Google has been raising the price of nearly all its subscriptions lately, and the latest service to get a price boost is the Nest Aware subscription for Nest cameras. 9to5Google reports prices are going up 25–33 percent, depending on which tier you’re currently subscribed to. Judging by the (very unhappy) posts in the Nest subreddit, many users are getting emails detailing exactly how the price increase is affecting their current setup.
Nest Aware, if you’re not aware, is a monthly subscription attached to Nest cameras that allows them to save video to the cloud. Most camera packages would consider this a core functionality, but with a Nest camera, a lot of basic recording functionality is locked behind a monthly subscription. If you’re not paying the monthly fee, Nest Cams will only livestream video and allow you to view three hours’ worth of “event” video—that’s video where motion is detected, not 24/7 recording.
The basic “Nest Aware” tier is going from $6 a month, or discounted to $60 annually, to $8 a month/$80 annually, for a 25 percent increase. This gives you 30 days of event video history and facial recognition but still doesn’t include any form of 24/7 video recording. For that you’ll need “Nest Aware Plus,” which is going up from $12 a month/$120 annually to $15 a month/$150 annually, or a 33 percent price increase. This gets you 60 days of event history and, finally, 10 days of 24/7 video recording.
Google has been on a belt-tightening, price-raising mission for about a year now, and part of that has involved across-the-board subscription price increases. YouTube Premium, YouTube TV, Google Workspace, and Google Cloud Storage (the Amazon Web Services competitor) have all seen price increases. The Pixel Pass, which bundled many Google subscription services, was axed completely. The major holdout so far is Google One’s personal cloud storage, so it’s not a stretch to expect a price increase for that, too, at some point.
Nest cameras exclusively record to Google’s cloud, so there’s no getting around the Nest Aware fees for any kind of serious recording. Even before the price increase, Nest Cameras were hard to recommend, given that there are plenty of camera systems out there that record locally while still providing web access to those recordings. Nest has also had a turbulent run at Google, with account migrations, the shutdown of Works with Nest, the shutdown of Nest Secure, and a slow, messy migration from the old Nest app to the new “Google Home” app that still doesn’t feel finished. For existing users, dealing with all these problems and then being slapped with a price increase has got to sting. The price increase kicks in on November 6.