As smart, affordable home security has become the norm, many companies have entered the market with devices that promise peace of mind when it comes to protecting our homes. Leading this wave are Ring and Nest, the two brands responsible for some of the most famous security cameras, alarms and video doorbells. But which one offers the best products?
As said, smart home technology has gotten smarter, smaller and cheaper over the last decade, and the devices of these companies are no different. There’s a wide range of best home security cameras and best video doorbells available, all of which connect directly to Wi-Fi for clear HD or 4K video, two-way audio, cloud storage and more.
They do this through a mobile device, with Ring and Nest both offering excellent apps for monitoring camera feeds and talking to anyone outside. You can also connect them to other smart home devices, such as the best smart speakers, and some displays and streaming devices can be used to display channels on a larger screen.
We’ve taken a detailed look at what Ring and Nest are promising with their smart security devices below, so keep reading to see our verdict.
Ring vs Nest: The best Ring and Nest deals
Read on to find out how these two home security camera systems compare – or if you’ve already decided which one to buy, check out the best prices on Ring and Nest home security cameras and video doorbells:
Ring vs Socket: Range
Google Nest currently offers much less coverage than Ring in both home security cameras and video doorbells. The brand currently offers only three cameras; there is a Nest Cam (battery) which is designed to be used indoors or outdoors; Nest Cam (wired), which is for indoor use only; and finally there is the Nest Cam with Reflector (wired), which is designed for outdoor use and illuminates a large area when the motion sensor is activated.
Nest also offers two video doorbells, the Nest Doorbell (battery) and the Nest Doorbell (wired), formerly known as Nest Hello.
The Ring range is much wider. It offers eight video doorbells, ranging from the entry-level (wired) video doorbell to the top-end Pro 2 video doorbell, and includes both wired and wireless options.
For cameras, there are sticky cameras, Spotlight cameras, and Floodlight cameras. The Stick Up Cam is a versatile HD camera available in wired, wireless and solar versions, as well as with an Ethernet option, while Floodlight cameras are wired and provide illumination of a large area. Spotlight cameras are smaller with an integrated one
Ring vs Socket: Price
So how much do these home security cameras and video doorbells put you off? The Ring range of cameras is a bit cheaper than the Nest, but prices are fairly evenly matched for high-end devices.
The Google Nest Cam (wired) is the basic device of this brand, the price of which is approx $99.99 / £89.99 / AU$169.99while the Nest Cam (battery) will set you back $179.99 / £179.99 / $329. Finally, the price of the Google Nest Cam with Floodlight is approx $279.99 / £269.99 / $549.99.
When it comes to video doorbells, the Nest Doorbell (battery) is slightly cheaper than the Nest Doorbell (wired), it costs $179.99 / £179.99 / $329, compared to $229.99 / £229.99 (about $325). However, the Nest Doorbell (wired) is currently not available in Australia. This is not surprising considering the Nest Doorbell (wired) can capture higher resolution footage, has a wider field of view and also offers an 8x zoom.
Since Ring has more products, it also has a larger price list. The indoor camera, an entry-level mains-powered camera, costs money $59.99 / £49.99 / AU$94. It still is Stick Up Cam that can be used indoors or outdoors and comes in both wired and wireless versions. It is priced at $99.99 / £89.99 / AU$139, or if you opt for the solar panel version, it will set you back $139.99 / £129.99 / AU$199 for solar energy.
Still following? Then we have the Spotlight Cam, which again comes in wired or wireless options, but is designed for outdoor use and has a built-in light that can be set to glow when motion is detected. It costs $199.99 / £179.99 / $289, although it is increasing down $229.99 / £229.99 / $339 for the solar powered version.
The final option in the Ring security camera range is the Wired Floodlight Cam, which has not one but two built-in floodlights. $179.99 / £179.99 / AU$299while the Pro model, which adds HDR to the mix for clearer video, no matter how good or bad the lighting, costs money $249.99 / £219.99 / AU$379.
And now let’s look at the video intercoms of this brand. The $99.99 / £49.99 / AU$119.99 Video Doorbell Wired is the cheapest device in Ring’s offer. However, for battery power, you have to fork out $99.99 / £89.99 / AU$131.99 for the second generation video intercom
Video intercom 3 is $149.99 / £159.99 / $299.99 and the video intercom 4 is $199.99 / £179.99 / $329.99. Video intercom Pro is $169.99 / £159.99 / $279.99 and it is Video Doorbell Elite $349.99 / £349.99 / $499.99.
These prices do not include optional cloud storage and additional features offered by the brand’s subscription services. For example, Ring Protect starts at $3 / £2.50 / $4 per month for one device i $10/£8/$15 for your entire home. Nest Aware is an apartment $6 / £5 / $9 per month for any number of devices or $12/£10/$18 for Nest Aware Plus, which has longer storage.
Ring vs Nest: Video and Audio
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good quality video: Even the cheapest ring camera, the Indoor Cam, offers 1080p HD video. Except for the Spotlight camera, you can also get two-way audio so you can communicate with guests or confuse your pets. The cameras also offer night vision. In cameras without built-in lighting, this is infrared, which has a relatively long range and displays in shades of gray; in cameras with built-in lighting, color night vision can also be achieved, which makes it easier to identify objects, clothing, etc., but has a much shorter range.
All Nest cameras support 1080p HD video and night mode, two-way audio, and HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology for a clearer image.
When comparing cameras, it’s important to look at the field of view: that’s the wide area the camera can see, and this is especially important with video doorbells as they tend to be much closer to the subject. For example, Nest doorbells have a field of view of 145 to 160 degrees, depending on the model (the larger the number, the wider the view). By comparison, Ring doorbells range from 150 degrees on Video Doorbell Pro 2 to 180 degrees on Video Doorbell 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations.
Ring vs. Socket: Features
All of these cameras are designed to integrate with smart home technology. As you’d expect from an Amazon-owned company, Ring products integrate very well with Alexa and the Alexa app. You can also communicate with them through the Google Assistant, although it’s a little trickier: you’ll need both the Ring app, the Google Assistant app, and Ring Action for the Google Assistant. This allows you to start recording and view the last notification.
With the Google-owned Nest, it’s the same thing, but the other way around: it’s fully integrated with the Google Assistant, but you can add the Nest skill to Alexa. This allows you to show off your Nest Camera at the Amazon Echo Show, but not all cameras are compatible: the Nest Cam and Nest Doorbell battery versions won’t work with the Alexa skill.
In addition to integrating with a smart home, the cameras have smart features in themselves. For example, Nest video doorbells have smart alerts that can tell the difference between moving objects and people; The Nest Doorbell (battery) can also recognize packages, animals and vehicles. Similarly, Nest Camera’s smart alerts distinguish between motion, people, cars, and pets, and can continue recording for an hour if there’s a power outage. You also get three hours of free online recording without paying for a subscription.
All Ring cameras offer motion detection with configurable zones, allowing you to disable motion detection so that pets or passing traffic don’t trigger an alert. For cameras with built-in lights, you can also create separate rules for lights. More advanced cameras have more advanced motion detection, so the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, for example, has 3D motion detection and a “bird’s eye view” that provides more information about the detected motion.
For both Nest and Ring, you can get extra features with a subscription to the security plan. For example, Ring Protect will store your video for 30 days and allows you to save and share your video footage, while Nest Aware provides 30 days of event storage (except for the Nest Doorbell battery), which only records video when the camera is running; the more expensive Nest Aware Plus doubles the storage time and adds 10 days of 24/7 video storage.
Ring vs Socket: The Verdict
These are both very impressive and flexible security systems, but your choice will largely depend on two things: what smart home tech you already have, if any, and how much you’re willing to spend. Nest has the upper hand when it comes to technology, but Ring beats it on price.
If you already have smart home hardware, Ring works best with Alexa and Nest works best with Google Assistant. Unfortunately, none of the platforms currently work with Apple’s HomeKit, although their respective apps are available for iPhones and iPads, so Apple users can still control it.
While price isn’t the only consideration when it comes to wireless security cameras, we’d be negligent if we didn’t notice that Amazon is pricing its Ring products very aggressively and offering them substantial discounts on every event sale. So if this is your first step into smart home tech, the Ring is the one to go to if price is your priority or if you intend to buy multiple cameras for indoor and outdoor use.