Nest outdoor cameras are designed for use as part of a Google Nest home security system, though they're also Alexa compatible. You can view the footage they take live or recorded on your smartphone or tablet and change the angle and level of zoom using an app or your smart home system.
Read this guide to Nest outdoor cameras to learn more about their features, such as audio options, alerts, and resolution. At the end, we've chosen our three favorite options, including our top pick, the classic Google Nest Cam Outdoor, which has all the features most users need at a reasonable price.
Some security cameras are wired, so you need to have them hardwired into your electric and internet systems for them to operate. Unless you have skills in this area, it's best left to a professional, which can make installation expensive. Nest outdoor cameras are wireless and capable of connecting to your WiFi system, which makes them significantly easier to install and set up. They come with a cable to plug them into a power outlet, so they're not completely wireless — only wireless in terms of internet connection. Some models give you the option of using battery power instead of plugging into a power outlet, which is useful if you don't have an outdoor power outlet and don't want to drill through a wall.
It's important that security cameras have a decent resolution so you can catch any action clearly and identify intruders, should the situation arise. Luckily, all Nest outdoor cameras have at least 1080p full HD resolution. This is ample resolution to capture the detail you need — nothing like grainy CCTV footage. Some Nest cameras offer 4K streaming, which gives you even better clarity, but you can still only record in full HD.
You can't sit and watch your security camera feed all day, so you could have a break-in or other incident while you're out without knowing it. Your Nest system can send you alerts when it spots motion or picks up on certain sounds, allowing you to check whether it's a genuine threat or just the mail carrier or passing wildlife.
Nest outdoor cameras can both pick up audio and allow people in the vicinity of the camera to hear your voice. This is useful for talking to unknown visitors on the doorstep so you can find out what they want before you answer the door in person. It also lets you ask delivery drivers to leave your package on the porch if you want to limit contact or even if you're out of the house.
Nest outdoor cameras range in price from a little under $200 to a little over $400, depending on their specs.
A. If you're buying these cameras for security, it's best to position them near your front and back doors, plus you may want to have cameras positioned to cover the area near your first floor windows. It's recommended that you install them roughly nine to 10 feet above ground level and angle them downwards.
A. Yes, Nest outdoor cameras are designed for use in the open air, so they're adequately waterproof to withstand even heavy rain. They're also suitable for use in both swelteringly hot and freezing cold temperatures.
Our take: This outdoor Nest camera simply plugs in and is ready to go. It monitors and records in 1080p HD.
What we like: Sends motion and sound alerts to your phone or email address. 130-degree wide angle view. Offers an 8x zoom. Lets you listen and talk back.
What we dislike: Works best with Nest Aware, but that comes with an additional subscription fee.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon
Our take: A Nest camera double feature for those who want more than one camera for their security system.
What we like: Has all the same great features as the standard Nest Cam but in a two-pack for additional coverage. Easy to install with the magnetic mount.
What we dislike: Can be pixelated when you zoom in.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon
Our take: A higher-end version of the Nest Cam with additional features, but not all buyers believe it's worth the extra cost.
What we like: Monitors in 4K HD with HDR capabilities. Offers a 12x digital zoom with enhanced clarity. Can automatically zoom in on and track intruders.
What we dislike: Although it live streams in 4K HD, it only records in lower-quality 1080p HD.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.