Home Security

Nest Protect Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarm Review: Is It Worth It, How To Install, & More

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Nest Protect on ceilingThe Nest Protect 2nd Generation is one of the best smart smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms on the market. Nest Protect is WiFi enabled, so you can receive notifications to your phone.

It includes photoelectric and ionization sensors (called the split-spectrum sensor), which detects both fast-burning and smoldering fires. It’s a bit expensive, but with its dual sensor, carbon monoxide detection and smart technology, is it worth the steep price?

Article Overview

Nest logoView Nest Protect at Best Buy

Nest Protect

Customer Service & Reputation 9.0
Pricing 6.5
Installation 10.0
Ease of Use 9.5
Performance 9.5


  • WiFi-enabled detectors send alerts to your smartphone
  • Easy installation
  • Detects fire and carbon monoxide
  • Heat and humidity sensors reduce false alarms
  • Self-tests batteries and sensors
  • Voice alarm
  • Safety lights illuminate your pathway
  • Battery operated units sync together via WiFi
  • Can hush low battery or false alarm from your smartphone app


  • Expensive
  • Warranty is only 2 years
  • Requires more batteries than other top models

Key Features

  • Nest ProtectSplit-Spectrum Sensor uses two wavelengths to detect smoke from fast-burning and smoldering fires
  • Tests itself automatically more than 400 times per day
  • Last up to ten years
  • App alerts
  • App silence lets you hush alarms with your phone
  • Steam from the shower should not alarm Nest
  • No low battery chirps, notifications sent through the app instead
  • Lights up as you walk beneath it to help you see your path
  • Customers state the Nest Protect battery life is more than one year
  • App controls other Nest products like the Nest Cam and Thermostat

Nest Protect Pricing

Personal Experience

Sadie C., a contributor to Safe Smart Living, has had the Nest Protect since 2015. Here is her experience.

Nest Protect App screenshotWe bought a Nest and put it in the hallway of our condo between the bathroom and kitchen (which duals as a night light when it’s dark). Installation and set up was easy. It never gets set off by the steam from the shower but is very sensitive to when it senses smoke from the kitchen (whenever I’m cooking or baking). First it gives a verbal warning “alert, there’s smoke in the kitchen” before the alarm goes off which gives you time to silence it from your phone app (without having to climb up on a stool to turn it off). It also performs sound checks regularly and alerts you when the the battery is low. The best thing is peace of mind and having it alert me for a potential fire or carbon monoxide from my smartphone if I’m not at home. You can invite family members too so multiple users can see and control the Protect. Finally, they send monthly reports and a summary of activity in your messages section of the app. I’d highly recommend the Nest Protect, it’s a small investment for the advanced security it provides you and your home.

Nest Protect User Reviews

During the 1950s thru 1970s, it took about 29 minutes for a fire to engulf a room. Today, it takes less than five minutes. It’s extremely important to protect your family and home and be notified of a fire as quickly as possible. Read these customers’ testimonials to decide if Nest Protect is the alarm for you.

Positive Reviews

I have two of the battery smoke alarms in my house and one wired smoke alarm in the hallway. Brilliant piece of hardware. I get a message from the wired smoke alarm when the power is out, all smoke alarms chime together when something is up as well as the phone. Best of all, the smoke alarms check themselves. Best home safety product out there. A+++ – Uncognito, Verizon Wireless 2016

I purchased this because I moved into a home that had a smoke alarm probably from the 50’s. It was gross and I am sure didn’t work. This product looks great and the wireless control from your phone is perfect. It is great to be able to check on the status of your home at any moment. – Kentilsha13, Best Buy 12/18/2017

Negative Reviews

Nest is not customer service friendly. I purchased the Nest Protect and found inside the package it is already 1 year old. I wrote and complained and they stated they would replace it and expedite it. Go with another brand that will actually stand by their product. – inthezone, Best Buy 2/3/2017

After installing them into my 3 group homes found out that you can only monitor 2 homes. You can set up another email account for the third one however the app will only monitor 1 email account. A waste of resources for the third home. The units only communicate with Nest units and doesn’t listen for other smoke detectors in the unit. Steam from the bathroom still sets it off. – PortlandRanch, The Home Depot 12/12/2017

How to Install Nest Protect

The Nest smoke alarm is available wired or battery operated. How do you decide which one you need? If the smoke alarm you are replacing is wired, get the wired 120V option, if it’s battery operated, get the battery operated alarm. Below are two installation videos to show you how easy it is to install these alarms yourself.

Nest Protect (Battery)

Nest Protect (Wired 120V)

Compare Nest Protect Alternatives

View Nest Protect at Best Buy

Want to learn more about smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors? Before buying the Nest smoke detector, see if a Nest Protect alternative is a better fit for your needs. We’ve got an article dedicated to the best carbon monoxide detectors and another assigned to the best smoke detectors.

Do you think the Nest Protect is worth the extra cost or is it overpriced?

Kimberly Alt

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post. In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family. Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.

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