Learn more about cellular backup for Nest Secure

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If there’s a disruption to your home’s Wi-Fi, internet or power, a cellular backup subscription can help you stay informed and in control even when you’re not at home.

Normally, Nest Guard uses Wi-Fi to connect to the Nest Service in the cloud so you can get alerts and manage security settings on your phone no matter where you are.

If your home Wi-Fi goes down, Nest Guard and Nest Detect can still sense activity and sound alarms. But they’ll appear as Offline in the Nest app and you won’t be able to manage their settings or receive alerts on your phone.

A cellular backup subscription is one way to make Nest Guard and Nest Detect even more reliable. It can help Nest Guard stay connected to your phone when:

– Your home’s Wi-Fi network temporarily stops working

– Your home’s internet service is interrupted

– Your home loses power, which usually means it loses Wi-Fi and internet too

Note: During a power outage, Nest Guard’s 12-hour backup battery can still maintain basic security functions like sensing activity and sounding alarms. To learn how this works, see the following article: “How Nest Secure keeps working if the power goes out”

What you get with a cellular backup subscription:

Cellular backup connects Nest Guard to a nearby cellular network, just like your cell phone. This table shows how Nest Guard works with and without a cellular backup subscription.

With the Nest app on your phone When Wi-Fi is working normally Wi-Fi down:
With cellular backup

Wi-Fi down:
No cellular backup

Arm and disarm with the app, even if you’re not home

Get security alerts about alarms and other important events

Change settings for Nest Guard

Get up to date status information in Security History
Change assignments and settings for Nest Tags and Nest Guard passcodes
Directly on your Nest Guard When Wi-Fi is working normally Wi-Fi down:
With cellular backup
Wi-Fi down:
No cellular backup
Sense activity (both Nest Guard and Nest Detect)

Sound a Heads-Up or alarm

Silence an alarm with an existing passcode or Nest Tag

Arm or disarm with an existing passcode or Nest Tag

Sound a Panic Alarm

Get software updates

When you subscribe to cellular backup, Guard will regularly check that it has a good cellular connection. If the cellular connection drops or weakens, the Nest service can send a notification to your phone to let you know.

What you need to subscribe to cellular backup:

Adding a cellular backup subscription is quick and easy. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Wi-Fi connection: Cellular backup is not a substitute for Wi-Fi. You need a working Wi-Fi connection in your home to subscribe to cellular backup and to use Nest Guard on a day to day basis.

Cellular coverage: Nest will automatically check the signal strength where Nest Guard is installed.

Note: If the signal isn’t strong enough, the Nest app will let you know and you won’t be able to subscribe. You can try switching Nest Guard to Off  and then moving it to a different spot in your home where the signal may be stronger. Because your Wi-Fi router can cause interference with cellular signals, you should install Nest Guard at least 3 feet away from your router.

Cellular backup helps keep your Nest Guard connected. It isn’t designed to work with other products like Nest Thermostat or Nest Cam. During a Wi-Fi outage, those other products will appear as Offline in the Nest app.

What happens when cellular backup kicks in:

Nest Guard automatically connects to cellular backup whenever it needs to. You don’t have to change any settings. The Nest app will indicate that Guard is on cellular backup and Guard’s Info  button will light up yellow. After your home Wi-Fi comes back online, Nest Guard automatically switches back to Wi-Fi.

What happens if the cellular backup connection goes down:

In the rare event your Nest Guard loses its connection to the local cellular network and Wi-Fi goes down at the same time, the Nest service sends a notification to your phone to let you know what happened.

During the outage, you won’t be able to use the Nest app on your phone for security alerts and settings. But Nest Guard will continue to monitor activity and sound alarms, and you can enter your passcode directly on Nest Guard (or use your Nest Tag) to arm and disarm.