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I thought they would be good to have to protect our home and allow us ...
on July 5, 2014
The NEST Thermostat and NEST Protect.... the truth.
I have owned both of these item since they came on the market. I thought they would be good to have to protect our home and allow us to communicate with the items and control our home while away. After owning both of these for some time now this is our experience.
We live in rural Ontario. We have an all electric home with 200 Amp service and a 15KV generator to supply power when the power goes out. Our ISP provided a Siemens Modem and behind it we have an Apple Extreme 801g/n/ac router to provide wifi. Even in a power failure our ISP provides Internet access.
I have worked in the IT field for over 30 years. I'm a Techie. I know what I'm doing. I'm no kid.. I have credentials. I have tried to do far more with the NEST than most people would (like voice control), I live in a fully automated home but NEST can't keep up.
The NEST Thermostat:
It was easy to install and worked right out of the box. It is easy to use in person and controls our electric heating just fine. It was only after a power failure we began to see the issues. The NEST does not like to reconnect to our wifi after a power failure. I have always had to wait until I return home, walk to The NEST and select 'wifi' and press it. Then it connects. The NEST is only 3 meters from our wifi router and signal strength is reported to be 'excellent' at 86% when tested. So signal is not the issue. To get around this I' have installed a UPS so the wifi never drops. This has solved this issue it would appear at the moment. No battery issues so far. Other issues: It has no idea where we live. I had to trick it during setup as our location is not available. Occasionally it complains about setup issues that when checked don't exist. On occasion it will not light up when approached even though this feature is turned on. I have to poke it to get it to light up. All else appears OK. Do I trust it for an extended vacation in the winter: NOT ON YOUR LIFE.
The NEST Protect:
We purchased 2 of these when they hit the market. Installation was easy and they both worked out of the box. The issues with both of these units are the never-ending stream of false alarms, always when we are away. We rush home to find NOTHING.!! Even while writing this our bedroom NEST Protect went off telling us about smoke in the bedroom that isn't there. We've received Emails telling us our bedroom is full of smoke. When we arrive home our cat is sleeping on the bed so we can safely assume the alarm in the house did nothing. We've had alarms of power outage when there was none. We've had alarms of fire when there was none. THEY ARE A PAIN IN THE BUTT.
UPDATE: NEST has admitted there is a problem and offered to refund us the complete purchase price if we shipped these to them. We did and received a cheque for the refund. I'm glad to be rid of them.
The NEST Access
Another area of concern is the online access to the NEST product line. Frequent outages, where you can't access any NEST products because either the access point it down or the servers are down.
Here's a selection from The NEST's own log on the outages: (follow the dates and the frequency) and remember this affects The NEST no matter what version you have.
Nest Thermostat Issue': Some customers may be experiencing an issue with their Nest Thermostat becoming slow, unresponsive, or unable to turn on because the battery has drained. You should recharge and restart your thermostat following these steps. 01/09/2016 13:17 '
Nest Service Issue': We're experiencing a problem with the Nest web and mobile apps and are investigating the cause. We'll have more details soon. Update: This issue has been resolved 9 January 4:21 PST '
Service Outage': We're experiencing a problem with the Nest mobile and web apps, and we're investigating the cause. This is now resolved. 10/21/2015 13:23 '
Weather data service is offline: 'Our weather data service is temporarily offline. Due to this, Nest apps may not show weather information. We apologize for any inconvenience and expect the service to be restored soon. 10/15/2015 15:00
Service Outage': We're investigating a service issue affecting a small percentage of customers, and the team is working on a fix. We'll have more details soon. Update: we're seeing lower error rates; all connections should be restored shortly. Update 11:20am: issue resolved 10/01/2015 13:20 '
Service Outage': We're investigating a service outage with the Nest mobile app and Cam services, and the team is working on a fix. Details to come. Update (9/20/2015 8:00AM PT): we are seeing lower error rates; all connections should be restored shortly. 09/20/2015 11:20 '
Service outage with the Nest mobile and web app'We're investigating a service outage with the Nest mobile and web app, and the team is working on a fix. Details to come. 09/13/2015 17:00 '
Service Outage: 'We're working on a service outage that is impacting the Nest web and mobile apps. We are aware of the issue and working to resolve it. We apologize for the inconvenience. 09/08/2015 01:30
The NEST Support:
In a word: it's non-existent. When you refer to the web site there is a 'Contact Us' area but it only takes you to another page which lists HELP and The Community. In other words 'You bought it and you're stuck with it and we don't want to talk to you to help you with your problems'. If you do leave comments in The Community someone will answer but it's days later.
UPDATE: NEST now has a phone number and Email address available so you can contact them directly. If you Email it will be several days before they will respond. The phone is a better choice BUT.. their knowledge is limited. For example: I'm using the Amazon Echo and IFTTT to control The NEST thermostat. To do this there's a channel from NEST to IFTTT which frequently drops. When talking to NEST Support about why the channel drops frequently; they have no clue what I'm talking about. The log files at IFTTT show that it's the NEST end that is dropping but NEST Support has no idea what this is or where it is but magically it does come back up, you just have to wait for it.
I would in no way recommend any of these products to anyone but I did buy them and yes I''m stuck with them. I may end up dumping them on eBay and go to Honeywell or Ecobee products that actually do work.