How to Attach a Siren to a Nest Cam or DropCam Camera

How to Attach a Siren to a Nest Cam or DropCam CameraA siren on a home security camera is a nice feature to have.  It’s unexpected and useful for scaring an intruder.  They generally won’t take the time to figure out why it’s going off or where it is coming from.  The popular Nest Cam and DropCam do not have this feature integrated into the camera.  So today, we discuss how to attach a siren to a Nest Cam or DropCam camera.

Ideally you want the automated and manual abilities for turning on the siren.  Manual provides the ability to turn it on or off whenever you like.  Automated results in the siren going off when an event is detected such as motion or sound (although we aren’t big fans of sound triggers as they aren’t reliable).

Before we get started with the discussion. there are a few home security cameras that already include this feature.  We wrote about the Canary All-in-One Home Security Camera and it’s an excellent camera that includes an integrated siren.  So if you haven’t already purchased a Nest Cam, consider the Canary instead.  Another good camera with this feature is the Arlo Pro.  Either of these two cameras rival the features of the Nest Cam in terms of a standalone home security camera.

But what if you already have a Nest Cam or DropCam?  No integrated siren there but you would like to have that type of feature.  Fortunately, there are a few ways to get this done.  You will need a piece of hardware and an integration service.  Amazingly, Nest doesn’t make a siren.  An integration service links hardware from different manufacturers.  Thankfully, most integration services are free to use.

The first solution uses the D-Link Wi-Fi Siren and a service called IFTTT.  The D-Link device plugs into a wall outlet and can be accessed via a smartphone app.  IFTTT is a free integration service that links Nest Cam and the D-Link device.  Once the two pieces of hardware are linked, you can activate the siren whenever a motion event occurs.  If you care to manually activate it, simply use the smartphone app.  The D-Link device is an internet appliance meaning no hub is required.  It connects to your home’s wireless router.  Set it up with your smartphone, integrate it into IFTTT and you are good to go.

Another way to get this done is with a device called WeMo.  The Wemo Switch is something mentioned in several articles on this site.  It’s excellent for controlling anything that plugs into a wall.

When the Nest Cam or DropCam detects motion, turn on the WeMo Switch and the device plugged into the WeMo turns on.  You can manually control the siren or light or anything else directly from the WeMo app on your smartphone.  The WeMo Switch is an internet appliance that connects to your home’s wireless router.  There is no intermediate hub.

Using either of these methods adds siren capability to an already excellent home security camera implementation.  Both methods will work with Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor and the DropCam Pro.

All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way.  I have owned and tested dozens of cameras.  Manufacturer support varies.  There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions.  There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).