If your home is plagued with wireless black spots then mesh Wi-Fi is a winner; spreading several Wi-Fi hubs around the house to work in unison and appear as a single network.
Of course, not everyone wants big, ugly Wi-Fi base stations spread around their home, but thankfully Google’s tiny hubs look more elegant than most.
Compared to the original Google Wifi, which was comprised of identical puck-shaped devices, the biggest change is that Nest Wifi has distinct designs for the main wireless router and the satellite points.
Google has even thrown in a few voice-friendly features, such as the power to ask Google Assistant to pause internet access for a specific group of devices; a great way to ensure you have everyone’s complete attention.
Google’s New Nest Wifi Specs Leaked – a mesh router with sound and style
The Nest Wifi comes in a $399 two-pack with a wireless router and one satellite, or $549 with two satellites, beyond which extra satellites sell for $229 each.
Aside from Google Assistant, the Nest Wifi’s other big selling point is a stronger signal and faster speeds. The improvement is clear, with the Nest Wifi hubs maintaining a strong wireless link when sitting in distant corners of my home where the old Google Wifi hubs struggled.
If you care about the fine details, it’s worth noting the Nest Wifi still relies on 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5), even as the first 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) gear hits the shelves.
The Orbi Voice is a Netgear Orbi mesh Wi-Fi hub and an Alexa smart speaker combined.
This means that wireless devices connected to the Nest Wi-Fi can’t talk to wired devices connected to your existing router via Ethernet, which could be things like a desktop computer, network printer or network-attached storage drive.
The one big change from a connectivity standpoint is that unlike the multipack Google Wifi routers that could be connected together wirelessly to spread coverage across your home, the Nest Wifi works more like an Eero mesh router.
There are one actual router and a “point” that you can buy to extend your coverage. These smaller “points” do work as Google Assistants, they just aren’t actual routers.
It goes on sale on November 4. A two-pack sells for $269, while the three-pack sells for $349.