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.
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.