Google Home in and of itself is not a security device, but it can be paired with Google Nest devices, including the Nest Hello doorbell, Nest Detect, and the Nest Secure Alarm System. You can also use voice commands through Google Home to activate or deactivate Nest Secure.
It’s a smart addition to any home but it can be an especially useful smart home system in households with older adults.
Maybe you’ve received a Google Home device as a gift and you’re excited because of all the things it can do. Well, have you heard that Google Home could be a part of a larger security system by pairing it with other Google devices like smart locks and security cameras?
If you want to learn more about Google Home smart speakers, as well as its role as a larger Google-driven home security system, you’ve come to the right place. Ahead, I’ll talk about whether Google Home has a guard mode, if it can detect intruders, and which security systems sync with it.
What Is Google Home?
First, let’s talk about the Google Home device in more detail, shall we?
Google Home is a smart speaker. The full-sized version is a little harder to come by these days, as the Google Home Mini is the more popular model. Both versions still have the same features, some of which are more security-minded than others.
It can be paired with some of the best home security systems available on the market today. There are no additional monthly fees and all you need is your Google account to start setting it up through a mobile app.
It doesn’t require any professional installation and it’s ease of use for many older adults make it a wonderful product to use and give as a gift to your favorite seniors.
Here’s what the Google Home can do both on its own and when synced with other Google devices.
Make Hands-Free Calls: Hands-free calling using voice control is convenient (especially for older adults). Imagine being able to just speak to begin a phone call. Or maybe you are busy cooking, doing dishes, or taking care of work tasks. Just ask Google Home to call someone out of your contacts list and it’ll take care of the rest.
Make Basic Household Adjustments: Did you just get comfy on the couch but it’s too warm or cold in your living room? If you use smart thermostats like the Nest Thermostat, you can ask Google Home to adjust the temperature, bumping it up or down.
Google Home can even increase or decrease the amount of lighting in your home without you having to get up and do it manually. Just plug in your Google home to a smart plug like these, use the app to sync it to your light(s) and you’re set.
Stream Media: If you own a Google Chromecast, you can ask Google Home to stream YouTube and even specific videos. You can also stream music, movies, and television shows on your platforms of choice with a voice command.
Create Or Modify Itineraries And Schedules: Create a calendar or itinerary in one Google device and amend it with your Google Home using voice commands. No matter what your schedule throws at you, you’ll be ready.
Control Your Garage Door: Integrate Google Home with the Chamberlain MyQ-G0401 smart garage door opener and you’ll be able to control that door with your voice or through your mobile device.
Answer Questions: If you have a question for your Google Home, it certainly has the answer. Google Home can tell you the latest sports scores, what the big news headlines are, the latest in finances, what traffic conditions look like, and what kind of weather to expect.
Just so you know – the main advantage that Google Home has over other smart home devices like the Amazon Alexa product is that it is able to answer more questions more accurately than Alexa. The reason is because Google Home uses the Google search engine to search for the answers to your questions.
Alexa products use the Bing search engine which is not as comprehensive as Google.
Does Google Home Have A Guard Mode?
Now that you know what you’ll get out of your Google Home, let’s look at its security features. For example, can you use Google Home to guard your house?
Not on its own, no. But, by syncing your Google Home with the Nest Detect motion sensor or the Nest Secure Alarm System, you can trigger guard mode.
However, we have to mention a few downsides of this – the biggest being that you can’t even get your hands on the relevant tech right this moment.
The Nest Secure Alarm System sold out a long time ago and Google decided to stop making further systems. This doesn’t mean the Nest Secure is no longer supported, but its production is discontinued.
This means you can’t walk into your favorite tech store and buy one. You’d have to get it second-hand.
Nest Detect also is unavailable as of this writing due to production delays.
This doesn’t mean you should write off Google Home altogether, though. In 2019, CNET wrote about an upgrade for Nest Secure within Google Assistant. Now, through voice commands, you can turn your security system on, which is about as close to a guard mode as you’re going to get.
The CNET article also mentions that there’s no way to verbally disarm the security system. To do that, you still have to type in a pin code.
This may have been done on purpose since apparently, it’s not too difficult to manipulate voice recognition among Google smart devices for devious purposes.
Also keep in mind that Google Home’s competitor, Amazon’s Echo, has a built in guard mode that you can turn on in the settings. Then it’s just a matter of telling Alexa that you’re leaving and the Echo’s guard mode is ready.
That said, you have to pay for an ongoing subscription to use Echo’s guard mode, so it’s a matter of either buying the subscription if you like Alexa or purchasing extra tech if you prefer Google.
Can Google Home Detect Intruders?
Okay, so we know that you can get some form of guard mode out of Google Home, but what about intruder detection?
Nest Detect can do that, yes. This small device acts as a sensor and sticks on all sorts of household surfaces, including your windows, walls, or doors. Wherever you decide to place the Detect, the device will look for movement and motion.
It works like a window sensor, a door sensor, etc.
This can work very well if you’re in a house caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. With both of these illnesses – you will want to make sure that your senior loved one doesn’t walk out the front door or any other door!
You can also try setting up a Home & Away Routine on your Google smart devices. According to Google, the Home & Away Routine can learn presence sensing to determine when someone is in the house versus when no one is home.
The point is to reduce the usage of your connected Google smart devices, but I can see how this feature could come in handy for detecting invaders.
After all, Google says on the page for their Home & Away Routines that sensors in devices like the Nest Protect and Nest Guard “can help determine if someone is present in the home.”
Since Google Home can make hands-free phone calls, you could activate the device to call 911 for if you ever have a criminal on your property. This is invaluable if your phone is dead or in another room and you can’t get to it.
Although Amazon Echo used to be the only smart speaker that could whisper, that’s no longer the case. As of 2019, Google Home can whisper as well, but not as the default. You have to go into Night Mode settings to do it.
That requires you to have the Google Home app on your smartphone, then opening the app. Access your Google Home speaker through the app, touching the gear icon to go into the speaker’s settings. Find Night Mode and turn on Enable Night Mode.
Night Mode does run on a schedule, but if you need it on so you can quickly and quietly make an emergency call, just set the scheduled time for whatever default period Google Home wants to use.
You can even adjust the precise volume your Google Home will speak and respond in by sliding the volume bar on your phone.
What Security System Works With Google Home?
Let’s say you already have a great smart home security system, so there’s no need for you to buy all the related Google devices and accessories for your home. You do like the features of the Google Home, so you want that on its own. Will Google Home play nicely with your current security system?
Probably, since it’s compatible with a lot of security devices, including the following:
Scout – Whether you use just the door panel, motion sensor, access sensor, indoor camera, video doorbell, or the whole hub, Scout’s DIY home security system will work with your Google Home (and Amazon Echo, too, if you’re curious).
The Scout Hub needs only an ethernet connection and a power outlet to start monitoring.
Should you ever lose power or even just the Internet, Scout will use a 4G LTE connection to keep watching your home and recording footage. Its backup battery–which is rechargeable–also keeps the Hub running even when everything else in your house is out.
Should someone get too close to the premises, Scout has a 105-decibel siren it will emit to scare them away.
Brinks – Brinks’ monitored security systems include one of three options: the basic Essential package, the more advanced Complete package, or the Ultimate package with everything you need for home security and then some.
The Ultimate Brinks security package includes a wireless door sensor, wireless motion sensor, outdoor camera, slim-line video doorbell, smoke detector, and the Smart Home Hub. The Hub is what your Google Home connects to.
Through the Smart Home Hub, you’ll enjoy sensor signal encryption so you’re more hack-proof. There are also alarms that work even on LTE.
ADT Security System – ADT packages its home security services like Brinks does, letting you choose from three packages. The ADT team installs all your equipment for you, such as infrared motion detectors, window and door sensors, and the digital keypad.
Your security system includes a backup battery that begins working during outages. A wireless keychain remote lets you activate your security system from afar.
You can also select between hard-wired or wireless home security and add landline or cellular connections to your security system.
Cove – Google Home and Cove also go together like peanut butter and jelly. Cove’s services include 24/7 monitoring as well as security equipment like intrusion and burglary sensors and the Cove Touch Alarm Panel. You can also add indoor cameras and medical alerts or remotes.
Cove’s built-in camera can film in 1080p HD quality so you can always tell when someone is on your property who shouldn’t be, even in less than clear weather. 4G LTE cellular monitoring means Cove will work when your Internet goes down.
Vivint – Last, but certainly not least, you can try Vivint if you want a security system that works with Google Home.
Their home security system has cameras, safety alarms, security sensors, and more unique sensors like environmental disaster sensors (something you hope to never use but is good to have!).
All equipment is customizable, from the home automation features to doorbell cameras and indoor or outdoor cameras. The Vivint Smart Hub is a must as well.
Together with the Vivint app, you can monitor the comings and goings of those on your property with live camera feeds, open and close doors and locks in your home, and use Google Home within the Smart Hub.
Google Home is a smart device that, although not actual security equipment on its own, can work with other Google devices to make your home smarter. It’s an easy and wonderful addition to any home but can be especially useful for homes with seniors.