.

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