Google’s Nest arguably makes some of the best smart home gadgets around, but, like its competitors, the company also offers a separate service called Nest Aware. And because of the naming conventions here, especially if you aren’t tech-savvy, to begin with, it can cause some confusion. What is Nest? And what does the company’s “Aware” actually do?
That is exactly what this article sets out to explain, in part, as simply and comprehensively as possible. As well as what you’re getting if you sign on for the above-mentioned offering, well beyond what “Nest” itself is. So if you’re new to the smart home game or just want to learn a bit more about what this add-on service is, read on.
What is the difference between Nest and Nest Aware?
Now, when discussing what, exactly, Nest Aware is, it’s impossible to avoid the question of what Nest and Nest Aware are. That is, in relation to one another. And, summarily, Nest is the company responsible for smart home products for Google under its own branding and Nest branding. For example, the Google Nest Doorbell shown above is a Nest and Google product. While the app shown is run by Nest.
Nest Aware, conversely, is a service that’s among those offered by Nest. And, in fact, we have an entire explainer for the company itself and exactly what it is too. The two are related but are not at all the same thing, as is often the case.
Diving deeper into what Nest Aware is, it effectively serves as a subscription program for features on Nest hardware. What those features are, varies from device to device. They also depend on which level of service has been purchased. Whether Nest Aware or Nest Aware Plus.
Generally, the subscription allows Nest hardware to better recognize audio for alerts such as glass breaking. And for the cameras to record and store more footage in the cloud.
What do you get from Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus?
Signing up for Nest Aware really couldn’t be easier. You can find the sign-up in the Nest app. If you’re the homeowner for the location the Nest cameras and devices are being used, you simply need to tap on the gear-shaped Settings icon. Then scroll down to “Nest Aware” and follow the on-screen instructions.
However, there’s an added perk in place if you haven’t subscribed before too. Namely, that’s a 30-day cost-free trial period on offer, available for those looking to sign up. Although, if you’re on the web, after selecting settings, the options you’re looking for will be under “Subscriptions” instead of “Nest Aware.” So you can get a sense of exactly what you’re getting for your money before paying anything at all.
In terms of exactly what you get for your money, however, that will vary depending on the level of service you buy. And on the devices in your home. Since the newest Nest battery-powered cameras don’t currently support 24/7 video history recording.
In terms of supported devices, those include Nest cameras, doorbells, Speakers, and displays. All of those devices provide smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and glass breaking detection features. The service level you purchased doesn’t matter. They also all provide ready access to call 911 or emergency services directly from the devices in the event of an emergency event taking place.
Additionally, each provides customized motion alerts, including individual person detection with facial recognition and package detection. And, at either tier, you get storage for video clips of events that are detected.
Where the tiers differ, conversely, is on how long the video clips are recorded and saved. With Nest Aware, you’ll get 30-days of events. That’s 60-days for Nest Aware Plus with additional 24/7 full video storage for up to 10-days of recordings.
Of course, also regardless of the level of purchase or if you’ve purchased at all, you can see and interact with that footage via the web too. Specifically at the “home.nest.com” website. As well as accessing additional membership-only features.
Finally, you’ll also be able to share the video footage with others with a subscription. That makes it easier if you need to give over footage if a crime is caught by your cameras, for example. But it also means you can easily share family moments that they catch too, among other purposes.
Do you really need all of the benefits of a Nest Aware subscription?
Without a Nest Aware subscription, you’ll still get plenty of features, of course. For instance, you’ll still get motion alerts from cameras and you’ll still be able to watch live streaming video feeds from anywhere.
What’s more, you’ll still get a capture for every event in a timeline when faces or motions are detected by the cameras. Although those still photos are deleted after a relatively short period of time. Just hours, in fact. And you won’t have full control over which activities or be able to see video clips associated with those.
Of course, with the video doorbells, you’ll still have notifications for bell presses. That’s in addition to the footage, two-way talk — for both camera types –, and other hardware-based features. Such as Google Home integration with alerts over smart speakers and some rudimentary audio detection.
Additionally, you’ll get some basic footage features with the newest battery-powered Doorbells and Cams. So, if all you really need is the basics, not having a Nest Aware subscription isn’t going to be a dealbreaker.
With that said, for the relatively low price as described below and the features described above, a Nest Aware subscription is absolutely worth the added peace of mind.
Do you need to buy a subscription for every camera?
Among the more prominent features of Nest Aware, hinted at earlier, is that you only need to pay once. Or, more succinctly, you only pay once for a home and that covers all of your cameras and other Nest gadgetry.
In effect, that means that, unlike with many competing companies, you don’t need to pay extra for having too many cameras. Or other devices, for that matter. You can have an unlimited number of devices linked up to your Nest Aware account. All for one cost that, with consideration for that fact, is relatively low and affordable. You can have all of Nest Aware’s features for one cost on all of your compatible devices.
That means you can have as many devices as you want. This includes displays, speakers, cameras, and doorbells. This only requires that gadgets belong to the same residential or business address. You can’t spread the subscription out over multiple locations.
How much does a subscription cost?
In terms of pricing, the abovementioned feature also makes that incredibly straightforward. Pricing — we’re listing US prices here — start out at $6 per month. The service is also available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. That goes for countries outside of the US – although Puerto Rico isn’t included in “the US” in this context.
$6 per month or a discounted $60 for 12 months covers the base Nest Aware plan. For those who want just a bit more, pricing starts out at $12 per month for Nest Aware Plus. And, of course, there’s a discount there too. Knocking the price down to just $120 for a year of the Plus variant. So, if you subscribe for the entire year, you can save $12 or $24, respectively. Depending on which plan you’re signing up for.
In other regions, costs vary but stay fairly close to the US pricing. Such as the UK, for example, where you’ll pay £5 per month or £50 per year for the standard subscription. While the “Plus” variant will cost £10 per month or £100 per year, equating to savings of £10 or £20, respectively.
The same savings and costs exist in Europe as in the UK too, albeit in Euros. So that’s €5 or €50 for the standard subscription and €10 or €100 for the Plus version of the service.
What if you don’t want Nest Aware anymore?
Removing, canceling, or unsubscribing from a Nest Aware subscription is equally easy to accomplish. Or at least as easy as signing up. That is if you decide you no longer need or want the service. With just a few short steps to follow, and readily available whether you’re on the web or a mobile device.
Namely, you can accomplish the task by first selecting the “Settings” icon in the app or on the web. It has a gear or cog shape. Then, scroll down to the “Nest Aware” segment — “Subscriptions” if you’re on the web — and follow the on-screen steps for canceling your subscription. For those who need a closer look at the process, we’ve even got a helpful guide for it here.
In any case, as is the case with these types of services, you can cancel at any time. And, as noted above, there’s a 30-day free trial, if you don’t want to put down any money before trying it out.