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Nest Cam: 26 Questions and Answers All About Nest Cameras!

Last Updated Dec 9, 2021
nest cams

While Nest hasn’t exactly redefined the smart home security niche, they’ve done enough to raise the stakes a little higher, introducing several new cameras in the last year alone. That’s good news for consumers and a really good reason to write up a FAQ on everything Nest Cams.

Can the Nest Cam Be Mounted Upside Down?

Not only can you mount the Nest Cam upside down, but you can also use the app to flip the video feed upside down. A quick tap of a button in the Home app will reverse the top and bottom 180°. Of course, the camera itself is very flexible, and you may get away with just twisting it around.

Of course, that’s one of the many positives about Nest Cam devices. They offer a lot of flexibility in placement.

What Can a Nest Cam Do Without a Subscription?

Google Nest Cams have a “free tier,” which offers the minimal features you would expect, such as people alerts, with vehicle and pet detection as well. That’s about all the free tier adds up to. The two paid tiers, Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus, are $6/mo. and $12/ mo., respectively.

A Nest Cam without a subscription is still useful. However, the most robust features—most of which were the very reason you purchased the camera, to begin with—will be largely absent or severely restricted unless you upgrade.

Google seems to be coming around a little bit, adding the three free hours, allowing a small amount of cloud storage, and allowing motion alerts are seemingly a step in the right direction to draw in additional consumers who hate subscription plans.

Can I Use a Nest Cam Without a Subscription?

You can use a Nest Cam insofar as the limitations of the free tier. With some of the newer Nest Cameras, you can record up to three hours of video before you have to move up into a paid tier. You can always just look through the camera if you want to use it as a monitor.

You’ll still get your basic alerts for people, vehicles, and pets but, if you want more than just the notifications and the three hours, you’ll have to upgrade.

Can You Travel with the Nest Cam?

Now that Google has scaled back some of its local limitations on their Nest Cam devices, it makes it a whole lot easier to travel with Nest Cams since they no longer need to sync to Google’s cloud to operate.

This is a recent development, however, so it’s something that will apply to the newer cameras rather than older software. Hopefully, updates will bring older Nest Cams into the fold.

Can You Use the Nest Cam Indoors?

Nest makes one camera designed purely for indoor use, the Nest Indoor Cam. They also make a cam that can be used indoors or outdoors, simply called, the Nest Cam. Both are sufficiently weatherproofed and are pretty resilient to temperature extremes.

Even though the Nest Cam is weatherproofed and has a sturdier design, it’s perfectly capable of operating as an indoor cam if that’s what you prefer to do with it.

Does Nest Cam Record 24/7?

The Nest Cam can record 24/7 with a Nest subscription. Nest has a 24/7 continuous recording feature that you can enable under the Nest Aware and the Nest Aware Plus plan.

With Aware, you can upload 24/7 continuous recording for 30 days, and Aware Plus will tack on enough recordings to fill up two months’ worth of cloud storage. It may not sound like much when you reach that limit, however.

If you’re recording 24/7 days a week, you’ll find yourself deleting a lot of footage at the end of two months.

Does Nest Cam Record When Off?

According to Google, the Nest Cam doesn’t do much of anything when it’s switched off, other than remain connected to your home Wi-Fi. However, according to ABI Research, it draws nearly as much power when it’s off as it does when it’s on.

Neither mentions much beyond that, which means the details of what a Nest Cam is still doing when turned off are sketchy. In other words, if you want the Nest Cam off, unplug it. Without a power source, you know for certain that the Nest Cam is off.

Does Nest Cam Record Continuously?

The Nest Cam can record continuously under the Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus plans. But both of those plans have their limitations as well, with 30 days for one and 60 days for the other, respectively.

Recording continuously means that you will need to stay on top of your recordings and routinely delete non-essential footage to keep yourself from filling up your cloud storage at the end of the month.

Why Is Nest Cam Idle?

Nest Cams go into idle mode when they aren’t doing anything or haven’t activated for an alert due to motion. For instance, if you turn the motion tracking feature off, the camera will stay in idle mode until you turn the motion back on and it tracks something, which takes it out of idle status.

Essentially, the only time the camera will be in idle mode is when it is doing absolutely nothing else but is powered on anyway. In Idle mode, it remains at the ready while staying connected to your Wi-Fi, which it will do even if you turn it off without unplugging it.

How Do You Enable Date/Time Stamps on Nest Cam Footage?

To enable date/time stamps on the Nest Cam, you must set your device up with the Nest App (Android or iOS). It doesn’t work on the Google Home app:

  1. Open the Nest App.
  2. Select the Camera you want to look at.
  3. Select Clips.
  4. Select View Clips.

You’ll notice that the date and time stamp are viewable here. You can also download the mp4 footage to your computer, and when you pull up the computer’s default video player, the time and date stamp should be visible.

How Do You Delete Nest Cam Footage?

You can delete Nest Cam footage in the Google Home App (Android or iOS) or in the Nest App.

In the Google Home app:

  1. Open the Home App.
  2. Select the Camera.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Delete Video History.
  5. Confirm.

With the Nest App:

  1. Open the Nest App.
  2. Select your Camera.
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. Select Delete Video History.
  5. Confirm.

Can You Tell If Someone Is Watching Your Nest Cam?

If you look directly at the nest camera, there is a green LED light above the camera lens that will always be solid when the camera is on. If someone is actively watching through the camera, that light will start blinking green until they stop.

If it’s blinking blue, someone is trying to speak through the camera’s speaker. A solid blue light means that the camera is currently seeking a Wi-Fi signal/connection.

Can You Take Nest Cam on Vacation?

You can take a Nest Cam on vacation. Some of Google’s newer Nest Cams are operable even if the Wi-Fi is down. So even if you have no Wi-Fi, you can still use the Cams, albeit with limited features.

They work even better if you have a MiFi or smartphone hotspot setup. So long as you have a source of power, you can set up Nest Cams outside your tent, in a campground if that’s what you want to do.

How Do You Mount Nest Cam on a Window?

To mount the Nest Cam on a window, you’ll have to purchase an additional accessory—Google Nest Cams don’t come with suction cup holders, after all. Something along the lines of a Nest Cam Universal Magnetic Suction Cup will do nicely.

There are also many other options that are compatible with Nest cameras and enable you to mount the Cams just about anywhere you can imagine.

How Do You Delete Videos from the Nest Cam?

You can delete videos from the Nest Cam either through the Google Home or Nest app. In either app, select the camera you want to delete videos from. Select Settings > Delete Video History > Confirm.

How Do You Zoom in On Nest Cam?

You can access your Nest Cam and control the zoom feature from either the Google Home App or the Nest App, and it works the same way. Open either app and select the camera you want to look at. Once you are looking through your camera’s live feed, pinch or spread your fingers out to zoom in and out.

How Do You Change the Time on the Nest Cam?

The time that the Nest Cam is set on is always the time zone that was entered when the device was initially set up. So long as the Nest Cam is online, it will continue to display an accurate time via that time zone. The only way to change it is to change the time zone.

  1. Open the Google Home App.
  2. Select your device from the list.
  3. Find Time Zone on the drop-down menu.
  4. Change the Time Zone.

How Do You Save Clips on the Nest Cam?

You can download and save clips from your Nest Cam through the Nest app or on your computer.

In the Nest App:

  1. Open the Nest App.
  2. Select your Camera.
  3. Scroll through the footage until you find the clip you want.
  4. Press and hold Start Clip at any point in the video and release to end.
  5. Select Save.

On your computer:

  1. Go to Home.Nest.Com and log in.
  2. Select Clips on the bottom right of the screen.
  3. Select Create Clip.
  4. Manipulate the sliders along the frames to create your clip.
  5. Add a Name and Save.

How Do You Install the Nest Cam Indoor (Battery)?

The installation process for the Nest Cam Indoor (Battery) is fairly straightforward:

  1. Download and install the Google Home App and Nest App.
  2. Add a device.
  3. Scan the QR code located on the Nest Cam Battery.
  4. Select your Wi-Fi and enter the password.
  5. Once your Nest Cam is set up on your Wi-Fi, mount it wherever you prefer.

The Nest Cam (Battery) comes with various tools and mechanisms for a wide variety of mounting options. Once it is installed on the Google Home and Nest App, the rest is up to you.

How Do You Install the Nest Cam Outdoor (Battery)?

To install the Nest Cam Outdoor (Battery), you should first download and install the Google Home App and/or the Nest App. Open the app and select “Add Devices.” Scroll down and locate the Nest Cam Outdoor and scan the QR code on the device.

Once the outdoor cam is added to your device list, go ahead and install it outside wherever you planned to. Be sure to periodically check your Wi-Fi strength, which leads to our next FAQ.

How Do You Check the Nest Cam’s Wi-Fi Strength?

Google devices are designed to work as a Wi-Fi mesh network, so whenever you want to check the speed or signal of the Nest Cam, you’ll have to run a mesh test from within the Google Home app:

  1. Open the Google Home App.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. Choose Wi-Fi Devices.
  4. Select Points.
  5. Select Test Mesh.

You’ll get the results in three categories, Weak, Ok, and Good. Anything that shows up as less than 50Mbps falls under the Weak category. Between 50 and 100Mbps is considered Ok. Lastly, anything above 100Mbps is considered Good.

The three categories are indicative of individual devices so that you know which ones need to be moved and which ones are fine.

Can You Move Nest Cam Remotely?

Specific Nest Cams come with features that enable you to zoom in and out, and the Nest Cam IQ comes with a smart-tracking pan and tilt feature. However, you don’t have any real, physical control over these devices.

In fact, on some cameras, the pinch and zoom feature is a result of expanding pixels rather than an actual zoom feature. To this point, Google hasn’t developed a camera that allows remote control capabilities.

How Do You Know If the Nest Cam Is On?

Nest Cams have a single, LED indicator light just above the lens on the front face of all their cameras. The color and actions of that light are indicators of what is going on with the camera. A solid, green light means that the camera is on.

Technically speaking, any light activity on the front of the camera means that the Nest Cam is on, with the light only telling you what the camera is doing at the moment. A Nest Cam that is currently off will have no light displayed whatsoever.

Can You Watch Nest Cam on a Computer?

You can watch all your stored clips from a Nest Cam on any computer by visiting Home.Nest.Com and logging in. Once you’re logged in, you can select any of the cameras that you have set up on the Google Home App or the Nest App.

You can watch the stored videos from your computer, and you can also access the cameras to watch the live feed. If you want to keep an eye on things while you work, you can minimize the live feed window to a corner of the screen and go about your day.

How Do You Mount the Nest Cam Battery?

With the magnetic mount, simply screw the mounting plate into whatever surface you want to mount the Nest Cam on. When you’re ready to hang up the camera, it will magnetically secure itself to the magnetic mount.

As for situating the Nest Cam anywhere else, it already comes with a base stand for to situate the camera wherever you want to.

How Do You Remove a Nest Cam from an Account?

Removing a Nest Cam from your account is a whole lot easier than removing your account or changing owners:

  1. Go into the Nest App and select the camera you want to remove from the account.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and select Remove Camera.
  3. Confirm your decision, and the camera will be removed from your account. It should also be removed from your Google Home App, but you can always check to be sure. Either way, the removal process on the Nest App and the Google Home App is the same.
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