If you’re thinking about getting the Nest Hello to replace your existing doorbell, it’s a great option. However, there are some things to keep in mind about the installation that makes the Hello a bit different than other video doorbells.

Your Existing Doorbell Must Be Hardwired

The most important you should know before considering the Nest Hello is that it must be connected to existing doorbell wiring.

For most houses, this isn’t a problem, as wired doorbells are pretty common. However, if your doorbell is wireless and runs off battery, the Nest Hello is incompatible unless you hire an electrician to run all-new doorbell wiring to your front door, which can be costly.

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Other video doorbells are the same way, though, including the SkyBell HD. The Ring Doorbell can be connected to existing doorbell wiring (and it’s recommended if that’s an option), but it also has its own internal battery so that it can operate completely by itself without the need for any wiring whatsoever (although it won’t be able to use your existing chime if you have one).

In the end, this shouldn’t be a huge problem for most homeowners, but it’s probably best to check that your current doorbell does have the necessary wiring before putting down cash on the Nest Hello.

You Have to Install a Chime Connector

The Nest Hello is different from other video doorbells because it comes with a chime connector in the box that must be installed on your indoor chime.

It’s sort of an adapter-like device (with a resistor inside, most likely) that gets installed between your doorbell wiring and the chime itself. Interestingly enough, Nest doesn’t really explain exactly why it’s needed, but it seems like it’s required because of the way the Nest Hello draws power.

The good news is that installing the Nest Hello’s chime connector isn’t difficult at all, and the Nest app does a really great job of guiding you through everything. However, it adds an extra step to the process and makes the overall installation just a bit more timely than other video doorbells.

Some Drilling Is Required

This really isn’t unique to the Nest Hello per se, but it’s still important to know. Installation does require a bit of DIY know-how in the form of using a power drill. The Nest Hello connects to a mount, and that mount needs to be fixed to an outside wall next to your front door.

This means you’ll need to drill pilot holes and drive in a couple of screws. If you have brick or stone on the outside of your house, it’s a bit more difficult, but the Nest Hello comes with a special masonry drill bit for such occasions.

In the end, if installing the Nest Hello (or any other video doorbell) doesn’t seem like something you can tackle yourself, there’s no harm in finding a friend who’s knowledgable about that kind of stuff to help you get it installed. The worst case scenario is that you’d need to hire a pro, but Nest makes it easy to find one.

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Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile.
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