Skip to content

Nest WiFi vs. Google WiFi: Full Comparison, with Features and 8 Key Differences

Mesh networking systems offer an excellent boost to your home or office internet coverage. Instead of using a single router that covers only one area of your home, you can create a network of several routers (called nodes) that can blanket large areas with reliable, fast Wi-Fi.

Google, being the tech giant it is, first launched the Google WiFi system in 2016. A few years later in 2019, the company launched its revamped version, Nest WiFi, which packs more features and improved technology. For instance, instead of the WPA2 standard technology, Nest uses WPA3 for better protection against cyber attacks.

Nest WiFi is also way faster at AC2200 than Google WiFi‘s AC1200 speed rating. However, both are still capable systems that get the job done.

Did you know that Nest WiFi comes with Google Assistant built-in? Imagine being able to control your entire home network using just your voice. Pretty cool, right?

Read on for a detailed comparison of all their features and the eight key differences that will help you decide which one is best for your home.

Key Points

  • Nest Wifi and Google Wifi are products of Google offering mesh network solutions.
  • Google Wifi is the original mesh network system from Google, and Nest Wifi is the second-generation iteration.
  • One of the differences between Nest Wifi and Google WiFi is that Nesh Wifi touts AC2200 speeds while Google WiFi AC1200 speeds.

Nest WiFi vs. Google Wi-Fi: Side-by-Side Comparison

Nest WiFi Google WiFi
Date Released 2019 2016
Wi-Fi Speed Rating AC2200
(Max speed:
Router: 2.2 Gbps
Point: 1.2 Gbps)
AC1200 (Max speed: 1.2 Gbps)
Coverage (Range) Router: 2,200 sq. ft.
Point: 1,600 sq. ft.
Point: 1,500 sq. ft.
Smart Speakers Point: Yes
Router: No
Colors Point: Sand, Mist, Snow
Router: Snow
RAM and Storage Router: 1GB and 4GB
Point: 768MB and 512MB
512MB and 4GB
CPU Quad Core 1.4 Ghz Quad Core 710 Mhz
Ports 2x 1Gbps (LAN) available on Router and Point, Power port 2x LAN (1Gbps), USB-C for charging
Touch Controls Yes – Points only No
Wi-Fi Security Standard WPA3 WPA2
Wi-Fi Chip Qualcomm QCS 400 Qualcomm IPQ4019
Antennas 4 by 4 2 by 2
Pricing Single Router: $149.00
Additional extender: $129.00
3-piece mesh price: $299.00
Single router: $99
Additional extender: $99
3-piece mesh price: $259

{% include links.html %}

As you can see from the table, Nest WiFi edges out Google WiFi when it comes to specifications and features. But let‘s dig deeper into the key differences between these two mesh networking systems.

Nest Wi-Fi vs. Google Wi-Fi: What’s the Difference?

You first need to realize that the Nest WiFi is the second generation iteration of Google Wi-Fi. Google changed the name to better accommodate its smart home product line, but that doesn’t mean Nest WiFi is a huge departure from its predecessor.

While both are mesh networking systems, Nest WiFi has some additional features and improved technology. The table above pretty much tells you the feature differences between the two, but to understand how these specifications affect network performance, we need to take a more in-depth look.

Below are the key differences between Nest WiFi and Google Wi-Fi.

Speed Matters

Any mesh network system needs to have a good speed rating. Speed, in essence, determines the maximum bandwidth available and how many devices can connect to the network without experiencing any lags or drops in connection.

Nest WiFi is an AC 2200 dual-band router. Theoretically, it can transfer data at up to 2.2 Gbps. The Nest Wi-Fi point has a maximum speed of 1.2 Gbps, which is still more than enough for typical home and office use. On the other hand, Google Wi-Fi uses an AC1200 standard, meaning it can only transfer data up to 1.2 Gbps.

It’s crucial to remember that the Wi-Fi router and point share the bandwidth. So, in a real-world situation, you can’t see the maximum speeds from both devices. For example, if you use a Nest router with four Wi-Fi points, the total speed might be around 1.8 Gbps, which is still excellent for most situations.

Typically, mesh network systems focus more on connection stability and consistency over raw speed. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore speeds altogether. More speed gives better performance, especially in a network with multiple devices connected.

For these reasons, you’ll find the Nest WiFi better suited for heavy use, primarily if you use the network to connect with a media server or share files between computers. Google Wi-Fi will suffice if you live in a smaller apartment with only a few devices.

Security and Encryption

WPA3 is the most up-to-date encryption standard. It’s an improvement over WPA2, the cryptographic security protocol of choice some years ago. Regarding security, Nest WiFi has an advantage because it uses WPA3.

Google Wi-Fi uses WPA2 for protection against cyber attacks. It’s still an effective protocol that offers good levels of encryption, but it can’t compare to the newer WPA3 standard used by Nest WiFi. It lacks the enhanced encryption and user authentication features of WPA3.

If you’re feeling particularly paranoid about your data, we recommend sticking with Nest WiFi since it can better protect your home network. But for the average user, Google Wi-Fi’s WPA2 should be more than enough.

Smart Features

Changes in the tech world are driven by two primary motivators: performance and convenience. Makers of mesh networking systems know this, which explains the inclusion of various smart features in their devices.

Google Wi-Fi was early in the market when there wasn’t as much emphasis on developing such features. But with its second iteration, Nest Wi-Fi offers a few more bells and whistles.

Nest Wi-Fi supports voice control via Google Assistant. It has a speaker and microphone, allowing you to use voice commands to control the device. However, this feature is only available on the point, not the router, meaning you don’t get the same benefit from the router. While the sound quality isn’t Hi-Fi, it’s still loud and clear enough for most situations.

You also need to use the Google Home App to set up the Nest Wi-Fi system. Using the app is a more intuitive way of configuring your home network than the web-based interface used for Google Wi-Fi.

Nest Wi-Fi can be configured using the Google Home app, which is a simple and intuitive way to set up your mesh network.


Ideally, you want your mesh network system to cover as much area as possible. The Nest WiFi router covers 2,200 square feet, while the point covers an additional 1,600 square feet. On the other hand, Google Wi-Fi has total coverage of 1,500 square feet. An extra point will bring the coverage up to 3,000 square feet.

Chances are you won’t get these numbers in a real-world situation because of interferences from walls and other obstacles. Still, Nest WiFi is better equipped to cover larger areas in a home or office space. Also, Nest and Google Wi-Fi are compatible, so you can mix and match the two to expand coverage.

You’ll need to place the one with the fastest speeds at the center of the network for the best performance. However, the flexibility of combining both networks still gives Nest WiFi an edge in total coverage.

CPU, Memory, and Storage

One of the most underrated aspects of mesh networking systems is the processor used by each node in the system. The role of the processor is to ensure the smooth, efficient flow of data and support other functions like parental control and QoS.

Your network won’t perform optimally if the processor isn’t powerful enough. Storage and RAM matter too. The more memory you have, the better your system will run regarding caching and buffering.

Nest WiFi has the more capable processor: a quad-core 1.4Ghz CPU. The router has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage, while the points have 768MB of RAM and 512MB of storage. On the other hand, Google Wi-Fi uses a dual-core 710Mhz CPU with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage.

While Google Wi-Fi’s processor isn’t as fast, it still offers good performance. You won’t see any lag unless you have dozens of devices connected to the router. Moreover, RAM and storage are enough to handle basic networking tasks.

Design and Aesthetics

Nest and Google Wi-Fi take an almost similar approach to design. The second iteration did spruce up a few things, though. Both routers have a subtle, minimalistic look that should fit most households. However, instead of the edgy, cylindrical design of Google Wi-Fi, Nest Wi-Fi comes with a more elegant look.

The router features softened round edges that make it look sleeker than the Google counterpart. This design is also more child-friendly, as the edges are less prone to hurting hands. Nest colors are also quite different from Google’s. The former only comes in one color, snow, the same as the Nest Wi-Fi router. Nest Wi-Fi points come in sand, mist, and snow.

Regarding aesthetics, Nest Wi-Fi has the edge over its rival. It looks more polished and sophisticated than Google Wi-Fi. You won’t have to worry about the router sticking out like a sore thumb in your living room or bedroom.

Ports and Touch Control

You’ll find two 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports on each of the routers. These ports let you connect one or two devices directly, eliminating the need for multiple switches.

Google Wi-Fi features a USB-C port, while Nest Wi-Fi has a USB 3.0 port. Given the ubiquity of USB-C ports, the lack of one on Nest Wi-Fi could be a deal breaker.

Touch control on the Nest Wi-Fi points is another feature you won’t find on Google Wi-Fi. The sensors detect when your hand approaches the router, allowing you to interact quickly without using a smartphone or laptop. Although touch control isn’t as essential as some other features, it does add a bit of flair.


Depending on your needs and budget, pricing will likely be your deciding factor. Google Wi-Fi is the cheaper option of the two, at least in terms of upfront cost. The router and a single point cost $99 and $99, respectively. The price for a 3-piece system (2 points) is $259.

Nest Wi-Fi’s prices start at $149 for the router and $129 for each point. A 3-piece system (2 points) will cost you $299. Although it’s pricier than Google Wi-Fi, Nest Wi-Fi has better specs, performance, and design. It’s also easier to set up and use, thanks to the touch control sensors on points.

Nest Wi-Fi vs. Google Wi-Fi: 10 Must-Know Facts

  • Nest Wi-Fi and Google Wi-Fi are mesh networking systems designed to enhance Wi-Fi coverage in your home or office.
  • Nest Wi-Fi is the upgraded version of the Google Wi-Fi system, and it comes with improved technology and additional features.
  • Nest Wi-Fi has a faster speed rating of AC2200 compared to Google Wi-Fi’s AC1200.
  • Nest Wi-Fi has voice control through Google Assistant and has a speaker and microphone.
  • Nest Wi-Fi uses the more advanced WPA3 encryption standard, while Google Wi-Fi uses WPA2.
  • While both systems focus more on connection stability and consistency, Nest Wi-Fi is better suited for heavy use, connecting to media servers, or sharing files between computers. At the same time, Google Wi-Fi is better for smaller apartments with only a few devices.
  • WPA3 offers enhanced encryption and user authentication features, which WPA2 lacks.
  • Nest Wi-Fi has a sleeker design, softened round edges, and four color options. It also features touch control sensors on the points.
  • Google Wi-Fi has two 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, while Nest Wi-Fi has a USB 3.0 port instead of the USB-C port found on Google Wi-Fi.
  • Google Wi-Fi is the cheaper option of the two, with prices starting at $99 for the router and $99 for each point. Nest Wi-Fi’s prices start at $149 for the router and $129 for each point.

{% include links.html %}

So in summary, while Google Wi-Fi was an early pioneer in mesh networking systems, Nest Wi-Fi builds on its predecessor‘s success with faster speeds, smarter features, and better design. However, Google Wi-Fi still remains a budget-friendly option that gets the job done for smaller spaces.

Nest WiFi vs. Google Wifi: Which One is Better for You?

Eventually, you must decide which mesh networking system to use. While budget is a factor you‘ll have to consider, don’t forget to evaluate each system‘s features, performance, and design.

Nest WiFi is the better option if you’re looking for a more robust system with better specs and the added convenience of voice control.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something simpler and more affordable, Google Wi-Fi is the better choice. However, this system won’t be good if you have multiple devices connected or need more powerful internet speeds. Ample coverage and a stronger connection are some of the main benefits you can expect when you upgrade to Nest Wi-Fi.

Whether you choose Nest Wi-Fi or Google Wi-Fi, both will help improve your home or office‘s Wi-Fi coverage. So, pick the one that fits your budget and needs, and enjoy the convenience of having a stronger connection.


Mesh networking systems like Nest WiFi and Google WiFi make it easy to eliminate WiFi dead zones in your home. While both offer extended coverage, Nest WiFi pulls ahead when it comes to speed, security, smart features, design, and overall performance. However, Google WiFi remains a decent budget option for smaller spaces. Assess your needs and budget, then choose the system that‘s right for you. With robust mesh networking, you‘ll be able to enjoy fast, reliable connections in every corner of your home or office.