Nest vs. SimpliSafe Video Monitoring: What Are The Major Differences?

Nest vs. SimpliSafe

Deciding on a home security system is no small task. If it’s too cheap, it can seem suspicious. But sometimes, the systems that cost a fortune have way more equipment than you need. And then there’s the growing desire to connect all appliances to smart devices. Enter Nest and SimpliSafe.

Nest offers motion-sensor cameras and doorbells. However, they no longer have a security system with options to outsource video monitoring to an alarm company. Users can subscribe to Nest Aware, a video monitoring service through Google, which allows for additional safety features on Nest devices.

SimpliSafe offers bundled security system packages that feature a variety of equipment. You can also build a system to your liking. They don’t require a contract, but certain features require a monthly monitoring plan.

Please note: At one time, Google had a security system through Nest, but it’s been discontinued. The following information is based on Nest’s current security devices.

Nest Security Devices Overview

In addition to its smart thermostats, Nest also offers home security devices that are compatible with Google Assistant. However, in October 2020, Google discontinued the full-blown security system, aptly called Nest Secure. Now, you must purchase items individually to build your own system.

Easy to install, the Nest hub simply gets plugged in and set up on the mobile app. You have the choice to self-monitor through the app or pay for a monthly monitoring plan through Nest Aware.

(Note: These devices will not send alerts to home monitoring companies. In the event of an emergency, it is up to the user to contact authorities.)

Pros

  • These devices work well with other Nest products and are compatible with Google Assistant.
  • Nest Aware gives you two types of video history and smart alerts across multiple devices.
  • Includes a variety of camera options and a video doorbell
  • Nest Protect is a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector
  • Some equipment bundles are available

Cons

  • Offers limited protection. Alerts are only sent to the user, not to a home security monitoring company
  • Equipment bundles are very limited
  • Must subscribe to Nest Aware in order to receive advanced security alerts
  • Doesn’t offer additional features like a panic button or water protection.

SimpliSafe Overview

Similar to Nest, SimpliSafe employs a plug-and-go mentality, making DIY installation easier than ever. Place the wireless sensors around your home and plug in the Base Station.  If you’ve signed up for a monitoring plan, triggers sensors send an alarm to SimpliSafe’s monitoring center.

SimpliSafe offers many equipment packages at reasonable prices. Although it is smart device-compatible, a monitoring package is required to use it with smart devices. In addition, it can only be operated remotely by subscribing to a monitoring package.

Pros

  • There are a variety of bundled systems available or you can build your own.
  • Offers a large selection of sensors.
  • Monitoring plans are by-the-month. You can cancel your plan at any time because there’s no contract.
  • Has a secret-alert feature (panic button).
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • The system is not connected to your Wi-Fi; rather it runs on its own wireless network. It will still work during server and power outages.
  • Provides more equipment and services than Nest
  • Offers a 60-day trial period.

Cons

  • The system cannot be controlled remotely without subscribing to a $25 monthly monitoring plan.
  • A monthly subscription is required for smart home integration.
  • Limited camera selection.
  • The only way to get an outdoor camera with SimpliSafe is to get the video doorbell.

SimpliSafe Equipment Packages

SimpliSafe offers five pre-bundled equipment packages for ease of purchase. Most of their hardware can also be purchased individually, giving you the option to build the package you prefer.

Feature

The Foundation Package The Essentials Package The Hearth Package The Knox Package The Haven Package

Base Station

X X X X

X

Keypad

X X X X

X

Entry Sensor

1 included 3 included 3 included 6 included

4 included

Motion Sensor

1 included 1 included 1 included 2 included

2 included

Siren

X X

X

Key Fob

X X

X

Smoke Detector

X X

X

Panic Button

X

Temperature Sensor

X

Water Sensor

X

Price $229 $259 $374 $449

$489

 Additionally, SimpliSafe offers the following equipment:

  • Glass break sensors
  • Smart locks
  • SimpliCam indoor security camera
  • Extra motion sensors and entry sensors

Nest Secure Equipment

Nest advertises three security packages on its website. When compared to the bundles offered by SimpliSafe, Nest’s packages look more than sparse. In reality, these “packages” include a camera and/or a doorbell camera as well as the Nest Hub.

Feature

Front Door Monitoring Package Outdoor Monitoring Package

Total Security Package

Nest Hub

X X

X

Nest Doorbell

X

X

Nest Cam

X

X

Price

$249.98 $249.98

$523.98

After chatting with a Nest representative, I discovered that they don’t offer any devices that replicate Nest Secure. There is no way—through Nest products—to send an alert to an off-sight alarm company. Any type of monitoring is done by the user alone.

Cameras

Nest offers a variety of cameras: 3 indoor, 3 outdoor, and 1 that can be used in either location. All cameras come equipped with live view and talk and listen features.

The battery-operated Nest Cam (indoor or outdoor), the Nest Cam with floodlights, and the wired indoor Nest Cam (2nd generation) come with the following features:

  • 3 hours of event video history
  • Motion in Activity Zone alert
  • Person Seen alert
  • Animal Detection alert
  • Vehicle Detection alert

Video Doorbells

Nest offers both a battery-operated and a wired video doorbell. Both include “Person Seen” alerts as well as live view and the ability to talk and listen. The battery-operated doorbell also includes the following:

  • 3 hours of event video history
  • Motion in Activity Zone alert
  • Animal Detection alert
  • Vehicle Detection alert
  • Package Seen alert

SimpliSafe Monitoring Subscriptions

Perhaps the biggest leg up that SimpliSafe has is its ability to connect to home security monitoring companies. It takes the burden off the user, making them feel safe and protected at all times. SimpliSafe offers two types of monitoring plans: a Standard Plan and an Interactive Plan.

The Standard Plan costs $14.99 a month and connects the base station to a monitoring center. Simple, easy, and no-frills.

The Interactive Plan costs $24.99 a month and gives access to the mobile app and alert notifications. With this plan, you can connect the system to other smart devices, like Amazon or Google devices.

SimpliSafe goes a step further. If you purchase a monthly subscription, they throw in a 20% discount on equipment purchases!

Nest Aware

The closest thing Nest has to a home monitoring service is a subscription called Nest Aware. Depending on the subscription you choose, you’ll get video history recording and alerts across other Nest devices.

The biggest drawback is no connection to an outside security service. If an alert comes through, it’s up to the user to contact authorities. However, you do have the ability to contact 9-1-1 through the Home app.

Below is a chart comparing the two types of Nest Aware subscriptions.

 

Nest Aware

Nest Aware Plus

Event Video History

30 Days

60 Days

24/7 Video History

Up to 10 days

Intelligent Alerts

Familiar Faces

Smoke Alarm

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Glass Breaking

Familiar Faces

Smoke Alarm

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Glass Breaking

e911

Yes

Yes

Devices Supported

Nest cameras

Doorbells

Speakers

Displays

Nest cameras

Doorbells

Speakers

Displays

Price

$6/month or $60/year

$12/month or $120/year

Similar to SimpliSafe, Nest Aware offers the option to pay monthly, however, you end up spending less if you pay for the whole year.

Related Questions

Do you still have more questions about Nest and SimpliSafe? You’ve come to the right place! Below are some other questions users had regarding the features of SimpliSafe and Nest.

Does Google Nest work with SimpliSafe?

SimpliSafe is compatible with the Nest thermostat and Nest Protect but may not work with other Nest devices. Both Nest and SimpliSafe are compatible with Google Assistant. So, it’s possible you can control your SimpliSafe system with Google Nest products. However, you’ll need to purchase the $25 subscription through SimpliSafe in order to connect it to other smart devices.

Is SimpliSafe a one-time fee?

The only ongoing cost associated with SimpliSafe is the monthly monitoring plan which can be canceled anytime. If you want to self-monitor, there is no cost associated with that. You would simply pay once for the equipment and monitor things yourself for free.

Does SimpliSafe tell you when a door is open?

The door needs to be closed and the alarm activated before SimpliSafe starts monitoring it. Once the alarm is on and a door is opened, you will be alerted unless you disarm the system.

Summing It Up

In terms of home security systems, there’s no contest. SimpliSafe is the winner. They offer the most options all around—from customizable equipment packages to no-contract subscription plans.

While it’s true Nest has more camera options and integrates with smart devices more easily, they don’t offer the same peace of mind. With Nest, the only option is self-monitoring, and that may be alright for some people.

But SimpliSafe at least gives the option to have an outside service monitor your home. And that is the clincher for most people looking for a home security system.

Brigid Levi

Brigid Levi is a wife, mother, and freelance writer who enjoys a good DIY project and creating beautiful spaces within her home. From cleaning and organization hacks to home decor ideas, she loves helping people in their quest to turn a house into a home. Her hobbies include pretending to be Joanna Gaines while updating her home with her husband and performing in local theater productions.

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