Google’s plans for a security system are starting to take shape. Google invested $450 million in ADT in 2020, buying a 6.6% stake in the security monitoring company. Two months later, Google killed off its in-house security platform, Nest Secure, which struck a monitoring deal with competitor ADT Brinks. The two companies promise to build the “next generation of smart home security solutions,” and it appears that this is here now as “ADT Self Setup smart home security system. “
Since the Nest Secure is dead, the brains of the system is the ADT Smart Home Hub. This is a 4.1 x 4.1 x 5.9-inch box with a keyboard on top and a few other buttons for arming and disarming the security system. It’s a big unit about the size of a smart speaker, thanks to having to fit a built-in 24-hour battery backup and speaker grille up front for the siren, which ADT says reaches 85dB at 10 feet. Instead of the more common smart home protocol like Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Google’s Thread, or Matter, ADT devices run on “DECT/ULE,” an old-school wireless home security standard. I don’t think the acronym means anything anymore, but it officially stands for “Digital Enhanced Wireless Communications / Ultra Low Power” (it has roots in Cordless phone technology). It’s still a Z-Wave hub, but that’s only for third-party product automation. It also has Bluetooth for setup, and assuming this is the same hub used for ADT’s old “Blue” security system, it connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi with a cellular backup.
ADT has it too Various security widgets You can put it around the house. It’s not very easy to place the control keypad on top of the hub, away from the door, so there’s also a remote keypad that can be mounted on the wall next to the door and used while coming and going. ADT also handles door and window sensors, motion sensors, flood and temperature sensors, car style key fobs, and smoke detectors. Nest is known for some very expensive smoke detectors, but ADT’s press release Calling Every compatible product is from Google by name, and the Nest Protect smoke detector is not listed.
ADT also brings the ADT+ app. It’s incredible that one of the world’s largest software companies doesn’t handle the software for this, but the ADT app will tie everything together, allowing you to control your security system, get notification alerts, and view your camera feeds, all from one place.
For the Google bits, any Nest Hub smart display can be a primary interface to the system, allowing users to control the security system by voice and touch, along with all the usual Google smart display stuff. The Google Nest Mini speaker for voice control is also available, and is listed as a supported speaker in Google Play blog post And press release, but none of the posts mentioned the larger Nest Audio speaker as a supported device. I can’t imagine that’s true – every Google Assistant endpoint is probably available for voice control.
Google also supplies all the cameras, with the Nest Doorbell and the Nest indoor and outdoor cameras also appearing in the ADT+ app. The Nest Thermostat is also a supported device, which means you can control it from the ADT app. Setup also recommends a Google Nest Wi-Fi router, though anything will work.
Now let’s talk about pricing. This is it ADT’s “DIY” system, because it’s up to you to put together a system to fit your home, rather than having an ADT consultant come in and do professional design and installation. the ADT hub $179.99, keypad $89.99, each door/window sensor $14.99, motion sensors $24.99, smoke detector $39.99, flood/temperature sensor $34.99. There are also “Starter” and “Premium” combo packages that combine a hub, a few sensors, a Google doorbell, and — in a “Premium” package only — a Nest Hub, but they don’t save you any money when you just buy things piecemeal. ADT is offering $100 off the position now.
Of course, ADT’s bread and butter is a professional 24/7 monitoring subscription, where someone at a call center will call 911 for you if your security system detects an intruder. That’s $24.99 a month if you only have ADT equipment, or $34.99 a month if you want to monitor Z-Wave equipment as well. Keep in mind that Google’s Nest Cams have a monthly subscription as well, and you should be expected to have both “Nest Aware” and ADT subscriptions to enjoy the full experience. Nest Cams only provide three hours of event history without a subscription. This recording feature is specifically an “event log” – the camera detects something interesting is happening – not 24/7 video recording. For $6 per month, “Nest Aware” will get you 30 days of event video history (still not available 24/7), while a $9 “Nest Aware Plus” subscription will get you 60 days of event history And it has finally added 10 days 24/7 video recording.
ADT says that if you subscribe to Nest Aware and ADT Monitoring, you also get the Video Verification feature. This means that the ADT control crew will be looking at your camera feeds while an alarm is triggering, which should help them decide whether to call 911. Don’t call 911 if the cat triggers the motion sensor, call if it’s a man with a crowbar and a ski mask.
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