After two years, Google has announced a refresh of its Google WiFi home mesh networking technology. Now folded in under the Nest brand, Nest WiFi was launched today, as rumoured.
Google Nest WiFi is a significant upgrade to the original Google WiFi with new hardware, and incorporates more Assistant features, the Assistant itself and a greatly enhanced control experience.
In a big change to the original Google Wifi hardware, Nest Wifi will come as two separate devices – a Router that’s intended to be kept in the cupboard with your modems and switches to serve as the master control unit, and a set of secondary WiFi Points incorporating a modern design and an Assistant-powered smart speaker. If you already have a Google WiFi, you can add Nest WiFi devices to your Mesh network to expand your range and get the new features.
The speaker in the new WiFi Point is the same as you’ll find in the new Nest Mini, so you’ll be getting enhanced audio along with all of the features of the Google Assistant. Google has also included smart home support, eg Thread and Bluetooth, meaning that Nest WiFi can act as a hub for many smart home devices going forward. No Zigbee, though.
On the software side, Google is moving management for the new Nest WiFi into the Home app, so setting up a new Nest WiFi device will be just like any other Google smart products – you’ll also be able to manage multiple WiFi networks from within the Home app, something that’s hard to do with the original Google Wifi.
The software enhancements don’t stop there. Google has added the ability to set WiFi schedules using the new Family WiFi feature, including the ability to set schedules for devices and pause the internet using the Google Assistant. There’s also the ability to block adult content from specific devices.
With a deeper integration with the Google Assistant, you can now ask Assistant to “pause Duncan’s device” and it would shut off internet access to the pre-selected device. You’ll also be able to ask the Assistant simple questions about your network like “how fast is my internet” and display login credentials including a QR code on a Smart display for easy sharing with family and friends.
Nest WiFi will launch in Australia on 5 November for $399 AUD for the double pack with one router and one WiFi point, and $549 AUD for a triple pack including one router and two WiFi points, Nest WiFi will come in three colors, Snow, Sand and Mist. It’ll be available from the Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys and more retailers in the coming months.