January 30, 2020

If you are a fan of Google's ecosystem, the Nest Wi-Fi router is a must try for you.

Nest Wi-Fi, also known as Google Nest Wi-Fi, is one of the most popular Wi-Fi routers or mesh devices used in present days.

Google lovers are a fan of this device as the brand has combined Google Wi-Fi and Google Home through it.

Google has given a powerful punchline to the device, ‘Strong Connection, Every Direction.’

Which in itself assures the users of lightning internet speed across a large area. The device is highly recommended over Google’s original mesh system. 

google nest wifi

While most of the smartphones come with inbuilt Wi-Fi hotspot, for scalable and reliable internet connection, having a Wi-Fi router is essential these days. This Nest Wi-Fi router fulfils the key functionalities of an internet router and has a lot of add-on features to make the deal sweeter for the buyers.

Now the question is, how effective is this Wi-Fi router? Has it been able to keep its promise of superfast wireless internet connectivity? Before reviewing it, let us checkout the technicalities and primary features of the device.

Use

The main function of this Nest Wi-Fi router is to ensure wide area internet coverage, superfast and dependable data connection at home or a small office. Users can also play music, operate smart devices through the set.

Technical Details

  • Ports and Jacks - Each Nest Wi-Fi router comes with ethernet ports. It has a WAN port and gigabit LAN port. There is a power jack connected at the base of the device. Users can charge and use the router simultaneously.
  • Automatic Updates - Nest Wi-Fi router software automatically gets updated. The router is non-functional when it gets configured or updated.

Package content

There are 2 routers in the set; while the first router connects to the broadband modem of the Internet Service Provider (ISP), the other acts as a mesh extension point, to provide extra network coverage. There is also a 3 piece set of the Nest Wi-Fi router available in the market.

Users can also buy additional points, each available at an additional price.

  • Brand: Google
  • Item Weight: 1 pound
  • Model: Nest Wi-Fi Router
  • Model Number: GA01144-US
  • Charge System: Through power jack
  • Color Availability: Milky white, sand and mist
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3*4.3*3.6 inches
  • Item Dimensions: 4.33*4.33*3.56 inches

Design

The word router usually brings an image of large, black and plastic devices, which does not go well with the aesthetics of a well decorated home. now you cannot hide it in a closet as a router works best in open. Google Nest Wi-Fi solves this crisis.

With 4.3 inches height and 3.5 inches width, the device looks like a marshmallow. Besides covering the home with the powerful Wi-Fi blanket, the homely look and design perfectly matches the soft ambience of residential spaces.

While the router is available only in milky white color, the complete device is available in three pastel colors of white, sand and mist.

So, there is no need to hide this high technology device from your guests. It can rather become a part of your home décor with its pretty looks; best part, it easily fits on a bookshelf or side table. Along with its soft looks, Nest Wi-Fi is shock proof and is not known to break even when suddenly dropped!

Features

Flexibility and wider coverage are just a few words to describe Nest Wi-Fi router. Let us checkout the key features of the Nest Wi-Fi router in detail.

Easy Set Up

The Nest Wi-Fi router has been made keeping in mind the large number of non-tech users. You can either set up the router by installing the app, else for quick access, users can also opt for guest log in. Rest of the job, like creating passwords, is just a matter of a few taps through the auto-log in wizard.

Adding devices, creating the setup and performing the compatibility checks, all can be done through the single Google Home application. There is a QR code at the bottom of each Nest Wi-Fi point. Scan it with the camera and a few minutes later, the mesh network is ready to be used.

Through this you can log in as a guest user. As checked, if you follow the vice instructions given by the app, it takes a maximum of 10 minutes to set up the device for use.

Impressive Scalability

The device claims to offer superfast wireless internet to areas upto 5400 square feet. These routers are strong enough to handle a large number of connections (200 to be specific). The company claims that the device has the capability to stream multiple 4k videos at a single point in time.

High Number Of Connections

Google Nest Wi-Fi router can be used to connect as many as 100 devices. For this reason, this device is ideal for a small office environment as well.

High Speed Performance

Nest Wi-Fi router is a 4*4 AC2200 dual band device. For this reason, it can offer huge data speed upto 400 Mbps on the 2.4 Ghz band and 1,733 Mbps on 5Ghz band. The device comes with automatic band steering as well.

To ensure that the best radio connectivity is selected based on the available signal strength and network traffic, Google Nest Wi-Fi supports simultaneous data streaming and beamforming using MU-MIMO. It also comes with the latest WPA3 encryption.

The device even edges out some popular Wi-Fi devices in the speed test. A maximum of 612 Mbps speed has been witnessed on the device. It was mainly found to be fast in the long and medium range tests. Besides speed tests, the device also performed well in real world environment.

It has been even able to give network speed at dead zones of the home or office when tested.

Compatibility

The Nest Wi-Fi router is also compatible with Google Wi-Fi. With Nest Wi-Fi system, customers get flexibility.

As the company is offering wireless internet connection across a large area, people can enjoy seamless video calls walking from one room to the other. The device is also compatible with previous models from Google.

Video: Google Nest Wi-Fi - Setup & Review

Safety and security

Nest Wi-Fi assures its users of utmost safety and security. Users can also prioritize devices which require access to Wi-Fi.

They can pause the Wi-Fi availability to specific devices as per the need. The unique guest log in facility using QR codes means users need not provide direct access to his or her data drives, files and folders to everyone.

Parental Controls

With Google Assistant and speakers, the device works more than just boosting the internet speed.

Users can voice control the different functionalities of the router. It can be also used to implement parental controls. Users can also opt to mute the microphones. There are separate parental features through which parents can control the online time for their kids.

Users can also add restrictions (using the SafeSearch option) to the kind of content kids can access over this Wi-Fi network. Using Family Wi-Fi feature, they can also assign schedules to family members.

Powerful Speakers

The built-in voice activated speakers are one of the most wanted features of the new Nest Wi-Fi system. The previous models from Google were either speakers without Wi-Fi facility or Wi-Fi routers without audio capability. Each Nest Wi-Fi Point is a smart speaker in itself.

The set also has a 40mm speaker driver which can deliver 360 degree audio. It has 4 far field microphones; these are embedded at the top of the enclosure; each having enough bass to enjoy music or 4k videos.

Google Voice Assistant

Google aims at creating a unified Nest design for all its smart devices.

The in-built Google Assistance and Bluetooth radio also makes the device smart enough to stream music, set alarms, provide you the latest news, weather updates and sports scores.

The LED ring encircling the base glows in white when a question is asked to the Google Assistant. It also glows when the Google Assistant answers.

The device also comes with a privacy switch. Users can use it to disable the Google Assistant.

Smart Home Capability

Google fulfills its dream of a Smart Home with this Nest Wi-Fi router. The router can control smart home devices like thermostats, smart plugs and lights. Only condition is, you must first sync these devices with the Nest Wi-Fi router.

Users can also perform additional tasks like checking the network speed through the router application. So Nest Wi-Fi router can be stated as a smart and sensible addition to your home network.

How does it work?

  • Creating Wi-Fi Environment - To create a Wi-Fi environment, users need to plug the Google Nest Wi-Fi router into the modem of the internet service provider that is in use. This creates the Wi-Fi network. The other device of the set extends the wireless internet network and keeps the devices in each and every room connected. Nest Wi-Fi router does not work as a modem. For this reason, users still need to retain the broadband modem provided by the internet service provider. If you are using gigabit fiber connections then these can be plugged straight into the router using a regular network cable.
  • Updating Standard Settings - If the user wants to access the network settings, a tap on the Wi-Fi button does the job. It is located at the opening screen of the router. This switch is also used to control the other synced devices. The opening screen also displays the internet connectivity status, number of connected devices and the count of installed Wi-Fi points.
  • Updating Advanced Settings - To access the advanced features, users need to download Google Wi-Fi app. This application helps users find the best location for the router, set up and test the speakers. To prioritize traffic and network areas, this app needs to be used.
  • Checking Data Upload and Download Speed - Users can check the internet upload and download speed by tapping the Internet button. It also enables mesh connectivity tests between the routers and the Wi-Fi points.
  • Using Voice Assistant - Nest Wi-Fi router uses the Google Home application which controls the Google Assistant speakers and the Chromecast devices.
  • Connecting Smart Devices - Users can connect Smart devices with the Nest Wi-Fi router from the Google Home app.
  • Connecting Guests - Guests need to open any connected Google device with a screen (like a smartphone). They will get a QR code, they need to scan the code and the device gets connected to the Nest Wi-Fi.

Google Nest Wi-Fi can be the right choice for offering quick and fast internet connection to every corner of your home.

It is also suitable for use in small offices. Besides the trust on the brand, the sleek design, powerful hardware and in-build Google assistance are some of the key features which attract users to this mesh router system.

Upside of Using Google Nest WiFi

  • Compatible With Existing Devices - One good news for the existing users of Nest Wi-Fi router is, the device is compatible with the previous generation Google Wi-Fi gear.
  • Guest Accessibility - One of the top benefits of using Nest Wi-Fi router is its offers easy connectivity to guest users. There is no need to enter passwords.
  • High Performance - When tested, the Nest Wi-Fi router offered solid throughput performance. It is one of the top speed Wi-Fi routers available in the market.
  • Reliable - Besides strong performance, it is known for stable band steering. The signal strength is reliable for long calls and the internet.
  • Design - The router comes in a stylish get up. Milky white and circular in shape, Google seems to have given special attention to the looks of the set. It comes in three cool colors.
  • Easy Set-up - Google goes one step ahead in simplifying gadgets via Nest Wi-Fi router. As claimed, it is truly easy to install. The built-in Google assistant voice technology further eases the installation process. It is a mandate to have a Google account to use the device. Moreover, the controls in this device are extremely simple to use.
  • Additional features - This latest gadget from Google comes with unique features like Google assistance and capability to control smart devices. So, if you are aspiring for a smart home system, Nest Wi-Fi router accomplishes the task without any additional investment.
google nest wifi 2

Drawbacks of Using Google Nest WiFi

  • Does Not Support Latest Wi-Fi - Nest Wi-Fi does not support the latest Wi-Fi version, Wi-Fi 6. This is not a big deal for users who can do with internet speed upto 500 megabits per second.
  • Can Not Separate Network Bands - Lacks dedicated backhaul band. This router set cannot separate the bands as well. So, you will not be able to distinguish between 2.4Ghz and 5GHz bands using this device. It automatically steers the network between these two bands as the user moves with the laptop or smartphone from one room to the other.
  • Lacks Anti-malware Software - Though the device claims to ensure utmost safety and security of the user, it does not come with anti-malware tools.
  • Hassle to Update Advanced Settings - Only standard activities like updating security settings, changing passwords, logging in and optimizing the network for gaming activities can be performed from the application. If users need to make any advanced setting change like updates in WAN, DNS, LAN and ports, they need to install another application; the Google Wi-Fi app. This makes updating settings a bit complex.
  • Lacks Enough Jacks - The router does not have USB ports. This is a big mistake as USB ports are an integral part of any Wi-Fi device. The router comes with only one spare ethernet jack. There are no ethernet jacks available on the Wi-Fi points. This means users get only a single wired connection to use as a gaming console or as a smart home bridge. Due to lack of enough ethernet jacks, users will not be able to run a cable to the device to create a faster connection via daisy chain wired connection. Users can buy an additional ethernet hub that can connect to the Nest Wi-Fi router. As per Google, as most of the Nest users do not have additional devices connected to the device, this does not matter.
  • Does Not Have Specific Filters - Though the device comes with parental control, it does not have the option of granular age appropriate filters.
  • Average Gaming Capabilities - The device does not come with features required to be a dedicated gaming router. Users can have some control over the network. The system automatically prioritizes traffic for Google Stadia; this is the upcoming gaming platform from the brand.
  • Average Audio Quality - The sound quality is average and ok for casual listening. It is not the right device to play music or videos at parties.

Conclusion

Google Nest Wi-Fi router is a user-friendly device. The device earns high scores for this aesthetic design, ease of usability and overall performance. When considering close range internet speed, you might get some devices which offer better speed than Nest Wi-Fi.

It also lacks few must-have features and hence slightly lags behind the top Wi-Fi routers available in the market. Finally, regular users of Google’s products and services will find the Nest Wi-Fi router extremely helpful.

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