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Review: Nest Protect 2nd Generation


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Nest have a number of different products for the home, including a smoke and CO alarm – and here is our review of the Nest Protect 2nd Generation.

This is how Nest describe the Protect:

“Nest Protect has been redesigned from the inside out. It has a Split‑Spectrum Sensor, tests itself automatically and lasts for up to a decade. It’s also the first home alarm that you can silence from your phone without any extra hardware required. And it tells you what’s wrong and can even alert your phone.

Meet the Nest Protect. The smoke alarm that other alarms look up to.”



  • Voice alarms with custom location
  • Split‑Spectrum Sensor
  • Detects carbon monoxide
  • Up to 10-year product lifetime
  • Heads-Up alerts
  • Sound Check
  • Nightly Promise
  • Pathlight
  • Steam Check
  • Self Test
  • Wireless Interconnect
  • Emergency Shut-Off with Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Emergency clip record with Nest Cam
  • Home Report
  • Nest App
  • Smoke
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Low battery
  • Sensor failure
  • App Silence
  • Safety Check-up
  • Safety history
  • What to Do


  • Split‑Spectrum Sensor, 450 nm and 880 nm wavelength
  • 10-year electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor
  • Heat sensor, ±1°C (±1.8°F)
  • Humidity sensor, ±3%RH
  • Occupancy sensor, 120° field of view to 6 metres (20 feet)
  • Ambient light sensor, 1-100k Lux
  • Dynamic Range

Speaker, Siren and Light Ring

  • 2-watt speaker
  • Siren: 85 dB at 3 metres
  • RGB colour ring with 6 LEDs

What’s in the box?

The box contains the Protect, some guides, a mounting plate and some screws.

A Closer Look

Setting up the Nest Protect

Setting up the Nest Protect is very quick and easy. Once you have the app installed on your phone you just tap the Add product link and follow the instructions. Turn over the Protect and scan the QR code.

Then tell the app where you will be putting the Protect – in this case I chose Kitchen.

Then pull out the battery tab (for our review we were sent the Battery version – there is also a wired version).

The setup will continue.

Just follow each step to complete the setup.

There is a Pathlight function that lights up the Protect when someone walks by – choose if you want it on or off.

You then have to decide if you want a sound check performed to ensure the Protect is working properly.

Then fit the Protect to wall or ceiling and run the safety check-up.

And that’s it! You can then access the Protect from the app.



If you have one of the Nest cameras you can even set them up to record a clip if the detector goes off.

You can also make any changes to the Protect from the app.

And you can easily see if the Protect is still working.

Final Thoughts

Having a smoke detector around your house is a no brainer! The Nest Protect is both a smoke and CO detector in one, and can be monitored and controlled from the Nest app, along with setting up alerts and notifications in the event of it firing.

Setting up the Protect was simple – within a couple of minutes it was configured, tested and mounted on the ceiling.

With any smoke detector you should regularly check its working – although a lot of people don’t bother. With the Protect, it checks itself and updates you on a regular basis. It can also perform sound checks to make sure the siren is working. All this information is then available in the app for you to view at your leisure. It even warns you when the battery is getting low so that you can change it (assuming you are using the battery version of the Protect), so no more battery warnings at 3am waking everyone in the house up!

I really liked that you could integrate with any Nest cameras you already had around your home – if the Protect activates, you can have a camera start recording footage.

You can also mute the Protect from the app in the event of a false alarm (or you burning your chips).

The Pathlight feature is also very useful – you walk under the Protect and it lights up – simple as that. Very useful in the dark or in the event of a fire to help get you out safely.

Protect also can tell the difference between smoke and steam. Have you ever had a hot shower and the steam from the shower has set off your smoke alarm? I have, and it’s not fun trying to deal with it when you are soaking wet! Protect has a humidity sensor which helps differentiate between smoke and steam – a very useful feature indeed!

If you have a Nest thermostat and have Protect linked to it, in the event of a fire, Protect will tell the thermostat to turn off the heating to help prevent the spread of the fire. That could be a lifesaver!

All in all an amazing little bit of kit that could frankly one day save your life – we can’t recommend it highly enough!

The Nest Protect is available now in either a battery or a wired version. A single Protect will cost around £109, a three pack is around £299 and a six pack is £579.

You can learn more about the Nest Protect from the Nest website.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

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