Our rentals are outfitted with smart home technology and they help us save time and money on utility expenses and give us peace of mind too. Another reason why we’re fans of home automation is that it makes it easier to keep an eye on our properties. We were already using Nest thermostats and so it seemed natural to use the Nest Cam Outdoor so we could manage all devices in one app.
Before We Used the Nest Cam Outdoor
At first managing the property without cameras was a bit challenging. We had to guess when guests arrived based on the Home/Away settings on the Nest thermostats. We also had to drive to the property often to check for packages or make sure our trash got picked up so we could roll the cart back inside. Once we got some bookings we were ready to re-invest the money into some security cameras.
DIY or Hire A Professional for Outdoor Camera Installation?
We ordered a two-pack Nest Cam Outdoor from Amazon. Originally we were going to install the cameras ourselves but we knew we would need to run the wire inside the house so that people can’t cut it. Also we didn’t have an electrical outlet near the front door that was easily accessible. After receiving multiple quotes, we decided to hire Casteel Heating Cooling Plumbing and Electrical to install a new indoor electrical outlet and set up the cameras for us.
Here are some features that we love
You can manage all your Nest devices in one easy-to-use app. Manage your notifications via email or text.
You can filter videos by Person, Motion or Custom Zones. Our property is located in downtown Atlanta and we get lots of foot and car traffic. It’s easiest for us to filter down by Person. We were getting tons of notifications on stray dogs, bugs, bees, birds and dust specs and so on.
We signed up for the Nest Aware subscription with 10-day video history. You can save up to three hours of clips online. Just download the clips to your computer to free up the space. Another neat feature is that you can create time lapse clips too.
Other cool features
- Press Talk from the app or desktop to speak to guests
- If there are no lights then the cameras uses Night Vision
- You can zoom in the video and get high-definition video
Benefits of Using Nest Cam Outdoor
Since using the Nest Cam Outdoor we’ve been able to see when our guests check in or check out. We always let them know in advance that there are cameras on the property. Also we can keep an eye when our trash can gets picks up and when the cart is left down the street. Obviously we also know when there’s a delivery and packages need to be brought inside. We like being able to see when contractors, cleaners, technicians come and go. Most importantly we know when there are lurkers and we can notify the police.
- Two Nest Cam Outdoor on Amazon – $339
- Install two Nest Cam Outdoor – $358
- Install indoor outlet – $251
- Nest Aware subscription with 10-day history for two cameras – $150/annually
- Total: $1,098
We Caught the Trash Can Bandits
We’re pretty obsessed with our trash can. A few months ago we couldn’t find our trash can and reviewed the video history to discover this happened at 1 a.m. We had to pay $70 to City of Atlanta to get our trash can replaced. This time we made sure the house number was painted on the trash can!
Thank you for reading! Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts on the Nest Cam Outdoor or if you use/recommend something else.
–Victor & Ann