Best Cameras To Use With Google Assistant & ChromecastBy - 02/18/2019
The battle between Alexa and Google Assistant for voice assistant supremacy rages on, but no matter which side you pick, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for the best cameras that work with Alexa, click here. If you’re looking for the best cameras to use with Google Assistant, read on.
How Google Assistant & Chromecast Work With Security Cameras
Instead of listing all of the cameras that work with Google Assistant/Chromecast, we focused on the best. This means a camera that offers a reliable performance, a solid user experience, but also an advanced integration with Google devices, namely those cameras that offer on-demand, voice-controlled video streaming to Chromecast and other smart displays. For example, Ring cameras are a good option for some users and they work with Google Assistant, but you can’t stream your Ring camera to Chromecast, so you won’t find a Ring camera on this list.
What You’ll Need to Get Started
To make the integration between your camera and Google Assistant work, you need three things.
- A compatible camera. (That’s what we’re here to help you choose.)
- A device with access to your Google Assistant, preferably one of the Google Home devices. (For help in choosing the right Google Home device, click here.)
- Chromecast, a smart TV with Chromecast built-in, or a Google Assistant-enabled smart display.
Since you’re here, I’m assuming you already have items 2 and 3 sorted out. If you don’t, the hyperlink next to the second item will help you choose the right Google Home device. The third requirement is more complicated. We know that the cameras listed below can stream to Chromecast and Google Home Hub (a Google-made smart display); however, we can’t guarantee they will stream to third-party Google Assistant-enabled smart displays like those made by Lenovo, LG, and JBL as we don’t own one to test.
Setting Up The Integration
The setup process, in general, is the same regardless of which camera you choose to use. If you’re using Chromecast as the display, it’s a two-step process assuming that the camera, Google Home, and Chromecast are already set up and running. If you’re using Google Home Hub, there’s only one step.
Before you start integrating your camera with Google Assistant and Chromecast, there are a couple more things you need to check. First, check that your camera, Google Assistant, and Chromecast or smart display are all on the same Wi-Fi network. Second, make sure that your Google Home and Chromecast are logged in to the same Google account. Third, check whether your camera is ‘Made for Google.’ Most of the cameras listed below belong to the Works with Google category.
Setting Up The Integration With Chromecast As The Display
Step 1: Connect your camera to Google Home.
You can connect your camera to Google Home using the Google Home App.
Tap the “+” icon, and then select “Set up device.” If you’re using a Made for Google camera, select “Set up new device.” The app will then look for the camera and start pairing. If you’re setting up a Works with Google camera, select “Have something already set up?”. Simply find your camera’s brand from the list, click on it, and then sign into the account you use to access the camera. Once the brand is paired, direct your Google Home to “sync your devices.” Once the syncing process is complete, your camera will appear under the Devices tab.
Step 2: Connect Chromecast to Google Home.
Step 2 follows the same process as connecting your camera to Google Home. Tap the “+” button, select “Set up device,” tap “Set up new device,” and then choose the location you want to use. If you haven’t set up a location, the default location is Home. The app will search for compatible devices (make sure Chromecast is on) and list all that it finds. To do this, select Chromecast from the list and when the pairing process is complete, tap “Done.”
Pro Tip: You can add multiple Chromecasts and cameras to the equation, but be sure to give them distinct but easy to remember names. If you have multiple cameras and Chromecasts setup, voice commands will sound something like, “Stream [camera name] on [Chromecast name],” hence why it’s important to name your devices.
Setting Up The Integration With Google Home Hub
Step 1: Connect your camera to Google Home Hub.
This step follows the same process described above. Tap “+” and then “Set up device.” If you’re using a Made for Google camera, select “Set up new device.” If you’re connecting a Works with Google Camera, select “Have something already set up?”. Next, you will pair your camera brand to Google Assistant by signing in to your camera’s account. When you’re done, you can say “Hey Google, sync my devices/cameras to Google Home Hub.”
Pro Tip: You can add more Google Home Hubs or even Chromecast as additional displays. Again, if you do, be sure to give each device a distinct name.
Best Cameras To Use With Google Assistant
Without much further ado, here are the best cameras that work with Google Assistant and Chromecast’s streaming feature.
Nest is a subsidiary of Google’s internal hardware division, so it only makes sense that Nest Cam is first on this list. There are several Nest Cam models and all of them can stream videos to Chromecast and Google Home Hub. There’s the oldie-but-goodie Nest Cam Indoor, its outdoor version Nest Cam Outdoor, the upgraded duo Nest Cam IQ and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, and the video doorbell Nest Hello.
In addition to being able to stream videos to Chromecast and Google Assistant, Nest Cam IQ (indoor only) takes the integration a step further with its built-in smart speaker functionality. Using the camera alone, you can speak to Google Assistant and access most of its features.
Arlo is another big camera brand. There are several cameras in their lineup, but not all of them work with Google Assistant. For now, their oldest camera, Arlo Wire-Free, remains incompatible. However, Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Go, Alro Baby, Arlo Q, and Arlo Q Plus all work with Google Assistant. When Arlo Ultra relaunches, it will also be compatible with Google Assistant.
Arlo is an excellent option if you’re into battery-powered cameras that can run cordlessly. That’s exactly what Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Ultra, and Arlo Go are: cordless cameras. If you need a wired camera to go with your wire-free camera, Arlo Q or Arlo Q Plus should do the trick.
Logitech’s Circle cameras can also stream videos to Chromecast and Google Home Hub. As of now, there’s Logi Circle (1st gen) and Logitech Circle 2 (2nd gen). However, Circle 2 comes in wired and wire-free versions with different types of mounting bases. All cameras and bases work with Google Assistant, but Logitech warns users that battery-powered Circle 2 cameras may take longer to stream than wired versions.
We haven’t reviewed Logitech Circle 2 independently, but we did compare it to other indoor cameras. You can check that out here.
Netatmo’s cameras have been around for quite some time. Netatmo Smart Indoor, formally known as Welcome, is an indoor camera, while Netatmo Smart Outdoor, formally known as Presence, is an outdoor camera built into an outdoor floodlight. Both cameras offer facial recognition, so if that’s what you’re looking for in a camera, Netatmo is a good choice. Even better, Netatmo offers facial recognition without charging a monthly subscription fee.
Take note that soon Netatmo will offer a third camera. The third camera is a video doorbell, which they announced at CES 2019. Unfortunately, this camera won’t work with Google Assistant.
TP-Link Kasa Cam
Finally, the TP-Link Kasa Cam lineup consists of two well-functioning but straightforward cameras: Kasa Cam (indoor camera) and Kasa Cam Outdoor. Of all of the cameras on the approved list, this is the only one we have not tested, but we have heard good things about it.
Kasa Cam is a lot like Nest Cam or Arlo Q. It’s an indoor camera with motion detection and several smart features. Kasa Cam Outdoor is simply an outdoor version of Kasa Cam with similar features. Their best selling point is their price. Although they are smart in more ways than one, Kasa Cam and Kasa Cam Outdoor cost less than Nest Cam.
Aside from the existing Kasa Cam models, two more will soon be added. First is Kasa Smart Spot, which is not as powerful as Kasa Cam but will likely have a lower price tag. The second coming soon camera is Kasa Smart Wire-Free, which as its name implies is a battery-powered camera.
You can learn more about TP-Link Kasa Cam on kasasmart.com.
Cameras Not Recommended
While the cameras above made our recommended list, other cameras can stream to your Google Assistant device that we do not recommend.
If variety is what you’re looking for, SpotCam is an interesting option. They offer fixed indoor cameras, cameras that can pan and tilt, weatherproof outdoor cameras, wire-free battery-powered cameras, video doorbells, and even cameras that can tell the temperature and humidity level of the air around it. All of their cameras work with Google Assistant.
A word of caution, however: SpotCam isn’t a well known or loved brand, especially if you factor in the quality of their app. If you want to learn more about SpotCam, you can visit their website at www.myspotcam.com.
Zmodo is another brand that offers variety. At least ten of their Wi-Fi cameras work with Google Assistant. The list includes indoor cameras, pan-and-tilt cameras, outdoor cameras, and video doorbells. Like SpotCam, however, their cameras aren’t that reliable. Just take our review of one of their cameras as an example. On paper, they sound decent but scroll down to the comment section and you’ll see what actual users have to say about the camera and the brand. Nonetheless, their experience might not be the same as yours. If you want to give Zmodo a go, you can find their Google Assistant-compatible cameras here.
Other Brands You May Want To Check Out
- Geeni – www.mygeeni.com
- D-Link Smart – www.mydlink.com
- Momentum – www.momentumcam.com/
- Panasonic HomeHawk – www.panasonic.com
- Q-See Plus – www.q-see/com