Google Nest Wifi Review: Smart Mesh Router

Infrastructure

Google Nest Wifi Review: Smart Mesh Router

If you think buying a top quality mesh router costs a lot of money, the new Google Nest WiFi router proves otherwise. It's excellent signal quality will solve your home WiFi signal problems and gives you excellent features. That makes it more than a router as it also becomes a smart speaker. 

So let's dive into what this sleek and compact device offers in this review of Google Nest WiFi. 

Google Nest WiFi Specs

Google Nest WiFi Specs

Wi-Fi bands: 802.11ac/dual-band mesh kit with speaker extension.

Wi-Fi Chip: Qualcomm QCS 400 family.

Processor: Quad-core 1.4GHz

Number of Antennas: 4

Memory/Storage: Router —1GB/4GB; Extension — 768MB/512MB.

Diameter: 4.3-inch

Height: 3.6-inch

Google Nest WiFi Design 

Google Nest WiFi Design

Like other compact mesh routers, Nest WiFi from Google is very easy to hide. It fits in any shelf, table or even window edge. The design follows an approach that you can expect from Google. There are no hard edges, and the design looks a bit futuristic. When the extensions are connected, the router is still sleek and compact, whether you want a mesh extender that you can connect or a Google Home Mini smart speaker. The second option you won't find easily with other mesh routers. 

Google Nest WiFi Features 

Google Nest WiFi Features

Google Nest WiFi has some great features that you should know about when comparing it to other devices. One of them is the freedom when it comes to extensions as there can be up to 32 extensions simultaneously. The extensions can include older Google WiFi gear, which you can use to extend the coverage of the WiFi signal at your home. But there's no audio abilities with the devices used as extensions. With this device you can connect 100 clients simultaneously without having to buy additional extensions. Thanks to its effective band steering it automatically sends data to the least congested channel. Nest WiFi devices come with 4 antennas supporting the 802.11ac networks. The 5GHZ transmission uses a 4x4 setup, transmitting data through 2200Mbps. While the lower frequency 2.4GHZ transmitter uses a 2x2 setup, transmitting data through 1200Mbps. It also supports Bluetooth to connect with low power smart home devices. 

One of the downsides of the device is that it lacks WiFi 6 technology, which is disappointing. Speaking of the extension, it has a microphone array and a 1.6 speaker, transmitting sound through 360 degrees. The device can detect commands from a very sufficient distance of around 4 meters, thanks to the quality of the microphones. Google Broadcast support gives you the ability to use the extension as an intercom. If you don't want it as a smart speaker, assistant, or intercom, you can switch the microphone off for better privacy. The audio output of the extension is very rich compared to competitors. Unless your expectations are very high, you will be satisfied with the quality of the sound. One of the downsides is that the extension has no audio output jack. So you can't connect a wired external speaker. However, you can still connect any external speaker through Bluetooth in a matter of seconds. You can also pair it with Google Home Mini Speaker via Bluetooth.

Google Assistant works with full features on the extension. It supports commands and controls smart home devices. It also supports subscription based music services like Spotify and also free ones like YouTube Music. You can tap on top of the extention to pause and restart the audio track. You can also run your finger over it to adjust the volume. 

Performance

Google Nest WiFi Performance

Google Nest WiFi is built around a custom Qualcomm QCS500 chip family, with a 1.4GHZ quad-core processor and two digital signal processors. It also has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage memory, while the extension has 768MB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The power of both the router chip and the extension make it more than enough for distributing the signal efficiently and working as a smart speaker by picking up voice at an excellent range. 

For improved security, the router supports Trusted Platform Module or TPM, which is responsible for data transmition security and will guarantee that firmware updates are fully secure and never tampered with. As a router, the device supports WPA 3, which is still widely used, so you can still use the WPA 2 normally. 

The maximum output of the router at five feet was tested to be 653.2Mbps, compared to 464.3Mbps for the original Google WiFi. This means there is clear improvement in the new model. The category leader Netgear Orbi RBK50 scored 552.1Mbps, meaning that Google Nest WiFi is a real performance beast compared to mesh routers in the market, not just from Google. 

Verdict

Google Nest WiFi is a perfect choice both as a router and smart speaker. As a router, it provides excellent performance that leads the mesh router market at an excellent price. As a smart speaker, it extends the use of your router with many great features such as integration with smart home devices. 

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