Google Nest Buyers Guide

Tyler Abbott
Sep 15, 2023
Icon Time To Read5 min read

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Google Nest brands itself like some lifestyle philosophy, but really it’s just a series of products under the Google name. These smart devices might not turn you into a lifestyle guru, but they can certainly make your home feel much smarter and more connected. All of the Google Nest products work seamlessly together, allowing you to control your thermostat, smoke detector, doorbell, and security cameras from the Google Home app.

In this guide we’ll take a look at the products that fall under the Google Nest label and how to get the best user experience.

What is Google Nest?
Heads Up

Google Nest is the name for a series of products that integrate with the Google Home app. You can register Google-owned devices on the app and manage everything remotely from your phone.

Google Nest thermostats

Google offers two smart thermostats—the base Nest thermostat that costs around  $100 on Amazon* and the fancy Nest Learning thermostat that costs $199 on Amazon.* The main difference between these two thermostats comes down to how much you trust yourself to schedule your own air conditioning.

Just like it sounds, the Nest Learning thermostat learns your schedules, temperature preferences, and energy consumption. It then automates your air conditioning to be as efficient as possible. This process takes about a week to set up, but it’s truly a set-it-and-forget-it situation once your thermostat learns your preferences. The downside, of course, is that the Nest Learning Thermostat costs about $150 more than the base model.

Nest Thermostat prices and details
Learn more
Nest Learning Thermostat$199.00
Nest Thermostat$103.99

* List Prices (as of 09/14/23 3:20 MST).

The non-learning Google Nest thermostat relies on you to set schedules and control temperatures from your phone. Maybe that would have been a deal breaker in the past, but it’s honestly so easy to control everything from the Google Home app that it’s hard to justify the extra $99 or so for the premium model. But if you don’t want to worry about turning your thermostat up and down when you’re out of the house, the Nest Learning thermostat can take care of it for you.

Google Nest Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector

Old-school smoke detectors react the same way whether there’s a massive fire in your kitchen or if you slightly burnt your morning toast. And no matter how loud your detectors get, you can’t hear them if you’re in a different state. It’s honestly nuts how long we’ve all lived without smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Thankfully the Google Nest Protect is here to save the day and not burst our eardrums.

Google’s Nest Protect smoke detector detects (say that 10-times fast) slow- and-fast burning fires, and uses voice alerts that tell you where the danger is happening. You even get a grace period to check out the danger area before the sirens trigger. This is a godsend if you got a toddler napping in one room and you only slightly burnt your grilled-cheese sandwich. And if the alarm does go off, you can easily turn it off or mute the siren from your phone on the Google Home app.

Last but not least, the Google Nest Protect tests itself so you don’t have to worry if it actually works. Again, not sure how we survived this long with the old-school smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Google Nest Indoor and Outdoor cameras

What would a smart home setup be without security cameras in your house? Not very smart indeed. Google Nest includes both indoor and outdoor cameras to monitor your home.

The Google Nest outdoor camera checks all the boxes you would want, like:

  • Two-way audio
  • Night vision
  • Familiar face detection
  • 24/7 recording
  • HD-quality video

Honestly, prayers up for the next person who tries to steal an Amazon package from your doorstep because you’ll get an excellent view of the crime. Here’s a bird’s eye of all the main features:

Google Nest Cam Outdoor model details
ModelGoogle Nest Cam Outdoor
Field of vision130º
Battery typeAC power
Zoom8x digital zoom
Night visionYes
Two-way audioYes
24/7 recordingYes
Local storageNo
Cloud storageYes
Learn more

* List Prices (as of 09/14/23 3:20 MST).

Non-handy folks (like myself) will feel relieved to know that either camera isn’t hard to set up, and that’s especially true for the Google Nest in-door camera. 

It actually took us more time to take the camera out of the box than it did to set the whole thing up. The three-step process looks like this:

  • Step 1: Download the Google Home app and login to your account.
  • Step 2: Plug in the camera and turn it on.
  • Step 3: Scan the QR code on the back of the Nest Cam with the app.

After setting up, you should open the Google Home app to get live and recorded footage from your cameras. 

Along with the ease of installation, the Nest in-door camera comes with the features like night vision and 130° field of view. Here’s the breakdown of the specs for the Nest in-door camera:

Nest Cam tech specs
Field of vision130°
Pan and tiltNone
Wi-Fi compatibility2.5 and 5 GHz
Night vision rangeYes
Learn more

* List Prices (as of 09/14/23 3:20 MST).

Google Nest Hello Doorbell

The Google Nest Hello doorbell just so happens to be the best smart doorbell device we’ve tested. This doorbell recognizes the difference between people and packages, and can even recognize familiar faces at your doorstep. You can always make sure that the person on your porch is your kid coming home from school, rather than some stranger trying to snatch a package.

Google Nest Hello price and details
Storage type
Learn more

Google Nest Hello



Cloud storage

* List Prices (as of 09/14/23 3:20 MST).

On top of the easy integration with all your other Google Nest products, the camera itself offers 2K video recording—much higher video quality than we’re used to seeing on doorbell cameras. Here’s all the features you get with the Nest Hello doorbell:

  • 2K HD video with HDR
  • Two-way audio
  • Continuous video recording option
  • 160º field of view
  • Quiet time snooze feature
  • Familiar face recognition
  • Package detection
  • 8x digital zoom
  • 5° to 104°F (-15° to 40°C) operating temperature
  • IPx4 weather rating
  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration

Google Nest Wi-Fi Router

By this point, we’ve already got your thermostat, cameras, doorbell, and smoke detectors on the Google Home app, why not add your internet router as well? We stress tested the Nest Wi-Fi router by playing games online, streaming Netflix, and hosting a Zoom meeting all at the same time on the same internet connection. Despite putting so much stress on the system, we still maintained download speeds up to 193 Mbps.

Our conclusion: the Nest Wi-Fi router can definitely handle multiple devices using the internet at the same time.

Setting up the router on the Google Home app only took a few seconds to set up. It basically boils down to signing into your Google account, and then the app will guide you through every step of syncing your router to your system.

The router also looks nice on a shelf, for what it’s worth:

A Nest Wi-Fi point glows blue at its base to show the microphone is on

The Google Nest Wi-Fi router isn’t the cheapest option out there, but it’s a decent price when you factor in the 3,800 sq. ft. coverage range and smart home integration.

Google Home Speakers

Your Google Home serves as your hub device from which you can control other devices in your home. My two-year-old son actually thinks that our Google Home Mini will get him candy if he asks nicely. I’m sure one of these days I’ll get a truckload of Skittles on my doorstep and a mysterious bill from Amazon.

As you’d expect, Google Assistant can answer pretty much anything when you begin a statement with “Hey, Google” within earshot of your device. You can also tell your Google Assistant to turn up the air conditioning or reset your internet router. The perk of having different devices synced on the Google Home app is that you can control just about everything with the sound of your voice.

There’s quite a few Google Home Speakers to choose from, so make sure to read our review to find out which device works best for you.

Google Nest buyers guide recap

All of the Google Nest products work pretty seamlessly together within the Google Home app. Just by opening an app on your phone, you have control over most of the smart devices in your home. You can use this control for good (turning off your air conditioning while on vacation), or for evil (repeatedly asking your Google Assistant to tell you jokes). In reality, it’s just easier to control your smart devices from the app, rather than having to remember where you tucked other smart home apps on your phone.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.


Tyler Abbott
Written by
Tyler Abbott
Tyler has been obsessed with watching sports as efficiently as possible since the creation of the DVR. He is always on the lookout for the best tech in TV and wireless so he can watch all the sports and still have enough time to hang out with his baby. He has written about streaming, wireless, and TV for over three years. He hopes the Lakers will eventually get better.

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