Moderately tech-savvy parents seem to love using the Nest Cam as their baby monitor, even though the camera was designed for home security and not baby watching. The camera looks sleek, records super high-quality video (1080p!), has night vision, and doubles as a security camera when you're finished using it to watch your napping babe. Unfortunately, the Nest has pretty poor noise detection (meaning you'll likely hear ambient noise), there is an added monthly subscription cost if you want any of your video recorded, and like all WiFi monitors, it is trivially easy to hack.
Things We Love
- Sleek Look: The Nest Cam has a distinct, sleek look. The camera itself is black and the stand is a dark gray, blending in easily in just about any environment.
- WiFi Connection: The Nest cam pairs with your smartphone or tablet via WiFi, which means it works anywhere you have a signal. This is great for those with strong WiFi connections, and not great for those with spotty signals.
- 1080p Video + Night Vision: The Nest cam streams super high quality 1080p video and has infrared night vision technology.
- Doubles as Security Camera: As a baby monitor alone, the Nest Cam is suboptimal, especially since it requires a separate subscription to record video. However, if you use Nest Cams as your primary home security cameras, it is super simple to add an additional camera into your baby’s room to monitor and record video there as well.
- Supports Multiple Cameras: If you have more than one baby you want to watch or listen for (or use the Nest Cam for home security as mentioned above), the Nest app supports that. Just buy an additional camera and set it up via the app.
Things We Don't Love As Much
- Security Concerns: WiFi is hardly the most secure way to deliver video, and if you don't want some rando to be able to access footage of your sleeping babe, you'll want to stay away from WiFi baby monitors altogether since they are trivially easy to hack. (This might not concern you at all, which is why we still recommend this monitor.)
- Added Cost for Recording: If you want to record video (as opposed to simply streaming it), you’ll have to purchase a Nest Aware subscription for $10/month, which stores videos in the cloud for ten days. From there, you can download them, or they'll disappear. If you don’t pay for Nest Aware, you’ll get screenshots from key events (movement/loud noises), but that’s it.
- Poor Noise Detection: The Nest Cam is not great at detecting noise, and is especially bad at blocking out ambient noise. When you have the video feed open on your device, you will hear every little noise, from the fan to snores and everything in between. The sound quality is also a bit spotty, as though you’re listening through a tunnel. It’s not ideal.
- No Separate Display: The Nest pairs with a smartphone or tablet and does not have a separate display. In order to view/hear your baby, you must have the Nest app open on your device. If you close the app, Nest will send you notifications to let you know if it detects noise or movement, but it is not very smart about what “counts” as relevant noise or movement. You will get a notification when a loud truck drives by in addition to one when your baby cries. All noise is created equally for Nest.
- Nest Cam – $199
- Nest Aware Subscription – $10-30/month