OpenThread released by Nest is an open-source implementation of Thread®. Nest has released OpenThread to make the networking technology used in Nest products more broadly available to developers, in order to accelerate the development of products for the connected home.

With a narrow platform abstraction layer and a small memory footprint, OpenThread is highly portable. It supports both system-on-chip (SoC) and network co-processor (NCP) designs.

Thread Certified component

OpenThread implements all features defined in the Thread 1.1.1 Specification. This specification defines an IPv6-based reliable, secure, and low-power wireless device-to-device communication protocol for home applications.


OpenThread implements all Thread networking layers (IPv6, 6LoWPAN, IEEE 802.15.4 with MAC security, Mesh Link Establishment, Mesh Routing) and device roles, as well as Border Router support.

Application services
  • IPv6 configuration and raw data interface
  • UDP sockets
  • CoAP client and server
  • DHCPv6 client and server
  • DNSv6 client
Enhanced Features
  • Child Supervision
  • Inform Previous Parent on Reattach
  • Jam Detection
  • Periodic Parent Search
NCP support
  • Spinel, a general purpose NCP protocol
  • wpantund, a user-space NCP network interface driver/daemon
  • Sniffer support via NCP Spinel nodes
Border Router
  • Web UI for configuration and management
  • Thread Border Agent to support an External Commissioner
  • NAT64 for connecting to IPv4 networks
  • Thread interface driver using wpantund

How will you use OpenThread?

If you're interested in contributing to the ongoing development of OpenThread, then the OpenThread GitHub repository is for you. There you will find all the code, including information on how to contribute, our style guide, code of conduct, licensing, and much more.

If you want to use OpenThread in your own products or for personal deployment, check the options below.

Deploy a Thread network

Determine the hardware and platform design you wish to use to build and deploy your own Thread network. Add a Border Router to connect your Thread network to other network layers, such as Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

Develop applications on top of a Thread network

Use the API Reference as a guide to all application development. IPv6, UDP, CoAP, DHCPv6,'s all there.

Port OpenThread to a new hardware platform

Check out our Porting Guide, which walks you through all the steps necessary to port OpenThread to a new hardware platform.

Get Thread Certification for your OpenThread product

OpenThread can be used for certification by the Thread Group. As a Thread reference stack, OpenThread makes certification easy.


Bringing the internet to low-power IoT devices

OpenThread was at Google I/O 2018! Check out the video to watch our session, which gives a brief overview of Thread and how developers can quickly build IoT solutions using OpenThread.

I/O guide to Nest and OpenThread

Take a look inside the Nest IoT Sandbox display at Google I/O 2018, where we showcased a number of OpenThread-supported developer platforms, the Thread Ready Nest Secure system, and other Nest products such as Nest Hello and the Nest x Yale Lock.

Updated Simulation Codelabs

Nov 7, 2018

Our Simulation Codelab now comes in two versions: one that uses Docker with a ready-to-go pre-built environment and one where you set up the build toolchain yourself on a Mac or Linux machine.

OTBR is now a Thread Certified Component!

Nov 5, 2018

OpenThread Border Router, our open-source implementation of a Thread Border Router, has been certified as a Thread Certified Component on a Raspberry Pi 3B using a Nordic nRF52840 NCP.

OTBR Docker support

Oct 23, 2018

Docker support has been added to OpenThread Border Router. Run OTBR in a Docker container using either a physical or emulated NCP. See the complete setup guide for more information.

Who supports OpenThread?

Led by Nest, the following companies are contributing to the ongoing development of OpenThread.

What products use OpenThread?

The following products use OpenThread and support the core requirements of the Thread Specification.

Nest Secure

The Nest Secure alarm system, featuring Nest Guard and Nest Detect. Thread Ready.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

A best-in-class security camera with top-of-its-class brains.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

A weatherproof and tamper-resistant outdoor security camera.

Nest Hello

The doorbell that lets you know who's there.

Nest x Yale Lock

A tamper‑proof, key‑free deadbolt that can be locked and unlocked from anywhere.

Nest Connect

Connects the Nest x Yale Lock to the internet, and serves as a range extender for the Nest Secure system.

Nest Thermostat E (EU)

It's easy to save energy. Place it wherever you like in your home.

Nest Heat Link E (EU)

Connects to your heating system and works with the Nest Thermostat E to turn on and off or modulate the heat.

Start using OpenThread today

Java is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Thread is a registered trademark of the Thread Group, Inc.