Nest WiFi Pro review: WiFi 6e mesh speed within everyone's reach

Google Nest WiFi Pro mesh 6e review fast performance features best discount coupon comparison italy

Let's start with the basics. I don't have an FTTH connection at home, and to be honest, I don't even have a wired connection. I have been using a Fastweb FWA 5G mmWave for more than a year, with which I can navigate at 1 gigabit per second and which I can't really complain about. Now, I have always had a big problem with the distribution of the network in my house, not only for the strange layout, but above all because of the extremely thick walls: for this reason, for some time now, I have configured a mesh network with 4 nodes. distributed throughout the room, including one in the garden.

Am I exaggerating? Likely, but considering I have around XNUMX connected devices, including a Nest Doorbell (here the review) outside the garden gate fixed on a reinforced concrete structure that makes life impossible for any WiFi signal, I have always had the need to have a fast and above all stable wireless network available.

Network I created using 4 Xiaomi AIoT AX3600 routers (here the review), a pretty good product, powered by a Qualcomm processor, whose eight antennas (visually) convey a feeling of speed and stability. Too bad, however, that in the long run this speed and stability proved to be just that, a feeling: from the first days I found myself having to fight problems of connection instability related above all to the smart devices I had at home, Nest Hub and cameras included, and despite having configured the mesh nodes one by one with the best possible settings, I have never been able to solve them completely.

This is why when Google, or rather Nest, offered me to try the Nest Wi-Fi Pro (the brand's first WiFi 6e mesh system that promises combined speeds of up to 5.4 gigabits per second) I caught the ball, I had four sent, and I replaced them for Xiaomi's beasts. I'll explain how it went.

Nest WiFi 6 Pro review: cheap and simple WiFi 6e mesh system

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Before entering the vivo of my experience, a small premise. 5.4 gigabits per second represents the theoretical maximum nominal of the AXE5400 standard used in Nest's new routers, however it is a marked improvement over the previous generation of Google routers. Generation, the Nest WiFi, which I deliberately skipped due to a very important limitation for me: the absence of Ethernet ports. Let me explain: before having an ultra-broadband connection, I used the first Google WiFi, which I loved, also due to the fact that they had two ethernet ports, a Wan and a Lan, which I used to create a wired mesh network.

Well with the next generation, the Nest WiFi, Google thought well to eliminate one of the two ethernet ports by focusing everything on WiFi, but by integrating a smart speaker in its routers. Never was a choice more wrong, in my opinion. Fortunately, however, with the new ones Nest Wi-Fi Pro the brand has taken not one but two steps backwards, cutting the legs of the “integrated smart speaker issue”, and reintroducing the ethernet port. Although it is precisely on the ethernet ports used, my biggest perplexity with these new devices. But first things first.

Design and materials

High poco more than 12cm and about 7cm wide, Nest Wi-Fi Pro it is a glossy white “ball”, which goes perfectly with Google's technology vision according to which tech devices must necessarily integrate into home furnishings. Sure, it's a design that "either you hate or love" and some people might prefer a squarer look than the "eggshell" one of the brand's new router, but I have to say that this ceramic-like finish to me like it very much, and I find it very elegant.

The other side of the coin, however, is that stains and dust become much more visible on the new model, which means you may have to clean it much more often than previous generations.

A very dim LED has been integrated at the front with which to check the status of the network and which can be deactivated (I did) and at the back, in addition to the input for the power supply (which, alas, is of the proprietary type and not a USB-C) two ethernet ports have been integrated, one dedicated to the Wan and the other to the LAN: and this return is a godsend, which will give you the possibility to create the mesh network using WiFi 6e, or using a cable.

And that's it: from the aesthetic point of view Nest Wi-Fi Pro it is one of the simplest and most design products produced by the brand. No external antennas, no invasive elements. Anything.

Installation and configuration

Between disconnecting my old Xiaomi routers and installing all four Nest Wi-Fi Pro that I have at home, about half an hour will have passed. For convenience, with the new Google routers I created a WiFi network with the same SSID and the same password (so I don't have to reconfigure all my devices) and everything went smoothly.

Google Nest WiFi Pro mesh 6e review fast performance features best discount coupon comparison italy

The whole matter is handled by Google Home, which will carry on the configuration process as if you were configuring a Nest Hub, guiding you step by step both for the installation of the first router and for the addition of the other mesh nodes. However, I would like Google to improve the way it provides feedback on the ranking of each Nest Wi-Fi Pro because the guidelines provided by the app are limited to emphasizing that they should not be placed too far from each other.

I know for a fact that my house needs 4 nodes, one of which is in the garden (but indoors) and the only way I have had to be sure I have placed all the Nest Wi-Fi Pro correctly, it was after completing the configuration using the “Mesh network test” function in the Google Home app.

And it is precisely Google Home the greatest merit and the greatest limitation of Nest Wi-Fi Pro. All the management of the router takes place without the need to interpret the flashing LEDs to be sure that there is a network, without the need to have to deal with complicated administration interfaces and without having to enter any IP in the browser. It's all much more intuitive, almost instant, and proof for users who have never had to deal with a network device.

And for this very reason, each Nest Wi-Fi Pro it also integrates an antenna dedicated to Thread, a low-power protocol that transmits the signal via WiFi to all Matter devices, the new international standard for smart devices that should officially arrive in January 2024. Basically, it is a router that can also function as smart home control points.

Google Nest WiFi Pro mesh 6e review fast performance features best discount coupon comparison italy

The other side of the coin, however, is that given the extreme simplicity desired by Google, Nest Wi-Fi Pro it is practically non-customizable. For example, you cannot divide networks based on frequencies (2.4 Ghz, 5 Ghz and 6 Ghz) and ok, I realize that it is not a problem for everyone, you cannot set a fake MAC Address on the WAN port (and if you want to know why this is a problem with Fastweb's FWA, ask me on Instagram) and it is not possible to access and modify all those more “technical” network settings.

The point is that the way in which the Google system stands out, as well as with this disarming simplicity, is in the way it optimizes the network according to the needs of those who are connected to it. For example, it is possible to choose to "explain" to the AI ​​that manages the system what kind of use is made of the network (whether for play or for work calls) and it is possible to give priority to a connected device for a limited period of time. : and, think about it, it could be a good solution if you work at home and you need to avoid performance drops due to the presence of other connected devices.

Furthermore, Nest Wi-Fi Pro (and the entire Google / Nest Wifi ecosystem) has a suite of dedicated controls called "Wi-Fi Family" with which you can group all the devices used by children in your home and, from there, easily block websites for adults (as determined by Google SafeSearch) on those devices or even completely disable internet access at specified times.

In short, it's called "Pro", but Google has actually made things so simple that i Nest Wi-Fi Pro they are truly for everyone.

WiFi 6e and performance

But now let's get to the point: how fast it is Nest Wi-Fi Pro and most importantly, what are the advantages and disadvantages of WiFi 6e. To answer the questions you have to start with the last one first. Until the arrival of WiFi 6, wireless devices could only use the 2,4 and 5 GHz frequency bands, which even came in 2009 when the IEEE 802.11n standard was approved.

Google Nest WiFi Pro mesh 6e review fast performance features best discount coupon comparison italy

WiFi 6e (where the letter "e" means Extended) is the first time in 13 years that a new band has been introduced by providing for the use of 6 GHz frequencies. Now, compared to the 6 GHz frequency spectrum that can be used in United States and other countries (1200 MHz), in Europe it has been approved to use a smaller, wider 480 MHz range which is in the 5.945-6.425MHz range with us.

What is this used for Pippone? Just to clarify that in a nutshell, despite this standard, it actually allows you to use 59 channels distributed on 1.2 GHz of spectrum, in Europe you can activate a maximum of one channel at 320 MHz, while in other countries outside the EU you can exploit even three. .

It is a neutered WiFi 6e, ours, but with the Nest Wi-Fi Pro goes a splinter. Using two devices compatible with the new standard, including a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 (here the review) and a MacBook Pro M1 Pro to which I connected an adapter (no, basically it is not compatible with WiFi 6e), the benefits in terms of bare and raw performance and latency times were obvious.

Although Google guarantees that only one Nest Wi-Fi Pro is able to cover an area of ​​120 square meters, in reality I am convinced that for a house of that size it would take two or three to always obtain the same performance. And that's because the other side of the 6 GHz coin is that they are actually much more sensitive to physical obstacles.

Google Nest WiFi Pro mesh 6e review fast performance features best discount coupon comparison italy

In my tests, one of which was performed in the garden in a free field, not only the data transfer rates of the LAN were higher than those I had with Xiaomi routers, but what left me pleasantly impressed were the uniformity performance and connection stability.

Moving around the house, despite the very thick walls, the thousands of connected devices and the speed with which I walked around the whole environment, Nest Wi-Fi Pro has always managed to make it clear which node of the mesh network to connect my WiFi 6e smartphone to and has always guaranteed me the best possible performance.

Google Nest WiFi Pro mesh 6e review fast performance features best discount coupon comparison italy

The problem of connection stability was also solved: with Xiaomi routers, the smart devices I have at home, including the Google Nest Hub, suddenly disconnected from the network and then reconnected after a few moments. And although I was sure it was an FWA related issue, actually since I fitted the new ones Nest Wi-Fi Pro it's all a memory.

But there is one thing I really didn't like about the system designed by Google: the ethernet ports limited to 1 gigabit. And the reason is simple: Regardless of WiFi performance, your network connection speed will always be limited to that band. Ok, I know that for now you are saying "I wish I had a 1 gigabit connection!", And you are right, but if by divine grace you were to be reached by a 2.5 gigabit FTTH, you would not be able to fully exploit it with Google routers. And it's really a thing that cuts the legs of the whole system.

Selling price and considerations

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro is now also available on Amazon at the price of €219.99 for the single router device, e €329.99 for the bundle of two units useful for creating a mesh system. It is expensive? Actually no, it's the cheapest WiFi 6e mesh system on the market. Just to give you an idea: a kit with 3 eero nodes costs 839 euros on Amazon and the Orbi WiFi 6e costs even 1700. These are the only two alternatives to the Google system that, of course, I anticipate that guarantee better performance than to the Nests, but is it really worth the money?

Google Nest WiFi Pro mesh 6e review fast performance features best discount coupon comparison italy

Sure, come on Instagram you wrote me, for example, to prefer Fritz routers, but we use them on devices that need a minimum of skills to be exploited properly, while Google's idea is to democratize the use of these technologies.

In essence, Nest Wi-Fi Pro is a consistent and reliable mesh Wi-Fi system that makes all the advantages of the 6 GHz band within reach. Of course, they will not be immediately tangible advantages in many of the homes, but the number of devices compatible with the new standard is increasing dramatically .

The only real problem is related to the ethernet ports limited to 1 Ghz. If the Google folks had thought about using ports of at least 2.5 GHz, then the Nest WiFi would really have been Pro.

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In the world of technology since 2007, a computer engineer by training, he shares his passion for tech with that for animals and good food. He believes that technology must always be within everyone's reach, and for this reason he loves to explain it in the simplest and clearest way possible. Reviews are his daily bread.
review-nest-wifi-pro Let's start with the basics. I don't have an FTTH connection at home, and to be honest, I don't even have a wired connection. I have been using a Fastweb FWA 5G mmWave for more than a year, with which I can navigate at 1 gigabit for ...