Nest Wifi Review

Working from home has put our internet at the centre of a necessity.  Having a good router is important.  Having a kid who needs to have some boundaries means I need some features on it.

My old Velop router has held up for a long while, but it was time for an update.  Especially as the app they used hadn't changed in the years and was feeling very old and slow.

Enter Google's new Nest Wifi mesh router.  Currently, it's on sale for $250CDN with the extra access point.  And it's a heck of a great system.

Let's get into to it.

Now, you've seen my unboxing, my setting up and then my favourite feature thus far.

But, let's walk through some of the settings and see what I really like.

First, let's revisit a bit of my set up.

Currently, I have my main router connected from my ISP (Shaw) which the Nest Wifi router plugs into.  Then I connected my extra access point.  Most of my smart bulbs are connected to my Shaw wifi router.  Everything else I had to change from the old Velop router to the Nest router.  

I left the extra access point with the mic off, as I have already many Assistant speakers around that I didn't want to have it interfere, but it also makes a good extra speaker for some of the routines I have go off.

All set we have about 20+ devices that connect to the new mesh system.  And once we're up and running, you almost never need to interface with it again, it's that good.  I love that the settings and everything are found in the Home app.  An app I use several times a day to control features of my home (casting, turning off/on lights), so you see the Wifi there and check it out.

The first thing you can take a look at is the network itself.  It does it's own speed tests every day and let's you know how well it's running.

Unfortunately, looking at the real-time usage is that only gives you the graph from that time on and not any historical data - but it does show you peak usage for the Day/Week/Month as well as Usage.

Then you can view the 'points' connected and run a test on it to make sure you have a good service between the points and your device.

Next up you can see the devices that are connected.  This sometimes can take a while to load up.  It'll show what's connected, and what's been connected.  Depending on how 'smart' the device is that's connected, sometimes the name of the item doesn't necessarily line up with what's showing.  Like, my Pixelbook was just showing as "ChromeOS" device, so I did go on and have to name things as I needed to.  This will help in identifying for groups (see more later) or if you're wanting to ask Google to pause internet for a specific device.

An interesting option you can opt to 'prioritise device', meaning the device you select for a period of time.  Meaning it'll try to ensure that gets the lion's share of the internet.  

Useful if say you're about to head into an important webinar and want to have a solid connection for and your kid not jumping on Discord and streaming some games to disrupt it.

The big feature comes in to the Family section.  This is where you can create 'groups' which you can then set controls on with a schedule.

First up, create a group.  So I picked out my kids phone, laptop, and Switch and called it "Dean's Stuff".  

Once it's a group you can ask Google to 'pause Dean's Stuff' and it'll refuse internet to those devices until you 'un-pause'.

Another method is to set it up as a schedule.  So set up a name for that type of schedule, pick which groups it works for and then select the times/days.  It's not super intuitive that what does the Start or End time means (is it when you get internet only, or the device pauses it)... it's for when the pause should start, and then when it should end.  

Below is the option to pick which days it'll repeat on.  

Now, you can only set up a 'consistent' schedule.  So if my kid is allowed internet until 9pm on the weekdays and then 10pm on the weekends, I'd have to set up 2 different schedules unfortunately.

What's really great about the schedule is that when it's set up running you have some quick options to say 'skip' an instance (so it won't worry about the next time it should start/end) or delay its start (or even end the process early).

Super easy to get to if you need it.  

Dean wanted to play a Jackbox game once and it was after his scheduled hours, so we could just quick 'delay' it for 30 min and then delay it again if we needed more time, and then it just cuts off automatically.

Very convenient.

You also have the option of setting up a Guest Network - essentially a separate network for visitors which gets them internet, but not connecting to the rest of the devices that are connected (i.e. casting or networked drives, etc...).  

Overall, regular price of $350CDN is a bit seep, but decent mesh systems out there start about $229 plus at least another $200 for points.  But you also get a mini built in the access point, so there's another $40 savings.

Throw in that it's on sale at the moment and it's just a perfect deal.

I've had great experience with it since running it, and haven't yet had any issue with the Hue Bridge I used to have it causing some interference with the router and the Velops needing to be rebooted periodically.

In the end for me, the great thing is just the integration with my Google network of items and services that it just is so much more convenient.

Just keep in mind the switching of something as significant as the source of your internet does take some time.  I had a Nest Mini that I forgot about and seeing as I'd removed the older router, it was a process to try to get it to set up on the new one.  That whole process could be way easier... sigh.  But it is so worth it.