Nest Aware Subscription – What They Don’t Tell You…

Nest Aware Subscription What They Don’t Tell You

If you own or you’re thinking of purchasing a nest product. Then you might be aware that nest offers a subscription service. In this article, we’re going to explore exactly what that subscription service offers and if you should consider signing up for it.

Does Nest Hello Have A Monthly Fee? The Answer is Yes and No. While you can use Nest Hello without paying a nest aware subscription. You lose out on key features such as 10 and 30 day history and familiar face recognition.

In modern times many of us already have Spotify, Netflix and Amazon prime subscription service being paid monthly out of our bank accounts. Why exactly should you add one more to the boat and pay between $5 and $30 a month for nest?

In this article, we’ll explore exactly what you’re getting for your money and if those features warrant paying a subscription fee. You may find that one of these subscription fees is perfect for you and that you’re more than happy to part with their cash on a monthly basis.

So let’s give nest a fair examination and look at the monthly subscriptions.

What is Nest Aware?

nest aware features

Nest aware is a subscription service that nest offers to its customers. The main motivating factors that are customer of nest might consider signing up to their subscription service. Nest aware is that it provides additional features that are not available for non nest aware customers.

In this section, we’ll explore exactly what those features are.

Discuss which of those features are actually worth paying for.

And go deep into exploring how long you actually need to store data on nest servers. As this is one of the main factors that bumps up the price in their subscription fee.

Nest aware subscription fee hierarchy is based primarily on the data retention periods for your security footage. Currently it is broken down by the following. A $5 option where the data for your security footage from your doorbell will be retained for five days. After the 5th day, that data will be deleted. So effectively have a rolling five day memory.

The next option is a $10 option. And you probably guessed it for this particular tier, you get 10 days of security footage retention. To my knowledge, you don’t get any additional features other than the memory.

Lastly, there is a $30 a month option which effectively gives you the whole month to be recorded on rolling months. And again, this doesn’t to my knowledge, give you any additional features other than that additional period of time.

So judging by this nest places great value on the amount of time that you can retain your data. Or at least this is the point where they think people are going to be willing to part with their money.

When you think about it, it’s a quite clever business plan. Because, for instance, if you were, say, going on a two week vacation. And were away from their house for all of those 14 days. Then the two lower tier options of the $5 and $10 packages wouldn’t really be viable.

And you’d most likely have to sign up for the $30 a month or $360.00 a year package. Not only that, when you think about it, if you did have a reason to need that security in the event of a break in, then if you only have a five day policy. 

Then what’s to say that that data gets lost after five days and the police then request there on the 6th day? You really have no way of accessing that data because it’s gone.

Nest aware features

nest silicone housing
nest indoor camera

There’s a whole host of additional features that come with nest aware and I’ll link in the article where you can find the comprehensive run down of them. But for now I’m going to pick out the main main features that I think you will probably want to know about.

Intelligent alertsGet alerts when your Nest cameras detect sounds or a person.
Activity ZonesChoose important areas and get alerts when something happens there
Create and share clipsSend clips from your video history to friends or family, or the police.
Includes all Nest cameras in your homeNo limit on camera count

Facial recognition 

Nest and competing products all pride themselves on their artificial intelligence. That is to say that they will intelligently analyse the footage from their camera and decide how to react appropriately.

In the case of facial recognition, they have two distinct features. The first being that the camera has the ability to decide if the person who has approached the door is a familiar face. An example of this is if a family member were to go and press the doorbell, the nest aware would know that that is a family member.

You can see why this might be useful, because straight away you know the person who’s approaching the door is someone that you know. And could potentially buzz them in if you have a buzzer system for your house.

The other side of face recognition is the opposite. So nest can determine if this is a complete stranger and can react slightly differently than it would if it knows that this person is someone you know. This gives you the advantage to set up different alerts or potentially different chimes. Effectively giving you a headstart on the interaction.

Both of these very useful features are not available for the free Tier.

Animal or human detection

The second feature is also based a analysing the image coming from the nest doorbell and deciding what exactly the image is. In this case, nest has the ability to decide if it is looking at a human or an animal.

This is great if you want to reduce the number of false positives. When the doorbell inadvertently triggers a motion activation alert. 4 say if a cat walks by your front porch. In this case, you don’t really need to know about that.

And you could see it getting bother bothersome if these alerts were happening all the time and you’d quickly become desensitised to an actual alert that might matter. So if nest can only let you know when there’s something genuinely worth knowing about, then that’s good new. Improve the quality of your interaction with the product.

I really wish this particular feature was available for the free tier. 

  • 5 day security footage for the $5 option
  • 10 day security footage for the $10 option
  • 30 day security footage for the $30 option

Is Nest Aware Worth Paying For?

I suppose the obvious answer for this one is it depends.

It depends on what your priorities are. One of the great things about these subscription services is that they are generally non binding. So if you were curious, you could always sign up for five days, 10 days, 30 days. And really see if you actually enjoy those additional features.

Worst case scenario, you’ve spent $30 and you’ve discovered that you don’t really need advanced facial recognition on your doorbell.

When you think about it, just saying that out aloud sounds like a very first world problem. You might be asking yourself how you lasted this long in your entire life, without having a superintelligent doorbell monitoring your house.

That being said, embracing new technology and especially ones that actually make sense that really make your life easier or more than worth taking up.

When you know a technology just works and it solves a problem and you just think, yeah, that’s exactly what I need. Then I say go for it, pay for it. For me, in the case of a subscription service for a doorbell, I’m not so sure. But on the other hand. I spend $10 a month on my Spotify subscription. And I’ve never been happier.

So my advice is weigh up the options, know that whatever you do is nonbinding and experiment because if you don’t try, you never know.

Is there a Nest Aware Free Trial?

Yes, at the time of writing there is a 5 day free trial that you can enjoy. I highly recommend signing up for it so you know exactly if you’re going to enjoy those features or not. What’s the harm?

Why does Nest & Ring insist on promoting their subscription services?

Okay, this is an easy one. Quite simply, it’s their business model. If you can get a customer to sign up for a subscription service. Then you, as a product owner, will now have a regular source of income from that customer.

This means that they are no longer in an arms race to continually convince people to pay for their new products. However, this might ironically worked to the advantage of the customer, because if that customer is paying subscription then they’ll expected features and indeed additional features to be released. Otherwise why are they bothering to pay for the subscription plan?

Also, it also makes them vulnerable too. Competitor products from other brands that don’t require such such a subscription service. I’ll talk about one of these later in the article. So this means that nest and ring, for instance, Will have to continually convince you it’s worth signing up for their subscription service, in which case the best way to do that is to offer more and more better features.

 In effect, creating a mini arms race which is good for the customer.

The Devious Ways Nest Pushes you Towards a Subscription

Okay, this is where I’m a little less generous when it comes to endorsing subscription services. You see the Flipside of this is if the cost the brand deliberately decides to restrict certain features that make it really should be available in the base model.

For instance, screenshots captured in the app for the free tier only stored for three hours. I mean, what is that about? Why would they decide to do that? Why not make them permanent? No, store them to the phones device memory.

These are artificial limitations that could easily be changed in software.

They know that one of the most important reasons someone would buy a smart doorbell is in the case of a robbery. So why do they restrict these features that would provide evidence to the paid subscription models only?

Alternatives To Subscription Doorbells – Eufy

Houshia article on eufy doorbells is a great alternative

EUFY is one of my. Special recommendations for both security cameras and Smart Door Bells. The main reason is the approach that this company takes. Unlike the vast majority of Smart home providers such as Ringan Nest. They’ve opted to supply a fairly comprehensive bastir package which includes inbuilt memory into the devices and a base station. With the 16GB of recording storage.

This means that all the data for your security footage on your doorbell is stored on your own property on your own device. For as long as you want. And you’re no longer the slave to a subscription service.

You simply pay once for the device and then you have that device and all of its features forever. I think EU FY will really take off over the next couple of years and people will be questioning why they are using or paying $30 a month for a nest subscription service.

Who knows, this might even convince Google to offer a more comprehensive, free tier to their nest aware programme.

If you’re interested in learning more about this product are linked to a few more articles I’ve written about Eufy at the end of the article.


Okay, that’s it for my article on Nest’s monthly free subscription service. I hope this gave you an idea of what you’re getting yourself into. If you decide to sign up for the nest aware plan.

There’s lots of pros and a few cons to sign up for this. If the money isn’t an issue, then I say go for it because in all honesty you get a new great artificial intelligent image recognition service. Reducing the number of false positives and making your interaction with nest more seamless.

Thanks for reading.



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If you’re interested in reading more about smart light, smart garages and smart homes checkout some of the other houshia categories including:

Smart Lights

Smart Home

Smart Garage

Steve Foster

Suburbanite, tech geek, handy man, automation enthusiast who started blogging about the stuff I do around my home and found he had a knack for it.

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