FiveFive years back, the router world was dominated by names like Netgear, Asus, TP-Link, and Linksys. Google wasn’t in the conversation, and it didn’t have a router available (or perhaps a real hardware division, for example).
Fast-forward to 2019, and Google lays claim to the top-selling router, because of the popularity of its Google Wifi mesh system, which it introduced in 2016. It’s a lot more popular than Eero, which first popularized the thought of a mesh router for better Wi-Fi coverage in a home.
Now, Google is launching its follow-up: the better and more capable Nest Wifi system. The Nest Wifi, which comes in many different configurations starting at $169, promises twenty five percent better coverage or more to twice the speed of the Google Wifi system. Furthermore, the Nest Wifi’s Points, or secondary units that you place around your house to make a mesh system, double as Nest Mini voice-activated smart speakers.
I’ve been testing the $269 kit, which include the router and an individual mesh Point, in my own roughly 2,000-square-foot, split-level home. Google says this package provides as much coverage as the three-pack of the Google Wifi, and it’s best for homes up to 3,800 square feet or more to 200 linked devices. A $349 option offers a second Point and will hide to 5,400 square feet or more to 300 devices.
Like other mesh systems, the Nest Wifi isn’t a modem, so that it needs to be connected to the modem you curently have (likely supplied by your ISP) to work. For me personally, that meant plugging into my Verizon Fios connection, that is a gigabit fiber link. (Unlike Eero and others, Nest Wifi doesn’t work in a “bridge” mode, making configuring it with Fios more convoluted than other routers. For more on getting Nest Wifi to utilize a Fios connection, see this post on Verizon’s forums.) This connection makes my home in the living room on the key floor. I then put the Point in my own home office, an even below where in fact the router is.
This arrangement was satisfactory to supply strong Wi-Fi atlanta divorce attorneys part of my home and gave me enough bandwidth to stream 4K video wherever I had a sign. In addition, it handily managed the 50-plus devices that are linked to my Wi-Fi network at any moment and didn’t have any trouble “hopping” devices from the router to the idea when I moved about my home.
The Nest Wifi was created to be positioned out on view to get the best performance.
The Nest Wifi constantly provided faster speeds to my devices compared to the Google Wifi and similar speeds from what I get from the Eero Pro and Netgear Orbi, provided my devices were linked to the principal router and not the idea. When linked to the idea, speeds were cut in two, likely because of the Point’s less capable antennas and having less a dedicated backhaul channel for the router to communicate to the idea, just like the Eero Pro and Orbi systems have. Since my online sites provides gigabit speeds, I still had over 100 megabits of bandwidth for both upload and downloads available irrespective of where I went in my own home, but that’s a long way off from the roughly 900 megabits that gets piped into my home. The common home broadband speed in america is merely under 100 megabits, so most of the people can take full good thing about their ISP’s service with the Nest Wifi.
Furthermore to weaker radios, the idea lacks any Ethernet jacks, and that means you can’t use Ethernet backhaul to hook up it to the router or plug devices straight into the stage where it’s placed.
But where in fact the Point lacks in Wi-Fi capabilities, it creates up for by the actual fact that pulls double duty as a voice-activated smart speaker. Essentially, it’s a Nest Mini speaker mashed into a genuine Google Wifi puck. It sounds nearly the same as the Nest Mini, which isn’t a bad thing, and there’s a glowing ring at its base that illuminates white when you talk with it and orange when the mic is muted. It even gets the same touch controls as the Nest Mini for adjusting volume or pausing playback. Google intends the idea to be located out on view, which provides the very best wireless and smart speaker performance, so that it designed it to look nicer compared to the typical router. In addition, it will come in three colors – white, pale blue, or pale pink – while the key router is merely obtainable in white.
The Point is obtainable in three colors and doubles as a voice-activated smart speaker.
The Point supports all the same voice controls for the Google Assistant as the Nest Mini, but it addittionally adds a number of router-specific voice commands, such as for example running speed tests or pausing connections to sets of devices managed in the Google Home app. For those who have a Nest Hub or Hub Max, also you can run speed tests from there or display the credentials to a guest network.
If you don’t need just one more smart speaker at home or you like Amazon’s Echo, Google is selling a two-pack of the router that doesn’t have any Points for $299. This also offers you slightly better coverage when compared to a router and a spot and Ethernet jacks in both places you place the nodes with support for wired backhaul.
As stated, the Nest Wifi doesn’t have a dedicated wireless backhaul band, instead counting on a normal 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band system for both connections between your router and points along with connections to devices. Sanjay Noronha, connectivity product lead at Google Nest, says the business decided on this process since it can manage traffic successfully with software, and it doesn’t have to add another degree of hardware cost and complexity to the mix. However in my experience, a dedicated backhaul band does provide faster speeds to devices that are linked to mesh points farther from the primary router.
Similarly, the Nest Wifi will not support the newly ratified Wi-Fi 6 protocol, which was created to provide better connections to devices which may have Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. Noronha says supporting Wi-Fi 6 at this time would have added a whole lot of cost to the machine with few benefits for almost all customers since the the greater part of Wi-Fi devices usually do not support Wi-Fi 6 yet.
Establishing the Nest Wifi takes a Google account and the newly updated Google Home software for iOS or Android. THE HOUSE iphone app guides you through installing the router, establishing a fresh Wi-Fi network and password, and positioning the Point within an optimal location at home. You can run speed tests through it, observe how many devices are linked to the network and prioritize specific ones, create a guest network, and schedule Wi-Fi breaks for kids’ devices on the network. It’s also possible to block adult sites on any device.
But if you need to access more complex features, such as for example seeing which node a particular device is linked to or configure port forwarding, you’ll need to utilize the old Google Wifi app, which includes been updated to aid the Nest Wifi. Google says it’ll continue steadily to support both applications before Google Home iphone app has each of the features available in the Wifi app.
Just like the Google Wifi and Eero systems, the Nest Wifi depends on Google’s cloud services for features such as for example programmed channel selection, remote network management, identifying linked devices, and providing historical data consumption stats. It’s possible to disable the cloud connectivity in the house app, but Google says the Nest Wifi won’t perform aswell without them. The Nest Wifi also uses Google’s DNS services by default, however the company says it generally does not associate Google Public DNS information with Google Accounts and the DNS provider could be changed through the Google Wifi app.
Unlike Eero, the Nest Wifi doesn’t have a subscription component for ad blocking, filtering, and other security features.
At $269, the router and Point two-pack is merely slightly more costly than Eero’s new $249 entry-level three-node system, yet it offers nearly as good or better coverage and faster speeds compared to the Eero. It’s also considerably less costly than an Eero Pro system or the newer Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers from Linksys or Netgear. Which makes the Nest Wifi, just like the Google Wifi before it, an enticing value which will likely end up being extremely popular. It’s not the most effective mesh router system you can find, and when you have a very fast web connection at home like I really do, you won’t have the ability to access almost all of your bandwidth through the Nest