On the circuit

NestCam review: High-resolution spying on your house—or puppy

By Joanna Stern, The Wall Street Journal 6/29/2015 5:34 PM Eastern
WHY THIS MATTERS

It's Nest. With it's early traction in bringing functionality and elegance to smart home technology, Nest has been more influential in the direction of smart home technology than the big A, so it's products remain the benchmark. This story looks at resolution, audio, motion detection and night-vision. -Cynthia Wisehart

In a menagerie of security cameras, Nest's superior picture quality and reliability stand out. The new Nest Cam—or any of the dozens of competing do-it-yourself security webcams—isn’t just for us pet snoops. Despite the apparent creepiness of having a running Web recording of our private living spaces, the connected cams have become popular for monitoring everything from the front door to the baby’s crib. If you haven’t bought one yet or even considered it, the promise is being in two places at the same time. These little cameras can be your eyes and ears. So does the Nest Cam now make my old Dropcam look like dog poop? And, with competing cameras such as the $200 Simplicam bringing talents like family-member face recognition, is Nest even the best? After testing it against its closest competitors, the Nest Cam is at the top of my recommendation list. However, the monthly recording cost is a lot to swallow and the camera’s motion detection still cries wolf far too often. Figuring out where to place the Nest (and how to get that perfect angle) is the hardest part of the setup. The rest—getting the camera on Wi-Fi and then getting started with a live feed—is a cinch with Nest’s new app. Overall, I prefer the app to others. MORE@WSJ

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