I don’t know about you, but I didn’t realize how many Wi-Fi-enabled devices I had in my home until I started looking at Wi-Fi routers.
I mean, I’m a techie guy I know — I have a few devices like an iPad and smartwatches, plus my wife has some, but what I didn’t realize is that I had 19 devices connected at all times between just my wife and myself… (okay so most of them are mine).
Some of you may be worried about my well-being at this point, but let me ease your worries. This list includes Apple TV’s, a smart TV, a couple of Hoop Wi-Fi Cameras (see past review), an Apple HomePod, and a number of iPads and MacBooks (you can do the math).
It has always been worth it to me to pay for above-baseline Wi-Fi speeds. However, I never felt the need to pay for the 1GB speed level. This feeling was partially due to my frustrations with my router as I am now finding.
The Google Nest Wi-Fi router with one extra Wi-Fi bridge included can handle up to 200 devices (as Google claims). I must say, I may not have 200 devices but I do have a lot! Now that my router can handle my multitude of devices without dropping or throttling my connection, my Wi-Fi feels faster even though my speeds are the same.
Here’s how it works. This mesh network connects beautifully between the main router and multiple “points” you can set up in addition. These extend the range of your mesh network to cover your entire home in connected bliss.
Just when you think “Wow, I should get one of these routers, they sound great!” know this — it gets better. The access points are also Google smart speakers with the Assistant built-in. This means, for every access point, you have access to a Google speaker where you can speak to your Google-connected home, play music, ask questions, check the weather, and more.
Being able to ask my Wi-Fi router for the weather, to play music on Spotify, or even tell me what my internet speed is, has truly made me rethink what a Wi-Fi router can even do.
This mesh network and smart assistant combo is incredibly simple to set up using the free Google Home App. The Google Wi-Fi app lets you customize even more. This includes parental controls, device prioritization, guest network, easy share and more.
Within the parental controls, you can set per-device or per-group options (e.g. configure a “kids devices” or a “work device”), schedules for family time, homework, bedtime, etc. allowing only the devices you choose to access Wi-Fi. You can also block explicit content as well as pause specific connected devices (or groups) with quick shortcuts.
All in all, this $169 mesh router is a phenomenal buy for anyone looking to strengthen their Wi-Fi connectivity strength and gain the added bonus of a Google Assistant speaker.