Google’s latest mesh system (Google Nest Wifi Pro) is on the market and already selling quickly. The new mesh system offers some of the familiar options seen in most mesh solutions wrapped into an incredibly user-friendly experience and we have been testing out a pair of these for around a week now to see how well they perform.
So how user-friendly? If you have experience using the Google Home app for other Google devices around the home, you’ll take to this incredibly quickly. As you add it like you would any other device via the app. Making for a unique experience vs having to use additional apps or having to (remember and) enter an IP address into a desktop browser. Everything (literally) is handled within Google Home.
You are able to buy a single router or in sets of two or three. Providing multiples of up to 2200 square feet of coverage each (up to 6600 square feet total). And like most mesh systems, it can be expanded using additional access points. Each unit can support managing up to 100 devices within your network (up to 300 devices with three units).
The units feature a very simple design. Simple, as in no buttons and just a single status LED on the front near the bottom. Beyond that, they are smooth white shells with a few connections on the back. With the exception that you can buy a three-pack in a multi-color design to mix things up a little.
With such a simple design, they practically blend in just about anywhere. Mostly because you wouldn’t be able to tell what they are unless you have experience with Nest routers. Everyone else will be wondering what on Earth they are. Decor items to spice the room up with or some kind of alien egg beacon calling home.
Those connections on the back are just as simple as the rest of the units. You have just two gigabit Ethernet ports. One for connecting to your modem and one to a single device like a desktop computer or a network switch (although we’d recommend the switch, which I’ll get to in a moment). Beyond that, there is just a power connection and there is absolutely nothing else.
You get both power cables and a single Ethernet cable for putting between the router and modem. All other Ethernet cables will need to be bought separately. But this is definitely enough to get you going if all of your devices can make use of Wi-Fi.
As for our recommendation of connecting a switch to the one available port, this will allow you to connect a number of wired devices to it vs just one. You can also get your hands on an unmanaged gigabit switch for relatively cheap now, so it won’t cost much to add it to your setup. Without this, you connect your one device and then you will be out of wired connections (per unit). Personally, we prefer to have at least 4 ports on the back for devices.
Then again, many things have been going wireless these days. So a vast majority of your network devices can typically make use of Wi-Fi.
So about that user-friendly setup! This is as simple as plugging it in, breaking out the Google Home app, and adding it as a new device. The app will guide you through a few options, like naming your network and selecting a password. It will then walk you through adding whatever additional units you have (depending on the kit you bought). Beyond that, you’ll have some basic options you can adjust.
Once you get through these steps, the system will be online and you can start connecting devices. As mentioned, you can control up to 100 devices per unit, allowing for a vast network of devices. Perfect for a home littered with IoT devices.
Also perfect for the new Matter protocol that recently (finally) saw its first official release of standards, leading to devices that are now slowly trickling into the market. Matter is set to be the next Zigbee. Only this time, it is meant to take off, bringing a universal standard to most smart home IoT devices. If all works out, it will lead to a much smart home better experience that doesn’t need a dozen separate apps installed at once to be able to make use of.
This router will fully support the Matter protocol, allowing it to properly interact with other Matter devices. Allowing you to get a headstart with Matter at home.
Access/Control – Google Home (app)
You find some of the common options found in most routers and mesh systems, including the ability to set static IP addresses, port-forwarding, guest network, IPv6, and more. All of these settings are available within Google Home by clicking on the gear icon at the top-right of the device page (you get to this by selecting the router within the list of devices within Google Home).
The options are neatly categorized into various menu options that don’t take long to learn if you have any experience working with routers. Not as many as some of your more advanced routers, but it definitely covers the basics and more.
If you scare easily when it comes to these settings or have no idea what any of them mean, you could completely ignore them and simply start adding your devices to your new Wi-Fi like you would any other router. All the additional options are optional and for those that need them.
One option that we do recommend (if you do play with the settings), is to enable the Lost Connection feature. This will notify you if you lose internet causing your network to fall offline. Useful if you have devices on your network that depend on the internet to function properly. Google Home will send you a notification in this situation so that you are made aware the moment it happens, allowing you to resolve the connectivity issue if you are able to.
This is a Wi-Fi 6E router, which offers wireless speeds of up to 2x the speed of WI-Fi 6. Of course, this is where we like to use the term “theoretical” since you will still be limited by the hardware as well as the rest of your network in general. Not to mention internet speeds.
This brings us to one of our few dislikes. We have a multi-gigabit network but were only able to see online speeds between 700-900Mbps on average. This is because even though you can get multi-gigabit connectivity between devices over Wi-Fi on this system, the Ethernet ports on the back are still only gigabit. So you won’t get more than a single gigabit at most if what you are doing involves the internet.
This is one of the few things we didn’t like so much as it alienates those that are lucky enough to have access to multi-gigabit internet. Which includes Google’s own Google Fiber service that offers 2Gbps accounts in some areas (and is getting ready to offer much more in the near future). We found this to be a little odd as multi-gigabit routers have finally started to become more than just a model or two in the market. These are typically standalone routers and not mesh systems though. This is something to consider though as multi-gigabit is going to become more popular over the next few years as ISPs rush to compete.
Another thing with this system is that you don’t have desktop access. The only way to activate and use this system is by using n Android or iOS device. As mentioned, this is fine for those looking for a simple experience. However, advanced users typically like desktop access to multi-tasking and complex operations. This isn’t a huge issue, but still something certain consumers won’t like.
There are also no USB ports on these routers, which prevents you from using any network storage via USB. Again, not a terrible loss, but some mesh options do support this. You just don’t find a lot of consumers that make use of it. That is what makes this a smaller point but still a point nonetheless.
Those are just the few things we didn’t like. However, the things we did like outnumber this (thankfully). For one, the price of these kits, although it seems expensive, is competitive. Mesh systems are not cheap and typically ride within the $199-$399 range depending on how many units the system comes with (the single-unit is $199, the two-unit kit is $299, and the three-unit kit is $399). This lands this system right into that exact range which is perfect. Unlike Netgear, which can stretch a bit higher in price (sometimes justified, sometimes not).
Then there is that user-friendliness that we keep talking about. We absolutely love how quick it is to get started and how easy it is to maintain the option of the router system.
Although we prefer to see more ports, this isn’t the only system that has limited Ethernet ports. Mostly, because it really is targeted at those who are mainly looking for Wi-Fi to be the main lifeforce of their network. So if Wi-Fi can drive everything in your home, this is a great choice. If you need a lot of wired connectivity, you’ll either need to make use of that before-mentioned network switch or look for a different router solution.
We also like how simple their physical design is. They can blend in just about anywhere, and look good as long as you don’t scratch up their glossy surface.
They also feature some powerful range at 2200 square feet per unit, allowing you to cover most homes outside of some of those crazy mansions (that typically need something a little more professional anyway). This covers a lot of ground, making for an option for just about anyone.
This router is for the user who wants something plug-and-play and plenty powerful when it comes to the range and number of devices on the network. Great for the smart home, especially when considering it is a thread router with Matter support. Even better if you don’t like to jump deep down the rabbit hole when it comes to router settings (although it still has plenty).
However, if you are looking to jump on the multi-gigabit bandwagon with options like Google Fiber (go figure), plan on running a multi-gigabit wired network with plenty of throughput, and prefer to dive into that rabbit hole with deep settings that can be accessed from an app or desktop–this isn’t for you. I think “Pro” in the name is more for marketing than actual performance/features. Although support for Matter is a notable feature to have, this would be best fit for novices or general intermediate users.
|Available via the following retailers:
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| Our Rating
| Average Price*
$199.99 – $399.99
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- Up to 2200 square feet per router
- Router 2-pack: Up to 4400 square feet of coverage
- Router 3-pack: Up to 6600 square feet of coverage
- Expandable IEEE 802.11s mesh Wi-Fi · Scalable and flexible system – add routers for more coverage
- Automatic Wi-Fi optimization:
- Proactive band steering directs your devices to radio channels with the best performance
- Proactive 802.11k/v client steering enables seamless mesh point roaming for uninterrupted Wi-Fi
- Auto-QoS for video calls
- Device prioritization, up to 8 hours
- Self-monitors and diagnoses network issues
- Smart home connectivity
- Thread border router
- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
- Designed to support higher-power 6 GHz channels, when available (AFC ready)
- Wi-Fi 6E, 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard
- AXE5400 – combined speeds up to 5.4 Gbps
- 2×2 (6 GHz), 2×2 (5 GHz), 2×2 (2.4 GHz)
- Wi-Fi 6E is up to 2x faster than Wi-Fi 6
- Can handle up to 100 connected devices per point (up to 300 devices in a 3-pack network)
- Dual-core 64-bit ARM CPU
- 1 GB RAM, 4 GB flash
- Security built-in
- WPA3 encryption
- Secure booting and software updates help protect Nest Wifi Pro from running unauthorized software and router hacks
- Automatic security and software updates
- Family protections, including parental controls
- Manage devices connected to your network
- Create separate guest network access
- Ports and connectors
- Two Ethernet ports support 1 Gbps wired speeds per router
- 22.5 W (10 V/2.25 A)
- Snow, Fog, Linen, Lemongrass
- Dimensions and weight
- 130 mm height
- 117 mm width
- 85 mm depth
- 595 g weight
- Nest Wifi Pro (Wi-Fi 6E) is made with approximately 60% recycled materials based on product weight.
- Nest Wifi Pro (Wi-Fi 6E) cannot be combined in a mesh network with previous-generation Nest Wifi or Google Wifi routers or points
- 1-year limited warranty
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
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