Is Google Nest Wifi A Mesh Network
Yes, Google Nest Wifi is a wireless mesh router. With it, you can connect all your Google Wifi devices and Google Nest Wifi Points in a single mesh network to extend the internet signal throughout a large area. Furthermore, when youre moving through the house, Google automatically and seamlessly syncs your device to the nearest mesh network node so you have a speedy and stable connection throughout.
How Does The Nest Wifi Mesh Network Work
You basically put several of these ‘nodes’ around your home which act as one single network. The primary node connects directly to your modem – usually the router your ISP provided – but you switch off the router’s own wireless coverage.
You then power up the other nodes in optimum positions around your home and set it up using the dedicated Google Home app.
Once done, you will get Wi-Fi signal everywhere, from your bathroom to your basement. Think of Google Nest Wifi as an expandable system for better coverage. Instead of one router, multiple routers work together to deliver fast network throughout your home.
It essentially offers mesh network-like coverage so avoids black spots in your connectivity. And because of the way the mesh network works, it’s the routers that work out which one of them your device needs to be connected to in order to continue that seamless connectivity.
So if you’re moving upstairs, or to the back of the house, you shouldn’t experience a drop in coverage and you won’t need to manually select the secondary node in your phone’s Wi-Fi settings menu.
Ok So How Exactly Does This Work
In many ways the Google Wifi is the evolution of the company’s previous home routers, the OnHubs. The difference with the Wifi is that instead of just a single unit, you can have up to three. Each hardware unit is called a Wifi point. If you get a single unit, you have just one point, which can cover about 1,200 square feet, which is suitable for a small home or average-sized apartment. More points scattered around the house will increase the area of coverage accordingly. A set of three units can easily cover a 4,000 square-foot or even larger home.
All Google Wifi units are identical. When multiple units are used in a home, the first unit works as the main router that connects to an internet source, like a broadband modem. The additional units extend the Wi-Fi coverage to create a single Wi-Fi mesh network. Depending on the layout of your home, you can put the Wifi points one or two rooms away from one another to maximize the Wi-Fi coverage. The Google Wifi app can help determine the best location by measuring the connection between units.
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Is It Worth It
My fear that Google’s Nest Wifi system wouldn’t live up to the reliability and ease-of-use of its predecessor was unfounded. In the few days that I’ve been using Nest Wifi, it’s done exactly what I need a good wireless network to do deliver a fast signal to all of my connected devices.
The only thing it doesn’t have is WiFi 6. When I asked Sanjay about the omission, he was direct.
“Most homes can’t benefit from WiFi 6 technology. In a public place, like an airport, where there are hundreds of WiFi 6 compatible phones trying to access the internet through a single point, then it makes sense. But even if you have 15, 20, or more devices in your home, and only two of them are WiFi 6-enabled , then all that extra technology is doing is driving up the cost of your router.”
And in my informal testing, that philosophy seems to be born out. I’ve tested WiFi 6 routers and they are no better than non WiFi 6 routers when it comes to dealing with a household of non-compatible devices. The most important thing here is Google’s superior algorithm. It’s dynamically testing the connections between your networking hardware and your devices, seeing if they need to be adjusted. Each point can handle up to 200 devices, so there’s little chance that even the most connected home can overwhelm the system.
The Price Of Logging On
The mesh WiFi market has gotten pretty crowded in recent years, and Google’s new entrant is in the upper half in terms of price, depending on your needs. The router on its own is $169.99, but assuming you need at least one point , those are $149.99 separately.
The saving grace here is that Google sells router-plus-point bundles that are a little more reasonably priced. A router and one point is $269.99, while a router and two points is $349.99. That’s not nothing, but the router on its own can cover up to 2,200 square feet and each individual point can reach 1,600 square feet, so I imagine most people won’t need more than two points.
Still, there are cheaper options out there. It isn’t the greatest look for Google from a pure coverage standpoint that something like TP-Link’s Deco setup comes with more mesh points for $159.99. I can’t directly compare performance between Nest WiFi and its cheaper competitors, but their existence is worth noting, at least.
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Google Nest Wifi: Where To Buy
Google is selling through the last of the first generation Google Wifi routers, but you can still and other major retailers.
Alternatively, you can buy a two-pack with the Google Nest Wifi and a Google Nest Wifi Point for $269 from Best Buy, or a three-pack with two Points for $349. A standalone Nest Wifi Point can be purchased for $149, but it should be noted youll need a Nest Wifi or Google Wifi to act as the primary router first.
Nest Wifi Review: Design
Composed of devices that look like big plastic marshmallows, the Nest WiFi mesh devices are small and easy to hide. In addition to stashing them on a shelf, they fit on a windowsill or on a coffee table. The router has a 4.3-inch diameter and is 3.6 inches tall. By contrast, the Point extensions are a little smaller with a 4.0-inch diameter and 3.4-inch height. Both have shotgun-cooling holes at their bases and are tiny compared to comparable Netgear Orbi devices, which are larger and measure nearly 10 inches tall.
The Nest WiFi devices should fit into a variety of home decors, thanks to Google Home’s evolving design language of organic shapes with no hard edges and soft colors. The router is available only in flat white, but the extensions come in Mist , Sand or white.
The Nest WiFi concept is similar to Netgear’s Orbi Voice: the router is the center of home networking while the Nest WiFi Point Extensions do double duty: They push the Wi-Fi signal farther into the house and can respond to voice commands and play audio. In essence, the extensions are a combination of a mesh extender and a smart speaker.
Memory/Storage: Router 1GB/4GB Extension 768MB/512MBWi-Fi Chip: Qualcomm QCS 400 familySize: Router 4.3-inch x 3.6-inch height Extension 4.0-inch x 3.4-inch height
The Nest WiFi devices should fit into a variety of home decors, thanks to Google Homes evolving design language.
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Google Wifi Not Connecting
If your Wifi Point isnt connecting to the internet, you can do the following:
- Unplug the Wifi Router and the Point from power.
- Wait for about two minutes to make sure they turn off properly.
- Plug the power back into your modem and wait for a minute.
- Connect the Wifi Point to the power again and wait for about 20 seconds.
- While setting up the Wifi Point, find the Google Home app and open it again for the set-up process.
When your Google Wifi Point is connected, it will pulse a bright blue light. If your Router still doesnt connect, you may need to contact your internet service provider .
Nest Wifi Review: Smart
Along with the Nest WiFi gear, Google’s Home app can be a one-stop shop for controlling a variety of home automation items, like any of the best smart light bulbs. To add a device, tap the “+” in the main screen’s upper left corner.
Be warned, the Home app is a little picky and balked at using a Belkin Wemo ligh tbulb and an . I was able to use it with Philips Hue lights and C by GE light bulbs it also works with Sylvanias LEDVANCE lights. The system allowed me to independently turn the lights on and off as well as dim them via the Home app and the Nest WiFi extension voice commands. The Home app allowed me to pick from the six light colors the GE bulb offered.
The Google Home app includes Family Wi-Fi. It allows the grouping of devices so that the lights and thermostats are part of a different group than the computers. This let me pause the system’s Wi-Fi to stop the flow of data long enough for dinner or screen-free family time without affecting other devices that I want to run 24/7.
Google backs the Nest WiFi gear with a one-year warranty that includes full support with technicians on call to help 24/7. The Nest support site has several DIY items to help get the gear up and running as well as the ability to call, chat or email them for personal help. By contrast, Netgear provides only 90-days of support.
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Design Setup And Interface
The Google Nest Wifi design is a stark departure from the Google Wifi that preceded it. Gone are the glossy, white plastic cylinders in favor of some even more innocuous matte plastic domes that round off in comfortable corners at either end.
As for the Router device, its even lighter in terms of design features than the Points that double as Google Home speakers. All youll find here is a single, white LED that shines through the plastic shell to indicate a connection. On the bottom, youll find a tough rubber base hiding two Ethernet ports as well as a standard AC charging port.
Of course, the Point device is a bit more stylish while looking nearly identical. Its major differences are the four far-field microphones on top and the 360-degree speaker with 40mm driver inside, bedecked by a single, round LED on the undercarriage that responds when asked questions via your voice. These units have no Ethernet ports included, making them considerably less useful than the previous-generation products but perhaps more focused.
When it comes to setting the network up and the interface therein, Nest Wifi is no longer set up using the Google Wifi app but rather the Google Home app. This is because part of the system is technically a Google Home speaker, making it easier to manage both within the same app.
Nest Wifi Isnt Without Its Faults
As much as I enjoyed the Nest Wifi, Id be lying if I said it was perfect. Its pretty close, though. Here are a few things that arent so great about Nest Wifi:
These are probably the most significant things, though Id also point out it would have been nice to have Assistant functionality in the router and not just the Points. A Google rep told me the reason for this was to keep the device from being too bulky, and most users end up putting the router in a more hidden place anyhow. Still, I feel like adding Assistant might have encouraged folks to prominently display the router, which would lead to even better Wi-Fi since there would be potentially fewer obstructions this way.
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Is Google Nest Wifi Worth It Should You Buy It
Google Nest Wifi is an incredibly impressive wireless mesh router. Its an attractively designed series of Routers and Points that you can display openly without hesitation. They also function as smart speakers with voice activation, which makes them far more functional than most other mesh networks. If you dont have a mesh network of your own and want to get a new one, Google Nest Wifi is completely worth it.
However, if you already have the Google Wifi network, then it doesnt necessarily make sense to upgrade to a Google Nest Wifi. Luckily, however, the Nest Wifi system is perfectly compatible with Google Wifi, so you dont have to replace your previous set-up but can instead add Nest Wifi Points to your existing set-up.
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What Phones Can You Use With Google Fi
Phone selection had been the biggest limitation with Project Fi. But now that the service is rebranded as Google Fi, that’s changed in a major way.
As before, Google Fi is best experienced on Google’s own phones such as the Pixel 5a. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will soon be joining the mix, too. In addition, Google Fi sells phones from other device makers that are optimized for its wireless service. That includes the Galaxy Z Flip 3, Galaxy A32 5G, Galaxy Note 20 and all Galaxy S21 models available Motorola phones at Google Fi include the Motorola One 5G Ace, Moto G Power and Moto G Play.
These optimized phones are able to take advantage of Fi’s intelligent network switching, seamlessly jumping to whatever tower offers the best coverage between T-Mobile, US Cellular and what’s left of Sprint.
Google has also broadened Fi’s reach by expanding the number of phones you can use with it. Today, you can sign up using almost any Android phone. If you’ve got an iPhone, you can sign up for Google Fi, too, using the .
Expanding the number of phones that will work with Google Fi certainly widens the pool of wireless users who can take advantage of Google’s straightforward data plan pricing. The trade-off in not using a Fi-approved phone, though, comes with what network you’ll use when accessing cellular connectivity. Phones that aren’t designed for Fi cannot switch between those three networks, and will make do with T-Mobile connectivity alone.
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Setting Up Nest Wifi Is As Easy As It Gets
The Nest Wifi mesh router works like any other Assistant-powered smart device, meaning you simply head into the Home app, and it detects it. You will need the latest version of the app, however. Setting up the Nest Wifi router and Point took me under 15 minutes, including a few software updates it had to apply. What really made the setup process stand out? It was so easy that even a less tech-savvy individual wouldnt have any issues adding it to their network.