Internet bandwidth and speed requirements for Nest cameras

  • Google Nest cameras and Google Nest Hello uploads video to the Nest service in the cloud using your internet bandwidth.
  • You can watch the footage on your phone, tablet, or computer. 
  • You can change your camera settings to use less bandwidth to upload video, which can help if your connection isn’t fast enough, and it also uses less of your monthly data allowance if you have one.

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

When your camera uses bandwidth to stream video

How often your camera uses internet bandwidth as described below depends on whether or not you have a Nest Aware subscription.

  • With Nest Aware: Whether your subscription has continuous video recording (CVR) or event-based recording (EBR), your camera streams video and uses bandwidth whenever it is turned on. 
  • Without Nest Aware: Your camera only uploads video to the Nest service when someone’s watching live footage on a phone, tablet, or computer. Otherwise, when your camera is on, it won’t upload video. However, it does use a small amount of bandwidth to upload snapshots of recent activity to Sightline and send notifications.

Upload bandwidth used by Nest cameras and Nest Hello 

Your camera uploads video to the Nest service in the cloud, using your home internet bandwidth.

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

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

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 Hello video doorbell 

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.

How to reduce the amount of bandwidth your camera uses

If you run into bandwidth issues when your camera uploads video to the Nest service, you can lower its quality and bandwidth setting.

Download bandwidth used by Nest cameras 

In general, you’ll only use download bandwidth when you’re watching video in the Nest app. Your camera also uses a small amount of bandwidth to download software updates and other information from the Nest service.

  • If you’re connected to Wi-Fi, watching video typically requires the same amount of bandwidth it takes to upload the video to the Nest service. Check the “Upload bandwidth” section above for examples.
  • If you’re connected to a cellular network, the Nest app automatically compensates for the slower connection by lowering the quality of the video it’s streaming from the Nest service in the cloud. This helps reduce disconnects, pauses, and stuttering over a slow connection.

Note: Regardless of the connection on your phone or tablet, your camera will always upload video to the Nest service at 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 overall 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 to learn the details of your data plan, including any limitations for total monthly data. 

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. 
  •  If you subscribe to Nest Aware. Nest Aware subscriptions with either CVR or EBR stream video and use bandwidth whenever your camera is turned on. If you don’t have Nest Aware, your camera will only stream video when someone’s watching, so its data consumption will probably be much lower than the examples for your product below.
  • The quality and bandwidth setting you choose will affect how much data your camera uses.

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

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

30GB

120GB

300GB

¹ Not available for original Dropcam or Dropcam HD.

Nest Hello video doorbell

 

Quality and bandwidth setting

Low

Medium

High

Typical monthly data usage

50GB

150GB

300GB

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. Learn how to change your camera’s video quality.

How your camera's data usage affects devices in your home 

Streaming HD movies, video chatting, online game playing and file sharing are common activities that can take up a lot of the available bandwidth in your home. Adding one or more cameras can cause even more competition for bandwidth. 

  • If you’re watching camera video on your phone, tablet, or computer a nd it’s pauses or stutters, try turning off other internet connected apps and devices to see if this frees up some bandwidth. 
  • If you’re using 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.

Learn more about scheduling your camera.

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