Learn about outdoor Nest cameras before you buy

Google Nest Cam Outdoor and Google Nest IQ Outdoor both let you look outside your home, rain or shine. They have 24/7 live streaming and can send activity alerts to your phone, just like our indoor cameras. But there are some key differences between them.

Can you show me how to install the outdoor cameras? (Videos)

There are two different outdoor cameras, the Nest Cam Outdoor and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor. Select which video you'd like to watch below.

How to set up and install Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

How to set up and install Nest Cam Outdoor

Where can I buy outdoor Nest Cams?

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is available at nest.com and major retailers like Amazon, Home Depot and Best Buy. Visit the Google Store for the latest pricing and bundle options.

How is Nest Cam IQ Outdoor different from Nest Cam Outdoor?

Below is a brief list of key differences between the cameras and improvements made to Nest Cam IQ. For complete specifications, please see Technical specifications for Outdoor Nest cameras.

 

Nest Cam Outdoor

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

 

 

Design

Magnetic mount

Tamper-resistant mount with hex key lock

 

Power cable runs along outside of your home

Power cable can be hidden behind the mount for additional security

 

Plug-and-play installation: plugs into a standard outdoor power outlet

Secure installation: plugs into a standard indoor power outlet

 

 

Device

3-megapixel color sensor

8-megapixel (4k) color sensor

 

8x digital zoom and enhance

12x digital zoom and enhance

 

1080p HD video streaming

1080p HD video streaming with HDR

 

One microphone
Speaker
Talk and Listen

Three microphone array
15x more powerful speaker
HD Talk and Listen (full-duplex)

 

802.11a/b/g/n WiFi

802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
2x2 MIMO

 

Status light

Status light
Multicolor light ring

 

Operating temperature
-4° to 104°F (-20° to 40°C)

Operating temperature
-40 to 113°F (-40° to 45°C)

 

IP65 rating (weather resistance rating)

IP66 rating (weather resistance rating)

 

 

Included features

Activity alerts

Person alerts

 

 

Available with Google Nest Aware

Person alerts

Familiar face alerts

Are outdoor Nest Cams weatherproof and IP rated?

Both outdoor Nest Cams are designed for permanent outdoor use, and have been tested against typical environmental factors such as dust particles and precipitation.

  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is IP66 rated (protected from dust and high pressure water jets) and has an operational temperature range of -40 to 113°F (–40 to 45°C).
  • Nest Cam Outdoor is IP65 rated (protected from dust and low pressure water jets) and has an operational temperature range of -4° to 104° F (-20° to 40° C).

What is Supersight?

Supersight is a combination of camera hardware, software algorithms, and the Nest app. Nest Cam IQ’s 4k sensor delivers 12x digital zoom and enhance, along with High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging to help you see key details, even in outdoor environments with high contrast lighting.

With Supersight, Nest Cam IQ can also simultaneously show you both a wide view and close-up tracking view of who’s there.

Learn more about Supersight close-up tracking >

What are Familiar Face alerts and how to do they work?

Familiar Face Alerts are available on both Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and Indoor. These alerts use facial recognition technology to tell you when your family or friends arrive home. You’ll also know when an unfamiliar face is detected.

For Familiar Face Alerts to work well, it first needs to learn who belongs in your home and who doesn’t. The Nest app provides the user with facial images they can categorize. If the person is known, then the Nest service remembers that person by storing their face, and by default won’t send a notification when it sees that person again.

Stranger’s faces are discarded, and will continue to generate stranger alerts. When your camera spots a face it doesn’t recognize, or if it’s unsure, it will send an alert asking whether you know the person. Select yes or no to help your camera remember that face.

Note: Familiar face alerts require a Nest Aware subscription. Not available on Nest Cams used in Illinois.

Does Nest Cam IQ Outdoor stream 4k video?

No, Nest Cam IQ Outdoor streams video in 1080p Full HD. It uses its 4k sensor for advanced algorithms that let it detect a person up to 50 feet away. That’s more than twice the range of Nest Cam Outdoor. The 4k sensor will also let us offer even more unique features in the near future.

Do outdoor Nest Cams use Wi-Fi?

Yes. Both Nest Cam Outdoor and IQ Outdoor connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network, just like other Nest products. They cannot currently use a wired ethernet connection to stream video.

How can I tell that my Wi-Fi is good enough?

We recommend you have a broadband internet connection with at least 2 Mbps of upload speed for each Nest camera in your home (DSL connections may not have enough bandwidth).

The Nest app will have you test your outdoor Nest Cam’s video stream in the location you’ve chosen before you install it.

When needed, the Nest app can automatically adjust the video quality so your camera’s video stream will be as smooth as possible. You can also manually change the video quality to use less bandwidth and lower your monthly data use.

Note: In the United States, outdoor Nest Cams can connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks. Outdoor Nest Cams in Europe and Canada only connect to 2.4GHz networks.

How are outdoor Nest Cams powered?

Both outdoor Nest Cams are designed to be plugged into a standard power outlet. There’s no need to charge your camera so it can continuously stream live video 24/7 because it never needs to turn off to conserve battery power.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is engineered for a more tamper resistant installation. It’s designed to be plugged into an indoor power outlet. The power cable specs are:

  • Outdoor-rated, 25 ft. (7.6 m) power cable
  • Designed to be routed to an inside power outlet
  • Power adapter plugs directly into a standard indoor wall outlet
  • Weatherproof connector on camera-end

You can route the power cable through an existing opening (like an attic vent) or drill a hole through your home’s exterior wall.

Nest Cam IQ  outdoor cable connection image

Nest Cam Outdoor’s plug is outdoor rated and is designed to be plugged into an outdoor power outlet, which is found on many modern homes. These outlets can be secured with a locking cover to help prevent unplugging the camera. The power cable specs are:

  • Outdoor-rated 10 ft (3 m) camera cable with weatherproof connector
  • Outdoor-rated 15 ft (4.6 m) adapter cable with attached plug
  • Plug can be secured with a locking outlet cover
A power cable with a weatherproof connector on the end is permanently attached to Nest Cam Outdoor. This plugs into the power adapter with a twisting motion to secure it. The adapter has a standard plug permanently attached to it which is outdoor rated and can be plugged into a standard outdoor outlet.

 

You can route the cable along the outside of your home with the included cable clips.

 Nest cam outdoor cable routing

What do Nest Cam IQ's Lights do?

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has a small status light and large light ring. The status light can tell you whether the camera is streaming and, in most cases, whether someone is watching the live video stream. The light ring can also help with troubleshooting and will turn different colors to let you know what’s happening. 

What Nest Cam’s lights mean >

Can I install an outdoor Nest Cam myself?

We designed all Nest Cams for DIY installation. All you need to do is set up the camera with the Nest app, choose a good spot, and mount the camera. If you prefer to have a professional do it for you, you can have a local Nest Pro installer setup and install your camera.

Our outdoor cameras have different mounting options:

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has a locking mount that can be installed directly over the cable hole in the wall. This completely conceals the cable for a clean, neat installation that is also tamper resistant. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is designed to be plugged into an indoor power outlet. You can route the power cable through an existing opening (like an attic vent) or drill a hole through your home’s exterior wall.

Nest Cam Outdoor has a versatile magnetic mount that can be securely placed on a metal surface without drilling or mounted to other surfaces by screwing in the included backplate.

Nest Cam Outdoor’s plug is outdoor rated and is designed to be plugged into an outdoor power outlet, which is commonly found on many modern homes.

How to mount your outdoor Nest Cam >

Can I get someone to install my outdoor Nest Cam for me?

Absolutely, and we’ll help you find the right person in your area to do it. To get started, visit the Nest Pro finder to select from a list of Nest Pros near you.

A Nest Pro can help you decide the best location for your Nest Cam and handle installation from start to finish.

Note: Nest Pros are independent companies or contractors that Nest works with to help you install your Nest products. Although they are not employed by Nest, we try to maintain a network of well-rated installers for our customers to work with.

Where should I install my outdoor Nest Cam?

Outdoor Nest Cams complement each other so you can choose to install one or the other in specific locations around your home, depending on what you want to keep an eye on.

For instance, Nest Cam IQ Outdoor’s design and advanced algorithms make it better suited for longer viewing distances with Supersight. It also has a louder speaker and three-microphone array. So if you want a camera to watch over your driveway, yard, or a piece of your property that’s a bit further away, a Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is probably a better option.

Nest Cam Outdoor is an excellent option for shorter distances where you don’t need the more powerful zoom, a automatic tracking of the IQ version. Because its operational temperature range is narrower, it can help to install it in a shaded spot under an eave or the porch roof.

General tips

Even though our outdoor cameras are weatherproof, placing your camera under the eaves, roofline or another sheltered spot can help keep snow and rain off the lens.

You may want to point your camera at common intruder entry points: the front door, back door, windows, or garage.

Generally, it’s best to install your camera just above head height. 7 to 10 feet above the ground, tilted downward. This is high enough to let you see people’s faces and talk to them with the camera’s speaker and microphone.

For more tips, see the following article.

Where to put your camera so you can keep an eye on what you want >

Can I paint my outdoor Nest Cam to match my home?

No. We do not recommend painting the camera itself. This can affect its sensors and performance, and may void your warranty.

However, the power cord and cable clips can be painted in any color so they blend in and are harder to spot. If you are using an oil based paint, you should first prep the clips and cable with a water-based primer.

Can I just point an indoor Nest Cam out a window?

Many of our customers are already doing this today. But using a Google Nest Cam Indoor or Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor to look through a window may not be the best way to keep track of things outside your home. The window glass can create reflections and glare, and your view is limited by the size and location of the window.

Outdoor Nest Cams are weatherproof and have been specifically designed for use outside (improved operating temperatures, water and dust resistance, etc.), so you can install them in places indoor Nest Cams can’t go. In addition, outdoor Nest Cam algorithms have also been specifically tuned for optimal capture of outdoor scenes while indoor cameras have algorithms adapted to indoor lighting and environments.

Unlike an indoor Nest Cam, you can mount an outdoor Nest Cam outside your front door and use the Nest app to talk with visitors whether you’re upstairs or across town. So you can tell the delivery person to leave your package on the porch, or screen solicitors without going to the door. Having a visible security camera can also act as a deterrent for intruders.

Do outdoor Nest Cams have night vision?

Yes, both outdoor Nest Cams have night vision. They use high-power infrared LEDs, which are positioned so that they completely light up the camera’s full wide-angle view, rather than just a limited spotlight view, like some other cameras do.

They also use an IR cut filter during the day to help keep colors accurate. This filter is switched off at night to enable light sensitivity and deliver detailed video.

Outdoor Nest Cams also know the difference between a burst of light and sunlight, so Night Vision won’t be fooled if someone tries to blind it with a flashlight. They'll stay in Night Vision mode so you can see who’s in front of the camera.

Learn more about Night Vision >

Are outdoor Nest Cams tamper resistant?

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has a locking mount that can be installed directly over the cable hole in the wall. This completely conceals the cable for a clean, neat installation that is also tamper resistant.

Nest Cam Outdoor, which is designed to plug into a standard outdoor power outlet, is compatible with locking “while-in-use” outlet covers.

Both outdoor Nest Cams comes with specially designed cable clips that let you secure the power cable, making your camera difficult to remove or disable.

You can also paint both the cables and the clips (but not the camera itself) to match your home so they blend in and are harder to spot.

How to protect your Nest Cam and its video from theft >

Can Nest Cam video footage be stolen, destroyed, or viewed by an intruder?

No. Unlike security cameras that rely on local storage like a hard drive or SD card that can be tampered with, Nest Cam video footage is streamed securely to the cloud so you can easily view live video.

With an optional Nest Aware subscription, your video history is also stored safely in the cloud. There is no way to tamper with or delete saved video footage unless someone has access to your account email and password in the Nest app.

So even if your camera is stolen or damaged, you can go back and see what happened. And Nest Aware’s continuous 24/7 cloud recording lets you view the entire incident, and everything that happened before and after.

What if the camera is unplugged or the cord is cut?

If your Nest Cam loses power, the Nest app will notify you that the camera is offline. Even if you’re away from home, you’ll know something has happened.

With an optional Nest Aware subscription, video will be saved to the cloud so you can review everything up to when the camera lost power. If someone steals your camera, they won’t be able to view or alter your camera’s saved video.

Your account in the Nest app is password protected and can use 2-step verification for additional security.

If your camera was simply unplugged, you can plug it back in and it will automatically reconnect to Wi-Fi and start streaming. You don’t need to go through setup again.

Can I trade in my Nest Cam Outdoor for a Nest Cam IQ Outdoor?

There isn’t a trade-in program for our cameras. But if you purchased your Nest Cam from the Nest Store, we do offer a 30-day return policy.

If you purchased your Nest Cam from one of our retail partners, or from somewhere else, please contact the seller to discuss their return policies

How is Nest Cam IQ Outdoor different from the indoor version?

Although Nest Cam IQ Outdoor shares many of the same hardware and software components with the indoor version, we have added a variety of updates and optimizations to best suit the outdoor environment. Here are the highlights:

  • Weatherproof (IP66 rating) and expanded operational temperature range
  • Versatile wall or ceiling mount hinge
  • Tamper-resistant design
  • Optimized algorithms that can detect a person at up to 50 feet away
  • A more powerful speaker

For a complete comparison between our indoor and outdoor cameras, please see the following article: Technical specifications for Nest cameras

What is Nest's Privacy policy?

At Nest, we take your privacy seriously. Below are helpful links that discuss the principles that guide our commitment to protecting your privacy and securing your data.

Our privacy principles >

Frequently asked questions about Nest privacy >

Privacy statement for Nest products and services >

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?