Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Google Nest offers a number of products within its portfolio, from the Nest Hello video doorbell to the Nest Cam IQ connected home camera, as well as Google Assistant speakers and displays, including the Nest Hub Max, Nest Mini and Nest Audio.

One of the keys to unlocking some of the best features available on some Nest devices is the company's subscription service - Nest Aware. If you are wondering what Nest Aware is, what it offers and how much it costs, you've come to the right place.

What does Nest Aware do?

Nest Aware takes advantage of the connectivity of the Nest Cam IQ, Nest Hello, Nest Cam OutdoorNest Cam Outdoor IQ and Nest Hub Max to add a range of features.

You don't have to use Nest Aware with the Nest camerasvideo doorbell or the Nest Hub Max, but it adds more control and more options over the basic setup. 

squirrel_widget_141181

What do Nest Cam and Nest Hello do without Nest Aware?

As standalone devices, Nest Cams and the Nest Hello video doorbell are connected all the time, letting you view remotely, listen, send voice commands, as well as receive alerts when movements or sounds are detected.

There's no recording however. If you're not paying for Nest Aware, you only get recorded clips when there's an alert from another Nest - like  Nest Protect detecting smoke, for example.

Without Nest Aware, the Nest Cam and Nest Hello are devices for monitoring, with alerts, so you can see what's going on when you receive them. 

What does Nest Hub Max do without Nest Aware?

The Nest Hub Max is one of the two Google Assistant-enabled displays offered by Nest, but the smaller Nest Hub doesn't have a camera so doesn't require Nest Aware for additional features.

The Nest Hub Max does have a camera however, and it's basically a Nest Cam, though it doesn't have night vision. Without the Nest Aware subscription, the Nest Hub Max allows you to control your smart home devices, listen to music, watch Netflix, and ask Google Assistant anything you like, just like you can with the Nest Hub.

The camera on the Nest Hub Max also allows you to drop in and see what's going on live in the room where your Nest Hub Max is positioned. You'll also be able to see the last three hours of activity in the Nest app if you have set it up, and get alerts when activity is detected. Continuous video recording and intelligent alerts come with the Nest Aware subscription though. 

Nest Aware features

Video history

One of the key elements of Nest Aware is the video history. Some cameras, like Netatmo Welcome, will store content locally, writing over the old content on a regular basis when the camera is full. The Nest Cams and Nest Hello don't do that as they are live broadcast devices.

Nest Aware offers 30 or 60-days event history, with the second option also offering 10 days of video history. If you have the standard subscription, you can see 30 days of events so if there was an alert, you can look back and see what happened, but the standard subscription doesn't offer continuous video.

The Nest Aware Plus subscription offers the 60-days of event history as well as 10 days video history. That means you can always access your camera's content, up to 10 days and you'll be able to see what happened any time an alert happened within the 60 days too.

Activity zones

This is a clever feature. If there's a particular area you want to keep an eye on, then you can outline that zone and Nest Aware will alert you if something happens in that area.

For example, you might be using Nest Cam to spy on your children and with Nest Aware, you could only have it alert you when they go to raid the cookie jar. Or you might just train Nest Hello to focus on the cars in front of the house and the garden, rather than be alerted each time something else happens on your road. 

Video clips

It's not just about security. The Nest Cam cameras and Nest Hello will also capture funny things, unfunny things, bad things, good things, all of which you might want to share.

Through Nest Aware you'll be able to save to your Nest account, as well as share to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or through emails or messages. Without Nest Aware you can't save or share video clips. 

Familiar face detection

The Nest Cam IQ, Nest Cam Outdoor IQ and Nest Hello all offer person detection, but with Nest Aware you can also get familiar face detection. Over time, you teach your Nest Cam or Nest Hello to learn who grandma is, or your partner, creating a profile for them in the Nest app.

When your Nest Cam IQ or Nest Hello spots a familiar person, the alert will say "Grandma is at the front door" for example, rather than a person is at the front door. If you have a Nest Mini or Nest Audio or the older Google Home devices, you can also set up Google Assistant announcements for Nest Hello, so your Google Home Mini or Nest Mini could tell you when grandma is at the front door when the chime goes off.

Close ups

Nest Aware also offers a feature called Close-ups for the Nest Cam cameras and Nest Hello. For each event you are alerted about, Nest will select a photo and zoom in on the action for you.

How much does Nest Aware cost?

When Nest Aware first launched, it was pretty pricey, with users having to pay per camera, meaning the monthly subscription cost could creep up quickly if you had multiple Nest cameras.

EcoFlow's newest portable power station is the perfect companion for home and away

Nest then streamlined the Nest Aware options into two subscriptions. The a standard subscription costs £5/$6 a month and it covers 30 days of event video history for all your Nest devices in your home, but no video history.

The second option - called Nest Aware Plus - costs £10/$12 a month and it offers 60 days of events, along with 10-days of video history. Again, that covers all your devices, making it much cheaper for those with several Nest cameras.

Can I get Nest Aware free?

Yes, there's a 30-day trial of Nest Aware when you buy any of the Nest cameras, including the Hello video doorbell.

Writing by Chris Hall and Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 18 June 2015.