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Does the Nest Thermostat Work Without WiFi?

Smart devices for the home make our everyday lives more convenient, and the Nest Thermostat is undoubtedly no exception.

This smart thermostat is seriously efficient by letting you control the temperature within your home from wherever you are in the world via the Nest app. It is also intelligent enough to tell you how you could save money on your energy bills, so it’s no wonder they are a popular household appliance these days.

One question many people would like to know the answer to is whether or not the Nest Thermostat will work without WiFi.

This article will look into whether the Nest Thermostat can function without an internet connection and, if so, which features will still be available to you.

The Nest Thermostat will work without WiFi, including controlling your home’s temperature and activating custom heating/cooling schedules. Without WiFi, you’ll miss out on managing your home’s temperature through the Nest app, though, and you won’t be able to download security or software updates.

We will also provide some handy hints on setting up a Nest Thermostat’s WiFi connection, troubleshooting tips when connectivity issues arise, and changing the Nest Thermostat’s WiFi network.

Does the Nest Thermostat Work Without WiFi?

To an extent, the Nest Thermostat will work without a WiFi connection, but some features will be limited. You will still be able to use the smart device to manually operate the heating/cooling system within your home, just like you would with a traditional thermostat.

What you won’t have access to, however, are all the smart home features, including the mobile app, which allows you to control the temperature remotely. 

Security and software updates also won’t be available without a WiFi connection, so you will miss out on the most up-to-date features that Nest has to offer.

However, if you are happy for your Nest Thermostat to operate like a traditional thermostat dial, you technically won’t require a WiFi connection to utilize those basic controls and features.

The Nest Thermostat Features That Work Without WiFi

You may not be able to take advantage of your Nest Thermostat’s smart and remote features without WiFi, but there are still a few settings that you may find useful.

Firstly, you can still run a schedule for your home’s temperature without WiFi, but this will have to be done directly through the Nest device rather than the mobile app. 

To manually activate a heating/cooling schedule, you can use the Thermostat’s dial-in interface to scroll through the setup process, which doesn’t require an internet connection.

You’ll also be able to check your Thermostat’s history for up to three months, a handy feature that will help you establish a more cost-effective way of regulating the temperature within your home.

Another useful feature that doesn’t require WiFi is Nest Leaf, which helps you establish the most energy-efficient temperature for your home. Not only is this is more eco-friendly, but it will also help you save on your energy consumption and potentially reduce your heating/cooling costs.

The Nest Thermostat’s temperature sensor will also work without an internet connection, allowing you to set up bespoke temperature profiles for each room within your home. 

The Nest Thermostat Features That Require WiFi

To get the most out of a Nest Thermostat and access all the features on offer, you’ll need to connect the device to the internet.

The Nest app allows you to control your Thermostat remotely from anywhere in the world using your smartphone or tablet. Without WiFi, your Nest Thermostat cannot connect to the app, which means you’ll lose the ability to configure your home’s temperature settings remotely.

Without access to the Nest App, you also won’t be able to remotely view your energy history, change your temperature schedule or update your thermostat settings. 

You will also need a WiFi connection to control your smart Thermostat using voice commands via an Amazon Echo or Google Nest device. 

You can still activate a heating/cooling schedule without WiFi, but this only applies to schedules that have already been set up. The Nest Thermostat won’t allow you to create a new schedule without an internet connection.

It is important to keep your Nest Thermostat up to date with the latest software and security updates to ensure the device is running at optimum performance. 

The smart device will require WiFi to download and install any updates as and when they are released. Without WiFi, your Nest Thermostat will miss out on the latest software features released by Google, which means you won’t be taking advantage of everything the smart device has to offer.

Troubleshooting: Nest Thermostat WiFi Disconnected (How to Reconnect)

If your Nest Thermostat has gone offline and you aren’t sure how to reconnect it, follow the steps below to establish the device’s internet connection:

  1. Press the ring on the Nest device to activate the user menu and then select ‘Settings’.
  2. Turn the dial to select ‘Network’.
  3. Wait for the list of available WiFi networks to appear and select your network.
  4. Input your WiFi password and then select ‘Done’.

Troubleshooting: Nest Thermostat Not Connecting to WiFi

If you have tried the steps above and are still having trouble connecting your Nest Thermostat to the WiFi, the easy fixes below could be the solution you’re looking for.

Restart your Nest Thermostat

It may seem like the obvious answer, but it’s always worth restarting any smart device when experiencing issues with it. 

To reboot your Nest Thermostat, press the ring on your device, scroll to ‘Settings’, and select ‘Reset’, ‘Restart’, and then ‘OK’.

We would also recommend restarting your wireless router, which you could do while the Nest Thermostat is starting up again.

Once both devices are back up and running, try reconnecting to this WiFi again by following the steps above.

To check the network status of your Nest Thermostat, sign in to your Nest Home account. 
If it says ‘Online’ under the image of your Thermostat, the issue has been resolved. However, if it still says ‘Offline,’ you will need to keep troubleshooting until you find a solution to the problem.

Check Your WiFi Is Working

You could be having issues connecting to your WiFi network because of the wireless router rather than the Nest Thermostat.

To ensure your WiFi is still working, turn on Airplane mode on your smartphone or tablet and then turn on WiFi mode.

If your smart device can’t connect, you should check the service status in your area or contact your internet service provider to help you resolve it.

Check the Status of Nest Services

Another reason you may not be able to connect your Nest thermostat to the WiFi is if there is an outage with Nest services.

If you’ve opened the Nest app and see the message, ‘The Nest service can’t be reached right now’, this means the fault lies with Nest, and you’ll need to wait until they have resolved the issue at their end.

Update to the Latest Version of the Nest App

Without a WiFi connection, your Nest Thermostat will not be able to connect to the Nest app.

Also, you may be having trouble connecting to your WiFi because you aren’t using the most up-to-date version of the Nest app.

Visit your smartphone or tablet’s App Store and select ‘Updates’ to see if one is available.

Check the Nest Thermostat’s Battery Levels

Nest Thermostats run off the power from a home’s HVAC system via the C and R wires. If this power supply has been cut off, the device will still be able to operate for a short while from the built-in battery.

Once the battery starts running low on power, the Nest Thermostat will automatically disconnect itself from the WiFi network to conserve energy in order to keep controlling the heating and cooling system.

Select ‘Settings’ and then ‘Battery’ using the Nest Thermostat’s dial interface to check the battery level. If the battery icon indicates the power is very low, you’ll need to either charge the device using a USB cable or reconnect it to your home’s HVAC system.

Check for Interference

Network inference is another reason you may not be able to connect your Nest Thermostat to a WiFi network.

Check the Thermostat’s connection strength by selecting ‘Settings’ from the menu, ‘Technical Info’, and ‘Network’.

The ping speed should be less than 1500ms, and the signal strength should ideally sit between 50 and 100.

Reduce network interference by turning off any nearby devices running on a 2.4GHz frequency. These include:

  • Baby monitors
  • Microwaves
  • Bluetooth devices
  • Wireless video equipment

How-To: Nest Thermostat WiFi Setup

When installing a new Nest Thermostat within your home, you’ll need to follow all the necessary steps to complete the process.

Once you have installed the Thermostat and connected it to the HVAC system, you’ll need to connect it to a WiFi network to link it up with the Nest app.

To connect the Nest Thermostat to the WiFi, press the Thermostat’s ring to open the ‘Quick View’ menu. Select the ‘Settings’ option, and then scroll to ‘Network’.

The Thermostat will then begin scanning for nearby WiFi networks. Scroll to your WiFi network and enter your password.

Once the Nest Thermostat has established a connection to the WiFi network, you can go on to download the Nest app, link it up to your Thermostat and then complete the setup process.

How-To: Nest Thermostat Change WiFi

Follow the steps below if you have changed your wireless router and wish to connect your Nest Thermostat to a different WiFi network:

  1. On the app, touch and hold your Nest Thermostat’s tile and select ‘Settings’ and then ‘Remove’.
  2. On the Nest Thermostat’s dial, select ‘Settings’ > ‘Account’ > ‘Disconnect’.
  3. Head back to the app and select the ‘+’ symbol in the top left corner of the home page.
  4. Select ‘Set Up Device’ > ‘New Device’.
  5. Select ‘Nest Thermostat’ from the list of options and then scan the QR code on your Nest device (remove the front of the Thermostat’s dial face to reveal the QR code).
  6. Once you have reached the ‘Get Started’ screen, select ‘Already Installed’ and follow all the steps until you reach the WiFi setup stage.
  7. Select the new WiFi network you would like to connect your Nest Thermostat to and, if prompted, type in the network password.
  8. Your Nest Thermostat should now be connected to the new WiFi network, and the setup process has been completed.

How-To: How to Update Nest Thermostat Without WiFi

As we’ve already mentioned, the Nest Thermostat will still function as a traditional thermostat without a WiFi connection.

However, it isn’t possible to perform software or security updates on the Nest Thermostat without WiFi because these require the Nest app to download them.

The Nest app will not be able to communicate with a Nest Thermostat without WiFi, so you will have to connect to a WiFi network if you would like to update your Nest device and ensure it is running at optimum efficiency.

In Summary

In a nutshell, the Nest Thermostat will function as a basic traditional thermostat without WiFi.

You will be able to control your home’s temperature, activate specific heating/cooling schedules, review your Thermostat’s temperature history for up to 3 months, and activate Nest Leaf mode.

Without a WiFi connection, you will miss out on one of Nest Thermostat’s stand-out features of being able to remotely control the temperature of your home via the Nest app.

You also won’t be able to download any security or software updates, which could eventually cause bugs or glitches to affect the device’s performance.

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Author: Tamsin Bright
Writer, ToolCrowd
Tamsin Bright regularly writes about architecture and home design topics and is the editor for the Smart Home and Home Tech sections of ToolCrowd. Tamsin holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and loves nothing more than helping people see the potential in their homes and making their lives easier through great design. When she’s not writing for ToolCrowd, you can find Tamsin indulging her passions for graphic design, cooking, gardening, and all things tech. Contact Tamsinarrow_right_alt