A WiFi 6E-compatible router from Google has been long awaited, and it’s finally here. It’s here at a price that is much less than the competition. For example, the eero 6E is priced at $299 for the same single-pack that Google is charging $199. And that’s actually the least expensive competitor for Google. So this is a big deal.
But the real question is, is the Nest WiFi Pro any good? Typically when a product significantly (by about 33%) undercuts the competition, it’s not very good. So is that the case here? Let’s find out in our Nest WiFi Pro Review.
Google Nest WiFi Pro Review: Unboxing & Setup
I’ll be frank here, when FedEx dropped off the Nest WiFi Pro, I thought maybe something else had been delivered. I was expecting it to be bigger and weigh more. But the Nest WiFi Pro is actually fairly small compared to the eero 6+ that I recently tested out. The Nest WiFi Pro itself is about the same size and height as my Comcast modem. Which is fairly impressive.
In the box, you’ll get the Nest WiFi Pro, an Ethernet cable, power cable and of course some instructions. It’s pretty minimal. To get started, plug it into the wall, and plug your modem into the Nest WiFi Pro.
Setting it up was quite easy. You just open the Google Home app and it should find your Nest WiFi Pro to setup. It took me about 5 minutes to set it up. And the actual input from me was pretty minimal. Making it very easy to do is a big deal. This means that I’d have no regrets about recommending my parents to get the Nest WiFi Pro for their home.
When I initially set it up, I tried to be lazy and just use the same SSID and password as my old network (which was on the eero 6+). That way I wouldn’t have to reconnect every single device in my house. That worked for about two days, until the network stopped allowing new devices to join and even refused to let known devices rejoin. So I had to factory reset it and set it up again, with a different SSID. So just a word of caution to those hoping to take the lazy way out, it might not work.
Otherwise, setup was extremely easy, and I wish all smart home products were this easy to do.
Google Nest WiFi Pro Review: Design
The design is quite polarizing, surprisingly. It’s surprising because it’s a router. But Google wanted to design this router to look nice, so that you won’t hide it away in a cabinet. That’s not a good thing to do with your router, as it will mess up your signal and speeds. It’s always good to put out in the open, and about halfway between the floor and ceiling.
So this router looks like an Easter Egg, and the pastel colors doesn’t help this very much either. I actually don’t mind the color. It matches my Comcast router and Philips Hue Bridge that are all connected to it. But the only issue I have with it is, that it is glossy. The older Nest WiFi is not glossy, and is a matte finish, which looked really nice. For some reason, the Nest WiFi Pro is glossy, which means you’re going to see more dust, dirt, scratches and more on the router. Making the whole “let it be part of your decor” thing, a bit irrelevant.
Google does offer the Nest WiFi Pro in four colors: Snow, Linen, Fog and Lemongrass.
Google Nest WiFi Pro Review: Managing your network
As mentioned already, the Nest WiFi Pro is all managed within the Google Home app. Which makes things a whole lot easier for controlling all of your smart home devices. Once it is setup, you’ll see a new option at the top for “WiFi”, between Cameras and Routines. Just tap on that to manage your Nest WiFi Pro system.
Within the WiFi section, you’ll see the name of your WiFi at the top, along with how it’s doing. That includes a message telling you that everything is connected and working normally, or not. There’s also indicators for the internet, WiFi devices and then how many devices are connected at this time. Below that, you can see your network and devices. You can run a speed test within the app. Now I like this feature, because it does record your speedtests so you can see how things used to be, if you’re having issues. It does also run speedtests on its own to make sure things are running properly.
Now if you tap on “devices”, you are able to see what’s connected, and what kind of bandwidth they are using. You can prioritize specific devices as well. Google will let you show real-time usage, usage over the past day, week and month. Which can be very useful. This made me realize just how much bandwidth my Nest Cam uses everyday, it was a shocker.
Overall, the app makes it very easy to keep tabs on your network, prioritize devices, and apps you might use (like Zoom or Luna), and to see when you’re having problems.
Google Nest WiFi Pro Review: Should I buy it?
The Google Nest WiFi Pro is a pretty good WiFi 6E router, and definitely going to be future-proof for probably a decade or so from now. So even at $199, it’s a good investment for your home. If you’re still working from home and have a lot of devices on your network, then it’s definitely worth the money.
You should buy the Google Nest WiFi Pro if:
- You use a lot of smart home products (light bulbs, thermostats, robot vacuums, etc)
- You do some cloud gaming (Luna, NVIDIA GeForce Now, etc)
- You have a lot of people in your home
- You have a larger home (a single Nest WiFi Pro can cover 2,200 square-feet)
You should not buy the Google Nest WiFi Pro if:
- You have slower internet speeds (anything under, I’d say, 200Mbps won’t notice a big difference)
- You want to use it with Nest WiFi or Google WiFi