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Nest Wifi Pro Review: An Entry-Level Budget Pick Among Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Routers

Like


  • Highly constant speeds

  • Easy to arrange and set up

  • Strong sensible house fortify by the use of Google Home app and integrated Thread radio

  • Design can mix in with reference to anyplace

  • Excellent worth amongst Wi-Fi 6E mesh routers

Don’t like


  • WAN port caps incoming stressed speeds from the modem at a unmarried gigabit in line with moment

  • Wasn’t rapid sufficient to make complete use of a gigabit connection in our wi-fi pace assessments

  • Regular latency spikes as excessive as 150ms

  • Support for 160MHz channels on 5GHz band does not paintings with all gadgets

Google isn’t any stranger to development Wi-Fi routers, so it was once only a topic of time till the corporate offered a higher-end device for professional customers. Lo and behold, the Nest Wifi Pro. Google’s upgraded mesh router helps the most recent Wi-Fi 6E same old and sensible house necessities like Thread and Matter.

But extra importantly, the Nest Wifi Pro assists in keeping its unique minimalist design that can conveniently slot into maximum residing rooms. Want so as to add some pizzazz to the marshmallow-like design? You’ll even get a number of 4 colours, together with a pastel blue dubbed Fog, a beige-like Linen, a pastel-yellow Lemongrass and a white comfortably known as Snow.

Of path, even the best of designs can not save an ill-equipped router. Thankfully, that is not the case right here. Each Nest Wifi Pro module guarantees blended speeds of as much as 5.4Gbps throughout all 3 of its bands. That’s two times what the unique Nest Wifi router promised — a gorgeous forged improve already. Do understand that the ones are simply theoretical maximums. Real-world speeds will probably be considerably decrease as you’ll be able to connect with just one band at a time.

This brings up the query of whether or not it is price going Pro. The Nest Wifi Pro’s budget-friendly positioning and simplicity of get admission to make it a forged choice to the related Eero Pro 6E machine. It’s additionally a fragment of the price of higher-end routers just like the AXE11000 model of the Netgear Orbi.

Look, the Nest Wifi Pro is not going to blow you away with top-tier speeds, nor does it be offering Pro-essentials like multi-gig WAN — a have to for many who have invested in one of the perfect multi-gig web plans. However, it makes up for the ones misses with secure reliability, ease of setup, and remarkable worth amongst Wi-Fi 6E routers. But in case you are searching for the best possible mesh router available on the market, the Nest WiFi Pro will not be what you are searching for.

Design: Nest Wifi Pro brings the colour (however forgot the multi-gig jack)

A trio of white-colored Nest Wifi Pro mesh router devices against a fiery orange background. The first is front-facing, the second shows off the profile view from the side, the third has its back to us, revealing a power jack and two ethernet jacks. A trio of white-colored Nest Wifi Pro mesh router devices against a fiery orange background. The first is front-facing, the second shows off the profile view from the side, the third has its back to us, revealing a power jack and two ethernet jacks.

Each Nest Wifi Pro instrument is the same and interchangeable, with two Ethernet jacks within the again. With the unique Nest Wifi, the extenders had been separate gadgets from the principle router, and they did not come with Ethernet jacks in any respect.

Ry Crist/CNET

Somewhat over 5 inches tall and a bit of greater than 3 inches thick, each and every Nest Wifi Pro instrument is the same and interchangeable, and they all function a couple of Ethernet jacks, so you’ll be able to twine any of them for your modem and use it as the principle router to your community. That’s a large exchange from the unique Nest Wifi, the place the extenders had been separate gadgets from the principle router of the machine. Those extenders (Nest calls them “Points”) did not come with Ethernet jacks in any respect, which intended that you just could not twine them again to the router for quicker efficiency.

The Nest Wifi Pro fixes that, so stressed backhauls are again at the menu. If you would somewhat keep wi-fi, the machine will relay internet visitors via your own home the usage of the 6GHz band, which turns out like a suitable use of that spectrum to me. With sufficient bandwidth for a number of 160MHz channels, the 6GHz band is well-equipped to transport mass quantities of information, and because the handiest gadgets that may get admission to that band are different Wi-Fi 6E gadgets, it is in large part loose from congestion and interference, too.

1715246772 382 Nest Wifi Pro Review An Entry Level Budget Pick Among Wi Fi

Watch this: Wi-Fi 6 vs. Wi-FI 6E: Here’s the variation in 3 mins

The different major level of observe about the ones Ethernet jacks on each and every instrument is that either one of them cap incoming stressed speeds at a unmarried gigabit in line with moment. That’s a bottleneck so far as your Wi-Fi is worried, as a result of you can wish to use a type of jacks to attach the router for your modem. If you are paying for a multi-gig web plan, the ones faster-than-a-gigabit speeds would possibly not make it previous that bottleneck, so you will not see Wi-Fi speeds any quicker than a unmarried gig.

It’s a head-scratching omission for a few causes. The first is Nest’s “Pro” branding, which positions the machine as an improve select. That pitch makes significantly much less sense given the rising choice of competition that provide multi-gig WAN ports, together with techniques from Eero, Asus, Netgear and extra. Some of the ones techniques were available on the market for years at this level. 

The moment reason why? Multi-gig web plans are on the upward thrust, with a number of new choices to be had this 12 months from names like AT&T, Frontier, Xfinity, Ziply Fiber, Verizon and Google Fiber, which was once some of the first to supply a multi-gig plan at 2Gbps, and which lately touted speeds as excessive as 20Gbps in its newest box assessments. If you join a multi-gig web plan like that from Google, then you will want to remember to use one thing different than Google’s personal among the best mesh router, as it does not fortify multi-gig Wi-Fi speeds in any respect. Again, head-scratching.

App controls: Google Home is going all-in

Getting began with Nest Wifi Pro is straightforward: simply plug some of the gadgets in and fix it together with your modem the usage of an Ethernet cable, then open the Google Home app in your Android or iOS instrument. An solution to arrange the brand new Nest Wifi Pro machine straight away seemed proper on the height of the app’s house display; I gave {that a} faucet, adopted a couple of easy directions, and had my community up and working inside a couple of mins.

Your Nest Wifi settings (that inexperienced icon within the height row) will wish to compete with loads of different sensible house units to your consideration within the Google Home app.

Google

With no mish-mash of flashing lighting fixtures to decipher, no buttons to press, no IP addresses to punch right into a internet browser and no settings to toggle, it is actually about so simple as router setup will get. That’s a large a part of the attraction right here — it could be known as Pro, however the router is basically noob-proof.

In truth, the most important merit here’s the powerful sensible house tech somewhat than Wi-Fi control introduced via the Nest Wifi Pro. Packing radios for Thread and Matter, Google is positioning the high-end router because the central hub for your entire sensible house units.

I occur to suppose it is a just right, cohesive pitch and one thing to look at as Matter makes its large debut. If no longer, and sensible house tech does not attraction to you, then Nest Wifi Pro and the Google Home app would possibly really feel like overkill.

Performance and pace: Nest Wifi Pro vs. its height Wi-Fi 6E mesh competition

To give the Nest Wifi Pro a good shake, I pit it in opposition to two of the most productive Wi-Fi 6E mesh routers round: Amazon’s Eero Pro 6E and the AXE11000 model of the Netgear Orbi. While either one of the ones techniques command a top rate over the Nest Wifi Pro, I sought after to look if Google’s perfect may stay alongside of the 2 — each with Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E consumer gadgets.

Across all rooms examined in a 1,350 sq. foot check area with a gigabit web connection, the Nest Wifi Pro’s moderate obtain speeds (left) and moderate add speeds (proper) to a Wi-Fi 6 consumer instrument lagged at the back of the Eero Pro 6E and Netgear Orbi AXE11000 mesh techniques — regardless that each and every of the ones competition prices greater than Nest Wifi Pro.

Ry Crist/CNET

Wi-Fi 6 speeds

My Wi-Fi check setup is composed of a 1,350-square-foot area with more than one rooms and gigabit fiber web speeds. With each and every machine’s router arrange in the lounge and a unmarried extender arrange within the children’ room on the reverse finish of the check area, I spent a number of days measuring moderate add and obtain speeds throughout 4 rooms within the area in addition to a 5th room a number of meters away that we have now designated because the “storage.”

In the top, it was once Eero Pro 6E that logged the quickest moderate speeds to my Wi-Fi 6 check instrument, a Lenovo ThinkPad computer that I picked up in past due 2019. The Netgear Orbi machine was once shut at the back of it, adopted via the Nest Wifi Pro in a not-too-distant 3rd position. All 3 stored my speeds within the triple digits in all rooms always, which might make for a gorgeous pleasant web revel in at house. Still, I used to be disenchanted to look Nest Wifi Pro go back moderate add and obtain speeds throughout the entire area that fell under 500Mbps. With Eero Pro 6E, my moderate Wi-Fi 6 obtain pace was once 586Mbps, with uploads at an much more spectacular 720Mbps. With Netgear Orbi, the ones figures had been 566Mbps and 631Mbps, respectively.

But once more, the ones techniques are each and every dearer than Nest Wifi Pro, so a slight dip in efficiency turns out like an inexpensive trade-off as long as the speeds are constant, dependable and rapid sufficient for on a regular basis actions like streaming, operating from house, video conferencing and gaming on-line. Nest Wifi Pro assessments all of the ones bins, but it surely nonetheless would were pleasant to have noticed a bit of extra oomph right here.

A set of bar graphs showing the average upload and download speeds for three mesh systems -- Eero Pro 6E, Netgear Orbi AXE11000 and Nest Wifi Pro -- across five rooms in a 1,350 square foot test space to a Wi-Fi 6E client device. Netgear Orbi led the way with the fastest upload and download speeds, overall, including speeds that essentially maxed out the gigabit fiber connection in the two rooms nearest to the main router of the system. A set of bar graphs showing the average upload and download speeds for three mesh systems -- Eero Pro 6E, Netgear Orbi AXE11000 and Nest Wifi Pro -- across five rooms in a 1,350 square foot test space to a Wi-Fi 6E client device. Netgear Orbi led the way with the fastest upload and download speeds, overall, including speeds that essentially maxed out the gigabit fiber connection in the two rooms nearest to the main router of the system.

The AXE11000 model of Netgear Orbi is constructed to take complete benefit of Wi-Fi 6E, whole with two separate 6GHz bands, so it is no marvel that it returned the quickest moderate speeds to a Wi-Fi 6E instrument. And once more, Nest Wifi Pro got here up quick.

Ry Crist/CNET

Wi-Fi 6E speeds

With Wi-Fi 6 speeds examined, I set the ThinkPad apart and began working assessments on a Samsung Galaxy S21 that incorporates complete fortify for Wi-Fi 6E. This is the forward-looking a part of my assessments — will those techniques employ the 6GHz band to ship noticeably speedier efficiency to next-gen gadgets, and if that is so, how a lot speedier?

The graph above provides you with a way of ways they did. This time round, it was once Netgear Orbi that led the way in which, in particular with add speeds, the place it returned extraordinarily forged moderate speeds of 800Mbps throughout all the space. Eero Pro 6E got here in moment with moderate uploads of 591Mbps, and Nest Wifi Pro introduced up the rear with a shockingly low 397Mbps. Nest’s moderate obtain pace to my Galaxy instrument had been a bit of higher, coming in at 524Mbps, however that was once nonetheless at the back of the 745 and 708Mbps obtain averages for Netgear and Eero, respectively.

I’d have favored to have noticed Nest do much better right here. That 397Mbps Wi-Fi 6E add moderate was once even not up to I noticed from my Wi-Fi 6 computer, the place the common add got here in at 463Mbps. Then once more, the similar was once true with Eero — the common uploads had been quicker with my Wi-Fi 6 computer (720Mbps) than with my Wi-Fi 6E smartphone (591Mbps). Only the Netgear Orbi machine was once in a position to spice up the uploads on my Wi-Fi 6E instrument, and that is sensible for the reason that it is an ultra-fancy, quad-band router with two separate 6GHz bands, one devoted to the wi-fi backhaul and some other that is designated for consumer gadgets like my Galaxy telephone. The Eero and Nest techniques are tri-band fashions that come with just a unmarried 6GHz band, and each and every of them makes use of that band basically because the machine’s wi-fi backhaul.

These graphs plot out the latency effects for each and every pace check that we run with each and every machine, all to the similar server all the way through the similar trying out length. The Eero and Netgear techniques (blue and pink) held latency to roughly 20ms throughout all assessments without a primary spikes. The Nest Wifi Pro (yellow) stored latency to round 20 ms all the way through maximum assessments, too — but it surely additionally noticed a number of primary spikes as excessive as 150ms. (Note that the dimensions is far higher with the Nest graph — we needed to zoom out to turn you ways large the spikes had been.)

Ry Crist/CNET

Latency was once far and wide the map…

Latency is one thing else I regulate in my assessments, because it measures the time it takes a router to ship a sign to a given server and obtain a reaction. Routers that may cling latency as little as imaginable are higher selections for such things as videoconferencing and on-line gaming, the place a half-second prolong to your connection can be a primary drag.

To check for this, I run all of my pace assessments to the similar server and log the latency end result for each and every pace check I run. What effects are the ones radar graphs up above — each and every one presentations you every latency end result for a given router plotted out as a round line graph. You need to see a hoop that is as clean and with regards to the middle as imaginable.

That’s necessarily what I were given from Eero and Netgear, each and every of which held latency to a check server more or less 275 miles away to about 20ms throughout a number of days of assessments. Things had been other with Nest Wifi Pro, regardless that — even supposing latency as soon as once more got here in at round 20ms for almost all of assessments, I additionally noticed common spikes to 50, 80 and even 150ms, which is why the Nest graph seems to be extra like a kindergartner’s finger portray of the solar. In many instances, you could no longer even realize spikes like the ones, however nonetheless, it is not up to supreme in case you are in a sudden-death on-line gaming situation or you probably have a large activity interview over Zoom arising.

Each dot in those graphs is a unmarried obtain pace check end result. Netgear and Nest had been each extremely constant as I moved from room to room, however Eero’s lounge speeds had been a lot decrease all the way through check runs the place I began my connection a long way from the router.

Ry Crist/CNET

…however at the vivid aspect, speeds had been extremely constant

Even if Nest’s speeds had been a bit of slower than I’d like to look in those assessments, I used to be struck via how constant the ones speeds had been from run to run. 

Specifically, I ran 3 units of assessments to my Wi-Fi 6 instrument with each and every machine I examined, one all the way through morning hours, one all the way through night time hours, and one all the way through the center of the day. For each and every of the ones units, I’d run more than one pace assessments in each and every room, beginning with the lounge and dealing my technique to the storage. Then I’d disconnect and reconnect proper there within the storage, the farthest level from the router, and repeat my pace assessments backward, finishing up the place I began in the lounge. Splitting my assessments right into a front-to-back set and a moment back-to-front set shall we me see if efficiency differs according to how shut you might be to the router when your instrument establishes its connection.

With Nest and Netgear, it made little or no distinction in any respect, which is an excellent end result for a mesh router for the reason that the addition of satellite tv for pc extenders provides some variability into your connection and the way in which it is routed. You can see it within the graphs above, the place each and every dot represents the obtain pace from a unmarried pace check. Across all assessments, the dots within the Netgear and Nest graphs stayed very shut in combination in each and every room. That tells you that the speeds stayed constant regardless of whether or not it was once morning, midday or night time, and regardless of whether or not I began my connection with regards to the router or a long way from it.

img-2893 img-2893

WPA3 safety and 160MHz channel width over 5GHz are two Nest Wifi Pro choices that come off via default. Turning the latter on would possibly power a few of your gadgets onto the much-slower 2.4GHz community.

Screenshot via Ry Crist/CNET

It’s a unique tale with Eero. Though the Eero Pro 6E logged one of the quickest close-range lounge and kitchen speeds that I noticed all the way through this spherical of comparability assessments, it additionally logged one of the slowest speeds in the ones rooms — and that’s the reason for the reason that machine was once protecting my visitors routed in the course of the extender all the way through check runs that began within the storage, even after I’d transfer again into the kitchen and lounge. In equity, that appeared to occur a bit of with Netgear and Nest, as effectively, but it surely rarely impacted my speeds because it did with Eero. At any charge, it is generally an excellent end result when a $299 mesh machine can stay alongside of one who prices $1,000 or extra.

160MHz channel fortify on 5GHz could be a no-go for some

The very last thing I’ll observe at the efficiency entrance is that Nest Wifi Pro helps 160MHz channel width at the 5GHz band. The function is off via default, as no longer each and every instrument helps it. That comprises my Wi-Fi 6 check computer — once I attempted turning it on, my speeds collapsed to 100Mbps or much less, even at shut differ. That’s as it wasn’t connecting over 5GHz in any respect anymore — with out 160MHz fortify, it had no selection however to transport all visitors to the a lot slower 2.4GHz band.

“This is for gadgets which fortify 5GHz and fit with the brand new, excessive energy 160MHz channel,” a Nest spokesperson defined once I requested for rationalization about what was once happening. “Some 5GHz gadgets totally fortify the brand new 160MHz channel. Some 5GHz gadgets do not totally fortify the brand new 160MHz channel, however use it as though it had been an 80MHz channel. Unfortunately, different 5GHz gadgets no longer handiest do not totally fortify the brand new 160MHz channel, but in addition do not use it as though it had been an 80MHz channel; those gadgets connect with a 2.4GHz channel as an alternative.”

Google says that it expects a rising choice of gadgets to come back on board with that function within the coming 12 months, and that it is going to imagine turning it on via default as soon as sufficient gadgets fortify it. That’ll be one thing to look forward to in case you are the usage of the program.

A trio of white-colored Nest Wifi Pro mesh router devices sitting side by side against a fiery orange background. A trio of white-colored Nest Wifi Pro mesh router devices sitting side by side against a fiery orange background.

Ry Crist/CNET

Is ‘just right sufficient’ just right sufficient for you?

That’s actually the query right here. Nest Wifi Pro does not be offering game-changing Wi-Fi speeds or really distinctive options — however it is a constant and dependable mesh Wi-Fi machine that brings some great benefits of the 6GHz band to your own home community. Those advantages don’t seem to be going to be that significant in many houses at this level, so Wi-Fi 6E is not a must have function — however with the choice of Wi-Fi 6E gadgets anticipated to upward push often within the coming 12 months, it is nonetheless a nice-to-have function.

With no multi-gig jack and speeds that fall wanting different 6E mesh techniques we have now examined, Nest’s “Pro” branding could be a bit of a lot right here, so in case you are searching for a real improve select that makes higher use of the 6GHz band, chances are you’ll need to stay buying groceries round. Along with the aforementioned Netgear Orbi and Eero Pro techniques, TP-LinkLinksys and others have Wi-Fi 6E mesh techniques which might be price a glance. But in case you are simply searching for a workable, inexpensive Wi-Fi 6E machine that may capably fill your home with a competent Wi-Fi sign, whole with robust fortify for the Matter-based sensible properties of the next day, then Nest Wifi Pro could be precisely what you’ve got been looking ahead to.

Source: www.cnet.com

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