The Nest Protect smart smoke detector is in its second generation, and if you’re not sure which model you have, there are a few things you can figure out, as well as some important features that the two different versions share.

How to find out which socket model is protecting you

Unfortunately, Nest doesn’t print «1st Generation» or «2nd Generation» on the packaging or on the device itself, so you’ll have to look for other clues. Fortunately, there are many.

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Nest only has a support page for this, but essentially you can look at the design of Nest Protect itself to determine which version it is. Things like the shape of the alarm clock, the mounting plate, the optional battery cover, etc. are all different things in the 1st and 2nd generation Nest Protections.

You can also just take a quick look at the serial number. If it starts with «05» you have a 1st generation Protect and if it starts with «06» you have a 2nd generation model.

2nd generation security socket with improved smoke sensor

Perhaps one of the most significant improvements that the 2nd generation Nest Protect has over the previous generation is the «split spectrum sensor» as Nest calls it.

There are two types of smoke detectors that you will find in any smoke alarm: photoelectric and ionization. Each detects different types of fires. Some smoke alarms come with one or the other, while others come with both.

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The 1st generation Nest Protect has a basic photoelectric sensor. The 2nd generation model still only has a photoelectric sensor, but Nest says it has been greatly improved so that it can detect other types of fires that ionization sensors normally detect, eliminating the need to have two separate sensors.

Improved smoke chamber

The 2nd generation Nest Protect also offers an improved smoke chamber over the previous generation.

Smoke alarms have smoke chambers that cover and protect the smoke detectors to a certain extent. However, many still tend to let in small bugs or filaments that can accidentally disable the smoke detector and create false alarms.

Nest says the second-generation Protect’s smoke chamber is much better designed than the previous generation, preventing bugs, tiny filaments, and dust particles from triggering the sensor. This should result in fewer false positives with the 2nd generation model.

Self-test abilities

Everyone should check their smoke alarm every few months, but the 2nd generation Nest Protect can do most of the work for you by checking its speaker and siren on its own.

The process is for the Nest Protect to make a short sound and listen to itself with the built-in microphone to make sure both speaker and siren are working.

Even better, you can choose when it happens every month — like the middle of the day instead of the middle of the night.

You should still do regular security checks every few months. This tests everything, not just the speaker and siren. You can do this by clicking on the Protect button. If you have a 2nd generation model, you can also run a check from the app. And this brings us to the final significant difference between the two models.

You have more control over the Nest app with second generation models

While both generations allow you to control the Nest Protect app from the Nest app on your phone, you have a couple more options to control the second generation Nest Protect.

In addition to being able to run a security check right from your phone (instead of pressing a button on the device itself), you can also turn off the alarm right from the app. This is perhaps one of the more convenient features you’ll find on the new model, especially if you tend to set off an alarm while preparing dinner. Of course, you can also turn off the alarm manually by clicking the «Protect» button.

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