$149 at Amazon
- 2,200 square feet of coverage
- Fast AC2200 speeds
- WPA3 encryption support
- Consistent software updates
- Works with Google Wifi
- Larger than Google Wifi
An upgrade to Google Wifi in most ways, Nest Wifi comes as either a router or a point. The router connects to the modem and has a larger coverage area while the points simply strengthen the mesh. The points also have a smart speaker built-in for Google Assistant.
$99 at Amazon
- Small size
- All units have Ethernet
- Consistent software updates
- Works with Nest Wifi
- AC1200 speed is less future-proof
- Less coverage
Google Wifi has long been one of the best options for a simple and reliable mesh Wi-Fi setup. While lagging behind Nest Wifi in raw performance, the price advantage means you can more cheaply blanket a home with a lot of interference while keeping speeds high enough for most people.
The Nest Wifi is a natural progression for the Google Wifi line of home mesh networking equipment. With support for faster Wi-Fi connectivity and a faster CPU, the Nest Wifi should be capable of delivering great speeds with a solid connection between the mesh points. Google Wifi is still a great solution for people that don’t need that much speed on their network. If you don’t need to download many large files or utilize cloud computing, such as working on a remote PC, that require a flawless high-speed connection, Google Wifi is the option for you.
The Nest Wifi, as well as Google Wifi, utilize Wi-Fi 5, or 802.11ac, to deliver a fast wireless connection. Google Wifi falls behind when it comes to pure speed thanks to a lower top speed than Nest Wifi. In most cases, both systems should carry enough speed for typical internet usage but with people using more data all the time, planning ahead can be very beneficial.
Keep in mind, these routers also have to use their Wi-Fi bandwidth to talk to each other so in the real world you’ll never see the top speed of either connection. Mesh-style Wi-Fi systems aim for consistency and connection quality over pure speed. If you’re a heavy network user with network storage or you access files from one computer on another, such as a media server, you’ll find the extra bandwidth of the Nest Wifi provides a smoother overall experience.
Nest Wifi can be expanded with more Nest Wifi routers but you also can use the less powerful, but cheaper, Nest Wifi points for expansion.
|Ethernet||2 (router) 0 (point)||2 each|
|Coverage||2200 sq ft (router) 1600 sq ft (point)||1500 sq ft|
|CPU||quad-core 1.4Ghz||quad-core 710Mhz|
|RAM||1GB (router) 768MB (point)||512MB|
|Smart speaker||no (router) yes (point)||no|
|Colors||snow (router) snow, mist, sand (point)||white|
As far as aesthetics go, Google Wifi only comes in white. The Nest Wifi router is also only available in white, however, Google calls it snow.
Nest Wifi points left to right: snow, mist, sand
The Nest Wifi points are available in snow, mist, and sand colors to better match with the decor of your home. This is important because the points will likely be featured more prominently than most other mesh Wi-Fi points thanks to a built-in speaker and microphone.
Each Google Wifi is identical and covers approximately 1,500 square feet. The Nest Wifi improved on this figure with the router covering approximately 2,200 square feet and the point covering 1,600 square feet. You likely won’t get any of these numbers in real-world usage due to interference that would affect any router, but the takeaway is that the Nest Wifi system is capable of covering a larger area with fewer units than Google Wifi.
Nest Wifi and Google Wifi are compatible with each other. This means if you have an existing Nest Wifi or Google Wifi network in place, it can be expanded with either product. If you want to upgrade your Google Wifi network to Nest Wifi you don’t need to send your Google Wifi routers to recycling. You can use them to expand your Wi-Fi network to areas with poor coverage such as a basement or garage.
If you want to add the functionality of the Nest Wifi points to your Google Wifi network, you can, although you’ll only get the speed of Google Wifi. Of course, you should place the fastest available router at the center of your network to ensure the best possible speed.
The Nest Wifi Points come with a speaker and microphones built-in so you can access Google Assistant. While the speaker isn’t Hi-Fi quality, it should be similar to the surprisingly decent Nest Mini.
It’s a nice addition that each Wi-Fi point also handles the job of a smart speaker. This feature can help you reduce the number of electronics you have set up in each room and wire clutter.
These smart speaker features aren’t available in the Nest Wifi routers but adding in a smart speaker with Google Assistant can fill in the gap. You’ll need to set it all up in the Google Home app (also available on iOS) to get all of your points connected and working.
Which should you get?
Thanks to the additional speed and coverage of the Nest Wifi system, it’s the more sensible base to your home mesh network. While Google Wifi still has a place to help expand your mesh or provide an Ethernet connection at a mesh point, its technical inferiority makes it much less compelling. The smart speaker in the Wifi points also increases the value of the Nest system. All things considered, the Nest Wifi offers a more complete experience with the specs to keep it all running smoothly.
A more customizable mesh
From $149 at Amazon $239 at Best Buy
Nest Wifi is available with a router and mesh points to cover your entire home. A built-in smart speaker in the points makes it a complete package.
Easy to understand and set up
$99 at Amazon $99 at Walmart
Google Wifi takes simplicity to the next level with identical routers providing adequate speeds as well as Ethernet connectivity on each router.