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How to install Nest Cam Cameras

by | Jun 22, 2017

Nest Cam

I did it. I gave in to the ever present paranoia and installed a couple of Nest Cam security cameras in my home. While Next Step has experience installing Nest Thermostats, I hadn’t played with the Nest Cam, so I must admit I was a little apprehensive taking a run at this new technology. I need not have worried. The installation and configuration of the Nest Cam’s could not have been easier!

Indoor Nest Cam Camera Installation

The indoor camera was first up. The installation was as simple as taking it out of the box, Peeling the protective plastic off of the lens, placing the camera, and plugging it into the wall. Yep, that’s it. Easy-Peasy! If you don’t want to locate the camera on top of a piece of furniture, Nest includes an extremely nice mounting bracket and hardware. It is a simple matter of screwing the bracket into the wall and snapping the magnetic base of the camera into it.

Nest Cam Indoor Cam

I did put a little thought into where to locate the camera. After a bit of looking around, I chose a spot on top of a curio cabinet that has a clear view of the front door and has a convenient electrical outlet located nearby. An added bonus of this location is that the camera also picks up a good portion of my office. No one will be walking into my house or mucking about my desk without getting recorded!

Configuration

Once the camera is physically installed, all you need to do is go to the iPhone App Store or Google Play Store, download the Nest app to your phone, and set up an account. If you already have a Nest account for a thermostat, or other Nest device, you can simply add the camera to your existing account. Once the Nest app is downloaded, simply open the app, tap the little gear icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen and tap Add Product. Then, follow the in-app instructions to add the camera. Boom, done!

The default setting for the camera is to turn on when you leave the house and turn off when you return home.

To set up Home / Away settings, use the App on your phone. Tap the video feed from your camera and then tap the little gear icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Tap Home/Away Assist, then tap the slider button. The default setting for the camera is to turn on when you leave the house and turn off when you return home. The app keeps tabs on your location using the built in location settings of your phone. This is the setting I chose for my front room camera. Otherwise, your phone will blow up with alerts when you are home walking around.

While we are here in the settings, skip down to Notifications. This is where you can set up when and how to get alerts for activity your camera detects. I have mine set to alert me when the camera detects activity, but only when I’m not home. One amusing note, my front room camera can see the television in the room. I ran out to grab something to eat one night and left the TV on. My Nest cam app blew my phone up because it saw someone in my front room. What it saw was my TV. I’m not sure if this is a testament to the resolution of my television or of the accuracy of the Nest app, either way it’s good to know that the software works!

Other features of the app include the ability to schedule times when the camera is on and off, configuring the account to share the camera images with others, the ability to turn the status light off, turn the microphone off, adjust the microphones sensitivity, change the image quality, and rotate the image.

Outdoor Nest Cam Camera

The outdoor camera set up requires a little more work. It is still something that the average do-it-yourselfer can easily accomplish with common hand tools.

Like the indoor camera, locating the outdoor camera is the first thing you need to think about. I decided on a location above and to the side of my front door. This location would give me a perfect view of the front porch, the walk up to the porch, the sidewalk in front of my house and both of my vehicles where they are normally parked. Perfect!

Nest Cam Outdoor

Outdoor Camera Installation

The installation starts with mounting the bracket base to the wall. I pre-drilled all of the holes to make sure there was no issue with splitting the wood molding. Once the base bracket was mounted, the magnetic base simply snaps into it.

Peel the protective covering off the lens, then the convex back of the camera, magnetically, snaps into the concave side of the base. The beauty of this mounting is that the camera is remarkably easy to adjust. You just aim it where you want it, period. There are no screws or knobs to loosen or tighten, the camera just moves to where you want to aim it and stays there. Very cool!

Nest Cam Aiming

The next thing to consider is where to run the cable. Like the indoor cam, the outdoor cam needs power. If you have an outdoor electrical outlet, and it is convenient to where you want to mount the camera, simply run the cables to the outlet and plug it in. In my case, I needed to run the cable inside but I didn’t want to drill a hole through the wall to do so. By mounting the camera where I did, there was plenty of cable available to run down the door frame and into the house using the gap under the front door (I really need to look into better weather stripping!). Nest even supplies custom cable clips and screws for running the cable.

Once the cable was run into the house, I plugged it into the adapter and plugged the adapter into a power strip.

Nest Cam Outdoor
Nest Cam Cable Installation
Nest Cam Cable Installation

Outdoor Nest Cam Configuration

Just like the indoor cam, the outdoor cam needs to be added using the phone app. It was a simple as going into the app, tapping the gear icon in the upper right hand corner and tapping Add Product. Then, follow the in-app instructions to add your outdoor Nest Cam. Now go through the same steps as outlined above to configure your outdoor Nest Cam just the way you want it.

Conclusion

The peace of mind that comes with knowing my home is monitored was more than worth the investment in Nest Cam’s. I’m sure the reward will be equally satisfying for you. The only thing left to do is to play with aiming the camera, and mess with people by talking to them through the built-in microphone. It’s a lot of fun to freak your significant other out with a voice out of nowhere when they know you are out and about. Just be prepared for the consequences when you get back home! You will have to determine for yourself if the laugh is worth the night spent sleeping on the couch! Ask me how I know…


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About Brian Hill
Brian Hill is a home theater enthusiast who has an extensive background in sales. His interests include music & movies, F1 & NASCAR auto racing, hot rods (he has a '56 Nomad) and hockey — Go Sharks!
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