Setting up the Nest Wifi - it's a process

So, the other day I unboxed the Nest Wifi.  Woot woot... Google all the things!

I've loved it, the fact that the access point is an smart device/assistant at the same time is super cool.

But it's been a little over a week now.  Why haven't I updated you all on it yet?  Well, it's been a bit of a busy week, but it's literally taken ALL week for me to swap everything over.  Thankfully, I'm in a position that the old router is still there, or I bet this might have taken a lot longer.

Now, that being said, remember, I'm something of a 'special case' (hey... not in that way).  For most people, you change your router, you go to your laptop / phone and switch which connection it's going to connect to, forget the old - bingo bango automatic kajango and it's all good, right?  Usually, right.

For me, I've got 19 smart lights (7 hue, 12 Wiz), 5 minis (well 4 home minis and a new nest mini), a nest hub, a nest hub max and a new nest hub, a nest hello, a nest thermostat, a roomba, and on and on... aside from all the devices.

Each of these requires me going into some sort of settings search to figure out how to switch wifi networks.

It wasn't as straightforward as you would like to believe.

But let's start with the set up.

First up, plug it into your router.  My home router from Shaw has several ethernet connections, so I'm good.  I'm going to leave the Velop plugged in (and it was a smart move to do that throughout).  

Then you plug it in for power.

It boots up.  Interestingly, usually when something googley gets powered up, like a Chromecast or a mini, there's some internet cry for help that the Home app picks up on and you can see a little option 'set up a Nest Mini'.  With this, there was none of that.

You open the home app, click the + to add a new device and then pick the Wifi and walk through the steps (Scan the QR code, set up the password...) and then you get the option to add another point (it knew somehow that it had a brother in the box), and then you go through the setting up of the access point.

All throughout you tell it what rooms in your house you have put things.  Not sure it really matters, but it's neat to see that Google Home app fully populated.

Note, because I ended up putting my extra point in a place where it's already close to other minis, I disabled the audio on it (flick the mic switch on its back) - which means it's got an orange glow all the time.  You can disable it if you like, but no bother.  

I just don't want it adding to the struggle of which smart device is actually listening or not (never sure exactly who wins those battles, because sometimes from the living room, I'll say "turn off the lights" but my bedroom will respond and turn itself off instead of the living room one).

One thing to keep in mind is that the length of cable you get for the power isn't all that long.  With the Velop I could have enough to run it up on top of something up high... you may have only about 3.5', so if you want to put it up on top of a credenza/shelving you might have to think about how to get power up there.

Once set up your Home app will now have the WiFi in the quick buttons of the app.

Phones, tablets, laptops, 3Ds, Switch, Roku, Kodi, Nexus Player, Google TV Chromecast... all easy enough to go into settings, change wifi connection. Done.  Most people's jobs would end here.

Before I get to the difficult part for me, let me show you what you can do in the set up which is kinda neat.

You can easily do speedtests, check the mesh of the points and review your devices.  

I'll cover more of what can you do in the full review (like how do you group, or prioritize etc...).

Now, let's get into what took me all week to do and still am not sure I'm really done.  I had to make a Google Keep list of what needs to switch over and how to do it.

Luckily, the Roomba I could easily switch over in the iRobot app settings.  Even the Nest Hello I could adjust the Wifi in the Nest app.

Same with Wiz, however, I have my Wiz connected to my Shaw router because they need 2.4GHz... the Nest Wifi does both 2.4/5GHz, and wasn't sure how to set them specifically, and it's doing no harm to have them on the shaw, so I just left it... especially as there are so many of them.

The Stadia controllers I had to boot up the controllers holding Y so it put it in Wifi searching mode and then in the Stadia app on my phone set the Wifi.

Let's tackle the easy one, things with a display.  That's easy to visualize.  Now what you have to do with Google/Smart devices is go into their settings on the Google Home app, hit the gear icon ⚙, click the 'device info' option, from there you'll see which Wifi it's connected to.  Okay.

Now, you would think the sensible thing would be to tap that option and then it should populate with all the other wifis that it sees and you just pick the one you want.

Nope, you have to say FORGET.  So the device then forgets that wifi and sets itself in a bit of a panic going "oh, nos... I have no wifi... whatever shall I do.." and then ideally you see it in the Home app main screen to 'set up X device' and you go through connection and tell it to connect to the new wifi.

[I started with the display devices, just so I could make sure that happened.  Telling it to FORGET you'll see instantly the screen saying it has no connection]

EXCEPT ... if you try to do that from the device that's connected to the NEW WIFI, it for some reason won't transfer that command to forget.  So, in order for me to do that, I had to get a device that was still connected to the OLD WIFI, have it go in the Home App and then device, settings, device info, wifi, FORGET.  And then it's the device goes into "woe is me, whatever wifi shall I use". 

Then you use the device that's connected to the NEW WIFI and go through setup.  Luckily, it's not like a brand new set up of a device, it's just a quick set up - things like the name of the device stayed.  

I had to do this for just about EVERY Google item.  Dean's home mini... use iphone, forget... switch to pixel, set up... good.  Bedroom Nest Hub, use iphone, forget... switch to Pixel, set up... good.  Stadia, Chromecast, etc... all had to go through that routine.  Walking around the house, iPhone in one hand to wipe the wifi out of memory, the Pixel ready to re-set it back up with the new wifi.  Even the Chromecast.

I just wish at least with the displays you could have tapped somewhere in a setting, and picked a new Wifi easily.  

Then I got to the 2 sets of pairs I have.  In my basement I have 2 Nest Audios set up as a pair, and in the living room I have 2 minis set up as a pair.  As a pair there is no option for Wifi and Forget (on iPhone app there was and it just made a real mess of things ... essentially only the 'main' device of the pair forgot, but the 'extra' of the pair just kinda sat in a weird limbo with no way to really change things.).

So, in order for me to switch over the 2 pairs, I'd have to first UN-PAIR the pair, tell each of the now individual devices to FORGET, then switch devices and re set up... but do it one by one (Forget, switch, set up, then do other one...) else you'd have 2 devices roaming for wifi and you may not know which is which...

Anyways, that was an ordeal.  Just tedious tedious work for something that should have been simple.

What was even worse was that for the Nest Thermostat there is no "Wifi" information in the Home App (the old Nest Thermostat settings were in the Nest app and you might have been able to).  

So, in order to switch Wifi routers for it... you have to RESET THE DAMN THING.  So all your leaves and data you had saved... gone. ARGH.  Tap the side, go to settings, find the Connect Account and forget the wifi from the device.  Then it's brand new again and go through the process of adding the new device.

I mean, I guess it could be worse, but having to go through the whole set up of the Nest Thermostat was a pain (I forgot what my settings were and had to go look up if I had high voltage or forced air, etc...).

19 things I had to do tedious steps for ... 19.  I shouldn't complain.  I have the 'opportunity' to have nice things and the price of having a connected house is that on the very rare occasion something changes it means changing a few things.

The last thing I finally did with it was switch over the Hue Bridge.  Now, in the past, I put the Hue Bridge connected to one of the mesh points as Velop had in/out ethernet on any of their points, whereas Nest only has that on the main.  The extra is just a repeater only.  So I had to connect the Hue to the main, meaning I have a bit of a crowded space for my Shaw router, Nest Wifi, old Velop, Hue Bridge, and well, I have a Nest Audio in that corner too.  I need to clean up my clutter.  Beauty is plunk in the bridge to the new Wifi router, and blam.. it all works.

After all that, everything is moved over to Mooglenet, my new Nest Wifi.  Now the real fun can begin!