Are Nest Cameras Always Recording?

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The ability to view live videos, continuously record security footage, and access these videos later is a standard must-have for anyone who is purchasing a smart security camera system, such as Nest. Not only does it help you monitor your home in real-time, but you also have access to critical footage in the event of a break-in or property crime.

Nest cameras, by default, only record when activity is detected. However, with a monthly subscription, users can enable the Nest camera’s 24/7 continuous video recording feature.

In the remainder of this article, we’ll discuss Nest cameras and their video recording capabilities, as well as how users can access continuous recording features with an added subscription.

Do Nest Cameras Record Continuously?

Nest’s 24/7 continuous video recording feature allows users to use their Nest cameras to record at all times. However, this feature is only accessible to users with a Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus subscription, which starts at $6 per month or $60 per year.

The continuous video recording feature allows Nest cameras to continually record and upload video streams (both with/without events) to the cloud. Users can review up to 30 days of continuous video recording history in the Nest app.

Of course, if you prefer not to have your camera always on and recording when there is no activity, Nest also offers event-based recording as opposed to continuous video recording.

The difference between these two options is that for event-based recording, video streams with events are saved to the cloud. Those without any sign of activity are deleted. Users can have up to 60 days to access event-based recordings in the Nest mobile app.

How Long Can Nest Cameras Record?

Nest cameras can record 24/7. This means that if you have a Nest Aware or Nest Aware Plus subscription, once you turn on your Nest camera, you will always be able to record activities in your home. You can also access stored recordings for up to 30 and 60 days, respectively, depending on your subscription.

If you are using your Nest cam without a Nest Aware subscription, you will only be able to view snapshots of past recordings for only 3 hours. Nest also allows first-time Nest cam owners to explore a free-trial Nest Aware subscription for only 30 days.

Depending on the type of Nest camera you have, your camera will continuously record the following activities and send you alerts via the Nest app:

  • People
  • Familiar and unfamiliar faces (this facial detection feature is only available with the Nest Hello, Nest Hub Max, and Nest IQ)
  • Motion-related activities
  • Packages
  • Sounds like glass shattering, discussions, dogs barking, and loud noises (This feature is available with Nest Hello only.)

Note: Some of the above features, like facial detection, are not available in several states in the US. Please confirm with the Nest support team to learn more about features available in your region.

Nest Cameras & Nest Aware Subscriptions

In the past, Nest allowed users to access continuous recording features, watch live events, and view stored video recording history even after 30 days for the same price. Nowadays, Nest offers users an optional monthly subscription known as Nest Aware that gives users the ability to record videos continuously. The Nest Aware subscription is compatible with all of Nest’s cams:

If you need a camera that allows for continuous video recording, then the Nest cam with its newly introduced Nest Aware subscription is your best bet. Below is a summary of the cost of Nest Aware subscription and what it offers:

ServicesNest Aware (5-Days)Nest Aware (10-Days)Nest Aware (30-Days)
Video History5 days10 days30 days
Continuous Recording24/724/724/7
Intelligent AlertsYesYesYes
Clips and Time lapsesYesYesYes
Activity ZonesYesYesYes

Aside from the typical Nest Aware subscription, Nest also introduced the Nest Aware Plus monitoring service that offers the same benefits but with a more extended video history access. The Nest Aware Plus subscription, which starts at $12/month, offers you up to ten days of 24/7 video recordings and 60 days of event-based recordings.

For more information about Nest subscriptions, check out this article.

Final Thoughts

While these features may seem expensive with the need for monthly subscription payments in addition to the cost of camera equipment, Nest offers one of the best camera security systems in the market. Better yet, since Google owns Nest, you can easily integrate it with a variety of other Nest and Google Home devices.

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