Now that most of us are spending all day at home, we’re consuming a ton more data, and while the tubes of internet haven’t burst yet, they’re definitely fuller than ever before. In an effort to get ahead of a potential disaster, some companies are taking measures to reduce the data burden of their services—including Google.
If your Google Nest videos suddenly look much worse than you’re used to, this is why—and here’s how to fix it.
You will likely soon receive a phone or email notification that Google is reducing your camera’s default recording quality. As a result, you should consume less bandwidth when you dial into your Nest camera(s) to see what’s going on—assuming you can see anything at all, depending on how much of a quality loss Google is planning to implement.
Before you freak out because you can no longer read a car licence plate from 60 feet away via your garage door’s Nest cam, know that this change is both temporary and easily reversible. While Google is defaulting your Nest camera to a lower-quality picture, it’s not forcing the issue.
To change your Nest camera back to high-quality video:
Pull up the Nest app
Tap the Settings icon in the upper-right corner (the gear)
Tap on your device
Tap “Quality and Bandwidth”
Jack that sucker up
Now, I think it’s worth stating the obvious: If you don’t need a high-quality video feed and can get by with whatever quality setting Google picks, then leave your settings alone. You’ll be doing your small part to reduce internet congestion—something we probably don’t need to worry a ton about right now, but might have to stare down at some point in the future.
If you really do need a higher quality feed, don’t feel bad about using it. You’re not wasting water or ignoring recycling or anything important like that. It’s just a little extra bandwidth. The world will be OK. And once we’re back at work and using less internet, Google will revert its change for everyone and return your camera to whatever higher quality setting it previously used.