Google bought Nest back in 2014 and has since wound the Nest name into its smart home gadgets, from cameras to speakers and smart displays.
It also used the name for its Nest Wifi system which has a main router and a separate ‘point’ which acts as a second router to increase Wifi coverage, but doubles as a Google assistant smart speaker.
Confusingly, there’s also the Google Wifi mesh system and both a sold alongside one another on the Google store website.
Both systems use Wi-Fi 5, which was fine back in 2020, but two years on makes them considerably harder to recommend with the proliferation of Wi-Fi 6 and even Wi-Fi 6E mesh systems.
With Wi-Fi 7 in the works, it isn’t too surprising that, according to 9to5Google, there is an updated Google Wifi on the way.
An unnamed source said that the next mesh Wi-Fi system from Google won’t be like Nest Wifi but will have the “unified design” of Google Wifi. That means each router will be identical, certainly in looks and most likely in specs. (More on specs later.)
When is the next Google Wifi coming out?
Unfortunately, there’s nothing specific on a release date. Rumours suggest the system will be available in a selection of colours that match the Nest hardware that’s coming out this year.
To us, that speaks of a 2022 launch.
And it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to delay it much longer because Google is already late to the Wi-Fi 6 party. If a 2023 launch date is planned, buyers may choose to wait for Wi-Fi 7.
How much will the new Google Wifi mesh system cost?
Price is another question that can’t be answered right now. It will depend heavily on which version of Wi-Fi Google goes for, and even if it opts for Wi-Fi 6, price will vary according to the number of bands it has.
We can, of course, look at the existing products both of which are dual-band: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. That makes them cheaper than so-called tri-band systems that have a second 2.4GHz or 5GHz radio that is exclusively used by the routers for communicating with each other, rather than using up some bandwidth from one of the other bands, restricting the overall speed of the system.
If Google were to choose dual-band Wi-Fi 6, then pricing could be in line with similar systems from rivals. Amazon-owned Eero just dropped the prices of its Eero 6 system to $89 / £109 for a single router or $249 / £249 for a three-pack, for example.
What will be the specs of the new Google Wifi system?
- Wi-Fi 6 or 6E
- Packs of 1, 2 or 3 routers
9to5Google’s source source didn’t have much in the way of concrete information, saying that the system would be available in packs of one, two or three routers, and that it would “gain the benefits of Wi-Fi 6 and, potentially, also Wi-Fi 6E”.
The two might sound similar but they have major differences, one being that Wi-Fi 6E has a third band that uses newly available 6GHz frequencies.
Google’s own Pixel 6, which launched in October 2021, supports Wi-Fi 6E, so it might seem like this newer standard would be the obvious choice for a new mesh Wi-Fi system. However, the extra cost compared to Wi-Fi 6 might well prevent that.
Other companies – including Eero – offer a variety of mesh systems to suit various budgets. But Google has so far kept things simple in this regard, except for the confusing naming of its two current systems.
The source didn’t say whether the Google Assistant would be integrated into the new system, but if each router is identical, all or none would have to be smart speakers. None is the most likely, we think.
When we spot more rumours or leaks about the upcoming Google Wifi system, we’ll update this article. And if you want to upgrade your old router right now, here are the best mesh Wi-Fi systems to buy.