Does the Nest Hello Work Without Internet/Wi-Fi?

nest hello doorbell mounted to stucco wall.nest hello doorbell mounted to stucco wall.

When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Nest Hello doorbell can help you keep your home secure with motion detection and video recording. To ensure you don’t miss any activity around your home, it’s essential for your Nest Hello to always working properly—and that requires being connected to Wi-Fi.

Most functions of the Nest Hello doorbell require a stable Wi-Fi connection to operate. This includes viewing the doorbell’s camera feed and receiving notifications on a phone or tablet when motion is detected, or someone rings the doorbell.

Below is a more detailed explanation of how Nest Hello works with and without Wi-Fi. There are also directions about what to do if your Wi-Fi stops working so that you can get your Nest Hello back online quickly.

Does Nest Hello Need Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is needed for the following Nest Hello doorbell functions:

  • Installing the doorbell
  • Updating the doorbell
  • Viewing the doorbell’s live stream in the Nest app
  • Receiving event notifications on a phone or tablet
  • Recording videos*
  • Watching recorded videos*
  • Controlling the doorbell with a Google Assistant or Alexa device

*Note that recording and watching videos from your Nest also requires a Nest Aware subscription.

How Does Nest Hello Work Without Wi-Fi?

Without Wi-Fi, Nest Hello functions exactly like a traditional doorbell. Nest Hello is hardwired to a home’s existing doorbell chime, so when someone presses the doorbell, it will ring in the home. The doorbell chime is the only Nest Hello function that works without Wi-Fi.

Without Wi-Fi, you will not be able to access your doorbell through the Nest app or any voice assistants. No video will be recorded while the Nest Hello is disconnected.

Nest Wi-Fi Requirements

Nest recommends minimum Internet speeds of at least 2 Mbps. If you have more than one Nest Hello or other Nest cameras, at least 5 Mbps is recommended.

Not sure what your Internet speeds are? You can test them using this link. Make sure to stand next to your doorbell when performing the speed test for the most accurate results.

Nest Hello can connect to a 2.4 or 5 GHz Wi-Fi frequency. However, it only works with certain types of Wi-Fi networks. It is not recommended to connect your doorbell to the following types of networks:

  • Captive portal networks – These Wi-Fi networks require you to sign into a webpage and accept terms and conditions before connecting. You have probably used one of these networks at a coffee shop or hotel. Nest Hello does not work with captive portal networks.
  • Open networks – Open networks are not secure, so it may not be safe to connect your doorbell to them.
  • Enterprise-class networks – These networks are used by large businesses and are not compatible with Nest Hello.
  • Mobile hotspots – While you can connect your Nest Hello to a mobile hotspot, it is not recommended for extended periods because it uses a lot of cellular data.

Nest Hello is also not compatible with BT routers.

Troubleshooting Nest Hello Wi-Fi Issues

If your Nest Hello doorbell isn’t working, check to make sure that it has power. You can do this by ringing the doorbell. If the doorbell chimes, but you cannot access the doorbell in the Nest app, the problem is most likely with the Internet connection.

When your Nest Hello is offline, you will want to reconnect it as fast as possible to make sure you don’t miss any events around your home.

Nest Hello Is Offline

Like with most electronic devices, the first thing you should try when your Nest Hello isn’t working is restarting it. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the Nest Hello from the backplate using the provided tool or a paper clip.
  2. Insert the tool or paper clip into the hole near the top of the device.
  3. Hold the button down for about 10 seconds until the light on the doorbell turns off.
  4. The doorbell will restart and automatically try to connect to the previously used Wi-Fi network.

You can also try restarting your Internet router by unplugging your router and modem, waiting 30 seconds, and then plugging them back in.

For more advanced troubleshooting options, check out this Nest support page.

Weak or Unstable Wi-Fi

An easy way to create a more stable Wi-Fi connection to your Nest Hello is to lower the video quality of the doorbell camera. The directions are listed below:

  1. Select your Nest Hello doorbell in the Nest app.
  2. Select the settings icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Select “Quality and bandwidth.”
  4. Choose low or medium video quality.

If your Nest Hello is consistently losing its Wi-Fi connection or the connection is weak, you may benefit from an advanced router, such as the Eero or a Wi-Fi extender. (Wi-Fi extenders plug into standard wall outlets and extend the range of your Wi-Fi router.)

In Summary

The Nest Hello needs Wi-Fi to function. The only thing your Nest Hello can do without an Internet connection is chime in your home when someone rings the bell. If your Nest Hello doesn’t have a stable Wi-Fi connection, you may have issues with your doorbell. Luckily, there are some simple troubleshooting steps you can take to get your doorbell online again.

Keep Reading