Google Nest Cams and Nest Doorbells just got a lot more expensive if you want access to all of their security features, with their subscription pricing going up by as much as 33%.
As spotted by 9to5Google, Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus subscriptions are both getting a price bump that could make you think twice about paying for the benefits they bring, including cloud video histories and intelligent alerts.
In the US, the basic Nest Aware subscription will now cost $8 a month or $80 annually, which is quite a leap from the previous $6 a month / $60 annual pricing (33% to be precise). If you want Nest Aware Plus, which gives you 60 days of video history rather than 30 days, that'll now cost you $15 a month or $150 annually (a 25% price increase).
While Google has only notified its US customers about the price changes so far, they're likely a sign of what's to come in other regions, too. We've asked Google to confirm if this will be the case in the UK and what the new pricing will be. (Update 4/9/23: Google has confirmed that the new UK pricing for Nest Aware will be $6 a month / £60 a year, while Nest Aware Plus will be £12 a month / £120 a year).
The increased pricing goes into effect immediately for new subscribers in the US, with current Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus customers getting the unwelcome price increase in their next bill from November 6.
Those two subscription services effectively replaced the Nest 1st generation plan back in May 2020, which started at only $5 per month and gave you five days of 24/7 rolling cloud video storage (a feature that's now only available with Nest Aware Plus).
On the plus side, the current Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus plans do cover all of your Google Nest devices (unlike its previous per-device plans). So if you have multiple cameras or doorbells then one (albeit pricey) subscription will cover all of them.
Update 4/9/23: Google has pointed us towards its Help Centre page for Nest price increase, which confirms that the "price of existing Nest Aware subscriptions will increase in the US, UK, and Australia in Fall 2023".
Analysis: Death by software subscriptions
On the Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus rises, Google has only vaguely explained that "subscription prices can change to keep up with market shifts, which can include inflation and local tax updates."
But the reality is that cloud storage – one of the main benefits of getting a subscription for your security camera – has broadly been getting pricier, with Google Cloud becoming a lot more expensive last year. So it was only a matter of time before cloud storage for security cameras was also given a price hike.
Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus subscriptions were already among the highest of the best home security cameras, with the likes of Ring, Arlo, Blink and now Philips Hue all offering cheaper basic plans alongside their own 'Plus' options. So that could be a factor for buyers to consider in the long-running Ring vs Nest debate.
Still, Google's plans also cover an unlimited number of devices, so they could still be worthwhile if you have – or plan to get – a large number of Google-made cameras, doorbells, speakers and displays that all support its smart alerts.