Can You See Video from the Google Nest Doorbell Without Someone Ringing?

Google Nest Doorbell

One of the most important things to know when picking out a video doorbell is how the video works, and more importantly how it works for you. I’ve seen a lot of questions on whether the video feed on your Google Nest can be seen all the time, and I think knowing the answer is imperative to know before purchasing the device itself.

So, can you see video from the Google Nest Doorbell without someone ringing? Live video on the Google Nest Doorbell can be seen at any time. It can be viewed on any device via the Nest App by Google. The video is only recorded and stored onto the cloud when a customer pays for the Nest Awareness subscription.

If you want to check the camera on your Google Nest at any point during the day or night, you are able to. This comes as a relief to a lot of customers and gives some piece of mind to those who like to check in frequently.

Seeing Video Without Someone Ringing It

You can check your front porch anytime you want with the Google Nest video doorbell installed. No waiting is required and no bell has to be rung if you want to see what is going on live.

Google answers this question themselves. They say:

“Regardless of which Nest camera you have and whether you have a subscription, you can access your camera’s live video stream anytime in the app.”

Check out the Nest Doorbell Support Page

You can watch as much video as you want, and you don’t have to worry about using up battery, as the Nest Hello is powered through wiring.

Why Would You Watch Live Video?

To some, watching a live stream of your front porch may seem like a poor use of time, however, there are there are several instances that make checking the live footage, worthwhile.

The following are ways you can leverage your Google Nest Video Doorbell live stream feature:

  1. Enhance Home Security: The live footage feature allows homeowners to monitor their property remotely, providing them a real-time view of their surroundings. By checking the live footage via smartphone or tablet, residents can instantly observe who is at their door, whether it be an expected visitor, delivery personal, or potential intruders.
  2. Deterrence against Criminal Activity: The presence of a Google Nest Video Doorbell, coupled with its live footage capability, acts as a strong deterrent against criminal activities such as burglary and theft. Similar to a home security system, the mere sight of a video doorbell can discourage potential wrongdoers from engaging in anything criminal, as they understand their actions are being recorded and transmitted in real-time.
  3. Delivery and Package Monitoring: With the rise of online shopping and home deliveries, concerns over package theft have become increasingly common. The live footage feature of the nest doorbell allows homeowners to monitor deliveries in real-time. Whether it’s a valuable package or perishable goods, the ability to keep an eye on delivered packages provides peace of mind for users who can’t retrieve the package immediately.
  4. Parental Monitoring: The real-time live footage feature of the Google Nest Video Doorbell can provide parents indirect oversight over children playing in the front yard. As long as the doorbell is carefully positioned, the live footage will pick up all activity occurring within its frame of view. The peace of mind knowing your loved ones are safe, in addition to the ability to multitask makes great use of this feature.

There are a ton of great things that you can do with the constant video feed. You can watch the Nest feed from the Google Home App on your phone, laptop or tablet for free.

Watching Recorded Video

Sometimes you don’t just want to watch feed live, but rather watch a video of everything that has happened that day and not just someone came to the door and rang the bell.

This is when the Nest Awareness Subscription really comes in handy. The Nest Awareness Subscription can record videos and store them for several days. If something happens at your house, you can review the moments.

You don’t have to get the subscription. You can still use the doorbell without one. However, without it, you only receive snapshots, not video when someone approaches the door.

The snapshot is only saved and viewable for 3 hours. If you aren’t on your phone often, this can really be a bummer. You may miss something big!

If you want video evidence, it is also not going to be very helpful for you to only get pictures that are sometimes not that clear. Not having the subscription makes the doorbell not as usable. You can sign up for a Nest Awareness Subscription for $5 a month, and upgrade higher if you’d like.

The following table depicts pricing for the subscription and the perks of paying more:

5 Day History$5$50
10 Day History$10$100
30 Day History$30$300

Information gathered from

The more you pay, the longer your video stays stored on the cloud. If you do a yearly purchase, you can save money, no matter which size you choose!

The Nest Awareness Subscription is totally there for the company to make even more money makes the doorbell pretty dumbed down if you don’t pay monthly.

You get a lot of extra features and more comfort when you do sign up and fork over the money. To look at all the things that get included when you subscribe, click here.

You can do a free trial as well, to see if you think it’s worth it.

That being said, you should probably spend the $5 a month, just so you can really use your video doorbell the way it supposed to be used.

Notifications When No One Rings the Doorbell

You can set your Nest Hello to notify you when there is movement at the door, and not just when someone rings the doorbell. You can watch the live feed at all times, but this might be the best time to look in.

The Nest Hello has motion detection and alerts you, similar to when someone rings the doorbell.

This can help you see if someone is nabbing your package off the porch. These kind of people aren’t going to ring your doorbell or try to get your attention, so being able to watch live feed can be a sneaky way to keep your things safe.

Another case of when these notifications are useful is making sure your kids are home safe from school or a night out. They probably don’t ring the doorbell when they get home but you’ll get a notification on your device.

Of course, if you live somewhere with a lot of wandering cats, this can get a little annoying, but I think it is always better to be safe rather than sorry.

You can, of course, watch this video feed as long as you would like after you receive the notification to see if the person will ring the doorbell or not. It can be pretty entertaining and interesting to watch the feed.

Just remember, if you don’t subscribe, you aren’t able to rewatch any of the video that you see. Screen recording might be helpful for you if you are concerned.

Related Questions:

Can I use Nest Hello without a subscription? You can use the Nest Hello video doorbell without a subscription with the companies awareness program. Without this subscription, the doorbell only records a snapshot of the person at the door is saved for just 3 hours.

Can you talk through Nest Hello? The Nest Hello allows communication through its system. People at the door can communicate with you wherever you are, as long as you have a connected vice with you. To speak through Nest Hello, simply need to go to your live stream.

Can Nest Hello be connected to other devices? Nest Hello can connect to phones, tablets, computers, Google Home Hub. Devices just need to be able to connect to the internet. Nest Hello system can also be connected to other Nest devices, like security cameras.

Luke Miller

Luke Miller is a writer, real estate professional, rental property investor, and home renovation enthusiast based in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up in Iowa in a self-sufficient household where he learned the skills to do everything from plumbing, drywall, to basic handyman repair for everyday problems. He enjoys sharing his vast experience and his continuous learning with fellow DIY enthusiasts.

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