Google’s latest Wi-Fi router, easy to install and use, high performance, a big bang. The standard has since evolved, but not it. Fortunately, the Mountain View giant is making a major update to the better Wi-Fi 6 or 6E.
It will be time. In 2016, Google Wi-Fi was one of the first companies to hit the Wi-Fi router market, which, thanks to its many units, promises to cover all or part of your home with a single, high-performance, easy-to-use wireless network. Since then, Google has fallen behind. Nest’s Wi-Fi, in 2020, has time held the competition, adding only a speaker connected to the old tech base of seniors. The Mountain View giant was satisfied with Wi-Fi 5, while Wi-Fi 6 was already expanding its dominance.
New and updated router. What is the taste of the day?
According to a source from 9to5GoogleGoogle is about to offer a real update for its network router. First news, Google can choose to put quite a bit of color in its devices, away from the subtle white in its origins. Then each module will have the same design – which may mean that the satellite will not carry a connected speaker. Finally, the last important point, this router will be specifically compatible with the Wi-Fi 6 standard, at a minimum. Wi-Fi 6E, the latest evolution of the wireless communications standard, could be a part of it.
Knowing that most wireless network chip designers, such as Qualcomm or Mediatek, are working hard to deliver Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be) compatible modules by the end of the year, look at Google’s switch to Wi-Fi 6E feels like a bare minimum.
Attention to Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6 Leap Forward
For the record, Wi-Fi 6E is essentially an evolution of Wi-Fi 6, which features the arrival of a new and third frequency band. Historically, Wi-Fi has relied on two bands.
First of all, 2.4GHz, which offers good range but relatively low speeds, while being very sensitive to disturbances from other network applications that coexist on these frequencies.
Then, 5 GHz, its range is lower, which makes up for this relative weakness with better speeds and stronger anti-interference.
Wi-Fi 6E adds a frequency band of about 500MHz (in France) in the 6GHz frequency band. A relatively virgin area for general use, it therefore promises efficient cascading channels (and larger: 160MHz, versus 80 previously) at higher speeds.
By adapting only Wi-Fi 6 to the new Nest Wi-Fi, Google will nonetheless ensure a real leap forward in network performance, in terms of coverage and speeds offered. Where Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) stops at 3.5 Gbit/s overall speeds, Wi-Fi 6 can deliver up to 9.6 Gbit/s in the most popular high-end configurations.
The problem is that you don’t change network hardware every four days. So introducing the latest standard will ensure product durability and therefore your investment if you choose.
The only problem is that, for now, Wi-Fi 6E routers are still very expensive, but Google has so far targeted a fairly reasonable price for its wireless offering.
A question to be resolved
Finally, one last question, Google routers, if Wi-Fi 6 is selected, will it be tri-band? The question is important, especially in the context of mesh routers. Because, the third frequency band, even when it is only a section of the 5 GHz band, can be used to create a dedicated connection between different routers. This leaves all the remaining bandwidth available to the clients, computers, smartphones, consoles, and tablets you connect to.
This third band takes on its full meaning when doubling connections inside the home, which is one of the goals of Wi-Fi 6, and when adding other satellites to the main router in order to expand the mesh coverage. Until now, Google and Nest Wi-Fi had always been dual band only. Perhaps for cost reasons.
Obviously, the new Nest Wi-Fi should be sold in several packages: with one, two or three routers. No indication has been reported on their tariff website at the moment. These new routers could be announced at the Pixel 7 launch event next fall.
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