Google products are designed to work together so they can communicate with you and each other in a variety of ways. They typically use Wi-Fi networks, but can also use Thread wireless mesh networking.
- In a Thread mesh network, Thread devices relay information to each other through Thread routers.
- Homes can have one or more Thread routers so if one of them goes offline, your Thread devices can find another Thread router and continue communicating with each other.
- Special Thread routers called Thread Border Routers enable devices to communicate between a Thread network and Wi-Fi network.
Thread mesh network advantages
- Improved range: The Thread protocol and its radios are designed for extended range in the home. As you add more Thread routers, your Thread devices at the far ends of your home can communicate across the mesh network. This is especially helpful in larger homes, or homes where construction restricts the wireless signal range.
- Low power: Thread requires very little power, so even battery-powered devices can connect to your network and other products while staying charged for years.
- Independent from Wi-Fi: Thread doesn't depend on your Wi-Fi router or network. If your router loses power or its internet connection, Thread-compatible products can still communicate with each other and you.
- Works with Matter: Thread is compatible with Matter, a smart home industry standard that lets many smart home devices seamlessly work together. So if you have Matter-enabled products from Google and other companies, they can all communicate over a Thread network.
For an illustration of how Thread and Matter devices connect to each other in your home, go to the Thread Group's smart home page.
How Google products use Thread
Google products can use Thread and Wi-Fi for various purposes, like downloading software updates, sending app notifications, and communicating between devices. Products usually use Wi-Fi or Thread as their primary network to communicate with other devices. Nest Wifi Pro (Wi-Fi 6E) has radios for both networks and can act as a Thread border router.
Verify your device’s Thread connection
You can use some Google devices as a Thread border router to create a Thread network, or if a Thread network exists in your home, your Google device can be used to extend the existing Thread coverage to the entire home.
Here's how to check a Thread network connection in case you need to troubleshoot. The steps below use Nanoleaf and Android as an example, but other Thread devices and phone OSes should use similar steps.
- Latest version of the Google Home app
- Android phone or tablet running Android 8.1 or later
- Nanoleaf Smarter Series Android app and Nanoleaf Essentials devices, for example, an A19 bulb
- Google device firmware version is up to date
To verify if your Google device is connected to your Thread network, do the following:
- Set up your Google device with the Google Home app.
- Set up your Nanoleaf essentials device with the Nanoleaf Smarter Series app on the same Android device.
- In the Nanoleaf app, go to Dashboard select your Nanoleaf device Settings.
- Make sure the firmware version of your Nanoleaf device is at 1.6.8 or later. If not, update the firmware.
- Confirm the connection type is Thread. In the Nanoleaf app, go to More Thread network.
- If the Google Thread border router is the first border router in your home, it might have a name that starts with "NEST-PAN-."
- If the connection is still Bluetooth, restart the Nanoleaf Essentials device and wait a few minutes.
- To test if the Thread network works, on the Nanoleaf app dashboard, select your Nanoleaf device and tap a scene to activate it. If you turn off Bluetooth, you should still be able to control the device.
Thread credentials are saved on the Android device so they can be used when Matter devices are available.