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The Best Nest Camera

Last updated on October 9, 2023

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Our Picks For The Top Nest Cameras

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Google Indoor Wired 2nd Generation Nest Camera

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Indoor Wired 2nd Generation Nest Camera

Suitable for indoor use, this camera plugs into an outlet and comes in white, gray and tan colors. It makes it easy to see what's happening in your home while you're away or in another room.

Overall Take

For Inside the HomeThis option is a great choice for keeping an eye on a specific room or open area in your home.

 Runner Up

Google Battery Powered 2nd Generation Nest Camera


Battery Powered 2nd Generation Nest Camera

Made to mount on a wall, this white camera is safe to use either inside or outside. It has a battery inside for convenient wireless use, but you can also obtain and use a power cable for flexibility.

Overall Take

Suits Many SettingsThis camera works in any setting and provides the flexibility of using both battery and electrical power.

 Strong Contender

Google Wired HDR Smart Doorbell Nest Camera


Wired HDR Smart Doorbell Nest Camera

This doorbell camera comes in black and makes it easy to talk to visitors and record footage of people who come near your door. Since it's wired, you don't have to worry about charging batteries.

Overall Take

Convenient and HandyIf you want a convenient way to monitor and communicate with visitors, consider this doorbell camera.

 We Also Like

Google Outdoor Wireless 1st Generation Nest Cameras, 2-Count


Outdoor Wireless 1st Generation Nest Cameras, 2-Count

Coming with two of the first-generation model, this set is a good choice for outdoor security. The cameras have a wide viewing range and clear visibility even when it's dark. You get mounting tools included.

Overall Take

Good for Overall SecurityConsider this set if you need a few high-definition cameras to monitor outside your property.

Buying Guide

Whether you need to watch your home while you’re away or you prefer a smart doorbell, you’ll find several Google Nest cameras that can meet your needs. These products are known for supporting high-definition video with night vision and making it easy to watch live and recorded footage. Nest cameras also have alert capabilities that trigger when an object or motion appears within the camera’s viewing range. In addition, you can conveniently communicate through the camera.

You can choose between Nest security cameras and doorbell cameras. Think about where and how you’ll use the camera to decide which to get. In some cases, you may benefit from multiple Nest cameras.

The Nest Cam is a popular security camera that comes in a battery-powered indoor/outdoor version and an indoor-only wired version. Featuring a wide field of view, it’s a great choice for everything from watching your kid’s room to catching intruders on your property. There’s also a special version with flood lights attached for outdoor use. 

The Nest Doorbell comes in battery-powered and wired versions as well. It’s a low-profile option that serves as both a smart doorbell for identifying and communicating with visitors. Since it’s designed for use on your door, it has a smaller field of view than the Nest Cam options.

With either option, consider carefully whether you need a wired or wireless device. Going with a wire-free option saves you the hassles of installation but means you’ll have a battery to regularly charge. If you go with a wired Nest Cam, the difficulty of installation can range from simply sitting the camera on a table to needing to mount it on a wall. A wired Nest Doorbell takes more work to install since you need to deal with doorbell writing and may require a professional’s help.

Keep in mind that some older Nest cameras are still on the market and slightly differ in features from the latest models. For example, the first generation of the Nest Cam still offers high-definition video but uses a different app from newer models, has fewer built-in alert options and doesn’t store any footage locally.

What to Look For

  • Before buying a Nest camera, make sure that you have a compatible Wi-Fi connection. Google advises against using mobile hotspot devices or networks shared with other people or open to the public. Also, make sure that the network has fast enough upload speed for streaming video. Ideally, this is around five megabits per second and even faster if you’ll use multiple Nest cameras.
  • To set up your device, you’ll need the Android or iOS mobile app compatible with your specific camera. This is usually the Google Home app, but some older models use the Nest app. You’ll capture the QR code on your camera to begin the setup process that will explain everything to do. If you run into error codes along the way, Google’s support site has troubleshooting instructions.
  • While many factors affect your Nest camera’s battery life, it usually ranges from one to six months for doorbell cameras and 1.5 and seven months for other Nest cameras. You can take steps to increase the battery performance such as enabling the battery saver setting, setting a lower video quality, specifying activity zones or recording shorter videos.
  • Although not required to use your Nest Camera, Google offers Nest Aware and Next Aware Plus subscriptions that allow you to save video in the cloud, get intelligent alerts and see your video history around the clock. 
  • The typical charge time for a battery-powered device is usually around five hours as long as you use an 7.5-watt AC adapter. Older batteries can take longer to charge, and a very cold environment also increases the charge time or prevents charging entirely.
  • If you experience video playback issues, check that your internet connection works properly and you have the most recent app. If so, there may be a temporary issues with the Nest service.
  • When your Nest camera gets dirty, use a dry cloth to gently wipe the lens off. You can use a slightly damp cloth with soap for the body of the camera and other items like cables, but avoid submerging anything in water.
  • Your outdoor Nest camera can overheat if the temperature surpasses 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Putting the camera somewhere shady can help prevent overheating.
  • Properly secure any outdoor Nest camera or doorbell camera so that it doesn’t fall off and get damaged and that someone doesn’t steal it.

More to Explore

Before Nest got acquired by Google in 2014, it was an independent company known as Nest Labs and founded by the former Apple employees Matt Rogers and Tony Fadell. The company became famous for its smart thermostat released in 2011. This invention spurred an interest in additional smart home devices such as smart smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

It was after Google’s acquisition that the first indoor Nest camera would come out in 2015. An outdoor-friendly version would arrive the following year, while indoor and outdoor Nest cameras with more intelligent features would debut in 2017. Now Google offers many other Nest devices, including speakers, door locks, smart displays, thermostats and Wi-Fi systems.

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