I have to say up front that as a homeowner, husband, and a father, I love everything about this product! The Nest Protect is not just a Smoke Detector, but a combination Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide detector. Your typical Smoke Detector will cost you on average $10-$65, and then you’ll have to spend about the same on a Carbon Monoxide Detector for the same protection as one Nest Protect.

We’re all familiar with the standard smoke detector. They typically have the old fashioned ear splitting ‘chirp’ and replaceable batteries. Newer models may have voice alerts or a long life built-in battery, but the Nest Protect has features that are years ahead of the competition!


There are two models of the Nest Protect, one for old construction, which takes 6 Long Life AA Lithium batteries, and one for modern construction that is wired in for power. Both models connect to your home Wi-Fi and it’s over your Wi-Fi connection that they communicate with each other. Don’t worry, in the event of a power outage or loss of internet, the Nest Protect devices will continue to communicate even if your home Wi-Fi is down! This replaces the old method that uses a common wire to set off all your detectors when one of the detectors in your home is tripped.

The alerts from the Nest Protect are great because it uses all of the standard methods of alerting with its own twist. When it’s triggered it starts with a subtle beep so that it doesn’t scare your socks off, followed by a few bursts of the traditional ‘chirps’, and finally a voice alert. The Voice Alert broadcasts which room the smoke is in across all of your Nest Protect detectors. It knows the location of the alert because you configure the Protects’ location during the initial setup. This is one of the most important features of the Nest Protect System because it helps you quickly locate the source of the alarm. This can mean those extra few seconds to grab an extinguisher and fight a small fire in a different room.

Another feature that separates the Nest Protect from everyone else is the combination of the built-in battery and light sensor. Once the light sensor detects all lights have been turned off it immediately checks the battery to ensure the battery has enough power to run through the night. You can see the test is being run by the green circle of lights on the Protect. This is a fantastic feature to anyone that’s been woken up in the middle of the night because one of your detectors has a low battery. No more replacing smoke detector batteries in the middle of the night.

The Snooze feature easily diffuses one of the most frustrating situations with smoke detectors. Picture this, you’re cooking bacon or something else that gives off quite a bit of smoke and your smoke detectors go off. You’re already annoyed aren’t you? This is an area where the Nest Protect system excels.  When your Nest Protect alarm goes off, it also sends a Smoke Detected push notification to your smartphone via the Nest app. With a simple tap on the notification the Nest app opens and the first thing you see is a Snooze button. Hold down on the Snooze Button and the alarm stops. No more standing by the smoke detector with a magazine trying to fan the smoke away while the loud alarm is making your head ring.

We want and need to be alerted when there’s smoke in our house, but get easily annoyed when we get too many false-positive alerts. The Nest Protect runs tests on its sensors every 200 seconds! It even has a humidity sensor that will prevent it from going off when there’s steam near the detector. The smartphone app gives you the ability to initiate a Safety Checkup, which can aid families with children and give you the ability to run a fire drill.

For the Hearing Impaired

The Nest Protect has built-in lights that illuminate when there’s an alarm for a visual alert. But this might not be enough for the hearing impaired. This is more than made up for when paired with the Philips Hue Lighting line. With the Philips Hue lights installed and attached to your Wi-Fi, the Nest Protect can utilize these lights turning them on and off creating a bold visual alarm.

Carbon Monoxide Detection

If you saw our last review of the Nest Thermostat, at the end we asked a question; Is Carbon Monoxide heavier or lighter than air? The answer is that Carbon Monoxide is slightly lighter than air, so it diffuses evenly throughout the room. This is important to know that the Nest Protect will still work well since Smoke Detectors are mounted on or near our ceilings.

The Nest system gets even better when you add more than one device type. When you have the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Protect, should the Protect detects Carbon Monoxide it will automatically shut off your furnace. You could mix and match brands, but advanced features like this make a real case for sticking solely to the Nest line.

Please Use Something!

Smoke detectors are an inexpensive way to protect your family from tragedy! My wife is alive today because of them! If you don’t have one in every room and cannot afford them, the City of Grand Rapids is giving them away for free at all Grand Rapids Area Fire stations. Go get one for every room of your home.


I have a passion for technology, and so I get excited when I find something new that can provide better protection for my family. These features and peace of mind are why I will continue to use and recommend the Nest Protect.