Nest Indoor & Outdoor Cam Review

Hands on review of the Nest Cam Indoor & Nest Cam Outdoor

Who Is Nest?

Nest is a connected home company specializing in smart thermostats that was purchased by Google in 2014. Shortly after, Nest purchased security cam company Dropcam for $555 million, and unveiled the “new-and-improved” Nest Cam, Dropcam Pro’s replacement. Following this the Nest Cam outdoor was released. We’ll be discussing the nest cams in this review. Both devices sport similar specifications with the outdoor camera adding a longer power cord and weatherproof casing.


  • Nest Indoor Cam
  • Rating
    Features: 8.3
    Usability: 9.1
    Design: 8.7
    Performance: 9.2
  • The Good
    1080p HD Video
    Fantastic Night Vision
    Easy Setup & Installation
    Compatible with other Nest Products
  • The Bad
    Limited Motion Alerts
    Microphone isn't very strong
    Some features require Nest Aware
  • Overall
    A powerful security cam offering easy setup and usability. If want an HD security camera with live streamng, motion sensing and 2-way voice, the Nest Cam is for you.
  • Nest Outdoor Cam
  • Rating
    Features: 8.3
    Usability: 8.0
    Design: 8.3
    Performance: 9.2
  • The Good
    Two-way audio
    HD video & streaming
    Motion & Sound detection
  • The Bad
    Needs outdoor power supply
    30 min delay between alerts
  • Overall
    Our highest rated DIY outdoor camera. Features weatherproof an HD security camera with night vision and motion sensing alerts. If you’re a fan of Nest devices you’ll love this.

What is the Nest Cam Indoor?

As mentioned above the Nest Cam Indoor is the upgraded replacement for the Drop Cam. It’s easy set-up, full 1080p video resolution, night vision, motion sensing, integration with other nest products like the Learning Thermostat among other improvements make it a fantastic security or web camera. This is the indoor security cam to buy.

Performance during testing

Nest Cam doesn’t disappoint when it comes to video quality. Its lens is surrounded by 8 LED lights helping it pick up an impressive amount of detail. The 130-degree viewing angle is also among the widest available. Placing a Nest Indoor Camera in a corner will capture the entirety of most rooms. Plus, the 8x zoom allows you to pinch and zoom in or out to easily see the furthers corners. But there is some noticeable pixilation when zooming in.

Live-streaming in regular and night vision modes were phenomenal and easily viewed from a smartphone, tablet or computer. On all devices streaming footage was among the best we tested. And Nest Cam’s night vision, activated manually or automatically, is clear and bright.

When testing motion and sound alerts I received them promptly, though they were limited to 30-minute increments. The “activity zone” feature that lets you set specific monitoring areas worked well consistently and Integration with the Learning Thermostat was responsive turning the cam on every time we set our Learning Thermostat to “Away”.

Nest Indoor Security Cam Design

Nest Cam is an attractive security camera that measures 4.5 x 2.8 x 2.8. It features a cool-gray metal stand that rotates 180 degrees that supports a glossy black camera capable of rating 360 degrees. Similarly, to its Dropcam Pro predecessor the camera can be removed from the stand.

The base of the device is magnetic allowing you to install the camera almost anywhere. The top of the cam sports a single LED that flashes blue when the camera is trying to connect and appears solid green when it’s on and recording. The included 10-foot power/USB cord plugs into a micro-USB port in the back. And, the plug prong can be removed so the camera can plug into any USB port, like those on a laptop or desktop.

Indoor Nest Cam Features

A quick side-by-side comparison of Nest Cam Indoor’s specs to other Web and Security Cams proves it competes well with the best of both. The indoor camera offers a 3-mega pixel lens, 1080p video with live streaming, 130 degree field of view, two-way talk, night vision, sound & motion alerts, and optional Nest Aware cloud services.

The cameras sound and motion alerts are great but is frustrating you cannot customize the alerts. Instead Nest is programmed to send a max of 1 motion or sound alert every 30 minutes. Meaning, if you trigger the sensor as you leave you will not receive another alert for 30 minutes. While not a deal breaker this delay could create an issue if something were to happen during it.

You can link your indoor cam to other Nest products like the Nest Protect or Learning thermostat. We paired the security cam to the Nest Learning Thermostat via the “Home & Away” feature in the Nest app. When enabled, your Nest Cam will turn on when you set the Nest Learning Thermostat to Away and off when you set it to Home. It can even be paired with your ADT Pulse security system, Google Home Hub, LIFX bulbs, and We-Mo switches to name a few.

More: Best Home Automation Devices

What is the Nest Cam Outdoor?

If you like Nest Cam Indoor security camera, you’ll like the Nest Cam Outdoor, too. It’s essentially the same wide-angle, HD camera, wrapped it in a weather-proof casing. Anyone looking for a great DIY outdoor security camera will be happy with the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Nest Outdoor Cam Performance During Testing

As with the Indoor Nest Cam everything worked well and was consistently reliable. It’s still frustrating that alerts are limited to once every 30 minutes on both the Indoor and Outdoor Cam. But with customizable motion zones and careful placement this shouldn’t be a big issue.

Outdoor Camera Design

Nest’s Outdoor cam if encased in a white IP65 rated water & weatherproof enclosure measuring 3 in x 2.8 in. It can operate in temperatures ranging from -4 – 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The included magnetic base and hardwired 10-foot power cable and the provided 15 foot extension cable let you easily place the camera in the best position.

Outdoor Cam Features

Like the Indoor Cam the Nest Outdoor Cam features has a 3-megapixel HD camera with 8 Infrared LEDS for night vision, and an 8x digital zoom. Its built-in motion and audio sensors trigger recordings and send you alerts. Wireless connectivity is provided through a dual-band 802.11n radio and Bluetooth. There is also a built-in speaker and microphone for two-way audio communication.

Nest integrates with many third-party devices though its IFTTT and its compatibility with other Nest devices make it stand out. IFTTT “recipes” can do things like integrate with your SkyBell HD doorbell cam or alert you when motion is sensed or trigger automation functions. You can also pair your device with a Nest thermostat so when it’s set to “home” the Outdoor cam is inactive.

Its features stack up well against competition like Netgear Arlo. Although the Arlo does run on battery which can make installation easier but you’ll have to replace the batteries periodically.

More: Skybell HD video doorbell review

How To Install & Set-up Your Nest Security Camera

Installation for both the Indoor & Outdoor Cam is nearly identical and takes just 2 minutes. Simply place the Nest camera where you want, plug it in, and download the Nest App. Once you’ve created an account you’ll have to run through a quick setup. When complete you’ll get the option to add a Nest Cam and connect it to your Wi-Fi.

To pair your devices, you can use either the Nest mobile app, which requires canning the QR code on the camera, or plug it into a USB port and complete setup through the Nest Website. Either way the setup wizard will walk you through pairing the camera to your Nest account and connecting to your Wi-Fi.

Pairing other Nest devices is just as easy. Simply, click “add” in the nest app and follow the onscreen prompts. Preferences for sound and/or motion alerts from the Nest Cam can then be set through the desktop interface or the mobile app.

More: Nest Cam Installation Guide

Editor Note: Alert preferences can’t be tweaked, just set to either on or off.

Nest App & Nest Aware

Both of Nests camera options used the same app as their other products like the Nest Thermostat, and Nest Protect. The mobile and desktop apps are easy to use and have intuitive settings allowing you to pair the device, change alerts you get, adjust your “talk and listen” settings and more.

The apps Home page displays your installed Nest devices by room and provides the status of each one. If you tap the camera it takes you to a page with a video window on the top half and the “Sightline” activity track on the bottom. Turning your phone sideways on this screen provides full-screen viewing, and clicking the microphone icon enables two-way audio.

Camera settings include Home/Away Assist, which automatically arms or disarms your camera based on the location of your phone, a scheduler, notification settings, and microphone adjustments. You can also enable and disable night vision and choose image quality settings ranging from 360p to 1080p.

If you want to record and store video, over the included 3 free hours, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee for Nest Aware. This provides cloud storage, advanced alerts, the ability to create video clips, and advanced Sightline features like time-lapse video, Activity zones, and Person Alerts. Person Alerts allow Nest Cam Outdoor to send you a notification when it detects a person. The first month of Nest Aware comes free, but after that, subscriptions start at $10 each month, or $100 for the year, depending on the services you choose.

More: What You Get With NestAware

Review Wrap Up

The Nest Indoor Cam makes a fantastic security thanks to easy setup and clear HD video. If you’re looking for an HD live streaming camera for indoor security Nest Cam is a great option. Especially if you use other Nest products. The Nest’s Outdoor Cam is a weatherproof version of the Indoor Cam and a top pick when it comes to DIY security cams. Plus, the new 3-hours of included cloud storage is great for those of us who aren’t interested in paying monthly for Nest Aware.

If you already own other Nest products and are looking to expand your security inside and out these are the cameras you’ll want. Even If these will be your 1st Nest devices they are great security camera options.

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