I was recently considering buying the Nest Protect, but I wondered if there were any alternatives to Nest for a similar product. So, I did some research to find the best smoke alarm similar to Nest Protect.
The best alternatives to Nest Protect Are!
- Roost Smart Battery
- OneLink Safe & Sound
- Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm
- Elgato Eve Smoke Connected Smoke Detector
- Kidde RF-SM-DC Wireless Interconnect Battery-Operated Smoke Alarm
The Nest Protect is a truly alluring product for potential buyers. Because it is a smart product, those smart features help alleviate the annoyances of having a smoke detector, as well as promote greater feelings of safety and protection. Despite being a great product, there are some reasons users would rather not purchase the Nest Protect such as the price or Nest integration. So, don’t be alarmed (pun intended), there is a way to get the features of Nest, without having to commit to a Nest product.
For the most part, smoke alarms are necessary evils. They erroneously go off when you’re just burning your toast, or start chirping at 3 A.M. when the battery gets too low. Other than those issues, most people don’t really think too much about their smoke alarm which sounds like a good thing, except, what if it doesn’t protect you when you need it most?
Traditional smoke alarms are supposed to be checked monthly to ensure that it is functioning properly, and could protect you if there ever was an emergency scenario.
POTENTIAL PULL QUOTE ABOUT HOW OFTEN THEY’RE ACTUALLY CHECKED
In this new tech age, there are solutions to the age-old smoke alarm issues that have plagued society for far too long. Smoke alarm alternatives to Nest offer similar features that resolve much of what makes the traditional smoke alarm frustrating.
Google Nest Protect
The Google Nest Protect is one of the most well-known smart smoke alarms on the market. Before looking for an alternative, you should know exactly what it is and what it does so you know whether your alternative stands up, or if you should actually go with Nest.
What and Where?
The problem with traditional smoke alarms is that they just beep an annoyingly loud high pitched sound which still leaves you in the dark as to what is actually wrong (unless you know for a fact that you are burning dinner).
The Nest Protect will speak through all available alarms and your phone to tell you if the problem is smoke or CO and where the problem is located.
This feature allows users to be aware of what the problem actually is so that they can investigate or resolve it.
Usually, push notifications are more annoying than helpful, but in the case of the Nest Protect the notifications are ones that will truly help you out.
That annoyingly loud chirp you used to wake up to at 3 A.M? That’ll never happen again.
The Nest Protect sends a notification to your phone if the batteries are low (if you choose battery powered vs. wired) saving you the trouble of a disturbed sleep.
Did you burn the popcorn, again? Don’t sweat it. Traditional alarms will go off and mock your failure as you desperately wave your broom beneath it to circulate the smoke away. The Nest Protect will send an alert to your phone allowing you to “hush” your alarm if you know it really is going off because of your cooking, well, burning.
Lights, Camera, Action!
As a smart product, the Nest Protect can be integrated with other smart products, particularly with other Nest products.
If there is a Nest camera in the same room as your Nest Protect, the Nest Protect can email the video to you when fire or CO is sensed. The intuitive nature allows it to be helpful. You now have clear-cut evidence for your insurance if something does go wrong.
No more eardrum killing beeps. This alarm is made to keep you calm in the midst of a fire, literally!
When you turn off the lights in a room with Nest Protect, it will briefly glow green to let you know that everything is OK. Basic smoke alarms glow green every few seconds or so. This brief green glow allows users to be aware of safety, but not let it inhibit their ability to count sheep.
If the Nest Protect begins to sense something that may be wrong, it will turn yellow before letting you know verbally if something is wrong.
A unique feature of the Nest Protect is their so-called Pathlight feature. When users walk underneath their Nest Protect in the dark, it will light up just enough for you to see where you’re going. It’s great for when you get up to grab that midnight snack!
The Nest Protect is fitted with quality sensors meaning that it should last you 10 years. If you have a battery powered Nest Protect, those will need replacing more frequently.
With a traditional smoke alarm, users are supposed to test their alarm every month. The Nest Protect tests itself throughout the day and will alert you to schedule a sound check at your convenience once a month.
The old tech of smoke alarms is the ionization detector. Nest has foregone the old tech to go with a photoelectric sensor. Ionization detectors give off trace amounts of radiation factoring into Nest’s decision.
Not only did Nest upgrade to photoelectric, but they have a split-spectrum sensor allowing the Nest Protect to detect fast burning fires, but low smoldering fires.
Additionally, Nest Protect is able to run a “steam-check” to better sense if it is detecting steam or smoke lessening the number of false-alarms.
Roost Smart Battery
If you’re looking for something to make your home smarter but you’re not necessarily looking to get all new smoke alarms or commit to Nest, this is the option for you.
|Low Battery Phone Alerts||Yes||Yes|
|Hush the alarm from phone||Yes||Yes|
|Smart Integration||Nest, Wink, Phillip’s Hue, IFTTT and more||IFTTT integration only|
|Life||10 years||3-5 years|
Roost’s product is a battery that you install in all your regular smoke alarms. This makes it so users don’t have to remove all the existing smoke alarms that they own. For some users, this option is much more preferable because there is no real installation required other than popping in a battery.
Once you put Roost’s smart battery in your existing smoke alarm, it will auto-connect to your WiFi (after some setup with the Roost app).
After your battery is connected to your WiFi and you’ve adjusted settings in the app, you should be good to go!
This option is especially great for people who really don’t care to completely integrate a bunch of smart devices into their home. With Nest, everything pretty much is Nest. With Roost, you’ll have much of the same perks that Nest offers without committing to that bundle.
The price tag on the Roost smart battery is much more appealing than the Nest Protect. Because it is a smart battery and not an entirely new product, there are perks.
This option is much more appealing for those with tight budgets, or people that just want some smart perks without totally committing.
Even if you are a suburban dad with five kids, you can budget a way of saving up $35 for the Roost smart battery.
When it comes down to functionality, they’re not so different. The Nest protect encompasses the smoke alarm itself as well as the fancy smart software to run it and have all the smart perks. The Roost battery is different in that it merely amplifies a product you already have. So it is not a smoke alarm, but gives you many smart perks offered by Nest.
That is really the main difference, one is a smoke alarm and one is not. There are a few perks that Nest also offers that Roost does not. Nest offers the glowing light to signify that everything is ok, as well as light your path at night. Roost does not do that because it is a battery.
Roost also does not alter the functionality of your smoke alarm, your alarm will still beep at you versus the talking Nest Protect. It is important to be aware of what you are actually wanting out of your product when making this decision.
The lifespan of both Roost and Nest are different, as they should be. Nest Protect is an actual alarm, and if you’re paying that much for it, then it had better last 10 years. Roost on the other hand is a battery. 3-5 years is a generous lifespan for a battery. Over the lifetime of the Nest Protect, users could be spending as much as $105 on batteries if they are replacing them every 3 years. So in the end, it could even out to be only a $15 dollar difference.
When it comes down to it, both the Roost battery and the Nest protect offer the same key features that users are looking for in smart fire alarm protection.
There are certain bells and whistles missing from Roost that are present in Nest that make it a more attractive option (at least physically). Despite those missing bells and whistles, they largely alert you of the same things.
Both products offer apps to monitor devices, and multiple alarms can be linked together.
A huge difference is that Nest can only support up to 10 integrated Nest Protects at a time. Fire safety rules recommend that each bedroom in a house have one as well as ones for main common areas. If you have more than 10 locations needing an alarm, Nest isn’t for you.
Roost doesn’t have a limit. Users can add up to six physical addresses in their app to manage multiple smoke alarms at each location. This is leaps and bounds better than being limited to 10.
For both the Nest Protect and the Roost app, users will receive a notification when an alarm is going off, and users have the option of hushing it for if they know they are burning the bacon or some other kitchen tragedy.
That feature is largely the reason I would love to have smart functions for my smoke detector. Running to grab a broom and wave that smoke away from the alarm to get it to shut up is so unnecessary, especially when you know that the only danger you’re in is a danger of eating whatever you botched.
On both the Nest and the Roost app, you and family members will receive alerts no matter where in the world you are if something is a problem.
OneLink Safe & Sound
lf you thought the Nest Protect was high tech, then you’re in for a real treat. The OneLink Safe & Sound brings things to the next level
|Built in smart Assistant||No||Yes|
|Doubles as a Speaker||No||Yes|
|Phone Notifications what and where||Yes||Yes|
|Life||10 years||10 years|
|Smart Integration||Nest, Wink, Phillip’s Hue, IFTTT and more||Homekit, Alexa, Google, and more|
The Onelink is designed to be an everything in one high tech product. Not only is this a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, but Amazon Alexa is built in, and Onelink doubles as a high quality speaker with deep bass, as well as a night light.
That is a whole lot of functionality coming out of just one product, which is not only amazing, but sounds too good to be true.
Anything you can do I can do
Anything the Nest Protect is capable of, the OneLink Safe and Sound can do more. There are a few feature differences that do lean more Nest Protect’s way, but in terms of overall functionality and smart integration, they both do the same thing.
Lots of users that purchase the Nest protect want a fully integrated smart home. Well, with Onelink’s Safe and Sound that is like having multiple smart devices in one.
With the OneLink Safe and Sound, users don’t need an Amazon Alexa it is built right in. If users are already planning on having an integrated smart home, then the OneLink is the way to go. This is every gadget lover’s dream!
It is important to keep in mind though that while it does a lot, does it do it well? OneLink can do everything it claims but not at the top performing level. As a speaker it’s good but not fantastic, as a smart assistant, it does not have all of Alexa’s features (but it will in promised future generation models), and as a night light, it gets the job done.
Nest v. OneLink
People get smoke alarms to be safe (and also to meet certain laws), so it only stands to reason that you expect that the product you’re buying to help you stay safe. All products are not created equal, that is why capitalism is king. There are going to be difference, but it is up to you as to which differences you value more.
In our lab, we tested the OneLink (as we do with all smoke detectors) by spraying an aerosol smoke-detector-tester spray from 5, 10 and 15 feet away and timing how long it took the alarm to go off. At the 5-foot mark, the OneLink took 33.3 seconds to sound, and at the 10-foot mark, the alarm sounded after 100 seconds. While those results aren’t bad, the OneLink is far slower than the Nest Protect, which took just 18 seconds to respond from both of those distances.Mike Prospero
OneLink has many bells and whistles that make it more than what it is – a smoke detector. But did they look beyond the mark? Nest Protect focuses on compounding features that support the main purpose of the product, whereas the OneLink has specs that do nothing to add to its functional purpose as a smoke alarm.
It makes sense to have this type of alarm in a main room or bedroom in a home, largely to capitalize on its other smart features. However, you aren’t necessarily going to want to blast music in the basement. And at a price of $250, you’re not going to want to waste it on the basement. With that perspective in mind, if you get this product, your house smoke alarms are not going to “match” if that matters to you.
Both Nest and OneLink have apps to manage their systems, hush the alarm, a voice alarm versus beeping, and can run sound checks.
OneLink is hardwired versus Nest’s battery, so keep in mind that installation will require tools and some handyman skills when it comes to the OneLink.
Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm
|Price||$120/alarm||Promised under $100|
|Detects Carbon Monoxide and Smoke||Yes||Only Smoke|
|Smart Integration||Nest, Wink, Homekit, IFTTT and more||Homekit, IFTTT|
|Phone notifications what and where||Yes||Yes|
|Life||10 years||10 years|
Netatmo was launched at CES in 2017. As of right now it is not on the market. This alarm promises to be everything that Nest is right now capable of doing.
Because it is not actually availible for purchase or user interaction, much of this alarm is unknown.
Currently, the only information available is on Netatmo’s website, and through promises, they’ve made to future users. For those looking to get a smart smoke alarm in the future, possibly years down the road, this would be a great alternative to Nest (once it is actually released).
Like Nest, Netatmo will have an app to monitor the device. Users will receive push notifications when the alarm is going off or for low battery. Also, Netatmo will be self-regulating like Nest, continuously running checks on functionality.
Nest does have an edge over Netatmo in that it can monitor for both smoke and carbon monoxide. Netatmo has only made promises regarding smoke detection.
Again, because it is not yet on the market, it is hard to be specific.
Nest has a pathlight feature that glows in the dark when it detects motion. Netatmo has not promised anything like it.
One good thing is, Netatmo is promised to below the $100 mark, making it easily affordable.
It is obvious that if you’re looking to get a smart smoke detector now, Netatmo is not a viable option. They haven’t even announced a release date. Users are confused when they go to Netatmo’s website because there is a “buy” button but you cannot purchase it and there is no price listed.
Elgato Eve Smoke Connected Smoke Detector
|Smart Integration||Nest, Wink, Phillip’s Hue, IFTTT and more||Apple Homekit|
|Life||10 years||10 years|
This is only a good option for those in the U.K really. This product does not ship to the United States via Amazon or via Eve’s website.
If for some reason you are traveling to Europe and you purchase this and get it through customs, it may be a good option.
Basically, this device is the most similar one thus far to the Nest. If you are looking to have Nest’s product without having Nest, this is the product for you. Again, this is only really viable for those in the UK.
Nest but called Eve
Nest Protect runs hundreds of self-checks on itself every day to ensure that it can perform its functions. Eve also does the same thing, but users can check the status of each function on the Eve app.
Nest largely performs only within the Nest ecosystem. Eve is similar in that it is almost exclusively Apple integrated.
It would be pointless to re-explain to you all the functions of Eve when they line up with Nest, so here is a list of paralell functions:
- Lights your path when an emergency happens
- One caveat is that Eve syncs with other Eve lights and turns them on. Nest has a motion activated pathlight feature during night time.
- Notifies you what and where the emergency is located
- App notifications
- All alarms sync and go off together
This alarm is a good option for those in the UK that are Apple converts and would love to have a fully integrated Apple home.
Kidde RF-SM-DC Wireless Interconnect Battery-Operated Smoke Alarm
This smoke alarm actually looks like one. It’s cheaper price makes it a tempting alternative, and some perks it offers are some of the same ones that Nest boasts.
|Smart Integration||Nest, Wink, Phillip’s Hue, IFTTT and more||SmartThings and Wink|
|Phone notifications||Yes||Only with Remote Lync|
|Life||10 years||10 years|
These alarms all communicate together using radio signals, so you can have connected alarms without having to re-wire everything. Like Nest, if you want to have integrated and connedcted alarms, all your alarms will need to be replaced for them to all be able to communicate together.
Here’s the catch though, they cannot all be the same type of device. You will have to get different versions of the Kidde alarm like the KN-COSM-IBA, which detects carbon monoxide with ionization smoke detecting technology, the KN-COPE-IC, which detects carbon monoxide and smoke using photoelectric smoke detecting tech, or the PI2010, which is a dual smoke detector, all within the same interconnected, wired setup.
Why multiple alarms of the same make cannot communicate together is unknown.
Nest v. Kidde
Nest obviously is going to have a lot more features than this alarm. This option is a great alternative to Nest for users looking for something a lot simpler.
Kidde is basically a baby step up from your most basic smoke alarm.
Like Nest, if Kidde detects a fire, all its devices will link and go off simultaneously. Unlike Nest, there is a beep. However, it is interspaced with voice warnings telling you what the danger is (carbon dioxide or smoke).
Users, also do have the option to simultaneously hush them at once by pressing the button located on the alarm.
Users can control their Kidde alarm via an app. Because it is not WiFi connected, it has less ability to smart integrate than Nest. What I mean by that is, this is not truly a smart device.
When you are away, you will not get notifications that your alarm is going off unless you by Kidde’s new product called Remote Lync which is a very basic product. Users plug it into an outlet and if it senses (hears) your alarm going off, it will notify you via the app.
Does Nest Protect work without internet? Nest Protect remains online even when your WiFi network goes down. However, you will not be able to remotely control it unles it is connected to WiFi.
What is the difference between photoelectric and ionization smoke detectors?
Ionization smoke alarms are better at sensing fast-moving fires. This type of alarm uses a small amount of radioactive material to ionize air in a sensing chamber. When smoke enters the chamber, the conductivity of the chamber air decreases and the alarm goes off.
Photoelectric smoke alarms are better at sensing smoldering fires. A photoelectric type smoke alarm has a sensing chamber with a light in it. If smoke enters the chamber, it scatters the light which sets off the alarm.