Best Nest Outdoor Cameras

Updated December 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

51 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
125 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best nest outdoor cameras

Every homeowner’s top priority is keeping their family and house safe. Installing a security camera outside your home can provide significant peace of mind, and Nest outdoor security cameras are some of the most trusted on the market.

Nest outdoor cameras provide high-resolution video of the area around your house. They’re weatherproof, which means they can withstand rain, snow, high and low temperatures, and dust. The cameras send alerts through the Nest app to let you know when movement is detected. Nest cameras also allow you to communicate with people outside your house, so you can chat with visitors or scare off intruders.

But it can be tricky to figure out which Nest outdoor camera is best for your home security needs. Our buying guide provides you with all the details to choose a Nest outdoor camera. Still unsure? Check out our specific product recommendations above for the most stress-free shopping ever.

Nest outdoor cameras are weatherproof, but it’s still a good idea to install your camera under the eave or roofline to give it some cover.

Key considerations

Wired vs. wireless

Home security cameras are available in two types: wired and wireless.

Wired: A wired security camera is hardwired into your internet network and electrical system. In some cases, separate wires are needed for the internet and power. Because they’re wired directly, these cameras offer a highly reliable connection that isn’t subject to signal drops or problems connecting to your home’s WiFi. But these cameras usually require professional installation, which adds to the cost.

Wireless: A wireless security camera uses your home’s WiFi to connect to the internet, so no cord is needed. It does have a power cord, which has to be plugged in for operation. Wireless cameras are easier to install, but you can have problems with dropped signals and other connectivity issues that may affect the camera’s operation from time to time.

All Nest outdoor cameras are wireless, which means they connect to your internet through WiFi. They usually don’t require professional installation, but you may struggle with dropped signals on occasion. If you prefer a wired security camera for your home, you’ll need to look to another brand.

Field of view

The size of the area a video camera can see is its field of view. The field of view for most security cameras ranges from 90° to 140°. A larger field of view allows you to see more of the area in front of the camera, so you might be able to keep tabs on your entire yard. Nest outdoor cameras all offer a 130° field of view.

Mount

An outdoor security camera must be mounted on your house or another structure, so it has a good vantage point to survey the area around your home. Not all Nest outdoor cameras have the same type of mount.

Magnetic: Lower-end models typically have a magnetic mount, making it easy to install and remove the camera if necessary.

Locking: Other Nest models offer a tamper-resistant hex key-locking mount. That means you don’t have to worry about your camera being stolen. These models are a little bit trickier to install.

Quantity

Nest outdoor cameras are sold individually or in sets of two or more. If you just want to monitor the area around your front door and yard, one camera is sufficient. If you want to survey more areas around your home, you can add more cameras to your setup. If you know from the outset that you want to monitor the front and back of your house, you’ll get a better value by investing in a set of two or more Nest cameras.

Features

Video

Resolution: The resolution tells you how clear the camera’s images are. For the best images, you want a camera with a resolution of at least 1080p.

All Nest outdoor cameras have 1080p high-definition (HD) streaming video, but some models offer 1080p HD streaming with high dynamic range (HDR). HDR increases the video’s contrast to improve the image quality, so the colors are more vivid and details are more precise. If you want the best images from your security camera, opt for a high-end Nest outdoor camera with HDR.

Night vision: While most homeowners want a camera that monitors their home 24/7, nighttime is usually the biggest time of concern. Nest outdoor cameras are equipped with night vision that allows you to see clear images of the area around your house in low or no light.

Audio

All Nest outdoor cameras have a built-in microphone and speakers for two-way communication, so you’re able to hear noises outside your home and talk with anyone in front of the camera. Some high-end models have three microphones, as well as a more powerful speaker with high-definition audio for the best sound.

Alerts

Nest outdoor cameras all have motion detection, and an alert is sent to your phone or other device through the Nest app whenever activity is detected in front of the camera. However, some Nest outdoor cameras offer an alert to tell you specifically when people are detected. The cameras can also pick up sound through the microphones and send an alert when noise is detected. If you have a Nest Aware subscription, the high-end cameras can also send a Familiar Face alert to tell you when a person you know is detected.

Durability

IP rating: All Nest outdoor cameras are weather resistant because they’re meant for outdoor use. The Ingress Protection (IP) rating tells you how resistant a device is to liquids and dust.  Lower-end Nest outdoor cameras are rated IP65, which means they’re dust-tight and protected against moderate amounts of moisture. High-end Nest outdoor cameras are rated IP66, which means they’re dust-tight and protected against heavy amounts of water.

Temperature: All Nest outdoor cameras have an operating temperature range of at least -4°F to 104°F for use in all seasons in most regions. High-end models offer an operating temperature range of -40°F to 113°F.

"Don’t use an indoor Nest camera outdoors. It’s not designed to be weather resistant, and it could be seriously damaged in bad weather. "
STAFF
BestReviews

Nest outdoor camera prices

Nest outdoor cameras vary in price based on the resolution quality, special features, and number of cameras included. Most models range from $187 to $798.

Inexpensive: The most affordable Nest outdoor cameras are single units. Lower-end models with a basic 1080p HD resolution and a lower IP rating typically cost between $187 and $200. For a high-end model with 1080p HD with HDR and a higher IP rating, you’ll generally pay between $300 and $350.

Mid-range: These Nest outdoor cameras are usually two packs of lower-end models with basic 1080p HD resolution and a lower IP rating or a combination pack of Nest outdoor and indoor cameras. These sets typically cost between $290 and $450.

Expensive: The most expensive Nest outdoor cameras are usually two packs of high-end models that feature 1080p HD resolution with HDR and a higher IP rating. These sets generally cost between $695 and $798.

Tips

  • Install your camera in the right place. For home security, the best spots for outdoor cameras are your front door, back door, and near first-floor windows.
  • Install your camera at the right height. Nest recommends installing their outdoor cameras 9 or 10 feet above the ground with the camera tilted downward. This allows you to see people’s faces but still prevents tampering.
  • Don’t conceal your camera. You don’t want to install your camera in a spot where it’s fully hidden. Just the presence of a camera is often enough to scare off intruders and vandals.
Most homeowners like having their Nest outdoor camera at the front door because it allows them to see who’s ringing the bell before opening the door.

FAQ

Q. How strong does my WiFi need to be for a Nest outdoor camera to operate effectively?
A.
For the best performance, you should have a broadband internet connection with at least 2 megabits per second of upload speed per camera. A DSL connection often doesn’t provide enough bandwidth for effective operation. The Nest app allows you to test the camera’s connectivity in the spot where you’ve installed it, so you can be sure that it’s working correctly.
 

Q. Are Nest outdoor cameras tamper resistant?
A.
High-end Nest cameras feature a locking mount that allows you to hide the cable, so the camera is tamper resistant. Lower-end models don’t have the locking mount but are compatible with locking outlet covers to keep intruders from tampering with the cameras.
 

Q. Can I paint my Nest outdoor camera?
A.
While you might be tempted to paint an outdoor camera to match your home, it’s not advisable. Painting the camera can affect its sensors, preventing the camera from detecting motion and sending alerts. It also voids your warranty.

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