Google now has a lot of devices in its catalog, but this is not enough for its taste and the company unveiled in November a brand new network-type device, the Nest WiFi . A device whose one and only goal is to boost your WiFi while improving its coverage.
But before we start, let's take the time to explain what exactly Nest WiFi is.
Nest WiFi is therefore a network solution developed by Google, a solution that is based on two elements. On the one hand, you have a router which will connect to your box and which will allow you to deploy a local network through your home or your office. And on the other, we have a repeater that will allow you to extend WiFi coverage.
Basically, 802.11 WiFi has a theoretical range of 250 meters. But that is worth outdoors, with a clear ground and without any disturbance. Indoors, we will rather fall a few tens of meters. Everything will indeed depend on the topology of the premises or even the thickness of your walls.
Concretely, this means that you will not be able to benefit from optimal WiFi in a house with several levels, or spanning more than one hundred square meters.
And this is where the repeater will come into play since it will allow you to repeat the WiFi signal and extend it to new rooms.
There is obviously a plethora of solutions in this area, and the Nest WiFi is one of them. Except that behind, we also have the know-how of Google. And you will see it in this test, it is clearly not trivial.
Overall, this test will revolve around two points. After unpacking the Nest WiFi and focusing on the design of the product, we will move on to the set-up and functions.
Packaging & Accessories
Google has opted for a minimalist and refined setting. A white box, a visual on the front and back, it's simple and straightforward. Now, we also have some explanations on the sides, with a diagram detailing how the product works.
The box opens from above and once the cover is removed, we fall directly on the router and its repeater. Who are very similar.
After removing them from the box and removing their base, you will be able to access the documentation and accessories.
The documentation is very well done and it includes many illustrations which will undoubtedly facilitate the life of the neophytes.
In addition, there are two power supplies, but also an additional box in which an RJ45 cable has been slipped. We will therefore have everything we need to deploy the solution.
The Nest WiFi is the larger of the two. True to form, Google has opted for a minimalist design. The router is therefore in the form of a cylinder covered with a matt white plastic. No antenna to spoil the view. And this is obviously a good thing since we can leave the router exposed without fear for its interior decoration.
The connection is collected under the cylinder and it has three elements: two Ethernet sockets and a power supply.
The repeater is a little more compact, but it uses the same design elements. It therefore takes the form of a matt white cylinder.
However, it has several notable differences from the router. Unlike the latter, it has no ethernet sockets. In addition, it incorporates a loudspeaker and … several microphones. Yes, because our repeater will not only serve to amplify your WiFi, it will also act as a speaker and it will offer similar functions to Google Home.
And this is obviously not trivial. Google was rather clever on this point and the repeater embeds Google Assistant.
This means that it will be able to respond to the famous key phrase “Ok Google”, with all the functions specific to Google Home.
You can therefore start music on Spotify, control your connected bulbs or even manage your agenda from your repeater. And frankly, it's unheard of.
And before finishing with this first part, we must also underline another important point.
Nest WiFi is a scalable solution. This pack contains a router and a repeater, but you can very well add other access points later to extend your network coverage, depending on your needs and your accommodation.
Setup & Functions
Now that we've seen what's in the Nest Wifi box, we can move on to setting it up.
The Nest WiFi is intended for a broad target and the product is aimed at both advanced users and novices who are not very help with anything to do with networks.
And this is an important point, because Google has made every effort to make the installation of the Nest WiFi as simple and transparent as possible.
The first thing to do will be to take the router and place it next to your home box. Then, you will need to use the supplied RJ45 cable to connect the port decorated with a globe to one of the Ethernet ports on your box. After that, all you have to do is connect the power cable to the Nest WiFi to turn it on.
Then wait for the LED on the front of the box to turn solid white.
Then, you will have to go to the configuration step. And there, all you have to do is install the Google Home app available on iOS or Android. It is indeed this which will allow us to configure the Google router and its various access points.
And there we come to an important point. To be able to use the application, you must have a Google account. It will indeed be impossible to use it without it, which also means that you will not be able to benefit from the functions of the Nest WiFi without this same account.
After installing the application, launch it and click on the little plus located at the top left of the screen to add a new device. Google Home will start detection and find the router you just installed. The tool will then offer to launch the wizard which will allow you to configure it.
I won't go into the entire procedure in detail, but just know that you will need to, among other things, define where the Nest WiFi is installed, scan its QR Code to authorize the connection and then set the name of the access point as well. as the password that will allow you to access it.
When this is done, the application will offer you to check if an update has not been deployed by Google and it will install it immediately, always with your permission.
After completing this wizard, your Nest WiFi will be fully functional. And you just have to select the name of the access point on your computer, TV, smartphone or even tablet while then entering the password you have just defined.
However, we still have to configure the access point, and therefore the repeater.
And again, the installation could not be simpler since you just need to place the access point at the location of your choice and connect it. Then, you will have to wait about thirty seconds, the time for the startup to take place. When the repeater is ready to be configured, it will let you know through the voice of Google Assistant.
The procedure does not change. Everything will happen once again through the Google Home app and you will have to repeat the same steps to detect the repeater and launch the installation wizard.
The wizard in question will, however, be quite different from the other and will include more steps. Once the basic configuration is complete, it will ask you to configure Voice Match, but also the various applications associated with Google Assistant.
And all you have to do, ultimately, is read the information on the screen.
The wizard is indeed well thought out and will take you by the hand to help you complete all the required steps.
Once the procedure is finished, the tool will simply offer you to check the quality of the mesh – and therefore of the connection between the repeater and the router. I advise you not to skip this step since it will allow you to determine if you have placed the repeater correctly.
For the rest, everything is transparent. The WiFi network will remain the same and it will have the same name. No change for the password either.
Now, as a bonus, there are also some advanced functions on the repeater side.
To access these functions, you will once again have to go through the Google Home application and then tap on the icon representing the repeater.
Google Home will then show you the object, with an animation and a small link at the bottom to start the mesh network test. A test that you have already taken if you followed my advice.
Now look at the top corner of the screen. You have a first icon symbolized by a speaker. If you press it, you will be taken to a new screen where you can change the volume or even break your audio content.
At the top right, you will also see a new icon symbolized by two gauges. They will give you access to the equalizer of the repeater cabinet.
But to get your hands on the advanced functions, you will have to tap on the small screen. And there, in addition to all the usual information such as the name of the location of the repeater or the name of the device, you will find a menu called digital well-being.
This menu allows you to pause the device to breathe a little, but also to access its filters. Filters that will allow you for example to restrict the videos or even the music accessible through it.
It is also on this screen that you will find access to the planning of the break time, a tool that will allow you to indicate the hours during which the Nest WiFi will automatically cut off access. Typically the kind of function that should be of interest to parents concerned about the well-being of their teenager …
If you go back to the main menu, then you will find many other options such as night mode, which is useful to avoid waking the whole household, or do not disturb mode.
If you want to connect your Nest WiFi to your other connected equipment, you will also need to go through the Google Home app. For example, it will allow you to establish a bridge between your Nest products and Hue smart bulbs.
To end this test, I still have to mention one important point: the performance of the solution.
And there, nothing to say, they are extremely good. So of course, the Nest WiFi will remain dependent on the speed of your offer and your line, but it offers greater stability and range compared to traditional boxes. In any case, at home, we really noticed a noticeable improvement after the installation of the Google solution.
Behind, it should also be noted that everything is managed automatically by the on-board firmware. It will indeed take care of choosing the best channel, but also to prioritize the accesses according to what the users of your household will do.
In the end, therefore, the results are extremely positive. The Nest WiFi is rather pretty to look at, it is extremely easy to configure and it also offers very good performance, with a host of functions that will allow us to adapt its operation to our needs.
And all this for a very affordable price. The router itself is indeed offered at 159 € and the repeater is at 139 € . But you can also opt directly for a pack that combines the two, for a price this time set at 259 €.