Jan 30, 2017, 3:00 pm EST | 3 min read
The Nest Cam is an easy-to-use security camera that plugs into any outlet and connects directly to your Wi-Fi so that you can keep tabs on your home, no matter where you are. Here’s how to set it up.
To start, obviously, you’ll need a Nest Cam—it comes in both indoor and outdoor varieties. Both retail for around $200, and work the same apart from their form factor.
Once you have your Nest Cam unboxed, download the Nest app to your phone. It’s free and it’s available for iOS and Android devices.
Once downloaded, open it up and select “Sign up”.
Enter in your email address and come up with a password for your Nest account. Then tap “Sign up”.
When prompted, give your home a name in the app and tap “Next”.
The next screen will ask you for your address, but your zip code is the only thing that’s required. Hit “Next”.
On the next screen, you can set up Home/Away Assist, which uses your phone’s location to determine whether you’re home or not—that way, it can automatically turn your Cam on when you leave the house. You can choose not to set it up right now (you can do so later on).
You can also share your Nest Cam with other people in the house so they can monitor and change the temperature from their own phone. You can also set this up later.
You’ll then be taken to the main screen. Tap on the “Add” button to add your Nest Cam to the app.
Choose “Nest Cam” from the list.
Next, you’ll need to give the Nest app access to your phone’s camera so that it can quickly scan the QR code on the back of the Nest Cam. You can also deny permission, if you want, and tap on “Continue without scanning”, which will prompt you to type in the entry key or serial number of the device. Either way, locate the code on the back of the Nest Cam and scan it with the app or enter in the serial number.
Once that’s done, hit “Next” on the following screen.
Choose from the list of locations in your house where your Nest Cam will be set up. This makes it easier to tell them apart if you have multiple Nest Cams.
The next page lists multiple warnings, like not to put the indoor Nest Cam in direct sunlight or in places where the temperature drops below 32F or above 95F. If you want to place it outdoors, buy the outdoor version instead. Tap on “Continue” in the app to move on.
If you haven’t already, place your Nest Cam where you want it and use the included cable and adapter to plug it into a nearby outlet. Hit “Continue” in the app.
Wait for the Nest Cam to boot up and then select your Wi-Fi network from the list.
Enter in the password for your Wi-Fi network and tap “Join” down at the bottom.
Wait a few moments while the Nest Cam connects to your Wi-Fi network. Once it connects, the next screen will show a live view of your Nest Cam and will have you choose whether or not you want to receive notifications whenever activity is detected. By default, it’s set to yes, but you can turn it off using the toggle switch to the right. Then, tap on “Done” at the bottom.
The next screen will teach you about Sightline, a Nest Cam feature that lets you quickly scroll through hours of footage and go to specific points when activity was detected. Hit “Done” at the bottom.
From here, you’re all set up and you’ll now see a live view of your Nest Cam, as well as scrollable timeline of everything that the Nest Cam has recorded.
If you want to see a full-screen live view, you can tilt your device horizontally, and if you want to speak into the camera to talk to the person on the other side, you can tap and hold on the blue microphone icon at the bottom.
Keep in mind that while I have my Nest Cam pointed out of a window looking outside my house, the infrared lights on the camera for night vision will reflect off the window’s glass and create a giant glare, making it pretty much useless at night. Again, if you’re really wanting a cam for outdoor use, it’s best to get the outdoor version of the Nest Cam, but the indoor model can work just fine in a pinch.
Your one-stop-shop for everything home maintenance.
- Smartphone (121)
- Home Appliances (94)
- Home Maintenance (84)
- TV Mounting (70)
- Garage Doors (22)
- Puls News & Insights (20)
- Plumbing (16)
- Handyman (1)
So you’ve purchased a new Nest cam and are raring to get it up and going. First off, pat yourself on the back. You’ve made a great choice – the Nest cam is unbeatable when it comes to keeping an eye on your home’s security from anywhere in the world, and has a laundry list of smart capabilities including sending alerts directly to your phone, and even allowing to you talk and listen to people at home via the camera’s mic and speaker system.
This post is dedicated to troubleshooting Nest cam setup issues – if you haven’t yet installed your Nest cam and are looking for a Nest cam installation guide, check out our post on how to install a Nest cam, here.
Basic Nest Cam Setup
Once you’ve got your Nest cam unboxed and installed, you’ll want to connect it via the Nest app, which you can download to your Apple or Android smartphone for free.
- After downloading the app, click “sign up” and enter your email address, as well as a new password for your Nest account.
- Then, assign a name for your home. The following screen will prompt you to enter your home address. Once you’ve done this, you can decide whether to setup the Home/Away Assist, which uses your phone’s location to turn on your Nest cam automatically when you leave the house. You can choose to do this now or leave it for a later time. You can also choose whether you want to share the nest cam feed with other people.
- You’ll now be sent to the main screen. Click the “add” button and then select your Nest cam from the list. Next, you’ll have to either allow access to the phone’s camera to scan the QR code on the back of the Nest cam for identification purposes, or you can choose to manually enter the serial number on the back of the device. Then hit “next” and proceed to setup.
- Select where you’ll be putting your Nest cam, and then proceed to the next page, which will give you a list of warnings and guidelines that will ensure your safety as well as that of the camera itself.
- Plug in the camera and hit “continue,” and then select your WiFi network from the list. Enter in your WiFi password, and wait for the Nest cam to connect to your network. You’re now good to go.
Troubleshooting “Add Camera”
If you’re having trouble adding the camera to the Nest app or your home network, don’t worry – follow these steps to streamline your nest cam setup.
- First, check the status of Nest service here. This will let you know if there are any service outages, in which case you must wait for service to return.
- If service is up, the first thing you can do is check whether your camera is within range of the wireless router or access point. Try moving your camera closer to the router, or, if it’s already mounted and can’t be moved, try moving the router closer to the Nest cam and seeing if it connects.
- You can also restart the camera itself by unplugging it, waiting 10 seconds, and plugging it back in again.
- Next, ensure that your home WiFi is up and working. If other devices or basic internet surfing don’t work as usual, try restarting your router. You may need to contact your internet provider to resume service.
- Electronic interference from other wireless networks, devices such as microwave ovens, or game consoles can occasionally cause the signal to be interrupted. Try unplugging or stopping use of other devices to determine the source of the interference through trial and error, or try moving the Nest cam closer to the wireless router.
- Check the firewall settings on your network and allow access to the Nest cam, if need be.
Troubleshooting Problems With Nest Cam Video Quality
Your Nest cam video stream should work smoothly most of the time, but occasionally, you may hit a hitch. Here are some common issues and solutions that can be performed before or after your Nest cam setup.
- For video that’s frozen, skipping, or not playing at all, the internet connection, either at your home or where you’re trying to view your Nest cam feed, is the probable culprit. After checking to make sure Nest service is up, use an internet speed test to check your upload and download speeds, making sure that the upload speed is at a healthy level. Next, try pausing downloads, streaming games, television, music, or other things that may be eating into the internet bandwidth, and see if the Nest cam stream improves. Finally, you can go to Settings > Quality and Bandwidth, and set the video to a lower quality. This will lighten the load on the internet, and though the video will not be in full HD, it will still provide a more than adequate picture.
- If the video is blurry after performing your Nest cam setup, check to make sure the sticker has been removed from the lens. It’s also helpful to clean the lens with a soft, lint-free cloth.
- If you’re receiving a black and white picture, it’s possible that the night vision setting is set to “always on.” Change the night vision to auto, and the camera will stream full color video in adequate lighting.
- Grainy or pixelated video could be a result of connectivity speed.
- Picture that’s tinted pink, purple, or blue can indicate that your camera is outside the preferred temperature zone, and is either too hot or too cold. Indoor cameras should be kept indoors, and not used for outdoor recording. They can also be kept out of intense direct sunlight and away from nearby sources of heat, such as space heaters, fireplaces, and so on.
Puls Can Help With Your Nest Cam Setup
Our skilled technicians have installed and configured thousands of Nest devices nationwide — not to mention the gamut of other smart home components – and can come to you virtually anytime, often within the same day, to get all your digital devices up and running in a flash.
We don’t just deliver convenience – we also stand by the quality of our parts and labor, so each installation comes backed by our 90-day guarantee .
Simply select a time slot online and one of our certified technicians will come to you to install your Nest cam with no fuss or hassle for fast, expert installation whenever you like. Click here to get 5% off your first service with us.
The Google Nest Camera is a smart home system similar to surveillance security systems. These devices are easily connected with your phones and other smart devices, so you can always be aware of what’s happening in certain locations in and around your home.
If you have both Amazon’s Echo Show and Google’s Nest devices, you’ll be happy to know that they’re compatible with each other. Echo Show can broadcast a clear image from your Nest Camera with a simple voice command. This article will explain how to set this system up.
First Step – Set Up Your Nest Camera
Your Nest Camera and Echo Show need to connect to the same wireless network so they can communicate. That’s why it’s essential to pick the correct network when you’re installing the Nest.
Here’s a brief step-by-step guide on how to set up the Amazon Nest and connect it to a shared network:
- Get the Nest app on your smartphone from the Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iOS).
- Open the app and set up the account.
- Choose ‘Add New’ (plus sign) from the home screen.
- Use your phone to scan the camera’s QR code (alternatively, you can type the product’s serial number).
- Pick a name for your camera location from the list, or choose a custom name.
- Plug your camera to a power source by using a power cable and an adapter. When the camera light blinks blue, it means it’s ready to connect.
- Check your Nest phone app. It should register the nearby networks.
- Select your network and let the Nest connect.
After this, you can mount the camera to the desired location and start working on a way to display it on your Echo Show.
Second Step – Install the Nest Skill on Amazon Alexa
Now that your camera is good to go, you need to teach your Alexa device to use it. You can do this by adding a ‘skill’ in your Alexa app. Do the following:
- Launch the Alexa app on your smartphone.
- Tap the Menu (hamburger icon) at the top-left of the screen.
- Choose ‘Skills’ from the side menu.
- Start typing ‘Nest Camera’ until the skill appears in suggestions.
- Choose the Nest camera.
- Tap ‘Enable to use’ (or just ‘Enable’ in some versions).
- Enter your Nest account user name and password.
When Alexa accepts your Nest credentials, it will ask to scan for nearby Nest devices. Just tap accept and wait for the process to finish.
If this doesn’t happen, tap the ‘menu’ icon in the top-left of the screen one more time and select ‘Smart Home’ from the menu, then select your Nest Camera device. If you followed the first section thoroughly, the device should be added to the smart home menu. If not, select ‘Add Device’ and follow the on-screen instructions to add it.
Keep in mind that you have to connect Alexa to the same network as your nest for this ‘skill’ to work properly. Once you connect the two devices, you can finally display your Nest Camera.
Third Step – Display the Camera by Voice Command
To display your nest camera on your Echo Show, simply use an Alexa voice command. The command will depend on the location name that you’ve chosen while you were setting up the camera.
For example, if you used one of the default names such as ‘Backyard’ or ‘Front Door’, you can just say: “Alexa, show me the front door camera”. – the Echo Show will instantly load the said camera and display the image.
On the other hand, if you named your camera “Camera 1”, you’ll need to say: “Alexa, show me the camera one camera”, or “display camera one”. Alexa will register your voice command. This is why you should keep it simple when you opt for a custom name. If you pick a name that will be difficult to register by Alexa at first, you may become frustrated.
If you decide to set up several Nest devices, you can switch between them by using their names. If you voice a “Show me the backyard camera” while the front door camera is displaying, Echo Show will automatically switch to the other location.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter how many Nest devices you have, you can use them all simultaneously with your Echo Show. Unfortunately, the split-screen is still not supported, so you’ll need to switch between cameras instead of showing them all at the same time. However, the display change is extremely quick and convenient when you’re using your voice.
Beware of Bad Signal
Make sure that you check how the Echo Show displays the image before you mount the camera at the desired location. The further the camera is from the wireless signal (router), the worse the signal it sends and receives.
If the signal is weak, the Echo Show will display a lagging and low-quality image. However, in normal conditions, the displayed image should be smooth and crystal clear.
Are you satisfied with the combined performance of the Echo and Nest? Do you find it more convenient than security cameras? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Make sure the alerts you’re getting are worth getting alerted about
Like most other security cameras on the market, the Nest range of cams will alert you if motion is detected. This means you get a heads up if someone (or something) is around your property – and offers huge peace of mind.
As smart as cameras like the Nest Cam Indoor IQ and Nest Cam Outdoor IQ can be, though, false positives can often be a problem: swaying trees through the window, or moving shadows, or whatever Netflix show is on the TV can all trigger a warning from the camera. This means you can end up spending even more of your time unnecessarily checking your phone than you do already.
Setting up activity zones for your Nest cameras – or the Nest Hello video doorbell – is one way to minimise the risk of a false alarm. You specify areas you’re particularly interested in, like a door or a window, and you can then get alerts specifically for those zones.
How to set up Nest Aware
Activity zones aren’t available out of the box with a Nest camera: they’re a premium add-on, which means you’ll need to subscribe to the Nest Aware service to take advantage of them, and get access to a bunch of other features that Nest Aware includes.
Prices start at $5 a month or $50 a year for five days of video logs, and go up to $30 a month or $300 a year for 30 days of video logs. That’s for one camera — you get a 50% discount on those prices for every additional camera you add.
As well as activity zones, Nest Aware includes video logs, which we’ve mentioned, so you can go back in time and review everything that a camera has recorded rather than just loading a live stream. Subscribers also get automatically packaged clips and highlights so you can easily review what’s been going on.
Nest Aware features more intelligent alerts too — if you’ve got a Nest Cam IQ, it lets you identify familiar faces so the device knows not to alert you if one of the family walks past. If you think all of that sounds like a good value for money proposition, you can sign up by logging into your account on the Nest website.
Configuring activity zones
Once you’ve paid your money and had confirmation that your Nest Aware subscription is active, log into your Nest account online and click on the camera you want to configure. You have to set up your activity zones on the web — this can’t be done inside the app.
With the camera feed on screen, click the Zones button (lower right). Choose Create, and you’ll get a rectangle with six handles on it — drag these handles around until the shape covers the part of the feed you want to watch. Give your zone a name using the box in the lower left corner, then click Done.
Click Zones and Create again if you want to add additional zones, which will all be given their own colour to help you identify them. If you ever need to reshape or remove a zone, again just click on the Zones button and then select the zone you want to work with.
How you use your zones is really up to you, and the system is flexible enough to let you constantly tweak and modify the settings you’ve put in place, so don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. You can create up to four activity zones per camera.
If you’re getting too many alerts, try shrinking down a zone (so maybe just highlighting the top half of a door rather than all of it).
Activity zone alerts
With your activity zones up and running, you’ll notice your video timeline changes on the web and in the app, showing colour-coded markers when motion is detected — that means you can see at-a-glance whether something has happened in a certain zone.
It also gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of alerts: head into the Nest mobile app or website, choose your camera, then tap the cog icon (top right). Select Notifications (or just scroll down on the web), and you can see your zones listed — for each zone, alerts can be turned on or off for people and for all other types of motion, so you can watch for people by a door but not anywhere else.
Below your zones you’ll see an entry for motion outside a zone, so you can turn alerts either on or off for anything that happens outside your marked areas (so you could mark out an activity zone as a place the Nest cam doesn’t have to worry about).
These settings can be tweaked as and when needed, and the Notification type entry on the same menu lets you choose between push notifications on your phone and email notifications sent to your inbox. Now you’ve got a Nest Aware subscription, you can quickly hop back in time to see what was happening.
To cut down even further on false alarms, go to Home/Away Assist in the settings menu (accessible via the cog icon). Tap on this, and the app lets you turn off alerts when you’re at home, either using your phone’s location, or any Nest motion sensors you’ve set up, or both. It’s a neat way of avoiding having notifications set off by you walking in front of the camera.
With the smarts of Nest Aware (zones and face recognition) and a little help from the Home/Away Assist feature, you shouldn’t have too many false alarms to worry about, even if they can’t be completely avoided. And with four zones available for each camera, you can tailor the associated monitoring to suit the room.
Watch your security cameras on your tellybox
Now that Nest has joined Google’s hardware team the two are fully integrated, but one of the first collaborations that came from the two companies was a feature to let you watch your Nest smart home security camera on a big screen via Chromecast – and a bit of help from Google Assistant.
Once everything is configured, a simple spoken or typed command is enough to see live video on your TV (or whatever ever Chromecast-ready device you have, like a Home Hub). You can also switch between multiple cameras quite easily, so it’s a great way of checking on your property from the comfort of your sofa or bed. You basically get the same feed that shows up in the Nest app, just on a much bigger display.
We’re going to assume you’ve already got your Nest camera(s) and your Chromecast(s) set up around the home. Follow the quick-start guides included with both, install the Nest app for Android or iOS and the Google Home app for Android or iOS, and you’ll be ready to get Nest and Google working together.
With those devices up and running, here’s how you link them together.
Get your Nest camera working with Google Assistant
To sling you Nest feed over to your Chromecast, you just need a device that runs the Google Assistant – it doesn’t have to be your Nest Audio or Google Nest Mini.
Heck, you could even use your Android TV with built-in Chromecast. There are a number of permutations here, but they all require the same amount of setup.
You’re going to need to head to the Google Home app, making sure your camera and Google Assistant device are on the same Wi-Fi network.
From there, we just have to make sure everything is synced up.
1) Tap +.
2) Click Set up device.
3) Click Set up new devices.
4) Tap the home you’re using.
5) Choose the device you’re pairing.
6) Click Done.
Now, if you haven’t already linked your Chromecast or TV, you’re going to need to do so. To do that, open up the Nest app on your phone, tap on the cog icon in the top right and then choose Google Assistant from the menu that appears. From there, you’ll just have to link Google Assistant.
Start casting video to your TV
Now that you’re fully ready to start streaming, there are a couple ways to do it. Each of your cameras is named something different, and is each of your Chromecasts. This won’t be an issue if you’ve got one of each, but you’ll need to keep names in mind if you’ve got a larger home with multiple devices.
Start out with, “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” and then you’ll be able to say, “Show [camera name]”, “what’s on [camera name]” or “[camera name] on [Chromecast name]”. If that doesn’t feel super natural, don’t be afraid to add a “play” or “show” in front of those.
Now, to change the name of a Nest camera, go into the Nest app, tap the camera feed, and then tap the cog icon to the top right -you can change its location and name by tapping the Where button. For Chromecasts, go into the Google Home app, tap the cog icon by your Chromecast on the main devices name, then Settings and then Name.
When you’re tired of the security feed, say, “stop [Chromecast name]”. Your Chromecast goes back to the usual rotating slideshow of wallpapers until you give it another job to do.
Hopefully everything will be up and running first time around. If something does go wrong, the most basic issues are usually to blame – maybe one of your devices doesn’t have a strong Wi-Fi connection, or it’s gone into standby mode.
Go through all the steps again to make sure you haven’t missed anything out, and double-check that your Nest camera is connected to Google Assistant. And of course, make sure you have both devices on the same Wi-Fi network. From there, you can ask a couple of questions: Is the Chromecast working correctly? Can you beam content from other apps to it? If not, then you might need to get the dongle reconfigured first.
Reinstalling the Nest and Google Home apps can also make a difference in fixing flaky connections, as it forces them back to their default settings and (in theory) gets rid of any corrupted data or badly configured settings that have sneaked in while you’ve been using your Nest camera or Chromecast.
Rebooting your router and phone, and resetting your Chromecast and Nest camera, can help—though this can take some time, so only start from scratch as a last resort. You’ll basically be setting up everything again from the beginning, to reestablish the connections and make sure all your devices can see each other.
Right now this functionality is rather basic. – you can bring up the Nest camera on the big screen and that’s about it – but as time goes on we’d expect Google to add more features as it continues to push Google Assistant as the future of just about everything.
Did someone gift you a Google Nest Hub smart display this year? Get it connected it to your smart home fast with this quick guide.
The 7-inch Google Nest Hub is a great device to either begin or expand a Google Home smart home setup, especially while you can still get it at a discount.
Your first Google Home or Nest Home smart speaker is kind of like that first potato chip in the classic commercial — once you bite in, you’re going to want more than just one. Before long you’ve bought another and another and, if you’re like some people (including me), eventually you’ll want to step up your game with a smart display like the Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max .
After all, even though Google Home and Nest Home smart speakers open the door to hands-free audio playback, smart home controls and ambient computing convenience, a display adds a whole other dimension (two dimensions, actually) to what you can do with a Google Home ($99 at Walmart) .
Whether you just received a Nest Hub ($70 at Best Buy) or Nest Hub Max as a gift this year, or you’re still thinking about adding a display to your current Google Home setup, here’s what you need to know about what they are, what they do (and don’t do) and how to get them set up in a jiffy.
Google Home Tips
All the latest Google news delivered to your inbox. It’s FREE!
What a Nest Hub smart display is — and isn’t
The Nest Hub and Hub Max are more or less designed to perform the same kinds of tasks as Google Home and Nest Home smart speakers while also visually displaying the information you want, such as the name of a song and artist for a track playing. They can also show lyrics or recipes, play slideshows and videos and let you turn connected smart home devices on and off with a touch. Additionally, the bigger Nest Hub Max has a camera you can use for video calls. However, the Nest Hub and Hub Max aren’t mobile devices nor quite as full-featured as tablets, and there’s no app store like Google Play — but they generally don’t cost as much as tablets, either.
One feature of the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max have that most tablets can’t compete with is better sound, thanks to the larger, more powerful speakers hidden inside the base.
Unbox and set up your new Nest Hub in under 5 minutes
Whether you’re adding a Nest Hub or Hub Max to an existing Google Home setup or starting from scratch, unboxing and connecting it to your smart home should be a breeze. The Google Home app and Nest Hub itself guide you through the process, but here are some of the steps you’ll want to pay extra close attention to:
1. After you unbox the Nest Hub or Max and plug it in, open the Google Home app on your phone or tablet. When you see Set up 1 device appear at the top of the screen, tap it to get started.
2. Next, the app will ask you to verify a four-digit alphanumeric code displayed on the Nest screen. Match up the code and tap Next.
3. You’ll be asked if you want to “Help improve” Google Nest services. This is optional and choosing No thanks will have no effect on your device’s performance.
4. Next, choose the room where your device will go.
5. The Nest Hub will now connect to the same Wi-Fi signal your phone is currently using, so make sure you’re on your home’s Wi-Fi.
Google Nest Hub Max: A closer look at Google’s bigger smart display
6. Next, choose whether to use Voice Match, which is a feature that learns to recognize your voice and up to five other voices so your Nest Hub can display the calendar appointments, reminders, photos and other information of the person using it. If you don’t need this feature, choose No thanks. If you tap I agree, Google will keep data that can identify your voice on its servers, which some people may not be comfortable with.
7. Next, link any music, video and live TV services you want to use with your Nest Hub. If you’ve already connected the streaming services you use to your Google account with another Google Home device, they should appear here automatically, so you can skip this step.
8. If you’d like to use your Nest Hub to make phone calls, you’ll now be asked to link your Google Duo phone number and account. If this isn’t something you think you’ll ever need, tap Not now to skip it.
9. When not serving you information or controlling your smart home, your Nest Hub works as a digital photo frame. Choose whether you want to use your own photos stored in Google Photos, or professional images from Google’s Art gallery. If you’d rather keep your display purely functional, you can also select Fullscreen clock as an option.
10. Finally, you’ll be asked to review all the decisions you made during setup, after which your Nest Hub display will give you a brief tutorial on what the various buttons and sensors on the device are for as well as a walk-through of its basic operations. Once you’ve completed all of that, you’re done and ready to start using your new Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max.
Google is transitioning from “Works with Nest” integration to “Works with Hey Google,” so some smart home gadgets are dropping the “Works with Nest” compatibility.
Philips Hue is one of the first to go, pulling the virtual plug on Nov. 17. We recommend checking in on your smart gadgets that currently work with Nest in case you temporarily lose integration during this transition.
Your Google Home can do a lot of impressive stuff. From helping you cook to telling you who won the 1945 World Series (it was the Detroit Tigers), the virtual assistant in your home makes life a little easier.
Google Home can also connect with your Nest devices, making tasks easier with automation and scheduling. You can tell your Nest thermostat to turn off the heat when you leave for work or put your cameras on a schedule to watch your kids get off the bus.
Partnering up your Nest and Google devices can turn your home into a smart ecosystem customized to your needs. It takes only a few steps—we’ll show you how.
How to connect Nest products with a Google Assistant:
1. Set up and install your Nest products
Nest products like the Nest Thermostat and the Nest Hello Doorbell are surprisingly easy to pair with your Google Home smart home devices.
All of Nest’s products connect to your Google Home the same way, but you have to install the hardware first.
Here’s what you need to get started:
- Google Home Assistant smart speaker
- Google Home app installed on a smart device
- Nest product (Nest Hello, Nest Thermostat, Nest Secure, Nest Protect, etc.)
- Nest app installed on a smart device
Nest products like the Nest Hello Video Doorbell, Nest Thermostat, or Nest Protect smoke detector may take more time to install than others. Follow the instructions that came with your Nest products to get them up and running. The Nest app makes physical installation easy with step-by-step instructions and plenty of resources if you have questions.
Test your Nest product with the Nest app to make sure it’s working before connecting it to your Google Home.
Aug 14, 2017, 3:00 pm EST | 4 min read
The Nest Cam is one of the most popular Wi-Fi cams on the market thanks to its ease of use. If you’re a recent owner or just someone who’s curious about what the device can truly do, here’s how to get the most of your Nest Cam.
Many Nest Cam owners likely just set up the camera and hit record, but despite the Nest Cam’s simplicity, there are actually a lot of neat features that come with the device. Let’s go over some awesome things you can do with the Nest Cam that you might not have heard about otherwise.
Change the Video Quality
The Nest Cam is capable of recording and streaming full 1080p HD video. However, your internet connection may not be able to handle that kind of load, so it makes since to back it down a little bit.
You can go into the settings and choose “Image Quality”. From there, you can choose between 360p, 720p, 1080p, or Auto. The last option will have the Nest Cam automatically choose the best quality based on your internet connection speed.
Connect It to a New Wi-Fi Network
If you decide to get a new router or just end up changing some of your Wi-Fi settings, you’ll need to re-connect your Nest Cam to your Wi-Fi network.
Unfortunately, there’s no super-quick way to do this, and it comes down to setting up your Nest Cam all over again for the most part. Go to Settings > Home Info > Home Wi-Fi Help > Update Settings to get started.
Save Recordings for Later with Nest Aware
Nest Aware is a subscription service for your Nest Cam that allows it to save video recordings to view later on. Otherwise, it only saves snapshots of any motion that was detected.
However, Nest Aware costs $100 per year, and $50 per year for each additional Nest Cam you have. It’s definitely not the cheapest subscription plan we’ve seen for a Wi-Fi cam, but it comes with some extra features that are pretty neat, including Activity Zones (more about that in a moment).
Customize Alerts & Notifications
Your Nest Cam can alert you every time it detects motion, but if you’re already home and don’t need to receive those kinds of notifications, you can customize when and how you do receive them.
By going to Settings > Notifications, you can choose to receive alerts only when you’re away from home. Furthermore, you can choose whether to receive these alerts directly on your smartphone, through email, or both.
Share the Video Feed with Others
You don’t have to keep your Nest Cam’s video feed all to yourself. If you’ll be on vacation and want a friend or family member to keep an eye on things from afar, you can share your Nest Cam with them.
You can do this by going into the settings and selecting “Camera Sharing”. From there, you’ll create a password that your friend will need to enter in order to view your Nest Cam’s video feed.
Automatically Turn It On and Off
If you use Nest Aware and have your Nest Cam recording 24/7, that can use up a lot of bandwidth. To help with that, you can automatically have the camera turn on and off at specific times.
Go into the settings and tap on “Schedule”. From there, enable it and then start customizing the time windows that you want your Nest Cam on or off. You can also use the Home/Away Assist feature, which uses geofencing instead of a set schedule.
Turn Off the Bright Status Light
Whenever your Nest Cam is actively recording, it displays a subtle LED light on the front. It’s probably not a huge for some users, but in the dark it can be one of the brightest things in the room, blinding you if you’re trying to take a quick nap.
Luckily, you can turn it off by going into the settings and selecting “Status Light”. From there, you can choose to disable it a couple of different ways, or keep it enabled for some things.
Disable the Microphone
Whenever video is captured, your Nest Cam also includes the audio by default. However, if you never end up really using the audio portion, then it’s mostly just wasting bandwidth, however little that may be. The good news is that you can disable the microphone.
Just go into the settings, select “Sound”, and then hit the toggle switch next to “Microphone On/Off”. Keep in mind that this will remove the ability for two-way audio communication, as well as make audio alerts irrelevant.
Disable Night Vision
Night vision can be really handy, but if you never end up using it, then it’s probably best to just turn it off, especially if it’s creating a window glare from the infrared light.
You can do this by going into the settings, selecting “Night Vision” and turning it off. After that, your Nest Cam will always remain in “day mode” and will never turn on night vision mode unless you go back into the settings and switch it back manually.
Create “Activity Zones”
If you subscribe to Nest Aware, you can create Activity Zones, which are customized areas within the video feed frame that are motion detectable. This means that if any motion is detected within this area, you’ll be alerted to it, while any motion outside of the area will be left alone.
You can only customize this feature on the web interface, so after you login and open up your Nest Cam’s video feed, tap on “Zones” and create your Activity Zone.
Installing a smart cam can seriously up your security. Here’s how to set up the Nest Cam.
Smart cameras are the easiest way to improve your home security with a single gadget, and some of the best devices on the market are from Nest. Nest has outdoor and indoor security cameras, and, rumor has it, a third 4K camera on the way. But the original Nest Cam Indoor still stands as one of our favorite cameras, offering solid HD video quality, a reliable livestream and cool security features like motion and sound alerts.
Nest also stands apart as one of the smart home gadget developers that does setup right. Here’s how to install the Nest Cam.
First off, you’ll want to have your phone, the camera and your Wi-Fi password handy for the setup. After that, the steps are simple:
Step 1: Download and install the free Nest App on your phone. It’s iOS- and Android -compatible, so you can use it with most mobile devices.
Step 2: In the app, select “Add product,” then scan the QR code on the back of your Nest Cam.
Step 3: Next, plug in the Nest Cam, and using the app, connect it to your Wi-Fi.
Step 4: Position the camera how you want, keeping in mind the base is magnetic — which means you can place it in a lot more locations than you might think. Then set up your security features to monitor motion, sound, both or neither.
Step 5: Check in anytime, using the phone or the app on the Apple TV. If you want continuous recording, you can also check out the various Nest Aware packages that allow for Cloud-stored footage.
Once your Nest Cam is up and running, you can easily move it around the house to new areas. Just unplug it and replug it wherever you want. Likewise, you can control the security settings and adjust the sensitivity of those settings to monitor motion and noise.
The Nest Cam also includes night vision and two-way audio, making it a great way to monitor and communicate with kids while you’re out of the house.
Once you get everything set up, you can always go back and tweak the app’s features to meet your particular needs. And thanks to the simple installation, you can also add new indoor and outdoor cameras in only a few minutes.