We haven’t seen a new Google Nest Wifi product since 2019, but there’s a rumor that the company is about to release a major update to its mesh routers, with support for the latest Wi-Fi 6 speeds and technologies.
This is according to another news outlet, which can usually be relied on for accurate information. Additionally, it appears that Google’s smart home networking kit will be simplified to some extent.
If all other connected devices are Wi-Fi 6 compatible, a jump from Wi-Fi 5 (which the current line-up supports) to Wi-Fi 6 could result in speed increases of up to 9.6 Gbps from 3.5 Gbps.
However, the source was unable to confirm whether the hardware would support the most recent Wi-Fi 6E standard.
Google Wifi versus Nest Wifi
Right now in the US, you can purchase both a Nest Wifi pack and a Google Wifi pack, which is a rather perplexing situation. The latter devices lack Google Assistant support but do include Ethernet ports and are all identical: they can all function as routers connected to the internet as well as satellite nodes expanding the mesh network.
There are routers and satellite nodes as distinct options in the current Nest WiFi series. With this update, the Nest Wifi series will be more similar to the Google WiFi series (which last got a refresh in 2020).
We don’t have a specific launch date for the next Nest Wifi products yet, but we wouldn’t expect them to be too far away. According to the report, they will be available in a variety of colors, though it is unclear whether or not Google Assistant will be included again.
An upgrade that is long overdue
The original Google Wifi mesh networking system was introduced in 2016 and was quite advanced for its time. The concept of having multiple devices spread throughout the home to maximize Wi-Fi coverage was still relatively new.
Since then, Google has been overtaken by the competition, thanks to the introduction of friendlier-looking Nest devices. A mesh networking system, such as the Amazon Eero 6, already has Wi-Fi 6 built in, and it’s just as simple and easy to use as the Google products.
At the higher end, companies such as Netgear and Linksys have released premium networking equipment capable of covering large areas with superfast Wi-Fi.
A device like the Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 costs significantly more than the Google Nest Wifi, but it also provides significantly better performance and features.
That is the type of competition Google faces, and an update to its mesh networking hardware is long overdue. The introduction of Wi-Fi 6 will be a good start for the new models, but as always, pricing will be critical.