The evidence uncovered by our team suggests that Google may be readying another product in its line of Nest Wifi mesh networking devices. But what would Google need to provide in a new version of its home networking solution?
New Google/Nest Wifi
Historically, Google’s network hardware – which includes older devices like the now-retired OnHub series and newer ones like Google Wifi and Nest Wifi – has almost always had a wind-related codename. For example, the Nest Wifi router and access point are codenamed “Mistral” and “Vento” respectively.
Our APK Insight team discovered it working on a Google device codenamed “Sirocco”. Like the “mistral” before it, a “sirocco” is a type of Mediterranean wind, particularly hot and dusty, coming from the Sahara desert.
While it’s unlikely to tell us anything useful about the device itself, the windy codename strongly points to a new Nest Wifi family product in the works. Also, comparing different parts of the code, we see that Sirocco is treated very similarly to other recent Google Wifi devices.
So what does this “Sirocco” device have in store for the Nest Wifi range? For now, all we can do is speculate.
What does Nest Wifi need most?
Google’s last flagship networking hardware launch was the Nest Wifi system in 2019, which offered an improved basic router paired with mesh points that doubled as Google Assistant smart speakers. The following year, the company followed up with a re-release of 2016’s Google Wifi, offering a mesh connection at a more affordable price and with some minor hardware changes from the original system.
As we approach three years since the launch of Nest Wifi, we’re on schedule for a new mesh network flagship. In the years since, technology has steadily improved, providing plenty of opportunities for the next Nest Wifi to be better than the last.
The one thing 2019’s Nest Wifi lacks the most is support for Wi-Fi 6, which is understandable to some extent, as the standard wasn’t officially finalized until late 2020. said, devices started shipping with Wi-Fi 6 support in 2019, most notably with the iPhone 11 series. Google didn’t adopt Wi-Fi 6 in its own Pixel smartphones until the release of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
The biggest improvement of Wi-Fi 6 is the ability to efficiently serve more devices in an area, which has become critical as our smart homes continue to grow. When every light bulb in your home could potentially be a connected device, Wi-Fi 6 will gradually become a necessity.
After its launch, Wi-Fi 6 was expanded to provide an additional range of wireless connectivity, an upgrade dubbed “Wi-Fi 6E”. Generally speaking, the newly added 6 GHz band used by Wi-Fi 6E further minimizes signal interference between your devices (and those of your neighbors).
Honestly, at this point, Wi-Fi 6 is a minimum expectation of any modern router, especially one in the same price bracket as Google Wifi and Nest Wifi. As for Wi-Fi 6E, that would be a great way to future-proof the next Nest Wifi, but it’s far from guaranteed to be included.
More Google Assistant features
What sets the Nest Wifi system apart from other mesh network options is that the Dots had a built-in Google Assistant speaker. Beyond that, Google has also managed to make the dots blend well into the home, turning a boring, single-use and often hidden gadget into a versatile and well-placed member of home decorations.
The built-in speakerphone complemented Google Assistant’s ability to manage your network via voice commands, letting you do things like turn your guest network on/off. For the next generation of Nest Wifi, it would be great to see the Google Assistant continue to take center stage, whether through smarter controls or more dual-purpose Assistant/Wifi devices.
One of the main drawbacks of Google’s Nest Wifi hardware today is the lack of ports. Both the original Google Wifi and the Nest Wifi router only have two Ethernet ports each – one to connect to your modem and the other to wire a device to your network. Meanwhile, Nest Wifi points with speakers don’t have an Ethernet port at all.
While the overall goal of a mesh network is to improve the Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, some devices simply perform better using an Ethernet connection. For example, smart TVs often have weak Wi-Fi antennas but offer a built-in Ethernet port. In these cases, a Google Wifi acting as a mesh extender could be placed nearby to provide a stronger connection. It would be nice if the next generation of Nest Wifi offered at least one additional Ethernet port on each device.
What else would you like Google to offer in this possible next generation of Nest Wifi? Let us know in the comments.
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