One week after Google’s annual hardware event they have released an updated version of the original Google WiFi, coming in at a reduced price and sporting a few new capabilities. That’s right, in the new era of Nest Google just released a new Google product, it’s not hard Google, choose a brand and stick to it.
Google isn’t actually pitching this as a new device, despite the fact we saw it go through the FCC. Rather this is being pitched as a price reduction for the original Google WiFi during these times where people are looking for improved home connectivity, Google’s tagline for the updated device is “Wi-Fi that just works”.
Ok, so what’s inside? Basically, it is the same WiFi 5, 2.4/5 GHz frequencies as the original, the USB-C power adaptor has been swapped out for a standard barrel fitting and the screen printed G logo up to has been switched to an engraved finish. There is no WiFi 6, which in late 2020 is a rather questionable decision — of course on the plus side the hardwired LAN ports remain.
The big news is the price reduction to US$99 for a single pack, down from US$129 for the original, and US$199 for the triple pack, down from $299. That doesn’t represent a huge saving on just one but over three devices those saving mounts up. While there’s no news on an Australia release if they do come here we’d expect them to sell for $149 and $299 respectively.
New feature for all
If you find the release of updated hardware without WiFi 6 a little underwhelming, perhaps the new features rolling out to the OG Google Wifi, new Google WiFi and Nest WiFi may be more to your liking. The main new feature is device notifications.
With device notifications, you will now receive a notification on your Android device when a new device joins your network. This can be an important security feature, to monitor who is joining your network, if you’re not expecting a new device then you may be able to prevent unwanted intrusion into your network with such a notification.
The other new feature is an enhancement to reduce network delays and avoid congestion across your mesh network. These feel more like promises rather than tangible features, but any attempts to make devices work better, especially over Wi-Fi is appreciated. The new updates are rolling out from today, so if you have existing Google/ Nest WiFi devices, spam on that update button.