According to the FBI, a burglary occurs every 22.6 seconds in the US. That translates to more than 200 cases of forced entry every hour. Thieves have gotten smarter, and the only way to safeguard your home or place of work is to install an intelligent security system that includes outdoor cameras.
This review finds out whether the Nest outdoor camera can be a helpful ally in the fight against burglary.
- 1 Things to consider when buying an outdoor camera
- 2 Nest Outdoor Camera
- 3 Alternatives to the Nest Outdoor Camera
- 4 Conclusion
Things to consider when buying an outdoor camera
Burglars have broken into my shop before, and it took me several years before I could get my business back on track again. I knew I had to install a reliable security system, and so I started searching for the perfect outdoor camera. The search wasn’t easy.
Some cameras turned to be completely worthless, with motion direction not being able to make out human figures at all. Other camera systems would send false notifications while some didn’t send anything at all. I found a way to make do with several camera installations and fiber optic motion sensors. The Nest outdoor camera would have saved me much of that trouble, but it didn’t exist at that time.
Your security camera should have a wide field of View
The field of view for many outdoor cameras falls between 90 and 140 degrees. When you get a camera with a smaller field of view, you might need to install many such cameras for complete surveillance of your property. On the other hand, you will need only a few cameras with a wide field of view to cover your whole property.
The night vision feature is essential
The right camera should have infrared capabilities to record video even in pitch darkness. This feature will give you active surveillance of your premises even when the power goes off at night.
The camera should be able to capture high-resolution video
HD video falls between 720p and 1080p. High-resolution video is clear and detailed enough so you can make out what is happening around your home or place of work.
Motion sensing is a must-have feature
The best outdoor security camera should be able to detect motion within or near its depth of focus. Some cameras detect motion through changes in light while others use sound. The cameras then notify you by text message or email. This feature can help you initiate speedy mitigation measures if you notice a robbery.
Choose a camera that has app support
As seen earlier, motion detection functionality can only be useful if you have app support. The best security camera comes with an app that connects the camera to your phone or computer and sends you notifications so you can be aware of what’s happening on your premises at all times.
Consider the source of power
You will have a reliable power supply with cameras that come with cords for plugging into outlets. But in that case, you will need to have a backup power source for when the power goes off. On the other hand, battery-powered cameras are easier to install, but the batteries tend to run out most frequently.
This feature allows you to talk and listen to another person who is in the view of the camera. It is a desirable feature to have on your security camera, allowing you to communicate with a person before determining whether to open the door for them.
Nest Outdoor Camera
The NEST brand rides on the wave of success of two of the ‘big four’ tech companies in the world. First off, the company was started by two former Apple engineers Matt Rogers and Tony Fadell in 2010. Later on, Google acquired the company in 2014 and it now operates as part of Google’s home devices department.
With the big names behind the brand come high expectations from consumers. Nest Outdoor Camera starts by bringing us Google offerings such as Google Assistant and motion sensing. These features can significantly improve your outdoor surveillance through automation.
The Nest outdoor camera comes with motion detection abilities based on both light and sound. This smart feature can help you keep your home safe without the distraction of background activities. The camera sends you notifications related to motion and sound changes around the area you have installed it.
While that is convenient, we always want more accuracy with our motion detection security features. It would have been better had Nest included the ability to increase or reduce the sensitivity of the motion sensors to distinguish between a bird passing by for instance and a human intruder.
Eyes in the dark
The right outdoor security camera needs to be able to work sufficiently well, even in dimly lit areas. Nest outdoor camera has a night vision capability that you might find reliable even when the power goes out.
The cameras illuminate a dark scene with Infra-Red LED glows. When this function is enabled, you might notice a dim red glow on the camera lenses, which serves as a confirmation that Night Vision is working. The night vision range you get with this camera model is 20 feet, and the video is streamed in black and white to help with clarity.
Self-adjustment to light
Once night vision is enabled, the camera can adjust itself accordingly at night or day as the light of the scene changes. This capability might help you deter burglars who try to blind cameras by shining a bright flashlight on them; the camera will instantly switch to infra-red so you can be able to see what’s happening.
The Nest Camera can send two-way communications between you and another party in the outdoors. After the camera sends you a motion detection alert, you can open the nest app and see who is at the door. You can use this feature to tell delivery guy to leave the package on your porch, or to scare away intruders. This functionality might also prove beneficial when a stranger knocks on your door in the middle of the night.
Live video streaming
Nest Outdoor security camera facilitates live video steaming. The video quality, as per manufacturer’s specs is up to 1080 p (1920 x1080) at 30 frames per second. For me, HD video on a security camera is a must-have; it helps me to have a clear sight of what’s happening around my business property. You might also find that the video content excels as evidence when an intruder says they weren’t trying to break in.
Angle of view
The Nest Outdoor camera uses zoom lenses. This feature allows you to zoom in or out and focus on a particular subject (with the Zoom/Focus buttons on the Nest app interface). That can be a good thing when you want to see more of something as opposed to the general view.
Also, Nest’s wide-angle lenses (130 degrees) can help to monitor a more significant area of your perimeter thus eliminating several camera installations.
Another noteworthy feature of the Nest Outdoor camera is that it enables remote notifications. Through the connected Nest App, you will be able to get camera notifications from the motion, light, and sound sensors. This level of real-time awareness can prove useful in a burglar prone area.
Cloud storage is another feature you might find convenient on the Nest Outdoor camera. As opposed to using memory cards, the camera directly sends video streams to the cloud. That can especially be helpful if you want to have eyes on your property even when you are miles away. Perhaps the only caveat here is that you must be subscribed to the Google Nest Aware for your video to be stored on Google servers.
Be that as it may, I believe cloud storage is a safe back up that everyone should have; it’s safe from theft and damage. That can be incredibly vital, especially if the video recorded is to serve as court evidence.
The Nest Aware subscription
Nest Aware can be a con or a pro, depending on how you look at it. Through the Nest Aware subscription, you can get anywhere between 10 and 30 days of video storage on Google servers. You can also get a five-day package. All these packages have different prices where you pay more for long time storage and less for a few days of storage.
These subscriptions might drain your wallet, but when you need to retrieve a past recording, it would be helpful to have a cloud back up. The subscription packages also enable the creation of video clips and snap pictures. In case of burglary, you can submit these to the police as evidence.
However, please note that for you to benefit from all the functionalities enabled by Nest Aware subscription, your internet connection needs to have an upload speed of more than 2 Mbps. Therefore Nest Aware might not be able to work with a DSL (digital subscriber line modem) broadband.
When buying an outdoor security camera for your home or business, another crucial factor to consider is ease of use. When it comes to the Nest camera, installation is relatively easy, but you might need the help of a skilled person. The magnetic surface on the camera’s base can come in handy to ease the process if you have a metallic or magnetic exterior on your outdoor space. Otherwise, you will have to drill a couple of screws to install the camera.
The Nest App works with minimal glitches, but in some instances, the servers seem to be overloaded. You might witness lagging and buffering in your stream even when the internet speed is okay.
The Nest Outdoor camera seems to be a decent security installation, but to be sure, I scoured review sites to find out what users are saying. The feedback is mostly positive. Users are pleased with the motion detection features, night vision, and cloud storage, among others.
Others laud the grain-less video quality and instant notifications, while many more appreciate the fact that the camera build is hardy and weatherproof. However, some users point out that the Nest subscription services are a bit high.
Alternatives to the Nest Outdoor Camera
- CIRCLE 2 WIRED is an easy to install, Wi-Fi connected home security camera that records when motion is detected and stores the footage in your secure, private cloud and works with Amazon Alexa, Apple...
- DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT, we’re Wirecutter's pick: “Best Wi-Fi camera for daily use”, Gizmodo said we’re “The Best Security Camera for Most People” and Business Insider says:...
- FULL HD WIDE-ANGLE VIDEO WITH NIGHT VISION lets you capture the really big picture with 180-degree wide-angle lens, full 1080p HD video day or night, with night vision that’s visible up to 15-feet
Logitech Circle 2 is a weatherproof camera that can function both indoors and outdoors. As opposed to the paid subscription with Nest camera, here you get 24 hours of free cloud storage. However, you can buy more bundles as you wish. It also comes with a Home kit Support and is compatible with Google Assistant.
Logitech Circle 2 Pros & Cons
- It’s fully weatherproof
- It’s compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa
- Its cord might be too short for perimeter surveillance
- It’s relatively difficult to install
- WEATHERPROOF FOR OUTDOOR OR INDOOR USE: Place and move your wireless Blink camera anywhere around your home both inside and out. Start off with a small system and expand to up to 10 cameras on one...
- MOTION DETECTOR: Built-in motion sensor alarm, when motion detector is triggered, Wi-Fi cameras will send an alert to your smartphone and record a short clip of the event to the cloud.
- BATTERY POWERED SECURITY SYSTEM: Wireless home camera with 2-year battery life, powered by 2 Lithium AA 1.5v non-rechargeable Lithium batteries (included), data is sent from IP cameras over Wi-Fi.
This security camera doesn’t come with the fancy features but its performance is reliable nonetheless. As opposed to being wired, the camera runs on AA lithium batteries. While that might inconvenience you at times, the camera makes up for it with motion detection and real-time alerts just like what you get with Nest. Blink XT doesn’t use a subscription service, but you get 2 hours of cloud storage with your video recordings. After every 2 hours, the content gets overwritten.
Blink XT Home Security Camera System Pros & Cons
- It’s weatherproof
- You get free cloud storage
- Comes with an easy to use mobile app
- Its field of view is smaller
- 2 hours of cloud storage might not be enough
The Zmodo outdoor camera has a resolution of 720 p, meaning you will still be able to get HD videos just as in the case with Nest. This camera also has Night Vision capabilities, and its scope of view is 65 ft. You can download the Zmodo app ad pair the camera with your mobile device through a QR code.
Zmodo ZP- IBI13-W Pros & Cons
- HD image quality for accurate details
- It has night vision capabilities
- You can pair the camera with your device
- Unprotected cables are vulnerable to the effects of the weather
- The power cable is short
The main challenges with outdoor security at home or on your business property include insufficient coverage and flawed motion detection. The Nest Outdoor camera might be the right solution, owing to its many features. For starters, the camera has a wide-angle of view that will enable you to monitor a relatively bigger part of your property.
On top of that, with the zoom functionality, one can focus on the most critical details. The Night Vision gives you total oversight of your property even in pitch darkness while the motion detection feature sends real-time feedback to your phone.