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Ring vs. Nest: Side-by-Side Comparison

Ring and Nest and both well-known security camera providers that have indoor or outdoor camera options. There can be a lot to consider when deciding which camera is best for your needs.

In our guide below we compare Ring vs. Nest in the ultimate head-to-head comparison. Let’s get started!

Ring vs. Nest: Best of the Best

Ring StickUp
  • Power: Plug-in, Battery, or Solar
  • Location: Indoor / Outdoor
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Field of View: 115°
Ring 3 Doorbell
  • Power: Battery or Wired
  • Location: Outdoor Only
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Field of View: 160°
Nest Indoor
  • Power: Plug-in
  • Location: Indoor Only
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Field of View: 130°
Nest IQ Outdoor
  • Power: Plug-in
  • Outdoor Only
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Field of View: 130°

Below we look at the full camera model lineup for both Ring & Nest.

Ring vs. Nest camera comparison

Ring vs. Nest: The Models

Ring Cameras

  • Ring Stick Up: Indoor / outdoor camera with versatile power options (wired, battery-powered, or solar panel)
  • Ring Indoor: indoor-only camera, plug-in or battery-powered
  • Ring Spotlight: Outdoor camera with versatile power options and an integrated spotlight for low-lit environments
  • Ring Floodlight: Outdoor wired camera with a powerful floodlight for extremely low-lit environments
  • Ring Pro Video Doorbell: Arguably one of the best video doorbells on the market with advanced sensors and detection with constant wired-in power and 4 interchangeable faceplates
  • Ring 3 Video Doorbell: Ring’s newest video doorbell that has the quality and motion detection of the Ring Pro, but with a battery-powered option and advanced Privacy Zones
  • Ring 2 Video Doorbell: Ring’s successor to the original Ring video doorbell; offers 1080p video resolution and various faceplate options
  • Ring Video Doorbell: great value Ring doorbell with simple features, 720p video resolution, and the widest field of view among Ring doorbells

Nest Cameras

  • Nest Cam Indoor: most budget-friendly Nest camera for indoor use only; includes basic function with standard video resolution
  • Nest Cam Outdoor: most budget-friendly outdoor camera with basic functions and standard video resolution
  • Nest Cam IQ Indoor: a more advanced indoor camera with a renewed look, advanced 4K sensor, and tracking as well as integrated person alerts
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: advanced outdoor camera designed to pair with the Nest Cam IQ Indoor; with advanced 4K sensor and tracking as well as integrated person alerts

Table of Contents

Design Overview

10-SECOND SUMMARY: Ring and Nest share a lot of similarities in terms of overall design, simple aesthetics, and flexible placement. Ring takes a bit of the upper hand if you’re looking for doorbell cameras to pair into the system, but Nest has a bit of a sleeker look if you’re just looking for indoor / outdoor cams.

Ring Design

Ring Stick Up security camera

Nest Design

Nest Indoor Camera

Mounting Styles

Ring

  • Flush Mount
  • Surface Mount
  • Ball Mount

Nest

  • Surface Mount
  • Ball Mount

The Mount: Ring

The style of mount on Ring cameras is determined largely by the type of camera.

  • Flush Mount: Doorbell cams, for instance, are flush mounted to the face of the exterior wall, like a traditional doorbell. This mount style is used on all Ring doorbell cams and the Ring Peephole camera.
Black faceplate on white stucco
Ring 2 with the black face plate
  • Surface Mount: Surface mounts are flat bases that have a pivoting point that allows the camera to rotate left to right or pivot up or down. Ring cameras with this style of base include Ring Indoor Cam or the Ring Stick Up Cam.
Ring Stick Up Cam Battery angled up
Ring Stick Up Cam angled backwards

If you want to use this base for wall installations, the mount can be put on the back (instead of the bottom) and attached to the wall with a mounting plate.

Mounting the Ring Stick Up cam on the wall
Mounting the Ring Stick Up cam on the wall
  • Ball Mount: For outdoor installations, especially in corners, the ball mount is a popular solution. This mount is a two-part connection that has a mounting plate on the exterior, which joins with the camera. This is one of the most secure and flexible connections that Ring has to offer. Ring cameras that use a ball mount include Ring Spotlight or the Ring Floodlight.
Side view of Ring Spotlight Cam with mounting ball
Side view of Ring Spotlight Cam with mounting ball

The Mount: Nest

Nest has three different mounting types, but it basically comes down to surface mounting or magnetic mounting.

Nest indoor camera
Nest indoor camera review
  • Surface Mount 1.0: This is basically a thin disc base that stabilizes the camera. This base is double pivoting, rotating left or right as well as angling downward or upward. It has quite a bit more range than the Ring surface mount found on the Stick Up Cam. The base is used for the Nest Cam Indoor.
Nest Can indoor pivoting
  • Surface Mount 2.0: When Nest released the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, it also released a new version of the surface mount. With this mount, the disc base is slightly thicker and the camera rotates and pivots from a point higher up the stem of the base.

RELATED: What’s the best home security camera for your home?

Nest Cam IQ camera base
Nest Cam IQ camera base
  • Hardware Mount: For vertical exterior surfaces, both the Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor have a mount that magnetically attaches to the camera. Hardware screws are provided to secure the mount to an exterior wall.
Nest outdoor camera review

Video Storage

Ring

  • Cloud-based only

Nest

  • Cloud-based only

Both Ring and Nest rely solely on Cloud-based storage options for recorded video. All video clips can be viewed using the app on your smartphone.

Here’s exactly how much storage each company offers:

Ring Storage Plans

  • Protect Basic ($3 / mo): 60-day video history, rolling
  • Protect Plus ($10 / mo): 60-day video history, rolling

Nest Storage Plans

  • Nest Aware 5-day ($5 / mo): 5-day video history, rolling
  • Nest Aware 10-day ($10 / mo): 10-day video history, rolling
  • Nest Aware 30-day: 30-day video history, rolling

The Takeaway: If you’re just looking for a good camera with maximum storage, Ring is the clear winner here. It offers significantly more storage at a consistently lower price on all tiers.

Video Quality

Ring – Daytime

Ring Indoor Camera video quality

Ring – Nighttime

Ring Stick Up Camera Battery

Nest – Daytime

Nest – Nighttime

Nest indoor camera night vision mode

All current Ring and Nest models run with 1080p video resolution with the exception of the Ring doorbell camera (first generation), which only has 720p resolution.

The 1080p resolution provides a pretty clear picture in both day and night. There are not huge differences in picture quality between Ring and Nest.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the other features that affect video quality:

 RingNest
ZoomNoYes; some models
Color Night ModeYes; some modelsNo
Video Resolution1080p (excluding original Ring doorbell)1080p
SirenYes; some modelsNo

Wondering which Ring cams have full-color night mode? Here’s a complete list. This feature can be turned on or off.

  • Video Doorbell Pro
  • Video Doorbell Elite
  • Floodlight Cam
  • Spotlight Cam Wired/Mount
  • Stick Up Cam Wired

RELATED Ring vs. Arlo cameras.

Setup & Usability

The setup and usability are comparable between Ring and Nest.

Unbox the camera, connect it to your wifi network and smart app, pair the camera to the app, install in the desired location, and you’re good to go.

Input Connections

Ring

  • Magnetic charging disc
  • Hardware mount

Nest

  • Charging USB cable
  • Hardware mount

The Input: Ring

On the back, Ring cameras have:

  1. Magnetic charging disc
  2. Threaded hardware mount
  3. Lock / unlock to detach from the base and access the battery housing
Battery pack housing on the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery

The Input: Nest

Nest camera use a traditional charging cable with USB and micro-USB connections. If you want to install the camera onto a wall, you can do that using the threaded hardware mount provided.

  1. USB input
  2. Threaded hardware mount
Nest camera input
Nest camera input

What’s in the box?

The exact contents of the box varies between Ring and Nest, but the main components are:

  1. The camera
  2. Power (battery or cords)
  3. Mounting (plates, screws, plastic anchors, and/or magnetic base)
  4. User Guide

Wireless Ring Camera

Ring Stick up Cam battery accessories and parts
Ring Stick up Cam – parts and accessories

Nest Indoor Cam

Nest indoor cam - box contents
Nest Indoor Cam – parts and accessories

Ring Doorbell Camera

Ring 2 doorbell alarm system - included
Ring 2 doorbell – parts and accessories

Nest Outdoor Cam

Nest outdoor camera parts and accessories
Nest Outdoor Cam – parts and accessories

Doorbell Cameras

When looking for a doorbell camera, Ring has a slew of different options while Nest focuses on just one model, the Nest Hello.

Some of the most popular Ring doorbells include:

Ring 3
  • Video: 1080p
  • Power: Wired or WL
  • Privacy: Advanced
  • Network: 2.4/5.0 GHz
  • Price: $$
Ring 2
  • Video: 1080p
  • Power: Wired or WL
  • Privacy: Basic
  • Network: 2.4 GHz only
  • Price: $
Ring Pro
  • Video: 1080p
  • Power: Wired only
  • Privacy: Basic
  • Network: 2.4/5.0 GHz
  • Price: $$$

Ring vs. Nest Subscriptions

So aside from specs and camera features, the subscription plan can be a big deal-maker or breaker when it comes to which brand you go with. Most companies charge extra for more video storage and or more cameras, but some subscription plans are better than others.

Here’s the rundown on the Ring vs. Nest subscription plans.

Ring Protect vs. Nest Aware

 RingRing Protect: BasicRing Protect: PlusNestNest AwareNest Aware Plus
Price Starting AtNo subscription$3/month$10/monthNo subscription$6/month$12/month
Motion-activated NotificationsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Live ViewYesYesYesYesYesYes
2-Way AudioYesYesYesYesYesYes
Lifetime Theft ProtectionYesYesYesYesYesYes
Video HistoryNoneRolling 30 daysRolling 30 daysUp to 3 hoursRolling 30 daysRolling 60 days
Max Video ResolutionDetermined by cameraDetermined by cameraDetermined by cameraDetermined by cameraDetermined by cameraDetermined by camera
Snapshot CaptureNoYesYesYesYesYes
24/7 Professional MonitoringNoNoYesNoNoNo
e911NoNoNoNoYesYes
SupportUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited

Is Ring or Nest best for you?

Ok so we’ve covered a lot of cameras here, covering indoor and outdoor options. Still not sure which camera is best for you?

Let’s run through the highlights for one more pass:

Best Value Camera

WINNER: The Ring Stick Up camera provides a flexible indoor / outdoor camera from Ring. The resolution is HD 1080p and it has a variety of power options including plug-in, wireless click-in battery, or solar panel. If you want an excellent camera with good flexibility, it’s hard to beat the Ring Stick Up.

RUNNER UP: The Nest indoor camera is a plug-in camera with continuous power and 1080p video resolution. It has great picture quality, audio detection, and usability. It can’t be used outdoor or as a wireless camera, which is why it falls as runner up, but it’s still a good camera, especially if you have other Nest products in your home.

Best Outdoor Camera

Ring Spotlight security camera review

WINNER: The Ring Spotlight Cam takes the lead here for the best outdoor cam. This camera has 1080p video resolution and a nice spotlight for added clarity and even night mode in full color. If you’re looking for an outdoor cam that pairs well with indoor Ring cams or doorbell cams, this one is a great option.

Nest IQ outdoor camera

RUNNER UP: For the best outdoor camera, the Nest IQ Outdoor Cam takes the runner up spot. It has 1080p video resolution, the ability to tell the difference between familiar faces, strangers, and inanimate objects, as well as a 4K sensor. However, there is no spotlight and it’s significantly more expensive.

Best Doorbell Camera

Ring 3 video doorbell

WINNER: For the best doorbell camera, it’s hard to look past the new Ring 3 doorbell. It has all of the features of the Ring Pro, but also offers versatile power options with hardwire capability or a click-in battery pack.

Since Nest doesn’t offer any doorbell cameras, there’s no runner up to this category.

REVIEW: Click here to read the full review of the Ring 3 doorbell.

Still have questions?

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About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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