Learn about wireless interconnect for Nest Protect

Wireless interconnect allows all Google Nest Protects to talk to one another and let you know what’s happening in other parts of the house during an alert or Emergency Alarm.

To learn how our wireless interconnect has been reviewed and tested to confirm that it meets national safety standards, go to our article on Nest Protect’s certifications.

How Nest Protects connect with each other

Nest Protects connect wirelessly using a Nest-developed protocol called Weave that lets Nest Protects communicate with one another safely and securely without an active Wi-Fi connection.

Weave uses 802.15.4 and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n to create reliable, flexible, secure and low-power communication between Protects.

You can think of the 802.11b/g/n protocol as the connection that communicates with the outside world and performs tasks like automatically updating Nest Protect software or allowing you to get mobile notifications on your phone. You can think of the 802.15.4 protocol as the low-power connection that lets Nest Protects communicate with each other.

This means your Protects can continue to talk to one another, and can let you know when smoke or carbon monoxide is detected in other parts of the home, even if your Wi-Fi network goes down.

Why Nest Protect uses wireless instead of Wired Interconnect

We looked at many different ways to connect Nest Protects together and consulted with fire safety experts such as the NFPA along the way. In the end, wireless interconnect was the best option.

With wireless interconnect, you can add more alarms without additional expensive wiring. So, you can expand coverage to more rooms in your home easily. It also allows Nest Protect to convey more safety information in an emergency. 

For example, when the Nest Protect in the hallway says, “Emergency, there’s smoke in the hallway,” your other Nest Protects will say the same thing. With traditional single-wire hard-wired alarms, the other devices don’t tell you what or where the problem is.

The table below shows what wireless interconnect can do compared to what wired interconnect can do.

 

Wireless interconnect

Wired interconnect

Can convey the type of danger throughout the home

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Can convey where the danger is throughout the home

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Can add and connect new alarms without rewiring

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Place alarms on any wall or ceiling without wire constraints

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The NFPA doesn’t have a preference for either wired or wireless interconnect. Additionally, the International Residential Code considers smoke and CO alarms with either wired and wireless interconnect to be equal under its most recent model building code.

Both the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and International Residential Code (IRC) permit wireless technology to interconnect smoke alarms. See the table below. 

Important: You should always check your local fire safety codes. They can vary from city to city or even from home to home.

 

Wireless interconnect

Wired interconnect

Permitted by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

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Permitted by International Residential Code

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Permitted by all US states

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Requirements to use wireless interconnect

  • Nest Protect (Wired 120V or 230V) and Nest Protect (Battery) are compatible and can interconnect with each other.
  • All participating Nest Protects must be set up and connected to the Nest app for them to be interconnected.
  • All your Protects can communicate if they’re within 50 ft (15 m) of each other inside a home. 
Note: Nest Protects do not rely on Wi-Fi for wireless interconnect. However, if your Wi-Fi network goes down, you won’t be able to get notifications, view status, or update settings in the app. Your Nest Protects can still detect smoke and carbon monoxide, communicate with one another, and sound an alert.

Things that can interfere with or prevent wireless interconnect from working

  • Nest Protect can’t communicate or interconnect with smoke or carbon monoxide alarms from other manufacturers.
  • Nest Protect is not designed to be used outdoors and can’t transmit between buildings.
  • Some features of a home may reduce wireless range if they’re located around or in between Nest Protects. This can include things like the following:
    • The number of floors
    • The number or size of rooms
    • Metal doors
    • Certain types of building materials
    • Suspended ceilings
    • Ductwork
    • Large metallic appliances
    • Metal studs
For more information, you can read our article on wireless interference and how to troubleshoot it in our help center.

Why Nest Protect can’t interconnect with other smoke/CO alarms

  • Each company’s smoke and CO alarms use proprietary detection algorithms and interfaces, therefore there’s no industry standard.
  • If alarms from different companies are connected together, they may not warn you properly in an emergency.
  • The NFPA actually prohibits the connection of alarms from different manufacturers without special testing.

Check that your Nest Protects are interconnected

You can check the Nest app to make sure all your Nest Protects are online.

To check if wireless interconnect is working on your Protects, run a Safety Checkup to manually test your Protects. For instructions on how to do this, go to our Learn about Safety Checkup article.

Note: A Heads-Up alert, Emergency Alarm, or a manual test can take a few seconds to move from one Nest Protect to other Nest Protects. In the same way, when you hush an alert, it may take a few seconds for all the other Nest Protects in your home to hush.
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