Ecobee’s home security system puts smart sensors front and center

Jeffrey Cuebas

The Full Home Comfort and Stability Bundle is a substantial-conclusion dwelling stability and automation kit from Ecobee. At $499, it really is pricey — closest to the Nest Protected Alarm Program in conditions of style and selling price. But it really is a good system that makes productive use of just about every machine and automates options for you primarily based on your phone’s locale so you don’t have to remember to set arm or disarm modes. The system functions with Alexa and Siri

Like

  • All of the equipment carry out various functions and do the job with each other to variety a dynamic, multitasking system.
  • The computerized arming/disarming feature tied to my phone’s locale labored reliably in the course of tests.

Don’t Like

  • At $499, this kit isn’t cheap — and you have to fork out a recurring monthly charge for some attributes that need to be absolutely free.
  • It won’t offer you expert monitoring, even if you fork out the optional monthly charge for the Haven membership company.

Ecobee won’t offer you expert monitoring (still) and you have to fork out for the firm’s optional Haven membership service to use the car-arm/disarm feature referred to as Autopilot, as nicely as obtain the camera’s fourteen-day video clip storage in the Ecobee application. 

Even now, I like this system and recommend it, specifically if you want — or now have — an Ecobee thermostat or other Ecobee equipment. 

The fundamentals

Ecobee got its start out making intelligent thermostats. Its most current model, the SmartThermostat with voice command, is our present-day beloved thermostat. The SmartThermostat has a crafted-in Alexa speaker that also functions with Google Assistant and Siri commands. 

But the organization has branched out in current many years to offer you a intelligent light-weight change, machine extras like ambient temperature sensors — and now dwelling stability equipment

Amazon will help fund Ecobee, whose thermostats compete with Google’s Nest products.

Ecobee’s $499 Full Home Comfort and Stability Bundle includes just one $249 SmartThermostat with voice command, just one $179 SmartCamera with voice command, two SmartSensors for doorways or windows (also marketed in a $79 two-pack) and 3 temperature SmartSensors (also marketed in a $79 two-pack). All of these equipment marketed individually would clock in closer to $600, so you might be technically acquiring a deal with this dwelling stability and automation bundle. If you now have the thermostat (which comes with just one SmartSensor), Ecobee does promote a Home Stability Bundle for $279 with just the digicam, two door or window sensors and two temperature sensors. 

If you decide to structure your personal system a la carte, preserve in mind that you do want possibly the Ecobee SmartCamera or the SmartThermostat to use the SmartSensors on doorways or windows. 

Like the Ecobee SmartThermostat, the SmartCamera has a crafted-in Alexa speaker. The system’s door and window sensors can observe motion (a individual going for walks by) as nicely as movement (whether the door is open or shut).

Nest’s $399 Protected Alarm Program starter kit includes a keypad hub, two vital fobs and two motion-and-movement-sensing door or window sensors. Nest’s keypad hub, referred to as the Nest Guard, has a crafted-in Google Assistant speaker.

Irrespective of a distinctive mixture of equipment (Ecobee’s system won’t have a keypad and Nest’s won’t have a digicam or doorbell, even though you could scale up by introducing these Nest equipment), they followed a identical sample with door and window sensors that double as motion sensors and stability equipment that also offer you built-in voice assistants. 

Placing up the Ecobee system begins with downloading the Ecobee application and building an account. Strike the as well as sign in the top-proper corner of the major screen to add just about every new machine. Ecobee makes it quick by inquiring you to scan QR codes on the equipment, guiding you by way of the process action-by-action to title your item and get it on the net. 

The thermostat is a bit more time consuming to set up. (I go into more element on that set up in the SmartThermostat with voice command review.) In general, if you have issues about your home’s electrical set up, talk to a expert electrician prior to you get started off — or employ the service of an qualified installer to do it for you. 

Comply with the very simple measures to link just about every machine.


Screenshots by CNET

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The facts

You cannot do considerably if you don’t fork out for the optional Haven company. Fundamentally, you can perspective the SmartCamera’s are living feed — and which is about it. 

With Haven, which begins at $five per month for just one SmartCamera (or $ten per month for various SmartCameras), you get fourteen days of saved cloud storage clips and Autopilot, a interesting feature that arms and disarms the system — and turns the digicam on and off — primarily based on the locale of your mobile phone. If you add other family users to the account, Haven will also observe their locale, so the system will never arm if you go away but an additional family member is continue to at dwelling. You also get alerts when motion is detected or a door or window is opened or shut. (Nope, that won’t occur typical with the system until you fork out for Haven, even though Ecobee tells me this will improve “in the up coming month or so.”) 

Haven won’t incorporate expert monitoring, possibly. It really is more of a cloud storage membership strategy that also takes place to incorporate the skill to arm and disarm the system, the car-arm/disarm Autopilot feature and alerts. I locate this mixture of absolutely free as opposed to charge-primarily based Haven providers disappointing, considering the fact that the essential skill to arm or disarm a system yourself manually and alerts are usually absolutely free. 

For that purpose, I would not invest in these Ecobee equipment until you strategy to fork out for Haven. 

The equipment by themselves do the job incredibly nicely. The motion and door and window alerts ended up responsive, the camera’s are living feed was crisp and the temperature sensors and thermostat add an more layer of motion detection for the relaxation of the system. With Autopilot enabled, the system efficiently armed when I remaining dwelling and disarmed when I returned. If you don’t like the car-arming and disarming, you can alter the options in the application for guide arming and disarming. 

The camera’s crafted-in Alexa speaker won’t enable considerably with the stability digicam-Alexa integrations, considering the fact that you would want an Alexa-enabled intelligent exhibit to pull up the are living video feed or have a two-way talk discussion, but it can cope with the same fundamentals as any other Alexa speaker — general issues, games, music and intelligent dwelling command. 

I don’t have an Amazon-branded Alexa machine to examination out whether the Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) feature functions with the SmartCamera, even though Ecobee tells me it does have ESP. 

It really is also essential to take into consideration a firm’s privacy assertion and stability policies before acquiring a machine or company. You can verify out Ecobee’s privacy coverage right here. Ecobee demands two-element authentication for SmartCamera consumers it really is optional for everybody else.

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The full system charges $499, not like the optional Haven membership charge, setting up at $five per month.


Megan Wollerton/CNET

The verdict

The Ecobee Full Home Comfort and Stability Bundle functions nicely. I like that every machine performs various functions, from temperature tracking to motion detection and are living video streaming. The digicam is nicely-made, and its crafted-in Alexa speaker offers it more functionality than a typical stability digicam. I like the structure of the application it really is person-welcoming and quick to add new equipment. 

That mentioned, Ecobee won’t offer you more than enough absolutely free attributes for this system to be utilized as a self-set up, self-monitored system. You cannot even get alerts or arm the system with out a Haven membership. So even though Haven is technically optional in that it really is a month-to-month contract-absolutely free company, you definitely do want it. If that won’t trouble you, this system may well be for you. If not, I’d search in other places. 

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