Can Nest Doorbell Be Used Without a Subscription?

Nest Doorbell
Nest Doorbell

According to “Market Research Future“, the global smart video doorbells market is expected to reach 2,056.08 Million dollars by 2025, and the prosperity of this market is due to the benefits that this device brings to our home.

Intelligent doorbells are a great gadget to install when we want to increase home safety and deter unwanted people from our front door.

And when we want a high-quality device, we will not get better than “Nest doorbell”, it was made by a company owned by Google and it provides many features such as HD video with night vision, two-way audio with noise cancellation, Built-in battery that can last up to 6 months or it can be wired, and much more other features.

This gadget comes with a Nest Aware subscription that you need to pay for to get all functionalities that this doorbell can offer but many of you are asking if it is possible to use it without a subscription?

Yes, you can continue to use Nest doorbell without paying for a subscription but you will lose many features such as event video history, intelligent alerts to detect familiar faces, share video clips, set up activity zones, so the doorbell will not function effectively.

What does a Nest Aware subscription offer?

As we said before the Nest subscription will give you features that will be useful and help the doorbell to run efficiently and we’re going to explore these features in the following lines:

  • Video history recording: Nest Aware come with 30 days of video history while Nest Aware Plus gives you 60 days, the recorded videos are uploaded to the cloud and it will only include clips when the doorbell detects movement or sound. During times with no detected events, it will show blank areas.

    After this period the recorded video clips will be deleted automatically, so if you want to keep them more you have to download them on your mobile or computer.

    According to Google, Event video history isn’t available for 1st gen Nest Aware.
  • Activity zones: This feature will allow your doorbell to let you know when it sees activity in specific areas, so if you want to only be aware and get notifications on only certain zones you can set that, you can also select zones that you don’t want to be alerted about.
  • Package detection: When you have a Nest subscription you’ll have the possibility to get alerts when packages are delivered, so when the package has arrived the activity is recorded and saved to the cloud.

    Package alerts are available for free for Nest Doorbell (battery) but not for the wired version.
  • 24/7 video history: 1st gen Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus provide a 24/7 continuous recording, so your doorbell will never stop recording and you can see everything before, during and after an event, this feature is available for 10 days and it works only for Nest Doorbell (wired) not for Nest Doorbell (battery), even with optional wired installation.
  • Detect familiar faces: This function will teach the Nest doorbell to recognize faces of people that you know, every time it sees them it gets better at recognizing them, over time it will consider them as “familiar faces”.

    You can set the doorbell to send you notifications only when a stranger visits your house and ignore all alerts about known people.

    Use familiar face detection in compliance with the law. Depending on where you live, you might need to get consent to have your camera help you identify people who visit your home.

    The device will also distinguish between humans, cars, or animals which can lead you to increase the effectiveness of the alerts.
  • Create and share video clips: Nest Aware lets you save and share beautiful moments captured by your Nest doorbell on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or Nextdoor. or you can create a timelapse which can condense up to 24 hours of video into a 30, 60 or 120 second clip.
  • Emergency calling: If you’re subscribed to Nest Aware and your doorbell detect a dangerous intruder approaching your house with a weapon you can leave immediately and use the Google Home app to quickly contact an emergency call center close to your home, this option can also be useful when you’re in vacation.

    This feature is available only for Nest Aware subscribers who live in the United States.

What can you do with a Nest doorbell without a subscription?

If you decide to continue using your smart doorbell Without a Nest subscription a lot of features and functions cited in the previous section will disappear, and you will lose more than half of the potential of this device.

Here are the options that will work without a subscription:

  • Event video history: When you’re subscribed your recorded events can last up to 30 or 60 days depending on the plan you choose, but when you are not you’ll be able to keep them for only 3 hours which may be a disadvantage for many people.
  • View live feed and answer the doorbell: You can still access your doorbell from the app and see what’s happening around your house with real-time viewing, also talk to people when they are in front of your door using the speaker and the microphone built-in in the device.
  • Get notifications: You’ll continue to receive notifications if someone rings your doorbell or when the device detects motions but it can’t recognize familiar faces or distinguish between animals, humans, or objects. So you’ll receive plenty of notifications that have no sense.
  • Packages alerts only for the battery model: If you have a Nest doorbell (battery) you’ll be able to receive notifications when packages are delivered even if you’re not subscribed at Nest Aware.

How much costs Nest Aware?

For me, subscribing to Nest Aware is essential if you have a Nest Doorbell because it allows you to take advantage of all the features that this device offers.

The subscription price varies depending on the plan you choose whether you want Nest Aware, it will cost you $ 6 / month or $ 60 / year, and if you want to buy Nest Aware Plus you have to pay $12/month or $120/year.

Final Words.

The Nest doorbell is one of the best devices you can find on the market but I really don’t recommend buying it without paying the subscription as you will lose a lot of features.

And if you don’t want to pay for subscriptions at the end of the month go buy one of the products I mentioned above.

Adam B