Nest Cam (Dropcam) vs. Foscam

The Nest Cam Indoor works with the complete Nest system, while the Foscam R2 is cheaper and has pan-and-tilt functionality.

Best Overall
  • Great user experience
  • Pricey
Runner up
  • Affordable
  • Choppy experience

Nest Cam (Dropcam) vs. Foscam

Product Recommended
Nest Cam Best Overall
Foscam R2 Runner up

Overview

The Nest Cam Indoor (formerly known as Dropcam) and the Foscam R2 share a lot of the same features. They both give you a 1080p HD feed, night vision, and two-way audio. They both give you mobile control through an app and cloud recording (for a monthly fee). But while the Nest Cam Indoor will cost you a cool $199.99, you can get the Foscam R2 for under $100.

You get some tech extras with the Nest Cam Indoor, and it has better overall quality. But If you don’t want to pay the extra $100+, then the Foscam R2 is a solid choice for an indoor camera.

Nest Cam IndoorFoscam R2
Price$199.99*$79.80*
Resolution1080p1080p
Field of vision130°110°
Pan and tiltNone350° horizontal, 100° vertical
Wi-Fi compatibility2.5 and 5 GHz2.5 GHz
Night vision range20 ft.26 ft.
Learn moreView on AmazonView on Amazon

*Prices at time of writing

Key differences between Nest Cam Indoor and Foscam R2

Nest cam indoorFoscam R2
Nest Cam review
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  • Integration: The Nest Cam Indoor works with all your other Nest devices and has an excellent mobile app experience, while the Foscam is more of a standalone device.
  • Pan and tilt: The Foscam R2 has full pan and tilt you can control through the mobile app, while the Nest Cam is stationary.
  • Cost: The Foscam R2 costs less, both for the camera and for monthly cloud storage, but the Nest Cam has better quality all around.
  • Audio: The Nest Cam Indoor has higher-quality two-way audio than the Foscam R2 and multiple mount options.
  • Storage: The Foscam R2 has local storage and cloud storage options, while the Nest Cam offers only cloud storage.

Price and storage

The Foscam R2 is undeniably cheaper than the Nest Cam Indoor, but you do sacrifice some quality.

Nest makes notoriously pricey devices, and the Nest Cam Indoor is no different. While the Foscam retails for around $80, you’ll pay more than twice that for the Nest Cam Indoor. You’ll also need to pay for Nest’s monthly service plan, Nest Aware, if you want cloud storage and full access to the camera’s top features.

So why would you pay so much more for the Nest Cam? Because while Nest’s products are expensive, they also have consistently good design and usability—and all Nest products work together.

Nest products:

  • Smart thermostats
  • Cameras
  • Alarm system
  • Video doorbell
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

If you already have some Nest devices, then the Nest Cam Indoor is an obvious choice. With a single app, you can control your whole system and make all the components work together.

You can also save some major cash on the Nest Cam Indoor if you buy multiple cameras at once. If you buy a three-pack of the Nest Cam, you’ll pay close to $400, which brings the price of each camera down by over $100.

What does the Foscam R2 cost?

The Foscam R2 is pretty impressive for such a cheap camera. And unlike the Nest Cam, the Foscam R2 gives you a local storage option. You can record to a microSD card and skip the monthly service plan fee.

But what if you’d rather record to the cloud? In that case, Foscam’s monthly service plans are pretty affordable and definitely cheaper than Nest’s for the amount of storage you get.

How much are the monthly service plans?

If all you need is a few days or a week of storage, then a monthly plan won’t cost you much. But you do need one if you want to store more than a few hours of footage in the cloud. Nest gives you only three hours of free cloud storage, and Foscam gives you eight hours.

Nest Aware plans

Plan namePriceAmount of storageLearn more
5-day$5/mo. OR $50/yr.5 daysView on Amazon
10-day$10/mo. OR $100/yr.10 daysView on Amazon
30-day$30/mo. OR $300/yr.30 daysView on Amazon

Compare that to Foscam’s storage plans.

Foscam Cloud plans

Plan namePriceAmount of storageLearn more
3-Day Video History$3.99/mo. OR $39.99/yr.3 daysView on Amazon
15-Day Video History$7.99/mo. OR $79.99/yr.15 daysView on Amazon
30-Day Video History$12.99/mo. OR $129.99/yr.30 daysView on Amazon

Image quality

Both the Nest Cam Indoor and the Foscam R2 record 1080p HD video.

The Nest Cam Indoor and the Foscam R2 have roughly equivalent image quality: they both record in 1080p resolution and stream a live feed to the mobile app, which makes them good as either indoor cameras or nanny cams, if you want to use them for that. They also both have night vision, although the Foscam R2’s night vision distance is a bit more than the Nest Cam’s.

Nest gives you more mounting options than the Foscam, with both a magnetic base and a wall mount option. You can manually adjust the Nest Cam to whatever angle you want, and you can even remove the camera from its stand if you want to. The magnets the Nest Cam uses are very strong, so you can stick it to almost any metal surface and it’ll stay put.

The Foscam R2 can be wall mounted, although it’s a bit heftier than the Nest Cam Indoor. Unlike the Nest Cam, the Foscam R2 can pan and tilt and turn in a complete circle to capture video wherever you need it to. You can control the pan-and-tilt function in the Foscam app.

Mobile app experience

The Nest app is less buggy and easier to use than the Foscam app, but both can do the same basic functions.

Both the Nest Cam and the Foscam R2 let you view the live feed, review the camera’s history, and receive push notifications to your phone.

The Foscam R2 can be a little buggy sometimes. The live feed does not immediately play on your phone screen when you open the app—it shows only a preview. And the preview often fails to update, so you’re actually looking at an old image. You have to press the play button to play the live feed, and it’s not always super quick or responsive.

We don’t have any major complaints about the Nest mobile app, though. It lets you schedule your camera’s modes and set rules like geofencing. You can also integrate the camera with your other Nest devices, so for instance when your learning thermostat turns off the heating when you leave the house, your Nest Cam will automatically turn on.

Two-way audio

The Nest Cam Indoor had noticeably better two-way audio than the Foscam R2. The Foscam R2’s microphone is unimpressive at best. We could barely hear anything people said in the room the camera was in, which is not ideal for security purposes.

The sound we got from the Foscam R2 sounded okay, but kind of like a low-quality phone call. It was understandable but not amazing.

In comparison, the Nest Cam Indoor’s two-way audio was crystal clear and sounded great whether we were listening or talking.

The bottom line

Nest cam indoorFoscam R2
Nest Cam review
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The Nest Cam Indoor and the Foscam R2 are both good choices for indoor security cameras, but the Nest Cam will give you a bit better quality and better integration with other smart products.

If you don’t want to pay Nest prices, the Foscam R2 works pretty well, and its pan-and-tilt feature is nice to have.

Do you have a Nest Cam Indoor or a Foscam R2? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

  • Bob Huff

    What speed, up and down, do these cameras requite?

  • Rich Johnston

    Can the R2 record to local storage, a NAS. The C2 has that capability.