Google Wifi vs Nest Wifi: Google has been gradually rebranding its smart home devices as Google Nest. In 2016, Google launched the Google Wifi mesh router, which is now the Google Nest Wifi – the successor to that device.
The original Google Wifi was widely praised for its simplicity in extending network coverage across multiple rooms. The Nest Wifi is better in every way, according to Google, with higher specs and some new smart home features.
Is it worth upgrading to Nest WiFi if you already have Google WiFi? Are there any differences between the two mesh routers? You’ll find out in this Google Nest Wifi vs Google Wifi comparison!
How fast is Google Nest Wifi compared to Google Wifi?
With four x four antennas, the Google Nest Wifi supports AC2200 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi. There is a theoretical maximum of 2,200Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1,733Mbps on 5GHz across two bands. It is powered by a quad-core 1.4GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.
Additionally, Google Wifi supports AC1200 with 2 x 2 antennas for a total of 1,200Mbps on one 2.4GHz band and one 5GHz band. It also has half the RAM (512MB) and a slower quad-core 710Mhz processor.
Therefore, you’ll be able to connect far more devices to the Nest Wifi before it strains your bandwidth.
The routers support Wi-Fi 5 (IEEE 802.11ac), beamforming, as well as Google’s own technology, which switches signal bands as you move around your house to maintain the strongest connection.
There are technically better options out there if you’ve got an ultrafast connection capable of 300-500Mbps speeds, but very few routers are as easy to use as Google’s. Furthermore, the lack of Wi-Fi 6 support eliminates a bit of future-proofing.
Design changes and Nest Wifi Point features
Compared to their predecessors, the new routers are taller, wider, and heavier. The Nest Wifi has also been given a makeover, with a rounded dome-like shape and a smoother finish with snow, sand, and mist color options. It’s certainly more attractive than the previous plastic puck-like design.
Flip the routers over, and it is the same story – two ethernet ports and a power port. Strangely, Google has opted to use a barrel jack power connector for the Nest Wifi. The original Google Wifi uses USB-C.
A particularly welcome improvement is the LED indicator light, which is now a small dot rather than the large pulsing ring around the Google Wifi pucks. Nest Wifi Points sit somewhere in the middle, with a round LED on the bottom edge.
One of the biggest changes that Nest Wifi Points brings to the ecosystem is Google Assistant support.
Each Point works like a Google Nest Mini, allowing you to manage your smart home with voice commands, music playback, and smart home controls. There is also a mute button on the back if you’d like some privacy.
For a glorified router, the audio quality is surprisingly good. The 360-degree sound is comparable to the Nest Mini and an improvement over the Google Home Mini I formerly used in my bedroom, where my Nest WiFi Point now resides.
Will my old Google Wifi routers work with Nest Wifi?
In order to replace Google Wifi nodes with Nest Wifi or Nest Wifi Points, simply add them to your existing network. However, if you want to replace your primary Google Wifi router with a Nest Wifi, you’ll need to reset your entire network. You will need to repeat the process.
Getting everything back up took me around 30 minutes, so it’s not a difficult process. And the results are worth it.
You can technically add up to 200(!) Nest Wifi, Google Wifi, and Nest Wifi Point to a single network, though anything over three will be overkill for a reasonably-sized family home.
The old TP-Link or Asus mesh routers won’t work with Google OnHub, so if you have one of those, you won’t be able to include it on the same network.
Should you upgrade from Google Nest Wifi to Google Wifi?
The Nest Wifi is an excellent upgrade over the Google Wifi if you’re looking for the best router Google has to offer. The faster speeds, as well as improved coverage, ensure a smoother and more stable Wi-Fi experience. The Nest Wifi Points are also viable options if you want a router-smart speaker combo.
When buying a mesh router for the first time, it’s a no-brainer to opt for the new and improved model. The situation isn’t as clear-cut for existing Google Wifi users, however. Nest Wifi doesn’t provide much future-proofing, especially since Wi-Fi 6 isn’t supported.