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

The Complete Dwelling Comfort and ease and Safety Bundle is a large-conclude home safety and automation package from Ecobee. At $499, it can be high priced — closest to the Nest Protected Alarm System in terms of design and style and price tag. But it can be a solid system that helps make effective use of every single product and automates settings for you based on your phone’s locale so you really don’t have to try to remember to established arm or disarm modes. The system performs with Alexa and Siri.

Ecobee isn’t going to supply expert monitoring (however) and you have to pay for the company’s optional Haven membership service to use the car-arm/disarm feature called Autopilot, as properly as obtain the camera’s 14-day online video clip storage in the Ecobee app. 

Like

  • All of the devices conduct various capabilities and get the job done alongside one another to form a dynamic, multitasking system.
  • The automatic arming/disarming feature tied to my phone’s locale labored reliably all over testing.

Do not Like

  • At $499, this package isn’t really cheap — and you have to pay a recurring regular monthly price for some options that should be cost-free.
  • It isn’t going to supply expert monitoring, even if you pay the optional regular monthly price for the Haven membership support.

Even now, I like this system and advocate it, especially if you want — or currently have — an Ecobee thermostat or other Ecobee devices. 

The principles

Ecobee got its start off creating smart thermostats. Its most modern design, the SmartThermostat with voice regulate, is our present favorite thermostat. The SmartThermostat has a designed-in Alexa speaker that also performs with Google Assistant and Siri commands. 

But the enterprise has branched out in modern years to supply a smart light-weight change, product equipment like ambient temperature sensors — and now home safety devices

Amazon can help fund Ecobee, whose thermostats compete with Google’s Nest versions.

Ecobee’s $499 Complete Dwelling Comfort and ease and Safety Bundle features a person $249 SmartThermostat with voice regulate, a person $179 SmartCamera with voice regulate, two SmartSensors for doorways or home windows (also offered in a $seventy nine two-pack) and three temperature SmartSensors (also offered in a $seventy nine two-pack). All of those people devices offered separately would clock in nearer to $600, so you’re technically finding a deal with this home safety and automation bundle. If you currently have the thermostat (which will come with a person SmartSensor), Ecobee does market a Dwelling Safety Bundle for $279 with just the digicam, two doorway or window sensors and two temperature sensors. 

If you decide to style your very own system a la carte, retain in intellect that you do need possibly the Ecobee SmartCamera or the SmartThermostat to use the SmartSensors on doorways or home windows. 

Like the Ecobee SmartThermostat, the SmartCamera has a designed-in Alexa speaker. The system’s doorway and window sensors can monitor motion (a individual walking by) as properly as motion (regardless of whether the doorway is open up or shut).

Nest’s $399 Protected Alarm System starter package features a keypad hub, two crucial fobs and two motion-and-motion-sensing doorway or window sensors. Nest’s keypad hub, called the Nest Guard, has a designed-in Google Assistant speaker.

Even with a various mix of devices (Ecobee’s system isn’t going to have a keypad and Nest’s isn’t going to have a digicam or doorbell, although you could scale up by including those people Nest devices), they followed a very similar sample with doorway and window sensors that double as motion sensors and safety devices that also supply built-in voice assistants. 

Environment up the Ecobee system begins with downloading the Ecobee app and creating an account. Hit the moreover sign in the top-proper corner of the most important monitor to increase every single new product. Ecobee helps make it quick by inquiring you to scan QR codes on the devices, guiding you by the method action-by-action to title your merchandise and get it on-line. 

The thermostat is a little bit extra time consuming to put in. (I go into extra detail on that set up in the SmartThermostat with voice regulate critique.) In normal, if you have queries about your home’s electrical setup, consult a expert electrician just before you get begun — or use an skilled installer to do it for you. 

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Observe the simple actions to connect every single product.


Screenshots by CNET

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The aspects

You won’t be able to do much if you really don’t pay for the optional Haven support. Mainly, you can view the SmartCamera’s reside feed — and which is about it. 

With Haven, which begins at $5 per thirty day period for a person SmartCamera (or $ten per thirty day period for various SmartCameras), you get 14 days of saved cloud storage clips and Autopilot, a amazing feature that arms and disarms the system — and turns the digicam on and off — based on the locale of your telephone. If you increase other family members to the account, Haven will also monitor their locale, so the system won’t arm if you leave but yet another family member is however at home. You also get alerts when motion is detected or a doorway or window is opened or shut. (Nope, that isn’t going to arrive normal with the system until you pay for Haven, although Ecobee tells me this will adjust “in the upcoming thirty day period or so.”) 

Haven isn’t going to include expert monitoring, possibly. It really is extra of a cloud storage membership program that also comes about to include the capability to arm and disarm the system, the car-arm/disarm Autopilot feature and alerts. I locate this mix of cost-free versus price-based Haven services disappointing, because the simple capability to arm or disarm a system on your own manually and alerts are usually cost-free. 

For that rationale, I wouldn’t buy these Ecobee devices until you program to pay for Haven. 

The devices by themselves get the job done exceptionally properly. The motion and doorway and window alerts were responsive, the camera’s reside feed was crisp and the temperature sensors and thermostat increase an further layer of motion detection for the relaxation of the system. With Autopilot enabled, the system productively armed when I remaining home and disarmed when I returned. If you really don’t like the car-arming and disarming, you can change the settings in the app for manual arming and disarming. 

The camera’s designed-in Alexa speaker isn’t going to assistance much with the safety digicam-Alexa integrations, because you’d need an Alexa-enabled smart display screen to pull up the reside online video feed or have a two-way speak conversation, but it can deal with the exact principles as any other Alexa speaker — normal queries, online games, audio and smart home regulate. 

I really don’t have an Amazon-branded Alexa product to test out regardless of whether the Echo Spatial Notion (ESP) feature performs with the SmartCamera, although Ecobee tells me it does have ESP. 

It really is also critical to look at a company’s privacy statement and safety insurance policies before buying a product or support. You can check out Ecobee’s privacy plan in this article. Ecobee necessitates two-element authentication for SmartCamera prospects it can be optional for everybody else.

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The full system expenses $499, not together with the optional Haven membership price, starting off at $5 per thirty day period.


Megan Wollerton/CNET

The verdict

The Ecobee Complete Dwelling Comfort and ease and Safety Bundle performs properly. I like that every product performs various capabilities, from temperature monitoring to motion detection and reside online video streaming. The digicam is properly-designed, and its designed-in Alexa speaker gives it extra operation than a normal safety digicam. I like the style of the app it can be user-pleasant and quick to increase new devices. 

That claimed, Ecobee isn’t going to supply more than enough cost-free options for this system to be made use of as a self-installed, self-monitored system. You won’t be able to even get alerts or arm the system without having a Haven membership. So although Haven is technically optional in that it can be a thirty day period-to-thirty day period agreement-cost-free support, you seriously do need it. If that isn’t going to trouble you, this system might be for you. Otherwise, I’d look in other places. 

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