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Nest smart products review – keep an eye on your home from anywhere

Nest is a big name in the world of smart home devices and it has landed in Australia to offer customers safety and security with its range of connected and intelligent devices.

Tech Guide took a look at the Nest products – and it was almost over before it began.

Now you’d think it would be pretty simple to register your email and password with the service.

Whenever we did, we were sent an email to that address and had to click on a link to verify our email. Fairly straightforward you’d assume.

Well, you’d be wrong. We tried all four of our email addresses and it couldn’t recognise one of them.

To make matters worse we had an electrician booked to installed the Nest Outdoor Camera and two Nest Protect smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors before we could connect them to the app and our network.

We would eventually install the Nest Indoor Camera ourselves.

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To try and troubleshoot the issue, we got onto the Nest site’s support chat and just as we were getting out our issues across, the chat would end or be cut.

That happened four times and we were ready to chuck it in.

A frustrated customer would be entitled to ask for their money back at this point.

But a support person sent us an email with a suggestion. By now none of our email addresses has been recognised and the Nest app had come up with a network error despite me trying it on an iPhone and two Android phones.

The problem was definitely not at our end.

Then this support person’s email hits my inbox with a simple suggestion. Add +nest to the name on the email and try again.

So for me my address would become Stephen+Nest@………..

And it worked.

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If an address with + Nest added can work why can’t they program their verification services to assume every address has + Nest there already.

We wonder how many other customers went through what we went through.

Anyway, from there, it was thankfully smooth sailing.

All of the Nest products we had – two Nest Protects, the Nest Outdoor Camera and the Nest Indoor Camera all connect through your wi-fi to the Nest app.

Each of the Nest products have a small QR code which are simply scanned so they can be connected to your network and added to your Nest account.

NEST PROTECT – $189

These smart smoke detectors were installed to replace my existing smoke detectors.

If they detect any threat they can identify what is and where it is coming from.

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The device has a voice warning before the alarm sounds.

This is handy if you’ve just burnt toast in the kitchen because you have time to bypass the alarm to deal with the burnt toast rather than having to do that with the piercing sound of a smoke alarm in the background.

Nest Protect is on the ceiling but also connected to your phone so they can be monitored anywhere with notifications sent to the device if the alarm goes off or is about to go off.

Another handy feature is Path Light – which lights your way when it senses movement so you’re not going to bump into anything in the middle of the night.

NEST OUTDOOR CAM – $319

The Nest Outdoor Cam lets you keep an eye in things from the Nest app whether you’re home or not.

This outdoor camera comes with a long cable – 7m of it – and a USB adaptor and plug that needs to connect to a powerpoint.

Lucky for us we had an outdoor powerpoint. Customers need to mount the magnetic base and then run the cable to the powerpoint.

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At the end of cable is a USB module that links the camera’s power cable to the cable that will end up in the powerpoint.

If you’re trying to run the cable in through the wall to plug it into an indoor powerpoint, the USB cable is too thick to make this easy. And cutting of the end of cable to fit it through gives you no guarantee that the cables can easily be connected again.

Our advice is to get professional help.

For our install, we positioned the camera near our outdoor powerpoint and used cable ties to tame the excess cable and keep it tidy.

You also have to choose a spot that is still with reach of your home’s wi-fi network. The router at our place was on the inside of the wall where the camera was located.

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The camera can be positioned with the magnetic base to face in any direction and its wide-angle lens gives you a good view.

It’s easy to monitor the camera through the app and set your alerts for movement and sound.

It can even distinguish between people and pets and you can prioritize zones to more sensitive than others.

For example, if your camera can see into your neighbour’s yard you can tell the camera to ignore the movement there.

The camera also has two-way audio so you can hear and talk back through the camera.

If it’s installed near your front door you could talk to anyone who’s there whether it’s a delivery person or a visitor.

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The video is high definition and easy to make out details like faces.

All the footage can be accesses through Nest Aware – an online storage service.

As a Nest Aware customer, it’s possible to have 24/7 recordings stored. But a word of warning that will equate to about 120GB of data per camera per month so be aware if you have a limited monthly data allowance.

NEST INDOOR CAMERA – $319
Take all the features of the Nest Outdoor Camera and put them into a version that can be used indoors so it doesn’t need a weatherproof housing and long and thick power cables.

Locating the Nest Indoor Camera is a snap, just find your spot, connect to the nearest powerpoint and you’re done.

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This too has two-way audio and high quality video and – like the Nest Outdoor Camera – can record 24/7 and send it to your Nest Aware account.

Nest Aware makes it easy to skim through your footage and see the videos with any type of movement that are automatically put aside and easy to review.
The Nest products are available now through iSelect.

VERDICT

The Nest family of connected products can provide peace of mind to users to monitor everything going on at home – but hopefully you’ll have an easier time than we did getting started.

Nest is a big name in the world of smart home devices and it has landed in Australia to offer customers safety and security with its range of connected and intelligent devices. Tech Guide took a look at the Nest products – and it was almost over before it began. Now you’d think it would be pretty simple to register your email and password with the service. Whenever we did, we were sent an email to that address and had to click on a link to verify our email. Fairly straightforward you’d assume. Well, you’d be wrong. We tried all…

Nest smart products

Rating - 76%

76%

PROS: High quality devices, high quality video, easy to monitor, excellent app.

CONS: Frustrating set-up, uses a lot of data when using Nest Aware.

VERDICT: The Nest family of connected products can provide peace of mind to users to monitor everything going on at home – but hopefully you’ll have an easier time than we did getting started.

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About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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