Google Nest WiFi is the combination we've been waiting for, merging the company's already popular WiFi mesh setup with its smart Home speakers.
As you can probably tell from that minimal design, this is all about simplicity. As such it's very easy to use and allows for a simple setup and easy running for any home.
The downside to that is you do lose some of the finer detail controls and throughput power that some of the dedicated router brands aspire to offer. But if you just want a simple setup that works then this is ideal.
Pricing is kept low, especially when you consider you're getting a smart speaker as part of the deal too. But is this the best WiFi router setup for your needs? Read on to find out everything you need to know in this Google Nest WiFi review.
Google Nest Wifi review: Design, build and features
Google Nest WiFi comprises a main router unit, which can be bought alone, and extra Point devices. The Router part is a very simple white matte plastic dome with a single LED light to show its connection. This part works as a stand alone router but has no Google Home speaker built in and tops out at a range of 2,200 square feet. This features both WAN and LAN ports, a grippy rubber base and a standard AC power port.
So, as you'd imagine, this is also sold as a set with the extender Point units. These can also be bought separately if you need to extend your home network.
Each one of these stylish white domes acts as a WiFi booster but also has a 360-degree speaker and 40mm driver inside along with four far-field microphones on the top. These are your range extenders that double as fully working smart speakers too.
The Point unit, which is that full Google Home speaker as well as a WiFi extender can get the range up to 5,400 square feet with the two included in the set. Unfortunately these Points don't come with Ethernet ports, unlike the previous generation. The smart speaker swap-in seems to make sense for the home users this is aimed at.
For those that own the original Google WiFi, it is possible to add the new Google Nest WiFi Points to that, for enhanced coverage with those smart speakers built in.
Google Nest Wifi review: Performance
Setup of the Google Nest WiFi is a simple enough process which works through the Google Home app. Once you've got that installed on your phone it's a case of following the steps as Google takes care of most of the work for you. We ran into a few glitches but nothing a connection retry didn't fix. You do need to carry out the process for each new device you add but once done it will all automatically update for you.
This does mean you lose out on more complex functionality like port forwarding or dedicated device controls, but are rewarded with an easier life, as this just works.
There are fewer interface options than the previous generation offers but that's because they're now automated. This means your devices will automatically be connected to the best WiFi point where they are at that time. It's peace of mind for most but does take away the option for specific device to device control options that some users might want.
Once up and running, speeds were impressive in our Ookla speed tests carried out on a 100Mbps Verizon setup.
The 5GHz bandwidth offered a 100.68 Mbps download rate while the 2.4GHz topped out at 34.72Mbps. In a real world example that meant a Steam download of 1.5GB hit a peak speed of 12.5MB/s on the 5GHz band and 7.1MB/s on the 2.4GHz band.
Google Nest Wifi review: Price and warranty
Pricing is varied depending on what you want for your setup. If you want to simply get the Router unit, without Google Home smart speaker functionality and a range of 2,200 square feet, then that can be yours for $149.
Each smart speaker toting Point extender unit can be added at a cost of $149 each, which will add a further 1,600 square feet to your WiFi range. You can buy the Google Nest WiFi and one Nest Point for a discounted price of $269, saving you $50 against the standalone costs.
Or you can go for the full package deal and get the Google Nest WiFi Router with two Points, giving you a total range of 5,400 square feet, for $349, saving you $120 against the individual costs.
The Google Home Nest Wifi works out more expensive than the direct Amazon Eero competition, at $249 for a three pack. But then that doesn't come with built-in speaker functionality like the Google system offers.
Google offers you a limited warranty that allows you a full refund if you are unhappy and return the product within 30 days. The warranty itself will run for a full two years from the date of delivery.
Should I buy the Google Nest Wifi?
If you want a super simple home mesh WiFi system that's easy to setup and run, and will fix dead spots of connection, this is ideal. If you're into the idea of Google Home smart speakers, or want to extend your current line-up, this is a great way to do that while also enhancing your wireless home system.
If you are looking for more complex controls and want the very best performance speed for your money, then a more dedicated router option might be for you.