Nest Hello Video Doorbell and Nest x Yale Lock

By Robert Robillard on Remodeling, Weekend warrior

The Next Generation of Video Doorbells

Recently, I was sitting at my desk at the office when an alert popped up on my laptop screen from Nest Hello video doorbell. Someone was approaching the door of my home – a thirty-minute drive away from where I was sitting. Curious to see who the visitor was, I opened the Nest app, and saw that it was my wife… in a pretty new dress. “Hello beautiful!” I said into my phone. “Nice dress!” “Why thank you!” she replied, not missing a beat. The Nest Hello video doorbell gives you the ability to watch over your home in crystal-clear HD video. You can see, hear, and speak to visitors from anywhere. You get instant mobile alerts when there is motion at your front door, and the two-way talk feature lets you answer the door from your smartphone, tablet, or PC.

Nest Hello Doorbell and Nest x Yale Lock

While my family and I have been having fun playing around with the features of the Nest Hello video doorbell, I installed it for more serious reasons. I recently installed Nest Hello and a Nest xYale Lock with the intention of being able to communicate with, and allow access to, delivery people who frequently come to my house. At home, I work in a basement workshop and often have no clue what’s happening outside. I can’t even hear my doorbell to know someone’s there. Moreover, I’m often away at a job site – with a busy family always coming and going, there’s not always someone home to take packages or deliveries. My initial plan with these Nest products was to have more property awareness and also to help avoid “Porch Pirates,” from stealing my packages, or at least be able to give police a description of the perpetrator!

Well, I’ve achieved my goal, but I quickly learned that Nest’s product features allowed me so much more in terms of home security and control. With the Nest products I’ve installed, I will be able to talk with delivery people no matter where I am, and even unlock the front door so that they can leave the package in the front hallway. I can then re-lock the door, remotely, when they leave.

Here are some additional thoughts of these two security upgrades:

Nest Hello Video Doorbell Features

The features that the Nest doorbell gives me is far better than I had hoped for, here is a few of the features highlighted:

  • 24/7 streaming and continuous video recording
  • 4:3 HD video designed to show people head to toe
  • HDR video shows sharp details even in bright and dark areas
  • Person, motion, and sound alerts to detect visitors, accessible on my smartphone.
  • Record up to 30 days of continuous video with a subscription to Nest Aware.
  • Can recognize family and friends and send a special alert.
  • Pre-recorded responses let you reply to visitors with different message options.

Motion And Person Detection

The Nest Hello video doorbell is designed to tell the difference between a person and a thing, and then alert you. The notificationis almost instantaneous and allows me to be react in “real time,” to front door traffic.

Since installing the Nest Hello, I’ve found that vehicle traffic, animals in the lawn, trees swaying in the wind, and even moths flying past the Nest Hello doorbell will activate the recording.

I can choose options on my smartphone to be alerted for sound, motion, people, or night vision by toggling a switch.

Familiar Faces Feature

The Nest Hello has a feature called Familiar Face alerts, that allows you to teach your camera who you know.  Every time is sees them, it gets better at recognizing their face. You can then name the face and the system will tell you, by name, when that person is seen in the future.

When the Nest Hello doorbell notifies you by text message of activity, it tells you first that the activity was caused by a “familiar face.” For example, now that my Nest Hello recognizes my wife, next time she comes home it will simply say, “Colleen’s home.”

Note – Familiar Face alerts are available with Nest Aware. If the customer is NOT subscribed to Nest Aware, they will receive Person Alerts with the Nest Hello.

When you buy a Nest camera, a Nest Aware trial may be included. According to Nest, when you add your camera to the Nest app, you will automatically be signed up for afree trial that will begin right away. Please note: This FREE trial subscription gets you used to using the system with advanced features. If you want to continue enjoying these features you’ll have to pay a monthly fee, or go back to a lower tiered feature.

Live Monitoring with Sound

I have a basement workshop and it is impossible to hear the doorbell, let alone be aware of my surroundings. In my shop, I have a large, flat screen TV that I often hook up to my laptop or tablet. With the Nest Hello video doorbell, I am able to bring up a livestream of our front door so I can see what’s going on, on the street in front of our house. This has proven useful for security and deliveries.

Playback Of Video

I find using the playback feature intuitive and straightforward. A timed, status bar on the lower portion of my computer screen shows white dots, which indicate motion. I simple click on the dots to view what activity happened at that time.

Using this feature, I recently discovered that the mysterious dead grass I was finding in our flower bed was being deposited there by a neighbor! I had to laugh about that one (and then asked him to please put his dead grass somewhere else).

There was also a situation where Amazon texted that a package was delivered, but it never showed up. This was a time-sensitive purchase and when I reviewed the video, I could see that the driver made the delivery to my neighbor’s house across the street, and was still on their steps –mystery solved!

Nest x Yale Lock

With biometric, Bluetooth and keyless lock technology available, I’ve often wondered why people still use keys.

On more than one occasion I’ve had one of my kids come home late at night and wake up the entire household ringing the doorbell because they forgot to take their key and were locked out. Then there were those times I’ve had to leave work and rush home to give a trusted contractor, electrician, or plumber access to my house for a repair.

As a homeowner that sometimes forgets my phone, I prefer an electronic keyless lock. Keyless entry door locks allow me to secure my home without the need for keeping track or and carrying metal keys. You just enter a personal code to either gain entry when you come home, or lock and secure your home when you leave.

  The Nest x Yale Lock coupled with Nest Hello video doorbell allows me to confirm delivery people at my door and allow them access to drop a package inside my front foyer. I can remotely unlock the door, watch them enter and exit while speaking to them the entire time and then lock the door. Plus, with three adult kids coming and going this lock has been a great addition. No more getting up at midnight or after to let a kid in.

Nest X Yale Lock Features

● Slim Key-Free Touchscreen ● Lock and unlock your door using the backlit keypad, or through your smart home system ● Allows different access passcodes ● Control from anywhere on a smartphone ● Lock or unlock, see current status, view history and receive notifications from anywhere when integrated with a smart home or alarm system.

Door Requirements

  • Fits on doors 1-3/4″ to 2-1/4″ thick
  • Backset 2 3/4″ or 2 3/4″
  • Face Bore Hole: 2 1/8″
  • Edge Bore Hole: 1″
  • Smart home features require compatible system like SmartThings or Wink

Locking the Door is Easy Too

Tap the keypad with 3 fingers to quickly lock the door behind you or turn on auto-relock to ensure the door always locks itself after a set amount of timer press the Yale button to activate the deadbolt.

What if the battery dies?

Don’t worry about getting locked out due to dead batteries – The lock features a 9V terminal under the keypad for emergency charging. You simply plug the 9-volt battery in and the door will operate.

I know what you’re thinking, I won’t have a 9-volt battery. Well that’s probably true, but in my case, I have 4 other doors with locks that still use a traditional key. I’m a bit of a Boy Scout and always keep a spare key in my vehicle. I have a friend that has a lock box in his shed with a spare key. Going forward, I also plan to simply keep a 9-volt in my truck.


The Nest x Yale deadbolt was easy to install. I simply removed my old deadbolt and replace the parts with the Nest x Yale lock. I personally didn’t have to change anything.

The installation kit comes with three different depth screws for attaching the exterior touch keypad to the interior locking/network mechanism to accommodate most all door thicknesses.

The actual installation went smoothly, but the written instructions are lacking a lot. I will say that the online app is needed to install this lock. Online video tutorials were also excellent and my advice is to watch those instead of trying to decipher the print instructions. While the video was the way to go for this install I will point out that as a remodeling contractor installing this for a customer might not go as smoothly. Getting video to work on my phone in a client’s home is not always guaranteed or easy. Here’s the details on Nest Customer Support, which includes phone, social, email, chat and community.

One Week Later

My family definitely likes the Nest x Yale deadbolt keypad entry lock. A lot of times my kids are picked up by friends and don’t bring their car keys. Having a superfast and easy way to get in when they get home isa plus! The Nest Hello video doorbell is another story. My family thinks it’s creepy that I know every time someone comes in or out the door.

Kinda like “Big Brother is Watching.” I, on the other, have greeted the FedX and UPS truck a half dozen times already. I like to be able to see who is coming and going from my door. And to compliment my wife when she’s looking especially nice!


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nest. The opinions and text are all mine.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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