moar wi-fi pls –
The second generation of Google Wi-Fi includes a Google Home smart speaker.
Google debuted itsNest Wi-Fi– replacement for the original Google Wi-Fi — today at Made by Google 2019. Details were sparse, but the device appears to effectively be the original Google Wi-Fi hardware in an updated chassis — which Google hopes you’ll find attractive enough not to hide away in a cabinet — with the addition of an onboard smart speaker. Google did claim that Nest Wi-Fi delivers “up to two times the speed” and “25% more coverage “but with no technical detail, it’s difficult to expect much concrete out of that.
There was no mention of Wi-Fi 6 support or anything else notable on the actual Wi-Fi front, but the addition of Google Assistant and a smart speaker in both the Nest Wi-Fi Router and Nest-Wi-Fi Point (satellite nodes) means fewer devices necessary for those who want to audibly command Wi-Fi setups, eg “OK Google, pause the Wi-Fi.” Frustrated parents can also give commands like “OK Google, pause the Wi-Fi for $ childname” without impacting the rest of the network.
Google says that a two piece Nest Wi-Fi kit — one Nest Router and one Nest Point — should cover up to 3, 800 square feet and 85% of homes. This claim, like most arbitrary claims of Wi-Fi coverage with no real detail, should be taken with several grains of salt.
Homes with Wi-Fi blocking obstructions like the partial basement floor in my house, elevator shafts running through apartments, etc. will likely be in that alluded 15%, whether they hit 3, 800 square feet or not. Original Google Wi-Fi was particularly bad at tree topology (router ->node ->node rather than nodenode) which added to the difficulty of routing around Wi-Fi obstructions; we won’t know for sure whether Nest Wi-Fi has materially improved on this until we have a unit to test.
Google says that Nest Wi-Fi is backward compatible with first-generation Google Wi-Fi devices, so the two can be mix -and-matched on the same local network.