Out of the box, the Nest Hello works really well, and there’s not really a whole lot you need to change for regular use. However, there are a few setting changes you should at least consider making.
Turn the Camera On and Off Automatically
Most people likely want the Nest Hello camera turned on and available 24/7, but there are some circumstances were that might not be necessary. Thus, you can have the camera turn on and off automatically based on a couple of things.
One way is to have the camera turn on and off based on whether you’re home or not, which it does by using your phone’s geolocation feature. In the settings for your Nest Hello, you can enable “Home/Away Assist” to turn the camera on when you leave your house and off when you get home.
You can also just set a time-based schedule to turn your camera off at a certain time, and then back on at another time. You can customize this under “Schedule” in the settings for your Nest Hello.
Adjust the Video Quality
The Nest Hello can potentially use up a lot of bandwidth and data. If your internet provider has you on a data cap, you may want to tone down the video quality of your Hello so that it doesn’t use up a good chunk of your monthly data.
You can do this by tapping the “Quality and Bandwidth” option on the Settings menu, and then moving the slider to the “Low” setting. By default, it’s set to medium, which Nest says will only use around 120 GB per month. However, the Low setting only uses around 30 GB.
Also, having the camera turn off at certain times (as discussed in the previous section) can save you additional data.
You’ll definitely want to adjust the type of notifications you receive from your Nest Hello, especially if you don’t want to be constantly annoyed by them.
Under “Notifications” in the Settings menu, there are a few things you can adjust. First off, you can select what type of notifications you want to receive—either push notifications directly on your phone, or email notifications.
And you can choose to be alerted only when you’re not home, instead of always being alerted no matter what.
You also can customize what kind of alerts you want to receive in the first place. Since the Nest Hello can differentiate between a person and general motion being detected, you can choose whether or not to receive both kinds of alerts, or just one or the other. Personally, since I live on a busy street, I get a lot of false positives with general motion alerts, so I have those notifications disabled.
Finally, you can choose whether or not to receive notifications when a loud sound is detected. Again, living on a busy street, you’ll receive these types of alerts constantly, so they’re really only great if you live in a somewhat quiet area. You’ll need to turn on “Audio Recording” first before you can receive these types of alerts (more on that down below).
Turn Off the Status Light
On the Nest Hello unit, there’s a small green LED status light above the camera. By default, it turns on whenever it’s capturing video.
It’s really not a huge deal or anything, but it’s mostly useless, and it distracts from the subtlety of the Nest Hello’s design. The good news is that you can turn it off by tapping the “Status Light” option in the Settings menu, and ticking the toggle switch off.
Enable Audio Recording
The microphone on the Nest Hello is enabled by default, but audio recording is not. This is a feature you may find useful.
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Having the microphone enabled lets you listen to audio while viewing the live feed, but having audio recordings enabled allows the Nest Hello to record audio along with video whenever it’s capturing something. With it disabled, the Hello only records video.
This is also a setting you’ll need enabled if you want to receive notifications when a loud sound is detected.