8th September, 2017 | 8 minutes

Will Nest Cams work with my current home broadband?

by Tegan Webster
Commercial Manager Connected Home

The average Australian home currently has an estimated 13.7 devices connected to the internet, as estimated by emerging technology firm Telstye. Telstye predict that by 2021 the average Aussie household will have over 30 different connected devices, such as appliances, lights, sensors and other devices that you can monitor or control via your mobile phone[1]

Leading the way in Australia is Nest’s range of connected security and safety devices, along with voice-activated ‘hubs’ such as Google Home.

Truly connected homes might be the future but it goes without saying that the more devices in your home that are connected to the internet, the greater the demand on your home broadband connection in terms of both data allowance and speed.  And we all know some parts of Australia have challenges when it comes to broadband infrastructure.

So if you are thinking about joining the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution and purchasing a Nest Cam or smoke alarm, you are probably asking yourself ‘is my home internet connection going to be good enough?’  The short answer is ‘yes, probably’ but it does depend on what type of broadband connection your home currently has.

Below is some specific information on the connection type, data, bandwidth and speed required for Nest products in Australia.  And if your current plan isn’t quite up to speed, we can help you upgrade to a plan that will enable Nest products to stream beautifully in your home.

Will Nest Cams work with my current home broadband?

What sort of internet connection do I need for Nest Cams to work as intended? Do I need to be on the NBN?

In general, Nest Cams will work almost anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi signal. But there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re trying to connect to certain types of networks or routers. Standard Wi-Fi routers use the 2.4GHz band, the 5GHz band, or both. All Nest Cams available through iSelect work on the 2.4GHz band. The Nest Cams work on both.

Each Nest Indoor and Outdoor cams will use a maximum bandwidth of 1.2 megabits per second (mbps) to stream as intended at a resolution of 1080 pixels.  To stream at 1080p resolution, you will need to be on either a cable or NBN plan on a 25, 50 or 100 speed tier.  If you’re purchasing multiple Nest Cams you will need to be on the NBN and have a 25, 50 or 100 speed tier plan.

If you are on ADSL2 or ADSL2+, Nest Cam will work at your place but will simply stream at a lower resolution (360 or 720p, depending on your connection).  The same goes for customers on the lowest speed tier NBN plan of 12/1 or a NBN fixed wireless connection.

Your Nest Cam will automatically adjust video resolution based on your available bandwidth, upload speed and other factors.

Unfortunately, Nest Cams won’t work for any customers still on an ADSL1, ADSL or DSL connections.

The below table gives further information Nest Cams bandwidth and resolution. Remember, this is per camera. If you have more than one Nest Cam, this will require more bandwidth and could result in your cameras streaming at a lower resolution.

 

 Nest Cam Indoor & Outdoor – per camera
 Quality & bandwidth setting  Low  Medium  High
 Maximum upload bandwidth  0.15 mbps  0.5 mbps  1.2 mbps
 Typical resolutions up to  360p  720p  1080p

Is my home broadband fast enough for Nest Cams to work properly?

The rollout of the NBN across Australia means an increased focus on broadband speeds.  Generally, we talk about download speeds but when it comes to products like Nest, the upload speed is actually more important.

For example, when you are watching Netflix, you are downloading or streaming content from the internet whereas Nest Cams upload footage from the camera to the cloud, and then to your smart phone.

Nest Cams require a broadband internet connection with upload speeds of at least 1.2 mbps, which is why you need a cable or higher-speed NBN plan (25, 50 or 100 speed tier) for the Cams to work as intended.  Customers with other connection types with upload speeds below 1.2 mbps can still use Nest Cams and they will automatically stream in a lower resolution.

The table below outlines upload and download speeds of different types of broadband connection and how Nest Cams will work.  This is per camera.  Multiple Nest Cams within the one home require a higher-speed NBN plan to work as intended.

 

Connection Type (Mbps)
Download Speeds up to
(Mbps)
Upload
Speeds up to
Will Nest Cam Work? What resolution will it stream at?
 Cable  100+  2  Yes  1080p
 ADSL2+  24  1  Yes  720 or 360p
 ADSL2  20  1  Yes  720 or 360p
 ADSL1  8  0.3  No  –
 NBN 12 (tier 1)  12  1  Yes  720 or 360p
 NBN 25 (tier 2)  25  5  Yes  1080p
 NBN 50 (tier 4)  50  20  Yes  1080p
 NBN 100 (tier 5)  100  40  Yes  1080p
 NBN Fixed Wireless  12  1  Yes  720 or 360p

How much data will my Nest Cam use?

We’re used to talking about data allowance when choosing a broadband plan but with more and more internet providers offering unlimited data plans, this is becoming less of an issue.   As the NBN continues to roll out across Australia, the conversation will become less about data and more about speed.

How much data the Nest Cams uses will depend on what resolution the camera is streaming at. Most Australian households have more than enough data to run Nest Cams. Make sure you consider what other streaming services you have at home.

The table below outlines how much data one Nest Cam will use per month if you set it to constantly stream to the cloud. This continual streaming service is called a Nest Aware subscription (which is free for the first 30 days after signing up and is $14 per month ongoing for 10 days of 24/7 continuous recording and person detection alerts).

 

 Nest Cam Indoor & Outdoor – per camera
 Nest cam video setting  Low
360p
SD resolution
 Medium
720p
HD resolution
 High
1080p
Full HD resolution
 Typical monthly data usage  30 GB  120 GB  300 GB
 Monthly average data usage  18GB  60GB  140GB
 Monthly maximum data usage

(during high activity)

 48GB  160GB  380GB

 

What about Nest Protect smoke alarms?

Nest Protect smoke & carbon monoxide alarms use very little data and will work at any speed. The Nest Protect runs its own wireless network if there is more than one in the home. This means that they will still work and provide a warning or alarm even if your Wi-Fi connection is down, and the power is cut to your home. That’s impressively safe.

Still not sure if your current broadband connection is suitable for Nest Cams? Give us a call.

If you have further questions or aren’t sure what connection type or speed you have at home, give one of iSelect’s broadband experts a call on 13 19 20 to find out what is really going on with upload and download speeds at your place.

We can tell you what type of connection you can get at your address, and how the Nest Cams will work. If your current plan isn’t up to scratch, we can look to find you a suitable broadband deal for the Nest Cams to stream beautifully in your home.

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[1] Telstye, 9 May 2017: https://www.telsyte.com.au/announcements/2017/9/5/iothome-market-set-to-soar-with-more-than-300-million-connected-devices-in-australian-homes-by-2021

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