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Internet bandwidth and speed requirements for Nest cameras

Google Nest cameras and doorbells upload video to the cloud, which requires a portion of your internet bandwidth.

You can change your camera settings to use less bandwidth which can help if your connection isn’t fast enough. This can also help you stay under your monthly data cap if your internet service plan has one. If you have a battery-powered camera or doorbell, this can also help it save battery.

Important: Check with your internet service provider to learn about your plan’s upload and download speeds, and whether they meet the requirements below.

When your camera uses bandwidth to stream video

  • Your camera uses your home internet bandwidth to stream live video to the Nest service in the cloud.
  • If your camera records video with 24/7 video history or event video history, it streams live video and uses bandwidth whenever it is turned on. 
  • If it doesn’t have 24/7 or event video history, your camera only uploads video to the Nest service when someone’s watching live video. It also uses a small amount of bandwidth to upload snapshots of recent activity and send notifications.

Upload bandwidth used by cameras and doorbells

When you pick video quality and bandwidth settings, you set the maximum video quality for your camera. Your camera will automatically adjust video resolution and compression according to how much bandwidth is available. 

Select your camera or doorbell below to get a general idea of how much bandwidth it might use.

Nest Cam (battery)

Video quality setting

High video

Max video

Maximum upload bandwidth

700 Kbps (0.7 Mbps)

During recorded events: 2000 Kbps (2.0 Mbps)

1000 Kbps (1.0 Mbps)

During recorded events: about 3000 Kbps (3.0 Mbps)

Typical resolution1 up to

1920 x 1080

1920 x 1080

1 Your camera automatically adjusts video resolution based on available bandwidth and other factors.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor, Nest Cam IQ Outdoor 

Quality and bandwidth
setting

Low

Medium low

Medium high

High

Maximum upload
bandwidth

800 Kbps
(0.8 Mbps)

1320 Kbps
(1.3 Mbps)

2000 Kbps
(2.0 Mbps)

4000 Kbps
(4.0 Mbps)

Typical resolution¹ up to

720p

1080p

1080p

1080p

¹ Your camera will automatically adjust video resolution based on available bandwidth and other factors.

Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor, and Dropcam 

Quality and bandwidth
setting

Low

Medium

High²

Maximum upload
bandwidth

150 Kbps
(0.15 Mbps)

500 Kbps
(0.5 Mbps)

1200 Kbps
(1.2 Mbps)

Typical resolution¹ up to

360p

720p

1080p

¹ Your camera will automatically adjust video resolution based on available bandwidth and other factors.

² Not available for original Dropcam or Dropcam HD.

Nest doorbell (battery)

Video quality setting

High Video

Max Video

Maximum upload bandwidth

700 Kbps (0.7 Mbps)

During events: 2000 Kbps (2.0 Mbps)

1000 Kbps (1.0 Mbps)

During events: about 3000 Kbps (3.0 Mbps)

Typical resolutionup to

960 x 1280

960 x 1280

 1 Your camera automatically adjusts video resolution based on available bandwidth and other factors.

Nest doorbell (wired)

Quality and bandwidth
setting

Low

Medium

High

Maximum upload bandwidth

125 Kbps
(0.12 Mbps)

800 Kbps
(0.8 Mbps)

1300 Kbps
(1.25 Mbps)

Typical resolution¹ up to

512 x 384

1152 x 864

1600 x 1200

¹ Your camera will automatically adjust video bitrate based on available bandwidth where possible.

Reduce the amount of bandwidth your camera uses

If you’re running into bandwidth issues when your camera uploads video to the Nest service, you can lower its quality and bandwidth in its settings.

Download bandwidth used by Nest cameras 

In general, you only use download bandwidth when you watch video in the app over Wi-Fi. This typically requires the same amount of bandwidth it takes to upload the video. 

If you’re connected to a cellular network, the app compensates for the slower connection if you lower the quality of the video stream. This helps reduce disconnections, pauses, and stuttering.

Your camera also uses a small amount of bandwidth to download software updates and other information from the Nest service.

Note: Regardless of the connection on your phone, your camera will upload video to the Nest service based on your camera’s connection to the internet and the quality and bandwidth you set for your camera.

Total monthly data used by Nest cameras 

Some internet providers limit how much data you can use per month, or they charge an extra fee if you go over the limit. This is different from the upload and download bandwidth described in the sections above.

Check with your internet provider for details about your data plan, including any monthly data limitations. 

Your camera’s data usage can vary

The total amount of data used by your camera over a month depends on a few things:

How much activity your camera sees

If there’s a lot of motion in your camera’s view (people moving, cars passing by, leaves rustling) your camera will use more data than when everything’s relatively still and quiet.

How Nest cameras detect sound and motion

When your camera streams live video

Some Nest cameras stream video and use bandwidth whenever it’s turned on. 

However, newer Nest cameras and doorbells like the Nest Cam (wired), Nest Cam (battery), or Nest Doorbell (battery) only stream video when someone’s watching the live stream or when your camera is recording detected events, so its data consumption will probably be lower than the examples below.

The quality and bandwidth setting you choose

The higher the setting, the more data your camera uses.

Change your camera’s video quality

Because these three factors can vary, here are some possible usage numbers on the high side to help you estimate how much monthly data you’ll need for each Nest camera in your home.

Nest Cam (battery)

Video quality setting

High Video

Max Video

Typical monthly data usage 

200 GB

300 GB

Note: monthly data usage for your doorbell may vary.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor, Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Quality and bandwidth setting

Low

Medium low

Medium high

High

Typical monthly data usage

100 GB

200 GB

300 GB

400 GB

Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor, and Dropcam

Quality and bandwidth setting

Low

Medium

High¹

Maximum monthly data usage

30 GB

120 GB

300 GB

¹ Not available for original Dropcam or Dropcam HD.

Nest doorbell (battery)

Quality and bandwidth setting

Optimized

Premium

Typical monthly data usage 

200 GB

300 GB

Note: monthly data usage for your doorbell may vary.

Nest doorbell (wired)

Quality and bandwidth setting

Low

Medium

High

Typical monthly data usage

50 GB

150 GB

300 GB

Reduce the amount of data your camera uses in a month 

If you need your camera to use less data over the course of a month, you can try a couple of things:

Note: It’s not recommended to stream camera video with a mobile hotspot.

Data usage affects other devices in your home

Common activities that can take up a lot of the available bandwidth of your home internet internet connection include:

  • Streaming HD movies
  • Video chatting
  • Online gaming
  • File sharing

If you watch camera video and it pauses or stutters, try to turn off other internet-connected devices and check if this frees up some bandwidth.

If you use an app or device that’s competing with your camera for bandwidth, you can schedule your camera to turn off when you’re more likely to use your bandwidth for other things.

Nest camera schedules

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