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Should You Switch to the New Nest Aware Plans?

A Nest notification about a package at the door.

Google revamped the Nest Aware pricing, and it’s a welcome change for anyone with multiple cameras. The more cameras you own, the more money you’ll save versus the old plans. But does that mean you should switch if you’re on the old pricing structure? Not necessarily.

Keep in mind that you can’t choose the old plans if you’re subscribing to Nest Aware today. But if you are already subscribed to Nest Aware before Google made the changeover, you have a choice. You can either stick with what you have or move to the new plans. The option is yours (at least until Google changes its minds and forces you to change). So, what’s the difference?

The Old Pricing Structure Gave You More Video For Less

A breakdown of the old Nest plans from chepeast to most expensive.

Previously, you had three options of $5, $10, or $30 a month. With each choice, you got 24/7 recording, which means Nest recorded video even if it didn’t detect an event.

Depending on the plan you chose, you could see 5, 10, or 30 days worth of recordings, but otherwise, the features were the same. The big drawback to the old structure was the requirement to buy a separate subscription for each camera you own.

Nest gave slight discounts for your second and third camera subscription, but the cost still added up. And the price didn’t drop any lower for the fourth camera and beyond.

But if you have just one camera, the cheapest option costs less than the least expensive new plan. And if you care about 24/7 video recordings, the old Nest Aware offered more than the updated subscriptions.

The New Structure Gives You More Cameras For Less

Now Nest Aware has two pricing options: $6 and $12. But unlike the old Nest Aware, what you get differs significantly between the two plans. With the $6 option, you don’t get 24/7 recording. Instead, you get 30 days of event-based videos. That means it records only when a sound or motion is detected or someone pushes the doorbell.

If you want 24/7 recording, you’ll need to opt for the $12 plan, which gives you 10 days of 24/7 recorded videos and 60 days of event-based videos. But whether you choose the $6 plan or the $12 plan, every Nest camera you own is covered by the subscription.

When to Stick with the Old Plans

A white Nest camera.

You should consider sticking with the old plans in the following scenarios:

  • You have one or two cameras on the $5 plan and don’t intend to buy more.
  • You subscribe to the $30 and 30-day option and need 30 days of 24/7 history.
  • You don’t want to migrate to a Google account.

If all you have is one camera and you’re paying $5 a month, you lose more than you gain by switching. After all, the biggest benefit for the newly revamped Nest Aware is cheaper pricing for multiple cameras. But the $6 option takes away your 5 days of 24/7 recorded videos. You do get 30 days of event-based recordings, however. So, if you need more history, then it’s time to switch.

The same logic applies even if you have two cameras on the $5 level. You’re spending $10, which is still $2 less than the new plan that comes with 24/7 recorded videos. However, bumping up to the new $12 subscription will get you 7 days of 24/7 history (compared to 5 days with the current plan) and 60 days of event-based recordings. If that sounds worth the extra $24 a year, you might want to consider making the move.

If you’re currently on the $30 plan, you might want to consider sticking with it. It’s an expensive plan, but neither of the new Nest Aware options comes with 30 days of 24/7 recorded history. If that’s a necessity, stay where you are. But if you need 30 days or more of ANY recorded videos, then making the switch can you save you lots of money.

Finally, if you prefer to stay on a Nest account, you’ll need to stick with the old Nest Aware plans. Making the switch requires migrating your Nest account to a Google account (if you haven’t already).

When to Jump to the New Plans

A Nest Hello Doorbell next to an open door.
Josh Hendrickson / Review Geek

You should consider jumping to the new plans in the following scenarios:

  • You have three or more cameras.
  • You’re on the $10 or $30 plan but want more history.
  • You’re planning to buy more cameras.

If you have three cameras on the old plans, you’re spending at least $11 a month to get 5 days of 24/7 history. You could step down to $6 a month and save $60 a year, although you’ll lose access to 24/7 history. If that’s important to you, you can pay $1 more a month and increase your 24/7 video access to 10 days.

And if you’re paying more than $20 a month for three cameras to have 10 days worth of 24/7 history, then there’s no reason not to jump to the new $12 plan. The $12 subscription will give you the same features, plus additional event-based video history for $8 less a month.

Whether you switch depends on how much history access is needed for anyone currently paying $10 or $30 a month. If the answer is “as much as possible,” the new Nest Aware gives you more history, albeit in the form of event-based video recording.

Finally, if you plan to add more cameras, you will have to switch to the new plans. You can’t add new cameras to the old Nest Aware subscriptions.

Hopefully, this helps you see when to stick with what you have and when to jump to the new plans. Everyone’s situation is a little different, so if you aren’t sure, don’t make a move right away. You don’t have to change to the new Nest Aware subscription, but you can’t go back once you do. Better to be sure of your needs before you leap.


Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »