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Want to keep tabs on a mischievous pet when you’re away? Or add more muscle to your existing home or business security system? Or maybe you are just looking for a way to visually see when your teens walk through the door after school and talk to them about their day. The Wi-Fi-enabled Nest Cam (formerly Dropcam) can do all that and more. It’s a popular choice among the growing number of consumers installing Internet Protocol (IP) cameras in their homes. You can read more about how Nest Cam compares against some of the best WiFi video monitoring cameras but first let’s get into the nitty gritty with this plug and play security camera.
Nest Cam Review
- Live streaming video to computer, tablet or smartphone
- Mobile apps send push notifications
- Two-way audio communication with built-in microphone and speaker
- On/Off programming to coordinate with your schedule
- Motion detection
- Infrared LED night vision
- Syncs with Nest Learning Thermostat and Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- 24/7 customer support via phone & email
- Indoor use only
- No local video storage
- Must be plugged into a wall outlet
- Recording is an extra charge (except with Nest Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm feature)
- Cameras are prone to overheating
- Uses a significant amount of internet bandwidth
- All glass lens records 1080p with HD video, giving you exceptional video resolution
- 130 degree field of view captures an entire room, eliminating the need for motorized pan and tilt functions
- High sensitivity camera sensor allows for better image quality, even in low-light
- Exceptional 8x zoom and enhance features in live video feed
- 3 megapixel image sensor
- 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies to stream
- Not for outdoor use, but checkout our review of the Nest Outdoor Camera
- 30-day money back guarantee
- 2 year limited warranty
- Cloud recording (optional): $100/year for 10 day video history or $300/year for 30 day video history
What Happened to Dropcam?
In mid-2014, Dropcam was acquired by Google-owned Nest Labs, Inc., a home automation company, for a hefty $555 million. Nest is known for its Wi-Fi enabled, sensor-driven products that are easily programmable and learn on their own. What does this mean for Drop Cam? Nest has gradually been removing all Dropcam items and replacing them with Nest branded devices. So you may have heard of the Dropcam Pro, but Nest is no longer selling that camera and it has since been replaced with the Nest Cam. The Dropcam Pro and the Nest Cam are pretty much the same thing. The Nest Cam just has a smaller stand. However consumers are very displeased with the Nest Cam so far so maybe they changed more than it appears on the surface. Nearly 1/3 of the reviews on Amazon are 1 star and it doesn’t look to live up to the Dropcam Pro’s reputation.
Consumers Weigh In
What are real users saying about Nest Cam? Here’s a sampling of customer reviews from around the web.
Have had this for about a month now and it was extremely easy to setup following the step by step guide in the Nest App. Very Good picture quality and the 2 way audio is a nice feature, which i have not had to use. Auto motion detection is accurate but has an issue with lighting! When it gets dark out and it switches to night vision it automatically sends me a notification for motion detected. The Home/Away feature is also nice if it’s setup correctly. I would recommend this product. -AG, The Home Depot 12/27/2016
With its crystal clear 130 degree wide angle viewing, this NestCam was the perfect choice. We only needed one (well placed) camera to provide security for a large indoor area. Installation and intregation to a larger Home Automation project was simple and very quick. While it may be a bit pricey, so far it is worth it. -JustAnotherConsumer, Best Buy 8/19/2015
Purchased this camera and had great expectations for it. I enjoyed it for several months and then it began to go offline periodically. Now it is stuck in the zoom position and cannot be adjusted so I can’t see anything of value. The audio works so I keep it plugged in for that. It hurts that this one camera costs so much and did not perform as expected. -Gramma, The Home Depot 12/13/2016
So much time wasted on setup. I’ve tried 2 different emails, a Mac, An S6 Android, Windows 7 PC- all which do not receive their silly email verification. Get your act together! At $200 I expect better. Returning dud tomorrow. -theclone19, Best Buy 7/25/2015
A ‘Big Brother’ to watch over your kids
It may be an Orwellian nightmare for your kids, but you can gain much-needed peace of mind by having watchful eyes over your children when you’re not at home. This short video (too fun not to share!) sums it up with the younger bunch — just think of the possibilities with your teens when you’re out of town! (FYI, this video was taken via the Dropcam Pro, but it’s too funny not to share and it still applies to the Nest Cam). Enjoy!
How To Hide Nest Cam?
Since your camera has to be plugged into an outlet and has a large lens it can be difficult to hide a Nest Cam. There’s a company that actually specializes in how to hide a Dropcam (which will also work for Nest Cam), Dropcessories. You can hide Nest Cam with DropCessories’ alarm clock, tissue box, teddy bear, plant and more. The options may amaze and delight you!
Stiff competition on the horizon?
Nest Cam is likely to face even stiffer competition in the years to come. According to a 2014 report by Transparency Market Research, the video surveillance market, which includes plug and play IP monitoring cameras, will experience an estimated 19.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2019. The good news for consumers? In the near future there will be even more and better cameras to choose from. And if Nest wants its camera to stay a leading video monitoring product, the company will have to continually improve its tech features. We’re certainly keeping an eye on the industry!
We’d love to hear your experiences with Nest Cam. Be sure not to leave out any funny or wish-you-hadn’t-seen-that stories of the footage you’ve captured!