Google-owned Nest started in 2010 – initially launching with the Nest Learning Thermostat – before acquiring DropCam in 2014 and later releasing a series of Nest Cams in 2015.
Nest’s cameras continue to be engineered with the latest technological advancements. Currently, Nest has 3 cameras available, Nest Cam (indoor or outdoor, battery), Nest Cam (indoor, wired), and Nest Cam with floodlight – all of which come with 2-way audio functions, HDR night vision and motion sensors that can tell the difference between humans, vehicles and animals.
Our researchers have taken a deep dive into Nest’s home security products to establish what’s worth investing in, and what’s not. We’ve compared each home security camera with similar models from its competitors, carefully considering price, features and value for money.
Nest Cam (battery) overview
The Nest Cam is a versatile camera and can be installed either indoors or outdoors. It’s battery-powered, making it easy to install wherever suits your home – a weatherproof cable to hardwire outside is available, but sold separately.
However, if you do decide to install it outdoors, it doesn’t have floodlights, which is a drawback compared with most other outdoor cameras.
The Nest Cam’s installation is straightforward. Its wall mount can be secured using the screws provided, and the camera then sticks magnetically to the base. A Nest Cam stand can be purchased separately, if that’s your preferred installation method, and, again, the camera sticks to the magnetic base very easily. The Nest Cam comes in an aesthetically pleasing snow-white colour that can seamlessly blend into any home and is 83mm x 83mm.
This camera has a resolution of up to 1080p HD video, which is standard for most home security cameras. For those hoping to view live footage day and night, the Nest Cam’s HDR night vision improves both daytime and nighttime vision – it captures maximum image detail and minimises lens glare.
Connectivity and app
Nest Cam requires wifi and a broadband upload speed of 2Mbps minimum per camera for optimal performance. You’ll also need to download the Google Home app, compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Video footage is automatically stored in the cloud where homeowners can view footage via smart devices for 10 days (hardwired version). There are two subscription services, Nest Aware, which stores up to 30 days of event history, and Nest Aware Plus, which allows for 60 days 24/7 video history.
How does Nest Cam compare?
Our researchers compared the Nest Cam with other home security cameras and discovered it was not the best available. It’s not the cheapest – Ring, SimpliSafe and Hey! all have indoor and outdoor cameras for more affordable prices. Another notable difference is that, although the Nest Cam can be installed outdoors, it doesn’t include a floodlight, a typical outdoor camera feature. Its resolution is pretty standard, and SimpliSafe tops the table here with up to 1536p.
The Nest Cam is a good option for those who are looking for a multi-purpose camera. It can function as an indoor or outdoor camera and it works well in both day and night light, thanks to its HDR night vision. However, while it ticks baseline boxes, it is expensive and doesn’t come with many features.
Nest Cam (wired) overview
The wired Nest Cam is Nest’s least-expensive camera and its sleek and modern design will blend into your home’s decor without appearing unsightly. It can be used as a stand-alone home security device or as part of a wider home security suite.
The indoor Nest Cam comes with a 135-degree diagonal camera view, making it perfect for large indoor spaces. Nest Cam also has a 2-way audio feature, allowing you to communicate with household members via the Google Home app when you’re away from home.
This camera can be wall-mounted or free-standing, thanks to its handy in-built stand. For wall-mounting, most of what you need bar tools are included in the box and you can find a how-to video on the Nest website. The camera needs a mains connection, so be sure to install it somewhere with a power supply – once plugged in all you need to do is download the Google Home app and connect the camera to wifi.
The indoor Nest Cam has a 1080p resolution and night vision. Its advanced night vision provides clear images at nighttime and even enhances daytime footage.
Connectivity and app
Indoor Nest Cam requires wifi with a broadband upload speed of 2Mbps minimum. To view live footage, download the Google Home app on your iOS or Android device – the footage is stored on the cloud. This camera comes with up to 3 hours of free event history per month, if you’d like extra you’ll need a subscription. There are 2 subscription services with Nest Cam, Nest Aware, which stores up to 30 days of event history, and Nest Aware Plus, which allows for 60 days of 24/7 video history.
How does Indoor Nest Cam compare?
When our researchers compared the indoor, wired Nest Cam we found its pricing to be reasonable. The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera was more than double the price but has similar specifications. Hey!’s Smart Internal Camera is less expensive, but it doesn’t come with advanced night vision like the Nest Cam.
The Nest Cam (indoor, wired), is an excellent indoor camera and would suit most family homes. It comes with a wide-angle field of view, making it a good fit for open-planned homes that need to cover a large surface area. Its HDR night vision is also an advantageous feature, as it enhances both daytime and nighttime footage.
Nest Cam with Floodlight overview
The Nest Cam with Floodlight home security camera can really elevate your home’s security. It gives you access to 24/7 live footage and comes with 2 customisable floodlights with adjustable brightness. You can create your own routine, turn the floodlights on when suits you and adjust brightness levels, as well as sensitivity. The outdoor Next Cam’s built-in intelligence can differentiate between people, animals and vehicles ensuring you receive fewer irrelevant notifications.
Users can also communicate with delivery persons using the 2-way audio function, which comes with noise cancellation.
The Nest Cam with floodlight can be DIY installed or by a professional. The camera’s floodlight is designed to work with existing wiring – if you require new wiring, it might be best to seek professional help. Nest Cam with Floodlight comes with a wall mount and screws, much like Nest’s other cameras.
This camera has up to 1080p resolution and HDR night vision, which enhances both day and night images. It also comes with a 130-degree diagonal field of view, making it suitable for large outdoor spaces.
Connectivity and app
Nest Cam with Floodlight needs to be connected to wifi in order to record live video footage. Nest suggests your broadband connection has at least a 2Mbps upload speed per camera. To view live footage or saved activity, as well as receive notifications, you’ll need to download the Google Home app –available for both iOS and Android devices. This camera stores up to 3 hours of activity, but with a Nest Aware subscription, Nest Cam stores up to 30 days of event video history.
How does Nest Cam with Floodlights compare?
The Nest Cam with Floodlights offers advanced features, such as 2-way audio with noise cancellation and customisable floodlights. However, when our researchers compared the Nest Cam with other outdoor cameras, we discovered less expensive alternatives. The Ring Floodlight Camera Pro and Hey! Smart Floodlight Camera both come with floodlights, night vision and 2-way audio, but for a much more affordable price. The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight camera has similar specifications to the Nest Cam and still costs less.
Overall, the Nest Cam with Floodlight is a good choice if you are looking for an advanced home security camera with added extras, such as noise cancellation. The camera is quite pricey compared to similar camera models on the market – avoid the outdoor Nest Cam if you won’t use all of its features.
Nest Doorbell (battery) overview
The Nest Doorbell (battery) is suitable for most door types. The doorbell comes with a wide range of functions, such as 2-way audio with noise cancellation, pre-set responses and, much like Nest’s other cameras, can differentiate between humans, vehicles and animals.
The Nest Doorbell is designed with a vertical field of view (3:4 aspect ratio). This means that you’ll be able to see people from head to toe in your camera’s view, as well as any packages left on your doorstep. The doorbell also sends intelligent alerts via your smartphone whenever there’s someone at your door.
The battery-powered doorbell (46mm (W) x 160mm (L)) comes in Nest’s signature snow colourway and can be DIY or professionally installed. It comes with a wall mount that can be screwed into your wall and the camera snaps into the mount.
The standout feature here is the camera’s vertical view. This doorbell comes with 980 x 1280 pixels, which means it can view people in your camera’s views from head-to-toe. It also comes with a 6x digital zoom and HDR infrared night vision, which improves the camera’s quality both at night and daytime.
Connectivity and app
The Nest Doorbell requires a wifi connection, with at least 2 Mbps upload speed (DSL may not qualify), a compatible mobile device, the free Google Home app and a Google Account. The doorbell also has up to 60 days of event history with Nest Aware.
How does Nest Doorbell compare?
Our researchers compared the battery-powered Nest Doorbell camera and found its pricing to be fair when compared to other home security brands. However, though it’s the same price as the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell, its resolution isn’t as good.
The Nest Doorbell (battery) would suit most homes. It can capture a wide field of view and comes with decent features like 2-way audio with noise cancellation and infrared night vision.
Nest Doorbell (wired) overview
The wired Nest Doorbell allows for 24/7 streaming and high-definition video. This version of the doorbell also has an ultra-wide view that can capture people from head-to-toe as well as infrared night vision and 2-way audio so that you can communicate with visitors even when you’re away from home. With the wired installation you can connect the Nest Doorbell to your home’s existing doorbell chime.
Unlike all of Nest’s other cameras, the wired doorbell comes in a black colourway. Its design is also considerably smaller – it’s 44mm (W) x 117mm (L). Nest doorbell requires a chime and the right transformer – you can check on the Nest website if your home is compatible. It’s recommended your Nest wired doorbell is professionally installed.
The wired Nest Doorbell has a wide field of view with 1600 x 1200p and a 4:3 aspect ratio. This means your doorbell camera can see people head-to-toe. It also comes with 8x digital zoom and infrared night vision ensuring our camera is effective no matter the time of day.
Connectivity and app
Nest Doorbell requires an existing wired doorbell and chime, as well as a compatible phone or tablet with the free Nest app and Bluetooth 4.0. The doorbell requires a wifi connection with at least a 2Mbps upload speed and 800 to 2,000 Kbps of upload bandwidth while streaming video. Up to 60 days of event history with Nest Aware and 24/7 video history with Nest Aware Plus.
How does Nest Doorbell compare?
When our researchers compared the Nest Doorbell (wired) with other cameras we found it to be quite expensive. Of the compared doorbells it was the most expensive, with Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 not far behind.
The Nest Doorbell (wired) is a great option for those who already have an existing doorbell camera with a chime. It’s recommended that this doorbell is professionally installed, which might not suit some homeowners – it’s also fairly expensive and we did find others on the market with similar features which cost less.
Nest receives 1.2 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot – not an admirable score. Our researchers read some of the reviews to discover customers were most disappointed with customer service and difficulty using the Nest Cam.
“2 months out of warranty, my expensive indoor Google Nest camera is not powering up and can no longer be used. The expensive price tag does not represent the quality you would expect. As a concerned parent, don’t use this baby monitor, feel very let down.”
“I’m very disappointed with not being able to go back 3 hours in time on the CCTV Camera and Doorbell video footage. Which is very little time. It used to be 12 hours. The support team are trying to sell the Subscriptions. Nest / Google are trying to rip off the public by saying to get a subscription for £50 or £100. Being a pensioner, that’s far too expensive. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor [now discontinued] and Nest Doorbell (Wired) cost a fortune to buy. Both of my devices are 230-volt power hardwired. Both are on wifi. Both devices no longer get any video footage. I would not recommend these Nest products or the (Doorbell and camera) to anyone.”
“Nest app was ok, but I wanted to view recorded clips. I was asked to migrate to Google to do this. It does give you a better value cloud subscription, but you need a Plus subscription to have continuous recording. I thought the cameras were going offline but it was only registering motion or sound. After realising this, I paid for Plus. But seven hours later 1 camera had no picture but lines with sound. I never had any problems for 2 years till I migrated to Google. A reboot of the camera and router solved the line problem. I wait to see.”