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Amazon Ring Floodlight Cam Pro vs. Google Nest Cam with Floodlight

Which floodlight-equipped home security camera is better?

If you're looking for outdoor security measures that not only detect but also deter would-be burglars, floodlight security cameras are a must. But with so many on the market -- including ones from big brands like Amazon Ring and Google Nest -- the question isn't so much whether to buy one, but which one to buy.

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Luckily, we've tested all the major outdoor cameras on the market, and we've rounded them up here. But if you're trying to decide between Ring's and Nest's floodlight cams, two of the most popular options on the market, we can give you an even more detailed break-down of the pros and cons of each. But before we give you our recommendation, let's take a look at what each device offers.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Ring has a few floodlight cameras, including a $180 option that offers a lot of smarts for a pretty low price. But we wanted to see how the company's higher-end option -- the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro -- stacked up against the similarly priced Nest Cam with Floodlight.

For $250, Ring's Floodlight Cam Pro covers the basics and adds some cool perks to boot: you get the standard 1080p resolution, a 160-degree field of view, and two 2,000-lumen floodlights; plus the Floodlight Pro has something called 3D motion detection, so it can tell you how far away something is when it triggers an alert. You really need Ring's $3-per-month subscription to take advantage of most of the camera's smarts, and Ring comes with all kinds of privacy baggage, but it does offer super thorough encryption of your footage, fancy specs, a siren and, as you'd expect since Amazon owns Ring, it works really well with Amazon's assistant and smart displays.

Read more about the Ring Floodlight Cam Pro.

 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Google's $280 Nest Cam with Floodlight is essentially the same device as the Nest Cam (battery) that launched during the summer of 2021, but it comes with two 2,400-lumen floodlights attached and it must be wired. With Google's device, you'll get 1080p video resolution, a 130-degree field of view and some smart motion alerts that distinguish between people, animals and vehicles.

The Nest Cam also includes three hours of event storage for free, and it processes a lot of info locally. It encrypts video while in transit and when at rest on Nest servers. You can customize alerts and the floodlight settings based on what it recognizes and when. With a $6-per-month subscription you get familiar face detection, 30 days of storage, sound detection like glass breaking, and the ability to call 911 from the app. You need to pay for the high-end $12-per-month sub to get 24/7 recording, though.

Read our review.

 

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And the winner is...

Ring's Floodlight Cam Pro performed better in our side-by-side testing -- and factoring in price for the features. While Nest has the better software if you're willing to pay more -- and it also works well with Google Assistant, so you can pull up a feed on your Nest Hub smart display or your TV with Chromecast -- Ring wins out with some cool perks, a better initial and subscription price and more consistently impressive performance.

Notably, Ring was extremely responsive and quick with its alerts, and its siren was loud enough to scare the pants off a would-be intruder -- an important feature if you're interested in deterrence.

For more info about Ring and Nest -- and how they stack up against other top brands like Arlo -- check out our top picks for security cameras in 2021.