The Google Wifi system is nearly four years old at this point, but it turns out that a competent home Wi-Fi system from 2016 is still perfectly good to use in 2020, especially with the updates that Wifi has received. Costco is currently offering a Google Wifi 4-pack for just $229.99, with the only caveat being that you have to be a Costco member.
As previously suspected, Google just silently launched an updated Google Wifi in the US. The new mesh router wasn't featured with the new Pixels, Nest Audio, and Chromecast during Google's Launch Night In event last week; instead, it's been unceremoniously added to the Google Store in the US and featured as a "new" item. That's understandable, though, as these Wifis are basically the same as the ones that were launched in 2016, and a step backward from the more powerful Nest Wifi.
Google's latest Nest Wifi routers are rather expensive, but unique: They serve as both a Wi-Fi access point and a Nest Home speaker at the same time. However, many people already have tons of Google or Nest Home Minis lying around as Google likes giving them out as gifts or bundling them in with other purchases, so the Wifi access points don't necessarily have to be equipped with the Assistant for everyone. Google seems to be thinking the same thing, as 9to5Google has uncovered that the company might be working on an updated version of its original Assistant-less Wifi mesh router, the Google Wifi, potentially going for as little as $99.
When Google introduced its new Nest Wifi routers, it promised to bring over all the settings from the dedicated Wifi app to the regular old Home app. It looks like the company is working on making good on that word, as the latest Google Home app (v2.26) has added a slew of advanced Wifi controls that were previously reserved to the standalone Wifi app, including things like DNS, WAN, LAN, and DHCP configurations.
The original Google Wifi system was first released in late 2016, and even though it has been replaced by the slightly-better Nest Wifi, the first-gen system is still an upgrade over many mesh networks available today. Today, Woot is selling both the single and 3-pack models at some of the lowest prices we've seen yet.
If anyone knows the internet, it's Google. So it makes sense that its Wifi routers are some of the most well regarded products in its hardware lineup. Google expanded Nest Wifi's availability to more countries last month — and with people around the world spending so much time at home these days, it's no wonder. Now users with Nest Wifi and Google Wifi systems are about to get their home internet upgraded, because the company is rolling out an update that will improve performance on slower Internet connections.
Google has an unfortunate habit of announcing interesting features long before they actually become available, and that's again what we've seen in the case of Ambient IQ. Not to be confused with Ambient EQ, which intelligently changes the brightness and color temperature of the display on the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, Ambient IQ does a similar thing for audio. After being introduced in October last year alongside Google's latest hardware, the feature looks set to finally make an appearance.
With the launch of Nest Wifi, we've learned that this new mesh system is backward-compatible with the existing Google Wifi, but if you're happy with your setup and have no plans to get a new Nest router or access point, you can still get a little benefit out of adding your old Wifi to the Google Home app. That lets you manage a few things from a central location and adds WPA3 security to the Wifis.
Google recently introduced the improved Nest Wifi mesh router system with integrated Assistant speakers. If you think that means you'll have to scramble to buy discontinued Google Wifi devices to expand your existing Google Wi-Fi network going forward, you'll be happy to learn that it's possible to use any Google Wifi and Nest Wifi devices in combination. You can add or replace some of your gear with Assistant-equipped access points.
Today's Made by Google event has been packed with new mobile and smart-home hardware, but for all the cutting-edge functionality and smart features these devices aim to offer, they're not much use for anyone without data connectivity. Three years ago, Google set out to help users shower their homes with high-speed, ubiquitous Wi-Fi with the launch of the mesh-capable Google Wifi. Now that hardware's finally getting an overdue refresh with new features, a new look, and a new name: Nest Wifi.