Google’s lineup of Nest Wifi routers (previously Google Wifi) has remained popular for years, thanks to its mesh network abilities and easy management. Now there’s an upgraded model with more features available.
The current Nest Wifi is a decent mesh router, but it has increasingly fallen behind the competition — it only supports Wi-Fi 5, while Eero and others have sold mesh routers with Wi-Fi 6, and models with the even-newer Wi-Fi 6E standard have been available for months. Google’s answer is the new “Nest Wifi Pro,” which will compete more directly with products like the Eero Pro 6E.
The Nest Wifi Pro works much like earlier Nest Wifi routers, with the ability to create a mesh network that covers a larger area using several nodes. You can also just buy one unit if you live in a smaller home. You have to use the Google Home app to set it up and change settings later, which has been a point of contention in the past, but Google is hoping recent updates to the Home app will make that less frustrating.
The main selling point here is full support for Wi-Fi 6E, the latest Wi-Fi standard — until Wi-Fi 7 is ready, anyway. When you connect to the network with a device that also supports Wi-Fi 6E, like the Galaxy S21 Ultra or S22 Ultra and some laptops (but not any iPhones), you can use the 6 GHz band in addition to the typical 2.4 and 5 GHz bands to boost speeds. Google is promising theoretical speeds of up to 5.4 Gbps with the right devices and conditions.
The Nest Wifi Pro can also act as a Thread border router, which will be used for communicating with smart home devices under the upcoming Matter industry standard. Google says the system will also act as a Matter hub “shortly” after the protocol launches — eliminating the need to buy more equipment if you want to try out an easier smart home ecosystem when Matter finally arrives.
Google is selling the Nest Wifi Pro in a 3-pack for $399.99 (up to 6,600 square feet), $299.99 for a two-pack, or $199.99 for a single unit. That’s certainly pricey, but there aren’t many other options for a mesh system that supports Wi-Fi 6E — the Eero Pro 6E costs $499 for a 2-pack, the ASUS ZenWiFi costs $530 for a 2-pack, and the TP-Link Deco 6E (which you should absolutely not buy) is $299.99 for a 2-pack. The router goes on sale October 27, with pre-orders starting today.
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