Do-it-yourself security solutions are a dime a dozen nowadays, but few have the interoperability of the Google Nest Secure. Poised as a way to both secure your home and help more intelligently control the rest of your smart home devices, the Google Nest Secure is essentially the heart of your smart home. We go through step-by-step in this guide, but if you'd rather see it in video form, check that out at the end of this article.
Nest Secure is a basic home security system and, as such, you'll want to do a little bit of planning beforehand. The starter kit comes with the base Nest Guard unit and two Nest Detect units. That base with the keypad has a motion sensor on the front, nestled in the Nest logo, and is designed to be placed near your most common entrance which, in my case, is the front door.
Place it on a table about waist height, plug it in and wait for it to start up. Make sure the front points toward your main entrance, as it'll detect movement in front of it and should also be in a place where you can quickly turn it off when entering the home.
Voice prompts help you get it set up through the Nest app, which you'll need to pair with all your Nest devices. As a note, all Nest products have a QR code on them which gets scanned by the app and then joined to your account. This is the first step with each product.
Once your Guard has been joined to your home network and your Nest account, you can work on placement of the Nest Detects. I placed one of the Detect units on the rear sliding glass door and the second one on the basement door downstairs, ensuring that all regular entrances to my home were covered and monitored by the system.
It does not make sense to have two devices monitoring the same entrance, so be sure to use those Detects wisely. You can have up to 30 on a system at once, but there's no need to have one for every single window and door. Scan the QR code with the app, pull the tab to create a contact with the battery inside, and basically just press next a few times to get it added to your account. The app will ask you where each unit is placed in your home, and I found the pre-filled categories were perfect for my needs.
Each Detect will look for motion as well as providing an open/close detection for windows and doors, so placing them with an open view of the room will provide the maximum amount of detection.
Stick these at head height for maximum motion detection coverage, and as they can see up to 15ft away. One Detect is likely enough coverage for most rooms. Watch the height though, it does make a difference, as anything shorter than 5ft high on the wall or taller than 6ft 4inches will diminish the coverage. It's not a 180-degree view either, so you'll probably want to aim it so that someone would be forced to cross the beam to get through a window or door.
If you've got pets, you'll want to turn on the "reduced motion sensitivity" option, as it raises that detection height and ignores anything shorter than 3ft high. This is found under security options, security levels, and then the second option down the list.
The remaining piece of the puzzle is to activate your key tags, which are just a simple QR code scan within the app from the back of the fob. Slide it onto your keychain and tap it on top to deactivate your Guard when you walk in the door.
By default, pressing the filled-in shield button will arm your home and give you 60 seconds to leave, while a tap of the key tag on top will automatically disable it. There's no alarm for the first minute, just some pleasant voice prompts, and then all craziness lets loose after that, so you've got enough time to do your thing when you walk in the door.
And that's it for the basic setup. There are plenty of advanced features to consider, like cellular backup in case your home WiFi goes down, or working with additional Nest or other third-party home security products.