Thirty-day event clip storage. With Nest Aware, recordings of events — such as people or animals seen in areas you’ve designated — are saved online and available to watch or download for 30 days. Without Nest Aware, these clips are stored for three hours. Support for Google’s familiar faces feature. This year’s Nest cameras are able to distinguish between different faces and learn over time who is typically around to better tailor notifications. Despite this being a hardware-level feature, it’s only unlocked with a subscription.
A wired, indoor-only device, a wireless indoor/outdoor model, a doorbell, and a camera with a floodlight were all released by Google this year. We’ve tested them all, and the Nest hardware’s dependency on a monthly subscription to a programme called Nest Aware has irritated us in every review. So, what is Nest Aware, and do you actually need it in order to utilise a Nest camera? Nest Aware is a set of functions that may be added to Nest cameras and speakers. A subscription includes a number of advantages, including:
Alerts for the sound of a smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarm. Both your Nest cameras and your Google-branded smart speakers can let you know if they hear a smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarm go off — as long as you pay for Nest Aware. There’s also Nest Aware Plus, which offers double the clip storage duration at 60 days, plus the ability to review everything your wired cameras (except the new Nest Doorbell, for some reason) have seen and heard for the past 24 hours. Nest cameras can’t continuously record on battery power, so a wired connection is required for that feature.
Nest Aware costs $6 per month, or $60 per year if you bill it all at once. Nest Aware Plus costs $12 a month or $120 annually. The pricing model used to be more complicated, but currently, on either tier, a single subscription covers all your cameras and speakers. Technically, no — there’s nothing stopping you from buying a Nest camera and never paying another cent to use it. Just be aware that the Nest security experience is extremely limited without a subscription. Paywalling features like facial recognition is irritating, but the three-hour window you have to review and download event clips means that if you’re not awake and paying attention to your phone when your camera sees something, you may very well never know about it.
If all you expect out of a security system is the ability to remotely monitor your home in real time, Nest Aware’s video storage features might not be particularly valuable to you; you can probably safely skip the subscription. Otherwise, you’ll want to pony up — or make sure you’re never away from your phone for more than three hours at a time.
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