Nest Cam is an easy-to-use security camera that plugs into any outlet and connects directly to your Wi-Fi so you can monitor your home wherever you are. Here’s how to do it.
To get started, obviously you’ll need a Nest Cam — it comes both indoors and outdoors. Both retail for around $200 and perform the same except for their form factor.
After unpacking the Nest Cam, download the Nest app on your phone. It’s free and available for iOS and Android devices.
Once downloaded, open it and select Register.
Enter your email address and create a password for your Nest account. Then click «Register».
When prompted, enter your house name in the app and click next.
The next screen will ask you for your address, but you only need a zip code. Click next.
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On the next screen, you can set up Home/Away Assistance, which uses your phone’s location to determine if you’re at home or not — so it can turn on your camera automatically when you leave your home. You don’t have to install it right now (you can do it later).
You can also share your Nest Cam with other people in the house so they can control and change the temperature from their phone. You can also customize this later.
You will be taken to the main screen. Click on the «Add» button to add the Nest Cam to the app.
Select «Nest Cam» from the list.
You then need to give the Nest app access to your phone’s camera so it can quickly scan the QR code on the back of the Nest Cam. You can also, if you like, deny permission and click Continue without scanning, after which you will be prompted to enter an entry key or device serial number. Either way, find the code on the back of the Nest Cam and scan it with the app or enter the serial number.
Once this is done, click «Next» on the next screen.
Choose from a list of locations in your home where your Nest Cam will be installed. This makes it easier to separate them if you have multiple nest chambers.
The following page lists a few warnings, such as do not place the Nest Cam indoors in direct sunlight or in places where the temperature drops below 32F or above 95F. If you want to place it outdoors, buy the outdoor version instead. Click «Continue» on the app to move on.
If you haven’t already, place your Nest Cam in the location you want and use the included cable and adapter to connect to the nearest power outlet. Click «Continue» on the app.
Wait for the Nest Cam to boot up and then select your Wi-Fi network from the list.
Enter the password for your Wi-Fi network and click «Join» at the bottom.
Wait a few seconds for the Nest Cam to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Once it connects, the next screen will display a live image of your Nest Cam and you can choose whether or not you want to be notified when activity is detected. The default is yes, but you can turn it off with the toggle switch to the right. Then click «Done» at the bottom.
On the next screen, you’ll learn about Sightline, a Nest Cam feature that lets you quickly scroll through hours of footage and jump to specific points when activity is detected. Click «Done» at the bottom.
From here, you’re all set and you’ll now see your Nest Cam live, as well as a scrollable timeline of everything the Nest Cam has recorded.
If you want to see a full-screen live view, you can tilt your device horizontally, and if you want to speak into the camera to talk to the person on the other side, you can press and hold the blue microphone icon on the bottom.
Keep in mind that even though my Nest Cam is pointed out of a window that looks outside my house, the infrared rays on the night vision camera will bounce off the glass of the window and create giant glare, rendering it practically useless at night. Again, if you really want to use the camera for outdoor use, the outdoor version of the Nest Cam is your best bet, but an indoor model can work just fine in a pinch.