Nest Wifi review: A mesh-Wi-Fi and smart speaker-mashup for Google Assistant fans

Nest Wifi review: A mesh-Wi-Fi and smart speaker-mashup for Google Assistant fans

Google ‘ s Nest Wifi is not to take new paths, by a smart speaker with a Wi-Fi access point. Netgear better it made with last year’s Orbi voice. But if you don’t need very high performance, the Netgear’s high-end mesh networks deliver, Nest Wifi-you will save money. A two-node system (a router plus an access point costs $269, compared to $350 for Netgear RBK50V kit.

The savings continue to should you decide to expand your network down the road, as each Nest Show (Google the name for its access points) will cost 149 US dollars, compared to $200 for each additional Orbi voice, satellite. But there is more to consider than just the price tags. If it is all in the Google ecosystem and prefer Google wizard, the Orbi voice, Amazon’s Alexa service does not float your boat. But if money is less of a Problem, and you have not committed to either digital assistant, Netgear’s product offers a significantly better performance at distance. It is also a far superior speaker, if not necessarily better, smart speakers; again depends on the of your digital assistant preference.

This review is part of our roundup of the best network-Wi-Fi-Router. Go there to find information about competing products and how we tested this.


The $269 system Google sent for this evaluation consists of a Nest Wi-Fi router ($169 if purchased solo) and a single Nest Wifi Point (is for$ 149 if purchased separately). The point, which is slightly smaller than the router, a Wi-Fi access point, and is a Google home page, the smart speaker-that is roughly equivalent in audio performance, a Nest to home Mini. I will be in audio later; for now, the most important thing to know about the Nest Wifi is that it is a Wi-Fi-5 (802.11 ac) – mesh networking system, and supports both star and daisy-chain and mesh topologies. In other words, data will travel back and forth between the router and a given satellite can directly, or it can bounce back and forth from one satellite to another.

Both the Nest Wi-Fi router, and the Nest is a Wifi Point are equipped with Bluetooth LE and Thread-radios for smart-home connectivity, but the Bluetooth radio on the router is currently dormant, and the Thread-radio rests in both devices. Thread is a low-power mesh networking technology, referred to originally by Nest Labs, but now supported by a wide range of companies in the development of the Internet of things (IoT) devices.

nest-wifi-and wifi-point back Michael brown / IDG

The back of the nest Wi-Fi router (left) and a Wifi-Point. Note the lack of the ethernet ports to the point.

Thread is an up-and-coming smart-home technology, but it is still not achieved mainstream market acceptance. Nest Wifi does not support both smart-home-technologies, the with reached the status of Z-Wave and Zigbee so it’s not as a smart home hub on its own. If that is what you need, are you looking for a Samsung SmartThings Wifi rinstead of external or TP-Link Deco M9 Plus. Samsung s-system to support both technologies, while the TP-Link Zigbee.

The Nest Wi-Fi router has only one LAN port (the other is a WAN port, use to connect the router to a broadband gateway), so you need to buy an ethernet switch if you have more than one device must be wired to your network.

High-end Router have said, in General, a four-port ethernet switch, but to be honest, this is usually not enough for advanced home networks, either. The Nest is a Wifi point, but not about every ethernet ports. This means that it can’t use wired ethernet for data backhaul. But this is only important if you make use of the infrastructure, and most of the houses do not. That is, the Orbi-Voice features a two-port ethernet switch, the es is the better choice for advanced users.

In terms of specifications, the Nest Wi-Fi router is a dual band AC2200 model supports four spatial streams in each direction (4×4) on the 5-GHz frequency band and two spatial streams in each direction (2×2) on the 2.4 GHz frequency band. The Nest is a Wifi Point is a dual-band, Wi-Fi, 5 mesh access point, but it only supports two flows in each direction on each frequency band. You will notice that the difference in throughput as soon as you move, your client device is removed from the router. In the case of my test laptop was connected in the same room as the router and the wireless with him, I measured impressive TCP throughput of 528.3 Mbit / s is only 10 percent lower than the more expensive Orbi RBK50V kit voice.

nest-wifi router and wifi the point-benchmarks Michael brown / IDG

A whole-home network hosted by the Nest Wifi and a Wifi-Point delivers a very strong performance in the close range and the client is connected to the router. It is not nearly as impressive when the client the connection to the point.

But if I moved a client in my great room, where it is connected to the Nest Wifi point, instead of to the router, TCP throughput dropped to an average of 84,7 Mbit / s—this in spite of the Point located just a few meters away from the client (see the floor plan show where I have the router, access point and client). The Orbi voice RBK50V delivered throughput of 335Mbps on-site. What explains the gap? The Orbi-system comes with Netgear’s best wireless router, the tri-band RBR50, which operates two independent networks in the 5 GHz frequency band and a third network on the 2.4 GHz band. One of the RBR50 the 5-GHz networks, it is powered by a 4×4-radio is dedicated to wireless data backhaul router.

Google says that the router alone should be able to shield up to a length of 2200-square foot house with Wi-Fi, so I decided to take the router back and benchmark it without the point. I wanted to see if the client connect to the router, which it numbers at any point in my 2,800 square foot home, instead of to the point, if the client was in other rooms of the house, would yield a higher benchmark. The it is not. TCP throughput is significantly higher with the point along with the router, as it was, only with the router, which tells me that the router alone have a tremendous reach.

nest-wifi router benchmarks Michael brown / IDG

out of fear That you don’t think you need the Nest Wifi-Point to serve as the 2,800-square foot home, like me, check the bottom number in this table, if I have a Benchmark of the router without you.

Nest-Wi-Fi-router-in functions

Here are some other important functions of the Nest-Wi-Fi router is not that I mention earlier: It supports multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO), so it is able to send more than one data-signal with the same radio channel. It supports beamforming allows to focus the router, the transmission of the signals, allowing more data to the client, in comparison with the radiation in the atmosphere. And it supports band steering, which allows the router to detect whether a client is able to on the 2.4 or 5-GHz frequency range, and then push the customer proactively to the least congested network.

Although the Nest Wi-Fi router, and Nest Wifi are Point backwards-compatible with previous Google-Wi-Fi, you will be using the Google Home app, not the Google Wifi app to set up the system. That is to say, to not show the latter app, a little bit of information about the clients in your network that the former you can see what access point the client is connected. This is useful information for Troubleshooting.

nest-wifi-ethernet ports 2 Michael brown / IDG

The Nest Wi-Fi router has a WAN port and a LAN port (both are gigabit-ethernet).

a Rudimentary parental control is summarized under the heading “family Wi-Fi”. You can use this setting to group the devices, and control all at the same time. Once you have created a group of devices you want to control, you can block devices from accessing “adult” content (what exactly is the “adult” is – content is not defined). You can also “pause” the internet is for the whole group with one command or at the push of a button within the app.

nest-Wi-Fi-parental control-schedule Michael brown / IDG

Once you have determined which devices you want to Nest Wifi is used the parental controls, you can schedule for when these devices are blocked from accessing the internet.

another useful function you can create time plans (from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on school nights—Sunday to Thursday for example), which prevent the devices in this group access the internet. This would be even more useful if parents could create a white list of sites allowed to visit kids – —ClassTrak or Aeries, for example, you manage your homework and progress. Even so, as with most router-based parental controls this feature, the effectiveness depends on whether each member of the family has their own device. If the family shares a laptop or a tablet, the internet will be stopped, for mom and dad with a specific device carefully, how thoroughly, as it is for the children.

you can create a password-protected guest network, and you have the option to display the password on-demand on Google Assistant-powered smart displays, like the Nest of stroke Max.

you can also touch a button in the Google Home app, and it shows the password on your smartphone or tablet, by E-Mail, or send it to someone via SMS.

While most users won’t care, Google gives you the ability to grant guests access to any or all clients in your network. You obviously do not want guests to have access to your entire network, but this feature could be useful if you want visitors to be able to stream music or Videos on a smart speaker, or Chromecast device to your TV or stereo system. It is an ” all-or-nothing matter, however; you can not choose to get visitors, to have such privileges.

nest-wifi-test-locations Michael brown / IDG

see you on this floor plan, where the Nest Wi-Fi router and the Nest WiFi were brought to Point in traffic, as well as the four locations at which the client PC for testing.

The Nest of Wifi-router is a very user friendly device, and advanced users can drill down to configure details, such as reserving an IP address for each network client, manually open the ports, and the forwarding of the packets from the internet to certain clients, and so on. The majority of consumers in the first place about these features, but I’ve seen other mainstream routers that simply ignore the more advanced users in the pursuit of user-friendliness. Kudos to Google for thinking of the advanced user.

you can also assign priority to dealing with each client on the network for one, two or four hours. Curious, the router is pre-configured from the factory to the permanent priority for traffic in connection with the Google-stages-online-gaming-service. It is activated easily enough to turn this off, and leave it, it should have no impact on your network if you not an em-stages user, but it seems to do presumptuous of Google to do this, considering how few people are.

Nest-Wifi-Point functions

nest-wifi-point-tip-to-back Michael brown / IDG

The Nest of Wifi-Point has

apart from the fact that a mesh of nodes, each Nest Wifi point is a Google-Assistant-powered smart speaker, with all the features that come with this technology. The a single 40mm driver for audio and music playback, four far-field microphones for the summoning of the Google wizard, and capacitive touch controls on the top of the speaker to stop the music playback and control the volume. *

The microphones can be disabled with a small switch on the back of the router. A LED on circles the bottom of the point lights up, if Google Assistant is listening and will respond to you. This LED lights orange when the Wi-Fi Point-the microphone is muted. You can also make the speaker and microphone to make VoIP calls via Google Duo. The people you call will see your telephone number, your caller ID, even if the calls are carried over your wifi network and not your mobile account.

I’m a big fan with multiple smart speakers sprinkled around the house, especially when you have to control a lot of smart-home devices. I also enjoy that the speaker is all around my house, so the combination of a smart-in speakers and a Wi-Fi access point in a single component a lot of appeal. As you can imagine, however, the single 40mm drivers in the Nest is a Wifi Point for a high-fidelity audio experience. It does a fair job of reproducing mid and high frequencies, but its bass response is anemic at best—it is certainly less than what the original Google home page and set the smart speaker, and it faded voice in comparison with the Orbi.

nest-wifi-power-adapter in a strip Michael brown / IDG

The Nest Wifi comes with a nice little wall-wart, the bar will not block the adjacent plug in a wall outlet./p>

The Nest of Wifi-Point, on the other hand, offers a function, the Orbi voice: you can group you with other Nest of Wifi-points and other Chromecast-compatible speakers, and stream the same music that you all of them. You can independently control the volume of each speaker, but the interruption of the music on, pause the music at all. I have also detected that a very small latency between the home Google speakers in my home office, and the Nest Wifi in my room, to hear an undesirable echo when I was able to play both speakers, the same music. I would not characterize these observations as a deal-killer, but no one should buy Nest Wifi system, you can expect a world-class multi-room audio system in the trade.

The bottom line

Nest Wifi is a good mesh network system, but I would not characterize, as it is one of the greats. It is very easy to set up, and with a smart-speaker integrated-access-point is a great feature, available for Google’s Assistant-a digital assistant of choice, and, you don’t expect best-in-class multi-room-audio-performance is provided. It is a great choice for anyone who is already a Google-Wifi-network that you want to expand.

Where the system falls short, for me, the speed with which the Nest is Wifi-Point. I can have no complaints about the ability of the system to cover my entire home, but as you can see from the charts in this story, I’ve tested several mesh-network-systems, a much higher throughput.

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Released on Thu, 21 Nov 2019 11:25:00 +0000

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