Scott Hanselman

Nest Thermostat Review 2nd Generation - Every consumer electronic device should be this polished

November 25, '12 Comments [75] Posted in Reviews
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Nest in the boxLast year I purchased and installed a 3M Filtrete Touchscreen WiFi-Enabled Programmable Thermostat and have generally been very happy with it. It's not automatic, but it's programmable and it has a remote control iPhone app and a very nice programmable web API. Since I work at home, sometimes I am in my home office and other times I'm in a local coffee shop, and in these instances I just use the phone to turn off heat as I leave.

More recently I've been hearing about the Nest Learning Thermostat. There are two generations, Nest Gen 1 and Nest Gen 2 which is 20% thinner than the first Nest and includes support for 95% of North American heating and cooling systems.

I saved up and bought one. It's great.

OOBE - Out of Box Experience

When you spend $200 or more on a Thermostat you're expecting to be impressed. The entire experience from unboxing through installation and usage is absolutely top notch. There's an online Nest Compatibility Tool you can use to check if you've got the right wires for Nest to work with your heating and cooling system. If that doesn't cut it, you are invited to take picture (!) of your setup and send it to them. Classy.

Unboxing the Nest, just like unboxing an iPhone HAL from 2001: Space Odyssey

Unboxing it is like unboxing an iPhone or high end receiver. It's like unboxing HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, in fact, which is pretty awesome.

Installation

The box includes every piece of hardware you could need. Even the tiny screwdriver they included is brilliant. It's got 4 magnetic tips and it's become my favorite screwdriver for small computer stuff and I've taken to keeping it on my desk. It may seem a small thing, but think about that for a second. Someone decided to make and ship an awesome screwdriver. I love that.

There's a rectangular back plate included that can be used to cover holes from your previous installation.

All the things that come with your Nest. The Nest itself, the wallplates, instructions and screwdriver Checking out the amazing tiny screwdriver the Nest guys included

I went back and forth about using the back plate and came to the conclusion that a thermostat this fancy deserved a few hours of extra effort. I could have slapped the back plate on the wall and been done in minutes but instead I took a little bit of putty/spackle, filled the holes left from the previous thermostat and painted with a small modeler's paintbrush.

Take the Time and Paint

I am EXTREMELY happy and a more than little proud of the results.

Removing the original thermostat Puttying over the holes

Painting over the puttied holes Adding the Nest round cover

Connect the Network

You snap the Nest onto the round backing and it immediately turns on. You rotate the Nest's outer ring to make selections and you press in to make a selection. My Nest needed to update itself and apparently Nests will auto-update without you having to do anything but wait a bit.

IMG_2494 IMG_2495

The Good (there's been Zero Bad)

The Nest tells me it will get 72 degrees in 15 minutesI've had the Nest for a few weeks now and while I can't tell if it's saved me a pile of money yet, I can note a number of significant things that have made a difference to me and the family.

  • I've had to fiddle with the Nest much LESS than my previous wireless thermostat. We used to adjust the Filtrete a few times a day. I had created a schedule but it couldn't handle how I'd leave sometimes at random.
  • My wife gets it more than the previous thermostat because it's extremely simple. The Filtrete required several button pushes to change the temperature and the scheduler was circa a 1900s LCD VCR.
  • The auto-away feature is almost worth the price of admission. Our thermostat is located in our Family Room near the door we use to enter and exit the house. Auto-away works fantastically and exactly as you'd think it should.
  • The Nest is dark until you walk up to it. It turns on the display literally as you approach. It's fun to walk by it.
  • It tells you how long it will take for the house to reach a certain temperature because it learns how long your house takes to move temperatures. My wife used to turn the thermostat really hot because she thought that if she set it to 80 then it would get to 72 faster. The Nest solves that problem by telling her it will reach 72F in 15 minutes.

The Nest app is as well-designed as the Next, or more so. The Nest is simple and hides complexity but if you go digging and WANT to see what the underbelly looks like, it hides little. You can get details on the wiring - now hidden physically but visible virtually.

You can see the schedule that the Nest automatically gleaned based on yours and your family's behaviors. For the first week you are asked to adjust the Nest as much as you like in order to teach it about your preferences. It uses this data, combined with local weather and noticing if you leave to build a schedule. It also overrides that schedule liberally using auto-away.

Screenshot of the Nest App showing wiring Screenshot of the Nest App showing Heat/Cool

The Nest is kind of the Prius of home thermostats, and I say that as a happy Prius owner. It make saving (or trying to save) energy a game. It'll show a leaf when you are choosing temperatures that can save energy. In the fourth screenshot you can see an icon on Thursday that indicated that I adjusted it manually and caused an energy savings. On Tues the weather was warmer than expected and caused the Nest to save energy.

Screenshot of the Nest App showing Schedule Screenshot of the Nest App showing Energy

You can zoom in on any of these graphs and get LOTS of details. You can see here that I left for lunch at Noon on Friday.

Nest noticed that I went to lunch and adjusted the temperature Wednesday was a complex day

The best thing about the Nest. It's simple and its simplicity hides enormous complexity. It's a luxury item, to be sure, but it's a joy to use. I'm impressed and I suspect that when a Nest is $100 at Home Depot that they'll own the market.

I'll update the post in a few months when I have several heating bills.


PLUG: My friend Luvvie and I talk about the Nest in Episode 2 of our new bi-weekly Podcast, "Ratchet and The Geek." Check it out!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012 12:49:36 PM UTC
"My wife used to turn the thermostat really hot because she thought that if she set it to 80 then it would get to 72 faster."

My wife must have went to the same thermostat school. No matter how much I convince her otherwise, she sets it to an extreme instead of the temperature she wants.
Scott
Sunday, November 25, 2012 12:56:50 PM UTC
We bought one of the first generation ones when it came out for much the same reason. Since my wife is a stay-at-home mom, her schedule isn't set in stone for any day of the week, so I wanted something that could learn the habits she does have (e.g. usually in the house until at least 9AM, usually back home by 4PM) and deal with deviations without her having to remember to manually adjust it.



You forgot (or may not have yet received) one of the best parts! Every month they email you a little report card to add to the energy savings game. It tells you:
  • The difference in month-to-month usage (e.g. I used 168 hours of cooling in Sept, 74 hours in October - yay Texas).
  • How many leafs you earned that month, on which days, and what the average was for other Nest users (20 for me, 22 for average).
  • How many times it turned on auto away for you (29 for me, 13 for average nest user)
  • How often you turn it away yourself (1 time for 17 hours, 3 times average user)

Michael
Sunday, November 25, 2012 12:59:13 PM UTC
Meant to include one other stat from the report card in the above post - the autoaway it set? Total time for the month it was in auto-away mode was 48 hours. That's a full 2 days worth of unnecessary cooling that it just didn't do that month!
Michael
Sunday, November 25, 2012 1:50:21 PM UTC
Heating, thermostat... this is all sci-fi to me.

Here in northeatern Brazil the temperature never gets below 20C

When I was a kid I remember asking my dad why on Earth cars have heater. Who would use that?
Daniel
Sunday, November 25, 2012 2:37:18 PM UTC
"My wife used to turn the thermostat really hot because she thought that if she set it to 80 then it would get to 72 faster."

32 years of thermostat lessons from me and my wife still does the same thing. Car, house, electric blanket... doesn't matter.

What are we missing, guys?

:)
bill
Sunday, November 25, 2012 3:21:21 PM UTC
They don't have a Windows Phone app yet...I'm assuming you can control it via the web? If so, is it mobile device friendly?
Sunday, November 25, 2012 4:08:04 PM UTC
Funnily enough, the cars have gotten smart enough now that they see you seeing extreme temperatures, and it causes them to increase the fan speed (which is really what you wanted in the car, not a hotter temp). Then when you ratchet it back down, the fan goes down, too.

The cars have adapted to your wives. :)
Sunday, November 25, 2012 4:46:53 PM UTC
Is it really worth the extra $220 dollars more than a normal programmable thermostat? I just can't see it as worth it. From a geek perspective, ya it's awesome. From a practical perspective it's just a waste of money. Then again I don't see it as a bother to walk by the thermostat and press a button to adjust the temp.
Nick Portelli
Sunday, November 25, 2012 5:35:24 PM UTC
Does the iPhone app work with Voice Over? My blind wife would like to be like all the other wives here, but she can't work a manual thermostat.
Brian
Sunday, November 25, 2012 5:36:57 PM UTC
I love my Nest (2nd gen)! I paid $250 for something extremely nice so I could totally forget about it. Yes, it's worth it.
Alex Dresko
Sunday, November 25, 2012 6:09:29 PM UTC
@Chris, there's no Windows Phone app, but there's a kitschy web app (identical to the iPad app) that makes all settings available.

But it's frustrating on the WP7/WP8 browser. The user interface elements are huge for some reason, and if you pan around you'll bump the temperature accidentally.
Sunday, November 25, 2012 6:46:24 PM UTC
"My wife used to turn the thermostat really hot because she thought that if she set it to 80 then it would get to 72 faster."

I suspect this is because there are other temperature controls that are not thermostatic but respond more rapidly, so for example the heater/cooling controls in low end cars. If you use your car everyday you become conditioned to having it heat up quicker if it is on a higher setting. Its a quick and obvious effect in the car, the house heating takes takes longer to respond so its gives less feedback, so you assume it probably works like the one in the car...
Chris Thomson
Sunday, November 25, 2012 8:18:06 PM UTC
Previous research I had done indicated that it is generally inefficient to always adjust your thermostat. Unless your gone for something like 8 hours, it's best to leave the temp alone.

The idea is that it's easier on your hvac to maintain a temp then to not work for a few hours and then run for a long period of time to return back to the target temp.

Does the Nest really save you money?
brad rembielak
Sunday, November 25, 2012 9:25:23 PM UTC
Does this really justify giving up the $100 Filterete (which is already pricey) and dropping another $200+ ?

True that the filterete has a bunch of buttons for fiddling with the settings but if you are a geek, more settings = more control.
As far as the WAF goes, the Iphone app simplifies it a lot.

This is definitely a luxury item for me, I can think of better toys to blow away 200 bucks.
Abhijeet P
Sunday, November 25, 2012 9:52:32 PM UTC
Damn it. Now I want one. Scott, you make my life more simple in a complicated way! Ha.
John Batdorf
Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:02:48 PM UTC
I have had a Nest thermostat for nearly a year now, and I love it. They continue to make small improvements via automatic firmware and software updates.

For example, it will turn off the air conditioner but keep the fan running for a couple of minutes to push the cold air out of the ducts and into your house. It will also remind you when to change your furnace filter based on actual fan running time.

The first generation Nest is on sale at Lowes this weekend for $198.00.
Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:41:41 PM UTC
I have the same question as many others here. What is the ROI? My house, like yours, is fairly new. I simply don't pay that much for heating and cooling. I have 3 zones, so this would be a $600+ upgrade from the filtrete. Right now, I get agressive with the temp, and my wife uses her iphone to bump it up a few degrees if she is cold on that particular day. 90% of the time, she just uses a blanket. The 10% of the time she bumps it up, it doesn't anything relative to the savings.

My second question is about how well it works with multiple zones. I have a zone upstairs, and the lower level basically heats the upper level. The upper level rarely runs. I think he nest would be confused. I'm also wondering how it determines occupancy since we rarely walk near them. The 3rd zone is a bonus room, which gets enough heat from the other rooms that it never turns on. It was pointless to even have that zoned off.
Sunday, November 25, 2012 11:41:59 PM UTC
Having three zones in my home, I'm curious how well it would work only replacing one (the main room) zone? I can't imagine I would ever see a positive return by spending 750 to replace all three. I already use programmables, but they aren't as sexy.

Don't like how Lowe's is selling a v1.0 product to people who probably don't realize it's the old version. Seems kinda slimy to me.
Rick Dorris
Monday, November 26, 2012 1:44:50 AM UTC
I was an early purchaser of the Nest when they first came out. Even though I live in a house less than 1,000 sq feet it saved me almost 20% in costs during the first winter in Eastern Oregon.(Probably $75)

The Auto-away is what's saving me money with my erratic work schedule. In addition, it's very easy to schedule and you can prevent users from changing the temp to an extreme by setting a minimum & maximum temperature. I've had roommates in my youth who used to turn it to maximum thinking it would heat the house faster.

I would definitely recommend one, even at $200, especially if I had a larger house. How often do you replace a thermostat? 10 years, maybe? That amortizes out at $20 per year. A lot less than your average cell phone.
John Boufford
Monday, November 26, 2012 8:35:44 AM UTC
I saw this stuff around a year ago and was quite impressed. Then I checked if I can read the source code for the appliance, but just found the sources for the GPL and LGPL components they used, but not the actual logic for what do they upload to their cloud.

Personally I am really cautious about installing an always-on microphone in my house that has an internet connection, but no source code. So I love the concept, love the design, love their focus on the details, but I distrust the closed source parts in it.
Wigy
Monday, November 26, 2012 3:14:01 PM UTC
How awesome is this! We are about to buy our first home and I will be purchasing this. It looks high-end as well as high-tect. Well done to the creators of Nest for utilizing the fact that smart phones are attached to the hips of most consumers. Thank you for sharing!

And by the way, I can totally relate to your wife setting it to extreme temperatures in an attempt to get it hotter faster. Guilty here as well!
Monday, November 26, 2012 3:42:38 PM UTC
I wanted a Nest since they first came out, but early on they were frequently sold out. I finally got one earlier this month. I totally agree with the ease of setup and use. And as with your experience, it's too early to tell what my energy savings will be. My only disappointment is there isn't a Windows Phone app to control it.
Monday, November 26, 2012 3:45:56 PM UTC
Hey, Scott!

This looks like a cool gadget. I, too, have a 3M Filtre and have been using it for well over a year and still loving it --

I didn't see you mention it, but what kind of programming API does the Nest have?

For me, the 3M Filtre does 99% of what I need it to do -- I just wish it had a Windows Phone application. Maybe demand will increase for that in time.

I did a couple blog posts myself on 3M here.

http://myblog4fun.com/archive/2011/06/18/filtrete-3m-50-wi-fi-thermostat.aspx

http://myblog4fun.com/archive/2011/07/04/filtrete-3m-50-wi-fi-thermostat-and-thingspeak.aspx
Monday, November 26, 2012 4:46:42 PM UTC
I pre-ordered the nest when it first came out - a year+ ago and LOVE it. It is so polished, the app is great and the best part is that I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to adjust it for my wife :)...
Monday, November 26, 2012 6:47:38 PM UTC
John, you said, "I was an early purchaser of the Nest when they first came out. Even though I live in a house less than 1,000 sq feet it saved me almost 20% in costs during the first winter in Eastern Oregon.(Probably $75)"

How do you know you saved 20%? Is it because it said it heated or cooled less time?
Mark
Monday, November 26, 2012 7:55:20 PM UTC
I got the 3M Filtrete thermostat after reading your last blog post about it.

I'm not 100% happy with it as there seem to be a few hardware issues with the on board thermometer not reading the correct temperature, plus it only goes up to a 802.11g wifi network, not n.

However, it does let me change the temperature while in bed, or setting it away from the car.

Any idea how well the Nest would work when it's in a room that isn't a big traffic area?
Aaron S
Monday, November 26, 2012 8:37:23 PM UTC
Frankly I'd like to have an IP for each outlet and switch the house (ideally WiFi). Now while I got a call from my wife and she asked me to go home to check if she forgot pressing iron on. I had to drive 45 minutes from the office to home and back. We have the technology and should not be very expensive. I should to be able to check in your iPhone if in that room any power was use in the last hour and can turn off the outlet. The switches should detect when you are in the room (they should be the natural alarm system in the house – that’s a plus).
Cristian
Monday, November 26, 2012 9:03:14 PM UTC
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 2:47:59 AM UTC
Thanks! I am going to get one to see how good it is. I like to check if the pool is full before I jump :P. That might delay my plans to mcgiver something using my netduino plus :P.
Cristian
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 7:18:01 AM UTC
Cristian & Scott,

I've had great success with Insteon products too. Www.smarthome.com
Rick Dorris
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 4:08:34 PM UTC
Thanks but I like more Scott's suggestion since I don't get it why I should use another wireless protocol (X10) if I already have a WiFi network. Everything should be connected to it :D. At least that’s my dream :D.
Cristian
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 5:29:02 PM UTC
This is great!
Abrian Stemmet
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 9:49:36 PM UTC
I sent a photo of my thermostat along with the brand and model info to the email. They replied with "it should be ok"....
Neil
Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:24:56 AM UTC
I'm not going to repeat the (valid) questions and concerns about return on investment, but I am curious to know why I haven't seen many (any?) fact-based examples of energy savings from the Nest reported by users. The only thing I can think is that the end-goal isn't really energy savings but rather to be a neat and interesting device for tech enthusiasts like us. If you get enough value out of the novelty and information it provides (cost-aside) to justify the cost then that's great.

@Scott - I love how you essentially indicated your wife is dumb two times in the post!
Howie
Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:59:07 AM UTC
I've been eyeing the Nest for awhile now, I am glad to see you have one, since I'm sure you'll hit us with the data after a few months and we can make an informed decision. I rent right now, and don't feel like installing my own thermostat (plus heat/cooling is split 3 ways so I'm already saving money).

Once I have a house, hopefully there'll be enough reviews of the Nest (or even 3rd-gen) that I can evaluate.

The thermostat mental model was one of the first things discussed in The Design of Everyday Things. No one is dumb for believing a higher temp will heat faster, it's the fault of the conceptual model of the design. The fact that the Nest tells you makes the mental model clear, which eliminates any confusion.

I wish more consumer electronics took Nest's route (and no surprise, the designer worked on the iPhone) and were "a joy" to use. Someone mentioned they didn't find it annoying to stop and change the temp when they walked by their thermostat. That's great, but why should you need to? Isn't that like saying you were pretty fine with using a manual, why use automatic? For some people (and some parts of the world), that's cool, but as an automatic driver, I can say I definitely prefer not having to think about changing gears. We have all this technology, why shouldn't thermostats be smarter and work for us, its users?
Friday, November 30, 2012 6:57:29 AM UTC
The nest seems really great! I have district heating and have to check if I could jack this in with the substation. Would be even greater if it would be compatible with the Telldus Tellstick (http://www.telldus.se/) so I can integrate it with my weather station.
Håkan
Friday, November 30, 2012 8:20:25 AM UTC
I totally agree with the ease of setup and use. And as with your experience, it's too early to tell what my energy savings will be. My only disappointment is there isn't a Windows Phone app to control it.
Friday, November 30, 2012 2:22:33 PM UTC
For me, I can't see the value in something like this. I put simple programmable thermostats in our house - 3 x $25. Nest would put me in the neighborhood of $750. The simplicity is that I've set them, tweaked them and now, I forget them. I don't need endless metrics that I haven't cared about before. Do I really need to waste time reviewing how many leaves I collected vs some guy I don't know? A lot of things are possible to do, yes, but it doesn't mean they need to be done. As for energy savings, who knows. Programmables aren't energy star rated. But now that you can turn up the heat before you arrive home, you probably will. Pay attention to the v1 units, as they were not compatible with higher efficiency multi-stage cooling systems. Version 2 adds more compatibility.

As for wives cranking the thermostat up, well, they may be right. If you have a heat pump with aux heating elements, then the higher demand setting likely activates those elements to recover. While that works to warm the house sooner, your heat pump efficiency is out the window. The aux heating in some systems can be adjusted to not come on unless outdoor temps are very low, so your mileage may vary. With heat pumps, you're probably better off cost-wise with little temperature variation during the cold months.
elmo
Friday, November 30, 2012 3:30:22 PM UTC
We got the v1 Nest earlier this summer and while I think it's pretty cool it's definitely a luxury novelty. We're still fiddling with optimizing for energy savings since our house is arranged sort of weird, but I think the Nest makes it easier than others to visualize and track usage to make more informed decisions.

That said, my biggest complaint about the Nest is the data-centric nature but lack of access to that data. You only get the last 10 days of energy usage history - both on the device and on the web. Sure, you get a monthly report but even that I feel like it over-simplified.

I would love to be able to download or view my entire historical energy usage according to the Nest and compare that to what our energy company is saying. I contacted Nest support but they said at the moment they didn't have the resources to offer something like that. Even if there was a way for me to download locally the usage numbers and store them off...I've found some python scripts that can hook into the web interface but nothing has what I'm looking for yet.

I think Nest is already providing much more than anyone else is, it's just frustrating to be on that tip of data gathering but not be able to easily use all of it.
Pete
Monday, December 03, 2012 1:07:52 PM UTC
Hehe :) realy great tips for thermostat.
Thanks for share.
Thursday, December 06, 2012 8:35:45 PM UTC
Our service provider gave us a free nest and actually the dude came and installed it for us for free. I Love this thing. I think they did this as a part of a grant they received.
Sam.R
Friday, December 07, 2012 8:45:49 PM UTC
"My wife used to turn the thermostat really hot because she thought that if she set it to 80 then it would get to 72 faster."

It is because every faucet in your house does work that way. We all do it every day; full hot valve until the water runs warm, and then add cold to get to the right temperature.
MichaelSP
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 8:59:21 PM UTC
Oh boy, I just love Nest (bought during thanksgiving sale for $198 - 10% + tax ofcourse). Since I hooked up nest, I never touched it again, it has learnt a lot and goes to AWAY mode automatically. And you can set up the passcode, not even your wife can mess with it LOL
Anil
Friday, December 21, 2012 10:32:14 PM UTC
Can you send its data to some other location such as external FTP or something or do you have access to data via some API. Thanks.
Adnan
Saturday, December 22, 2012 2:15:36 PM UTC
One of the first geeky purchases I make when we move to our new crib.
Saturday, December 22, 2012 2:27:44 PM UTC
Everyone needs a better understanding of their electricity plan to have a chance at saving money.

My plan for example had a large "peak demand" component to it - that the highest demand in any one hour time frame for the month makes up 40% of my bill.

Unfortunately nest has no way to balance this between two units unless you create a manual plan that alternates them being on.

Anyone else have a peak demand based plan that uses nest to manage demand?
Jason
Sunday, December 23, 2012 5:41:48 AM UTC
If anyone is interested in beta-testing a non-official Windows Phone app to control their Nest Thermostat, msg me at @GaryGJohnson on Twitter.
Gary
Monday, December 24, 2012 4:25:30 PM UTC
I don't understand why they put cheap installation screws that stripped so easily.
Adnan
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 8:40:24 PM UTC
I bought a Nest 2nd Gen last week. Installed and connected to my WiFI. For some reason unable to connect the NEST with my account and the App. thus no remote control.
Support indicated a problem with mny router. What routers have worked with the Nest out of the box with no fiddling or jiggering the wireless settings?
Ken
Thursday, January 03, 2013 12:17:40 AM UTC
Best Thermo in the world. LOVE IT. Worth EVERY PENNY.

@Ken - I've got a Netgear N300 and worked fine out of the box. found the wifi and connected like a champ. Im now sitting in my office at work and Nest will have my house to a comfortable 66 degrees in approximately 15 minutes (I LOVE how it tells you how long it will take to get to the desired temperature based on what its learned)
Friday, January 04, 2013 4:35:47 AM UTC
I have a "2wire" wireless router from ATT phone co. Will that work with the NEST?

Joe
Saturday, January 05, 2013 7:45:14 PM UTC
I had to remove my Nest after a week of frustrating calls to cusService. Remote connection could never be established. I'm sticking with Honeywell. They know how to build a thermostat.
Richard
Monday, January 07, 2013 10:46:34 PM UTC
I am curious as to how Nest tested their thermostat. If you review the list of unsupported Wi-Fi access points you will note that most every widely used consumer router is listed!

The Linksys WRT-54G which is still in widespread use today as a mainstay and workhorse of many consumer wireless networks.

The Actiontec M1424WR which is the router used by almost every FIOS installation in the past three years and several of the newer Netgear routers for those who have recently upgraded to the “N” version of 802.11.

Either the testing was not performed using “real world” products or there is a configuration issue that is not being communicated to Nest consumers. Too many of the products are being returned because consumers are unable to achieve the “remote control” capabilities that have drawn so many users to the product to start.

What is Nest customer support doing about this issue? Very little as it turns out, since their support personnel are not “network engineers nor HVAC specialists” but they know the Nest product well. When asked for a recommended list of routers that the Nest does work with the support personnel were unable or unwilling to provide such information. A question posted on a user forum asking what routers were being used with the Nest out of the box with no configuration resulted in only one response and that was for a router that is on the unsupported list posted on the Nest website!

The question is what is the problem that is keeping the Nest thermostat from connecting with the Nest servers, or maintaining a constant internet connection? I'm sure the answer would be something like, "Well every home network is different and based on location of the wireless access point, home construction, proximity to other electrical devices, etc. poses a large challenge." Yep, agreed. So why is it that my home has two I-Pads, two laptops, an I-Phone, an Android phone, an X-Box, a Wii, a Smart TV and Blueray DVD player located all over the house and backyard but all remain connected 24-7 or at least as long as the Wi-Fi router is transmitting?

Unfortunately, for a product that costs as much as the Nest Thermostat one would have thought the upfront testing and quality control would have been a bit more robust.
Ken
Monday, January 14, 2013 11:41:27 PM UTC
@Howie: some people may already be operating and good energy efficiency. I'd be one of them but would love to have a cool toy that learns our heating/cooling patterns so I don't accidentally leave it on while away. So you are right about end goal (in my case) being having a neat toy rather than saving energy. The more automated I can make the home the better (for convenience sake, nothing more).
Shawn B.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 9:05:43 PM UTC
I have owned one Nest which I put in the main part of our house. It saved me $11 for the first half month of usage. The 2nd month it saved us $35. It is a great product and will pay for itself in 6 months or less.
Craig
Saturday, January 19, 2013 1:58:09 PM UTC
According to the NEST Support Site the following routers are not supported. However others on this site have indicated that they were able to get their NEST working while using one of these routers.

2WIRE
3800HGV-B
Avoid using a hidden network name (SSID)

Actiontec
M1424WR Rev. E
N/A

Belkin
F9K1001 (N150 product line)
N/A

Belkin
F9K1002 (N300 product line)
N/A

Belkin
F5D8230-4 (Wireless N product line)
N/A

Belkin
F5D8233-4 (Wireless N product line)
N/A

Cisco/Linksys
WRT110 (RangePlus Wireless Router)
N/A

Cisco/Linksys
WRT160N v1 (Ultra RangePlus Wireless-N Broadband Router)
N/A

Cisco/Linksys
WRT320N v1 (Dual-Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router)
N/A

Cisco/Linksys
WRT54G (Wireless-G Broadband Router)
N/A

Cisco/Linksys
WRK54G (Wireless-G Broadband Router)
Update to firmware version 1.0.0.50 or later

D-Link
DI-524 (802.11g Wireless Broadband Router)
N/A

Netgear
DGN1000 (N150 Wireless Modem Router)
Update to firmware version 1.0.00.41 or later

Netgear
WNDR3300 (N600 Wireless Dual Band Router)
N/A

Netgear
WNDR3400 (N600 Wireless Dual Band Router)
N/A

Netgear
WNDR3700 (N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router)
N/A

Netgear
WNDR3800 (N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router Premium Edition)
N/A

Netgear
WNDR4000 (N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router)
N/A

Netgear
WNR2000 (N300 Wireless Router)
N/A

Netgear
WNR3500L (N300 Wireless Gigabit Router)
N/A

Netgear
WNDAP360 (ProSafe 802.11n Dual Band Wireless Access point)
N/A

Netgear
WPN824v3 (RangeMax Wireless Router)
N/A

Ken
Sunday, January 20, 2013 12:40:24 PM UTC
I quite liked the first one, but the 2nd gen. worked a lot smoother for me!
Sunday, February 17, 2013 2:41:05 AM UTC
IRISH company CLIMOTE launched a competing product to NEST for the European market and their already picking Utility contracts & national awards for their intuitive design and approach to remotely controlling your home. Their proposition is a fully integrated 3 zone controller with built in thermostat, GSM communication, and a full user interface on the device should you decide not to use the remote control. It is fully certified CE approved 220v controller that connects directly to your Heating or cooling source
Sunday, February 17, 2013 3:05:43 AM UTC
Were you using the 3M thermostat before or after they switched to EnergyHub for the mobile apps & website sometime in 2012? It's definitely not anything like programming a VCR now. Comparing the 3M mobile app with a Nest owner, it offers nearly the same functionality with only a dab more polish.

As a 3M owner, it seems that the extra $200 for the Nest gets you better energy reporting, automatic schedule adaptation, auto-away, and a shinier overall experience. I'd like those things, but they aren't worth $200 to me. If the money's not an issue, the Nest sure looks like a better product than the other thermostats in its price range.

If you're a hacker type, RadioThermostat, who makes the 3M, has a documented REST network API for hitting the device and getting/setting operating parameters. Their forum even includes a section for technical discussion and development--great for hobbyists. The Nest doesn't have a network API.

Neither company documents its cloud API, last I checked.
Andrica
Sunday, March 03, 2013 10:14:31 PM UTC
Anyone know how to get my nest to work with my Actiontec M1424WR? For what it's worth, it's Rev I. Thanks very much.
lauren
Sunday, March 10, 2013 2:29:08 AM UTC
Hey!
Great article about Nest.

Maybe someone on here can help me. I am so sad...
I finally went out and splurged on a Nest yesterday as a treat for me and hopefully me electric bill. But the problem is that I use an Airport extreme (with two Airport Expresses). My nest sees my network but will not connect. I even took the password off of the network and it still won't connect. I should add in that my old iPhone 4S and my partners PC will not connect to it either and I have never been able to figure out why. I have asked all my nerd friends, but no one seems to have a solution. Oh and BTW my Macbook pro and my iPhone 5 WILL connect to the extreme.

Soo...
Can someone either please help me figure out what the deal is (I have played with tons of settings). Or maybe just suggest and inexpensive router that will work with nest and I will just hook up two routers. I would REALLY prefer to get the setting right on the extreme.

PLEASE HELP I JUST WANT TO GET MY NEW TOY WORKING!
Thanks!

I assume it is allowed on here...
Please feel free to email me directly if you have some good answers I would appreciate it SO MUCH!

neilbridgers@gmail.com
Neil
Monday, March 11, 2013 2:20:38 AM UTC
Neil,

I think I know your problem with the Apple router. I don't have the Nest but I am very tempted to buy it. You need to go into your Airport Utility and check your network settings. You need to be sure you are setup to be backward compatible to g. I really think your problem is in your setup of the Airport. I also have the Airport and have no problem getting any device connected up to it, including the iphone 4s and older computing devices.

Jeffrey
Jeffrey
Monday, March 11, 2013 4:59:27 PM UTC
Thanks Jeffery,
I will try that... Can you give me specific directions on how to do that? I would really appreciate it.

Also if possible maybe you can give me all the settings yours is set to and I will try to mimic them.

This would also probably help my latest problem where I have played with so many settings that now my two airport expresses are no longer connecting to my extreme. LoL

Thanks again for the help!
Neil
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 9:12:37 PM UTC
Neil,

I had the same problem. On a hunch I unplugged my Airport Express so the (weaker but usable) Airport Extreme signal would talk to the Nest.

End result: it worked perfectly. I'm not sure if it was conflicting between the two access points, but it worked for me.

Hope that helps

g
Gord
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 11:12:44 PM UTC
Neil, I have 3 nests, 1 airport extreme and 2 airport expresses...and a ton of other wifi gadgets connecting. I design ethernet switches and routers for a living and I have a few suggestions: 1) You might check to see if your network is 'hidden' and temporarily make it visible while you connect the nests. The reason why a hidden network sucks is that it's tough to get the exact network name and password correct with the nest interface and your nest does better if it can find your network on it's own. 2) I'm using WPA Personal on my network with no issue. 3) Sometimes mixing older airports with newer airports can create a speed issue although I don't think this is the problem. An express capable of only a,b,g will drag the speed of the a,b,g,n extreme down to slower speeds. Finally, 4) if your equipment is setup to force wifi operation in mode n (for example), or 5-GHz operation (another example), remove the restriction and let the airport do it's thing.

I found the following links...

http://support.nest.com/article/Unsupported-Wi-Fi-Access-Points

and

http://support.nest.com/article/Troubleshooting-Nest-s-Wi-Fi-connection

Good luck! :) Al

Al Kimball
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 5:09:50 AM UTC
@gord, @neil

I have the same setup, with Airport Express routers extending my Airport Extreme wireless network. Neither my Nest nor my HP wireless printer will connect to the internet through the stronger Express signal, even though they can join the network. If I unplug the Express and force them to join through the weaker Extreme...they each work like a charm. Pain in the ass, but it works for whatever reason.
jeff m.
Sunday, April 21, 2013 1:56:18 PM UTC
First, the nest will not work with with hidden SSID (networks names). Also, make sure you modem is set up in bridge mode mode so your router is assigning an internal ip address. many people to do not do this or do not have their cable companies do this, and although you may get out to the internet, you get a condition called "double nat". It will cause the issues you are seeing with the nest and printers you are reporting here.
Note, this only pertains to those of you that have cable modem that also have wireless connections built into them. Those of you who do not ignore the above.
rich
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:15:55 PM UTC
@rich
Interesting that you say the NEST doesn't work with hidden SSID's. I have a NEST operating on a hidden network and it has been working flawlessly since January!
Just goes to show that there are a ton of variables when dealing with wireless networks and sometimes you have to try several of them to see what combination works.
Ken
Sunday, June 02, 2013 5:23:09 PM UTC
Our home has two levels so therefore two thermostats. We don't use the second floor very often. I am considering a Nest for just the first floor where there is more living space.
What impact will this have on my efficiency?
Bob
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 7:27:54 PM UTC
@Bob ... I just installed one on the first floor. I am going to use it for a while before replacing the one on the second floor. Will probably never replace the one in the basement (don't use it enough now!)

So far so good! This thing is cool and we'll see when the first report comes to me what that will teach me. I can see that saving energy is going to be easy as it tempts you to click the cooling up a degree to "get that leaf!"
Sunday, July 14, 2013 6:07:03 PM UTC
Scott - Have you seen any cost savings since installing your Nest? Thanks
Nate
Sunday, July 14, 2013 6:38:25 PM UTC
Nate - I'm afraid I haven't seen any cost savings that I can measure. The thing is, where I live, it's always 68 degrees.
Saturday, July 20, 2013 4:51:02 AM UTC
Installed mine this afternoon. Followed exact instructions. When I flipped the breaker for my AC unit back in.... Nothing. Completely killed my AC unit. Waiting for a technician to come out and assess the damage. Thanks, Nest!!
RCT
Monday, September 30, 2013 8:57:44 AM UTC
question : i keep house temp daily at 61 degrees from 6 am to 8 pm. turn it UP *nightly to 65 degrees . i am home 24/7. can this therm. learn this.. and not turn down at night and not turn up during day especially because i am at home?
everything i read to date states the opposite use of temps daily and people who leave during the day and prefer cooler temps at night. thank you
Blue
Monday, November 25, 2013 10:02:56 AM UTC
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.