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?
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 another alert from 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.
Nest Aware features
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 will let you save five days, 10 days or 30 days of video history, though the subscriptions are changing in early 2020 - more on that below. The current offering means you can always access your camera's content, even if your camera is stolen. If there were alerts, you'll be able to look at those alerts and see what was happening.
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.
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 Google Home device, 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.
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?
At the moment, in the UK, Nest Aware will cost you £4/month for a subscription for five-day history, £8/month for a 10-day history. If you want 30-day history, it will cost you £24, which is pretty steep. You need a Nest Aware subscription for each Nest Cam or Nest Hello, but the price does reduce slightly for each subsequent camera.
In the US currently, Nest Aware will cost you $5/month for a subscription for five-day history, $10/month for a 10-day history. If you want 30-day history, it will cost you $30/month.
With a month-by-month subscription you can cancel at any point if you don't want it or need it anymore. You can pay yearly too though, which will save you a bit of money. For five days it will cost you $50 or £40, for 10-days it will cost you $100 or £80 and for 30-days it will cost you $300 or £240.
Two new subscriptions will launch in early 2020 though, which are much more cost effective, especially for those with multiple devices. The standard subscription costs $6 a month and it covers 30 days of event video history for all your Nest devices in your home.
The second option - called Nest Aware Plus - costs $12 a month and it offers 60 days of events, along with 10-days of video history. Again, that will cover 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.