Nest Thermostat

Photo of Nest Thermostat
Company
Released
4 years ago
Price
$249
The Nest Thermostat (Third Generation) is a smart thermostat developed by Nest Labs and designed by Tony Fadell, Ben Filson, and Fred Bould. It is an electronic, programmable, and self-learning Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat that optimizes heating and cooling of homes and businesses to conserve energy.

The device is based on a machine learning algorithm: for the first weeks users have to regulate the thermostat in order to provide the reference data set. The thermostat can then learn people's schedule, at which temperature they are used to and when. Using built-in sensors and phones' locations, it can shift into energy saving mode when it realizes nobody is at home.

Last updated 4 months ago

Device score

Shitdex rating:

Learn more about how we calculate these metrics here.

  • Privacy ❓
  • Data Ownership 🚨
  • Lifespan βœ…
  • Security βœ…
  • Standards support 🚨
  • Works offline βœ…
  • Subscription-free βœ…
  • Software updates 🚨

Privacy

Our score: ❓
In general, Nest has had a good reputation about privacy, however that has recently begun to change as Google began to merge Nest's engineers with the Google Hardware team, which was previously an autonomous unit within Alphabet.

Nest came under fire in 2013 when it was revealed that the company had secretly embedded a microphone in its security products, which was activated by an update that rolled outβ€”and the existence of that microphone was never previously disclosed.

Things changed in 2019, however, when it was revealed at Google I/O that Nest would finally merge with the wider company, and the Nest infrastructure would be merged with Google's. 

In August 2019, Nest began shutting off API access for existing users in an attempt to force them to migrate their Nest accounts into a Google Account, and begin potentially mining that data for advertising purposes.

Data Ownership

Our score: 🚨
Nest has a fantastic GDPR-compliant export process and will provide detailed, to the minute data on your temperature history and other information stored in your account, in JSON format, in case you want to see what it knows about you.

Unfortunately, Nest announced plans to shut down its API and block existing applications from accessing data with incredibly short notice, cutting off third-party integrations like HomeAssistant with no other way to access data.

Lifespan

Our score: βœ…
Nest has not publicly made a commitment about its products lifespans in the past, however Nest has historically done a good job of supporting its products. Nest still maintains and updates its first-generation thermostat, even though it was originally released in October 2011.

It's worth nothing, however, that Nest did shut down a product it acquired with incredibly short notice, but this was an isolated incident.

Security

Our score: βœ…
As far as we know, Nest has never been subject to a cyberattack or a serious data breach.

It has, however, faced serious issues with credential stuffing, where attackers have successfully used breaches from other platforms to break into Nest accounts and broadcast pornography to children through security cameras. 

We haven't factored this into our score because it concerns poor user security rather than a breach of Nest, but it is something to consider.

Standards support

Our score: 🚨
Nest has announced a number of standards of its own over the year, such as Nest Weave, that ultimately never arrived in any useful fashion. It does not support HomeKit, SmartThings or any other mainstream standards, however Google has integrated it with Assistant.

Works offline

Our score: βœ…
Most functionality within the Nest thermostat works offline without problems. It will, however, complain about a lack of internet constantly on the display of the thermostat until it's connected again. 

Subscription-free

Our score: βœ…
To date, Nest has only asked customers for money at purchase of hardware and has not required them to pay additional fees to make the most of their thermostat, a tactic that other companies like Tado have explored.

Software updates

Our score: 🚨
Nest maintains its software on a regular basis, however it does not add new features or functionality at all to existing devices.

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