Pros / This is the only smoke alarm that passed all our detection tests.
Cons / It lasts 10 years, but the warranty period only covers two years of that time.
Verdict / Nest Protect is the best smoke alarm you can buy today. It’s easy to use, plus it has high compatibility, mobile notifications and more that make it an extraordinary product.
In our tests of the best smoke alarms, Nest Protect earned the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award. It does so for several reasons, and chief among them is its outstanding detection capabilities. It is the only smoke detector we evaluated to pass every test we put to it. It’s also extremely easy to install, connect, set up and use.
This device can connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and to the internet, which means you can control and monitor it on your smartphone or tablet, from wherever you happen to be. Additionally, it integrates into Nest’s wider home automation system as well as other smart home networks. It has an expected lifetime of about 10 years, but the warranty period only covers two years of that.
- Detection Efficiency
- Detector Lifetime
- Ease of Use Score
We ran each of the smoke detectors in our review through a battery of detection tests, including spraying tester smoke from an aerosol can directly at each one from 5, 10 and 15 feet away. When we tested the 5- and 10-foot mark, the Nest Protect sounded its alarm after 18 seconds. At 15 feet, the alarm activated at 28 seconds. So, if there is a danger in your house, you’ll know in less than a minute.
It should be noted that Nest Protect was the only smoke detector that passed every one of our detection tests. Half the devices could not detect our test smoke from 10 feet away and only Nest Protect sensed danger from the 15-foot mark.
It’s not just smoke this device monitors. It’s also a carbon monoxide alarm. This is especially important because carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless and can be lethal if you breathe it for too long. When dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are detected in your home, Nest Protect will sound its alarm and instruct you to evacuate the premises.
Our reviewers spent more than 40 hours installing, using and testing the smoke detectors on our lineup. In the end, they determined that Nest Protect was by far the easiest to set up, mount and connect because of its intuitive design and clear, simple instructions. It took just a few minutes from opening the package to having a fully functional smoke detector ready to go.
The mobile app is particularly convenient. You can get it in both the Apple and Android app stores. But before you can control, monitor and test the device with the app, you must first connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi. Once it’s connected to the internet, you’ll have full access to the smoke detector and all its functions though the app.
The Nest Protect Smoke Alarm is just one component of the company’s wider home automation platform. If you like the protection and convenience of this device, you may want to consider expanding your Nest network with smart thermosets and security cameras. You can also integrate third-party devices like fans, electric car chargers, sprinklers, lights, smart locks and more. They all can be controlled through the Nest app.
And the stellar compatibly works the other way, too. You can connect your Nest to a number of other smart home and home automation systems, including Nexia, Vera, Wink and Google Home. You can even connect Nest devices to your Amazon Echo and control them with voice commands. Very convenient.
The Nest Protect smoke alarm has two power supplies. You can hardwire it into your home’s electrical grid, which provides uninterrupted power to the unit. It also has a back-up battery in case there’s a power outage in your area.
All smoke alarms feature a loud blaring tone to alert you to potential dangers in your home. Nest Protect goes a step further by adding voice alerts that calmly tell you what kind of danger is present, where it is and how to proceed. If you have multiple Nest Protect smoke alarms installed and networked in your home, alerts will sound on each of them, warning everyone in your home about the danger.
When Nest Protect detects threats in your home, it will send a notification directly to your smartphone or tablet. These real-time notifications allow you to handle the situation from wherever you are – you won’t always be home when disaster strikes – and contact local emergency services if necessary.
Warranty & Support
The Nest Protect smoke alarm has life expectancy of 10 years, so you won’t have to worry about replacing it for a decade. Unfortunately, the device is only covered for two years through the manufactures’ warranty. Other devices in our review have warranties that cover their entire lifetime.
If you’re ever in need of customer or technical support, you can reach out to Nest by phone, social media and the live chat service on their website. These are great options, but it would be helpful if there were a FAQs section or knowledge base you could consult for quick answers without the need to contact the company directly.
Based on our tests of the best smoke detectors on the market today, we believe that Nest Protect is the best device you can buy. It has outstanding detection capabilities and innovative voice and mobile alerts that let you know exactly what threat your home is facing and how to proceed; if there is an emergency in your home, you’ll know within seconds. It’s extremely intuitive to install, set up and connect to the internet. Its high compatibility with third-party products is a huge selling point as well. The only gripe we have is that the warranty period is a relatively short two years. Outside of that, there’s nothing to complain about with the Nest Protect.