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Recommended Wi-Fi network and router settings

These settings are recommended for use with Nest products. They can help improve the performance of your Nest products and help to resolve Wi-Fi connection problems.

Before you begin

You probably don’t need to make any changes to your Wi-Fi network or router settings unless:

  • You’re having trouble connecting your Nest product to Wi-Fi during setup in the app.
  • Your Nest product is experiencing connection issues after you’ve set it up in the app.

Before you change any Wi-Fi network or router settings, refer to our Troubleshoot Wi-Fi and connection issues article to check if you can fix the problem you’re experiencing with your Nest product. Do not change Wi-Fi settings unless instructed to.

If you’re not familiar with Wi-Fi access point or router settings, contact your internet service provider (ISP) or router manufacturer for help with these settings.

Summary of recommended settings

Here are the most important recommended Wi-Fi network and router settings for use with Nest products. For more details, refer to the sections below.

  • Enable 802.11 b/g/n if you have an 802.11 ac router.
  • Set your Wi-Fi router's DHCP lease time to at least 2 hours.
  • Turn on your router’s Power Save Mode (PSM), if you have a Nest thermostat.

Important things to do before you change settings

1. Check that your router and network will work with Nest products

In general, Nest products work almost anywhere if there’s a Wi-Fi signal. But, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re trying to connect to certain types of Wi-Fi networks or routers.

  • Standard Wi-Fi routers use the 2.4 GHz band, the 5 GHz band, or both. Some Nest products, such as Nest Protect smoke alarms, and 1st and 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostats, only work with the 2.4 GHz band.
    Use Nest products with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks
  • Mobile hotspots, guest networks, and other types of internet service are not recommended for use with Nest products.
  • Nest products do not support Enterprise networks such as 802.1x/RADIUS or captive portal networks (networks that require you to agree to terms of service, such as a coffee shop or hotel).
    Types of Wi-Fi networks that aren’t recommended or won’t work with Nest products
  • Open-source firmware such as DD-WRT, OpenWRT and Tomato are not supported by Nest. While some versions may work well with Nest products, compatibility may vary from release to release.
  • All Wi-Fi routers have a limit on the total number of devices that can be connected to Wi-Fi at the same time. Refer to your router’s manual for its limit. If you have a lot of devices on your network, you can try disconnecting a few to check if your Nest product is able to connect to your network.
  • Some routers have wireless isolation settings. These settings will prevent devices on your network from connecting to other devices in your home. Since Nest products talk to each other during pairing, setup, and during daily use, they may not work properly with these settings turned on your router.
    Types of Wi-Fi networks that aren’t recommended or won’t work with Nest products
  • If you want to connect a Google Nest Protect, make sure your router supports IPv6. Your Nest Protect uses an IPv6 address to communicate and set up connections with other Nest Protects. 

Range extenders settings

Occasionally, you may need to add a Wi-Fi access point to extend the range of your Wi-Fi network so your Nest products can connect to the internet.

It's recommended to use a range extender from the same manufacturer as your router. Generally speaking, products from the same brand will work better together.

  • Set the new access point to work in bridge mode. Aside from that, the basic settings such as password and encryption should be the same as your existing router.
  • For simplicity, set the access point to broadcast the same network name (SSID). It’s not necessary, but doing this can make connecting to your network less confusing.
  • If you already have a range extender or second wireless access point, it could be the cause of the connection issue. Try to unplug or turn off the range extender or second wireless access point, and then connect your Nest product directly to your router.

2. Download the manual for your router

Refer to your router’s manual or contact your ISP to learn how to change its settings. You can usually download the manual from the manufacturer’s website. There may be several versions of each router, so be sure you’re downloading the manual that matches your router’s model number.

3. Back up your router’s current settings

Some of the changes you make might prevent you from connecting to the internet. So it’s important to follow these steps in case you need to switch back to your router’s old settings.

Follow the instructions in the manual to back up your router’s current settings. If you need to restore your old settings, backup makes it easier to get everything to work again. If your router doesn’t have a backup feature, you can print out the current settings, or simply write them down.

4. Update your router’s firmware or software

To ensure the best performance and compatibility, install the latest software updates for your router. You can usually find the latest software when you search for your router model on the manufacturer’s website. If installation instructions aren’t included with the download, check your router’s manual. 

Change settings

After you’ve followed the previous steps, you can start to change your router’s settings. It's recommended to start with basic Wi-Fi router settings first.

Each router is unique, so check the manual for specific information on how to change the settings below.

Note: After you update Wi-Fi settings, you may need to update the Wi-Fi information for your Nest products in the app so that they can connect to your Wi-Fi network.

Basic Wi-Fi router settings

Note: If you use multiple access points on your network, such as a second router or range-extender, all of them should use the settings recommended below. If they don’t all use the same settings, they may not be able to connect to each other, or your Nest products.

Network name (SSID) and password

If you get a new router or factory reset the router, your Nest products may disconnect if the network name (SSID), password, or other settings don't match the previous ones.

If you give your new home network the same SSID and password as the previous one, your Nest products should automatically reconnect, as long as the manufacturer settings of the new router are the same.

If your Nest products don’t reconnect to your new network automatically, or you want to use a different network name or password, you need to update the Wi-Fi information on each of your Nest products in the Nest app.

Wi-Fi channels

Usually, it’s best to set Wi-Fi channel selection to Auto instead of a specific channel. This lets your router automatically switch channels to avoid interference from nearby Wi-Fi networks and wireless devices that can slow down or even block Wi-Fi signals.

Encryption type

It's recommended to use WPA2 encryption on your router when using Nest products.

Nest products are not compatible with WEP-ASCII.

Dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) networks

If your Wi-Fi router is dual-band (supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signals), your Nest product may connect to one band better than it connects to the other band, depending on your surroundings. Most Nest products work with 5 GHz networks, but there are exceptions.

1st and 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostats, 1st and 2nd gen Nest Protects, and Nest Connect only work with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. If you have one of these products in your home, you need to enable 2.4 GHz on your router to connect them.

Tip: A 2.4 GHz network connection won’t necessarily be slower than a 5 GHz connection. 2.4 GHz signals travel farther, so they cover a larger area, and they can travel through solid objects more easily.

  • Try to switch to a 2.4 GHz network if your Nest product is installed far away from your router, or if you have a weak connection to your 5 GHz network.
  • Try to switch to a 5 GHz network if you’re getting a weak connection due to interference from 2.4 GHz household devices like cordless phones, baby monitors, microwaves, and wireless speakers.

Power Save Mode (PSM)

Some routers have a Power saving mode (PSM) feature. Refer to your router's documentation to check if it does. You can turn this on to help preserve the battery charge of connected products like Nest thermostats.

Advanced Wi-Fi router settings 

If you’re familiar with how to configure Wi-Fi networks, firewall settings, or MAC address filtering options, here are some additional things to try. If you’re not familiar with these network settings, contact your ISP and ask them to help you view and change these settings.

Firewall settings

Restrictive firewall settings can prevent Nest devices from connecting to the internet. You can try lowering these settings temporarily to check if your issue is resolved. Restore your firewall settings back to your preferred security level afterward.

Warning: Lowering your router’s firewall settings may increase the risk of incoming threats from the internet. Refer to your router or firewall manufacturer for additional information.

DHCP lease time

Set your Wi-Fi router's DHCP lease time to at least 2 hours. This can help ensure your Nest products stay connected to your network. Any setting lower than 2 hours may prevent your Nest products from reconnecting to your network, even if the connection drops out for half a second or less.

Network ports

During setup, port 11095 is used to connect some Nest products to the app. If you’re having trouble connecting your Nest product, you may need to temporarily unblock port 11095 in your Wi-Fi router’s settings to finish setup. Once your Nest product appears in the app, you can close port 11095 again.

You shouldn’t need to open specific TCP or UDP network ports for inbound traffic for daily use of your Nest products. If you can check your email or use online banking with your browser, the needed ports are already open.

MAC address filtering

If you have MAC address filtering enabled for added network security, the MAC addresses of your Nest products must be added to the list of authorized devices. You can use your router’s software to view the MAC addresses of all devices on your network. Refer to your router's documentation for instructions.

Find your Nest product's MAC address and add it to your router's whitelist

802.11 wireless networks

If you have an 802.11 ac router or range extender, make sure 802.11 b/g/n is turned on as well. 802.11 ac is supported by only some Nest products.

Reconnect your Nest products, if needed

If you’ve changed your Wi-Fi network or router settings, some of your Nest products may appear offline in the Nest app. When this happens, you may need to manually reconnect your Nest products to your network.

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