In the modern age, virtually every smart home device is equipped with some type of camera— from phones and laptops, to video doorbells and microwaves. The popularity of camera-equipped devices has made for easy video calls and some hilarious videos on social media. It also means that devices like smart displays can act as effective and durable home security cameras for customers.
As long as you have an Amazon Echo Show powered by Alexa or a Google Nest Hub powered by Google Assistant, you can access the live feed from the smart speaker on your smartphone or another handheld device. Depending on your smart display, you can move the camera to look around your home as long as your Wi-Fi connection is intact.
In this guide, we explain how to use your smart display as a security camera, walking you through the steps for the Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo Show interfaces, so you can keep an eye on your home with ease.
How to use your Google Nest Hub as a security camera
The Google Nest Hub is a popular smart display option for those that love the Google ecosystem of devices. However, not all iterations of the smart speaker have access to the security camera feature, which Google calls Nest Cam. Subsequently, you’ll need the correct model to use your Google Nest Hub as a security system.
The Google Nest Hub Max is the only device that can utilize the Nest Cam features. If you’re working with the first or second generation of the standard Google Nest Hub, you’re out of luck.
Once you confirm that you have the Google Nest Hub Max, follow the steps below to set up your Nest Cam features and use your device as a security camera.
And now, you’re all set to use your Google Nest Hub Max as a security camera. You’ll be able to get live feed from your device, as well as talk and listen through it. When you say, “Hey Google, show me the living room,” you’ll see a camera feed of that location and have two-way audio functionality.
Nest Cam also provides a three-hour window where you can get snapshots from the device when it detects an event. If you want access to full-on continuous recording instead of just a livestream, sign up for Nest Aware, which costs $6 per month. You’ll be able to save and share clips for up to 30 days on the Nest app, set up activity zones, and get automatic notifications when the device notices something unusual.
How to use your Amazon Echo Show as a security camera
You may be more of an Amazon Alexa person when it comes to smart technology. The devices offer many smart home integrations that can improve your setup. However, like the Google Nest Hub, not all Amazon Echo Show devices can be used as security cameras. Make sure you have the right iteration to take advantage of Home Monitoring, which Amazon calls its security camera functionality.
The Echo Show 5 (2nd gen), Echo Show 8 (2nd gen), Echo Show 8 (2nd gen), Echo Show 10, and Echo Show 15 are compatible with the Home Monitoring feature. Now that you have a compatible device, follow these steps to use your Amazon Echo Show as a security camera.
You can now access your Amazon Echo Show as a security camera, providing a live feed from that device’s camera. If you have the Echo Show 10, you can swivel the camera back and forth by swiping left and right on the screen. You can also take advantage of Ring Modes, which integrate multiple Ring devices for easier functionality.
Like Google, Amazon requires you to sign up for a subscription to get continuous recordings. The plan for these devices is called Amazon Protect, and it costs $3.99 per month for a video history of up to 180 days.
Should you buy a standard security camera?
While smart displays perform admirably when it comes to home security cameras, there’s no substitute for the real thing. Yes, the Google Nest Hub and the Echo Show have their perks. Still, security cameras from companies like Ring and Alro are better equipped for home security, mainly because they’re built with home security functionality in mind. Even Nest cameras provide a solid option that integrates seamlessly with Google Nest Hub.
Home security cameras are often weatherproof, so you can place them outside to monitor more than your living room. Additionally, they typically offer better connectivity, as they aren’t powering a full-on smart display on top of recording your home. On top of all that, home security cameras are portable, allowing you to place and mount them wherever you’d like rather than awkwardly sitting on the entryway table.
Smart displays are an excellent addition to a home security setup, but they won’t do the job on their own. If you want to be 100% sure you’re secure, check out our best security camera guide to see what options are beyond your smart speaker.
This content was originally published here.