Google’s Nest Camera IQ Indoor Is a Security Blanket for Renters Like Me

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Ever since I moved to New York City, fresh out of college, I’ve had a recurring dream. In the dream, I unlock the door to enter my apartment, and the first thing I notice is that my television is gone. Shell-shocked, I wander through the rest of the apartment. Laptop: gone. Jewelry: gone. Liquor on the bar cart: gone. Dream burglars have made off with all of Dream Me’s valuables.

Fortunately, there’s good news. Ever since Google’s Nest Camera IQ Indoor came into my life, I’ve been recurring dream-free. It’s an ideal home security solution for renters like me, who can’t easily or cheaply trick out their places with traditional security systems. Mine is stationed on a credenza in my living room, with an eye toward the long hallway that leads to my front door. If someone breaks into the apartment, I’m going to know about it. Paired with an intuitive app, the Nest camera makes my time away from home—whether that’s a day or a month—feel safe, secure, and worry-free. These days, that goes a long way.

google nest camera
This 4K lens means business. It can even suss out just how wilted your houseplants are.

Allie Holloway

The app is intuitive and user-friendly.

Whether you want push notifications for every blip on the camera’s radar, or you just want to know if marauders have broken down your front door, there’s an app setting for that. Nest’s slick, straightforward app offers live, round-the-clock footage of your camera feed, as you’d expect, but with added functionality from a tricked-out suite of notification settings. If you’re not interested in recordings of yourself eating fistfuls of popcorn on the couch (or is that just me?), the Home/Away feature will toggle the camera on or off as you come and go. The scheduling feature, which overrides Home/Away assist, will ensure that the camera comes on during specified hours—like the timespan when you’re typically asleep. In all, the camera records three categories of events: motion, sound, and person alerts. If you don’t want push notifications for each, adjust the settings. The camera also saves a handy history of events, so if you missed a notification, you can play the clip back later.

Shop $299.00 $214.95,

google nest camera
Your camera’s speaker will pick up everything from sirens to barking dogs, but it can also function as a walky-talky—allowing you to scare off intruders or talk to family.

Allie Holloway

The picture is remarkably crisp—day or night.

With a 4K sensor, 1080p HD resolution, and LED night vision, the display quality of the Nest camera blows other security cameras out of the water. In fact, the picture is so crisp that I can zoom in on my houseplants to make sure they’re not wilting. A built-in feature called Supersight also enables the camera to do a tracking zoom on someone walking across the room, so whether it’s an intruder or just your pet-sitter, there’s no mistaking who has entered your home. With Nest Aware, a $6-per-month subscription, you can even teach the camera to recognize members of your household or frequent visitors.

google nest camera
Mounted on a sturdy ball joint, you can angle the camera degree by degree for precisely the view you want.

Allie Holloway

The noise detection is powerful.

Worried about what might happen beyond the scope of your camera’s lens? The Nest camera’s noise detection capabilities are remarkably sensitive—mine is triggered by everything from barking dogs on my block to the sound of my neighbors moving furniture. As a result, I’ve disabled notifications about sound events, but if you live somewhere without Brooklyn’s trademark ambience, you might be grateful and surprised by what you hear.

Those sound notifications go further—for example, a friend of mine who owns a Nest camera was able to identify that her smoke detector was chirping during her vacation. She deputized me to go over and change out her batteries, and thanks to her Nest camera, she knew that it was me, not an intruder, popping into her place. Whether the camera is protecting me from fires or simply acting as a security blanket when I’m away, ever since it came into my life, I’ve never felt safer—or slept better.

Shop $299.00 $214.95,

Photography by Allie Holloway. Prop styling by Claire Tedaldi for Halley Resources.

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Assistant Editor Adrienne Westenfeld is a writer and editor at Esquire, where she covers books and culture.

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