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Can I Use Google Home or Nest Without Wifi?

No, your Google Home or Nest will not work without it connected to Wifi. Google Home is built to run through your network and is built to always be online.

Google is working on making its Nest and Home devices more and more locally served, this is primarily because of making the Assistant faster than ever before, but also to handle stuff locally and directly on your devices.

This is already over a year ago by now, that they introduced local features for your Google Home. And they have also introduced small but significant changes, but we are yet to see a Google Home fully functional when not connected.

Now there is a difference to whether your Google Home is just not online i.e. connected to the internet or without any connection to your Wifi. This is an important distinction to make.

Google Home will just simply not work if not connected to a Wifi, you’ll not even get it to work as a Bluetooth speaker. It’s just not how it is designed.

However, you can use it for something if it is connected to your Wifi but your internet is just down. This means that it’s still connected to all your smart devices in your home.

Does Spotify Need WiFi?

This is what Google is working hard at right now. Getting more and more of the assistant software to run locally, so you can eventually control everything even though you are not online.

Back in Q2 of 2020, it was actually my Philips Hue Lights that got the update to be controlled by Google Home without being online. This means that Google had implemented this feature some time ago, which is pretty neat, to say the least.

The Reasoning For It Being So Dependent On Connectivity

I’ll break this one apart in two steps; Wifi and Internet.

Wifi

The reason for Google Home being so dependant on your Wifi is because it’s its sole purpose. The purpose of having a Google Home in your home will be to use it for controlling other devices and having it as a personal assistant whether it be your alarm, calendar, shopping list, friendly reminder, etc.

This stuff will automatically sync between the relevant devices. One example is how could you ask it “what is the weather going to be today” or “what time do I have to leave for work today” without being connected? The Google Home just loses its purpose and value without it being connected to your devices.

Internet

This one is almost equally important. But for some other reasons. If connected to the internet is, of course, gets the weather data from the internet, but without it can actually get it from your smartphone as well. Just like with your shopping lists, calendar, and contact information.

But without the internet, it loses a lot of its intellect. Most of the “brain” is located at Google, where it quickly runs your query through the Google Algorithms to give you the best answers.

The Assistant is built on AI and machine learning, so every query you ask and every query it gets right or wrong it learns from. And over time it improves immensely.

By being online and always connected, it learns from you and all who use the Assistant at the same time. This couldn’t be done if it was run locally on your device.

How do I use my Google Home without a Wifi?

You cannot use it without Wifi. But if you need your Google Home to work, you can create your own Wifi with a Hotspot from your phone.

However, this will make you install Google Home as a new device in your Google Home app on your smartphone. It’s an okay workaround if you really need it, but if you can be without your Google Home until your home Wifi gets back to work, I would wait.

If you don’t own any Wifi connectivity, I wouldn’t recommend you buy a Google Home in the first place. Go for a normal Bluetooth speaker for this. You can even get many Google Assistant-enabled Bluetooth speakers that work 100% the same as a Google Home. I know Libratone and Sonos are making great Bluetooth speakers with both Google Assistant and Alexa enabled.

Is Google Home Mini, Max And Nest Hub Completely Wireless?

No, both Google Home Mini and Max both need to be connected to an outlet.

Both speakers seem like speakers that would function wirelessly, they are both highly dependant on Wifi. But they don’t have any battery packs included and therefore also dependant on being connected to a power source all the time for them to work.

I would really have liked to see the Google Home Mini with a small battery pack option because it’s so easy to carry around. It would also be a great addition for it to have Bluetooth. It would be a carryable assistant.

But I also respect their choice of not overcomplicating the devices. The Google Home Mini, Max, and Nest Hub come at great prices for how good they sound and in general what value they provide. The prices would have been significantly higher if they had to consider including Bluetooth and battery options.

Next Generation Google Home Is Nest

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Google

Google Home was first launched back in November 2016. Since then it has become very popular and a solid product in the Google lineup of smart products.

But Google is changing the Home brand to Nest.

Google has already changed the Home Mini to Nest Mini. Take a look at their product page:

https://store.google.com/dk/product/google_nest_mini

It is 100% identical in Design but technical it has gotten some improvements. The processor is better, the Wifi is better, the speaker is better and now it also supports Bluetooth! They still, however, didn’t include a battery pack, so you still need to have to connect to an outlet at all times.

Can You Use Google Nest Mini As A Bluetooth Speaker?

Yes, you can absolutely use it as a Bluetooth speaker. This I think is one of the main differences from the Google Home Mini to the Nest Mini.

How Do I Use Google Nest Mini As A Bluetooth Speaker?

The functionality is hidden in plain sight, but all you have to do is basically use the Assistant to enter pairing mode and then find it on your foundation.

Here is a step by step guide:

  1. Tell your Google Nest Mini to go into pairing mode “Hey Google, enter pairing mode” or “Hey Google, pair Bluetooth”.
  2. Google Assistant will now tell you to open the Bluetooth settings on your phone and look for your Google Nest [Device Name].
  3. Open the Bluetooth settings on your phone, tab the Google Nest [Device Name] and press “Pair”.
  4. Your Google Nest will make a pairing sound to indicate that it has successfully paired and you can now play sounds and music from your phone.
  5. When you want to disconnect it again, either just disconnect it from your phone or say “Hey Google, stop Bluetooth pairing” or “Hey Google, disconnect Bluetooth”.

After you’ve paired it once, it’s pretty easy to connect your phone and Google Nest Mini again. You can simply do this by using voice commands:

  • “Hey Google, Connect to [Name Of Phone]”.
  • “Hey Google, Connect Bluetooth”.

Can I use Google Home as a Bluetooth speaker without WiFi?

You cannot use your Google Home Mini as a Bluetooth speaker without WiFi and a working internet connection. My best advice is to use your smartphone as a hotspot and connect your Google Home to that.

After setting up your Google Home to your hotspot on your phone, you can then follow the above guide t use it as a Bluetooth speaker.

How do I use my Google Nest Mini without WiFi?

Even though the Google Nest Mini has Bluetooth, you still need Wifi to actually use it. You won’t be able to use your Google Ned Mini without Wifi.

However, as also done with the Google Home Mini, you can use a mobile hotspot through your smartphone to gain access. After setting up the hotspot and connecting your Google Nest Mini, you can use the voice commands to pair your phone and the Nest Mini with Bluetooth.

It still, however, needs the Wifi and internet, because almost all the commands are run through Google servers via the internet. So you shouldn’t turn off your hotspot when you’ve paired it with Bluetooth.

FAQ

How do I use Nest Audio without WiFi?

You cannot use your Google Nest Audio without WiFi with a working internet connection. Your Nest Audio is using online servers at Google to give you the best response possible to your query or command.

Does Nest work without electricity?

The Nest Audio does not work without electricity as it does not have any battery capacity. You’ll need to have your Nest Audio plugged into an outlet for it to work.

What happens with the Nest Audio if my WiFi goes out?

You’ll not be able to use your Nest Audio if your WiFi goes out or if you lose your internet connection. If you need your Nest Audio to work while your home WiFi is out, I recommend creating a hotspot on your phone and connecting it to that.

Does Nest Audio have a battery backup?

No, your Nest Audio does not have any battery backup. If the power goes out it’ll not be available to commands.

How do I turn on Bluetooth on Google Nest Mini?

Simply tell your Nest Mini to “Turn on Bluetooth” and “Enter pairing mode”. This will make your Nest Mini visible in the Bluetooth settings on your phone.

To conclude things

For all Google Home and Nest devices, you pretty much need a viable Wifi and Internet connection. There are only small workarounds that only work to a certain extend.

If you want to get the most out of your Google Home you definitely need both Wifi and an internet connection.

I hope you enjoyed this article.

If you enjoyed it I hope you’ll enjoy these articles as well:

References:

https://support.google.com/googlenest#topic=7029097

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Nest

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Nest_(smart_speakers)

Author: Morten Pradsgaard

Morten has been working with technology, IoT, and electronics for over a decade. His passion for technology is reflected in this blog to give you relevant and correct information.

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