Google’s Indoor Security Camera
Google Nest Indoor Camera (NC1104US)The Google Nest Indoor camera is a small, black, and simple way to add video security to your home. Built from metal body (we think steel) and plastics, the camera build quality is simply fantastic. Setup is easy, taking just a couple of minutes to setup and link the app. Footage saves automatically the cloud for easy and secure storage. For us, it checks just about every box we would want in a home security camera.Check Price
- One of Nest’s most budget-friendly cameras
- Pairs well with other Nest products
- Very easy to setup and use
- Nest Aware features required monthly membership
- Not great for monitoring babies
- 1080p resolution
- 130° field of vision
- Night vision
- 2.4 and 5 GHz compatibility
- Two-way audio
- Model: NC1104US
10 SECOND SUMMARY: The overall performance of the Google Nest Indoor camera is great. It is easy to setup, has high quality video footage in day or night and pretty good audio quality as well. The Nest Indoor checks off just about every box on our list that make up a great home security camera.
Video: Day vs. Night
Here’s a quick comparison of how the video feed looks in the daytime hours versus night time hours. These photos were taken using natural daylight only.
The overall quality of audio on the Nest can be scored in two ways — detecting audio from sounds happening on camera, and audio volume and quality using the 2-way audio feature.
Audio Detection: On this Nest camera, the audio detection is pretty good. The camera can always detect the noise (to send alerts), but it can be difficult to hear exactly what’s going on in some scenarios.
As with any microphone, the closer the object of the sound is the better the clarity.
2-Way Audio: The 2-way audio is decent. While I think this feature is less important overall, it could be good deterrent for suspicious activity. You really have to speak quite loudly into your phone in order to get any degree of clarity.
It should be said, it’s possible that wifi communication (or lack thereof) is part of the cause of the poor audio signal.
RELATED – Need an outdoor camera? See our Nest Outdoor Camera review.
Range: 10 ft. vs. 20 ft.
The shots below show the difference in clarify between 10 ft. range and 20 ft range. In all honesty, the clarity of the Nest camera wasn’t quite as good as I had expected it to be. The figures on screen were a bit blurry at 10′ away and even more so at 20′ away (see below).
That being said, the video quality could have also been due my wifi network and the fact that the actual footage is stored on the Cloud. Despite not having hi-res facial details, you could still easily tell when people or pets appeared on screen.
Downloading the footage from the Nest server should provide higher resolution and overall better video quality.
The Nest App
When using your smartphone or tablet, the Nest app is intuitive, simple, and straightforward. You can use the app to:
- View real-time footage
- View past footage (with Nest Aware)
- 2-way audio alerts
- Review your video events
- Create new video clips
- Adjust settings
The design of the Nest indoor camera is simple and minimalist. It has a small disc base with a tapered stem and a round face where the camera lens is located.
It has a matte black body that blends well with most aesthetics and is simple to use. It has a wide base that makes it easy for it to set up on most any flat surface within your home.
Where are the controls?
The camera itself doesn’t have any controls or buttons on it, which helps to prevent people from tampering with it. All of the features can be accessed using the Nest app.
When the camera is on, it has a small green LED that will light up so that you know it is recording.
Some of the top features of the Nest indoor security camera include:
- Activity Zone Alerts: lets you know when important things are happening on-screen
- 2-Way Audio: lets you hear what’s going on in the video as well as the ability to talk back, using audio output on the camera itself
- 24/7 Live Video: can record footage all day or night (must have paid subscription to view footage from more than 3 hours ago)
- App Control: view the camera footage from your smartphone or other device using wifi pairing and cloud video storage
- Multiple Pairing: pair multiple Nest camera together for whole home security
What’s in the Box?
The Nest indoor camera comes with everything you need to get started, for freestanding or wall-mounted install.
The Nest indoor camera (shown below on right) comes with:
- Nest indoor camera
- Mounting Plate
- 3 screws
- USB cord
- Power adapter
Although the Nest camera is designed to use free-standing, you can use the mounting plate and screws provided to install to a wall or permanently affix to a piece of furniture. If used on a wall, remember you may need drywall screws (not provided).
RELATED – See our full list of home security camera reviews here.
Setup & Usability
In terms of setup and usability, the Nest cam is basic. It is easy to understand, has simple directions, and pairs well with a strong wifi network.
Plug in the Google Nest Cam and download the Nest app to get started. No hub needed.
RELATED: Check out this quick view from Google on How to Setup and Install the Nest Camera. (5 minutes)
How easy is it to install?
Installing the Nest indoor camera is as easy as plugging it in, placing it on a shelf, and walking away. This indoor camera can also be installed in a wall using drywall anchors and screws, for a more permanent setup.
How easy is it to setup?
Setup for the Nest indoor camera is simple as well. To get started, you can simply follow the steps below:
- Plug in the camera.
- Download the Nest app to your smartphone or tablet and create an account.
- Tap the “+” icon to add your camera.
- If you don’t see the “+” icon, tap the gear icon at the top right of the app and select “Add a product”. Follow prompts until camera is fully connected.
How easy is it to use?
The setup is quick and has guided prompts to get you going. The flexible pivoting base can rotate up to 90° making it really easy to get the perfect shot.
If you just want basic indoor monitoring, this camera has you covered. As you go about your day, the Nest app will send push notifications to your phone when it detects unusual activity.
For more advanced monitoring, you’ll need to sign up for the paid subscription. With a paid subscription you can see summaries of entire days and jump right to the time where activity occurs.
“Activity Zone Alerts” is another feature only provided with the paid subscription that allows you to highlight specific areas on-screen as high-priority spaces (such as around an entryway or window).
The Nest camera uses an algorithm that learns to tells the difference between basic activity and important activity.
When the camera first senses the activity, you will likely get an alert. (the dog walking past the camera for instance).
But as the activity continues (dog continues to walk around), Nest will begin to view this particular activity as basic and you may no longer get notifications of the action.
When something unusual happens, like a person walking in or pets frantically barking (something that doesn’t happen on a regular basis), you will receive an additional alert.
Want daily video summaries?
Google Nest camera come with an option for a paid feature called Nest Aware. Using Aware, the Nest camera will create a sight line summary of the daily activity and you can quickly see at what points during the day important activities happened.
Using a smartphone or tablet, the Nest camera can be accessed remotely to view video footage, see daily summaries, or enable 2-way audio.
You can set up different names for cameras in different rooms and the app keeps it all organized.
When the camera detects motion, it will send a push notification to your phone through the app. Upon receiving the notification, you can:
- Ignore the alert
- View the footage.
- Use 2-way audio to speak audibly on-site.
NOTE: The Nest doesn’t have any audible siren alert feature, but their new subscription, Nest Aware 2nd Gen, offers emergency calling which can alert first responders in your area.
Can Nest be used as a baby monitor?
When used as a baby monitor, the Google Nest indoor camera has a few pros and cons. Bottom line, it wasn’t originally designed to be used for babies and our opinion is that there are better baby monitors on the market specifically designed for that.
- Seamless integrates with other Nest cameras
- Good quality video feed
- Summaries of important activity that happens
- 2-Way audio lets you hear and speak through the camera
- You need to open the app to hear real-time audio
- The app cannot show multiple camera views at once
For monitoring older children or a daytime play area, the Nest camera could work, but if you’re looking for a safe nighttime monitor, Nest is probably not the best option.
Simple push notifications may not be enough to wake you if your child starts crying.
Does Nest require a subscription?
The Nest camera does not require a subscription for basic use, but they do offer a subscription for advanced use.
Without a subscription, you’ll have access to all of the following basic Nest features:
- Push notifications and snapshots: when activity is detected
- Cloud storage: snapshot storage for up to 3-hours
With a paid subscription, you’ll have access to the following advanced Nest features:
- Nest Aware: 24/7 video recording
- Cloud storage: video storage for 5, 10, or 30 days
- Activity Zones: allows you to mark off a certain area and get alerts with anything occurs within that area
- Emergency Calling: calls first responders in the event of an emergency (available with Nest Aware 2nd gen only)
- Sound Detection: get alerts when the camera picks up a loud sound (available with Nest Aware 2nd gen only)
How much does the subscription cost?
There are a couple different versions of the subscription, Nest Aware, as it is currently going through some changes heading into 2020.
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll be referring to these difference as “Nest Aware 1st Gen” and “Nest Aware 2nd Gen” from this point forward.
Nest Aware (1st Gen)
Nest Aware 1st Gen is the first iteration of the system and still available for buyers today. This system has three different pricing tiers which vary in price based on the number of hours of recorded footage you want to keep on the cloud.
If you just need a few days, the basic 5-day package comes in at only $5/mo. For a rolling 30-day storage option, the Nest maxes out at $30/month, or basically $1/day.
- First camera: $5/mo or $50/year
- Additional camera: $3/mo or $30/year
- First camera: $10/mo or $100/year
- Additional camera: $5/mo or $50/year
- First camera: $30/mo or $300/year
- Additional camera: $15/mo or $150/year
Adding Additional Camera
Now the costs above are assuming you only have a one-camera system. If you want to monitor more than one room, the numbers really start to rise under these pricing guidelines.
For each room, you’ll need to purchase a camera and a separate Nest Aware subscription. Nest does offer a discount on subscription costs for additional cameras, but it’s still not cheap by any stretch.
Nest Aware (2nd Gen)
The Nest Aware 2nd Gen is a modified program designed for people who want more camera or other Nest devices that they want to group up. This system has only 2 pricing tiers:
- Nest Aware: 30 days of event video history, at $6 per month (or $60 for an annual subscription)
- Nest Aware Plus: 60 days of event video history and 10 days of 24/7 video history, at $12 per month (or $120 for an annual subscription).
There are a few other changes between the 2 generations of software as well.
Nest Aware 1st Gen vs. 2nd Gen.
Both plans include access to the Feed, Emergency calling (US only) and Sound detection (US only).
|Nest Aware||1st Gen||2nd Gen|
|Pricing||Per camera||Per home|
|Video History||5, 10 or 30 days of 24/7 video history||(1) 30 days of event video history or (2) 10 days of 24/7 video history and 60 days of event video history|
|Sound Detection||No||Yes (Requires Nest speakers and Nest Hub; US only)|
|Price||$5/mo - $30/mo (for 1 camera)||$6/mo - $12/mo (for unlimited cameras)|
How safe are Nest cameras?
Nest camera are as safe as many other competitive wifi-based cameras. As with any of these products, safety is based more on your wifi network settings and less on the camera itself.
Want a safer network and protection from potential hackers? Use the three tips below to reinforce the safety of your network.
- Choose a difficult password that is unique to Nest.
- Enroll in 2-step verification. (requires a potential hacker to have 2 different authorizations, which is much more difficult to obtain).
- Never use the Nest camera on an open network.
Nest Indoor Camera Specifications
|Specifications||Google Nest Indoor Camera|
|Operating Temps||Indoor use only|
|Detection||Human, motion, and sound detection|
|Storage||3-hour (free) or up to 30-days (paid)|
|Orbit / Pan||No|
|Returns||Varies by retailer, other retailers will vary|
Should you buy the Google Nest camera?
I would recommend the Google Nest if you’re looking for the following in an indoor camera.
- Easy to add multiple cameras: For multiple cameras inside your home, the Nest app makes it easy to monitor, switch views, and receive alerts. The camera installs quickly, easily, and can be as discreet or visible as you want them to be.
- Pairs easily with other devices: If you have a Nest thermostat, Nest Home Hub, or other Google device, the Nest indoor cameras pair very well together.
- Cloud video storage: Having everything accessible from your smartphone and all video footage stored on the Cloud helps save time and energy when trying to find important footage from your feeds. It also means that if your camera gets stolen, thieves won’t get away with the security footage as well.
Easy Install, Easy to Use
- Design - 98%98%
- Performance - 96%96%
- Quality - 98%98%
- Usability - 96%96%
- Value - 94%94%
The Nest indoor camera is sleek, simple to setup, easy to use, and intelligently learns about the activity it monitors. It operates under daytime or nighttime conditions and can also detect audio in the space. Video footage is stored virtually on a Cloud system that ranges in storage capacity based on the subscription level. A paid subscription is not required to use the Nest camera, but additional features and longer recorded periods are available when you do. This camera sends push notifications directly to your phone when it senses an unusual activity on-screen, which helps to keep you “in the know” whether you’re at home or away.