How to Record Nest Cam Without Subscription

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If you buy a security camera, you should be able to watch a real-time video and also record security footage with the camera. This is what Nest Cams does for their owners. But for a Nest Cam to do all of these, an annual Nest Aware subscription of $60 or a monthly sub of between $6 – 12 is needed. But is it possible to record Nest Cam without subscription?

You can record Nest Cam without subscription locally and view live captures. While you will need a subscription to record to the cloud, you can still record motion detection or event-based videos locally without subscription, but videos will be deleted after 3 hours. 

Should you be one of those who would like to know how to record Nest Cam without a subscription, this article is for you. 

Can Nest Camera Record Without Subscription?

It is possible to record without a subscription, albeit it will be recorded locally. If you have the new models of the Nest Cam, you can record up to 3 hours of event video history without subscription. But if you have the older models of the Nest Cams, you will need a Nest Aware subscription to get 24/7 video history or event video history. 

How Long Is NEST Video Without Subscription?

Video recordings are only kept for 3 hours. This is not even enough time if you won’t be available to check captures from your camera. In other words, captured videos are only available for 3 hours, and if you aren’t around to check your Cam every 3 hours, you will not see who or what your Nest Camera captured.

How Do I Get My Nest Camera to Record?

You can use the Nest app, Google Home app, or the Nest web app on PC to create, download, and share video clips from the camera video history.

For details on how to get your Nest Cam to record, click here.

How Can a Nest Cam User Record the Free Live Stream Locally?

There are three ways through which your Nest Cam can record free. Let’s check them out below.


One way to stream your Nest cam is on PC, but there are two methods through which you can do so. Let’s look at them below.

Method 1

To record and stream locally with your Nest cam on your PC, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Nest account on on any web browser on your computer.
  2. If you have multiple cameras, select the camera that has the video record you want to view.
  3. Go to Clips. This is located in the lower right corner of your screen. You might need to enlarge your browser window to see this.
  4. Click “Create Clip,” and sliders would appear on the page.
  5. When the sliders appear, select and drag each slider forward or backward to select where each video starts and ends.
  6. After making the selection, give a name to your new clip and click “Save.”
  7. If this is saved successfully, a pop-up will appear, and it reads, “Your clip is now ready.”
  8. To view the clip, select “View Your Clip.”
  9. View the clip and check if it’s how you want it. If you are ok with the outcome, click “Done.” If not, you can go over the steps again.
  10. Now, you have the recorded clips from your Nest Cam downloaded on your PC local storage. 

If your sensors are acting up, check this article out to fix this issue. Now, let’s look at the second method.

Method 2

To use this method, you will need a VLC media player downloaded on your PC. When this is done, follow these steps:

  1. Make your camera publicly accessible.
  2. Go to the public link for the camera and copy.
  3. Using the Inspect Tool, click on the video to see the source code of the camera’s output stream.
  4. Go to VLC media player on your computer.
  5. Go to “Tools > Preferences > Input/Codecs > Files.”
  6. Set your storage location to NAS or HDD.
  7. Click “Media > Open Network Stream.”
  8. Paste the link and click “Play.”
  9. The video window will open, then click Play > Record.

Now, let’s look at how to do this on your phone.

On Phone

To record locally using your Nest Cam app, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install the Nest Cam app for Android and iOS from their respective stores.
  2. Log in to your Nest account.
  3. Select the camera that has the video you want to view if you have multiple cameras.
  4. Scroll through your camera history.
  5. As the clip plays, click and hold “New Clip” to select the start and release to end.
  6. Click “Save.” This will download the footage to your phone. 

For a video guide on how to record for free, watch this.

Note: If you do not have a Nest Aware or Nest Aware Plus subscription, you only have access to 3 hours of recording. 

In Conclusion

While it is true that you can record Nest Cam without subscription, you should know that you only have access to only 3 hours of the recordings. If you want to have access to 24/7 video history, then you should have a Nest Aware or Nest Aware Plus subscription.

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