Ecobee review: A Haven subscription is a must with this home security bundle

Victoria D. Doty

The Total Residence Convenience and Protection Bundle is a large-close house security and automation kit from Ecobee. At $499, it truly is high-priced — closest to the Nest Safe Alarm System in phrases of model and rate. But it truly is a good method that would make effective use of just about every gadget and automates configurations for you based mostly on your phone’s area so you never have to try to remember to established arm or disarm modes. The method is effective with Alexa and Siri.

Ecobee isn’t going to present experienced monitoring (still) and you have to pay for the firm’s optional Haven subscription service to use the automobile-arm/disarm element referred to as Autopilot, as well as accessibility the camera’s 14-day online video clip storage in the Ecobee app. 

Like

  • All of the devices complete many capabilities and function jointly to kind a dynamic, multitasking method.
  • The automated arming/disarming element tied to my phone’s area labored reliably in the course of tests.

Don’t Like

  • At $499, this kit is just not low-priced — and you have to pay a recurring regular monthly fee for some capabilities that ought to be free of charge.
  • It isn’t going to present experienced monitoring, even if you pay the optional regular monthly fee for the Haven subscription assistance.

Continue to, I like this method and endorse it, specially if you want — or presently have — an Ecobee thermostat or other Ecobee devices. 

The fundamentals

Ecobee got its begin generating smart thermostats. Its most current design, the SmartThermostat with voice regulate, is our existing favourite thermostat. The SmartThermostat has a developed-in Alexa speaker that also is effective with Google Assistant and Siri instructions. 

But the company has branched out in current several years to present a smart gentle swap, gadget components like ambient temperature sensors — and now house security devices

Amazon can help fund Ecobee, whose thermostats contend with Google’s Nest designs.

Ecobee’s $499 Total Residence Convenience and Protection Bundle contains a single $249 SmartThermostat with voice regulate, a single $179 SmartCamera with voice regulate, two SmartSensors for doors or windows (also offered in a $seventy nine two-pack) and a few temperature SmartSensors (also offered in a $seventy nine two-pack). All of individuals devices offered independently would clock in closer to $600, so you might be technically obtaining a offer with this house security and automation bundle. If you presently have the thermostat (which arrives with a single SmartSensor), Ecobee does market a Residence Protection Bundle for $279 with just the camera, two door or window sensors and two temperature sensors. 

If you opt to structure your own method a la carte, keep in thoughts that you do have to have either the Ecobee SmartCamera or the SmartThermostat to use the SmartSensors on doors or windows. 

Like the Ecobee SmartThermostat, the SmartCamera has a developed-in Alexa speaker. The system’s door and window sensors can monitor motion (a human being walking by) as well as movement (no matter if the door is open or shut).

Nest’s $399 Safe Alarm System starter kit contains a keypad hub, two crucial fobs and two motion-and-movement-sensing door or window sensors. Nest’s keypad hub, referred to as the Nest Guard, has a developed-in Google Assistant speaker.

Irrespective of a distinctive blend of devices (Ecobee’s method isn’t going to have a keypad and Nest’s isn’t going to have a camera or doorbell, even though you could scale up by introducing individuals Nest devices), they adopted a related sample with door and window sensors that double as motion sensors and security devices that also present integrated voice assistants. 

Placing up the Ecobee method begins with downloading the Ecobee app and making an account. Strike the additionally indicator in the leading-proper corner of the major monitor to add just about every new gadget. Ecobee would make it quick by inquiring you to scan QR codes on the devices, guiding you through the course of action phase-by-phase to identify your solution and get it on-line. 

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

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Abide by the basic steps to hook up just about every gadget.


Screenshots by CNET

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The particulars

You can not do substantially if you never pay for the optional Haven assistance. Essentially, you can watch the SmartCamera’s stay feed — and that is about it. 

With Haven, which begins at $five for each thirty day period for a single SmartCamera (or $ten for each thirty day period for many SmartCameras), you get 14 times of saved cloud storage clips and Autopilot, a cool element that arms and disarms the method — and turns the camera on and off — based mostly on the area of your cellphone. If you add other relatives members to the account, Haven will also monitor their area, so the method would not arm if you leave but yet another relatives member is even now at house. You also get alerts when motion is detected or a door or window is opened or shut. (Nope, that isn’t going to arrive standard with the method except if you pay for Haven, even though Ecobee tells me this will adjust “in the next thirty day period or so.”) 

Haven isn’t going to contain experienced monitoring, either. It can be more of a cloud storage subscription plan that also transpires to contain the potential to arm and disarm the method, the automobile-arm/disarm Autopilot element and alerts. I find this blend of free of charge as opposed to fee-based mostly Haven services disappointing, considering the fact that the primary potential to arm or disarm a method on your own manually and alerts are typically free of charge. 

For that explanation, I wouldn’t invest in these Ecobee devices except if you plan to pay for Haven. 

The devices by themselves function particularly well. The motion and door and window alerts were responsive, the camera’s stay feed was crisp and the temperature sensors and thermostat add an extra layer of motion detection for the rest of the method. With Autopilot enabled, the method properly armed when I remaining house and disarmed when I returned. If you never like the automobile-arming and disarming, you can regulate the configurations in the app for manual arming and disarming. 

The camera’s developed-in Alexa speaker isn’t going to assist substantially with the security camera-Alexa integrations, considering the fact that you’d have to have an Alexa-enabled smart display screen to pull up the stay online video feed or have a two-way talk discussion, but it can handle the exact fundamentals as any other Alexa speaker — standard thoughts, games, music and smart house regulate. 

I never have an Amazon-branded Alexa gadget to test out no matter if the Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) element is effective with the SmartCamera, even though Ecobee tells me it does have ESP. 

It can be also essential to consider a firm’s privacy assertion and security policies before acquiring a gadget or assistance. You can examine out Ecobee’s privacy policy right here. Ecobee demands two-component authentication for SmartCamera prospects it truly is optional for everybody else.

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The comprehensive method fees $499, not such as the optional Haven subscription fee, setting up at $five for each thirty day period.


Megan Wollerton/CNET

The verdict

The Ecobee Total Residence Convenience and Protection Bundle is effective well. I like that just about every gadget performs many capabilities, from temperature tracking to motion detection and stay online video streaming. The camera is well-designed, and its developed-in Alexa speaker provides it more operation than a standard security camera. I like the structure of the app it truly is consumer-friendly and quick to add new devices. 

That claimed, Ecobee isn’t going to present enough free of charge capabilities for this method to be used as a self-mounted, self-monitored method. You can not even receive alerts or arm the method with no a Haven subscription. So although Haven is technically optional in that it truly is a thirty day period-to-thirty day period contract-free of charge assistance, you definitely do have to have it. If that isn’t going to bother you, this method may well be for you. Normally, I might glance somewhere else. 

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