Watch without bother
Google Nest was the company set up by Tony Fadell, the inventor best known for creating Apple’s iPod. Its first product was a smart central-heating thermostat, but when Google bought the company it also acquired Dropcam, an internet security-camera maker, and thus the Nest Cam was born: one of the first simple, all-in-one units for monitoring your home over the internet. Now there’s a version that works outside your house too.
The camera comes with a small metal plate that you can screw to any suitable surface. is done, the Nest Cam Outdoor attaches to the plate magnetically. en you just need to get power to it. If you have an outdoor power socket, the supplied 7.5-metre cable should reach it. If not, you’ll need to drill a hole through your wall to route the cable through, which is a simple job for anyone with a long drill bit.
Naturally, the unit is weatherproof, and it also has its own infra-red LED to film at night. We found this covered our entire garden (about 40ft long). Of course, you won’t want to sit watching all the time, so the camera will send an alert to your phone if it detects movement or loud noises.
It will try to exclude everyday movement, such as trees swaying. You can schedule times when alerts are active, for example only at night or when you’re out.
The catch is that to record anything you need a Nest Aware subscription, from £80 a year. is saves video constantly, 24 hours a day, to Nest’s servers. Just keep an eye on your broadband-usage limits. At the default 720p resolution, which we found very clear, Nest reckons you’ll use 60 to 160GB per month, or 140 to 380GB at the even sharper 1080p. Nest Aware also adds motion detection zones and people recognition, although unlike the Netatmo Welcome it can’t be set to ignore everything except people. Without the subscription, you only get to watch live, which you can do from anywhere over the internet.
1080p camera with mic, speaker and motion detection • Requires broadband internet connection and Nest Aware subscription for some features
• 72x72x89mm (HxWxD)’
VERDICT: Nest is good at making these systems easy to set up and use. Our only reservation is the expensive subscription cost.
ALTERNATIVE: Netgear Arlo £190 is weatherproof camera with base station needs no wires and comes with free storage, but has limited battery life,