|System on a chip|
|Dimensions||Diameter: 4.17 inches (106 mm)|
Height: 2.70 inches (69 mm)
|Mass||12 oz (340 g)|
Google Nest Wifi, the successor to Google Wifi, is a line of mesh-capable wireless routers and add-on points developed by Google as part of the Google Nest family of products. The first generation was announced on October 4, 2016, and released in the United States on December 5, 2016. The second generation was announced at the Pixel 4 hardware event on October 15, 2019, and was released in the United States on November 4, 2019.
Google Nest Wifi aims to provide enhanced Wi-Fi coverage through the setup of multiple Nest Wifi devices in a home. Nest Wifi automatically switches between access points depending on signal strength.
Android Police reported in September 2016 that Google was preparing to introduce a mesh-capable wireless router with enhanced range, along with its October 4 date of announcement and US$129 price point. Google Wifi was officially announced on October 4, 2016, with expected availability in the United States in December. The device became available in the United States on December 5, 2016, in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2017, in Canada on April 28, 2017, in France and Germany on June 26, 2017, in Australia on July 20, 2017, in Hong Kong and Singapore on August 30, 2017, and in Philippines on June 26, 2018.
The first generation Google Wifi features 802.11ac connectivity with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels, 2x2 antennas, and support for beamforming. It has two gigabit Ethernet ports, and contains a quad-core processor with 512 MB RAM and 4 GB flash memory. Wi-Fi access can be controlled through a companion mobile app.
In 2020, Google relaunched the first-generation Google Wifi, with minor hardware changes and at a relatively lower price.
The second generation of the product was officially announced at the Pixel 4 hardware event on October 15, 2019, renamed as Google Nest Wifi as part of the company's shift towards its rebranding of all its smart home products to the Google Nest name. It adds a smart speaker equipped add-on point. Internally, a few changes were made, such as a quad-core 64-bit ARM CPU 1.4 GHz and a machine learning hardware engine for both the router and point, as well as IEEE 802.15.4 Thread support. The router has 1GB RAM and 4GB flash memory and supports AC2200 4x4 MU-MIMO whereas the point has 768MB RAM and 512MB flash memory and supports AC1200 2x2 MU-MIMO.
|Model||Introduced||802.11ac Type||Ethernet Ports||Speaker||Thread|
|Nest Wifi router||2020||AC2200||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Nest Wifi point||2020||AC1200||No||No||Yes|
James Trew of Engadget praised the ease of setup for the device, writing that "Setting up a router isn't usually that hard, but it often involves an ugly web admin panel that – ironically for a device that helps you enjoy the internet – looks like it was designed in 2003. You'll set Google WiFi up with an app" and described the process as "all very simple and painless". Trew also liked the design, calling it "nice" and compared it to other routers by writing that "A quick internet search for "wireless router" returns a slew of angular black boxes with ugly antennas that might look okay in an office or basement, but nowhere else" and stated that "Google WiFi's white cylindrical design, however, is fairly unremarkable, and that's precisely the point". For performance, Trew was surprised to find that Google Wifi gave him a considerably higher speed than his previous router, describing it as "almost tripling the transfer rate of my old router every time". He also praised the app's ability to easily add more units around a house, the ability to manually prioritize what devices should get the highest Internet speed and the mesh network's capabilities of automatically switching between access points. However, he criticized the lack of a website interface and noted that the device might not be suitable for advanced users but rather "for people who don't enjoy navigating the typical router admin console (or don't even know that their router has one)".
Dong Ngo of CNET also praised the setup process, describing it as "self-explanatory, and dare I say, fun". Ngo also praised speed, calling it "fast" and that the coverage and reliability provided by the mesh system was "great". Similarly to Trew, Ngo criticized the lack of proper customization features, calling it "frustrating" and elaborating that "You can't do as much with the Wifi as you can with a regular router. To name a few, there's no MAC filtering, content filtering, or even support for Dynamic DNS (DDNS)". Ngo also noted that the Wifi system is connected to a user's Google account "at all times", meaning that, while security updates can be provided on a regular basis, the "constant connection to Google is required. That's a dealbreaker for some".
Dan Seifert of The Verge reiterated praise for design, writing "each unit is a compact, unobtrusive cylinder that can be tucked away on a shelf or counter and doesn’t look like a piece of computer equipment in the middle of your living room", and also for the setup, describing it as "painless and took about 10 minutes total to complete". Seifert wrote that "In each room, Google Wifi was able to provide a strong wireless signal and enough internet bandwidth for the most demanding streaming needs" and complimented the system for being able to provide his bedroom with decent speeds, despite it being "the furthest room" and the "hardest test" in his home. He noted that, while the app shows which access point a device is connected to, it "doesn’t allow you to force devices to hop from one to another". Overall, Seifert stated that "If all you care about is raw performance, [Netgear] Orbi is a better router, but for overall experience, including cost and maintenance, Google Wifi is an easier system to use".