This feature doesn’t sound like a big deal — and by all means, it shouldn’t be — but it is a big deal because of just how dumb this process was until now. Previously, if you changed your Wi-Fi password, renamed your Wi-Fi network, or bought a new router and did both, there was no simple way to tell the Nest Protect about your Wi-Fi changes. Your $119 smart smoke detector just wouldn’t connect to the internet.
To update a Nest Protect with new Wi-Fi info, you had to get on a ladder, remove the smoke detector from your ceiling, scan a QR code on its base that’s normally hidden against the ceiling, fully set it up again inside the app, and then reinstall it on your ceiling.
How did it take this long?
Needless to say, that is a stupid amount of work just to update your Wi-Fi password.
I own a Nest Protect, and my unit was unable to connect to the internet for several months earlier this year after I changed my Wi-Fi network’s name. I don’t own a ladder so I couldn’t get back up to it, and even if I did own one, I wouldn’t want to go through the process of getting it properly installed on my ceiling again. It’s a hassle.
After a few months, I finally just changed my Wi-Fi network back to its original name so that the Nest could connect again. (To be clear: the Nest Protect still functions as a smoke detector when Wi-Fi is down — you just lose the features that make it worth owning, like being able to silence the alarm and get low-battery warnings.)
With a new update that’s rolling out now, there’s finally a feature in the app that lets you update the Nest Protect’s Wi-Fi info from the ground.
Unfortunately, the feature only works on second-generation Nest Protects. If you have an original, a ladder is still required.