What is Nest Aware, and is it worth the price?

Google is eager to sell the new Nest Camera to buyers on Nest Aware subscriptions. But what is awareness, and is it worth the money?

If you’ve been interested in Google’s Nest Cams or doorbells for your smart home, you’ve probably heard of Nest Aware, a paid subscription service that lets you expand their features. You can sign up for So what do you get with a Nest Aware subscription, and is it worth paying the recurring fee?

What is Nest Aware?

Nest Aware

The main benefit of a Nest Aware subscription is the extended recording history. By default, Nest cameras only record three hours of event history, with an “event” being a short clip triggered by sound or motion. That’s good enough if you’re awake and within quick reach of your phone, but not for events recorded overnight or when you’re on the go.

A standard Nest Aware subscription extends the event date up to 30 days. Google sells an upgrade option, Nest Aware Plus, that extends that to 60 days and adds 10 days of continuous video history if you need to watch more footage. Just be aware that not all Nest cameras support continuous recording, the main restriction being anything battery powered.

The main benefit of a Nest Aware subscription is the extended recording history.

The next biggest benefit is familiar face detection. While the latest Nest Cams and Nest Doorbell batteries can use onboard AI to distinguish between people, animals and vehicles, triggering appropriate notifications, savvy users can teach their cameras to recognize individual friends and family. are So instead of getting an alert that a “person” is at the door, you’ll be told if it’s Roger, Lakeisha, or Stephanie.

Something less commonly known about Aware is that it enables sound detection of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, not just through wired Nest Cams, but any Google smart speaker or display. through Speakers and displays can also trigger alerts when they hear glass breaking, and the Nest Hub Max will notify you further if it hears someone talking. Max can act as its own camera under awareness if you’re okay with it.

Finally, Aware makes it easy to get in touch with a local 911 call center. This won’t matter to most people, since you can always dial emergency services yourself, but it can be useful if you’re out of town — Google’s “e911” technology can call you from your home. Connects to the nearest 911 dispatch, or more than one, where you are currently located.

How much does Nest Aware cost?

How much does Nest Aware cost?

In its standard US version, Nest Aware costs $6 per month, or $60 per year, with the latter saving you $12 per year, assuming you want to be a long-term subscriber. Either fee covers all smart-compatible devices in your home, no matter how many you add. This is different from many smart security plans, which charge you more for going beyond one camera.

Nest Aware costs $12 per month or $120 per year if you choose the Plus tier. Unlimited camera count is maintained, even with multiple devices recording 24/7.

Is there a free trial of Nest Aware?

Is there a free trial of Nest Aware?

Yes. Once you’ve set up a compatible device in the Nest or Google Home apps, you’ll be offered a 30-day trial. However, there is a limit of one trial per household, so don’t expect any resets when adding or changing cameras.

It’s also worth noting that trials are only offered where Nest Aware is sold — more on that in a moment.

How to sign up for Nest Aware

How to sign up for Nest Aware

You can sign up for Nest Aware or Aware Plus through the Google Store or through the Google Home app on Android devices. In the second scenario, tap the Settings (gear icon) button, select Features, and then select Nest Aware.

The following areas have access to awareness:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States (except Puerto Rico

Google notes that at this time, emergency calling and voice detection on Google Nest speakers and displays are US-only. Familiar Face Recognition does not work with Nest cameras or doorbells in Illinois.

How to manage your Nest Aware subscription

How to manage your Nest Aware subscription

The most common way is to go to store.google.com/subscriptions and sign in with your Google account. There you’ll find options to change your payment methods, cancel your subscription, or switch from Aware to Aware Plus (and vice versa). You may need to select the triple dot menu to access some options.

If you’ve subscribed through the Google Home app, you’ll need to manage alerts through the Google Play Store. Once signed in, go to My Subscriptions and select Alerts. Click Manage to view the available options.

In general, any awareness subscription will automatically renew (and bill you) until you cancel. The exception is the 30-day free trial, which requires you to choose payments to continue. When you cancel, Aware will remain active until the end of your current billing period, whether it’s a month or a year.

Should you pay for Nest Aware?

Should you pay for Nest Aware?

Possibly, but there are two important criteria to meet. First is the need for comprehensive home security. If you work from home all the time and live in a safe neighborhood, you can easily get by with what some camera manufacturers offer, even Google’s three hours of free event recording. Being aware doesn’t make much sense if you’re just checking packages or watching your baby.

If you’re away from home regularly, and/or your neighborhood has crime problems, Aware’s event recording and facial recognition become important. It’s always best to catch intruders in the act, but if you can provide video evidence there’s at least a chance to press charges or recover the equipment.

The second criterion is Google’s commitment to the ecosystem, not just in cameras, but as an entire smart home platform. If you have an Amazon Echo Show as your smart display, you’ll automatically get more from Alexa-compatible cameras. Similarly, if you already have cameras from companies like Arlo or Wyze, it’s illogical to complicate your system by adding Google models, never mind paying for Aware, which is for Nest hardware. is specific.

If you truly need round-the-clock protection and are willing to just go to Google, then Aware fits the bill.

Best Nest Aware compatible devices

Nest Doorbell Battery

Nest Doorbell Battery

In an age when people are getting everything from dinner to gym equipment, and porch pirates are a serious threat, it only makes sense to have a video doorbell. In addition to its alert features, the Nest Doorbell can be battery hardened if you don’t want to recharge it every few months, and can record event footage for up to an hour after a power or Wi-Fi outage. are Just be aware that it doesn’t support continuous recording with Aware Plus, even with its wired setup.

Nest Cam Battery

Nest Cam Battery

Although the Nest Cam’s battery can be used indoors if you get a stand, it’s really meant for outdoor use. It is waterproof and comes with a magnetic mount for easy outdoor installation and removal. Like its doorbell sibling, the Nest Cam can record for up to an hour after losing Wi-Fi battery, but not 24/7 recording with Aware Plus.

Nest Hub Max

Nest Hub Max

The Nest Hub Max is practically mandatory for a complete smart home setup from Google, and if you have Nest Aware. It’s an easy way to view camera feeds, and Max can act as its own camera, complete with object and voice recognition. When you’re not on the lookout, you can do things like listen to music and podcasts, stream video, and control other smart home accessories.

Nest Cam Wired

Nest Cam Wired

On its own, the Wired-only Nest Cam isn’t a great value compared to the competition. It becomes more attractive as part of a home with other Aware devices, however, since it’s cheaper than a Nest Cam battery and you’re not paying extra for its recognition and recording features. You can mount it on a wall or stand it on a flat surface, but it can only record indoors because it’s not waterproof.

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