Are Google’s New Nest Aware Plans Worth The Extra Cost?

The Google-owned home security company Nest updated its Nest Aware service with an all-new pricing model and some new features.

The new Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus subscriptions are available to all users as long as they’ve migrated their Nest account over to a Google account. However, anyone on the previous Nest Aware plans can continue to use those plans for now if they want—which may be a blessing, since the new Nest Aware packages are quite a bit different.

Nest Aware’s new prices

Nest Aware will now cost just $9 a month, while the new Nest Aware Plus will be $18 per month. That’s a pretty big change from the old pricing model, which offered three different pricing tiers based on how many days of recorded footage you wanted to access:

  • $9 per month per camera for the last 5 days of footage

  • $16 per month per camera for the last 10 days

  • $47 per month per camera for the last 30 days

The new plans, however, drop that pricing model for a flat monthly fee that applies to all devices in your setup—meaning you don’t have to pay on a per-camera basis anymore. This streamlined pricing comes with a tradeoff, though.

New features, but limited recording

The New Aware plans make some pretty big changes to the service’s feature list. First, here’s what’s not changing: Nest Aware remains an optional and contract-free service that adds extra features like facial recognition, activity zones, and the ability to review select cloud video recordings. The service supports the same Nest devices as before—all Nest security cameras, Nest Hello, and Nest IQ—but that’s about the extent of the similarities.

The new Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus plans add two new features:

  • Audio detection and smoke alarm alerts.

  • Automatic calls to law enforcement on behalf of subscribers.

Those are definite upgrades, but the new plans make some big changes to how your cameras record footage and how much of it you can actually access.

The old Nest Aware plans included 24/7 continuous recording for all users, but that feature is now locked behind the $18 Nest Aware Plus tier, while the basic $9 Nest Aware plan will only record footage when something is detected by your cameras.

These “event-based” clips are available for up to 30 days. Nest Aware Plus users get “Event-based” clips that are available for up to 60 days, plus 24/7 continuous recording and access to up to 10 days of footage. That’s still a pretty big reduction for some users who might have needed 30 days of history (for any reason).

Which Nest plans should you use?

If you have one Nest camera and don’t have huge security needs, but would like to see if someone has swiped a package off your porch, Nest’s new $9 plan isn’t so bad. It’s only $2 more than the older plan, which we’d recommend you stick with if you really need to review a 24/7 feed—for only five days, admittedly.

Beyond that, if you have multiple cameras, Nest’s $18 Aware Plus makes the most sense, financially. You’ll lose 20 days worth of 24/7 footage you can access, which is a bummer, but most people probably don’t need to archive that much footage. If something happened that requires you to review a security camera, odds are good you’ll know about it within a week’s time or so.


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