Google Nest Wifi Pro review: Wi-Fi 6E on the cheap | Tech Ops

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The Google Nest Wifi Professional brings much-needed Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E help to its routers, alongside extra ethernet ports, and loads of different enhancements. It additionally loses just a few issues alongside the best way, but it surely’s a secure purchase in the event you’re in search of a plug-and-play mesh router that simply works.

The Google Nest Wifi might have launched again in 2019, but it surely nonetheless holds up as an ideal choice even immediately. That stated, its lack of Wi-Fi 6 means it’s actually beginning to present its age. Enter the Google Nest Wifi Professional, which provides fairly just a few adjustments to its predecessor, together with Wi-Fi 6E help.

The Nest Wifi’s lack of Wi-Fi 6 help was one in every of its most obtrusive omissions, so the soar to Wi-Fi 6E could be very welcome. It’s not all upgrades, nonetheless. The Nest Wifi Professional ditches the built-in Google Assistant audio system present in its predecessor. Is what Google’s newest router positive aspects value what it has misplaced? Let’s discover out in our Google Nest Wifi Professional evaluate.

About this Google Nest Wifi Professional evaluate: I examined the Google Nest Wifi Professional over a interval of a month. The unit was supplied by Google for this evaluate.

What you might want to know concerning the Google Nest Wifi Professional

nest wifi pro5

Andrew Grush / Android Authority

  • Google Nest Wifi Professional (1-pack): $199.99 / £189.99 / €219.99
  • Google Nest Wifi Professional (2-pack): $299.99 / €329.99
  • Google Nest Wifi Professional (3-pack): $399.99 / £379.99

The Google Nest Wifi Professional is a follow-up to the Nest Wifi (2nd gen). Like all of Google’s earlier routers, the Nest Wifi Professional is a mesh router. Briefly, a mesh router makes use of a number of nodes to increase your community evenly throughout your private home or enterprise. It additionally considerably reduces weak zones which might be typical of conventional routers. The Professional helps as much as 2,200 sq ft per router, although having multiple router in a smaller residence can nonetheless be extraordinarily helpful for lowering weak spots.

The Nest Wifi Professional makes some fairly huge adjustments in comparison with its predecessor, with the obvious being the aforementioned addition of Wi-Fi 6 and 6E help. It’s theoretically able to speeds as much as 5.4Gbps, over double the two.2Gbps theoretical most of the Google Nest Wifi. Bear in mind real-world speeds by no means get anyplace near that. In actuality, you don’t have granular management over how the router connects every system. The tri-band router additionally routinely switches between 2.5GHz, 5GHz, and a single 6GHz band. It’s additionally value mentioning the 6GHz band is primarily supposed for communication between the nodes. It’s attainable to attach appropriate units on to the 6GHz band, however typically, you’ll in all probability be higher off on 2.5 or 5GHz as we’ll clarify a bit later on this evaluate.

The Nest Wifi Professional’s design can be fairly a bit completely different from the 2nd gen Nest Wifi. The 2019 Nest Wifi had one predominant router that acted because the brains of the community, backed by both additional Nest Wifi items or cheaper extenders referred to as Nest Wifi Factors. The Factors had no ethernet entry however as an alternative doubled as Google Assistant audio system. The Nest Wi-Fi Professional does away with all of that.

When you’ve got a number of items, any of them may be your predominant router, with the others appearing as extenders. The nodes are a tad greater than the Wifi Nest router and bigger once more in comparison with the Factors, coming in at somewhat over 5 inches tall and a tad over three inches huge. Whereas the Nest Wifi {hardware} was completely rounded, the Professional has rounded edges however a barely boxier design.

The Google Nest Wifi Professional brings loads of new options, although it additionally removes just a few extras like built-in Google Assistant audio system.

One other main change is the dearth of sensible speaker performance. The dearth of an audio setup just like the Nest Wifi Factors means you possibly can’t use any of Google’s Professional-tier routers as stand-ins for a Google Nest speaker. On the plus aspect, the Nest Wifi system solely had ethernet ports on the principle routers, not the ports.

Nonetheless, now that the nodes are at all times equivalent, the assured two ethernet ports per node open up additional alternatives attributable to their ethernet ports. First, for those who need quicker communication between the nodes, you possibly can arrange a wi-fi backhaul with the Professional. Doing this lets the nodes talk straight, as an alternative of counting on the 6GHz spectrum. The additional ports can be helpful for bridges and different wired sensible residence units.

Most mesh routers available on the market are available in easy colours like grey, white, black, or some mixture. Google goes a really completely different route with its pure earth tones. There are 4 completely different colours to select from: Snow (pictured), Linen, Fog, and Lemongrass.

The Google Nest Wifi Professional begins at $200 for a single router and goes as excessive as $400 for the three-pack. You’ll find the Wifi Professional in all its configurations at main retailers together with Amazon, Greatest Purchase, and straight from Google. Sometimes 6E-capable routers begin round $400 and might simply go as excessive as $1,000, so Google is aiming at a extra inexpensive worth level with the Nest Wifi Professional.

In case you’re on a good finances however completely need Wi-Fi 6E help, you’ll discover that the Professional affords comparable efficiency and options for much less. There’s only one elephant to handle — Multi-Gig help. The Professional’s ethernet ports are capped at one Gigabit, which for many of us isn’t going to be an issue. For these with quicker connections, you may need to think about one other router if you wish to make the most of your ISP to its fullest.

What’s good?

nest wifi pro4

Andrew Grush / Android Authority

It could have “Professional” within the identify, however the Nest Wifi Professional is all about simplicity. This all begins with the app expertise. Setup and administration of the router are carried out totally from the Google House app. One benefit to that is you’re possible already acquainted with this setup, particularly in the event you’ve used different Google units like Chromecast and Nest audio system.

Simplicity is core to the Nest Wifi Professional expertise. You may get it unboxed and arrange in lower than 20 minutes.

All you might want to do is verify for a brand new system within the House app, click on on the automated wizard, and comply with the on-screen prompts. Establishing the two-node configuration of the Nest Professional Wifi took me all of twenty minutes, together with the time it took to replace the units.

We do need to point out that the Nest Professional is managed by cloud software program, as is typical of different higher-end routers. Google’s software program prioritizes video calls and different vital actions, and you may’t override its optimizations. On the intense aspect, you possibly can disable them fully if privateness is a priority.

Whereas the House app is fairly primary, it permits for some barely extra superior options comparable to WPA3, IPv6, DHCP IP reservations, and enabling 160MHz channel on the 5GHz band for higher efficiency on appropriate system. It additionally makes it straightforward to arrange options like Parental controls and visitor Wi-Fi sharing.

The Nest Wifi Professional makes it straightforward to create a community particularly in your company, leaving your private units shielded from prying eyes on the community. You may even show a QR code in your Android system or a Nest Hub, permitting the visitor to shortly scan the QR code as a option to log in quicker.

The Parental Controls may be simply arrange from the House app, however do understand that they’re a bit restricted. You may activate Google’s default secure seek for choose units, you possibly can pause them, and you may create particular routines like bedtime for automated pausing at sure factors within the day. Those that need deeper management over what their youngsters can entry on the internet are going to want to search for a software program answer in the event that they nonetheless need to think about selecting up the Nest Wifi Professional.

Google’s newest routers are not in a position to double as sensible audio system, however you should use voice instructions for sure community capabilities by way of a Google Assistant-capable speaker or smartphone. I significantly appreciated the flexibility to pause my child’s units utilizing a easy voice command, although it’s also possible to get different primary utilization stats as effectively.

Apart from Nest audio system and telephones, the Google Nest Wifi Professional may also play properly with most of your present and future sensible residence devices. The Nest Wifi Professional is a Thread router and absolutely helps the brand new Matter sensible residence protocol. Though the usual continues to be in its infancy, it’s shortly changing into the usual in sensible residence expertise, so we’re glad to see Google absolutely embracing it right here. If sensible residence compatibility is vital to you, this can be a huge win for the Google Nest Wifi Professional.

For these with slower connections, you’ll additionally need to be aware of the Google Nest Wifi Professional’s potential to prioritize a single system. The principle enchantment for single-device prioritization is make money working from home, which is precisely what I used it for in my assessments. I ran just a few velocity assessments with precedence on and off. I discovered that in sure elements of the day, the prioritization on my predominant laptop computer actually made a giant distinction. It’s because I take advantage of Starlink, and generally within the latter elements of the day it will probably get a bit congested with my youngsters all residence.

My work laptop computer at all times carried out flawlessly, even when different units on our community needed to take a notable hit to realize that. On the default router, I usually have to inform my youngsters to get off YouTube or no matter it’s they’re as much as. Now I can let software program be the dangerous man. For what it’s value, the non-optimized units I used nonetheless labored. I may simply inform that Google was giving my laptop computer extra bandwidth. When you’ve got actually quick broadband, you’ll in all probability not must allow this. For these of us with slower or inconsistent broadband, it’s a very nice addition.

nest wifi pro starlink

Andrew Grush / Android Authority

The Google Nest Wifi Professional’s simplicity and product integration aren’t the one issues that stand out; additionally it is a lot quick. As beforehand talked about, Starlink’s web service has fairly inconsistent speeds relying on once you’re utilizing it. Nonetheless, after over a month of use, I used to be in a position to make some observations concerning the speeds of the Google Wifi Professional.

Sometimes, my laptop computer examined round 180Mbps plugged into the router by way of ethernet, besides throughout utilization peaks, which may be unpredictable. Utilizing the default Starlink Wi-Fi connection, I noticed notably decrease speeds averaging nearer to 110Mbps when close to the router, however the again of the home noticed connections that have been half of this.

The Nest Wifi Professional is a lot quick and constant, although you’ll be restricted to sub-gig speeds.

Fortunately, the Google Nest Wifi Professional not solely supplied quicker speeds, however was additionally far more constant all through the home. I noticed speeds within the 140-160Mbps vary within the rooms nearest to my predominant Nest Wifi Professional system. Rooms additional to the again of the home noticed slower speeds of round 100Mbps on common, however this was nonetheless noticeably higher than the default router may present.

I examined plugging my predominant router and the secondary router collectively by way of cable, and, unsurprisingly, I noticed even higher efficiency at the back of the home. The connection then carried out nearer to round 150Mbps, although the entrance nonetheless gave the impression to be a bit quicker.

Whereas most of my time was spent at residence, I did pack up the Google Nest Wifi Professional and take a look at it for just a few days on a a lot quicker community at an area small-town co-working area I generally frequent. The connection there’s a a lot quicker 1Gbps line. I’m glad to say speeds have been exceptionally good right here.

I sometimes noticed speeds closest to the routers attain a mean of round 850-900Mbps, although even essentially the most distant elements of the three,000 sq ft constructing noticed connections effectively above 300Mbps. Even exterior on the patio, I used to be in a position to obtain a connection of round 160Mbps. I by no means received a full 1Gbps out of the assessments, but it surely will get very shut. For clarification, this was throughout off-peak instances when only a few folks have been utilizing the community. Even throughout extra congested instances of the day speeds remained within the 300Mbps+ vary.

What’s not so good?

nest wifi pro2

Andrew Grush / Android Authority

The Google Nest Wifi Professional has quite a bit going for it, however nothing is ideal. Over the past decade, we’ve seen a bevy of merchandise rocking professional branding from telephones to recreation techniques and even equipment. In some circumstances, the Professional actually means it’s a top-notch mannequin for professionals and energy customers. Different instances, it’s extra a branding alternative. The Nest Wifi Professional matches into that latter group.

Apart from 6E help, the Nest Wifi Professional doesn’t really feel significantly professional and arguably would have been higher off dubbed the Nest Wifi (third gen) to keep away from inevitable disappointment for true energy customers. Its setup course of and app options all scream mainstream consumer. Even the design is clearly extra mainstream and fashionable. The identify Professional, although, may go away some to consider the Nest Wifi Professional packs extra punch than it does.

As beforehand talked about, Multi-Gig help is out of the query right here, which is a serious draw back in the case of future-proofing. However that’s not the one main superior function lacking. Whereas we respect Nest’s inclusion of single system prioritization, pro-grade routers usually have the flexibility to arrange bandwidth limits and different community restrictions per system. Google doesn’t permit this degree of customization or freedom. It has a good quantity of options, it simply holds your hand by all of them.

One other instance of hand-holding: Nest Wifi Professional doesn’t permit splitting 2.4GHz, 5Ghz, and 6GHz into separate SSIDs. For those who don’t know what which means, basically some routers permit each band to create a separate community — often known as a SSID (Service Set IDentifier). The explanation for splitting is that it provides the consumer the flexibility to select the quickest band attainable. In case you don’t cut up the bands the {hardware} routinely will decide which band your system makes use of. Since 2.4GHz tends to have the most effective power, automated switching will usually favor it over different selections.

Do not let the identify idiot you. The Nest Wifi Professional is extra for mainstream customers than energy customers.

The backhaul that gives communication between the a number of Nest Wifi Professional units can be restricted solely to 6GHz. Google selected this selection as a result of the 6GHz band is much less congested and, due to this fact, in concept, can present quicker speeds. Sadly, when you have thick partitions and different obstacles, you’ll additionally discover 6GHz has extra problem penetrating objects than 2.5GHz or 5GHz. In my expertise, it wasn’t a deal-breaker, however those that need the most effective speeds attainable will both need to think about one other router or will need to follow a wired backhaul.

Even the Wi-Fi 6E help is healthier than it sounds. My Google Pixel 6 had hassle connecting to the Wi-Fi 6E help and even when it did handle it — the speeds weren’t actually noticeably completely different. I examined this on each my residence community and my native co-working area, and in each conditions, the Pixel 6 carried out about the identical no matter what channel it was on.

Those that love compatibility shall be a bit annoyed to study that the Nest Wifi Professional doesn’t work with older {hardware}, a break in custom from its predecessor. The explanation for that is that the Professional solely helps 6GHz for communication between units, and clearly the older technology {hardware} lacks this. It’s comprehensible why Google dropped help, but it surely’s nonetheless a bit irritating (and costly) to must improve each node in your own home to make the swap to the Professional.

Google Nest Wifi Professional evaluate: The decision

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Andrew Grush / Android Authority

The Google Nest Wifi Professional is completely an ideal improve in the event you’re coming from an older Google router and want to exchange your complete community with a well-recognized system. The identical applies in the event you’re upgrading from something constructed round Wi-Fi 5 or earlier. Simply bear in mind that regardless of the deceptive identify, this can be a mainstream router. It labored nice at every thing I — a non-pro consumer — threw at it, from gaming classes to video calls, and required little tinkering. And that’s who that is for: those that desire a good, balanced mesh router that’s straightforward to arrange and alter when wanted.

For Professional customers who want extra superior options, you’re higher off contemplating the Netgear Orbi AXE11000 ($699) or Eero Professional 6E ($400). The Orbi has Multi-Gig help and tons of customization choices within the settings that you just simply gained’t get from Google however at $700 it’s removed from inexpensive. If you’d like greater than the Nest Wifi Professional may give however don’t need to lay our a fortune, you’ll discover the Eero Professional 6E 2-pack retails for $400. It could additionally usually be discovered on sale for as little as $300. The Eero helps Multi-Gig connections and has just a few extra superior choices for energy customers, but it surely additionally holds a few of its greatest options behind a paywall. Many of those identical paywall options may be discovered free on the Nest Wifi Professional comparable to bandwidth prioritization, although in additional restricted types than you’ll get with the Eero Professional 6E.

Don’t care about energy consumer options? In case you’re in search of a plug-and-play mesh router that simply works, I completely advocate selecting up the Google Nest Wifi Professional. It’s a lot future-proof, has strong speeds, and trounces all different budget-oriented Wi-Fi 6E routers by way of velocity and options. In case you don’t care about Wi-Fi 6e help, you even have the choice of selecting up the unique Nest Wifi ($150). You’ll lose the Wi-Fi 6/6E help however acquire sensible speaker performance if add Nest Factors to the community.

Google Nest Wifi Pro

Google Nest Wifi Professional

Wi-Fi 6E help • A number of colours • Future-proofing

The Google Nest Wifi Professional router will blanket your private home in Wi-Fi.

The Google Nest Wifi Professional is the corporate’s 2022 mesh router system. It helps Wi-Fi 6E with a 6GHz spectrum, giving your private home quick, dependable, and low-latency Wi-Fi.

Prime Google Nest Wifi Professional questions and solutions

Sadly, no. The Nest Wifi Professional requires Wi-Fi 6E for communication between the completely different nodes, which earlier Google {hardware} didn’t help.

To maximise efficiency you possibly can allow the 160MHz channel over 5GHz, although Google cautions that some units usually are not appropriate and should expertise decrease efficiency. In our testing we discovered it labored good, although it actually is dependent upon in case your computing units correctly help it or not.

In case your predominant concern is utilizing Wi-Fi 6E with newer computer systems and cellular units solely, no you could be disillusioned. It’s because, much like the Eero Professional 6E, the 6GHz band is used largely for speaking with the hubs, and due to this fact isn’t essentially optimized for straight connecting Wi-Fi 6E units. It’s attainable, however you’ll discover higher efficiency from a higher-end (Learn: $500+) Wi-Fi 6E router.

Google Nest Wifi Pro review: Wi-Fi 6E on the cheap