Nest Cameras represent Google's presence in the home security market and they are pretty good. However, there are some issues and bugs with the Cameras as with any electronic devices.
Nest Cams troubleshooting is usually attributed to issues associated with power, network issues, and common configuration hiccups. Nest Cams also trigger Error codes to indicate corresponding issues.
Nest Cam troubleshooting steps include power cycling the device, checking for network issues, updating the firmware version, and resetting the Nest Cam.
This article will focus on the common issues with Nest Cameras and troubleshooting methods you can do to resolve them.
Common Issues on Nest Cam
Nest App vs Google Home App
If you have been a Nest user for a while, you must have been configuring and operating the Nest Cameras using the Nest App from Google.
However, recently, users have been forced to move on to the Google Home app to control and configure Nest Cams instead of the Nest app.
This has left a lot of users feeling unpleasant to say the least. Users find the user interface unintuitive, general unresponsiveness, and the overall lack of organization with the Home app troubling.
The Google Home App even fails to feature a section in the App to view history and the buffer times are horrendously long.
As a result, users with multiple Nest Cams, including ones they had before and the ones they have bought recently, are forced to switch between these two apps to configure their Cameras.
Although the Nest Team has promised changes, there have been no updates to this setup.
Nest Camera Offline
A widely reported issue with Nest Cameras is their sentient behavior of switching OFF on their own.
If you are getting notifications or emails saying that your Camera is offline or has disconnected, you are a victim of this issue.
There are multiple potential causes for this issue. Some of them include slow upload speed, Wi-Fi interference issues, or a weak overall connection.
The Nest Cam requires an active network connection to work, unlike other Google products like the Nest Mini that can work without connecting to a WiFi network.
Take note of your Camera's LED indicator. If it is off or blinking yellow, it is a sign that your Camera is either powered off or having trouble connecting to your network.
Another indicator that your Camera is going offline on its own is the gaps in its video history that say the Camera was offline or powered off.
Keep in mind that it is normal to find gaps where no events were detected if your Camera has Event Recording (EBR).
Errors Associated with Nest Cam
If you are facing any issues with your Nest Cameras or doorbell, the Nest App will show an error prompt. The kind of errors that you could run into are as follows:
- Network Connection Problem
- Bluetooth Connection Problem
- The camera could not connect to other Nest Products
- Internet security settings preventing your camera from connecting
- Trouble connecting to Wi-Fi
- Incorrect Wi-Fi password
- The camera had trouble finding or connecting to Wi-Fi
- The hidden Wi-Fi network didn’t recognize the info provided
- Issues with router setting
- Internet connection is too slow or dropping off
- Connection errors between Camera and the computer
- Your camera may be part of a different Nest home
- Your doorbell went idle and you can't complete the setup
- Your doorbell may have previous settings
To know which one of the above issues your error code corresponds to, click this link to get a full list of error codes and instructions on how to fix the issue.
With that said, here are the many troubleshooting steps to overcome most issues on a Nest Cam:
Refresh Nest Cam
You can refresh your Nest Camera if you are facing issues like the device becoming frozen and unresponsive, trouble connecting to your Wi-Fi network, or is just not working as it is supposed to.
A refresh will not delete any of your settings, and it will reconnect to the same Wi-Fi network without having to configure the network details.
To refresh your Nest Camera, follow the instructions below:
- Depending on the version of the Nest Camera that you are using, there might or might not be a dedicated refresh button.
- If you have a device with a dedicated reset button, plug the device into a power source.
- Once initialized, press and hold the button for 5 seconds or till the LED indicator turns White.
- The device will restart.
If your device does not have a reset button like the Nest Cam IQ, unplug the Camera from the power source, wait for 10 seconds, then plug the Camera back into the power source. The device will restart.
For device-specific instructions on how to do a power cycle/reset, click here.
You can also apply the same troubleshooting step (refreshing) if you encounter similar issues on other Nest devices, like if your Nest Mini keeps disconnecting at random.
Check the Power Supply
Disruptions in the power supply can lead to improper functionality with the Nest Camera.
So it is imperative to check and ensure that the cables and the power supply are doing fine in the event of an issue.
Here are some of the checks to keep in mind:
- Temperature is a big factor if you are using Cameras that run on battery power. Under cold conditions, battery life can be lower. As a result, you may need to charge it more often.
- If your Camera operates by plugging into a power source, make sure you have switched it on.
- If you find that even though your home has power but the Camera fails to power on, try a different outlet to ensure that the problem does not lie with the Camera.
- If the Camera does not work even after you have changed the power outlet, it could be due to the power cable you are using. Try a different cable to check if your Camera is working or not.
- If you have been charging your Nest Camera using solar panels, temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degree Celsius is not suitable for charging. Take the Camera inside to charge if this is the case.
A failing power supply is one the most obvious culprits for issues like Nest Thermostat black screens pop up on Nest devices.
Check the Status of the Network
A stable internet connection is vital for Nest Cams to work. Failing this condition will render the device unresponsive. The same applies to other Nest devices. Nest Mini not responding is an example.
And when the network seems slow or if the connection is not stable, better run the following checks n your network:
Check other devices connected to the network like your smartphone to know whether your Wi-Fi network is working as intended. You can also run speed tests to figure out your network speed.
If you have connected many devices to a Wi-Fi network, this can cause issues for your Nest Camera or the Nest Doorbell.
To ensure that this is not the issue, disconnect some of the devices you have connected to your Wi-Fi network and try operating the Nest Camera in the network.
You could also disconnect other operational Nest Cameras in your home or building to clear up some bandwidth and then try operating the errant Nest Camera.
Doing so could pinpoint the issue you are having with your Nest Camera and clarify if the issue lies with the network or not.
If the live stream becomes available once you disconnect the operational Nest Camera from the Wi-Fi network, you have found your culprit.
Keep in mind that you might have to disconnect multiple devices to know for sure if the issue is with the network bandwidth or not.
Another potential issue you could run into is if your internet service provider has set a limit on the amount of bandwidth allotted per user. Exceeding the same will render the connection slow.
Some of the things you can alter to lower your Camera's bandwidth requirement are the following:
- Lower the video quality settings so that the Cam consumes less bandwidth.
- You could change your Nest Camera schedule to reduce the load on the Wi-Fi network at a time.
To change the streaming resolution for your Nest Camera, do the following:
- Open the Nest app and tap on the Camera whose resolution you want to change.
- Tap on 'Settings' and then tap on 'Image Quality'.
- Then tap on 'Lower Resolution'.
You could also consider upgrading your bandwidth, speed, and range to meet the requirements of your home. A mesh Wi-Fi system is also an effective way you can sort out any bandwidth issues.
Power Cycle the Router/Modem
If you come across issues with your network, a reset of your router, modem, or any other supplementary devices can fix the issue.
To restart your modem or router, follow the steps below:
- Unplug the power cords of the modem and router. You might have a device that is a combination of both. Make sure the LED indicators on your device are completely off.
- Wait for at least 30 seconds before plugging the modem and router back into the power source.
- Once your modem and router turn back ON, give the device a couple of minutes to initialize.
- You have successfully restarted your modem and router.
Reconnect your Nest Camera with the network and try viewing the live video stream on the Nest App. If everything is working as it is supposed to, you should be able to view the stream.
Disable Any Network Extenders
If you have employed Wi-Fi network extenders on your premise, they could cause conflict with your Nest Camera.
Your Nest Camera might drop off or have disconnection issues if it is incompatible with the network extender.
If you have a Wi-Fi extender, unplug or disable it and check if the offline Camera's live video stream has been restored once the camera has reconnected to the network.
Relocate Nest Cam
The positioning of your Nest Camera is an important factor that affects its functionality. If kept too far from the router, the live video stream might be affected as a result.
It could also result in the Nest Camera dropping off frequently, riddled with interference.
Temperature is also a factor that can be the cause of your Nest Camera dropping off from your Wi-Fi network.
If the temperature is above or below the Camera's or Doorbell's operating temperature, it might disconnect from the Wi-Fi network to protect itself.
If you find that your Nest Camera is unusually warm, then unplug the Camera and let the device cool down. Once it has cooled down, plug it back in and check if functionality is restored.
Just because you have kept your Nest Camera indoors does not mean that the device is immune to being heated up.
If placed above a fireplace, in direct sunlight, or near another heat source, you might need to relocate the Nest Camera to prevent drop-offs.
Here are a few things you can do to improve your Nest Camera connectivity:
- Move your Camera or the router closer to each other, wait a few minutes, and check if your connection has become more reliable.
- Relocate objects close to your Nest Camera or router that can cause potential interference.
- If these measures are resulting in better connectivity, you might need to extend your Wi-Fi network range if you wish to keep your Nest Camera in its original location.
Update Nest Cam and App
Nest Cams usually update automatically if you have a reliable internet connection.
However, you can check the version of the firmware you are currently running to know if you have the latest version or not.
To check your software version, follow these steps depending on the app:
- Open the Nest App
- From the Home Screen, tap on the Nest device whose firmware you want to check.
- Tap on 'Settings'.
- Tap on 'Technical Info'.
- Here, the current firmware version should appear next to 'Software'.
- Open the Home App
- Touch and hold the Nest device's tile.
- Tap on 'Settings'.
- Tap on 'Device Information'.
- The software information should be under 'Technical Information'.
If you are facing issues with the Nest App or Home App, you can set app updates to automatic on your Smartphone.
If your Automatic updates are turned off, you can go to the play store or App Store to check for updates for the Nest and Home App.
Reset Nest Cam
Factory Resetting your Nest Camera is the most effective troubleshooting method you can attempt to fix issues with the device.
Keep in mind that if you have any footage in your Camera's video history, better save the clips that you want before attempting a factory reset as they will be deleted.
A factory reset will wipe all data on your Nest Camera including the Wi-Fi credentials and Google connectivity.
For older Nest Cameras like Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor, or Dropcam, you can reset these devices by removing them from the Nest account in the Nest app.
These devices do not have a dedicated physical reset button like the newer versions.
Nest Hello doorbell and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor have a dedicated reset button on the back of the unit and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has the button on the front.
You will have to use a paperclip or a similar thin object to press the reset button for some Nest devices.
As different Nest devices have unique designs and hardware layouts, you can refer here to know device-specific factory reset information.
Once you have completed a factory reset, you will have to set up your Nest Camera from scratch as you did the first time you got it.
Google Nest has grown to become an integral part of Google's home ecosystem. Nest Cameras are capable of streaming video to the Nest or Home App indefinitely for free.
Although they are relatively reliable, there are issues with Nest devices which mostly can be managed by easy fixes like the ones mentioned above.
Keep in mind that debris or dirt over your Camera lens can also affect the stream quality of your Nest Camera. You can wipe the Camera lens with a soft clean cloth to keep it smudge-free.
If you feel that you have a defective product, do not hesitate to contact the Nest team for support.
Hopefully, the information in this article has helped you troubleshoot your Nest Camera.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does the battery last on a Nest camera?
Nest Camera batteries can last from 2 months to 7 months depending on the level of activity the Camera is subjected to.
Can a Nest camera be repaired?
Google recommends that repairs should only be done by Google or Google-authorized service providers as unauthorized repairs or modifications can result in permanent damage to the device. Doing so will also affect the warranty coverage for your device.
Can you view two Nest cameras at once?
No, you can view the live video feed from only one Nest Camera/Doorbell at a time on the Google Nest Hub.
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