Google’s October 6 event is quickly approaching, and a ton of hardware is leaking ahead of time. We already know about the Pixel 7, the Pixel Watch, and the new low-end Chromecast—now, how about the “Nest Wifi Pro”?
Hot off its appearance at the FCC last month, Google’s next Wi-Fi router popped up in a retail listing from B&H Photo over the weekend. The listing has been taken down, but 9to5Google, which spotted the listing, has a backup. Emblazoned right in the B&H title is “Wi-Fi 6E” support, which is the big upgrade in this “Pro” model and should lead to a more robust connection. 6E moves Wi-Fi into the 6 GHz range (alongside the existing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands), which will greatly expand the capacity of the shared airwaves all Wi-Fi has to use. If you live in a crowded area like an apartment building, your Wi-Fi performance can be greatly reduced if your neighbors use up all the spectrum. Picking up that new 6 GHz slice of spectrum means more space for everyone.
Including Wi-Fi’s latest standard will apparently come with a price increase for the new unit. B&H lists a $199 price for a single unit, while the current Nest Wifi is $169 for a “router” unit. A two-pack of Wifi Pros is $299 (the non-Pro two-pack is $269), while a three-pack is $399 (versus $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 (aka Wi-Fi 5) protocol, will still be for sale.
The current Nest Wifi two- and three-pack bundles include a “router” as the first unit and “point” units as the second and third devices, but that difference is not mentioned in the Pro’s B&H listing. For the current Nest Wifi, the “router” is the main unit with two Ethernet jacks and better antennas, while the “point” units are only Wi-Fi extenders with no Ethernet ports. The main criticism of this bundle is that the two “point” units in a three pack can’t do wired backhaul because they have no Ethernet ports. Having an Ethernet port on every unit would help the new model live up to the “Pro” name.
Also not mentioned in the listing is the Google Assistant. In the current Nest Wifi, the “point” units also include a Google Assistant speaker and microphone, allowing you to go all-in on the Google Ecosystem with one combo device. It sounds like the Pro models will only be network devices.