- The Google Nest Cam is a smart home DIY security camera developed by Google that offers live video streaming, night vision, motion alerts, and cloud storage.
- Reasons to avoid the Google Nest Cam include the absence of local video streaming, no color night vision in some models, the need for a Nest Aware subscription for certain features, short battery life, and a fixed position camera that limits viewing angles.
- Alternatives to the Google Nest Cam include the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera, the Blink Outdoor 4, and the Reolink outdoor camera.
In today’s world, safety and security at home are more important than ever before. While there are many ways to keep your home and family safe, the use of security cameras is at the top of the list.
The Google Nest Cam is one of the top sellers on the market, but there are some reasons to avoid this model. We discuss those reasons below, but first, let’s talk about the basics.
What is a Google Nest Cam?
A Google Nest Cam is a smart home DIY security camera developed by the internet giant Google. It offers live video streaming, night vision, motion alerts, and cloud storage, enabling homeowners to monitor their premises remotely through a mobile app or web interface. Furthermore, it integrates with other Nest and Google Home products.
Reasons To Avoid A Google Nest Cam
There are plenty of good reasons to buy a Google Nest Cam, but that doesn’t mean you should rush your purchase. It’s important to consider the many reasons to pass on this device for one of its competitors.
No Local Video Streaming
The Google Nest Cam is entirely dependent on an internet connection. It requires a Wi-Fi network and a reliable broadband connection with a minimum of 2 Mbps upload speed per camera for optimal functioning. Those with DSL may find that their service is not fast enough.
The absence of local video streaming means you cannot view your camera’s feed without an internet connection. Imagine situations where your internet is down due to external reasons, or if there’s a service disruption from your provider. Without the ability to locally stream, you’re left in the dark.
The Google Nest Cam’s reliance on constant internet connectivity and the absence of local video streaming can be a deal-breaker. It’s essential to consider your local conditions and internet reliability before investing in such a device.
No Color Night Vision
This drawback isn’t associated with every Google Nest Cam, so be sure to double-check the device you want to buy. For example, the newest Nest Cam with Floodlight uses both infrared and color night vision. If this is important to you, know the features before you make a purchase.
Other models don’t have color night vision capabilities which can lead to issues such as:
- Limited details at night: Without color night vision, your security camera will only capture grayscale footage during low-light conditions. This lack of color differentiation can make it challenging to identify important details like clothing color or vehicle types.
- Decreased identification accuracy: Accurately recognizing intruders, trespassers, or any other suspicious individuals becomes difficult. The absence of color can hinder distinguishing specific facial features, accessories, or tattoos.
- Reduced evidentiary value: In situations where video footage is used as evidence, color information can provide crucial context. Monochromatic footage might not carry the same weight or clarity in legal scenarios.
- Missed activities: Subtle actions, like someone dropping a colored item in the dark or slight changes in the surroundings, can go unnoticed. With color night vision, these minute yet potentially significant events would be more discernible.
- Lower deterrent effect: Potential intruders might be aware that certain cameras lack color night vision. Knowing this, they may take advantage of the camera’s limitations, wearing monochrome clothing to blend in more easily with the environment.
Some Features Require Nest Aware
Google Nest Cam provides plenty of features out of the box, but a Nest Aware subscription is required for video recording.
It costs a minimum of $8/month for access to features such as:
- Event-based history: See just the highlights, or upgrade to Nest Aware Plus for continuous video recording.
- Enhanced intelligence: Receive more intelligence directly on your phone.
- Improved awareness: Get smarter alerts across all cameras, doorbells, speakers, and displays for better knowledge of home activities.
- Unified pricing: One straightforward price for comprehensive coverage.
- Whole home coverage: All Google Nest devices in your home, present and future, are covered at an affordable rate.
For $15/month, you’ll gain access to 60 days of event video history (instead of 30) and up to 10 days of 24/7 video history (instead of none).
Short Battery Life
The option to run the Google Nest Cam on a battery provides flexibility in regard to placement. No electrical outlet is required. The problem with this is that you have to recharge the battery to maintain functionality.
Battery life varies based on factors such as activity, camera settings, and temperature. For instance, if you live in a cold weather climate, don’t expect your battery to last as long during the winter months.
Here’s a basic overview of what to expect:
- High Activity: Battery lasts approximately 1.5 months with around 20-25 recordings daily.
- Moderate Use: Battery endures around 3 months with 9-12 events captured daily.
- Low Traffic: With 2-4 recordings daily, the battery sustains for about 7 months.
The requirement to constantly check your device’s battery life can be a deal-breaker.
Fixed Position Camera Reduces Viewing Angles
A security camera’s primary purpose is to offer comprehensive surveillance. However, a camera with a fixed position, like the Google Nest Cam, can significantly hamper this objective.
Being stationary restricts viewing angles, potentially leading to blind spots in the monitored area. This limitation means that intruders or other events outside the camera’s fixed view will go unnoticed. There’s no way around this.
For users who rely on their cameras for complete security coverage, these restricted viewing angles can pose a genuine risk. It becomes crucial to either supplement with additional cameras or consider models that allow for adjustable angles.
Google Nest Cam Alternatives
The Google Nest Cam is a top seller, but if you’re not sold on this model — due to one or more of the reasons above — it’s a good idea to consider alternatives.
The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is one of the Nest Cam’s top competitors. With 1080p video, color night vision, and two-way audio, the Arlo has everything you need in an easy-to-install package. And best yet, a three-pack of cameras can be purchased for less than $150.
The Blink Outdoor 4 is another Google Nest Cam alternative to consider. In addition to its competitive price, this camera is a leader thanks to its HD live view and enhanced motion detection.
For those on a budget, the Reolink outdoor camera is a top choice. Top features include full-color video (even at night), a siren and custom voice alarm, and the ability to set activity zones.
Here’s some more information on your other options.
|What You Get
|– More effective motion detection
– Enhanced night vision
– Longer battery life
|– Lower cost
– No need for a subscription
|– Larger selection of devices
– Industry-leading picture quality
Now that you’re familiar with the drawbacks of the Google Nest Cam, you can decide if it’s the right technology for your home. Even though it’s packed full of features, it’s not your only option. Before making a purchase, explore alternatives to ensure yourself of an informed and confident buying decision.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©New Africa/Shutterstock.com.