May 26, 2024

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Google Nest Wifi Pro review

4 min read

Google Nest Wifi Pro

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The Nest Wifi Pro is a significant upgrade over the older-generation model, released in 2019.

This generation does not support smart speakers through Google Assistant. However, the upgrade to WiFi 6E has been long overdue. This is one of the most affordable ways to get access to 6GHz network.

How does the triple-pack fare in tests? In order to test Google’s new mesh Wi-Fi, we tested it for a whole month in our three-bedroom home.

Design and Setup

Google Nest Wifi Pro review

 

Google has done a great job with the Nest Wifi Pro. The Nest Wifi Pro looks clean and unobtrusive and would look ornamental if not for the cords that protrude from the back.

Each device is the same, whether you buy it as a unit or add one or more nodes. The main router will be the one that is used, but the rest of the stations can be placed around the house.

Google’s usual simplicity makes setup a breeze – particularly if you already have your rooms and groups set up and are fully integrated into Google Home. After scanning and placing the QR code, you’ll receive a clear indication of connection strength.

The app is the main interface after installation. Each one has an LED to indicate the status of the network. This is the easiest system to set up that we have ever used.

Google Nest Wifi Pro review

The port configuration is located on the back of each device, and consists of a power socket between two Ethernet ports. This is an upgrade from the single port on the Google Nest Wifi. The bad news is that these are only Gigabit-capable ports.

Google’s decision to forgo 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet is odd, especially since there are options such as the Eero Pro 6E and top-of the-line models, like the Orbi RBKE963, that offer a 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Nest Wifi Pro is also not backward compatible with older Nest Wifi Stations, so legacy users who want to save money will have to replace their entire system. Another potential benefit is also missed. This was not unexpected.

Smart home features and support

Google Nest Wifi Pro review

The theme continues with the features and performance, even if the design and set-up are on the lower end of the spectrum.

The Google Home app is generally well-designed, intuitive and neat. We think that it lacks depth, but it is the only system control portal. There are some basic features, such as port forwarding and guest network functions, plus the ability to set up devices according to time periods.

Google SafeSearch has a Family Safety feature that lets you set up individual device schedules, and limit certain content. This is only available in ‘on or off’ mode.

There are also some cool little graphs that show you usage and have a speed test built in. In the end, however, none of them are particularly unique or useful.

Anyone looking for a simple mesh network will be happy with this, but anyone wanting true control of their home network is likely to be disappointed.

Google Nest Wifi Pro review

 

We’re most annoyed by the fact that you can only use one SSID for the entire network, and then distribute devices according to the three bands.

The limitation is not unique to Google. Other mesh systems do not offer it either. However, there are still some issues that arise when connecting smart home gadgets on the 2.4GHz frequency.

This is nothing new. It’s still a bit bizarre, even though this system is grounded in smart homes.

It’s a relief to know that the Nest Wifi Pro will be able to serve as a matter controller, and a thread border router in the future, just like the Google Nest Hub Max shown above. This isn’t something we’ve tested, but it’s a bonus that’s future-proof.

It’s just bundled in a package with a lack of security features and other more advanced features like dynamic DNS or VPN connections.

The Performance 

Google Nest Wifi Pro review

The Nest Wifi Pro’s performance is not enough to make up for the shortcomings of its design or features.

The fact that it is the latest Wi-Fi standard should make it stand out, but it was difficult to get the 6GHz band working. Without the option to split bands you are left to try and get compatible devices to work with it. You can forget the networking, and then reconnect later.

In the UK there is no way to select or view the channel widths. This means that you can’t target the 160Mhz setting which would unlock the 6GHz, like you are able in the US. You’re then generally restricted to 5GHz.

We didn’t experience any network drops, and the speeds we tested were consistent. Unfortunately, the speeds are not impressive.

The speeds were similar to those of rivals (and our typical Wi-Fi 5 Virgin Media hub 4) in the same room. They ran at around 500Mbps. However, things fell apart when we went upstairs. We saw a drop to 240Mbps when we would normally expect 300Mbps. The story was the same in the loft bedroom despite the fact that one of the nodes had been placed there.

Prices and Competition

Google Nest Wifi Pro review

It’s interesting to analyze the price of Nest Wifi Pro. On paper, the single-unit price of $199.99/PS190 represents a superb deal for a WiFi 6E router.

The three-pack is still only $399.99/PS379.99. Only the $350/PS350 TP Link Deco XE75 is comparable, and we haven’t tested it yet.

As we have shown above, the problem is that you don’t get a large portion of benefits from other systems. Even though it’s relatively cheap, you might not be able to get the main selling point of 6GHz if you run into the same issues we did.

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