Nest Cam vs Arlo Q (What You Need To Know – 2023?)
How we reviewed: hands-on tests, hours studying Nest Cam and Arlo Q sites, and reading 100+ customer reviews.
Last update on 2023-05-24 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Written By: John Fox | Security expert / Locksmith 30 Years Experience
If you’re looking to buy a security camera, the chances are that you’ve stumbled upon these two names the most, Nest and Arlo. Both these companies are two of the leading surveillance system manufacturers and have been on the map for a long time. The nest cam and Arlo Q particularly have been involved in a long-drawn tussle.
If you’ve shortlisted these two cameras for your home surveillance but are confused as to which one to choose, read this comparison guide for better clarity. We tested a model of each brand and pitted them against each other to see which one performs the best on various grounds. The Nest Cam and Arlo Q are both excellent cameras, but there is only one winner.
Let’s get started and compare the two.
Google Nest manufactures smart home devices such as speakers, displays, smoke detectors, and, most prominently, security cameras. It has been around for over a decade and quickly managed to climb the ranks to become one of the most sought-after brands for surveillance systems.CHECK LATEST PRICE
Now Nest has produced Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor, Nest Cam IQ, among an assortment of other products, making its line of products pretty comprehensive. Nest Cam Indoor has particularly gained popularity over the years due to the high specifications offered by the camera and the sophisticated modern features you get to enjoy in this security camera.
Nest is also quick to fix software bugs when they are reported, so that is another reason why customers love spending their money on Nest products.
While Google Nest may be considered one of the best security camera manufacturers in the market right now, Arlo is on par with this brand on many levels, if not better than Nest. The reason is simple, Arlo specializes in crafting state-of-the-art wireless surveillance cameras. You can call it their forte.CHECK LATEST PRICE
Arlo Pro specifically has been a fan-favorite, thanks to its record-breaking sales registered in 2019. Not only do they manufacture security cams, but Arlo also manufactures baby monitoring cams and portable cams. The Arlo Q is a leading indoor surveillance camera that is equipped with useful features, and high specifications, making it possible for the user to monitor their homes from anywhere in the world.
While the Arlo Q is an exceptional device, no doubt, how well does it perform when it goes head-to-head against the Nest cam? We used both these models to see which was met our needs the most. Neither of the cameras disappointed us, but we now know which one is better than the other.
Compare Nest cam vs. Arlo Q Top Features
Indoor / Outdoor Usage
Works with Alexa
Info current as of 10/08/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Nest Cam vs. Arlo Q: Feature Face-Off
The Google Nest Cam and Arlo camera sure have a lot in common. Here are some features that you will find in both of these models.
The Google Nest cam and the Arlo Camera both come with a 1080p HD resolution that makes the videos recorded by the camera crisp and bright. When we used the camera, the quality astounded us, thanks to the sheer brightness with which they record. Although, it should be noted that once the videos the camera records travel through all sorts of mediums, including cloud storage, the overall quality might diminish a bit.
The 1080p is only the recording resolution of the camera. Not that it makes a large difference anyway, we still consider it to be a noteworthy point. But for security purposes, you don’t have ultra HD quality, just enough that you can identify who is at the door, it shouldn’t matter much if the quality slightly deteriorates.
Two-way communication has become an important feature in security cameras, and thankfully, both the Arlo smart security camera and the Arlo camera are equipped with this feature. The models have a built-in microphone and speaker. The microphone is responsible for detecting the voices of people or vehicles that fall within its range.
We tested the efficiency of the two-way communication feature of both models through a series of experiments. We discovered that once the camera detects a sound, it will issue an alert on the respective app, such as the Arlo app, using which you can listen to the sounds that the speaker detected.
If you’ve got a stranger knocking at your door, you can use the speaker of the camera to engage in a conversation with them without having to open the door. You can use your phone for all the wireless communication, regardless of your location. This means you can be on the other side of the world and still be able to communicate with the person at your doorstep.
Arlo and Nest both guarantee that all their products are easy to set up. It took us about 5-10 minutes to set up the Arlo Q by ourselves, without any professional help from the company. All you have to do is plug the camera using a USB cable and plug in the wall adapter for the overall set-up. (1)
Next, connect the network to an outlet. You would then have to make an account on the Arlo app and follow all the prompts issued by the app. From there on out, almost all the programming would be done via the app. To connect the wireless network, you have to scan a QR code using the lens of the camera to connect the two. That’s it. That’s pretty much all you have to do to set up your Arlo Q camera.
The installation procedure of the Nest cam is also quite similar to Arlo Q but even simpler. It would only take you about 5 minutes to finish setting up the Nest cam. For this, you would first have to connect the power wire and the wall adapter and plug it into an outlet. Next, you’d be required to download the Nest app and follow the prompts issued by the app.
As soon as all the setting up is done, you can fix the camera at a designated spot, and you’d be all done. While the setting up process of both the cameras is pretty much the same, Nest Cam takes less time to set up.
Winner: Nest Cam – Takes less time to install
Live streaming is one of the most important and sought-after features of wireless security cameras, and both Nest Cam and Arlo Q have this feature.
For us, this is an important feature as it allows us to see what’s happening on our property in real-time, so naturally, we invested time in testing the live streaming features of both these cameras. But here’s a catch. To use the live streaming feature in either of the cameras, you’d have to pay a subscription fee.
For instance, one of Arlo’s streaming plans would cost you about $10 per month, in which the camera would continuously record for 14 days. The best part about Arlo’s plans is, they allow you to download and save the recording for later viewing as well. The live streaming mechanism in the Nest cam is different.
In the Nest cam, you can review the videos recorded in the last three hours. You can view these videos for free, but they will be continuously overwritten. One of the major downsides of Nest’s live viewing is that you won’t be able to download or save the videos for later viewing. For that, you’d have to buy a plan.
Winner: Arlo Q – Provides an option to download and save videos
In the age of Amazon Alexa, we would want all our smart home devices to be compatible with at least one Voice AI to make things simpler. Thankfully, both the Nest cam and the Arlo Q can be integrated with Amazon Alexa. For this, you’d need either an Echo Show or a Fire TV product, such as the stick, using which you can use voice commands to watch the security video feed.
While the extent of integration options is limited to just Amazon in the case of Arlo Q, Nest is compatible with Google Assistant, SmartThings, and IFTTT. This makes Nest’s scope of integration wider than that of Arlo Q.
Winner: Nest – More options for integration
While buying a security camera, you need to ensure that the device can issue timely alerts when it detects unusual movements in front of the lens or if it detects property intrusion. Both the Arlo Q and Nest cameras provide excellent alert capabilities. Not only will you be informed of the movement, but you would also be informed of the type of movement that occurred on your property.
A good example of intelligent detection is the ability of these cameras to distinguish between the movements of a human and that of an animal. Because the devices can distinguish the difference between these two, it prevents them from issuing false alarms. You will only be notified if the camera detects human motions.
The audio alerts of the units are as intelligent as the motion alert. It can distinguish between the voice of a human and the sounds of different animals and vehicles. This considerably minimizes the possibility of false alarms, ensuring that you don’t lose a second of sleep over a whole lot of nothing.
You’d be glad to know that the Arlo smart security camera offers free cloud storage up to seven days a month. You won’t have to pay a penny for the 7-day’s worth of storage, which is why many people choose either the Arlo Q or Nest Cam for their home security surveillance. Once the camera exhausts the 7-day storage, the newer videos will overwrite the older ones.
If you don’t want your videos to be overwritten after seven days, you can choose the brand’s monthly storage plans, which can offer you extended cloud storage at fixed prices. Arlo, for instance, would provide you ten days’ worth of storage for $10 per month. You can also choose 30 days worth of storage for $30 per month. You can also pick the yearly packs, which start at $100 per year.
Nest, on the other hand, isn’t as generous as Arlo when it comes to storage. Nest provides no free cloud storage, unlike Arlo. If you don’t have the Nest Aware Cloud Service, then you will only be able to use the live stream service of the brand and nothing else. With Nest Aware, you would be able to enjoy two kinds of plans, whichever you choose. The first one would provide you with ten days worth of storage for $10 per month if you have just one camera and the same price for adding any additional cameras as the previous plan. You can choose from either of these plans. (2)
Winner: Arlo Q – Provides Free Storage
The Arlo Q and Nest Cam may have a ton of features in common, but there are several differences between the two as well, which we believe will allow you to refine your choice. We tested both models based on their unique features as well.
While testing Arlo Q, we discovered that there are certain features of the model that are not there in its Nest rival.
While installing a security camera, you simply cannot avoid the importance of good mounting options. This is where the Arlo Q would make things easier for you. During our testing, we found that the Arlo Q can be mounted on the wall, and due to the magnetic base, could be placed on any flat surface. Unlike Nest, which has a rather solid design, the Arlo Q is a bit more flexible, which we think would suit the requirements of some readers, particularly those who don’t have enough dedicated space for a security camera.
Free Cloud Recording
As we mentioned in the previous section, the Arlo Q provides seven days of free storage, which automatically makes this model a tough competitor in the market. Hardly any brand can be as generous as Arlo when it comes to handing out free cloud storage, and Nest is not one of those, as it provides no free cloud storage.
If you don’t want to spend money on an expensive plan, having already spent a lot on the surveillance system itself, you can enjoy the free services and stay on top of things. At any point, when you think that you require additional storage, you can pay for a plan and upgrade.
Alternately, any time you think that seven days would meet your requirement just fine, you could downgrade without any hitch. This flexibility in regards to storage attracted us towards Arlo Q more than anything else.
Just like Arlo Q, there were certain unique features of the Nest Cam that we found helpful.
Wider Scope of Integration
It’s essential to own a camera that integrates with as many third-party applications and platforms as possible. While the Arlo Q works with the other models of the same brand, it does not support collaboration with a thermostat.
Nest, on the other hand, provides the option to integrate with the Google Nest thermostat, which makes it quite versatile. Not just that, but Google has also launched several other products and services, most of which are compatible with the Nest Cam.
Moreover, it also integrated with products like the Amazon Echo Smart speaker and August Smart door locks, and we haven’t even seen the entirety of Nest’s scope of integration, thanks to the Works With Google Assistant program. This speaks volumes about the integration abilities you can expect from this camera.
The Nest Cam comes with Nest Aware, which is a comprehensive paid subscription service that offers an array of features that makes your Homes’ surveillance system pretty advanced. One of the best features you’d get to enjoy is facial recognition, which allows the camera to identify familiar faces so you’d instantly know if it’s a friend at the doorstep or a stranger. It also offers super-advanced motion detection capacities with human, animal, and vehicle detection.
In addition to this, you’d also be able to see a video history timeline, which outlines the important activities that take place in a specific zone. This way, if there is any zone that requires your attention due to a certain activity, you’d instantly know. The best part is, you can customize these zones, and add the ones to your liking.
You’d be notified immediately if any suspicious activities take place within the custom zones. You could also create time-lapse videos, which concentrate about 24 hours worth of video in just a matter of seconds, making it easier to skim through the security videos at the end of the day without wasting too much time watching them. You would be done watching the entire day’s worth of footage in 120 seconds or less.
Picking a general winner can be tricky as the requirement of each user varies tremendously. For us, affordability plays a critical role while choosing a security camera, so no doubt, our vote goes to the Arlo Q. The Arlo Q is an extremely affordable option when you consider that you’re not forced to pay any subscription fee for recording the videos. Meanwhile, with Nest, if you want to record and save security footage, you would have to subscribe to Nest Aware.
However, if you’re not on a budget, and can easily spend money on something like Nest Aware, then go for the Nest Cam, because the features of this service are numerous. The affordability factor of the Arlo Q also comes in when you consider that for up to 15 cameras in the surveillance system, you’d have to pay the same amount.
Not to mention, It’s also pretty simple to find a designated spot for the Arlo Q cameras as you can mount the unit pretty much anywhere. Alternatively, if you want a camera that has better integration capability, then the Nest Cam is a better option for your needs. At the end of the day, you’d have to consider your needs, and most importantly, your budget to see which camera would fix all your problems. For us, it was the Arlo Q.
The Nest Cam and Arlo Q are both excellent cameras, but which one is fit for your requirements, that might differ depending upon your unique needs.
Choose the Nest Cam if you;
- already have some Nest Devices in your home, and just want to add the security camera to the existing network
- want sophisticated features that are a part of Nest Aware, which also allows advanced facial recognition, and has built-in Google Assistance to make surveillance simpler
Choose the Arlo Q if you;
- don’t want to spend a lot of money on security cameras, and for that, are willing to compromise with a few cool features
- Already use a few Arlo cameras, and want to add another to the system
- want free cloud storage
Here are some more Arlo product reviews we’ve written that you can check out.
(1) USB cable – https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/understanding-usb-cable-types-one-use/
(2) Cloud Service – https://www.citrix.com/en-ph/solutions/digital-workspace/what-is-a-cloud-service.html
Senior Writer & Director
John Fox has been working as a security consultant for over 20 years. During his time in the industry, he’s learned about what it takes to ensure your home and family are always safe. With Safe Now, he’s tried to take those two decades of experience and share it with others. His goal now is to help others figure out how to make the right choices for their businesses and families.