The Google Nest Hello is quickly becoming a staple in the smart home world, providing homeowners with a smart doorbell that doubles as a security camera. However, buyer beware­—there will be some extra steps involved if you don’t already have an existing doorbell installed.

You can install a Nest Hello without an existing doorbell by using an indoor power adapter and following these steps:

  1. Drill a hole where you want to mount the wall plate.
  2. Pass the wire through to connect the device.
  3. Push it into the wall plate until it clicks.

It sounds relatively simple, but once installed, the Google Nest Hello brings security and convenience to your smart home. Thanks to the Google ecosystem, there are a few ways to get even more out of your Google Nest Hello when pairing it with a Google Nest Mini. This will be especially handy for people who want to hear the traditional doorbell chime but lack a chime connector, or for those who want to personalize the Nest Hello makes when family and friends visit.

Is It Easy to Install the Nest Hello Without an Existing Doorbell?

The Google Nest Hello is relatively simple to install, even for beginners. So long as you have the necessary tools, the work itself is fairly straightforward.

With an existing doorbell, all you would need to do is unplug the power and attach it to the Nest Hello. Without an existing doorbell, you just need to drill a few extra holes where you want the Nest Hello to be and purchase an indoor power adapter for the device.

If you’re not up to the task of installing the Nest Hello yourself (or you’re worried about the safety of doing so), you can always find a professional to do it here.

How to Install the Nest Hello Without an Existing Doorbell

Before you begin installing your Nest Hello, you’ll need a few tools for the task. These include:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pen or pencil
  • Power drill
  • Phillips bit
  • Long wood or masonry drill bit

Once you have these tools, you’ll be ready to begin.

  1. Figure out where you’re going to install the doorbell. (Just for reference, most doorbells are placed around 4 feet (or 1.2 meters) high.) Then, hold the Nest Hello’s wall plate against the wall to mark where you’ll be drilling the hole for the power adapter’s wires to come through. The hole should be centered and in the bottom half of the main hole in the wall plate.
  2. Make sure to turn off the power from your home’s breaker box, especially to those areas near where you plan to plug in the Nest Hello. You’ll also need to know where the indoor plumbing and electrical wiring are in your house; the building codes where you live should have this information, and this will make it safe to install the Nest Hello.
  3. Decide if you want to use the wedge that comes with the Nest Hello. This can be useful if you think that the doorbell’s camera will be blocked or positioned poorly to see what’s going on at your doorstep. Simply stick it onto the back of the wall plate.
  4. Drill a hole for the power adapter wires. This will be where you marked in step 1. Start by using a 3/32nd drill bit to drill two pilot holes above and below the hole for the wires – you will use these to mount the wall plate. Make sure the Nest logo is at the bottom, and screw in the top hole first. This will let you adjust the wall plate to make sure it’s straight before you screw in the bottom hole.
  5. Leaving the adapter unplugged, slip the grommet over the adapter cable before running the cable through the hole to the outside, and connect them to the Nest Hello. It doesn’t matter which wire is connected to which terminal, but make sure that the cables are pointed down so that any excess can be tucked back through the wall.
  6. Attach the Nest Hello to the wall plate. It should push in with a click. If it doesn’t click in, check to make sure that any excess wire is tucked behind the hole. Now, you can plug the adapter into an outlet, and your Nest Hello will turn on and be ready for use.

Here’s a helpful video from Google that shows how to install the Nest Hello for those who prefer to watch the step-by-step process, including connecting the Nest Hello to the Nest app.

How Does the Nest Doorbell Work?

Three main components allow the Google Nest Hello to work: power, a wireless internet connection, and a chime connector.

Power

The Google Nest Hello requires between 16V to 24V AC. For those without an existing doorbell, make sure to purchase an indoor power adapter that can provide power between this range. The Nest Hello does not operate on batteries (rechargeable or otherwise), so it needs to be plugged in at all times to function.

Wireless Internet Connection

For the Google Nest Hello to send notifications to your phone through the Nest app or to another Google smart device in your home, it will need to be connected to the wireless internet network in your house. It can make use of either 2.4GHz or 5GHz, but you’ll need a working broadband internet connection of at least 2 Mbps upload speed. (For those of you with DSL, you may run into some issues with connectivity).

Chime Connector

This is perhaps the least crucial component of how the Nest Hello works, but a chime connector can be linked to the Nest Hello if you already have an existing doorbell. This is what makes the traditional sound you hear when someone is at your door. However, the Nest Hello will also send notifications to your phone (as long as you have notifications enabled) through the Nest app. (We will show you an additional workaround that makes use of the Google Nest Mini device later.)

Using Google Minis for Nest Hello Notifications

For those without existing doorbells, it’s likely that you also don’t have a chime connector. However, in the age of smart home devices, there’s a workaround for everything. Another Google device that pairs well with the Nest Hello is the Google Nest Mini (which you can purchase here). Beyond playing music and turning on smart lights, the Google Nest Mini can function as a doorbell for your Nest Hello. When you have both devices, there are just six simple steps to get the Mini functioning in tandem with your Nest Hello.

  1. Download the Nest app and the Google Home app from either the Google Play Store or the App Store.
  2. Install your Nest Hello.
  3. Set up the Nest Hello in the Nest app and the Nest Mini in the Google Home app.
  4. Open the Nest app and tap on your Nest Hello doorbell.
  5. Go to ‘Settings,’ then ‘Visitor Announcements.’
  6. Follow the onscreen prompts in your Google Home app to complete the setup process.

Once you’ve completed all six steps, you’ll be able to hear announcements from your Google Nest Mini that alert you to the presence of someone at your doorstep. These announcements can even be customized through the Google Home app for friends and family.

Final Thoughts

All in all, there’s no need to avoid picking up a Google Nest Hello if you don’t already have an existing doorbell. With a few extra steps, some tools, and some elbow grease, you’ll reap the benefits of security and peace of mind in no time.