The Nest Secure alarm system includes Nest Guard, Nest Detect, Nest Tag, and the Nest app. You can customize Nest Secure to fit your home, change settings with the Nest app, get a reminder if you leave home without setting the alarm, and more.
Alarm, keypad, microphone, motion sensor
and the brains of the system.
Key fob to quickly arm and
disarm your home.
|Nest Detect sensor with
Senses when a door or
window opens or when
someone walks nearby.
How it works
Nest Secure placement and detection
Nest Secure includes one Guard (the brains of the system) and 2 Detects (small multi-purpose sensors). Both can sense motion.
- Guard can sense motion from people walking up to 10 feet (3 m) away.
- Detect can sense motion from people walking up to 15 feet (4.5 m) away.
The Nest app asks whether you want to install Detect on a door, window or wall. It can sense different things depending on where it's installed:
|On a door||On a window||On a wall|
|Nest Detect can
sense when a door
opens or closes, or
|Nest Detect can
sense when a
window opens or
|Nest Detect can
sense when someone
Number of Detects needed for your home
How many Detects you install depends on the size and layout of your home as well as what you want to monitor. Although you can have up to 30 Detects in your home, most homes don’t need nearly that many. Placing just a few Detects in strategic spots can still cover the areas where an intruder is likely to go.
Installing Detects from the Guard
You can place Detects up to 50 feet away from Guard, but the range can vary depending on your home’s construction, wireless interference and other factors.
If one or more of your Detects can’t connect to Guard after you’ve installed them, the app will show them as offline. You can add a Nest Connect to help bridge the gap.
Nest Connect will extend the range of your connection between your Guard and Detect. This will allow you to place your Detect more than 50 feet away from your Guard.
Yes. Nest Secure is designed to be easy to install yourself, but you could have a Nest pro do it for you.
Nest Pros are independent contractors who have access to exclusive training and tools for Nest products, so they can help you evaluate the needs of your home and your family, and get the most out of your installation.
Note: Nest Pros are a network of independent companies or contractors and are not employed by Nest.
Yes, Guard and Detect are UL certified.
Use Nest Secure
Arm and disarming
There are several ways to arm and disarm Nest Secure.
Nest Secure has 3 arming levels. Here's a summary:
Use when you don’t want security.
The alarm doesn’t sound.
Open or close
Home and Guarding
Use when you’re home and want security.
The alarm sounds when a door or window opens.
Open or close
Alarm and security alerts
Away and Guarding
Use when no one is home.
The alarm sounds when a door or window opens, or when there’s motion in a room.
Open or close
Alarm and security alerts
Arm and disarm with the Nest App
Yes. Whether you’re home or away, you can open the Nest app and switch your alarm system to Away and Guarding , Home and Guarding , or Off . You can also turn off the alarm if it got triggered accidentally by someone you know.
The Nest app can also send you a reminder if Nest Secure isn’t armed after everyone’s left home.
How it works with pets
When Reduced Motion Sensitivity is on, Nest Secure doesn’t ignore animals that climb, jump or fly (like cats and birds) because motion that occurs higher above the floor can be caused by a human intruder. Similarly, a large pet’s movement and heat signature can look like a human’s to Nest Secure.
If you have a pet other than a small to medium sized dog, you can turn off motion detection on some or all of your Detects, and for Guard if needed.
Other Nest products don't help detect intruders
Other Nest products currently don’t trigger Nest Secure’s alarm.
Nest uses motion detected by Google Nest Protects and Google Nest thermostats to automatically switch to Home or Away mode, but not to trigger Nest Secure’s alarm. Nest Protect and Nest Thermostat detect occupancy, not intrusion. With intrusion, you need to be more certain that it is a person in the room to avoid false alarms. Also, devices must be certified for security to sound the alarm.
If the Nest camera detects a person, you can receive a Person Alert notification on your phone but the camera will not trigger Nest Secure to sound the alarm.
Nest Secure gives you different ways to set up your alarm system depending on your family’s needs.
Customize Nest Secure
Setting countdown timer
Yes. The Nest app offers a range of options for the alarm countdown. You can choose one countdown timer for when you leave and a different timer for when you come home.
Schedule for visitors
Yes. When you invite someone to share access to your home, you can give them Home Entry Only access. This means they can only use the Tag or passcode you assign to them, and you can schedule when they can arm and disarm Nest Secure. If someone stays too long and the alarm goes off, they won’t be able to turn it off.
Turn off Detect motion detection
Yes, you can turn off motion detection for any Detect that’s installed on a door if you only want open or close detection. This can be useful for sliding doors with curtains. Curtains can move and set off the motion sensor, but you still might want to know when the door opens and closes.
- Open the Nest app.
- Tap Settings Security.
- Select Home and Guarding or Away and Guarding.
- Tap Motion detection Turn motion detection on or off.
Note: If you want the motion detection setting on a Detect to be the same for both Home and Guarding and Away and Guarding, update each security level.
You don’t need to worry about Detects on windows since motion detection is disabled for them.
You can’t turn off motion detection for Detects installed on walls since wall-mounted Detects only look for motion. If your pets are causing a wall-mounted Detect to trigger alarms, a different approach might be to install your Detect somewhere else. Our article about moving Detect to a new location will walk you through the process. since motion detection is disabled for them.
If you’re the Owner of the Nest home or you’re a family member with Full access, you can pick your own passcode or have a random passcode assigned to you.
If you have Home Entry Only access, ask the Owner or someone with Full access to change your passcode for you.
Disable a Tag or assign it to someone else
When something happens
What happens when there's a break in
When Nest Secure is set to Away and Guarding or Home
and Guarding and someone trips one of the sensors, a
loud alarm sounds.
As long as Nest Secure has a Wi-Fi or cellular connection,
you can be notified in the Nest app so you know what
goes on and can call the police if needed.
If you want further assistance in case of a break-in, 24/7
professional monitoring from Brinks Home Security is
Alarm sound and loudness
Per UL certification, Guard’s siren is set at 85 dB at 10 feet (3 meters). It is not adjustable to ensure that it’s always loud enough.
In addition, Guard’s light ring flashes red and says what triggered the alarm and where. For example, “The window was opened in the master bedroom." This repeats for 10 minutes.
Watch a short video
Detecting broken glass
How it works during a power outage
Yes. Guard comes with a backup battery that keeps it powered on for at least 12 hours in case it gets unplugged or your home’s power is out. Nest Secure should still look after your home and sound the alarm if needed, and your access to key security features such as arming and disarming with a passcode or a Tag will remain.
If your home’s power goes out, your Wi-Fi might go down too. When you add professional monitoring with cellular backup, it can allow your Nest Secure to continue to send you notifications about security events in your home.
How it works when Wi-Fi is disconnected
Yes. Although Nest Secure uses Wi-Fi for certain things like sending notifications to your phone, it doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi to monitor activity or sound the alarm. The Detects installed throughout your home use a different technology called Weave to communicate with Guard. So, if any of your Detects sense activity, Guard can sound the alarm even without a Wi-Fi connection.
However, without Wi-Fi, you can't use the Nest app to view and control your alarm system or get notifications. When you add professional monitoring with cellular backup, it lets your Nest Secure continue to send you notifications about security events. Learn more about cellular backup.
No subscription required
Starter packs came with Guard, two Detects and two Tags. You’ll also need a working Wi-Fi internet connection in your home, and you’ll need to download the Nest app. After you set up and install your alarm system there’s no additional monthly fee to use it.
An optional professional monitoring with cellular backup subscription is available for Nest Secure. This subscription is not required to use your Nest Secure alarm system and it's up to you to decide if it is right for you and your home.
What comes included with Nest Secure
Here are a few key features that come included:
- Arm and disarm in three ways (Guard, Tag, and the Nest app).
- Control your system remotely with the Nest app. Change settings, set the alarm, and receive notifications if there’s been a security event.
- Set Remind Me alerts to remind you to set the alarm when everyone’s gone.
- Automatically use battery backup when the power goes out.
Optional services not included
- Professional monitoring: If Nest Secure sends a notification to your phone, you’ll need to respond to it yourself. 24/7 professional monitoring is an extra layer of security, provided by our professional monitoring partner Brinks Home Security, that links you up with trained experts to help you through an emergency. Professional monitoring comes with Cellular Backup.
- Cellular Backup: Cellular backup will kick in if your home Wi-Fi goes down. Your Guard and Detects don’t rely on Wi-Fi to talk to each other, but Guard needs Wi-Fi to send notifications to your phone. With cellular backup your Guard can send notifications without Wi-Fi. For more details, check the next question.
Guard uses Wi-Fi to connect to the internet so you can get alerts and manage security settings on your phone no matter where you are.
If your home’s power is out or your Wi-Fi goes down, a cellular backup subscription can help to make Guard and Detect even more reliable.
If you subscribe to professional monitoring, a cellular backup subscription is included.
Without professional monitoring, it’s up to you to respond to your alarm and call the police if needed.
Professional monitoring is an extra layer of security for you, provided by our professional monitoring partner Brinks Home Security. With 24/7 professional monitoring by Brinks Home Security, trained experts are there to help you through an emergency.
When you subscribe to professional monitoring, security advisors actively monitor your Nest Secure alarm system and contact you if your alarm is triggered. If needed, they can contact authorities on your behalf to relay important information to help resolve the situation.
Professional monitoring includes a cellular backup subscription.
Note: Professional monitoring does not include security partner monitoring or agent response for Nest Protect smoke or CO alarms.