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SimpliSafe vs. Nest: Which is the right security for you?

How does a modern technology company home security solution compare to a more traditional monitoring business? Tech giant Google (and parent company Alphabet) acquired Nest a few years ago and has rolled it into its umbrella brand portfolio. SimpliSafe, on the other hand, has been in the home monitoring service for over a decade. Both companies have their own take on the best way to keep your home secure.

Nest started as a smart home company, first creating its beloved smart thermostat. Its new security sector has a slue of devices designed to keep you safe that it pairs with a monitoring service. Simplisafe has always had alarms and sensors to protect your home and recently added locks and cameras to its lineup. Let’s dive in and see which approach may work better for you.

Hardware

A flat lay of Simplisafe's Fortress security package.

Google Nest only has a few first-party hardware products dedicated to home security. The scarcity is likely due to the company only recently including professional home security support and Google revamping the program. As a result, Nest is probably putting a lot of stock into its AI-based monitoring support and devices’ software to overcome its lack of devices.

The Nest home security portfolio only includes the Nest Hub, Nest Doorbell, and Nest Cam. Nest did have a more robust security program, but Google has since removed most of the extra accessories. Instead, the company offers three simple packages: Front Door Monitoring (Nest Hub and Doorbell) for $229, Indoor Monitoring (Nest Hub and Nest Cam) for $229, and Total Home (all three items) for $523. These packages are straightforward to navigate but have the downside of not having any other nor any inexpensive sensors.

SimpliSafe has a plethora of packages and accessories to check out when deciding what tools will be best to protect your home. That’s likely because SimpliSafe has been in the game for so long and has had a chance to evolve as a company.

SimpliSafe offers customizable packages for equipment that you can pair with its monitoring service. Its basic package is called the Foundation and contains a base station, keypad, entryway sensor, and motion sensor, starting at $229. SimpliSafe has other more involved packages that include more sensors and other accessories.

If you look at SimpliSafe’s extra accessories, they offer hazard sensors, a panic button, a siren, and more. Unfortunately, Google’s Nest doesn’t provide any such devices, but you can pair it with plenty of third-party accessories due to the entire system integrating with Google Assistant. Now, you can get a variety of sensors from other brands and have them tied into your Nest ecosystem, likely at great pricing. Of course, that doesn’t help those who want to either have all products first-party or want a one-stop shopping experience.

Verdict: Even though Google likely has software to pick up the slack and the ability to pair with plenty of third-party accessories, SimpliSafe will be your best choice for hardware. Knowing that all your products will work together and that one company covers more of your needs can provide peace of mind.

Monitoring

Nest devices grouped together on a counter.

Only SimpliSafe offers professional monitoring support through an in-house team for an extra fee. Google Nest leaves everything in your hands with a service called Nest Aware. The service sports barebones features that will notify you if strangers are near your door. You can also call 911 through the Nest app. Nest Aware saves automatic 24/7 video and event history to the cloud. The plan starts at $6 for 30-days worth of footage, with a higher-end plan for $12 that supports more days and more cloud storage.

SimpliSafe offers a much more robust monitoring plan for your home. The price for their all-inclusive plan is $18 per month. All-Inclusive involves having a team check your home devices when an alarm goes off, capture video and images, and call authorities if they note something of worth. One of the signature features of SimpliSafe’s monitoring plans is the inclusion of video surveillance, which allows the security team, which monitors your home alarms to tap into the indoor security cameras and ensure a warning is warranted to reduce false alarms. SimpliSafe also has other plans if you want to monitor and manage your home independently.

Verdict: It’s clear, for security purposes, that SimpliSafe is the superior option — no doubt about it. Having another team whose sole purpose is to look after your home and alert authorities on your behalf is better than having to do everything on your own. Imagine being on a plane when an alarm happens while having Nest. You won’t be able to do anything about it until you land — unless you pay for paltry in-flight Wi-Fi, and even that’s not always reliable.

Winner

The choice here is clear: SimpliSafe is a better option to protect your home. From having more accessories to having a proper surveillance team, Google Nest doesn’t come close (on its own). Rather, Nest provides a minimal and modern home security option.

Nest’s main advantage is its ties into the Google Assistant platform. With that, you can pair Nest with plenty of other manufacturers to build out your home security solution. Unfortunately, there are too many available to include them in this comparison, so we stuck with only first-party options.

That said, if you want to monitor your home on your own and handle any emergencies alone, Nest may be worth considering. Otherwise, we suggest looking towards SimpliSafe.

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