Earlier this year, we heard some troubling news about a series of break-ins that were happening in my neighborhood.
Nobody ever wants to hear about crime near their home, regardless of where they live, but this situation was particularly troubling because the break-ins were happening while people were at home, asleep in their beds. These intruders were breaking in, stealing, and getting away without disturbing anyone or leaving any evidence behind.
We live in kind of neighborhood where people don't obsess about locking their doors or worry about getting robbed. Since crime is relatively uncommon here, people generally aren't suspicious of thieves lurking in the shadows, which makes it a pretty good area to target if you want to break in unexpected.
Luckily, our house never got hit (at least, not yet), but all this activity got me thinking a lot more about home security.
What if someone ever broke into our house to steal, hurt or destroy?
Would I have ANY way to see them coming, or catch them after the fact?
I realized pretty quickly that we were vulnerable – and I had some work to do.
Introducing: Nest Cam Outdoor
After considering several options, I landed on the Nest Cam Outdoor and bought two units – one for the front of our house, and one for the back.
If you're not familiar with Nest, this is a company that offers some pretty innovative products to help equip homes with cutting edge “smart” technology that looks good, works well and is surprisingly easy to use.
Perhaps their most well-known product is the Nest Thermostat, but in recent years, they've added some other items to their lineup, including the Nest Cam Outdoor, Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm, and their software/app works with a lot of other third party products as well (like this, this and this).
I had heard good things about the Nest Cam Outdoor (namely it's high-resolution, wide-angle image, night vision capabilities, and weatherproof housing), and after seeing a lot of good reviews online, I ordered up a couple units and put them to work.
How It Works
The video below shows a closer look at the highlights and what the experience has been like so far.
Note: This is not a sponsored or paid endorsement of the Nest Cam Outdoor, I just think it's a cool piece of video gear and I wanted to share my experience with you. I do have an affiliate link that will earn a VERY small commission for the REtipster Blog at no additional cost to you (and if you use it – thanks for your support!). As always, you should only invest in this technology if you feel it will help you achieve your goals.
As you can see from the video above, the Nest Cam Outdoor is a pretty cool piece of technology, and a pretty solid option if you're looking for a better way to keep an eye on your property.
What I Like
For the most part, this camera has been a joy to use. Everything from installation to integration with my phone has been fairly easy.
Here's the full list of what I like about it (also covered in the video above):
- The camera seems to be well-made, and has an impressive number of features and capabilities
- Nice, clear, 1080p high-resolution image
- Wide angle lens to capture a BIG field of view
- Excellent night vision
- Relatively easy to install
- Looks pretty cool (especially with the optional Nest Skins)
- Weather proof housing
- Nest App makes it easy to see your camera feed wherever you have an internet connection
- Notification system is very cool (and easy to turn off if it gets annoying)
- Great audio capabilities for listening and speaking through the camera
What I Don't Like
As with any piece of electronics, the Nest Cam has it's shortcomings too. The most notable things (in my opinion) are as follows:
- The camera comes out-of-the-box with a free 30-day trial of Nest Aware, but it isn't free forever, and without Nest Aware, the camera is only being used at a fraction of its full capacity. Even though I understand the ongoing cost, I still find it annoying that I have to keep paying in order to use this camera's full functionality.
- Given how small today's phone camera's are, it seems like the Nest Cam could stand to be a bit smaller (and I would predict that it probably will get smaller in the future generations of this product).
- During the installation process, I didn't like drilling holes through the vinyl siding of my house. It would be nice to have an adhesive options to “stick” the camera onto vinyl siding… but no such option seems to exist.
- The fact that Nest will always come out with a newer, cooler version of this camera eventually (and when they do, my version will feel like it's outdated). Case in point – the Nest Thermostat is already on it's 4th generations as of 2017.
I'll admit, for most of my “negative” comments above, I can't fault Nest too heavily. Why? Because there's nothing inherently “wrong” with charging money for an ongoing cloud-based service (Nest Aware) or releasing newer versions of this product as technology continues to evolve. These things are to be expected from any respectable technology company – but as a consumer, I'm still entitled to complain about it. 🙂
Should You Get One?
I think if you're looking for a home security camera that will do a sufficient job of handling everything a security camera is supposed to do, you won't be disappointed with the Nest Cam Outdoor.
As with any piece of technology, it has it's limits (e.g. – being confined to the nearest wifi signal, and the lack of a 4k image, etc.) but I would definitely NOT call these “deal breakers” – just things to be aware of if you decide to invest in this kind of technology for your real estate.