Google seems to be changing its strategy a bit when it comes to Internet routers. The latest generation of Nest WiFi was, in a sense, built to be an all-in-one smart home hub. Sure, it was a router, but the secondary access points doubled as Google Assistant speakers, making them instantly smarter than many other options out there. Not to mention the mesh system that provides internet coverage around your home. Today, the company is introducing the new Google Nest WiFi Pro.
The Nest WiFi Pro has a new design, improved connectivity and… it loses Google Assistant. It offers many smart features and some of these features will be very useful for those building a connected home and advanced internet network.
How does Nest WiFi Pro improve over Google’s original Nest WiFi? I tested the device to find out.
In the box we find:
- Nest Wi-Fi Pro
- 22W AC adapter
- Ethernet cable (2m)
- quick start guide
- Safety and warranty instructions
Nest WiFi Pro: design
Google Nest WiFi Pro is more than just a refresh – it also offers a completely new design. Instead of a textile cover, as on other Google devices, The Nest WiFi Pro has a glossy plastic look.
While it doesn’t necessarily feel like a cheap product when you hold the router in your hand, it certainly looks a little cheap from a distance. I wish Google had stuck with the textile coating overall, because it feels more accessible and less cold.
Nest WiFi pro is available in several colors including snow, linen, fog and lemon grass. As you can see in the rest of this article, I received the white model. On the back there are three single ports – a power port and two Ethernet ports.
The device is not necessarily small, but it is not oversized either. It measures just over 5 inches tall, 4.5 inches wide, and 3.3 inches thick. Most people should find thatit adapts to where their previous router was.
Nest WiFi Pro: Features
Although the Google Nest WiFi Pro doesn’t have Google Assistant, it still offers a number of features for those who want a premium networking experience. To begin, it supports the new WiFi 6E standard, which means it has a 2.4GHz band, a 5GHz band and a 6GHz band. Google says each router will offer coverage of up to 2,200 square feet and download speeds of up to 5.4 Gbps.
Nest Wi-Fi Pro can be used in a mesh system, and you don’t have to worry about choosing the right tags. Just buy another Nest WiFi Pro – they can be used interchangeably as main routers or beacons in your system.
The router is configured for your next-generation connected home. He supports the Thread Connected Home standard, so as you get more thread-enabled devices, it will be able to participate in this system. That’s what Google claims the device will support Matter in the futurebut this support is not available at launch.
Nest WiFi Pro: Software
You set up and control your Nest WiFi Pro router through the Google Home app – which is a good thing for those already part of Google’s connected home ecosystem. The fact that the router is controlled by the Home app means you don’t need to download and manage another app like most other modern smart routers. For example, Amazon still requires you to download and install the Eero app to use Eero routers, rather than setting them up in the main Alexa app.
The Google Home app gives you access to a number of features that would normally be available in the app associated with a router. Sometimes these features can be a bit buried in menus and settings, but you’ll get used to where things are for the most part.
All the usual functions are present. You can set up guest networks quickly and easily, view and manage devices connected to your network, and view speed test information. It’s a good feature set and I think the router will offer everything most average users would want.
Nest WiFi Pro: performance
The Google Nest WiFi Pro is one of the first routers to ship with WiFi 6E support, but there’s still competition. As mentioned, WiFi 6E routers introduce a third connection band – 6 GHz. This means that devices that support WiFi 6E can achieve super-fast connections when within a reasonable distance. You don’t have to worry about figuring out which devices to connect to which bands and when – the router is smart enough to handle it all by itself.
In general, I found out the router had excellent performance. Compared to my current Linksys router, which has a WiFi 6 router, it offered up to 100Mbps faster download speeds – but keep in mind that all sorts of variables can affect these kinds of tests. Of course, for the most part, the improvements you get with WiFi 6E will require devices that you know actually support WiFi 6E.
Nest WiFi Pro: Review
Google’s Nest WiFi Pro may not have all the features some look for in older Nest WiFi products, but if you’re looking for a router in the Google ecosystem and the Google Home app and want the best wireless performance you can get right now , then the Nest WiFi Pro is definitely worth considering.
Most people buy a router that will last them for years, which is why I recommend going for a WiFi 6E model if you’re in the market and can afford it. If you don’t want to spend that much money, a WiFi 6 model will do just fine.