Baby Monitor vs Nest Camera

Many parents opt for a baby monitor when they have a newborn baby. It gives families reassurance that their baby is safe in their crib, moses basket or bassinet as you can monitor the audio and video feed coming from their room. One option that some parents have considered in recent years is using the Nest Cam as a baby monitor. It’s easy to use, quick to setup and it really functions as a wifi baby monitor. But is it a good option for you? Are there any limitations?

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In this article, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the Nest Cam and whether you should consider using one as a baby monitor.

What is a Nest Cam?

The Nest Cam is a security camera which can monitor things around your home. It consists of a camera and you monitor everything using your smartphone. You simply install the Nest App and you will receive notifications if the camera detects any movement or noise coming from a room. You can attach the Nest Cam to a wall, have it free standing on a table or desk, fix it to something metallic as it has a built-in magnet or you can use it with a tripod (which you’ll need to buy separately).

Does it work without wifi?

Unfortunately the Nest Cam won’t work without wifi. This might be an issue if you live in an area with a poor wifi connection, or if it frequently drops out.

How safe are they? Can the Nest Cam be hacked?

While most wifi accounts can be hacked if someone is determined enough, you can certainly make things safer by using the two-step authentication that comes with the Nest App. This makes it a lot tougher for someone to hack into your network. Also, make sure you have a unique password for your Nest account. All too often people get hacked because they reuse the same email address and password for multiple sites. If you follow these steps, you should be fine.

Pros and cons of the Nest Cam

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using a Nest Cam as a baby monitor.


  • Easy to set up and install

You just need to set up the camera in your baby’s room and install the Nest app on your phone. That’s it!

  • Great design

The Nest Cam has a very stylish design and doesn’t take up much space.

  • Infra red night vision and HD video

You can view a crisp image at night or during the day so you can see your baby clearly in their nursery.

  • High quality audio

The sound quality is very clear so you can easily filter out background noise.

  • 2 way audio

You can talk to your baby through the speaker in their room which can be useful if they’re a little unsettled.

  • Motion detection

You receive alerts when the camera detects motion using your smartphone’s push notifications.

  • Good price point

For a camera that offers such good quality images and audio, you definitely wouldn’t say it’s overpriced.

  • Huge range

As the Nest Cam uses wifi, you can access it via your smartphone anywhere where there is a wifi connection.


  • No background audio

If you’re not using the Nest App on your phone the audio shuts off, which means you won’t know if your baby is crying out for attention or needs you for something. This is big drawback with the Nest camera.

  • Needs a wifi connection

While some wifi baby monitors still operate if your wifi is down by using your mobile data on your phone, the Nest App needs access to your wifi at all times. This means if your wifi isn’t working properly, the Nest App won’t alert you if your baby is moving or making a noise. If you have unreliable wifi, using anything which relies on this for monitoring is very risky.

  • Slow loading to see live feed

The Nest App itself loads fairly quickly, but it takes a while for the camera to submit the image to your smartphone. This is far from ideal when you want to quickly know if your baby is ok and sleeping soundly in their room.

  • Security issues

One drawback with wifi baby monitors in general is that they are easier to hack compared to non-wifi options. As the Nest Cam operates over your wifi network, unfortunately there are some security risks with it. A strong wifi password along with a firewall can certainly make things trickier for someone to tap into your network, but it’s not totally safe.

  • Extra cost for recording video

If you want to record a video using the Nest Cam this isn’t free. You have to sign up to their monthly Nest Aware subscription so you can access the video history.

  • Lacks some other baby monitor features

Some baby monitors not only detect motion and sound, but they can also monitor your baby’s heart rate and temperature. If you want a comprehensive baby monitor which has all the features you need, you probably won’t want a Nest Cam.

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Is the Nest Cam worth it?

The Nest Cam is a very well made product. It’s easy to install the camera, it’s reliable and it’s quick to install the Nest App on your phone. Furthermore, the video quality is excellent, the night vision is super clear and you can hear your baby clearly. A Nest Cam is a very good product for security in your home.

Is Nest Cam good as a baby monitor?

That being said, although you can certainly use this as a baby monitor, and plenty of parents use the Nest Cam to check on their baby, there are a few pitfalls. Firstly, it was never designed to be a fully functioning baby monitor in the first place. You have to open the Nest App every time you want to see a notification, and if your smartphone screen is locked and you want to check on the live feed, you can’t see this instantaneously as it takes time for the camera to connect to your phone.

So it all depends on what you need from a baby monitor. A Nest Cam can do a reasonable job, which might be enough for you. Also, don’t forget you can always use it as a security camera for years to come once your baby has grown up. But if you want to feel reassured by a product which can fully check on your baby at all times, the Nest Cam might not be for you.

baby monitor vs nest cam

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