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

The Overall Household Comfort and Protection Bundle is a superior-close residence safety and automation kit from Ecobee. At $499, it’s high-priced — closest to the Nest Protected Alarm Method in phrases of design and style and price. But it’s a reliable program that makes successful use of each individual system and automates options for you dependent on your phone’s spot so you really don’t have to bear in mind to set arm or disarm modes. The program works with Alexa and Siri


  • All of the gadgets accomplish many features and perform alongside one another to variety a dynamic, multitasking program.
  • The automatic arming/disarming element tied to my phone’s spot labored reliably in the course of testing.

Really don’t Like

  • At $499, this kit just isn’t low-cost — and you have to pay out a recurring regular monthly payment for some capabilities that should be free.
  • It doesn’t offer expert checking, even if you pay out the optional regular monthly payment for the Haven membership company.

Ecobee doesn’t offer expert checking (however) and you have to pay out for the firm’s optional Haven membership service to use the car-arm/disarm element known as Autopilot, as nicely as obtain the camera’s 14-day movie clip storage in the Ecobee application. 

However, I like this program and advocate it, primarily if you want — or now have — an Ecobee thermostat or other Ecobee gadgets. 

The basics

Ecobee obtained its commence producing wise thermostats. Its most modern design, the SmartThermostat with voice regulate, is our recent favored thermostat. The SmartThermostat has a developed-in Alexa speaker that also works with Google Assistant and Siri instructions. 

But the enterprise has branched out in modern many years to offer a wise light-weight change, system components like ambient temperature sensors — and now residence safety gadgets

Amazon will help fund Ecobee, whose thermostats contend with Google’s Nest versions.

Ecobee’s $499 Overall Household Comfort and Protection Bundle incorporates one $249 SmartThermostat with voice regulate, one $179 SmartCamera with voice regulate, two SmartSensors for doors or home windows (also sold in a $seventy nine two-pack) and 3 temperature SmartSensors (also sold in a $seventy nine two-pack). All of individuals gadgets sold separately would clock in nearer to $600, so you’re technically getting a deal with this residence safety and automation bundle. If you now have the thermostat (which will come with one SmartSensor), Ecobee does provide a Household Protection Bundle for $279 with just the digital camera, two doorway or window sensors and two temperature sensors. 

If you choose to structure your possess program a la carte, preserve in head that you do want possibly the Ecobee SmartCamera or the SmartThermostat to use the SmartSensors on doors or home windows. 

Like the Ecobee SmartThermostat, the SmartCamera has a developed-in Alexa speaker. The system’s doorway and window sensors can keep track of movement (a particular person strolling by) as nicely as motion (no matter whether the doorway is open or shut).

Nest’s $399 Protected Alarm Method starter kit incorporates a keypad hub, two key fobs and two movement-and-motion-sensing doorway or window sensors. Nest’s keypad hub, known as the Nest Guard, has a developed-in Google Assistant speaker.

Regardless of a different mix of gadgets (Ecobee’s program doesn’t have a keypad and Nest’s doesn’t have a digital camera or doorbell, despite the fact that you could scale up by adding individuals Nest gadgets), they adopted a similar pattern with doorway and window sensors that double as movement sensors and safety gadgets that also offer integrated voice assistants. 

Placing up the Ecobee program starts with downloading the Ecobee application and developing an account. Hit the in addition sign in the top rated-suitable corner of the key monitor to add each individual new system. Ecobee makes it easy by asking you to scan QR codes on the gadgets, guiding you as a result of the approach step-by-step to title your merchandise and get it online. 

The thermostat is a little bit a lot more time consuming to set up. (I go into a lot more detail on that set up in the SmartThermostat with voice regulate review.) In standard, if you have thoughts about your home’s electrical set up, check with a expert electrician prior to you get started — or seek the services of an pro installer to do it for you. 


Comply with the uncomplicated ways to hook up each individual system.

Screenshots by CNET

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The details

You are unable to do much if you really don’t pay out for the optional Haven company. In essence, you can watch the SmartCamera’s stay feed — and which is about it. 

With Haven, which starts at $five for every month for one SmartCamera (or $10 for every month for many SmartCameras), you get 14 times of saved cloud storage clips and Autopilot, a neat element that arms and disarms the program — and turns the digital camera on and off — dependent on the spot of your cellphone. If you add other family members users to the account, Haven will also keep track of their spot, so the program will not likely arm if you leave but yet another family members member is still at residence. You also get alerts when movement is detected or a doorway or window is opened or shut. (Nope, that doesn’t appear typical with the program except you pay out for Haven, despite the fact that Ecobee tells me this will alter “in the next month or so.”) 

Haven doesn’t contain expert checking, possibly. It really is a lot more of a cloud storage membership program that also happens to contain the capacity to arm and disarm the program, the car-arm/disarm Autopilot element and alerts. I uncover this mix of free as opposed to payment-dependent Haven expert services disappointing, due to the fact the essential capacity to arm or disarm a program your self manually and alerts are typically free. 

For that reason, I would not invest in these Ecobee gadgets except you program to pay out for Haven. 

The gadgets themselves perform particularly nicely. The movement and doorway and window alerts were being responsive, the camera’s stay feed was crisp and the temperature sensors and thermostat add an additional layer of movement detection for the relaxation of the program. With Autopilot enabled, the program correctly armed when I remaining residence and disarmed when I returned. If you really don’t like the car-arming and disarming, you can change the options in the application for guide arming and disarming. 

The camera’s developed-in Alexa speaker doesn’t support much with the safety digital camera-Alexa integrations, due to the fact you would want an Alexa-enabled wise display screen to pull up the stay movie feed or have a two-way speak dialogue, but it can handle the very same basics as any other Alexa speaker — standard thoughts, online games, tunes and wise residence regulate. 

I really don’t have an Amazon-branded Alexa system to exam out no matter whether the Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) element works with the SmartCamera, despite the fact that Ecobee tells me it does have ESP. 

It really is also significant to consider a firm’s privateness statement and safety guidelines before buying a system or company. You can look at out Ecobee’s privateness policy below. Ecobee necessitates two-variable authentication for SmartCamera buyers it’s optional for absolutely everyone else.


The entire program charges $499, not including the optional Haven membership payment, starting off at $five for every month.

Megan Wollerton/CNET

The verdict

The Ecobee Overall Household Comfort and Protection Bundle works nicely. I like that every single system performs many features, from temperature monitoring to movement detection and stay movie streaming. The digital camera is nicely-created, and its developed-in Alexa speaker presents it a lot more performance than a typical safety digital camera. I like the structure of the application it’s consumer-helpful and easy to add new gadgets. 

That claimed, Ecobee doesn’t offer sufficient free capabilities for this program to be applied as a self-set up, self-monitored program. You are unable to even get alerts or arm the program with out a Haven membership. So whilst Haven is technically optional in that it’s a month-to-month agreement-free company, you genuinely do want it. If that doesn’t trouble you, this program may be for you. In any other case, I would look somewhere else. 

Maria J. Danford

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