Nest Cam Review: Introduction
Monitoring or watching every move of your baby through your smartphone has never been easier than with the Nest Cam baby monitor. This unique-looking Nest baby monitors offers all the features you'd expect in a smart baby monitor, including the ability to play soothing music, and two-way audio, sound and motion alerts. It also goes the extra distance with mechanical pan and tilt, sound and motion activated recording, and the ability to play your own music in addition to preprogrammed lullabies. The Nest cam baby monitors (especially the iBaby M6S Wi-Fi) are the best smart baby monitor we've tested.
Note that a smartphone app eliminates the need for a dedicated receiver (any LCD device compatible with the internet can be used as the monitor). With the use of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology, parents away from home can chat with their baby sitter or children. Parents should remember that monitors like cell phones and other internet devices are susceptible to the same communication outages (security problem). The Nest baby monitors remain one of the best Wi-Fi options in the market.
Remember Baby’s Safety
Parents should look for wireless cameras since the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has documented the strangulation of infants and toddlers by baby monitor cords. Baby monitors are notorious energy hogs; many models deplete battery power after only a few hours of use. Also worthy to note is that the actual signal range may vary, usually due to differences in wall materials and thickness.
Nest Cam Review: Company Overview
The Nest Cam Company, owned and operated by Google, was created in 2010 in California, USA. In 2011, they created and released their first product, the Nest Thermostat prototype, and in 2012, they released the first software and app to control the thermostat. Shortly after the thermostat, Nest creates and released the smoke and CO2 detectors that integrate with their software and app for more home protection. In 2015, Nest released the Nest Cam baby monitor and most recently, the Outdoor Nest Cam for additional protection and surveillance of the house. Over the years, the company has grown and now has two branches in California where they continue to create and innovate.
Nest Cam Review: Nest Cam Baby Monitors Review
If you’re sharing your smart home with a baby, then you should be researching the best baby monitor solutions. Many parents wonder if they can use the popular Nest Cam as a baby monitor. For this reason, we have taken time to look at the features and limitations with using it as a baby monitor in our full Nest Cam baby monitor review.
The nest baby monitor is a wireless (with Wi-Fi camera) video baby monitor that route signals over the internet. With the aid of the internet and the Nest apps and software, parents can monitor the activities of the babies from anywhere and when they have internet connection. The camera is easy to install and operate likewise the app and software.
Safety Precaution: The Nest Company like all other baby monitor manufacturers laid emphases on the importance of keeping all cameras and cords at least three feet away from baby’s crib. This is not only to prevent strangulation and electrocution by the cord, but three feet (1 meter) optimizes the camera’s picture quality. Note that all Nest Cam baby monitors systems are capable of supporting up to four cameras simultaneously.
The common and unifying quality among all the Nest baby monitors is the internet capability. Other features they share in common include hardware, wall mounting kits, security clips for securing the power cord to furniture or walls and AC adapter cords. Some standard features on Nest cam baby monitors include a kick stand recharge base, a 3.5 inch color touch screen, remote brightness, a belt clip for portability, a video on/off button, and motion tracking and volume controls.
The camera features include:
- infrared LEDs for night vision
- a multi-directional/multi-positional microphone that is capable of filtering out ambient noise and focuses on baby’s voice
- two-way Talk back communication
- five-level sound lights
- temperature sensor
- internet status lights
- split screen
- the taking of video or snapshots of babies to be stored on a smartphone or tablet
- pan/scan/multi-level zoom
- Multi camera system: capable of adding up to ten (10) cameras simultaneously
Baby Nest monitor supports multi-platform computer architecture for Android, iPhone, iTouch, and iPad with Wi-Fi apps available from iOS and Google Play.
The Nest Cam Baby Monitor is rated among the top video baby monitors for several reasons:
Ease of Use
The Nest cam is easy to set up, even if it is a manual connection to get it running with your device. You can simply download the app and follow the online instructions or plug it into your computer and follow the prompts. While these monitors are not as simple as a dedicated monitor with the plug and play setup, it is still fairly intuitive and simple.
This is one of the easiest Wi-Fi monitor to use with zoom, and pan (though it’s not remotely controlled). It doesn't offer many on screen features and most can be found in the onscreen menus. Its mic button is easily seen, and the other settings are just a few clicks away.
This monitor has about a second delay between what is happening in the room and what you see. This is less than the other Wi-Fi options but also make it not good as a dedicated baby monitor. It does offer an audible alert when monitoring. The app for this camera does not continue monitoring if you are using the device for something else.
Audio / Visual Quality
The sound from the Nest Cam baby monitors does not offer the best clarity. It has adjustable sound sensitivity, but this doesn’t make it any better and no matter how you set it, it’s impossible to turn off the white noise in the background. This is the drawback that makes listening to your baby pretty annoying.
While the image quality is impacted by the camera quality, the images you see also depend on the device you use for viewing.
The Nest Cam baby monitors’ daytime images are really good with nice color. The zoom feature is easy to use and brings you closer to the action.
Night images for the Nest Cam are better and the quality of the images is pretty incredible with more "light" and brightness than seen in the daytime images.
The Nest camera works best in areas where there is an internet connection. Both the Nest camera and the parent device will need internet connection of some kind in order to monitor baby.
This camera can be a connected via Ethernet cable or via Wi-Fi depending on preference. Nest Cam can be viewed via a smartphone, tablet or computer with a data plan. Wi-Fi or wireless monitors can be a good option for larger homes where a dedicated monitor may not work.
The Nest camera is plugs in and will not work with batteries. Your parent device battery life depends on what device you use, and the other activities you are doing with the same device.
The Nest Cam only works if you leave it on or open, but the battery life still depends on what you are doing with the device. Taking a phone call, switching between applications, or doing some other activity while running the Nest Cam monitor app will all decrease battery life and interrupt monitoring.
Nest Came Review: Features
The Nest Cam baby monitors have a number of built-in features that have led many to use this camera for monitoring their baby. Some of the features also have some drawbacks for those using Nest as a baby monitor.
This camera can be used in conjunction with 10 additional cameras, with unlimited homes connected to one account. This is the most loved feature for caregivers and parent who have multiple babies to monitor.
Unlike the iBaby M6S Wi-Fi that has features specific for baby monitors, the Nest camera is designed as a security surveillance camera and does not specifically designed baby monitoring features. However, it does have some vital features parents mostly loved such as:
- Two-way talk
- Sound activation
- Movement detection
- 8X digital zoom
- Night vision
Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Levels
The Nest Cam camera has an EMF reading of about 0.92 with the reader 6ft from the camera. On average, the EMF readings decreased as one moved the reader further from the camera. Note that whatever device you choose, EMF exposure decreases as you move further away.
After looking at the various security issues of each Wi-Fi enabled monitor, the Nest Cam, like its predecessor the Dropcam, remains the safest and least likely to be accessed or affected by outside hackers. While there is nothing as completely safe, other than not using a video monitor in the first place, the baby nest has what it takes to make most parents feel safe and secure.
Nest does advise that parents keep their app up to date and avoid entering their username or passwords anywhere other than a Nest site or app.
Live Video Feed
Checking in any time day or night and having an instant update on your baby is a huge plus. The Nest Cam baby monitors consist of:
- 24/7 functionality
- Night vision
- 1080p HD video quality
- 130° wide angle view to catch more action
The wall mounting plate allows you to safely mount the camera on the wall for better view of the baby’s crib. Mounting the baby nest at a high angle where it can look down on your baby’s crib is a great space-saving solution. And also, it keeps the camera out of arm’s reach from curious hands.
Accessible by Multiple Devices
If you have family or close friends that miss out on everyday moments with your little one, then the Nest cam baby monitor may be a great solution. The camera is accessible by multiple devices, such as cell phones, tablets and computers. This is also a nice solution for parents who are out-of-town or wants to check in on their baby with the nanny during a long day at the office.
With the Nest Cam baby monitor, receive instant notifications for motion or sound detection. In order to expand this functionality with the Nest Aware subscription, this allows you the ability to distinguish a person, reducing your false alarms for pets, and Roombas. Nest Aware also allows you to add activity zones, to identify which areas to monitor and which to avoid.
Talk and Listen
The Nest baby monitor’s two-way audio is of big benefit for parents using the Nest Cam as a baby monitor. It allows you to talk and comfort your bundle of joy. Often, babies just need their parent voice to go to bed, thus, the baby Nest is perfect for this role. The talk and listen functionality provide soothing reassurance through the Nest Cam baby monitor’s built-in microphone and speaker.
Below are some guidelines and tips that help keep your camera safe from hackers:
- Update any firmware from your camera (if applicable)
- Don’t use the default password and username
- Choose a password at least 8-10 characters and use a combination of lower/upper case letters, special character and numbers
- Change password regularly
- Limit what the camera can see
- Unplug the camera when not in use
Nest Cam Review: iBaby M6S Wi-Fi Monitor
- Music selection allows you play a lullaby
- Connects to a wireless WiFi network and syncs to your phone
- Two way talkback features
- Video and photo taking and sharing capabilities
Nest Cam Review: Design and Features
The iBaby M6S monitor presents a unique aesthetic with a shape like a tilting snowman. The camera comes in a white plastic round enclosure that juts out from the top right side of a larger 4.2-inch round base and held in place by magnetic connectors. The smaller enclosure has a motor that offers 100 degrees of tilt range, and the base contains a motor that rotates the top half 355 degrees for full-room panning. In order to pan and tilt, simply swipe the screen of your mobile device. There's a USB connector (used for installation) at the bottom and a power jack located at the rear of the base.
The video quality on the iBaby is excellent. The M6S delivers 1080p video and uses nine IR LEDs to provide black-and-white night video. It’s a wi-fi wireless monitor that operates on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band of your home network. It has a built-in microphone and speakers that let you hear your baby when he/she cries and soothe it with the sound of your own voice.
The M6S monitor will play the 10 preprogrammed lullabies, but it also lets you play musics from your phone's music library, something those other monitors lack. Some additional features include audio, motion, humidity, and temperature sensors. The camera is capable of recording 15-second video clips or takes a snapshot when motion or sound is detected and store it in the cloud for free. You are able to download or delete clips or share them via Facebook and Twitter from within the app.
The iBaby monitor app lets you view video and control the camera from your Android or iOS mobile device, but cannot access the camera through the web. The app opens to a live feed with temperature, humidity, and Wi-Fi signal strength displayed along the top of the video feed. Above that are a button that takes you to the media gallery where you can access recorded video and still photos, the name of the camera, and a button that takes you to a settings menu. The settings menu has options for enabling motion and sound alerts and setting their sensitivity, adding new cameras, enabling notifications, and selecting one of seven alert tones. Other settings allow you to invite an unlimited number of users with the possibility of only four users to access the camera at one time, put the camera into sleep mode, change the password, and choose a video resolution.
Below the live feed lies buttons for manually which allows you to take snapshots and recording video, a listen button that lets you hear what's going on in your baby's room, a Speak button that lets you talk to your infant, and a Play button for playing a lullaby or any song from your music library.
Nest Cam Review: Installation and Performance
Installing the iBaby M6S monitor is very simple. You just have to download the mobile app, create user account, plug in the power adapter, and connect it to your mobile device through the USB port on the base. Make sure your device is connected to the network and radio band that you want the camera to connect to, open the app, tap Add A Device button, and select the M6 from the menu. Tap Allow when the app asks you to allow Wi-Fi sharing. Within 30 seconds the camera will connect to your Wi-Fi. Disconnect the USB cable and you're ready to go.
The iBaby MS6 monitor has an outstanding performance. Its daytime videos appear highly detailed with bright colors and no barrel distortion, and a black-and-white infrared night video having excellent contrast and crisp image that detail out to around 20 feet.
The Nest camera's pan and tilt features are very responsive, with virtually silent motors. The Speak and Listen features provides clear sounds on both ends, temperature and humidity readings matched are also accurate and the motion and sound sensors also work wonderfully, triggering a recording with each event and sending a push notification. Moreover, recorded video looks in every bit as the live stream.
Listen and Talk Features
The two way talkback feature is something to recommend. It allows parents to listen to the baby slightest sound and also provide parents the ability to talk-back to their baby and comfort them.
The iBaby monitor provides you with the capability to listen to your choice music from your phone. There are a lot of lullabies (10 in number) provided and you can download more if you want. This can be a great way to get your baby back to sleep.
Photo and Video Taking Abilities
It also allows you the capability to take photos and videos of your baby from the app. Also, you can take snapshots and short videos to share with friends and relatives.
Air Quality Sensor
The air quality sensor is something to watch out for. It’s an excellent sensor that will make you feel comfortable and relaxed about the room your baby spends most of his time in. This was just another reassurance that helped me calm down.
Temperature and Humidity Read Outs
The temperature and humidity readout are the other added features that goes a long way to increase your confidence of the start of the room. Having a good knowledge of the humidity and temperature of the room where your baby spend most of his days is vital to their growth and activities.
Privacy and Security Settings
The Nest iBaby M6S baby monitor camera sends signals over the internet where it is picked up by the corresponding apps or software on your device of choice. This app or software allows you to create a user account with a specific user name and password. This allows only people you decide to share your account information with to access your account or monitor your baby. This way, you are sure of the security and privacy it offers you.
Easy Set Up
This Nest baby monitor has a simple and straight forward installation procedure. The installation instructions that come with the iBaby are short and sweet and enable you to set up your monitor in just a few steps. The box also boasts you can install it in under 1 minute.
All you have to do is plug it in, download the app, and let it sync. And your monitor is set to use. If you have an ultra-lightning-fast internet, you can accomplish the whole installation in just a minute.
Getting the Best out of Nest Cam’s activity alerts
Nest Cam baby monitors have advanced activity detection that can help parents keep an eye on baby without being distracted by background activity. The baby nest allows you to do a lot of things to make your alerts work better. Understanding how the Nest Cam baby monitor works can help you set up better alerts for sound and motion.
Below are some tips which will help you achieved the most out of the activity alerts.
Expect Intelligent Alerts not Constant Notifications
Nest baby monitor is designed to alert you when it detects activity. But what you don’t want is being bombarded by notifications when there’s a lot of activity over a short period of time. With your baby nest camera, you are able to set the activity feature to only send a notification when it senses important or specific activities. In order to achieve this, Nest uses advanced algorithms that have been study and improve over time. Nest Cam may notify you the first time it detects an activity, but it won't generates additional notifications as the activity continues.
If you’re not receiving notification when there’s activity, make sure you didn’t receive an alert recently.
With an optional Nest Award subscription, your video history timeline are marked with all events. This allows you to easily view or review everything your camera picked up, even when you didn’t receive an alert.
To learn more about setting up or troubleshooting alerts, continue reading below:
Place the Nest Camera close to the activity you want to monitor
The Nest Cam baby monitor determines when something is moving, based on how an image changes over a short amount of time. If you placed your camera further away from the activity you wish to monitor, you might not get any alert. Try to find a place where your camera is out of the way but still close enough to properly detect activity.
Turn off sound detection as appropriate
Nest baby monitor is able to figure out the difference between baby sound and steady background noise. Even so, if there is a lot of irregular noise in the area, you may get bombarded with a lot of notifications. Nest Cam picks up noise from all around, and not just from things in the camera’s view.
You might get more alerts if you have a Nest Camera installed in a spot where there are a lot of activities such as dogs barking, birds chirping, cars, and pedestrians passing by.
If you’re being bombarded with too many notifications, you can adjust the microphone's sensitivity thus;
- Open the Nest app on your phone or tablet. On a computer, go to Nest home.
- Select the camera you want to adjust.
- Tap the Settings icon in the upper right
- Under LIGHTS & SOUND, tap Sound.
- Tap microphone sensitivity, and adjust the slider.
Or, you can turn off the sound altogether, while still getting alerts about motion.
Check the lighting
Having the Nest camera in a well-lit area helps it to detect activities even when night vision is not activated. If the pictures it captured are too dark, has too much glare, or too washed out, the Nest Cam may not notice the changes in the picture that it should. To avoid this, always make sure you On the Night Vision setting, if Nest Cam will be used to keep an eye on a dark spot.
Subscribe to Nest Aware for Better Intelligent Alerts
Nest Cam by itself is able to filter out a lot of irrelevant activity. But it can only do that much on its own. The optional Nest Award subscription service when activated, add extra computing power to your camera. The cloud servers is then empowered to run advanced algorithms which enables your camera do an even better job of figuring out whether or not an activity should trigger an alert. For instance, zone alerts can notify you when there’s activity in a particular area of your camera’s view, and person alerts let you know when your camera captured someone.
Set up alerts for Activity Zones
With a Nest Award subscription, you are able to set your Nest Cam to only send alerts for specific Activity Zones in your camera’s view. While your camera continues to stream and record the whole view, you can choose and set it not to generate any notification or alert about motion outside the zones. For instance, you could set up a zone around your baby crib, and get an alert if anyone tries to get closer to your baby.
Test your camera’s activity alerts
If you’re not getting alerts, you may want to verify your settings for notifications and then test your camera’s motion detection thus:
First, set up alerts to enable your test to trigger an alert.
- Verify that you haven’t received an activity alert recently. If you have, you can turn off the camera and wait a few minutes before going about testing.
- Make sure that alerts are supposed to appear on your screen when your camera detects activity
- When: Make sure your camera generate and send alerts when someone is home (“When no one’s home” is turned off).
- How: Depending on how you want to test alerts, select Phone and tablet or Email.
- About: If you subscribe to Nest Aware, select the Activity Zones you will be testing otherwise, select Motion.
For tablets and phones, make sure notifications from the Nest app are not blocked.
Then, give the Nest camera some activity to detect.
- You may walk in front of the camera. If you’re testing sound, make some noise or walk to the specific area, if you’re testing an Activity Zone.
- Move out of the camera’s view.
- With respect to your device setting, check your tablet or phone, or your email, for an activity alert.
- If you’re using a Nest Aware subscription, look at your video history timeline at Nest home to see if there’s a new activity marker.
- If you’re being notified of the activity (and for Nest Aware subscribers, if your video history timeline is marked as expected), then you can be rest assure that your alerts are/is working.
If at this point you’re still not able to get consistent alerts, we advise you to contact Nest support team. They’re always happy to help. If you have a Nest Aware subscription, you may save a clip of the activity that didn’t send you an alert and share it with the Nest support team for further assistance.
Nest Cam Review: Who needs a Nest Cam Baby Monitor?
The Nest baby monitors are mainly for parents…
- That might want multiple video units and cameras.
- That wants a highly-adjustable monitor.
- Parents with easy access to the internet
- That wants a night-vision video monitor that works well even in pitch blackness.
- That needs the best video baby monitor on the market.
- Who work far off from home
Nest Cam Review: Why Purchase a Nest Baby Monitor?
Nest cam baby monitors conveniently provide assurance to parents and caregivers about the well-being and safety of their infants and children. The Nest latest technology offers unsurpassed flexibility and mobility in keeping parents connected to their children, regardless of distance. These monitors give baby an extra level of security while providing parents more leisure time. Most caregivers find them to be indispensable tools for their busy and demanding lifestyles.
Nest Cam Review: Key Benefits of Video Baby Monitor
A video baby monitor is one of the most important pieces of equipment that new parents can own. The convenience, security, peace of mind and privacy that monitors provide is unparalleled by any other modern electronic and parenting tool. The basic audio monitors are great but lack the additional information and advanced functionality that comes with video monitors.
See if the Child is Standing or Lying
Being able to determine the posture of your child at any given instance is very important. If your baby is awake and unable to sleep, for example, you will probably want to go and check up on the baby, and put him to sleep.
Sleep training generally requires that the baby has some opportunity to self-soothe before a parent intervenes, and the visual information video baby monitor is crucial for parents trying to make that determination. This technique helps parents sleep train their babies, but with an audio monitor, you won’t be able to tell if the baby is standing or lying down.
While the baby may be awake, if he is still lying down, there is a greater chance that they will be able to easily fall back to sleep. However, if they are sitting or standing, you may want to go check up on them and put them to sleep.
Save your Sleep Time
More information assures parents when and when not to enter the baby’s room which also helps parents gain time to sleep. All parents can agree that sleep is an invaluable commodity and every minute counts. Most parents with babies will agree that sleep becomes an invaluable commodity, and a baby video monitor allows you to sleep peacefully.
Most of the times, your sleep is interrupted as you have to check up on your baby. Although it is natural for babies to wake up at night, most of the time, they just go right back to sleep.
A video monitor will help you avoid these false alarms and get more sleep. However, many minutes of sleep a video monitor helps parents to save are well worth the investment.
Accurate Sleep Tracking
Sometimes restless youngsters turn and toss without crying. Thus an audio monitor may or may not pick up the sound of a baby turning or rolling and it may be difficult to differentiate between these sounds and other background sounds. The video monitor gives you the exact behavior of the child, whenever he is crying or not. This is an essential sleep tracking feature which helps to determine exactly how much sleep a child is really getting. This is something you can never achieve with an audio monitor which can never differentiate when the baby is awake and not crying and when he is asleep.
Babies aged 1 - 3 three years should on average sleep for twelve to fourteen hours (or even more in some cases) every day. Video baby monitors provide parents with accurate sleep tracking so that they can estimate their baby's total sleep time.
Some modern video baby monitors also possess a motion sensor that will alert you when the baby moves, even if the movement is silent.
Cloud Services and Sharing
Higher-end baby video monitors connect to a user's home internet network to transmit the feed through a wireless Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi modem typically network with external cloud services that give users the capability to log in and view the feed via any internet connection, anywhere on the globe. In conjunction with convenient smartphone technology, parents are able to easily check on their sleeping child from work, when out for dinner, or out of town.
Parents can also have the ability to share their private online streaming account log-in information with other friends and family if they want.
The biggest advantage of having a video baby monitor is the security and privacy of your baby, both outside and inside the crib. Babies usually pull up to standing position, then fall and bump their heads. With a baby video monitor you may be able to either prevent these little injuries or at least be aware of them as they are the most common causes of crying. Bigger children usually get out of bed at night to which a video monitor alerts parents.
A baby video monitor is also a perfect “nanny cam", for parents to ensure that their kids are getting the level of care they desire. And of course, baby video monitors are just as effective as security cameraswhen positioned with this benefit in mind.
Monitor Your Baby’s Health
Having a 24/7 surveillance of your baby will help you monitor their health more efficiently. This is particularly useful for parents who don’t stay-at-home. At the end of the day, they can review the monitor, watch the baby's actions throughout the day and look for any of health issue or signs of trouble.
Connect to Multiple Cameras
If you are someone who take care of multiple babies, having a video baby monitoring device that is connected to many cameras at a time can be very useful. This is especially important if the babies are in separate rooms.
Nest Cam Review: Conclusions
The Nest cam baby monitors especially the iBaby Monitor MS6 isn't cheap. What is important is that you get a lot for your money. It's simple to install, delivers outstanding video, sound, temperature, and humidity detectors, has built-in motion, offers speedy mechanical pan and tilt maneuverability. It is also capable of recording video when your baby cries or moves and stored it in the cloud. You can play lullabies from within the app, but the M6S allows you the ability to play songs stored in your mobile device's music library as well. The Nest baby monitors don’t allow you monitor your child from a PC via the web, but this doesn't prevent it from being rank among the best wireless monitor for smart baby monitors.