Learn about wireless interference and how to troubleshoot it

Wireless interference can give you trouble connecting Nest products or other wireless devices. It can also cause slow network communications or intermittent disconnections. So your Nest products might continuously disconnect and reconnect, or they may be slow to respond to app control.

Symptoms of wireless interference

Most homes experience all three kinds of wireless interference, but symptoms can vary. Read below to see if your Nest product is experiencing any of the symptoms of wireless interference.

  • Difficulty connecting to the Nest app during setup.
  • Your Nest product repeatedly disconnects and reconnects to Wi-Fi.
  • Your product is Offline in the Nest app but reconnects automatically.
  • Your product responds slowly to changes you make with the Nest app.
  • Your product’s Energy History, Video History Security History or Protect History has gaps or missing data.
  • Camera video skips, is pixelated, or you have other problems watching video.
Guard repeatedly switches between Wi-Fi and cellular backup.

Troubleshoot quick tips

Here are some quick tips for troubleshooting your home’s wireless interference.

  • Enable channel auto-switching on your router.
  • If possible, move your router and Nest product closer together. Just a few inches or a couple of feet can make a big difference in signal strength.
  • Move, unplug or disable other electronics that may be interfering with your Wi-Fi connection.
  • Install a Wi-Fi range-extender or repeater. For best compatibility, use an extender from the same manufacturer.
Make sure all Wi-Fi routers, extenders and repeaters use these recommended settings.

Note: When troubleshooting wireless interference, test what works best for your home connection. Every network is different, and every home experiences unique difficulties caused by wireless interference.

Read below for more information on the three most common types of wireless interference and  additional tips to help minimize interference on your home Wi-Fi network.

1. Minimize interference from walls floors and other objects

The construction materials in your home can greatly affect
wireless communication speed and range. Materials such
as wood and clear glass don’t have much of an effect. However,
denser materials such as concrete, brick and metal can
make it difficult to connect. These denser materials can
also slow your network speed or even completely block
wireless signals from reaching certain parts of your home.
brick blocking network

Large furniture items such as filing cabinets or bookshelves, as well as appliances like stoves or refrigerators can also interfere with Wi-Fi. Mirrors, which have a metallic coating on the back can also block wireless signals.

Troubleshooting tips

  1. Some Wi-Fi routers or access points have adjustable antennas. Pointing the antenna to aim the signal at your Nest product can help improve your connection.

  2. If possible, move your Nest product to a new location. Even just a few inches or a couple of feet can make a big difference in signal strength.

  3. In some homes, moving your wireless router or access point is an option. Moving your router or access point closer to your Nest product can improve your connection.

  4. Powerline adapters are another option, especially useful for larger homes with thick or dense walls and floors.

  5. Another option is to add a Wi-Fi extender to your network. Extenders re-broadcast your router’s signal from another room or location.

Tip: Powerline adapters use your home’s electrical wiring for ethernet, so you can easily extend your network right through the walls without installing expensive new wiring. Connecting a powerline adapter to a Wi-Fi access point can bring a strong wireless connection to even the most remote rooms in your home.

2. Troubleshoot interference from other Wi-Fi networks

Interference from competing Wi-Fi networks is especially
common in cities, apartment buildings and densely
populated areas where there are usually many Wi-Fi
networks nearby.

Tip: Check for competing networks by opening the wireless
options on your phone or computer. Wait a moment for the
list of networks to refresh. If you see there are lots of
networks to choose from, you may experience this type of
interference.

Wi-Fi networks broadcast on channels. When nearby Wi-Fi
networks are set to use the same channel, they’ll constantly
be competing with each other for limited bandwidth.

city interference

Wi-Fi networks broadcast on channels. When nearby Wi-Fi networks are set to use the same channel, they’ll constantly be competing with each other for limited bandwidth.

Troubleshooting tips

1. Many of the latest routers have a feature that lets them automatically find the least crowded Wi-Fi channel. Check your router’s documentation to find out how to enable and set the options for this feature.

2. If you already have channel auto-switching enabled but are still getting slow speeds or poor connections on your home network, you can try manually setting the channel and performing speed tests to find the fastest one.

3. If your router is more than a few years old, you may want to consider upgrading to a new one.

3. Reduce interference from other electronics

Interference can also come from other electronics and
appliances that aren’t connected to your wireless network,
but use the same 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies to
communicate. Cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, and
baby monitors are some examples. You might also
experience interference around wireless cameras or
security systems.
cordless phone interference
Electronics and appliances, like microwave ovens, generate radio
frequency noise as a byproduct, so you may notice a network
slowdown or get disconnected only when you’re reheating dinner.
Some larger electronics, such as TVs, can affect Wi-Fi signals even
when they’re asleep or turned off since their power supplies may
generate short range interference.
electronic interference

 Troubleshooting tips

  1. Placing a Nest product too close to a router, access point, cordless phone or other device that emits radio frequency signals can cause connection issues. Try moving either your Nest product or other device so they’re at least 3 feet apart.

  2. Try turning off or unplugging your electronics in turn to determine which device is causing connection issues. When you have turned off the culprit, your Nest product should be able to connect and maintain the connection. It may take a few minutes to automatically connect and change its status in the Nest app.

  3. Try moving other electronic devices--sometimes a few feet can make a big difference in wireless signal quality.

  4. Some wireless devices can broadcast and receive both 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals. If you suspect a particular wireless device, it may have options to switch frequencies. If other products in your home are using a 2.4GHz connection, try switching to the 5GHz frequency.

Note: Nest Cam Outdoor does not support a 5GHz connection.

How to use Nest products with 2.4 and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks >

If you’ve tried the steps listed above and you’re still having issues, follow the link below for more steps you can take.

Troubleshooting Wi-Fi and connection issues >

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?