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

Nancy J. Delong

The Overall Property Comfort and ease and Safety Bundle is a high-finish house safety and automation kit from Ecobee. At $499, it truly is pricey — closest to the Nest Secure Alarm Procedure in terms of type and rate. But it truly is a stable procedure that helps make successful use of every single machine and automates configurations for you based mostly on your phone’s locale so you do not have to remember to set arm or disarm modes. The procedure works with Alexa and Siri.

Ecobee won’t supply skilled monitoring (still) and you have to pay back for the firm’s optional Haven membership service to use the auto-arm/disarm function identified as Autopilot, as perfectly as obtain the camera’s 14-day video clip clip storage in the Ecobee app. 

Like

  • All of the products perform numerous features and get the job done together to sort a dynamic, multitasking procedure.
  • The automated arming/disarming function tied to my phone’s locale labored reliably during testing.

Never Like

  • At $499, this kit isn’t inexpensive — and you have to pay back a recurring regular charge for some features that should be totally free.
  • It won’t supply skilled monitoring, even if you pay back the optional regular charge for the Haven membership provider.

Still, I like this procedure and advocate it, specially if you want — or previously have — an Ecobee thermostat or other Ecobee products. 

The fundamental principles

Ecobee obtained its commence creating intelligent thermostats. Its most new design, the SmartThermostat with voice management, is our existing preferred thermostat. The SmartThermostat has a designed-in Alexa speaker that also works with Google Assistant and Siri instructions. 

But the organization has branched out in new a long time to supply a intelligent light switch, machine add-ons like ambient temperature sensors — and now house safety products

Amazon helps fund Ecobee, whose thermostats contend with Google’s Nest products.

Ecobee’s $499 Overall Property Comfort and ease and Safety Bundle incorporates a person $249 SmartThermostat with voice management, a person $179 SmartCamera with voice management, two SmartSensors for doorways or windows (also sold in a $79 two-pack) and 3 temperature SmartSensors (also sold in a $79 two-pack). All of those people products sold separately would clock in closer to $600, so you might be technically having a deal with this house safety and automation bundle. If you previously have the thermostat (which comes with a person SmartSensor), Ecobee does sell a Property Safety Bundle for $279 with just the digicam, two door or window sensors and two temperature sensors. 

If you decide to design and style your own procedure a la carte, keep in thoughts that you do require both the Ecobee SmartCamera or the SmartThermostat to use the SmartSensors on doorways or windows. 

Like the Ecobee SmartThermostat, the SmartCamera has a designed-in Alexa speaker. The system’s door and window sensors can keep track of movement (a individual walking by) as perfectly as motion (regardless of whether the door is open or closed).

Nest’s $399 Secure Alarm Procedure starter kit incorporates a keypad hub, two critical fobs and two movement-and-motion-sensing door or window sensors. Nest’s keypad hub, identified as the Nest Guard, has a designed-in Google Assistant speaker.

Irrespective of a distinct mix of products (Ecobee’s procedure won’t have a keypad and Nest’s won’t have a digicam or doorbell, even though you could scale up by incorporating those people Nest products), they followed a comparable pattern with door and window sensors that double as movement sensors and safety products that also supply built-in voice assistants. 

Environment up the Ecobee procedure commences with downloading the Ecobee app and producing an account. Strike the plus indication in the top-suitable corner of the main display to insert every single new machine. Ecobee helps make it uncomplicated by asking you to scan QR codes on the products, guiding you by means of the procedure move-by-move to name your product or service and get it online. 

The thermostat is a bit more time consuming to install. (I go into more element on that set up in the SmartThermostat with voice management assessment.) In common, if you have concerns about your home’s electrical setup, seek the advice of a skilled electrician right before you get began — or seek the services of an professional installer to do it for you. 

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Comply with the straightforward measures to connect every single machine.


Screenshots by CNET

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The particulars

You cannot do considerably if you do not pay back for the optional Haven provider. In essence, you can look at the SmartCamera’s are living feed — and which is about it. 

With Haven, which commences at $5 for every thirty day period for a person SmartCamera (or $10 for every thirty day period for numerous SmartCameras), you get 14 times of saved cloud storage clips and Autopilot, a amazing function that arms and disarms the procedure — and turns the digicam on and off — based mostly on the locale of your telephone. If you insert other relatives customers to the account, Haven will also keep track of their locale, so the procedure is not going to arm if you leave but an additional relatives member is however at house. You also get alerts when movement is detected or a door or window is opened or closed. (Nope, that won’t come common with the procedure unless of course you pay back for Haven, even though Ecobee tells me this will change “in the next thirty day period or so.”) 

Haven won’t contain skilled monitoring, both. It’s more of a cloud storage membership approach that also happens to contain the skill to arm and disarm the procedure, the auto-arm/disarm Autopilot function and alerts. I find this mix of totally free versus charge-based mostly Haven companies disappointing, due to the fact the basic skill to arm or disarm a procedure oneself manually and alerts are commonly totally free. 

For that cause, I wouldn’t buy these Ecobee products unless of course you approach to pay back for Haven. 

The products by themselves get the job done particularly perfectly. The movement and door and window alerts had been responsive, the camera’s are living feed was crisp and the temperature sensors and thermostat insert an extra layer of movement detection for the relaxation of the procedure. With Autopilot enabled, the procedure correctly armed when I left house and disarmed when I returned. If you do not like the auto-arming and disarming, you can alter the configurations in the app for handbook arming and disarming. 

The camera’s designed-in Alexa speaker won’t help considerably with the safety digicam-Alexa integrations, due to the fact you would require an Alexa-enabled intelligent show to pull up the are living video clip feed or have a two-way speak dialogue, but it can deal with the same fundamental principles as any other Alexa speaker — common concerns, video games, audio and intelligent house management. 

I do not have an Amazon-branded Alexa machine to check out regardless of whether the Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) function works with the SmartCamera, even though Ecobee tells me it does have ESP. 

It’s also crucial to take into account a firm’s privateness assertion and safety procedures before buying a machine or provider. You can verify out Ecobee’s privateness policy listed here. Ecobee necessitates two-issue authentication for SmartCamera shoppers it truly is optional for every person else.

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The finish procedure prices $499, not together with the optional Haven membership charge, commencing at $5 for every thirty day period.


Megan Wollerton/CNET

The verdict

The Ecobee Overall Property Comfort and ease and Safety Bundle works perfectly. I like that every machine performs numerous features, from temperature tracking to movement detection and are living video clip streaming. The digicam is perfectly-created, and its designed-in Alexa speaker offers it more performance than a common safety digicam. I like the design and style of the app it truly is person-helpful and uncomplicated to insert new products. 

That explained, Ecobee won’t supply ample totally free features for this procedure to be made use of as a self-installed, self-monitored procedure. You cannot even obtain alerts or arm the procedure without the need of a Haven membership. So even though Haven is technically optional in that it truly is a thirty day period-to-thirty day period agreement-totally free provider, you seriously do require it. If that won’t trouble you, this procedure could possibly be for you. Normally, I would search somewhere else. 

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