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Nest Wi-Fi is Google's new mesh solution

The Google Nest Wi-Fi. (Source: Google)
The Google Nest Wi-Fi. (Source: Google)
Google also announced its new Nest Wi-Fi home product at the 2019 Pixel launch event. It consists of scalable router and point units in various muted colors. A single 802.11s router covers up to 2200 square feet of space each, whereas each point doubles as a smart speaker.

Google introduced some new Nest-brand products at the Made By 2019 event. The more innovative of these may be the new mesh Wi-Fi system that goes under this name. Its router goes along more or less familiar lines: it connects to a household modem to deliver even, consistent levels of coverage throughout the home. The points that can propagate this signal, on the other hand, also function as smart speakers.

These Nest Wi-Fi points support the 802.11s mesh standard. They augment the router's maximal 2200 sq.ft. coverage with 1600 sq.ft. each. The entire system also actively provides each device it serves with an optimal channel, and also supports automatic 802.11k/v client roaming. It is also equipped with the WPA3 encryption level and have access to automatic security updates from Google.

Nest Wi-Fi units also support low-energy Bluetooth (BLE) so as to integrate into a smart home, and will also update to use the 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 Thread standard at a later stage. Google also claims that home user personal data will be respected within the Nest Wi-Fi system: each point has a hardware privacy switch, and both router and points will have more granular sensor controls.

The Nest Wi-Fi starts at US$169 for a router on its own. The addition of 1 point brings the cost up to $269, whereas a router with 2 points will set the buyer back $349. Alternatively, a consumer could also buy single points at $149 each. This could be done for further scaling; furthermore, they are backwards-compatible with mesh networks based on the former Google Wi-Fi devices. The new models come in 3 colors (Mist, Sand or Snow) and will ship from November 4, 2019.



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Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-10-15 (Update: 2019-10-15)