Google Home without WiFi or Internet

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In order to clearly answer the question of whether you can use Google Home without WiFi or Internet, we need to make sure that a couple of basics are clearly outlined first. You should understand the difference between Google Assistant and Google Home and know that we won’t be using “WiFi” and “Internet” as synonymous terms for the purpose of answering a few very specific questions.

So, if you already have a firm grasp on these first few terms, then just bear with me for a minute and we’ll get to the more important stuff.

What’s the difference between google home and google assistant?

Google Assistant is the AI technology used in Google Home devices.  It’s basically Google’s answer to Alexa, while Google Home is their version of Amazon’s Echo.  Google Home acts as a smart speaker and smart home hub. 

Another analogy that comes to mind – Google Assistant is Google’s version of Iron Man’s J.A.R.V.I.S. J.A.R.V.I.S. sometimes communicated to Tony Stark using hardware in his suit, other times he communicated with him using computers in his office. Google Home (or Google Nest – found here) will be the hardware in YOUR office. Your cell phone will be the hardware in your suite you’ll use to communicate to “J.A.R.V.I.C.E” with. (And no, you can’t rename your Google Assistant J.A.R.V.I.S, although there may be a workaround using other software.)

Google HomeGoogle Assistant
A smart speaker that utilizes Google Assistant In conjunction with its own programming.A voice assistant that powers smart devices
Requires Google Assistant to function.The functionality isn’t limited to Google Home

What is the difference between Wifi and Internet?

I include this because I oftentimes find people using that are connected to the WiFi and think that they, in turn, have an internet connection. It makes for a difficult explanation as they’re trying to troubleshoot a page not loading.

The Internet is a public network of computers that shares information across the globe.  WiFi stands for “Wireless Fidelity” and is a wireless local network. You’re probably using a private WiFi router at home to access the Internet. 

You can, for instance, be connected to the WiFi in your home without being connected to the Internet (which exists outside of your home).  Your Wifi wirelessly connects your in-home devices like your printer, computer, your phone, and in this case your Google Home.  

Through WiFi, these devices can communicate with each other but need to have an Internet connection to access anything outside of your household – for instance Google.  

Can you use Google Home without Internet? 

Unfortunately, none of your smart home equipment will function with Google Home offline.  Google Home accesses nearly all of its information online and won’t even respond to the “Ok, Google” command.  

One would think that you would be able to access some functionality that wouldn’t require Google looking up information or streaming media.  For instance, I would have thought originally that I would be able to turn a smart light on with Google Home since my WiFi was still on and you wouldn’t naturally think the Internet is required to access devices within your local home network.  

It turns out that Google Home is very reliant on an Internet connection.  The built-in Google Assistant may even have trouble recognizing your command offline.  Upon attempting any commands with a lost connection you’ll receive this message:  

“I can’t reach the Internet right now.  Check your modem or router connection and try again.” This remained the case when tested on Google Home smart speakers, smart displays and the Google Home app (or some variation of the above response).

Now, technically, if your Internet goes down you can connect Google Home to your mobile hotspot.  This is a little bit of a process though and I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle.  

Check out the prices on the top mobile hotspots by clicking here.

Can you use Google Home without WiFi?

Google Home does not have an Ethernet connection, so by itself, it will require WiFi.  There is, however, a workaround to this. If you use a Google Ethernet Adapter for Chromecast you can plug an Ethernet cable into the Adapter and connect the adapter to the Google Home using a USB Micro cable (included).  This will provide both power and Internet to the device eliminating the need for WiFi.

All that being said, I can’t imagine why you’d want to go out of your way to hook your Google Home up without WiFi.  I suppose you could be worried about the security of it over WiFi.  To me, that’s like buying a car and leaving it parked in the driveway so you can get in and listen to the radio sometimes.  You would drive it, but then you could get into an accident.  

Can you use Google Home as a BlueTooth speaker without WiFi?

You definitely need WiFi to set up your Google Home, that’s for certain, but once it’s set up you might be able to use it as a BlueTooth speaker later when the Internet goes out.  

Full disclosure:  I didn’t have a chance yet to test this out and there isn’t much about it I can find online as of me posting this article, but I realized I should touch on the possibility.  I found this Reddit thread that seems to show it’s possible after it has been set up.  

The idea is that you would need to set up the Smart Speaker using a wireless internet source temporarily, such as a hotspot on your phone if it wasn’t already set up.  

Check it out for yourself using the link above and I’ll certainly try to test this in one of my follow-up articles.   

Is Google Home completely wireless? 

This would depend on your definition of “completely wireless” and which model of Google Home you chose.  As far as an Internet connection goes, there is no ethernet connection. So, in that respect, yes. We’ve also covered the details surrounding that and a possible workaround in the previous sections.

As far as other connections are concerned, all models will at least have a power chord of some sort.

Here is a table of each Google Home model’s ports and connectors.

Power USB Audio
Google Home DC Input Micro USB
Google Home Mini Micro USB Power only
Google Home Max AC Input USB-C 3.5 mm analog audio input
Google Nest Hub DC Input Micro USB

Google Assistant Offline Commands

So, while Google Home won’t respond when offline, Google Assistant on your phone may.  At least it does on my Android Device (I’m using a Galaxy S9 Plus). There are a couple of things to note though.

For starters, you’ll only be able to access stuff that is already downloaded on your phone.  If you’re planning on losing data, you should prepare by downloading music or maps that you might need to access later.  

Secondly, Google’s voice recognition may not be as accurate when you don’t have a data connection.  Your best bet is to speak as clearly as possible since there is no workaround to this. 

Here are some offline Google Assistant offline commands to use on your smartphone:

  • Play Music (Only songs that are downloaded to your phone)
  • Open an app by name
    • “Ok, Google.  Open my Gallery.”
  • Add events to your calendar
    • “Ok, Google.  Add an event to my Calender.”  Just as when you’re offline, you’ll be prompted for date, time, and name.  
  • Send texts and place calls to contacts
    • “Ok Google, call Dad.”
    • This will work if you’ve lost WiFi and/or data connection but still have phone service.
  • Toggle settings on and off
    • “Ok, Google.  Turn off Airplane Mode.”
    • “Ok, Google.  Turn on WiFi.”
  • Adjust your phone’s volume
    • “Ok, Google.  Turn up my media volume”
  • Adjust your screen’s brightness.
    • “Ok, Google.  Turn down the brightness on my screen.”
  • Set alarms
    • “Ok, Google.  Set an alarm for 11am.”

Conclusion

You’re definitely going to need an internet connection to any of Google Home’s features.   The device relies heavily on an internet connection to perform all its tasks.  

While it would seem that common sense would tell you that Google Home could control some smart gadgets on your local network, it just simply isn’t the case.  

As far as eliminating WiFi goes, while it lacks an ethernet attachment to hardwire the Google Home into your network, you can purchase an adapter to plug it into the system in lieu of using WiFi.  

Lastly, if you’re using Google Assistant on your phone, then you should be able to use basic commands to access information that doesn’t need to be downloaded as illustrated above. 

If you enjoyed this article, you can also check out our article on connecting Google Home to a TV without a Chromecast.  

You can find the latest prices on Google Home devices here.

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