The Nest Thermostat is a lot like other Wi-Fi thermostats in that you can control it from your smartphone. But the Nest goes a step beyond the competition. Because the Nest is a learning thermostat, it gathers data about your schedule—when you turn down the heat as you go to bed, when you turn it up in the morning, when you’re home or away—and then after a week or so, it adjusts the temperature automatically to save you time, energy, and money.
You can still make manual adjustments as needed, but you don’t need to worry about turning down the air conditioning before leaving for work or coming home to a hot house at the end of the day. This feature, along with the thermostat’s other high-tech features, not only make it more convenient to use, but also save you money on heating and cooling costs.
One feature the Nest Thermostat lacks compared to other Wi-Fi thermostats is remote sensors, which you can put in other rooms of the house to get more accurate temperature readings.
You can bypass this issue by installing multiple Nest Thermostats, and they will work together, but that can become quite pricey. For average-size homes, one Nest Thermostat should be sufficient.
That means the thermostat can connect to either 2.4GHz band Wi-Fi, giving you a wider operating range but slower speeds, or 5GHz band Wi-Fi, which works in a smaller range but gives you faster speeds.
The third-generation model also has Farsight and Furnace Heads-Up features, which are discussed below. Overall, the third-generation model is the best version of the Nest Thermostat yet, though if you already have a second-generation model and it works well for you, you probably don’t need to upgrade.