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What Can Nest Cam Do Without Subscription?

Last Updated Jun 17, 2022
saving money

After purchasing your Google Nest camera, you may not want to pay the monthly subscription fee to Nest Aware. These cameras are not cheap to begin with, so many people forego this optional expense. But, what can you do with your camera without it?

If you choose not to subscribe to Nest Aware, you can still view your live video stream at any time through the app. In the past, Nest did not offer users access to any recorded video without a subscription. However, you can now view up to three hours of recorded footage, even without Nest Aware.

While a subscription does provide you with many desirable features, some do not desire this additional fee. Keep reading to learn more!

How Long is Nest Video Without a Subscription?

If you do not subscribe to Nest Aware, you will be able to view up to three hours of recorded footage from your camera. You can also view any still image captures for up to three hours after they are taken.

You can watch this video footage or view any still images through your web browser or Nest app. To view recorded video, you’ll have to log in and select your device, then click “Camera’s Video History.”

In addition to this recorded footage, Nest offers you the following features without a subscription:

  • Doorbell notifications
  • Motion-based alerts
  • Access to live video stream
  • Still image snapshots for face or motion detections

Does Each Nest Cam Require a Subscription?

When you subscribe to Nest Aware, the one subscription fee will cover any cameras and doorbells in your network. Unlike some other smart cameras, there are no additional charges to add a second or third device later on.

Do I Have to Pay Monthly for Nest?

There are many basic Nest features available without a monthly subscription. However, if you want to access the premium features, you must subscribe to Nest Aware. You can choose either the standard plan, which costs $6 per month, or the Nest Aware Plus plan, which costs $12 per month.

When you first set up your Nest camera, you can try Nest Aware free for 30 days. If you decide to keep it after this trial, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee.

Subscribing to Nest Aware will allow you to access video recordings for up to 30 days. A Nest Aware Plus subscription increases this timeframe to 60 days. No matter which plan you choose, you’ll gain access to the following features when you subscribe:

  • Intelligent alerts: Get notified when the camera detects people or sounds.
  • Activity zones: Choose which parts of your home will trigger motion alerts.
  • Share clips: Share video footage for as long as it’s in your video history, or download clips to store video permanently.

One advantage of Nest Aware Plus is 24/7 video recording. This means your camera will record video around the clock. It will store any footage where motion is detected for 60 days, while all other footage will be stored for 10 days.

Can Nest Cameras Record Locally?

With Nest Aware, video footage is recorded and stored on the cloud. This is typically much more secure than storing footage on a hard drive or other private location.  However, there is a way you can record footage locally if you’d prefer to do so.

To record video locally, you’ll need to download a VLC player onto your computer. Then you’ll need to change your Nest camera settings to make your camera public. Once you’ve done this, follow the steps below to record locally:

  1. Open your web browser and go to the public link for your camera.
  2. Find the source code for your camera’s output stream. You can do this by using the “Inspect” tool and clicking on the video.
  3. Now, open your VLC player.
  4. From your player, go to “Tools,” then “Preferences.” Next, select “Input/Codecs,” and finally, “Files.”
  5. Set your storage location to either your hard drive (HDD) or network-attached storage (NAS).
  6. Click “Media,” then “Open Network Stream.”
  7. Paste the link to your camera, then press “Play.”
  8. This will open the video from your camera. Press “Play” again, then “Record.” Now, all your recordings will be stored locally.

Final Thoughts

Google Nest cameras cost a pretty penny, and some people don’t want to pay a subscription fee on top of their initial investment. If you choose not to subscribe to Nest Aware, you will still be able to view live stream video through the app or your online browser whenever you want. You can also access previously recorded video and any still images captured for up to three hours.

When you subscribe to Nest Aware, you will pay a flat monthly fee, no matter how many Nest devices you have. Subscribing will allow you to view recordings for either 30 or 60 days, depending on your subscription level, and access additional premium features.

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