Google’s Nest WiFi mesh networking kit makes a virtue out to be small, while providing enough mesh networking performance for the normal home and an interactive extension speaker. Easy to create and use, it is the best mesh Wi-Fi system we’ve seen.
Google Assistant with music
Small and unobtrusive
Speaker doesn’t get loud enough
Minimal configuration options
Google proves that good stuff really can can be found in small packages using its Nest WiFi category of mesh routers ($269 for the 2-pack we reviewed). The compact mesh units have the energy to fill a house with strong Wi-Fi signal, and even include a built-in Google Home speaker for voice commands and playing music, giving owners the same type of smart speaker control made available from the Netgear Orbi Voice, a pricey add-on to your top pick for the prior best mesh Wi-Fi system, the Netgear Orbi.
The Nest WiFi kit isn’t perfect – we want to see more customization options and better add the individual units – but when compared to latest competing mesh systems, the Nest WiFi is smaller and less expensive compared to the Netgear Orbi with Orbi Voice extension, and stronger than the most recent Eero mesh system. Put simply, the two-piece kit takes the lead with regards to delivering Wi-Fi data and music. Read our whole Nest WiFi review to understand why its the very best mesh Wi-Fi solution out there. (Actually, we named the Nest WiFi among the finest products of the entire year inside our 2020 Tom’s Guide Awards.)
Nest WiFi review: Design
Made up of devices that appear to be big plastic marshmallows, the Nest WiFi mesh devices are small and simple to hide. Furthermore to stashing them on a shelf, they can fit on a windowsill or on a coffee table. The router includes a 4.3-inch diameter and is 3.6 inches tall. In comparison, the Point extensions certainly are a little smaller with a 4.0-inch diameter and 3.4-inch height. Both have shotgun-cooling holes at their bases and so are tiny in comparison to comparable Netgear Orbi devices, which are larger and measure practically 10 inches tall.
(Image credit: Google)
The Nest WiFi devices should match various home decors, because of Google Home’s evolving design language of organic and natural shapes without hard edges and soft colors. The router is available only in flat white, however the extensions can be found in Mist (light blue), Sand (tan) or white.
The Nest WiFi concept is comparable to Netgear’s Orbi Voice: the router may be the center of home networking as the Nest WiFi Point Extensions do double duty: They push the Wi-Fi signal farther in to the house and can react to voice commands and play audio. Essentially, the extensions certainly are a blend of a mesh extender and a Google Home Mini smart speaker.
Alone, the router sells for $169 and may cover 2,200 square feet, according to Google. The router and an extension two-pack, which will do to fill to 3,800 square feet, costs $269. In comparison, it took three of the older Google WiFi disks to fill roughly that same space. The Nest WiFi three-pack escalates the coverage to 5,400 square feet for $349. From then on, each additional extension costs $149, a $50 savings weighed against the Netgear Orbi Voice speaker extension.
The Nest WiFi has the ability to accommodate up to 32 extensions, and all however the smallest homes will demand an extension or two. The glad tidings are that the prior generation of Google WiFi gear can be utilised as extensions with Nest WiFi to increase the network’s reach but without the audio tracks abilities.