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Nest Cam is a video surveillance system by Nest (parent company Google). It’s a self-installed camera that comes in different designs for inside or outside your home. Can Nest Cam properly protect your home and is it worth its expensive price?

Installing Nest Cam is easy. An indoor Nest Cam camera can be installed in a few minutes. It’s plug and play and then settings are customized through the app. The design is sleek and fits in most settings. Installing the outdoor Nest Cam is a little more advanced. The outdoor camera requires drilling to mount the camera. Plus a power cord needs to run along the outside of the home (which may be an eyesore.

The price of this camera is expensive. Nest Cam indoor and outdoor both are $199.99. The new Nest Cam IQ is $299.99 (better resolution camera with more features). The upfront price is for the camera with only streaming video. To add video storage, you need to purchase a storage package. The two options for that are either $10/month for 10-day storage or $30/month for 30-day storage.

This is a static camera, meaning it does not have the ability to pan or tilt through the app. The direction the camera is looking is the single point of view.

Nest Cam is a self-monitored camera system. That means that there is no central monitoring station. The only people who can see the video footage is the Nest Cam user. If there is an emergency situation inside the home (break-in, home invasion, etc) the camera will simply record. It may notify the users smartphone (if configured to do so). It does not contact any Central Station or emergency dispatch services. This provides a minimal level of peace of mind. It also shows that Nest Cam is not an alarm system.

Let’s look at a sample scenario. The Nest Cam user is at work and their Nest Cam system notifies them there’s motion inside the home. It sends a message to the user’s smartphone. The user then has to look at the Nest Cam app to see the video. If the user doesn’t have their phone on them or is in a meeting/car/etc then the potential emergency situation goes unnoticed until they can finally see their phone. This may be minutes, hours or days! Plus once the user does see the footage, if it is an actual emergency, they need to then respond to the situation. This could mean contacting police or first responders. This creates a further delay.

The entire response process is lengthy and not effective. As proof of its ineffectiveness, home insurance providers do not give a discount in insurance rates if you have Nest Cam. This is because Nest Cam is self-monitored. They do give discounts for professionally monitored alarm systems.

Nest Cam also is expensive. The upfront and the monthly costs are both higher than most in the industry. The cost of the video storage adds up quickly. So you’ll be paying a premium for a camera system, not an actual alarm system.

Another detriment with Nest Cam is the fact there’s no remote pan and tilt feature. This means if someone places the camera pointing in the wrong direction, they then cannot correct it remotely. Someone physically has to be there to move the camera to the proper position. For a company that places so much focus on design, no pan/tilt is a glaring weakness.

If you are looking to protect your home and family, get an actual alarm system. A camera system is a great additional level of security, but a monitored home alarm should always be the base of any alarm. Think of an alarm as the foundation. Make sure you have 24/7 monitoring. You can then add cameras, as it provides additional peace of mind. But without a proper foundation, the rest of your alarm solution is shaky at best.

And with companies now providing exceptional professionally monitored security solutions at low prices (both upfront and monthly) you can find the proper alarm for you.