You’re about to move into your new home with a growing family, the closing is done and you’ve been handed your keys. Quite possibly the largest purchase of your life has just been concluded, now the decisions to be made are endless. Ranging from what color furniture to how many chairs to buy for the dinner-table. One choice that often gets overlooked is the question of how to ensure the security of your property when you are away. The thought of someone vandalizing or breaking into your home is an uncomfortable one, but is a sad reality in our day and age.
Fortunately there are some products that leverage advances in technology to provide an added layer of security and peace of mind to homeowners. The two most popular products in this category are Nest and Ring. Both can replace the traditional doorbell with a smart doorbell with an integrated camera, both have surveillance and alarm options, and both operate using wifi connectivity. On the surface the two systems appear to be nearly identical, but there are some differences that would lead one to choose one over the other.
Nest can be seen as a complete home assistant along the lines of Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Though some of the creature comforts of Alexa and Google Home are missing, Nest allows you to lock your door, set your thermostat, arm the alarm system, and watch live video feeds on your phone. The basic Nest doorbell gives the homeowner the capability to see who is at the door remotely, respond through a speaker in the doorbell, and record video. This can be paired with the Nest Yale lock, a device that replaces the standard lock with a keypad and code. The Nest Yale lock can also be opened remotely by the homeowner to open up for family and friends while they are out of the house or perhaps tending to small children in another room. Nest also offers a suite of sensors and cameras for both interior and outdoor use.
Ring is more focused on surveillance. User serviceable camera and motion activated floodlight systems are often packaged together with a doorbell camera. Ring’s outdoor floodlight cameras help to identify who may be walking around your property and sound an alarm when triggered from the application by the user. Ring’s focus on surveillance means that it does not have the same smart home connectivity of Nest, however Ring can sync up to an Amazon Alexa to provide a more complete smart home experience. Ring also integrates with an app called “Neighbors” that serves as a type of 21st century neighborhood watch. The app allows Ring users to upload photos and videos taken from their cameras to other app users and to report any suspicious activity they may have seen in the area.
One question still has to be asked, do Ring or Nest help prevent crime against your property? The answer appears to be yes. An article by the Chicago Tribune from November of 2018 shares the experiences of several Ring and Nest owners using their systems to catch criminals after the fact, or prevent a break in entirely. The same article details how police departments are even encouraging residents to install and register their doorbell cameras to collect evidence of crime.
Some may like the idea of operating things like thermostats and locks from their phone, while others prefer the simplicity of a solid camera system that can be user installed. If a homeowner sides with either of the products they will be satisfied and get the peace of mind they sought after when initially considering a security upgrade.