Which Google Nest Cam Model Is Right For You?

There’s no denying that home security is incredibly important. However, with advances in smart technology, it is now a more affordable option for many households – quite unlike the pain of installing a professional alarm system.


One of the world’s best-known companies, Google offers three different types of security cameras: Nest Cam (outdoor/indoor, battery), Nest Cam with floodlight, and News Cam (indoor, wired).

While it’s all well and good to have plenty of choices, understanding the differences between each camera is necessary so that you can pick the best model (or models) for you.

Let’s take a look at the key features, differences and similarities of the Google Nest Cam range so you can make an informed decision.


Nest Cam (outdoor/indoor) vs. Nest Cam with floodlight (wired) vs. Nest Cam (indoor)

Before we look at each of the latest range of Google Nest cameras individually, here’s a clear comparison of all three models at a glance.

Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery) Nest Cam with floodlight (wired) Nest Cam (indoor, wired)
Google Home app required Yes Yes Yes
Smart floodlight no Yes no
Weatherproof Yes Yes no
Warnings Movement, people, vehicles, animals Movement, people, vehicles, animals Movement, people, vehicles, animals
1080p HD video Yes Yes Yes
24/7 live streaming Yes Yes Yes
60 days video event history (Nest Aware) Yes Yes Yes
24/7 video history (Nest Aware Plus) No (only if wired) Yes Yes
Talk and listen Yes Yes Yes
Record without WiFi Yes (1 hour) Yes (1 hour) Yes (1 hour)
Power source Battery or wired wired wired
Field of view 130 degrees 130 degrees 135 degrees
Ratio 16:9 16:9 16:9
Voice assistant Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

While many of the specs are similar, it’s time to take a closer look at the features each camera has to offer.

Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery)

The Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery) is the most versatile Google Nest camera because, as the name suggests, it can be placed indoors or outdoors. Because it runs on batteries, you can easily install the Nest Cam wherever you want by clicking it on the mount.

The battery of the camera lasts about 3 months on average. With intensive use (up to 25 registered events per day) you can expect about 1.5 months. When it comes to charging the Nest Cam, you can use the included 7.5W AC adapter and charging cable, which takes about 5 hours to fully charge. However, there is also the option of attaching the camera, so you don’t have to rely on batteries at all.

As you’d expect, the Nest Cam works with other Google smart home devices, such as the Google Nest Hub. This means you can get a live feed of what your camera sees from your kitchen, living room or wherever you have your hub.

Two-way conversation lets you communicate with anyone within range of your Nest Cam. So if you have a delivery, you can use the camera’s built-in speaker and microphone through the Google Home app to talk to your visitors.

Nest Cam with floodlight (wired)

If you have a garden or veranda, the Nest Cam with floodlight (wired) could be a great option thanks to its two dimmable 2,400 lumen LEDs. These lights sit on arms attached to the camera and provide optimal coverage with a 130-degree diagonal field of view.

The camera is housed in a weatherproof IP54 housing, with a 2-megapixel sensor, 6x digital zoom and up to 1080p video recording at 30FPS. During the dark hours, the Nest Cam with floodlight (wired) provides night vision in HDR, with an illumination up to 6 meters long, giving you a clear view of your surroundings.

Since the Nest Cam with floodlight (wired) can be controlled via WiFi, you can connect the device with your Google Home app. From here you can activate the daylight sensor (which activates the floodlights when a certain light level is reached), enable motion triggers, watch live video streams and more. Similarly, you can use Google Assistant to give voice commands to the device.

While everything looks good on paper and the Nest Cam with floodlight (wired) offers undeniably clear 1080p video, you won’t be able to watch videos more than 3 hours old unless you sign up for a Nest Aware subscription. This is disappointing considering you’re paying close to $280 for this security configuration. While Google has made some improvements to its free camera plans, more needs to be done.

However, if you don’t mind watching video history, the Nest Cam with floodlight (wired) is a great investment if you want to protect the outside of your home – potential burglars and intruders won’t be hidden in those bright lights.

Nest Cam (indoor, wired)

While the cheapest of the bunch at $99.99, the Nest Cam (indoor, wired) still delivers exceptional image quality and versatility. This is thanks to the 2-megapixel color sensor, 135-degree diagonal field of view, 6x digital zoom and up to 1080p video at 30FPS.

Unlike the Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery) that can be used indoors or out, the Nest Cam (indoor, wired) is powered by a 10-foot USB-A power cable. This limits placement somewhat, but since it’s an indoor camera you should still be able to get plenty of coverage where you need it.

Compared to many competing cameras, the Nest Cam (indoor, wired) manages to capture bright colors without feeling faded. Night vision can provide up to 15 feet of illumination, and the IR lights allow the camera to do well in low or no light conditions. This makes it a solid competitor to use as a baby camera to keep an eye on your sleeping child, or even for indoor businesses, shops, cafes, and so on.

With a clear and sensitive microphone, Nest Cam (indoor, wired) ensures that speech can be conducted clearly through the camera. Even whispers can be picked up via the sensors and returned via the Google Home app. Here you can decide whether you want to receive notifications when motion is detected, adjust motion zones, turn the camera on or off, video quality, night vision and more.

It’s an affordable indoor camera that’s as bright during the day as it is at night, and it supports 5GHz Wi-Fi bands, resulting in high-quality live streams.

Google Nest cameras: there’s something for everyone

Smart security cameras are a big investment. Not only are they expensive, but choosing the right one is important. You need to make sure you get the right level of security for your home, smart features for convenience, and of course the right type of camera for your desired placement.

Google Nest cameras offer a range of versatile devices. The Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery powered) is perfect for those who want the flexibility to install their security cameras indoors or out. The Nest Cam with floodlight (wired) offers a high level of security with its bright lights and clear video recording; ideal for backyards and the area around your home. But if you want a more affordable solution, the Nest Cam (indoor, wired) is a great place to start. It produces clear, crisp video and audio, app controls and can double as a baby monitor.

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