Nest Wifi Pro: A Big Bet on the 6GHz Band

Nest Wifi Pro: A Big Bet on the 6GHz Band

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Google today announced the Nest Wifi Pro mesh router, the latest hardware in its once Google Wifi lineup.

You can pre-order a single unit for $199.99, a 2-pack for $ 299.99, or a 3-pack for $39.99. I’d say the pricing is competitive.

If you get a single unit, there are four color options, including Snow (white), Linen (beige), Fog (light blue), and Lemon Grass (light yellow). For those needing a 2- or 3-pack, Snow is the only option for now.

The hardware looks great, shaping more like a piece of home decor than a networking device, which has been the approach of Google on this front.

But ultimately, this is a Wi-Fi broadcaster, of which size matters. You can’t have something cute, tiny, and pretty that’s also a workhorse. And that seems to be the case with the Nest Pro.

Let’s check the tech based on the information Google has put out.

The front and back of the Net Wifi Pro

Google Nest Wifi Pro: The new 6GHz band has to carry a lot of weight

The “Pro” notion has been used with a bit of jest. The eero Pro has nothing pro, and TP-Link uses it to convey that its router has a Multi-Gig port.

In the case of the Nest Wifi Pro, the Pro notion seems to be attached to the new 6GHz band — the new hardware supports the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard. And that’s it.

Indeed, the new Nest Wifi Pro has nothing else of note on the Wi-Fi and networking front. It doesn’t even have a Multi-Gig port. Instead, it comes with two Gigabit ports, like the original Google Wifi case.

Nest Wifi Pro Mesh Router’s hardware specifications

The Nest Wifi Pro features mid-tier Wi-Fi specs with a total bandwidth of 5400Mbps. None of its three bands (2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz) have the top Wi-Fi specs allowed by the Wi-Fi 6 and 6E standards.

Full Name Nest Wifi Pro Mesh Router
Wi-Fi Designation AXE5400
Mesh Availability 2-pack or 3-pack
(identical hardware units)
Dimensions 5.312 x 4.6 x 3.35 inch
(130 x 117 x 85 mm)
Weight 0.99 lb (450 g)
6GHz Wi-Fi Specs 2×2 Wi-Fi 6E: Up to 2404 Mbps 
5GHz Wi-Fi Specs 2×2 Wi-Fi 6: Up to 2404 Mbps 
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs 2×2 Wi-Fi 6: 574 Mbs
Mesh Backhaul Band Dynamic
Wired Backhaul Support Yes
Backward Compatibility  802.11ac/n/g/a/b
Wi-Fi Security WPA2, WPA2/WPA3 Mixed Mode
Mobile App Google Home
Web User Interface None
AP (Bridge) Mode Yes 
(single router only)
USB Port None
Network Ports 1x Gigabit WAN,
1x Gigabit LAN
Link Aggregation No
Multi-Gig Port None
Dual-WAN No
Home Automation Matter
Thread border router
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Designed to support higher-power 6 GHz channels, when available (AFC ready)
Suggest Retail Price $199.99 (1-pack), $299.99 (2-pack)
399.99 (3-pack)
Nest Wifi Pro Mesh Router’s hardware specs

Home automation support, AFC-ready

The Nest Wifi Pro Mesh Router has a few note-worthy things for those looking beyond Wi-Fi.

First and foremost, it can work as a home automation hub and support Matter and Threader border.

Consequently, if you use supported IoTs, you can manage them within the Google Home app, which is the app you’d need to set up and use the Nest Wifi Pro.

With the Wifi Pro, Nest also announces a new Nest Doorbell that will work well with the router. On top of the Google Home, ap will get a much-needed overhaul — it’s been bloated with too many features and options.

And secondly, the new router features Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) for its 6GHz band.

Initially, AFC is slated to debut with Wi-Fi 7, but since it works on the 6GHz band, it looks like Wi-Fi 6E device will get the benefit. Still, that’s the future. For now, AFC doesn’t do anything yet.

When you can take advantage of AFC on the Nest Wifi Pro, it’s time to check out Wi-Fi 7 hardware.

Google Nest Wifi Pro: Limited networking options and the potential privacy risks

Like the case of the eero and previous Google Wifi devices, the new Nest Wifi Pro is app-operated. You must sign in with a Google (or Gmail) account to use it. Consequently, you might surrender all of your local network’s activities to Google. And that’s a huge privacy risk.

If you think we’ve already done that via our web browsers, Android phones, and other Google-connected, you’re right. But privacy is about the degree, and the Nest Wifi Pro (as well as previous versions) will bring the data collection to a higher and more complete level. Here’s Nest’s privacy policy.

In any case, judging from existing Nest Wifi options, the new Nest Wifi Pro will likely have similarly limited Wi-Fi and networking customization. It’s a trade-off between ease of use and usefulness.

Nest Wifi Pro Underside
The underside of the Nest Wifi Pro mesh router

In-depth review to come

While new, the Google Nest Wifi Pro seems subduced and late to the game. Judging from the specs, chances are its performance won’t wow anyone — its top Wi-Fi performance will be sub-Gigabit at best.

However, the new router might have enough in its ease of use, look, and, most importantly, the pricing to compensate for that.

I’m in the process of getting a couple of units to put them through their paces. Check back for that in-depth review you’ve to expect from this website.

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