Nest camera or the Google Nest camera can be used as a baby monitor and in this article, I provide a comparison of Nest vs Baby monitor, Nest vs Arlo, and Nest vs Ring.
Nest Cam is 128-bit encryption security camera available in the market that can be turned into a baby monitor to make a Nest Cam baby monitor. Nest Cam Indoor has been referred to as the best Nest Camera for any nursery and we have analyzed and compared Nest with traditional baby monitors such as Infant Optics DXR 8. We also compared it with other security cameras and wifi baby monitors and it came. Surprisingly, it closely matches in terms of video quality but lacks behind in a few features which we’ve listed below.
I’ve put together this report together with my colleagues here at Motherhood HQ and we’ll keep updating it as Nest adds more features that will make it more suitable as a baby monitor. If you’d like to be updated on Nest Camera releases as well as security updates and warnings, you can subscribe to our mailing list.
In addition to the description of how you can set up Nest Cam in your baby’s nursery and use it as a baby monitor, we also compare how Nest is compared to other baby monitors and security cameras such as Arlo, Amazon Cloud Cam, Nanit Plus, Kasa Cam, Logitech Circle 2, Eufy Spaceview, Arlo Pro 2 and Ring.
Let’s start with the most basic question that will get us started on a good note as we review Nest Cam Indoor as a baby monitor.
Can Nest Cam Be Used As A Baby Monitor?
This is a common question and the quick and precise answer is yes, Nest Cam can be used as a baby monitor, although it has a few features it lacks. These few features that Nest Cam does not have does not make it lame or bad baby monitor as it is designed to be a security camera and not a baby monitor.
What is Nest Cam Indoor? This question is popular in many forums and especially from those just getting started with a security camera or baby monitor research. Nest Cam Indoor is one of the security cameras designed and manufactured by Nest, a Google-owned company based in California. Before we look at how to use Nest Cam as a baby monitor, let’s examine the differences between Nest Cam and a baby monitor.
Nest Cam Vs Baby Monitor
The table below summarizes all the differences we could gather in our 1-month research of Nest Cam here at Motherhood HQ.
|Feature||Nest Cam||Baby Monitor|
|Video Quality||HD video quality (1080p HD or 720p HD)||Non-HD video quality with only a few baby monitors having HD quality|
|Technology||Wifi||Wifi or Non-wifi|
|Parent unit||Smartphone or tablet||Dedicated parent unit with a few wifi monitors using smartphone or tablet as a parent unit|
|Hackable||Yes||Some are hackable while others that are non-wifi are hackproof.|
|Cost||Relatively more expensive; upfront cost and subscription cost.||Relatively cheaper than Nest Cam|
Next, let’s see how we can turn Nest Cam Indoor into a baby monitor:
How to use Nest Cam as Baby Monitor
The next common question is how to use Nest Cam as a baby monitor. These are the four steps you need to take to turn your Nest Cam into a baby monitor:
- Step 1: Purchase any of the Nest Cameras such as Nest Cam Indoor. Wondering which Nest Cam to buy? Read below comparison to get an idea of the pros and cons of each Nest Cam. Also, we have more details on other cameras. Who knows, you may find other cameras that are better than Nest Cam.
- Step 2: Mount your Nest Cam in the baby’s room. Remember it has a field of view of 130 degrees so make sure your crib is fully covered by the camera. Also, position it within 15 feet as the Nest Cam night vision range is up to 30 ft. but the range is far shorter when in low-light conditions or at night. You can read more on how to install Nest Cam indoor and outdoor below.
- Step 3: Download the Nest App and register an account.
- Step 4: Stream to your phone or tablet. If you have a smart home camera such as Google Home Hub, you can integrate your Nest Cam and stream your videos to the 7-inch tablet that comes with your Google Home Hub.
That’s it. Those are the four main steps you need to take to turn your Nest Cam into a baby monitor. You can also follow their installation instruction here. Now, let’s explore the features of your new Nest Cam baby monitor:
6 Pros of Nest Cam Baby Monitor (Features We Like Most)
Below are the 6 pros or great features of Nest Cam baby monitor that you should be aware of before you even consider which Nest Cam to buy or which nest cam is best:
1. Nest Cam Allows Unlimited Range over Wifi
It works only when it is connected to the internet. Nest Cam baby monitor uses 2.4 GHz frequency that utilizes the Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum which is the wifi. Wifi baby monitors and security cameras are unable to relay information from the camera to your phone or to the display unit without internet connectivity. If you want a monitor that does not connect to the internet, you should consider these great non-wifi options which use another Spread Spectrum technology discovered in 1941 called Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) and are hack-proof. Since Nest sends its signals over the internet, it is possible for hackers to get access to the signals if your connection is unsecured of if you do not take all the precautions Nest recommends. Read more about Nest baby monitor hacking and their response in February 2019. To clarify this other question of ‘will Nest Cam Work without internet’, it will not work with internet and Nest has not announced to make Nest a non-wifi monitor or camera. This is to say, you can view your Nest video feeds anywhere in the world as long as it is connected to the internet.
2. Nest Cam Video Quality is Excellent and the Audio is Extremely Clear
Nest Cam baby monitor streams high quality 1080p High Definition videos and delivers crisp clear audio to your smartphone or tablet. Nest has incredibly great video quality and this is one of the reasons why parents have found Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam IQ worth it. Its video quality is unmatched by other security cameras such as Arlo and Amazon’s Amazon Cloud Cam which also have 1080p HD. Nest Cameras also have a significantly better video quality than traditional baby monitors such as iBaby, Eufy Spaceview, Hellobaby, Motorola MBP36XL and Infant Optics DXR 8.
3. Nest Cam is a two-way audio baby monitor
Nest Cam is a two-way audio baby monitor: Nest Cam has an inbuilt speaker on its camera that allows you to turn your smartphone into a microphone and speak to your baby via the inbuilt speaker on Nest camera. This feature is very common with baby monitors and as we reviewed the similarities of Nest vs baby monitors, we were impressed that the Nest has this feature. Want to know why it is important and perhaps critical that you speak to your baby? Doctors and experts have done the research and babies are able to differentiate the voice of a parent and they encourage that you speak to your baby more often. Time to sleep and the lullabies don’t seem to do the trick? Try singing some slow soothing sound. You can get ideas from MotherhoodHQ’s lullabies playlist.
4. Nest Cam Night Vision is Unmatched – Clarity when you need it.
Nest Cam is a night vision baby monitor and it stacks up well against some of our top night-vision baby monitors such as Babysense and Anmeate video baby monitors. The indoor Nest Cam night vision’s range is 20 feet in the dark but if you want a very long night vision outdoor camera, Nest Cam IQ outdoor is your best option as it has up to 50 feet night vision range in the dark. This is the longest night vision range we’ve seen in any security camera or baby monitor we’ve reviewed here at Motherhood HQ.
The night vision capabilities of Nest Cam comes from its 8 infrared LED lights that are automatically turned on once the Nest Cam senses low light conditions. Infant Optics DXR 8 is among the few other baby monitors that have 8 infrared LED lights that give you amazing clarity at night. Just make sure that no glass such as window glass obstructs the camera as it will reflect the LED lights illuminating on your baby at night.
You can read how Nest Cam’s night vision compares with other night-vision baby monitors. If your Nest Cam night vision is not working, remember to change the settings to ‘Always On’ as opposed to ‘Auto’. When compared with baby monitors’ night vision, Nest Cam has far much better night vision images as one customer put it, ‘unbelievably great night vision images’.
5. Nest Cam Can Record and Playback Videos and Audios
Nest Cam can record and has playback capabilities. Unlike traditional baby monitors such as Eufy or Infant Optics, Nest Cam can record the videos and save them on the Nest Cloud for you to access later. In addition to the live stream that you can get on your phone, you can subscribe to Nest Aware, a storage plan that allows you to access up to 30 days of storage.
The Nest storage or subscription fee to the data in the cloud is relatively expensive and as of this Nest review, it cost about $30 per camera. This is relatively expensive compared to other security cameras that can be turned into baby monitors such as Arlo which costs about $7 to $20 and Kasa Cam which cost $4 to $7 to store data on the cloud for a similar 30-day period.
You should also be aware that Nest Cam does not have local storage such as micro-SD. If you are looking for a Micro-SD baby, you can consider these top micro-SD baby monitors
6. Nest Cam Has a High Digital Zoom Feature, Up to 8 Times!
Nest Cam allows you to zoom up to 8 times to get any last bit of finer details there is to see if your baby’s photos. Whether you’ve viewing the Nest Cam timelapse or you’re streaming the Nest videos on your phone or tablet, you can use pinch the images or videos and zoom it up to 8 times!
When compared to traditional baby monitors such as Infant Optics or Eufy Spaceview, Nest Cam beats it by 4 times. Most traditional baby monitors have the zoom feature but can only zoom the image 2 times and not more.
5 Cons of Nest Cam as a Baby Monitor
While we’ve seen that the Nest Cam can make a great baby monitor, it is lacking in a few areas and you these are some of the reasons why parents have not found Nest Cam worth it as a baby monitor:
1. Nest Cam is a Wifi-Only Baby Monitor & No Notifications Without Internet
Nest Cam relies fully on the Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS), a spread spectrum that utilizes 2.4 GHz frequency band for connectivity. This spread spectrum has drawbacks which include reliance on the internet to relay signals from the baby unit. Without the internet, the Nest Cam will not relay the signals or stream the video to your phone and you’ll be wondering why Nest Cam is not sending you notifications. The reason is that the internet is probably below the standard speed of the 802.11 Wifi connection. You may also receive notifications but very much delayed and this can be explained by slow internet speed in your home.
2.Non-Continuous Streaming of Audio and Video when App Is Closed:
When using Nest Cam as a baby monitor, it streams videos to your phone App but unfortunately, you need to keep the App open in order to hear the audio from the baby’s room. In other words, if you close the Nest App, it stops streaming the video and audio and this is not great especially if you wanted to multitask, perhaps use another App as you hear the baby’s audio in the background. Other comparable baby monitors such as Nanit Plus have figured this out as you can hear the baby’s audio in the background even when you leave the app.
3. Nest Cam Keeps Losing Connection To Wifi
One of the major complaints and which more than half of Nest users have complained about is Nest Cam’s connectivity to the internet. Nest keeps getting disconnected and if you’ve owned a Nest Cam, you may have experienced situations where you do not receive notifications or the notifications are delayed. From our research here at Motherhood HQ, we found that Nest Cam can have three main issues that all relate to connectivity to the internet. The main problems that you may experience are:
- Nest Cam does not connect to the internet when powered on
- Nest Cam lost wifi connection or keeps losing wifi connection
- Nest Cam cannot connect to a new wifi network such as hotel wifi.
The third one is obvious. Nest does not connect to hotel wifi or any other public wifi as it they have disabled any connection over unsecured wifi connections such as hotel, library or on Airbnb rental that is not your secured home wifi.
One common troubleshooting step you can do is to uninstall and reinstall the Nest Cam on your network. It is, however, important to note that while speed may be the cause of Nest Cam losing wifi, tests done indicate that the speed may not be the cause of wifi connection issues. If you have this issue, you should contact Nest Cam customer service before the 2-year warranty expires. You’ll notice that Nest’s warranty is much longer than the warranty of baby monitors such as VTech and Motorola baby monitors that have 1 year warranty period. Some parents have found success to fix the Nest Cam’s problem of losing wifi by removing anything that may be obstructing or standing in between the wifi router and the Nest Cam. You should, however, note that the Nest Cam may lose connectivity for a few minutes but usually just reconnects by itself. This is one of the major drawbacks that made us here at Motherhood HQ to only recommend Nest Cam if you do not have any internet speed issues that may make your Nest Cam more prone to lose wifi connection.
If you are struggling and want to know how to connect Nest Cam to wifi, below are the five steps that will get your Nest Cam connected to the internet:
- Download and install the free Nest App from Appstore or Google Store
- Open the App and select ‘Add Product’
- Scan the QR code on the base of the Nest Camera
- Plug in the Nest Cam to an electrical outlet so it is charging and connect it to your home wifi
- Mount your app so it faces the baby’s crib. Remember the base of Nest Cam can get attached to any metal surface since it is magnetic.
- Adjust the settings by choosing what you’d like your Nest cam to notify you about. For example, if you want to be notified if motion or sound is detected, turn those options on.
- Once you are connected, you can choose the various Nest Aware packages that can give you continuous video history, activity zones setting, clips, and time-lapses and personal alerts.
4. Nest Cam Connection and Streaming Speed
Like all wifi baby monitors, the Nest Cam takes the video footage of your baby and loads it to the cloud where it is compressed and streamed to your viewing device. What this means is that there is a lag from when you receive the video footage and this often depends on the speed of your internet connection. On average, Nest Cam has a delay of around 6 seconds and does not vary much with other wifi cameras that rely on the internet. When compared with non-wifi baby monitors, Nest Cam has slower speed as non-wifi baby monitors allow almost instant streaming. The reason is that non-wifi baby monitors use a local connection that relies on a local network in the 1.9GHz or in the 2.4 GHz frequency bands and are able to stream directly from the baby unit to the parent unit without first send it to the cloud, like Nest Cam.
5. Nest Cam Security Settings
Nest Cam can be hacked if the security settings of the wifi are weak or if the Nest Cam login credentials are not secured. There have been at least 16 incidences of Nest Cam hacking over the last 3 years and we included Nest in our report of baby monitor hacking. Unlike other most advanced baby monitors such as Miku, Nanit Plus and Motorola Halo Plus, Nest Cam uses 128 bit SSL encryption which has been documented to be hackable.
So, for those asking if Nest is hackable, it is. You should follow the security producers we’ve laid out in case you choose to go for Nest or you can opt for baby monitors that have Advanced Encryptions Standard, AES-256 bit encryption such as Miku, Nanit Plus and Motorola Halo.
Most of the three baby monitors mentioned were released in 2018 and has gained significant traction because parents would always opt for the most secure baby monitor. With proper security settings in place, it is, however, possible to hack a Nest Cam as it does not have default accounts or default login credentials like other hackable security cameras such as Fredi.
Now that we’ve gone through all the things we like (pros) and all the features we don’t like (cons), let’s compare Nest Cam with other security camera baby monitors.
We’ll start with Arlo, Netgear’s brand of security cameras. Netgear also has a single baby monitor, the Arlo baby monitor. The analysis before will generally give the specific differences that you’d expect if you purchase Nest vs. Arlo as your baby monitor. Let’s jump right into it:
Nest Vs. Arlo
The table below summarizes the similarities and differences of Nest vs. Arlo:
|Feature||Nest Cam||Arlo Baby Monitor|
|Video Quality||720p HD or 1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Storage or subscription Fee||$30 per camera per month||$10 per camera per month|
|Environmental hazard detection (fire & smoke)||Yes||No|
|Cost||Relatively more expensive||Cheaper than Nest Cam and comparable to the price of baby monitors|
|Charging Cable||10 ft. Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam outdoor are wired.||10 ft. However, Arlo Pro is wireless|
|Recording Speed||30 frames per second||30 frames per second|
|Field of view||130 degrees||130 degrees|
|Can use batteries||No||Yes|
|Works with Google Home||Yes||Yes|
|Free Footage||3 hours||7 days|
|Cost (Amazon)||Check Price||Check Price|
While Nest has incredibly high video quality and night vision images, Arlo is rated best in the following aspects:
- Battery power back-up
- Up to 7 hours of footage as opposed to 3 with Nest Cam
- Cheaper subscription cost by up to 1/3 of Nest Cam’s subscription cost.
- Has a night light feature that makes the baby’s nursery look great and your baby will like it. Arlo is comparable to Motorola Halo plus which has incredible night lights
- Has lullabies which allow you to play some soothing music, a feature that Nest does not offer.
Having explored the differences between the two cameras, let’s go deeper to see all the brands of Nest as this may assist you to decide whether to go for Nest or other alternatives such as Amazon Cloud Cam or the Arlo.
Comparison of Nest Cam Brands
|Feature||Nest Cam Indoor||Nest Cam Outdoor||Nest Cam IQ Indoor||Nest Cam IQ Outdoor|
|Dimension||4.5 x 2.8 in.||2.8″ x 3.5″||4.9 x 2.9 in.||3.7″ x 5″|
|Video Quality||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD with Supersight, Daytime HDR||1080p HD|
|Wired||Wired with 10 ft. cord||Wireless||Wired, 25 ft. cord||Wired or wireless|
|Field of view||130 degrees||130 degrees||130 degrees||130 degrees|
|Person Detection/Alerts||Yes, subscription required||Yes, subscription required||Yes, for free.||Yes, for free|
|Operating Temperature||32° to 104°F||-4°F to 104°F||32° to 104°F||-40°F to 113°F|
|Weight||204 grams||313 g||TBO||5658 g|
|Security||128-bit AES with TLS/SSL||128-bit AES with TLS/SSL||128-bit AES with TLS/SSL||128-bit AES with TLS/SSL|
|Amazon Alexa||Echo Show, Echo Spot||Echo Show, Echo Spot||Echo Show, Echo Spot||Echo Show, Echo Spot|
|Google Assistant||Yes||Yes||Yes, Built-in||Yes, Built-in|
|Use||Indoors only||Indoor or outdoor||Indoors only||Indoors and outdoors|
|Wifi||2.4GHz or 5GHz||2.4GHz or 5GHz||2.4GHz or 5GHz||2.4GHz or 5GHz|
|Warranty||2 years||2 years||2 years||2 years|
|Cost on Amazon||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Nest Cam IQ vs Arlo Ultra
Both Arlo Ultra and Nest Cam IQ have 8-megapixel image sensors which allow owners to automatically zoom and get finer details that anyone can’t get with traditional security cameras.
|Nest Cam IQ Outdoor||Arlo Ultra|
|Source of power||Adapter||Rechargeable battery|
If you are having any issues with your Nest camera, you should contact Nest Support using this email and phone number (link to Nest Support post)
- About the Author
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Hi there! I am Ashley Davis, a mom of three kids and the editor here at Motherhoodhq.com. I have been a parent since 2011 and have been doing full-time consulting as a baby sleep expert since 2019. When I am not researching or testing the next baby gear hitting the market, you’ll find me teaching my toddlers a trick or two – especially over the last few months with the lockdown. I hope you’ll find my guides and reviews helpful as you make your next purchase decision. If you have any questions, you can reach me at email@example.com.