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

The Whole Household Comfort and ease and Protection Bundle is a significant-stop residence safety and automation package from Ecobee. At $499, it is expensive — closest to the Nest Safe Alarm Technique in terms of model and selling price. But it is a reliable process that tends to make economical use of each and every unit and automates settings for you centered on your phone’s location so you will not have to don’t forget to established arm or disarm modes. The process is effective with Alexa and Siri.

Ecobee does not present experienced monitoring (yet) and you have to pay out for the firm’s optional Haven membership service to use the auto-arm/disarm feature known as Autopilot, as effectively as entry the camera’s 14-working day online video clip storage in the Ecobee application. 

Like

  • All of the units conduct many features and do the job together to variety a dynamic, multitasking process.
  • The computerized arming/disarming feature tied to my phone’s location worked reliably all through screening.

Don’t Like

  • At $499, this package isn’t really inexpensive — and you have to pay out a recurring regular cost for some options that should be totally free.
  • It does not present experienced monitoring, even if you pay out the optional regular cost for the Haven membership provider.

Even now, I like this process and propose it, particularly if you want — or presently have — an Ecobee thermostat or other Ecobee units. 

The basic principles

Ecobee got its start off creating clever thermostats. Its most latest product, the SmartThermostat with voice management, is our latest favored thermostat. The SmartThermostat has a crafted-in Alexa speaker that also is effective with Google Assistant and Siri commands. 

But the business has branched out in latest decades to present a clever light-weight change, unit add-ons like ambient temperature sensors — and now residence safety units

Amazon aids fund Ecobee, whose thermostats compete with Google’s Nest types.

Ecobee’s $499 Whole Household Comfort and ease and Protection Bundle contains 1 $249 SmartThermostat with voice management, 1 $179 SmartCamera with voice management, two SmartSensors for doors or windows (also offered in a $79 two-pack) and three temperature SmartSensors (also offered in a $79 two-pack). All of these units offered independently would clock in nearer to $600, so you are technically acquiring a offer with this residence safety and automation bundle. If you presently have the thermostat (which will come with 1 SmartSensor), Ecobee does sell a Household Protection Bundle for $279 with just the digicam, two doorway or window sensors and two temperature sensors. 

If you decide to design and style your have process a la carte, hold in brain that you do will need either the Ecobee SmartCamera or the SmartThermostat to use the SmartSensors on doors or windows. 

Like the Ecobee SmartThermostat, the SmartCamera has a crafted-in Alexa speaker. The system’s doorway and window sensors can observe movement (a man or woman going for walks by) as effectively as movement (no matter whether the doorway is open up or shut).

Nest’s $399 Safe Alarm Technique starter package contains a keypad hub, two essential fobs and two movement-and-movement-sensing doorway or window sensors. Nest’s keypad hub, known as the Nest Guard, has a crafted-in Google Assistant speaker.

Regardless of a different combination of units (Ecobee’s process does not have a keypad and Nest’s does not have a digicam or doorbell, whilst you could scale up by incorporating these Nest units), they adopted a comparable sample with doorway and window sensors that double as movement sensors and safety units that also present built-in voice assistants. 

Location up the Ecobee process commences with downloading the Ecobee application and generating an account. Hit the plus indication in the major-ideal corner of the most important display to add each and every new unit. Ecobee tends to make it quick by inquiring you to scan QR codes on the units, guiding you by means of the system phase-by-phase to name your item and get it on the web. 

The thermostat is a bit extra time consuming to install. (I go into extra depth on that installation in the SmartThermostat with voice management evaluate.) In typical, if you have concerns about your home’s electrical setup, seek the advice of a experienced electrician in advance of you get begun — or hire an skilled installer to do it for you. 

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Observe the basic methods to join each and every unit.


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The details

You can not do a great deal if you will not pay out for the optional Haven provider. Fundamentally, you can see the SmartCamera’s live feed — and that’s about it. 

With Haven, which commences at $five for every month for 1 SmartCamera (or $ten for every month for many SmartCameras), you get 14 days of saved cloud storage clips and Autopilot, a amazing feature that arms and disarms the process — and turns the digicam on and off — centered on the location of your cellphone. If you add other family members to the account, Haven will also observe their location, so the process won’t arm if you leave but one more family member is however at residence. You also get alerts when movement is detected or a doorway or window is opened or shut. (Nope, that does not arrive common with the process until you pay out for Haven, whilst Ecobee tells me this will change “in the next month or so.”) 

Haven does not include things like experienced monitoring, either. It really is extra of a cloud storage membership system that also happens to include things like the ability to arm and disarm the process, the auto-arm/disarm Autopilot feature and alerts. I come across this combination of totally free vs . cost-centered Haven services disappointing, due to the fact the primary ability to arm or disarm a process oneself manually and alerts are normally totally free. 

For that cause, I would not buy these Ecobee units until you system to pay out for Haven. 

The units themselves do the job exceptionally effectively. The movement and doorway and window alerts were responsive, the camera’s live feed was crisp and the temperature sensors and thermostat add an supplemental layer of movement detection for the relaxation of the process. With Autopilot enabled, the process successfully armed when I remaining residence and disarmed when I returned. If you will not like the auto-arming and disarming, you can modify the settings in the application for guide arming and disarming. 

The camera’s crafted-in Alexa speaker does not assist a great deal with the safety digicam-Alexa integrations, due to the fact you would will need an Alexa-enabled clever exhibit to pull up the live online video feed or have a two-way speak dialogue, but it can deal with the same basic principles as any other Alexa speaker — typical concerns, online games, music and clever residence management. 

I will not have an Amazon-branded Alexa unit to exam out no matter whether the Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) feature is effective with the SmartCamera, whilst Ecobee tells me it does have ESP. 

It really is also vital to contemplate a firm’s privateness statement and safety procedures before buying a unit or provider. You can examine out Ecobee’s privateness plan below. Ecobee calls for two-factor authentication for SmartCamera prospects it is optional for every person else.

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The comprehensive process costs $499, not which includes the optional Haven membership cost, commencing at $five for every month.


Megan Wollerton/CNET

The verdict

The Ecobee Whole Household Comfort and ease and Protection Bundle is effective effectively. I like that each and every unit performs many features, from temperature monitoring to movement detection and live online video streaming. The digicam is effectively-made, and its crafted-in Alexa speaker offers it extra operation than a common safety digicam. I like the design and style of the application it is person-welcoming and quick to add new units. 

That claimed, Ecobee does not present ample totally free options for this process to be employed as a self-installed, self-monitored process. You can not even obtain alerts or arm the process devoid of a Haven membership. So even though Haven is technically optional in that it is a month-to-month agreement-totally free provider, you actually do will need it. If that does not trouble you, this process could possibly be for you. If not, I would look elsewhere.