the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Nest Hub Max can catch cookie monsters, ease your paranoia

The family was in Oregon this last week enjoying inhaling cottonwood that looked like a snowstorm for a week while visiting in-laws. I purposed my Nest Hub Max as a security camera as it fit in with my current Nest Aware subscription. I do not believe it will do live notifications without a Nest Aware subscription however. I already had one so I was set.

TL;DR – great for catching cookie thieves and just verifying things aren’t on fire, not a full security camera replacement.

This allowed my paranoid self to monitor another area of my house. I’m not particularly worried about burglars, my neighbors tend to take care of them / scare them off (I have 72 people in a building across the street who all see my house,) but what I am deathly afraid of is water damage and fire.

You get a lot more paranoid when you’ve got kids and have seen several thousand dollars of damage, multiple times, and had insurance companies involved (I also managed 5 rental properties so there’s that. My house has thus far been spared)

Putting the Nest Hub Max in my kitchen allowed me to watch the floors for water. Water’s something that has appeared unexpectedly twice in my kitchen when a supply line just randomly exploded. Twice. Had I not been here, both times would have flooded first floor.

There’re devices like the Flo that can help with this, but Pocketables and theITbaby aren’t big enough fish for MOEN to throw a $900 product at us, and my blogging millions haven’t paid me off for the purchase of the site yet.

Whole lotta ceiling

So with a couple of days to go to vacation I threw in the Nest Hub Max as a security camera to watch multiple potential water areas (kitchen,) and a couple of standard Nest Indoor cameras to watch the basement and first floor bathroom areas.

I used a plate / thing you put food on to angle the Nest Hub Max down so I could observe the floor. At counter level it was watching too much of the ceiling. I’m not particularly worried about the ceiling over the kitchen, and even angled the wide/tall view got more than enough.

I realized shortly after I did this I could have just turned the water off. Thank you. There’s more than well documented water paranoia for me however.

Day two of the trip I was informed by the Nest Hub Max that a person was in my kitchen. This is a Nest Aware issue, not a Hub Max issue, but it was alarming. False alarming thankfully. Warnings happened throughout the trip that there was motion. Usually there was no motion, it was just sunlight and clouds. Occasionally what appeared to be a moth. Same issue happened with other cameras, one seeing a person where there wasn’t, similar to when my outdoor cameras kept identifying Tree Von Spookyface.

The Nest Hub Max doesn’t have an IR flashlight, so it was unable to do much when the room became dark. This seemed like an oversight in design to me. I’d anticipated this and left my smart kitchen light at the ready to turn on and off to make it look like someone was at home.

One time during the trip I got notification that the Nest Hub Max was down for 10+ minutes. I checked and nothing else was that I checked at the time. I discovered later 2 of my lights and the Sensibo AirQ were also down. I suspect storms knocked the power out for few seconds and most of the electronics are on a UPS so they didn’t show or rebooted quickly leaving on the Hub Max and the Sensibo as dead.

Google Nest Hub Max

Hub Max returned a few minutes later, guessing total downtime about 15 minutes.

The Hub Max combined with the Sense Home Energy Monitor also let me know my stove wasn’t on. Not that that’s a major worry for me but it was something I was able to check off the paranoia checklist.

Being able to pop in and listen for anything also was nice, but not used particularly much. There’s too much weird hiss in my house that sounds like running water on any of the Nest cams I have so I don’t pay too much attention.

Overall as a backup security camera it functioned well. It was also nice to see we weren’t walking back into a fly infestation or anything. Not what I’d purchase a Nest Hub Max for, but it’s a really nice addition I was not expecting.

It’s also been useful to make sure the kitchen candy isn’t being raided by our six year old who’s become a little bit of a handful recently.

The Nest Hub Max is available in the Google Store.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.