Best answer: While useful without the subscription, you should invest in Nest Aware for your various Nest Cams. Doing so gives you the ability to store recordings in the cloud for use at a later time.
Nest Aware is a subscription service offered by Nest which works in tandem with the various Nest Cams. This service provides a few different benefits, especially for those who want to be able to store recordings for use in the future.
Currently, there are three different subscriptions available with the standard plan, which is priced at $5 per month or $50 per year. The mid-tier subscription starts at either $10 per month or $100 per year, while the top-tier subscription starts at $30 per month or $300 per year.
However, this is where things already get tricky, as these base subscription prices only apply to one camera. Any additional camera costs $5 per month or $50 per year, which can add up rather quickly if you own a lot of cameras. Things can get even more expensive if you have the pricier subscription, as additional camera support costs $15 per month or $150 per year.
As for what Nest Aware offers, you are provided with the ability to store video recordings in the cloud for up to 30-days. Additionally, there is 24/7 recording available for all compatible cameras, along with "advanced" alerts for Activity Zones and more.
What if you decide not to subscribe?
Nest claims that there is some functionality available for its different cameras out of the box without Nest Aware. One of these is called "Snapshots" which captures still images whenever motion is detected in front of a specific camera.
However, this is just a picture, and may not really tell the whole story if there is something major going on at your home. Plus, Nest only "holds onto" these Snapshots for three hours, which is nowhere near long enough to be able to reference back to them in case you need to contact the authorities.
On the other hand, if you don't subscribe to Nest Aware, you are still provided with a live video feed whenever you open the Nest application. This is beneficial if you want to keep an eye on what's going on, but just remember that your Nest is not actually recording any video during these live-feed periods.
Should you subscribe to Nest Aware?
It almost seems like subscribing to Nest Aware will run your wallet dry after paying the premium for the Nest Cam's and other Nest products. But there's just something about having video recordings easily available in the case that something major and catastrophic does happen.
With Nest Aware priced at $5 per month (or $50 per year) for the base camera and the base subscription, this can prove to be worth it. If you own more than just one camera that you want Nest Aware attached to, that's going to cost you $50 per year, so you're looking at $150 to have all the tools needed to keep your home secure.
If that's too much, then you can stick with the free plan and deal with the snapshots and limited notifications. But Nest Aware seems like a no-brainer if you're in the Nest ecosystem and want the best features for your security cameras. As a reminder, Nest includes a free-trial of Aware for 30 days after purchase.
Get started with Nest Aware
If you want to get the full Nest security package, you'll want to sign up for Nest Aware. This subscription starts at $5 per month and provides 24/7 continuous-recording, intelligent alerts, and much more.
You need the camera
Nest Aware is useless unless you have the Nest Cam to go along with it. This camera can be placed just about anywhere and will help you keep an eye on what's going on.