What Is Google Nest Wifi

Is The Google Nest Wifi Faster Than Google Wifi

Google Nest Wifi Review – 6 Months Later

In a word: Yes

The Google Nest Wifi supports AC2200 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi with 4 x 4 antennas. This covers a theoretical maximum of 2,200Mbps with 400Mbps on the single 2.4GHz band and 1,733Mbps on 5GHz across two bands. Its powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM.

Meanwhile, the Google Wifi supports AC1200 with 2 x 2 antennas for a total maximum of 1,200Mbps across one 2.4GHz band and one 5GHz band. Its also got half the amount of RAM and a weaker quad-core 710Mhz processor.

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What that means in practice is that youll be able to connect far more devices to the Nest Wifi before your bandwidth starts straining.

Both routers hit the Wi-Fi 5 standard and support beamforming, as well as Googles own special tech, which switches signal between bands as you move around your house to maintain the strongest connection.

If youve got an ultra-fast connection capable of 300-500Mbps speeds, there are technically better options out there, though very few routers are as user-friendly as Googles. Also, the lack of Wi-Fi 6 support removes a bit of future-proofing from both models.

Its also worth noting that the Google Nest Wifi Points are scaled back to AC1200 with the same antennas as the regular Google Wifi, though they are still a little more powerful in raw specs. If you want the fastest speeds throughout your home or business, youll need the Nest Wifi units, not the Points.

What Is Google Wifi

Google Wifi is a mesh network system to help ensure improved wireless coverage in an area. One of the devices connects to the main router. The other devices are placed in different locations, usually with a weak signal, and connect to the central unit wirelessly.

Once the devices link up to each other, they form a mesh Wi-Fi network. The arrangement of Google Wifi router devices maintains a strong Wi-Fi signal ensuring strong wireless connectivity within the area.

It may seem overly complicated, but the bottom line is that Google Wifi aims to replace your traditional router and ensure you get a better, stronger wireless signal.

Wpa2 And Wpa3 Security

Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi secure your Wi-Fi network with either WPA2 protocol or the newer WPA3 protocol. Using WPA3 protocol makes your Wi-Fi network highly resistant to security risks like offline dictionary attacks.

By default, Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi use the WPA2 protocol to maximize compatibility with legacy connected devices . However, you can turn on WPA3 transition mode in the Google Home app. This setting allows both WPA2 and WPA3 devices to join your Wi-Fi network. For Google Wifi devices initially set up in the Google Wifi app, you will need to to use this feature.

Note: Some legacy WPA2 devices may be incompatible with WPA3 and experience connection issues when WPA3 transition mode is on. OnHub devices do not support WPA3.

Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi don’t support legacy protocols like WPA and WEP because they have been deemed unsecure by the Wi-Fi Alliance and industry experts. There are also known and documented attacks against WPA and WEP. WPS, a mechanism that lets a device join a wireless network without entering a password, is also not supported for security reasons.

To turn on WPA3 transition mode:

  • Open the Google Home app .
  • At the top right, tap Settings .
  • Turn on WPA3.
  • Note: When you toggle WPA3 on or off, your network will restart and devices will lose connectivity.

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    Nest Wifi Review: Configuration

    The Nest WiFi equipment relies primarily on the Google Home app for making configuration changes, although the customization options are few and far between. In addition to adding extensions and setting up groups, the app can adjust how bright the router and extensions glow.

    At any time, I was able to run a networking test, remotely restart the network or show the Guest network’s password on a smart display. The Settings pages for the router and extension show some detail, like IP addresses and firmware version.

    What’s missing are traditional setting choices that most other routers have, like setting static IP addresses, managing ports or picking which Wi-Fi channel to use. Most won’t miss these items, but it might be a deal-breaker for those who like to tweak their gear.

    For accessing these more advanced features, use the older Google Wi-Fi app. There you can make DHCP reservations or manage the system’s privacy settings. That the two apps haven’t been integrated is a mystery.

    Google Nest Wifi Design And Colours

    Google Nest Wifi review: Effortless whole

    As mentioned previously, one of the guiding principles for Google Nest Wifi was to create something youd want to put up, front and center, so it works as a better Wifi router.

    Google Nest Wifi completely lives up to that promise. The Nest Wifi devices can be likened to cute little marshmallows. Both the Router and the Points are matte-plastic domes only a little larger than Google Wifi.

    The bottom of each device has several holes that serve as speakers. The Nest Wifi Router only comes in white, but the Points come in three colors Snow , Sand , and Mist .

    The Nest Wifi Router also comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports and a power-in port. However, the Nest Wifi Points dont come with any Ethernet ports.

    One of the most attractive features of the Google Nest Wifi devices is the ring of light underneath the device. Whenever you communicate with the device, a ring of white light glows under the base of the device. The white light indicates that the device is active, listening to you, or connecting to Googles cloud.

    Google Nest Wifi is one of the most attractive Wifi mesh routers available on the market and makes it so you want to display them around your home. In doing so, theyre also more effective Wifi systems in general.

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    Google Wifi Vs Nest Wifi: Security

    Since the first Google Wifi, Google has built security features into its mesh Wi-Fi products.

    The 2016 Google Wifi boasted an Infineon Trusted Platform Module that encrypts network traffic and verifies firmware installations to protect the entire network at the router level. You can also pause the internet connection to one or all devices in the home.

    But the Google Wifi lacks any built-in malware protections, and doesn’t offer any substantial parental controls, like content filtering or deeper access controls.

    The Nest Wifi, on the other hand, adds precisely the sort of features that the Google Wifi was missing. It keeps the TPM-based encryption, and upgrades to WPA 3 security another bit of security that was added to the 2020 version of Google Wifi.

    But the Nest Wifi also gets some better parental controls. The ability to pause Wi-Fi access is enhanced with the ability to schedule Internet time-outs or set routines to disconnect the kid’s devices for scheduled events like homework or bedtime. Parents can also filter content by site, applying Google SafeSearch to block millions of inappropriate adult websites.

    The best part? These parental controls can be accessed right from your smartphone, or through Google Assistant including the Google Home built into the Nest Wifi points throughout the house.

    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.

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    Nest Labs Before Acquisition By Google

    Nest Labs was founded in 2010 by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. The idea came when Fadell was building a vacation home and found all of the available thermostats on the market to be inadequate, motivated to bring something better on the market. Early investors in Nest Labs included Shasta Ventures and Kleiner Perkins.

    Google Wifi Vs Nest Wifi: The Differences

    Google Nest WiFi | Setup & Review

    With all that out of the way, lets talk about the unique features of the Google WiFi vs Nest WiFi. What is the difference between Google WiFi and Nest WiFi, you ask? Theyll differ in many categories, namely: their coverage, power, speed, and functionality.

    These differences will be the ones to truly influence your purchasing decision. However, make sure to ask yourself the right questions as youre evaluating their differences. These are some of the questions that will assess your needs. Do you have a house larger than 2,200 sq ft? What kind of internet speeds do you need around the house? Do you want to prioritize wired connections or wireless connections? The answer to these questions will determine your choice between Google WiFi vs Nest WiFi.

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    Easy To Set Up Easy To Manage

    You can easily set up Nest Wifi in minutes and manage it in the Google Home app alongside your other connected devices. After youre up and running, automatic updates will give you new features and help keep your network secure.

    Create a guest network and share your password in just a few taps. You can decide which devices to prioritize for faster speeds, and run speed tests to make sure your network is optimized.

    Family Wi-Fi lets you set schedules to manage screen time, restrict certain kinds of adult content, and pause Wi-Fi to specific devices whenever you want.

    Nest Wifi Review: Setup

    The installation routine for creating a Nest Wi-Fi network is easy and logical with simple illustrated step-by-step instructions. You will need a phone or tablet because, unlike Netgear’s Orbi, there’s no way to set it up or configure the Nest WiFi units with a connected web browser. All told, it took a little less than 20 minutes to install the router and extension in my home, a little longer than the 15 minutes it took for an Orbi Voice. For me, it started with installing the Google Home app on my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ phone.

    After tapping “Create a home,” I tapped to set up new devices. Then, I gave my house a name.

    The software then scanned for and found the Nest WiFi router in a couple seconds. I snapped the QR code found on the underside of the router and allowed the software to connect with the router. A series of animated colored rings appeared around the router’s photo on-screen to show it connected.

    I then named the router’s room and entered what I wanted to use as the network’s name and password. At this point I agreed to have Google run networking tests, diagnose problems and create statistics.

    Once the router is set up, you’ll need to add the Point extension. I powered it up and the app scanned for and quickly found it. Once I named its room, the extension played a short tune to verify the successful connection.

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    Nest Wifi And Google Wifi: Price

    The prices of Nest Wifi and Google Wifi differ.

    Google Wifi is available at selected retailers and often gets discounted. You can get Google Wifi for $99 and a set of three for $199. The Nest Wifi router is available for $169, with prices for sets of a router and point or multiple points varying. Currently, one Nest Wifi point costs $149.

    Despite Nest Wifi offering more features, Google Wifi is a better value.

    What Is Mesh Networking

    Nest Wifi first look: Google combines a smart speaker and ...

    Before we discuss Google Nest Wifi, its important to briefly discuss what wireless mesh networking is. Were confident that most people reading this are already aware of mesh networking if so, please feel free to skip this part. This explanation is for the uninitiated!

    In a traditional wireless Wifi set-up, there is the main router to which all other devices are connected directly. As such, the router has to be placed in a central location so all other devices can communicate with it. This limits the coverage of the devices because the further away they are, the weaker the signal gets.

    Wireless mesh networking makes it so that the distance doesnt matter anymore. In a wireless mesh network, each device in the network can communicate with each other. Basically, there are multiple routes for the transmission of information between devices.

    As such, if you have several devices connected to the mesh network, you can strategically place them around your home. These nodes will communicate with each other and transmit the wireless signal to each other. This ensures consistent signal coverage throughout a large space and the devices dont have to be in close proximity to the central router or hub.

    Now that you have a working understanding of mesh networks, please continue reading for a detailed discussion of Google Nest Wifi.

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    Google Nest Wifi Compatibility

    The following is a brief overview of Google Nest Wifis compatibility with different wireless networks.

    • Does Nest Wifi work with Verizon Fios ? Yes!
    • Does Nest Wifi work with Xfinity ? Yes!
    • Does Nest Wifi work with AT& T ? Yes!
    • Does Nest Wifi work with BT ? No, because BT TV only works with BT Hub because of the inbuilt authentication required.
    • Does Nest Wifi work with Sky ? Yes!
    • Does Nest Wifi work with Virgin Media ? Yes!
    • Does Nest Wifi work with Spectrum ? Yes!

    What We Dont Like

    Theres a limited number of Ethernet ports

    Okay, lets not beat around the bush. The biggest design flaw we saw with the Nest Wi-Fi system was the limited number of Ethernet ports.

    The Nest Wi-Fi router comes with two Ethernet ports, and one of those ports is automatically dedicated to your modem. Now, if you only need one wired connection, youre all set.

    But if youre a gaming household like we are and need two wired connections for a couple of gaming PCs that dont have Wi-Fi cards, well, youre out of luck.

    This lack of Ethernet ports severely limits our ability to test the Nest Wi-Fi system. In order to give Nest Wi-Fi a go for a months-long test run, wed have to unplug it and set up our old router system anytime we wanted to do anything on our desktop PCs.

    We get itmost of us use wireless devices in this day and age. But gamers and home offices with desktop computers are not a small enough minority that we think limiting the Ethernet ports to two is a smart move.

    One of our readers, Scott Holm, pointed out that you can plug a network switch into your Nest Wi-Fi router . This is an easy and inexpensive way to add a ton of Ethernet ports for any devices that need a wired connection, and it’s even a workaround .

    Voice controls work only with the point

    Our only other gripe would be that only the Nest Wi-Fi point lets you give voice commands. The router doesntbut this may not bother you much if you have a Google Home sitting near your router already.

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