Nest Cam: Does It Replace Its Brother, DropCam Pro?

Published: Sep 12, 2016 at 08:00 UTC
Nest Cam

If you have the DropCam Pro already installed in your home, you might consider replacing it with the latest member of the family, Nest Cam.

For those of you just beginning to take a serious look at home security systems especially the home-owner operated variants – you’re in luck. This article is devoted to help you find the best home security cameras on the market today.

Let’s start with the obvious – appearance. Nest Cam looks very much like Drop Cam Pro – on a diet!

Unfortunately, the device doesn’t offer a lot of options in terms of colors: cobalt blue color if you live in Europe or have some really strong connections to Alphabet— the Google arm that handles the product!

 In the U.S., you are going to get black: no color choices here, my friend.

Let’s take a close look at the slender waistline of Nest Cam compared to the beer belly appearance of DropCam Pro.

The camera on Nest Cam has a significantly better swivel where the device connects to the base. Granted it’s much easier to do back bends when you’re slimmer— and this camera proves it to the tee.

For those of you who already have the thermostat and smoke alarm connecting to DropCam, you’ll be glad to know the existing setting can be integrated with the Nest Cam network without requiring any additional hardware.

What About the Features of Nest Cam?


Nest Cam enters the scene with a 3 megapixel / 1050 pixel resolution, putting it right up there with the best surveillance cameras on the market, irrespective of  whether you’re a commercial service or home owner.

This resolution is an upgrade from the previous model, which makes the images sharper and more defined.


Nest CamNest Cam is designed strictly as an indoor camera. However, Amazon does offer products that allow you to use this device outdoors. The waterproof casing for the camera seals the front and you run the cable through the gooseneck mount that comes with screws to hang on an exterior surface.

Nest Cam is the only one of all the cameras we reviewed that comes with separate accessories, making the camera user-friendly— just like Google.


Field of View:

nest camThe 130* degree field of view offered by the device diminishes the optical exaggeration that fish-eye lenses usually produce.

The downside to that feature is that you will need more than one camera to completely cover any room. The upside, on the others hand, is that you won’t feel like you’re always underwater and the images won’t seem so far away.


 Pan, Tilt, Zoom:

Nest CamThis security camera is more on the bare bones side than some others, so unless you count the fact that you can tilt the body of the camera 360-degrees, you won’t have pan or tilt options in the settings.

However, you can pinch and zoom when you’re watching livestream or video clips.

The best part is not only can you turn the camera in any direction you want, one other unique feature this device affords is the ability to hang the camera upside down since it doesn’t have a fixed direction.

You can hang Nest Cam from a ceiling, like in the baby’s room or in the kitchen where you don’t want pets or people moving it around: this position will give you a broader view of the room.


Night Vision and Live Streaming:

Nest CamBecause of the narrower field of view combined with the higher depth of resolution, the night vision of this camera is much clearer with fewer errors in transmission.

Nest Cam has the best night vision of all the cameras reviewed.



Even though it only has 8 IR LEDs – compared to the Canary and Piper NV with 12 – the crispness of the imagery is much better.

Two-Way Audio:

The built-in 2-way audio is of excellent quality. Additionally, the recording sounds captured through the mic are clear and easily discernable. For instance, when your husband is asking you where you are and you happen to be at the grocery store he’ll even hear those grumblings you mumble under your breath, so be careful.


Nest Cam has no alarm, at all. If you are looking for a home security system that is designed to alert the neighbourhood, this device is not for you. On the other hand, if you have been woken by an alarm going off accidentally, you’ll love the fact that this camera will not jolt you out of bed.

Built-In Back-up Battery:

If there is one improvement that Nest Cam could make to this camera to make it the absolute best home security camera around, it’s the battery backup .

Without battery back-up, if the power goes out the camera will stop immediately, affecting the recording in the process . In short, you’ll have no idea what happened during the blackout.

Cloud Storage:

Nest Cam has Cloud storage available but at a price, of course. It’s a bit more complicated than Piper NV but less than Canary in terms of plans and capabilities.  With Piper, you get Cloud and Live streaming free.

With Canary, on the other hand, you get free Cloud with 2-days’ worth of storage so only images transmitted within the last 48 hours can be accessed.

Nest Cam offers you totally free live streaming views anytime, anywhere.  You will also get free Cloud storage for the first 30 days. Then, you can either choose no storage but still have livestream or take the 10-day storage plan for $10 month/$100 year or 30-day plan for $30 month/$300 year.

Local Storage:

There is no onboard storage offered by Nest Cam which only goes to your benefit. Think about it! If the camera had an sim card, anyone could steal the card or the camera. What would you be left with in such scenarios? Memories. That’s what the Cloud is for: you can instantly download to your hard drive or smart phone any images taken by the camera and transmitted to the cloud.

How To Set-Up Nest Cam?

All you need is an electrical outlet, a computer and either Wi-Fi or Broadband connections. Plug it in, download the app, connect it to your computer and away you go!

Pet and Temperature Sensors:

This camera does not come pre-fitted with temperature or pet settings on the motion detectors. However, you’ll be glad to know that the motion sensors are not as sensitive as those on the Piper NV or Canary models and won’t send alerts every time your bird lands on the curtain.

It takes a certain amount of weight of the body that causes the motion to set the alarm off.

New Accessories for 2016

nest camNest Cam does not offer the accessories we showed above – well, at least not with the camera itself. That said, they do have a variety of accessories available that are compatible with the camera.

For instance, the waterproof cover and gooseneck attachment above are approved to be paired with Nest Cam. You should know that if you live in a cold area where snowing is natural, these accessories cannot protect the inner workings from freezing.

Another accessory you might find useful is the one in the picture below that Amazon offers to plug your Nest Cam directly into a wall outlet without damaging the wall or the camera.

How To Set Up Nest Cam?  

The settings are simple and basic. When you turn it off, nothing more is transmitted and no other images are available.

Unlike other cameras that we’ve reviewed, Nest does have an option for those of you who get too many notices about motion detected.  It’s called zone alerting.

You can designate a particular zone that is in camera range and only be notified if that zone is penetrated by a motion.

Notification Options:

You will have choices in terms of how you want to be notified – text or email or both – for each type of event you have connected to the camera.

For example, if you connect a thermostat or carbon dioxide monitor to your Nest Cam functions, you can be notified by text and email while choosing both in case of motion detection. Once notified, you can access live streaming even if you don’t have a Cloud account.

Customer Service:

According to a verified customer on Amazon,

nest camWe could find no complaints with Nest Cam. The average rating on Amazon was 4.5 with only a few people reporting disappointment or manufacturing issues.

What we found impressive was the urgency with which Nest responded to the user problems, even offering to replace any cameras that were reportedly not operating properly with a brand new one.

What Nest Cam Does Not Do?

The DropCam Pro had a Geofencing option that cannot be rivalled by Nest Cam. Geofencing is used to automatically turn the camera on and off when you leave and return to your home.

If you have a hard time remembering to turn your system on, you might want a camera that uses this technology.

Moving on, you need to know that Nest Cam will not send repeated messages when the motion sensors are set off. There is a 30-minute wait time in between each notification. For instance, if you have two burglars in the house back to back, you’ll only get one message, especially if you’re not in a position to check live streaming at the time.

Last but not the least of the facts that irritated most buyers was not being able to see all camera images on a split screen at one time. If you have more than one camera, you have to close out one to look at the next.

Yay or Nay?

Considering some of the limitation of Nest Cam, we aren’t sure it could be referred as a “security” camera. It doesn’t qualify as any kind of actual protective “system”.

That said, if you need a camera to check on children coming in from school or sneaking out late at night (you know who they are!) or to use as a Nanny Cam,  this product more than fits the bill.

Additionally, of all the cameras that we reviewed till date, Nest Cam has the best quality pictures for both day and night.

Summing it up, we rank Nest Cam as the best surveillance camera for home owners, renters (because you don’t have any contracts to sign and it is not a permanent fixture in your home) and shop owners who want to keep a close watch on their employees.

Comparison Chart

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