Nest Security Camera

Nest started the DIY smart home trend with the launch of its eponymous learning thermostat in 2011. A decade on, the company offers a full suite of smart home devices, including the Nest Protect smoke and CO (carbon monoxide) alarm; the Nest x Yale door lock; Nest Wifi (a mesh Wi-Fi system); three smart speakers and two smart displays; and four home security cameras, plus a video doorbell. Nest is now owned by Google. All Nest products except the smoke alarm integrate with the Google Assistant digital voice assistant and can work together through the Google Home app to create an integrated home security system.

Nest has been in business since 2010 and was founded by two Apple employees to make a first-of-its-kind, high-end, smart thermostat: The Nest Learning Thermostat. The company was purchased by Google in 2014 and merged with Dropcam, one of the first companies to make cloud-based, Wi-Fi streaming cameras. Together the Nest and Dropcam teams produced the Nest Cam Indoor security camera and the Nest Cam Outdoor security camera. In 2017, Nest introduced the Nest Cam IQ camera line, one of the first security cameras to have machine learning (also called artificial intelligence or AI) built-in. This gave the cameras the capability to learn and recognize specific people, objects, and things.

Nest originally operated independently of Google, but in 2018 it became part of Google’s home devices division. All Nest products are now sold under the Google Nest brand. The Nest Cams work with Google’s Nest Hubs (smart speakers with touch screens), letting you view your camera’s footage on them. They also work with Google’s smart digital voice assistant Google Assistant. Google’s Nest Hub Max smart display has a camera builtiin, allowing it to act as an indoor security camera with all the same features of Nest’s stand-alone cameras.

Some people are understandably concerned about bringing cameras and microphones that are connected to the internet into their homes. To help address this issue, Google promises not to sell your personal information or collect data without your permission.

Nest Cam Indoor

Best for:

  • Precise alerts: You can tailor your settings to be alerted to people, sounds, and/or motion

  • 24/7 recording: This is the least expensive indoor camera in our rating that offers continuous, cloud-based video recording (with a subscription)

  • Flexible placement: Mounting and adjustment are easy with a small form factor, pivoting base, long power cable, and magnetic mount

  • Pet camera: It can tell you if your dog is barking (with a subscription)

Not recommended for:

  • Internet plans with data caps: 24/7 recording consumes a lot of data

  • Maximum burglary deterrence: There’s no built-in light or siren

  • Two-way communication: Some other cameras offer better speakers and microphones

This is an excellent wireless indoor security camera that’s small and lightweight and can be tucked away easily. It offers cloud-based 24/7 recording (for $12 a month or $120 a year), making it a good choice for continuously monitoring somewhere such as a baby’s room or small business.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

Best for:

  • Precise alerts: You can tailor your settings to be alerted to people, sounds, and/or motion

  • Talking to people in your home: There’s an integrated, high-quality speaker and microphone

  • Pet camera: It can tell you if your dog is barking

  • 24/7 recording: This is one of three indoor cameras in our rating that offers continuous video recording

Not recommended for:

  • Security on a budget: This is one of the higher-priced cameras in our rating

  • Burglary deterrence: There’s no built-in light or siren

  • Internet plans with data caps: 24/7 recording in 4K consumes a lot of data

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor camera is an advanced wireless indoor security camera that includes Google Assistant, so you can use the camera to control any connected lights, locks, and other devices with voice commands. Facial recognition, zoom and track, and excellent audio quality allow you to identify, see, and talk to anyone in your home. Built-in privacy features such as geofencing (which turns the camera off when you’re at home), scheduling, and activity zones let you tailor how it records to suit your needs.

Are Nest Home Security Cameras Good?

Yes, Nest home security cameras are good and did well in our rating. Reviewers praise Nest’s cameras for their high-quality video and precise alert settings, plus the ability to record 24/7. Nest’s cameras are very advanced, which is why they are expensive, and some of their capabilities may be more than most people need. But the advanced machine-learning technology enables features such as facial recognition technology, bark detection, and people talking alerts help deliver useful notifications, as opposed to being alerted every time a tree blows in the wind.

Reviewers find that Nest cameras work very well with other Google Nest products. If you already have Google Home-compatible gadgets, adding Nest security cameras is an easy and seamless process and brings extra features. For example, you can have the feed from a Nest camera show up on any Google Nest smart display, allowing you to see your backyard or front door with just a few words to your voice assistant. (This also works on Amazon Alexa smart displays and Fire TVs.) If you pair the cameras with Nest Protect smoke and CO alarms, you can view a clip of the activity in your home anytime the alarms are triggered, whether or not you subscribe to the Nest Protect plan. Nest is the only camera manufacturer in our ratings that can do this without a paid plan. Nest is also the only manufacturer in our ratings to have a smart assistant (Google Assistant) built into one of its cameras, and the only one with a weatherproof outdoor power adapter.

Nest cameras can use both the Nest and Google Home mobile app to see live and recorded footage from your cameras. Reviewers say that both are easy to use and let you see a livestream and three hours of snapshots with no fee. Pay for a Nest Aware subscription, and you can get 30 days of motion-activated recordings for $6 a month or 60 days, plus 10 days of 24/7 recording for $12 a month for as many cameras as you have.

Nest requires two-factor authentication when you log into your account – an important feature that adds another layer of security to your video footage. Google Nest has implemented a number of privacy features recently, including requiring the camera’s LED light to always be on when it’s recording. There’s also the option to have your cameras turn off when you’re home and back on when you leave, using the location of your smartphone.

What Home Security Cameras Does Nest Offer?

Nest offers five home security cameras. They include:

  • Nest Cam Indoor ($129.99): The wireless Nest Cam Indoor has a high definition (HD) sensor, a 130-degree field of view, night vision, and an 8x digital zoom.
  • Nest Cam IQ Indoor ($299): The wireless Nest Cam IQ has a 4K sensor but records in HD with high dynamic range (HDR) for detail in both light and shadow. It has a 130-degree field of view, night vision, and a 12x digital zoom. This camera comes with Person Detection for free and has Google Assistant built-in.
  • Nest Cam Outdoor ($199): The wireless Nest Cam Outdoor has many of the same specifications as the indoor camera, including an HD camera and 8x digital zoom. However, it’s weatherproof and comes with a magnetic mount or magnetic wall plate for easy installation. It also features 25 feet of weatherproof cable and an outdoor power adapter.
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor ($399): The wireless Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has a lot of upgrades over the Nest Cam Outdoor. For example, it can withstand lower temperatures (down to minus 40 degrees) and includes a hex key to help prevent theft of the camera. Its 8-megapixel sensor produces 4K HDR video and facilitates a 12x digital zoom. It has better two-way talk than the Nest Cam Outdoor, can zoom and track when it detects motion, and comes with Person Detection for free.
  • Nest Hello ($229): The Nest Hello is Nest’s video doorbell. It has 2K video with HDR imaging, 160-degree field of view, a speaker and microphone for two-way talk, night vision, and weather resistance. This camera replaces your existing wired doorbell and can record 24/7 and/or on motion. It can send person, motion, and sound alerts as well as detect packages and provide pre-recorded responses (such as “Leave the package please”) for a subscription fee.

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