There’s a corner of my house that I tend to avoid.
Located on the upper level, it’s tucked away in the corner and next to two large windows. It’s quiet, and there’s a comfy chair — but for some reason, I can never get a good connection there. I’ve been known to camp out in various places of my house and write articles or research social media topics, but that corner is rarely a good makeshift workplace.
That is, up until a recent upgrade. I tested out the Google Nest WiFi Pro mesh routers, and suddenly that little corner is now a perfectly good place to work. (By the way, Google breaks with all tradition and calls this product the Google Nest Wifi Pro even though everyone else on the planet spells Wi-Fi with a hyphen — including the company that owns the trademark.)
One reason this product works so well is how the mesh network forms one big wireless network in your home. The kit comes with three devices, and they connect to each other to form a solid and stable network. My house is about 3,000 square feet, and I have gadgets everywhere. I use multiple media streaming gadgets, phones and tablets, and everything in between. All of them connected nicely.
Installation is about as easy as it gets, although I psyched myself out a couple of times during the process. For starters, I didn’t realize I had to create a new “home” for these routers. I used the Google Home app on an iPhone, but I had already created a previous network. When I tried to use it again, I kept getting an error during setup. This is a feature, not a bug. Google was trying to tell me that using the same “home” network could cause conflicts with my settings. When I added a new home for these products, everything worked fine.
Well — until I psyched myself out again. I tried to extend the range a bit too far in my house, and had some issues placing each mesh router. The way it works is that you form one big network, but if the mesh routers are too far apart, you will see some connection issues. Fortunately, the app warns you about this when you do a network test. So if you are counting, that’s two setup problems I caused myself and the app essentially “rerouted” me, pun intended, to a fix.
Okay, so how does it all work? In my tests using the Speedtest.net site, I was able to connect at the full speed of my cable modem almost everywhere. This is not normal. My kitchen is a bit of a hot mess when it comes to a good connection, and so is that remote corner with the comfy chair.
I was impressed because I have never quite had such a smooth connection in every area or at such nice speeds. This means Netflix connected fine on a tablet even in the kitchen, and I never had any issues when multiple people were watching movies and playing games.
Frankly, I never really had a lot of issues in the main areas of my house — Netflix in 4K rarely if ever stutters. It just means I can connect at high speeds from everywhere, and no longer avoid areas where things get a little dicey usually. I don’t even think about it anymore.
My only real gripe here is about price. The three-pack kit costs $367, and if you only buy one (say, if you live in an apartment), the price is $199. That’s a lot. I’ve seen run-of-the-mill routers on sale for as low as $35. Amazon makes a mesh router that’s only $70.
Still, I am impressed with the Google Nest WiFi Pro overall, especially since the product works as advertised. As long as you can accept the price, it’s a wireless wonder.