Google’s Wi-Fi 6E router, the “Nest Wifi Pro,” gets briefly listed for $199


The current Nest Wifi.
Enlarge / The current Nest Wifi.

Google

Google’s October 6th event is fast approaching and a lot of hardware is leaking ahead. We already know the Pixel 7, the Pixel Watch and the new low-end Chromecast – now how about “Nest Wifi Pro”?

Immediately following its appearance at the FCC last month, Google’s next Wi-Fi router surfaced in a retail listing by B&H Photo over the weekend. The entry was removed, but 9to5Google, who discovered the entry, has a backup. Right in the B&H title it says “Wi-Fi 6E” support, which is the big upgrade in this “Pro” model and should result in a more robust connection. 6E moves Wi-Fi to the 6GHz band (alongside the existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands), which will greatly expand the capacity of the shared airwaves that all Wi-Fi must use. If you live in a crowded area like an apartment building, your Wi-Fi performance can be severely reduced if your neighbors use full spectrum. The inclusion of this new 6GHz spectrum means more room for everyone.

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Apparently, the inclusion of the latest Wi-Fi standard will come with a price increase for the new device. B&H lists a price of $199 for a single unit, while the current Nest Wifi is $169 for a “router” unit. A two-pack of Wifi Pros costs $299 (the non-Pro two-pack costs $269), while a three-pack costs $399 (vs. $349 for a non-Pro pack). The “Pro” branding and higher price make it sound like the existing Nest Wifi, which only supports the aging 802.11ac protocol (aka Wi-Fi 5), will still be for sale.

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Nest Wifi’s current two- and three-packs include a “router” as the first unit and “point” units as the second and third devices, but this difference isn’t mentioned in the Pro’s B&H listing. For the current Nest Wifi, the “router” is the main unit with two Ethernet sockets and better antennas, while the “point” units are just Wi-Fi extenders with no Ethernet ports. The main criticism of this package is that the two “point” units in a three-pack cannot do a wired backhaul since they don’t have Ethernet ports. An Ethernet port on each device would help the new model live up to the Pro name.

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Also not mentioned in the list is the Google Assistant. In the current Nest Wifi, the “Point” units also include a Google Assistant speaker and microphone, giving you access to the Google ecosystem with a combo device. It sounds like the Pro models will only be network devices.



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