Google’s new mesh router system by Nest may not have been the star of the show in New York last month but it builds on the already stellar reputation of its predecessor. In a world where brands like TP-Link, Netgear, ASUS and others have reigned supreme for years, Google’s simple but powerful mesh routers have become one of the most popular and widely used Wifi platforms in the world in just a couple of years.
The latest iteration of the mesh Wifi router has been placed under the umbrella of the Nest brand and not only improves on the Google Wifi’s capabilities, but it also brings with it the power of the Google Assistant in the form of Wifi “Points” that double as smart speakers. Each “Point” works in tandem with the main router to create a mesh network around your home or office that gives users seamless, reliable coverage that can be maintained, controlled and even metered all from inside the Google Home App. As an added bonus, existing Google Wifis are compatible with the new Nest routers and can be used together to expand your current setup.
The Nest Wifi comes in a number of configurations depending on the size of your space and your specific use case. You can purchase a single router for $169 that will give you coverage of up to 2200 square feet. However, the router itself does not feature the built-in Assistant speaker. In order to get the benefit of an extra smart speaker, you’ll need to add one or more of the “Points.” These look very similar to the main router with the addition of a downward-facing speaker grill to let the Assistant speak his or her mind. Adding one “Point” will increase the Wifi coverage to 3800 square feet. Note that you do have to have the main router in order to use one of the “Points.”
So, which configuration should you buy and where should I get it?
The configuration you purchase really depends on two things. First, the square footed of the space you’re covering. That’s fairly simple. One router will give you approximately 2200 sq. ft of Wifi and each additional “Point” will add 1600 sq. ft. per unit. The more personal question is “Do you want a smart speaker in your Wifi setup?” For many people, the answer will be yes simply because they already have Google Home products and adding a Nest Wifi Point costs $20 less than adding a second Nest router. For those, I would recommend you purchase from whichever official Google partner you prefer. You can grab them directly from the Google Store, Best Buy, BH Photo, Target and more.
However, I can imagine that there will be situations such as an office building where there isn’t a need or a want for a Google Assistant speaker for people to fiddle with when they should be grinding. For those instances, I would recommend Amazon. Despite their rocky relationship, Google and Amazon have been playing nice as of late and the MadeByGoogle storefront is selling a number of Nest products including an exclusive 2-pack of Nest Wifi routers. Now, you could always buy two individual ones from another retailer but the 2-pack at Amazon is almost $40 cheaper than going the other route. It’s a weird twist considering the past relationship between the Amazon and Google but it is encouraging to see I’m sure that faithful Amazon shoppers will be thankful for the new #madebygoogle options. You can check out the Nest Wifi 2-pack at the link below.