Google, along with the security community, has been made aware that select Nest thermostats are experiencing a ‘w5 error.’ This error prevents affected thermostats from being able to connect to WiFi. Google has internally classified the problem as ‘a known issue’ regarding the thermostats’ WiFi SoC. The company has promised replace devices if the problem can’t be fixed with a software update.
Since at least November of 2019, there have been reports where owners of Nest thermostats have complained about not being able to remotely connect to their devices due to the w5 error. Users have reported that some devices can’t even detect a WiFi network. Making matters worse, performing hard, soft, and factory resets didn’t resolve the issue. Some think that this error means that the WiFi chip is physically damaged.
In a statement about the issue, Google clarified that the error isn’t affecting the thermostats ability to control your home cooling and heating systems. So basically, affected thermostats are still functioning as basic thermostats, but the whole point of Nest is its remote connectivity. Giving people the capability to control their home’s temperature from their phones has been a huge selling point for the devices. So, as much as Google may be downplaying it, it’s a serious issue.
Here’s Google’s full statement:
A very small number of Nest thermostat users are experiencing a known issue with the Wi-Fi chip that causes remote connectivity issues. This does not affect the thermostat’s ability to control the customer’s heating and cooling system in the home, but does impact the user’s ability to manage the thermostat remotely. If a user sees this error and it can’t be resolved through troubleshooting, they are prompted to contact customer support for assistance and will be issued a replacement device.
Featured Image Credit: [Google Nest]