With its live video app, Google’s Nest Cam lets me see what’s going on instantly. 

By Nina Huang
January 22, 2020
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“Just remember to always lock your windows,” my mom said after I told her I was going to rent a new apartment alone. As if I wasn’t going to do that already: I keep fliers about gas leaks and fire safety drills front and center on my refrigerator door, so of course I was nervous about staying safe in a one-bedroom by myself. After living with roommates for the past eight years away from my family (first at boarding school, then at college), the prospect of enjoying a home solely to myself was thrilling. But not having a housemate meant there was no one that I could call to check if my door is properly locked or that the oven is completely turned off. 

So to keep myself from constantly stressing about what was happening in my apartment while I was working or traveling, I decided to get an indoor security camera. Like any good millennial, I scoured the Internet for days, contemplating multiple systems as I overloaded my browser with tabs. And after comparing plenty of great options, the Nest Cam from Google ultimately stood out.

What first impressed me about this tiny yet incredibly flexible device was how easy it was to set it up. All I had to do was download the accompanying Nest App, and it guided me through the simple steps. The camera’s wide 130-degree angle, as well as its magnetic base and removable wall plate, provided plenty of options for where to place it. 

But what really blew me away about Google’s Nest Cam was its live video quality and motion-sensing capabilities. As long as it’s plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi, the device provides a nonstop high-definition feed that you can check with the Nest App and notifies your phone whenever it detects a person or movement. It’s so good at detecting motion, in fact, that I was once alerted to a bug flying past the camera at night. 

Google’s Nest Cam also captures sound, so you’ll be notified whenever a security or smoke alarm goes off, and you can even speak into the app to have the camera broadcast your voice (making it perfect for scaring off any intruders). You’ll be able to see exactly when the camera detected movement or sound in the app’s video history section, but to keep a copy of your videos, you’ll have to add Nest Aware, the Nest Cam’s subscription service that costs as little as $5 a month. Each camera requires its own membership, and owners of multiple cameras can get a discount on each subsequent subscription.

While it’s on the pricier side of the security camera spectrum, the Google Nest Cam is one of the best purchases any homeowner can make. To be able to check on my apartment whenever I want, wherever I am has given me some much needed peace of mind—I’ve truly never felt safer at home. 

Google Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera

To buy: $199; walmart.com