Recommended Wi-Fi network and router settings for use with Nest products

These settings are recommended for use with Nest products. They can help to improve the performance of your Nest products and help to resolve Wi-Fi connection problems. We’ve also included some settings for advanced users.

Troubleshoot before you change any Wi-Fi or router settings

  • Important: First, please go to our main Troubleshooting Wi-Fi and connection issues article. Do not change your router or Wi-Fi settings unless instructed to.
  • You probably don’t need to make any changes to your router’s settings if you didn’t have any connection issues when you first set up and installed your Nest product.
  • If you’re not familiar with Wi-Fi access point/router settings, you can try contacting your internet service provider. Ask your provider to help you view and change these settings.

Summary of recommended settings

Here are the most important recommended Wi-Fi and router settings for use with Nest products. For more details, see 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.

1. Make sure your network and router will work with Nest products 

In general, Nest products will work almost anywhere 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 networks or routers.

              Types of Wi-Fi networks that aren’t recommended or won’t work with Nest products

  • A small number of Wi-Fi routers (typically older models) aren’t compatible with certain Nest products, so check the following article to be sure yours will work:
    Routers that may cause issues with Nest products
  • Standard Wi-Fi routers use the 2.4GHz band, the 5GHz band, or both. Some Nest products only work with the 2.4GHz band. Learn more in the following article:
    Using Nest products with 2.4 and 5GHz 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).
  • 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 duing daily use, they may not work properly with these settings enabled on your router. For more information, see the following article:
    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 see if your Nest product is able to connect to your network.
  • If you’re trying 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 extender 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.

We recommend using a range extender from the same manufacturer as your router. Generally speaking, products from the same brand will work better together. If you can’t use the same brand, contact the manufacturer for recommended extender settings that will work with your router.

  • Set the new access point to work in bridge mode. Aside from that, the basic settings such as password and encryption should be 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 have a range extender or second wireless access point, it could be causing the issue. Try turning off the range extender or second wireless access point, and then connect your Nest product directly to your router. If that works, then the issue is probably with your range extender or second wireless access point.

2. Important things to do before changing router 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.

1. Download the manual for your router

Because each router is different, you’ll need to refer to your router’s manual or contact your internet service provider 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.

2. Back up your router’s current settings

Follow the instructions in the manual to back up your router’s current settings. If you need to restore your old settings, having a backup will make it easier to get everything working again. If your router doesn’t have a backup feature, you may be able to print out the current settings, or simply write them down.

3. 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 by searching for your router model on the manufacturer’s website. If installation instructions aren’t included with the download, check your router’s manual.

3. Basic Wi-Fi router settings 

Now that you’ve gone through the steps above, you can start changing your router’s settings. Remember that each router is unique, so check the manual for specific information on how to change the settings below.

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.

  • 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.
    Learn about wireless interference and how to troubleshoot it
  • We recommend that you use WPA2 encryption on your router when using Nest products.
  • Nest products are not compatible with WEP-ASCII.
  • If your Wi-Fi router is dual band (supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals) your Nest product may be able to get a better connection to one band or the other, depending on your surroundings. Some Nest products cannot connect to 5GHz networks. For more information and troubleshooting details see the following article:
    How to use Nest products with 2.4 and 5GHz networks
  • If you have a Google Nest thermostat, turn on your router’s Power Save Mode (PSM). Routers in Power Save Mode will stay connected to the Nest thermostat, but will communicate with it only when necessary (for example, when you change the temperature). This helps the thermostat’s battery stay charged. If your thermostat is disconnecting from your network because of a low battery, the following article has more troubleshooting suggestions:​
    Troubleshooting when your Nest thermostat disconnects or is offline in the Nest app

4. Advanced Wi-Fi router settings 

If you’re familiar with configuring 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, you can try contacting your internet service provider. Ask your provider to help you view and change these settings.

  • Check your router’s firewall settings. Your firewall settings may be preventing Nest devices from connecting to the internet. You can try lowering these settings temporarilyto see if your issue is resolved. Restore your firewall settings back to your prefered 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Or, see the following article to learn how to find the MAC address for your Nest products: 
    How to find your Nest product's MAC address and add it to your router's whitelist
  • If you have an 802.11 ac router or range extender, make sure it’s set up to allow 802.11 b/g/n device connections. 802.11 ac is supported by only some Nest products.

5. Reconnect your Nest products, if needed 

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