Nest cameras add offline storage to save clips during internet outages

Nest is adding offline storage to its latest range of security cameras, allowing them to save video files even if their link to the cloud is temporarily interrupted. The new feature debuts on today's four-strong range of updated Nest models: the Nest Cam, Nest Doorbell, Nest Cam with Floodlight, and Nest Cam (wired).

One of the challenges with previous Nest cameras – and, indeed, most cameras that rely on uploading video to the cloud once captured – has been handling internet outages. Without that connection, and no onboard storage for clips, anything that happens during a pause in uploads won't be saved.

Now, though, Google is adding enough storage for up to an hour's local video to be preserved. If the internet goes down, the cameras will automatically save their files locally instead. Nest says that, based on typical use, that hour's capacity should last for around a week of normal events.

When the connection comes back online, the Nest cameras automatically upload their saved videos to the cloud. It's then that they're visible in the Google Home app, which is replacing the Nest app.

Since three of the models – the Nest Doorbell, Nest Cam (battery), and the Nest Cam with Floodlight – have a battery inside, they'll also keep recording during both internet and power outages. Just how long the battery will last will, again, depend on typical use.

For Nest Doorbell, for example, the company says that with typical use you'll see around 2.5 months of battery life. That's based on around 13-16 recorded events per day. If that number rises to 25-30 events per day, battery life is likely to fall to around a month; if the events drop to 2-5 per day, you could go up to six months before having to recharge.

For Nest Cam on battery power, meanwhile, with typical use – around 9-12 recorded events per day – you should see around 3 months of battery life. Lower use, around 2-4 events per day, could stretch that out to seven months; more intensive use, of around 20-25 recorded events per day, could trim it to around 1.5 months.

It's worth noting that, while the Nest Cam with a wired power supply can record video 24/7 if you have a Nest Aware Plus subscription, that's not a feature of the new Nest Doorbell. Even if you wire it in to a power supply, you'll still only get activity-triggered clip capture. For the Nest Cam (wired), which is both the cheapest of the new range and also the only one which requires a wired power supply, it obviously won't keep working during a power outage.

The Nest Doorbell and Nest Cam (battery) are available to preorder today, priced at $179.99 each, and will go on sale August 24. The other models are "coming soon," the company says.