What is Nest Aware, and is it worth the cost?

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Google's Nest Cams and Doorbells are smart home devices that you may be interested in. If so, you may have heard about Nest Aware, a monthly membership program you can sign up for to enhance the features of these devices. What do you gain from a Nest Aware subscription, and is the ongoing cost justified?

What is Nest Aware?

What is Nest Aware, and is it worth the cost ?

A Nest Aware subscription's main perk is a longer recording archive. A "event" is a brief clip that is triggered by sound or motion, and Nest cameras by default only record three hours of event data. That's adequate if you're awake and close to your phone, but not if the incident occurred overnight or while you were traveling.

Event history is extended to 30 days with the regular Aware membership. If you want to see more footage, Google offers an upgrade option called Nest Aware Plus that extends this period to 60 days and adds 10 days of continuous video history. Just be aware that not all Nest cameras offer continuous recording, with battery-powered cameras being the main exception.

The primary benefit of a Nest Aware subscription is extended recording history.

The second greatest advantage is the ability to recognize faces. Aware subscribers can train their cameras to recognize certain friends and family members, even though the most recent Nest Cams and the Nest Doorbell Battery can discern between people, parcels, animals, and cars using onboard AI and send out the relevant messages. You will be informed if, for example, Roger, Lakesha, or Stephanie are at the door rather than receiving a notification that a "person" is there.

A lesser-known feature of Aware is that it allows sound detection of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by any Google smart speaker or display in the US, not just connected Nest Cams. Alerts can also be sent out by speakers and displays when they hear glass breaking.

If you're okay with that, the Nest Hub Max can function as its own camera under Aware. This covers warnings when a person is observed, whether they are known to you or not.

Last but not least, Aware makes it simpler for US consumers to contact a nearby 911 call center. Most people won't care about this because they can always call 911 on their own, but if you're out of town, it might be useful because Google's "e911" technology connects you to the 911 dispatch that is nearest to your home rather than the one where you are now situated.

How much does Nest Aware cost?

Assuming you wish to be a long-term subscriber, Nest Aware's regular US version costs $6 per month or $60 per year, saving you $12 annually. Any number of additional Aware-compatible devices in your home are covered by any price. This is different from many other smart security plans, which increase their prices as you add more cameras.

Prices increase to $12 per month or $120 per year when choosing Nest Aware Plus. Even when several devices are continuously recording, the unlimited camera support continues.

Is there a free Nest Aware trial?

Yes. A 30-day trial will be made available to you after you set up a new Nest household or upgrade from the outdated first version of Aware. In addition to these limitations, it's important to note that trials are only available in locations where Aware is marketed.

How to sign up for Nest Aware

You can sign up for Nest Aware or Aware Plus via the Google Store, or via the Google Home app on Android devices. In the second scenario, tap the Settings (gear icon) button, then under Features, select Nest Aware.

The following regions have access to Aware:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States (except Puerto Rico)

As mentioned previously, emergency calling and sound detection on Google Nest speakers and displays is US-only. Familiar face detection doesn’t work with Nest cameras or doorbells in Illinois.

How to manage your Nest Aware subscription

The most popular approach is going to store.google.com/subscriptions and using your Google account to sign in. There, you can choose to switch from Aware to Aware Plus, modify your payment methods, or end a membership (and vice versa). To access some options, you might need to look through menus.

You must manage Aware through the Google Play Store if you subscribed through the Google Home app. Visit Payments & subscriptions under your profile icon once you've logged on to the website, then click Manage next to Aware in the Subscriptions page.

In general, until you cancel, any Aware membership will continue to automatically renew (and cost you). The 30-day free trial is an exception, which requires you to choose to continue with payments. Aware will continue to function after your cancellation, whether it be for a month or a year, until the end of your current billing term.

Should you pay for Nest Aware?

Maybe, but there are two requirements that must be met. The first is the requirement for all-encompassing home security. If you often work from home and live in a secure area, you could get by with Google's three hours of free event recording or even the free event recording offered by some camera manufacturers. If all you're doing is watching your child or looking for deliveries, being aware doesn't make much sense.

The event recording and facial recognition features of Aware could be quite helpful if you frequently leave the house or if there is a major threat of crime. Although it's always preferable to catch intruders in the act, if you have video evidence, there is at least a chance of filing a police report or getting your property back.

A dedication to the Google ecosystem—not just for cameras, but for the full smart home platform—is the second requirement. You'll automatically get more out of Alexa-compatible cameras if you use an Amazon Echo Show as your smart display. Similarly, it makes no sense to add Google models to a system that already includes cameras from Wyze or Arlo, let alone pay extra for Aware, which is only available with Nest gear.

Aware is appropriate if you actually require around-the-clock security and are willing to stick with Google solely.

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