Can you use Nest Hello without Nest Aware?

Nest Hello AC 2
Nest Hello AC 2 (Image credit: Android Central)

Best answer: Of course! You can still access live footage from your Nest Hello product without a Nest Aware subscription, and you'll still be able to use the Nest app whenever you get a notification to see who's at the door, or if your product detects movement. You just won't get some other useful features liked saved recordings.

Is Nest Aware important?

While you can get by without it, Nest Aware is still a significant feature to have for your Nest Hello product. In case you're unaware, Nest Aware is a subscription service that adds a ton of useful features to your Nest Hello. While you have 24/7 live footage with a Nest Hello video doorbell, none of it's recorded. This can be a deal-breaker to some, especially depending on how safe you feel when it comes to your surrounding area.

While you can argue that the Nest Hello does at least take screenshots of any important occurrences (such as someone coming to your door), those screenshots (saved and stored in the Nest app) only last three hours. That's not nearly enough time.

Nest Aware sports a huge range of interactive features, all with the ability to customize in a way that's right for you.

Nest Aware also includes a huge range of interactive features, all with the ability to customize in a way that's right for you. For example, you'll be able to create activity zones around important areas (such as cribs if you have an inside Nest Camera) that'll tell your device you want it to pay special attention to. You can also customize your Nest devices to notify you when they spot a familiar face or a complete stranger. Of course, it can also detect the difference between a human or an animal, so don't fret: You won't need to be notified if a stray cat decides to perch at your door. If someone did rob you, not only would you have the clip saved to your app, you're also able to cut down your clip size to the exact moment and share it online through the Nest app.

So, whether the Nest Hello is worth it without the Nest Aware subscription is up to you, but if you're leaning towards Nest Aware, be aware you'll be spending $60 or more a year for the service. Additionally, there is a second, more premium tier called Nest Aware Plus. It costs $120 per year but gives you event video history for two months (as opposed to one for the base level), and you get 24/7 video history for up to 10 days.

In mid-2021, Google announced several new Nest devices, including a Nest Doorbell that doesn't require a Nest Aware subscription to access features like custom motion zones and object/event detection. However, even though the Nest Doorbell is newer, many people may still opt for the robust Nest Hello Doorbell. Check out our comparison of the two devices if you're having trouble deciding on which one is right for your home.

Nest Hello makes you aware at all times

The Nest Hello is admittedly a very expensive doorbell, but it's also still one of the best Google Home devices that you can buy today. It will let you know just who is knocking or delivering packages to your door. What's more, everything is in clear HD no matter if it's day or night, allowing you that peace of mind that makes your home safe. You'll also be able to check in on your doorbell whenever you feel like it. Just bring up the Nest app whenever you feel like it, and voila!

Its 4:3 HD camera is also designed not just to include the face of the person at the door but their full body. While it may not be as wide as other cameras out there, it doesn't allow for any surprises. But, of course, the Nest Hello isn't just a camera. It also has every other regular feature of a doorbell, including a jaunty tune, and even a speaker, allowing you to communicate with whoever is at the door. That makes the Nest Hello pretty neat.

Aimee Hart