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Easy to install and use, high performance, Google’s first mesh Wi-Fi router made a splash. Since then the standard has evolved, but he has not. Fortunately, the Mountain View giant would be preparing a major upgrade to Wi-Fi 6, or better, 6E.
would be the time In 2016, Google Wi-Fi was one of the first to land on the market for Wi-Fi mesh routers, which promise, thanks to various modules, to cover all or part of your home with a single high-speed wireless network. performance and easy to use. use. Since then, Google has lagged behind. Its Nest Wi-Fi, in 2020, marked time on the competition, adding just one connected speaker to its older tech base. The Mountain View giant was pleased with Wi-Fi 5, while Wi-Fi 6 was already extending its dominance.
A new upgraded router. What taste of the day?
According to a source from 9to5GoogleGoogle is about to offer a real upgrade to its mesh router. First news, Google could choose to put a little color on its devices, far from the very discreet white of its origins. So each module would have the same layout, which may imply that the satellite will not have a speaker attached. Finally, last important point, this router would be especially compatible with the Wi-Fi 6 standard, at least. Wi-Fi 6E, the latest evolution of the wireless communications standard, could be part of it.
Knowing that most wireless network chip designers, such as Qualcomm or Mediatek, are working hard to offer modules compatible with Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be) from the end of the year, seeing Google switch to Wi-Fi 6E seems a minimum. .
The interest of Wi-Fi 6E, the leap forward of Wi-Fi 6
For the record, Wi-Fi 6E is essentially an evolution of Wi-Fi 6, distinguished from it by the arrival of a new, third frequency band. Wi-Fi has historically been based on two bands.
In the first place, the 2.4 GHz, which provides a good range but relatively low speeds, being very sensitive to disturbances from other network applications that coexist on these frequencies.
Then, the 5 GHz, whose range is smaller, and which compensates for this relative weakness with better speeds and greater resistance to interference.
Wi-Fi 6E adds a frequency range of approximately 500 MHz (in France) in the 6 GHz frequency band. A relatively virgin territory for use by the general public and therefore promising efficient back-to-back channels (and higher: 160 MHz, up from 80 previously) for even higher speeds.
However, by retrofitting just Wi-Fi 6 for its new Nest Wi-Fi, Google would ensure a real leap forward in network performance, both in terms of coverage and speeds offered. Where Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) is capped at 3.5 Gbit/s aggregate speeds, Wi-Fi 6 can deliver up to 9.6 Gbit/s in the most common high-end configurations.
The problem is that we don’t change network devices every four mornings. Therefore, offering the latest standard would guarantee the durability of the product and therefore of your investment if you choose it.
The only problem, at the moment, Wi-Fi 6E routers are still very expensive, but so far Google has targeted a fairly affordable price for its wireless networking offerings.
A question to decide
Finally, one last question, Google routers, if Wi-Fi 6 is selected, will they be tri-band? The question is an important one, especially in the context of mesh routers. Because, the third frequency band, even if it is just a division of the 5 GHz band, can be used to establish a dedicated connection between the different routers. This leaves all the rest of the bandwidth available for client devices, PCs, smartphones, consoles, and tablets, that connect to it.
This third band makes full sense when you multiply the connections within the home, which is one of the objectives of Wi-Fi 6, and when you add other satellites to the main router to expand the coverage of the mesh network. Until now, Google and Nest Wi-Fi have always been dual-band only. Probably for cost reasons.
Obviously, the new Nest Wi-Fi should be sold in various packages: with one, two or three routers. At the moment no indication of its tariff positioning has been communicated. These new routers could be announced at the Pixel 7 launch event next fall.