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Google Nest Wifi review: A well-working, beautiful router

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Out of all of the tech purchases you make, a router might be among the many least thrilling. It’s an unsightly field that’s designed to pipe the web wirelessly into your home. It’s primarily a modern-day equipment, not an superior tech toy. However it doesn’t should be this manner! In order for you extra out of your router than a boring field with a bunch of funky antennas protruding, you’ll wish to take a look at the brand new Google Nest Wifi.

Wifi routers work greatest when positioned out within the open, however most shoppers don’t wish to draw consideration to a tool that clearly doesn’t match into their decor. Smooth and delightful, that is one router you don’t have to cover out of sight. Except for wanting good, the Nest Wifi additionally presents options you gained’t discover on a typical router, corresponding to built-in Google Assistant performance on its extension models.

I can’t say I’ve ever been excited to strive a brand new router earlier than, however there’s a primary time for the whole lot. The Google Nest Wifi is quick, engaging, straightforward to arrange, and packed stuffed with helpful options. On the draw back, it’s additionally pretty costly. So is the Nest Wifi definitely worth the buy? Bounce into our Google Nest Wifi evaluate to search out out.

Google Nest Wifi evaluate notes: The Nest Wifi was despatched to me from Google for the needs of this evaluate. I’ve been testing it for a few week now, paired with a CenturyLink 850Mbps connection.

Present Extra

What’s the Google Nest Wifi?

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The Google Nest Wifi is a mesh wi-fi system and a follow-up to authentic Google Wifi from 2016. With out going too deep down the rabbit gap, there are various kinds of wi-fi routers however lately mesh routers have been gaining in reputation.

A mesh router makes use of a number of extension factors to increase the community throughout your property or enterprise. Versus a extra conventional Wi-Fi router, this methodology reduces weak spots and ensures you have got nice wi-fi web no matter the place within the constructing you might be.

The unique Google Wifi utilized similar nodes, however the brand new Google Nest Wifi is comprised of two distinct components:

The router

google nest wifi review ports

The router is the brains of the system and is bodily related to your web service by an ethernet cable. Remember you’ll nonetheless want a modem, this merely attaches to it to supply superior Wi-Fi protection. On the rear, you’ll discover an ethernet port for connecting on to your modem in addition to secondary port if you wish to bodily join one other gadget (corresponding to Philips Hue Hub, a desktop PC, and so on.)

Google says the CPU and RAM of the Nest Wifi are double that of its predecessor, there are additionally extra radios for improved web connectivity. Whereas some routers have a devoted backhaul band, that’s not the case right here. The Nest Wifi makes use of a extra conventional 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band system for connections between the router, factors, and any units within the community. This sometimes isn’t as quick as a devoted backhaul band can be, but it surely’s truthfully not a deal-breaker for many customers because the Nest Wifi remains to be loads quick.

The purpose

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A degree is an extension unit that helps enhance your Wi-Fi protection to the farthest reaches of your property or enterprise. The purpose doesn’t even have an ethernet jack and is solely wi-fi, which means you want at the very least one Nest Wifi router to make use of the purpose. The Nest level isn’t simply an web extender, it additionally has all of the performance of a Nest Mini baked in. Along with full Google Assistant voice management, the Nest Mini additionally has a number of router particular instructions for working velocity assessments or pausing connections to teams of units by way of the Dwelling app.

The sound high quality of the Nest Wifi level is similar to the Nest Mini. You additionally get the identical contact controls because the Nest Mini, and there’s a glowing ring that illuminates white mild whenever you communicate or orange mild when it’s muted. Whereas Google’s level bundles include a white mannequin, Google needs its factors to mix into your decor so it additionally presents pale blue or pale pink choices.

Nest Wifi – 1 router, 1 level

The Nest Wifi mesh community is the proper mixture of options, efficiency, and ease of use. It additionally occurs to be one of the crucial stunning wanting routers in the marketplace.

Do I even want a degree? If that’s the case, what number of?

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Technically talking, the Google Wifi router doesn’t require factors to work. One unit by itself is able to offering web entry in a constructing as much as 2,200 sq. ft. A router and a single level will carry that as much as 3,800 sq. ft. Whereas that’s in all probability sufficient protection for many, Google additionally sells a equipment with one router and two factors, and you can even purchase the factors individually. 

Are there any the reason why you’d need a level (or second router) even when your property is below 2,200 sq. ft? Completely. Whereas the router is ready to carry the web to your entire house, thick partitions and different impediments could cause lifeless spots. Including an additional level is an effective way to make sure that each a part of your property has equally nice protection.

Have notably thick partitions that impede your wifi connection? A Level could make an enormous distinction.

In my very own expertise, I used a equipment with one router and one level in a 3,000 square-foot home that was transformed right into a co-working house (I’ve an workplace right here). I used to be in a position to get nice web protection whether or not I used to be within the attic, my workplace on the second ground, the primary degree, or the basement. Granted, speeds nonetheless different in some areas that had been farther from the router or level, however they had been by no means poor. I’ll get extra into speeds a bit later within the evaluate.

Don’t need the Google Assistant performance and need you had extra ethernet ports? The excellent news is there greater than a one-size-fits-all strategy to establishing your mesh community. It’s fully attainable to make use of two or extra Nest Wifi routers to create a mesh community as a substitute. Google even sells a equipment that features simply two Nest Wifi routers.

Nest Wifi (2 router equipment)

Not within the Google Assistant options present in Nest Wifi factors? This equipment accommodates two Nest Wifi routers, the proper foundation for a mesh community for many who don’t need the good speaker extras. You additionally get the benefit of extra ethernet ports this manner!

Does Nest Wifi work with older Google Wifi {hardware}?

staff picks google wifi

When you have an older Google Wifi setup, the excellent news is that they’re cross-compatible, although clearly Nest Wifi routers and factors will likely be sooner. This implies you possibly can proceed utilizing your Google Wifi routers alongside a Nest Wifi router, and even add a degree to your current Google Wifi setup.

Organising Nest Wifi is as straightforward because it will get

The Nest Wifi mesh router works like some other Assistant-powered good gadget, which means you merely head into the Dwelling app and it detects it. You’ll need the most recent model of the app, nevertheless. Organising the Nest Wifi router and level took me below 15 minutes, together with a number of software program updates it needed to apply. What actually made the setup course of stand out? It was really easy that even a much less tech-savvy particular person wouldn’t have any points including it to their community.

Loads of velocity and positively an enormous improve from a ‘fundamental’ router

nest wifi speeds

With regards to uncooked speeds, the Google Nest Wifi is loads succesful, although — like just about all wifi options  — it isn’t able to using all of my coworking house’s practically 1Gbps connection.

I carried out dozens of velocity assessments on a Pixel Four XL and Huawei Matebook X all through the three,000 sq. foot constructing. When near the router I might simply hit 200-300Mbps, and one time even over 500Mbps. There have been some apparent fluctuations, relying on what my different co-workers had been doing. Just about each room noticed at the very least 150Mbps or higher, and that was actually an enormous enchancment over the 80Mbps common we had been getting from the prevailing crappy wifi router in my co-working house (a fundamental unit supplied by CenturyLink).

Practically in all places I went the Wifi was dependable and speedy.

Even once I moved farther away from the router to the far reaches of the basement, the worst speeds I noticed had been round 45Mbps. And this was a particularly distant spot with tremendous thick partitions (suppose old style dungeon-style basements). Total the Nest Wifi was extraordinarily dependable and many quick.

For these questioning, I elected to check the Google Nest Wifi primarily on the coworking house due to its nice web connection, as my house’s sub-50Mbps connection wouldn’t have put the Nest Wifi to the check practically as effectively. Additionally, this can be a small city co-working house so I’m not sharing a line with a whole bunch — it’s extra like a dozen of us or fewer more often than not. Truthfully, I’d say this house fairly simulates the typical household house when it comes to the bandwidth persons are utilizing.

Visitor networking, parental controls, and different notable options

Pace and reliability are clearly essentially the most important components for a superb wifi expertise, however Nest Wifi isn’t with out its extras. We’ve already talked about Assistant integration in factors, however listed here are another options supplied by Nest Wifi that assist it stand out.

  • Permits for simple visitor community creation. It actually took 30 seconds to arrange a visitor community. You possibly can even allow an choice that permits the visitor community password to be considered out of your good show, and there’s a QR code choice that permits friends to rapidly register.
  • Parental controls are a breeze, too. Wish to pause wifi throughout homework time or when the kiddos needs to be going to mattress? Nest Wifi makes it straightforward. Simply head into the Dwelling app and faucet a number of buttons to set it up. Google additionally permits you to limit searches, although it’s not essentially the most sturdy system. For those who actually wish to arrange extra granular web entry there are apps and software program instruments that provide you with far more management. Nonetheless, it’s good to have the choice.
  • It’s designed to take advantage of Stadia gaming. Within the Dwelling app’s settings you’ll discover a “gaming most well-liked” choice. Clicking on it ensures that when a Stadia recreation is working different community visitors gained’t trigger efficiency points. That’s to not say others can’t use the community whilst you’re gaming, Nest Wifi will simply intelligently allocate sources to make sure the smoothest gaming expertise attainable.

Nest Wifi isn’t with out its faults

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As a lot as I loved the Nest Wifi, I’d be mendacity if I mentioned it was excellent. It’s fairly shut, although. Right here are some things that aren’t so nice about Nest Wifi:

  • It might probably’t deal with far more than 250-300Mbps connections. When you have an ultra-fast community connection the Nest Wifi gained’t have the ability to take full benefit of it. Certain it would often handle to drag in above 300Mbps, however that’s not typical. That mentioned, common US family connections are at or below 100Mbps, so I don’t suppose this will likely be a problem for many.
  • There’s no Wi-Fi 6 help. Wi-Fi 6 guarantees sooner knowledge charges, longer vary, and higher help, however Google determined to stay with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). The variety of units that may help Wi-Fi 6 remains to be fairly low, however help would have helped for a tool that’s alleged to be considerably future proof. In any case, routers aren’t one thing you sometimes purchase each two years like a telephone. For these questioning, since Wi-Fi 6 requires sure {hardware} there’s no approach for Google to “activate” Wi-Fi 6 help later.
  • The factors aren’t as quick because the router. In an effort to make room for the Assistant options within the level with out making it too cumbersome, Google determined to chop out some radios. Whereas the Nest Wifi router has AC2200 MU-MIMO 4×Four and a pair of×2 radios, the purpose depends on AC1200 MU-MIMO 2×2 (2.4/5GHz) radios. Total I nonetheless bought fairly good speeds close to the factors, but it surely nonetheless looks like a wierd choice.
  • Not sufficient ethernet ports. As talked about earlier than, there’s just one additional ethernet port on the router and none on the factors. This implies you’ll want to make use of a swap or one thing in order for you extra direct ethernet connections in your house.
  • Extra superior capabilities require a second app. Whereas most of Nest Wifi’s capabilities might be carried out from the Dwelling app, a number of the extra superior settings would require you to obtain the Google Wifi app. Google says that the Dwelling app will finally help all of the core options of the Nest Wifi so that is extra of a short lived state of affairs.
  • No help for OnHub customers. Sadly the Google OnHub router is just not suitable with Google Nest Wifi.

These are in all probability the most important issues, although I’d additionally level out it could have been good to have Assistant performance within the router and never simply the factors. A Google rep instructed me the explanation for this was to maintain the gadget from being too cumbersome, and most customers find yourself placing the router in a extra hidden place anyhow. Nonetheless, I really feel like including Assistant may need really inspired of us to prominently show the router, which might result in even higher wifi since there can be probably fewer obstructions this manner.

Google Nest Wifi evaluate: Do you have to purchase it?

google nest wifi review on top of box

The Nest Wifi is a superb mesh Wi-Fi system and I extremely suggest it for many customers. In the end in case you plan to get Stadia, that is in all probability the most effective router for the job. For those who’re a median one that needs one thing straightforward to arrange, straightforward to make use of, and isn’t an eyesore, it’s equally straightforward to suggest Nest Wifi.

Alternatively, in case you’re somebody who cares about excessive speeds this isn’t the best choice. For those who’re actually after velocity (and Wi-Fi 6 help) one thing just like the Nighthawk AX8 may be a greater match, although it would value just a little extra and, frankly, isn’t all that engaging. These in search of one thing cheaper have a ton of choices on the market, however at a value to efficiency and appears.

Backside-line, the Google Nest Wifi isn’t low cost however it’s a good worth contemplating the seems to be and options it gives.

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