What is it:

Alongside Morepork and Netatmo, Nest is one of the major players reinvigorating smartphone-linked security systems in the New Zealand market. But Nest is the big one: it's founded by former Apple engineers, their products are sleek, modern and easy to use, and they sync with Google Home. In short, Nest appears to be dominating the market.

How does it work: I was given two different Nest products to trial: an indoor/outdoor camera system and a smoke alarm, both of which can be monitored from anywhere thanks to the Nest security app. Everything was super simple to set up: plug in the cameras, screw in the smoke alarm, and download an app and you're away. Basically, whenever you're away the camera system lets you check in to see what's going on at home either through alerts or a live feed. It's great for piece of mind - especially when burglaries seem to spike around this time of year.

A Nest Indoor Cam in action.
A Nest Indoor Cam in action.

What they say:

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"We focus on simple, beautiful and delightful hardware, software and services that reinvent unloved objects in the home - like your smoke alarm or security camera," says Lionel Guicherd-Callin, head of product marketing. "We've launched a range of thoughtful safety and security products in New Zealand to help Kiwis take care of their homes and the people inside it."

What's the best think about them? How easy they are to use. The lounge camera and smoke alarms are so simple to set up it's ridiculous. The outdoor camera needs a little more work - we'll need to get an electrician in to set it up properly as we don't have any wiring outside. And some of the weird stuff that shows up in your alerts is headscratching: during one night away over Christmas, what appeared to be a giant flying fish smashed into our sliding door. We still haven't worked out what it was - and we must have watched the footage a dozen times.

A Nest Protect smoke alarm in action.
A Nest Protect smoke alarm in action.

And the worst?

The cameras pick up any activity in your home - and that includes pets. I'm happy to not have to have watched a live burglary unfold at my house from miles away (their are plenty of these videos on Nest's website, and if it does happen, you have the option of yelling at the burglars through a microphone in the camera). But I did get daily updates of the cats having a lazy stretch on the lounge floor. As for the smoke alarms, they monitor movement and glow if you walk past at night, which is a neat bonus trick that has already stopped a few stubbed toes.

Okay, so how much are they? The Indoor and Outdoor Nest Cams are $359 each, while the Nest Protect smoke alarms are $219. For a small monthly charge you can sign up to the Nest Aware service if you want to store your video history. Now that I've used the whole setup for a couple of months, I wouldn't want to go without it. But I would like a few less updates on my cats' sleeping habits.