Is the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro Any Good? 

Now that the deliveries have started to drop, the reviews are beginning to come in for the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – And so far they’re rather mixed opinions. So is it any good or not? 

Dubbed as the router for working-from-home and a valid step up from its predecessor – Is the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro the right mesh router for you?

If you read our recent blog on this, you’ll already know that this latest Wi-Fi device from Google brings together Wi-Fi 6E, Thread and Matter functionality. (Wondering what Matter is when it comes to Wi-Fi? Read this). The Nest Wi-Fi Pro enables you to control your smart home devices through this mesh router.  

Wasn’t Google Nest already a mesh network? Yes. Back in 2016, Google launched it’s first mesh Wi-Fi system, followed by Nest Wi-Fi in 2019. This device topped many lists looking at the best mesh routers – Will the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro follow in its footsteps?

They don’t come cheap – This latest addition to Google’s collection of Wi-Fi devices is more expensive than those before it. Which would make sense if it’s offering upgraded functionality. But is it worth the upgrade and the price? Let’s take a look. 

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – The Pros 

We’ll start with all the most positive things that make this new Wi-Fi device worthy of consideration for your home network. 

Why Does Wi-Fi 6E Compatibility Make a Difference for the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro?

Perhaps the biggest upgrade from previous products is adding in Wi-Fi 6E functionality for the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro. What does this actually mean? Let’s get technical for a second. The previous Nest device was compatible only with Wi-Fi 5, aka 802.11ac. This means that the router could only use the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. With added Wi-Fi 6E functionality, the Nest Wi-Fi Pro can use the 6GHz band, giving you access to faster, more reliable internet. 

With the ability to access all 3 radio bands at the same time, the Nest Wi-Fi Pro can provide a combined maximum speed of 5.4 Gbps.

Unsurprisingly the addition of Wi-Fi 6E compatibility means the Nest Wi-Fi Pro will offer faster speeds for other Google products to make the most of – Think the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro and the imminent Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.  

It’s safe to say that Google are taking this new Wi-Fi standard and running with it, bringing the consumer a faster, more reliable internet connection. 

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro Offers Sizeable Coverage With Scope to Branch Out

Even the largest of homes can secure a strong Wi-Fi signal with Google Nest Wi-Fi and Nest Wi-Fi Pro. With just the one unit you can gain coverage across 120 metres squared, and with the option to have a total of 5 units that’s 600 metres squared of coverage. This is what helps set Google’s Nest Wi-Fi mesh products apart from the rest. (Google doesn’t recommend exceeding 5 units so as to avoid any Wi-Fi interference). 

So whether you are living in a cosy flat or expansive mansion, the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro has got you covered. What’s more, if you move into a larger property, it’s easy to add in another unit to scale up the coverage in your new home. 

How Many Connected Devices Can Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro Support?

The number of connected devices supported on the Google Nest WI-Fi Pro has increased to 300 (up from 200 on the previous Nest product). 

Why on earth would you need to support 300 devices on your network? Well that really depends on how large your home is and how many people live there. It’s not just about personal devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones. With the prevalence of the smart home, which this particular product is great for, comes the increase in smart home devices. Think smart light bulbs, smart speakers and any other connected devices you want to control remotely. 

The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro has the capacity to handle these with ease, whereas a more traditional router might meet its limit rather quickly if you’re building a smart home. Furthermore, this device has the ability to prioritise connected devices so you get the connection where you need it most. With MU-MIMO technology, the Nest Wi-Fi Pro units can also communicate with multiple devices at the same time. 

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro and Parental Controls

If you have children that use the internet, you’ll know only too well how important it is to have parental control over the Wi-Fi. 

The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro has parental control software built in for free. This means you can:

  • Put your children on a Wi-Fi schedule e.g. no internet at meal times or after 8pm
  • Use Google SafeSearch technology to block content that is deemed unsafe
  • Edit control settings via the Family W-Fi menu in the app 

The fact that this is built in at no extra charge helps set the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro apart from its competitors. For example, Orbi mesh routers from Netgear charge a subscription fee in order to set internet time limits and restrictions. 

It’s worth noting that this feature is also available on Google’s previous Nest Wi-Fi product as well. 

Matter and Thread Compatibility on the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro

Google is really looking ahead with their latest product by including Matter support with this device. Technically it won’t be available from launch, but as we start to see an increase in more Matter-enabled devices creeping into our smart homes, it will make adding new products easier in the future. 

Like Matter, Thread is another network function being spoken about more and more. So it makes sense that the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro also has a Thread border router built in. We could go into much more detail about Thread but we’ll save that for another time. For now, Thread offers a lower power mesh to your home network, so the ability to connect Thread smart devices in the future will be appealing to many.

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro: Pros on Price

If you are looking for a simple, stand-alone Wi-Fi 6E router, then a single Nest Wi-Fi Pro unit is probably the cheapest option at a cost of £190. Other competitive alternatives are almost double this price. 

Even if you are looking at getting the pack of three units at £380, then it seems worth the money as you’re getting three units for roughly double the cost of one. That seems like pretty decent value to us. 

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – The Cons

So we’ve gone through the reasons why you might want to rush out and upgrade to this latest Wi-Fi product. But what could cause you to pause that thought? Let’s see. 

What’s the Design Like on the Google Nest Wi-FI Pro?

The aim of many modern Wi-Fi products is to make them less ugly. The less you are wanting to hide them away in a cupboard, the better these routers will actually work! But as with all things design wise, this can be hugely subjective. What appeals to the eye of one consumer might cause another one to immediately look away. 

For a mesh network to be effective, the units need to be spread about the home if you want to get the best Wi-Fi coverage. The previous Nest Wi-FI units have a soft, matte finish which some would argue makes it easier to blend in with other decor and not stand out too much. 

The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro however, has a glossy finish that very much says ‘look at me’ – These are not meant to be hidden away! If you like the look of them and don’t mind making them a feature in your rooms then it’s all good. If you were hoping to let them lurk in a corner out of sight, that might be harder to do with these new units. 

It’s also worth noting that these Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro units don’t come with any mounting hardware, so if you were hoping to mount them to the wall or ceiling that might be rather difficult. On the plus side, they do have a rubber base so they’re unlikely to move around wherever you do place them. 

Does the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro have Ethernet Ports?

We’ve just talked about the aesthetics of the Nest Wi-Fi Pro, and the lack of Ethernet ports fits into this. The design is minimalistic, hence why there are only two ethernet ports on these units. Of course, you could just add in a switch if you need more, but if you are picking the Nest Wi-Fi Pro based on it’s looks, then adding in a switch and hard wire might detract from the image you are looking for. 

This might not be a problem for many homes – Not many products need to be wired to the router and this device will be much faster than what has come before. However, if you have a security camera for example, you might find that it needs to be hardwired to the router via a hub.

The ports only support gigabit speeds which is a bit of a shame. 2.5GbE is becoming more common in order to offer the best possible speeds between wired and wireless. 

If you really need a router with plenty of Ethernet ports, then the Nest Wi-Fi Pro possibly isn’t the one for you – But worry not, there are other mesh routers available. 

What about Wi-Fi 7?

We know, we know, we’re only just getting to grips with the latest wireless standard Wi-Fi 6E. But Wi-Fi 7 is hot on its heels (as with all new technological developments – There is always something waiting in the wings). 

Wi-Fi 7 is set to arrive at the start of next year, offering consumers even faster internet speeds up to a possible maximum data rate of 5.8 Gbps. That’s more than double what Wi-Fi 6E has to offer! Amazingly, Wi-Fi 7 is set to feel like you’re using an Ethernet connection in terms of speed. That’s pretty impressive.

So whilst the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro future proofs your network in terms of Matter and Thread, it won’t be compatible with Wi-Fi 7. The next Google development will likely take a few more years, so if you’ve already got a new router or your current Google Nest Wi-Fi is working well for your home then it might be worth waiting for the next Nest Wi-Fi Pro after this one. 

The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro isn’t Backward Compatible

We all feel a bit more secure in making an upgrade if we know that the new device is backward compatible. We know that our other, older devices are safe and will still be able to function. This was true of the previous upgrade from Google Wi-Fi to Google Nest Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, the latest upgrade to Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro will not be backward compatible, which means that your current/previous units (routers or points for example) won’t be compatible with this new one so you won’t be able to combine the two. 

Whilst this may feel quite frustrating, if you’re considering buying a new mesh router anyway then this could be an ideal opportunity to replace what you’ve got to a completely new network that will offer you faster and more reliable internet as well as future proofing it for imminent Wi-Fi standard updates like Matter and Thread. 

Alternatively, the fact that you can’t link older products with the new might prompt you to buy a new mesh system altogether – Perhaps an Amazon offering to fit with your Alexa! 

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – The Verdict?

As we’ve discussed above, there are many pros and cons to consider when thinking about purchasing the latest Google Wi-Fi device. The final verdict really comes down to you and what your network demands are. 

Will this mesh network device work for you and your home? 

Google Launches Nest Wi-Fi Pro

Earlier this month, Google released the latest Nest version of their consumer-grade router. The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro will not only have Wi-Fi 6E functionality, but also be compatible with Matter IoT. With the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) releasing the Matter 1.0 specification on the same day, it will be interesting to see what this means for the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro and how the Matter certification program will deliver better interoperability between IoT devices in the smart home. 

We’re guessing if you’ve landed on this blog that you are familiar with the Google Nest line of products, but just in case you’re not – Google Nest is perhaps one of the most lucrative and accomplished Wi-Fi mesh products on the market. 

The launch of this latest version brings the Google Nest up to date with Wi-Fi 6E technology and is currently available for order. 

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – The Tech

The traditional router is a singular device and whilst it can offer great signal in the room it’s installed, it can get patchy the further out you try to connect, even in just the standard home. 

Where Google Nest Wi-Fi differs is that it is a scalable system, giving a consistent, strong signal across the entire home. Not only that, but each Nest Wi-Fi point is also a Google speaker with Google Assistant.

How Does the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro Work?

There are two main devices to this system – The router and the point. The router plugs directly into your modem and creates your network, with a strong and reliable signal. 

The point works alongside the router to extend the coverage without losing any strength. This is where it becomes scalable – Depending on the size of your home, you can choose to install these Wi-Fi points in various locations and rooms to make sure the Wi-Fi stays fast everywhere. 

Plus – They are also a smart speaker, so you can use your Google Assistant wherever you are in your home, from playing your favourite music to setting a timer for dinner. 

There is a fantastic visual representation of just what the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro can do on the product page of their website. 

Most houses now have at least an element of being a smart home. Our demand and consumption for good Wi-Fi at home is at an all time high – Whether it’s working from home via video conferencing, streaming the latest Netflix binge-worthy programme or connected to online gaming. Perhaps even all of them at once! 

The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro router and Wi-Fi point together enables up to 200 devices to connect at any one time, with the strength and speed to handle multiple 4K videos. 

The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro features boast the ability to:

  • Connect – Keep buffering at bay whatever room you’re in by automatically connecting you to the nearest Wi-Fi point
  • Optimise – Automatically uses the clearest channel available to offer the fastest band, avoiding congestion
  • Update – Your Wi-Fi will even improve over time due to regular software updates
  • Secure – The Nest Wi-Fi router has an advanced security chip to help protect your network along with automatic updates

And all this controlled from the Google Home app in the palm of your hand. Not just your network, but also parental controls, privacy settings, device prioritisation and even speed checks. Pretty nifty.

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – The Aesthetics

This newly launched Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro has a sleek, smooth looking egg shaped design. 

These products were designed with your home in mind – No more hiding an ugly router away out of sight. This is a Wi-Fi device you won’t mind having on show. 

Neutral in colour, they also have a soft under glow when they are ready to help answer those Hey Google requests. 

The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro is aesthetically inspired by ceramic objects, with the aim to blend right in with your home wherever the router or points need to be located.

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – Wi-Fi 6E Capabilities

We’ve been banging on about Wi-Fi 6E here on our Geekabit blog – And for good reason! The Wi-Fi world is excited at this new version and the improvements it will bring. 

So it’s no surprise really that we’re seeing Google launch their new Nest Wi-Fi Pro with Wi-Fi 6E functionality. Devices with this capability will become more and more prevalent, and we’re happy to see products like this appearing on the market already. 

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – Ready for Matter 

Taking the tech a step further, this newly launched Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro is also ready for Matter.

Very exciting – But what does that actually mean? 

Well, with the CSA only releasing Matter certification information on the same day the new Google Nest device was released, it’s not that obvious what this means just yet. 

This is a new standard – It is Matter 1.0 afterall. But a very exciting new standard indeed. The fact that the new Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro says it is ready for Matter means, at this stage, that their products are interoperable IoT devices. Google states that all of their Nest devices will be upgraded to be Matter controllers, with Amazon likely to follow suit with their devices. 

The CSA are holding a launch event for Matter in less than a fortnight’s time on the 3rd November, so we will be bringing more to you on Matter and what it means for Wi-Fi very soon.  

Law Passed to Give Everyone Right to Fast Internet in Germany 

In April 2021, all German citizens were promised the right to fast internet for the first time ever via a new law passed by the Bundestag. 

Whilst that sounds great in theory, what does that actually mean in practise? Giving everyone the legal right to fast internet sounds like a blanket statement, but in reality it will likely affect people differently rather than a universal thing. 

Does everyone in Germany have fast internet? 

Germans have been used to slow internet with pages taking a long time to load and unreliable connections. This promise of faster internet for all should have brought a quicker connection to the people of Germany this summer just passed, with the law forcing an improvement in upload speeds, download speeds and latency. 

Prior to this, internet users in Germany were entitled to functional internet access – At a speed of 0.056 mbps. The recent law aimed to significantly increase this minimum speed.

Who will benefit the most from this law change? 

To ascertain how much the speed needed to increase, the average download and upload speeds plus latency were calculated. 

The highest 20% of internet speeds were not included in the calculation as much of the German population already enjoyed faster internet speeds. The lower 80% had slower connections and would benefit more from the law change. 

With this in mind, those who lived in rural areas were more likely to be positively affected by the law change, as many of the more major cities in Germany already had fast internet available to them. 

For people who were struggling with an unreliable, slow connection (particularly those in rural areas who notoriously grapple with bad internet connections), a commission to a new provider with relocated broadband access would be investigated. 

But even with the law change, will the minimum internet speed be enough? 

Faster internet speeds – What about the UK? 

In UK law, it is the legal right for every home and business to request a decent, affordable broadband connection. 

‘Decent’ is defined as meeting the internet needs of an average family. It has been deemed by previous Ofcom research that a speed of 10mbps (download) is enough to meet these needs, enabling multiple family members to be online at the same time. 

Affordability is based on paying no more than £48.50 per month for broadband. Many people pay much less than this for their internet connection per month. 

The UK saw the government ensure that everyone in the UK had access to broadband speeds of at least 10Mbps by 2020. This universal high speed internet is delivered by a regulatory body as a Universal Service Obligation. 

Post pandemic there has been a huge upsurge in working from home, and people needing strong, reliable, fast internet for business operations at their kitchen table. Think Zoom calls, Teams collaborations, Slack messages and data transfers. That’s a lot more internet traffic than our home networks are used to.

It’s also worth mentioning that in 2022, the average internet download speed is 79.1Mbps. That is significantly faster than the 10Mbps deemed fast enough for the average family home. So whilst the legally mandated minimum is 10Mbps here in the UK, the current average internet speed indicates that this probably needs to be much, much higher. Especially as the European Union has plans for universal broadband of 100Mbps by 2025. 

The increase of those working from home also means that the importance of good upload speeds has also increased. Think remote designers needing to download, edit and upload large files, or group video conference calls. 

In essence, the majority of households need a strong, fast and reliable internet connection in order to work and play from their homes. The current USO doesn’t meet the average speed of internet use across the UK. 

The way we use the internet has changed dramatically over the past couple of years, and we need UK law to reflect this. The pandemic showed the volume of data double almost overnight. 

Our home broadband networks need to reflect the increased prevalence of remote working. This need for fast internet on a reliable connection needs to be written in law, and the USO minimum speed increased.

How Can I Keep My Home Office Wi-Fi Secure?

A couple of years ago, the most you did with your Wi-Fi might have been a Netflix binge, a bit of online shopping and perhaps some gaming. But now, a big percentage of the workforce are working from at least part of the time. 

With the pandemic brought the rise of hybrid working and all of a sudden, people needed strong, reliable Wi-Fi at home so they could continue to work throughout lockdowns. But what about security? 

Just as you wouldn’t want your card details stolen online, your boss probably doesn’t want confidential information at risk on your home network. They won’t want their devices flooded with spyware and malware either! 

So what can you do to keep your home Wi-Fi network secure so you can continue working from home? 

Here are some top tips to help keep those hackers, scammers and cybercriminals at bay, and protect your network and all the devices connected to it. 

How to keep your home Wi-Fi network secure

1. Re-name your home Wi-Fi network

Your wireless router will automatically broadcast your default SSID (service set identifier) in  the list of available wireless networks close by. It is usually listed by the manufacturer or service provider’s name e.g. Sky. This gives hackers a headstart when it comes to breaking into your network, so it’s always a good idea to re-name it. Make sure you choose a name that doesn’t give away any personal info, such as your surname or house number. 

2. Choose a strong, unique password for your wireless network 

Did you know that hackers can make educated guesses when it comes to default passwords, especially if they know the name of the manufacturer of your router? Scary right. Make sure you change the default password to something strong and less easy to guess. You want it to be at least 20 characters long, and include letters, numbers and symbols. The more difficult you make the password, the trickier it is for hackers to get into your network. 

3. Enable network encryption

Most routers come with a feature called encryption, but they tend to come with this turned off. You can help to secure your home WI-Fi network by turning this feature on in settings. You should turn this on as soon as your router has been installed by your broadband provider. The most recent and effective encryption currently available is ‘WPA2’. 

4. Don’t broadcast your network name – Turn this feature off 

We touched on this above when we talked about changing the default name. You can go a step further and not broadcast your wireless network publicly at all. When a person looks up available local networks on their device, your network won’t be visible if you disable name broadcasting. This means that your Wi-Fi is invisible to anyone who doesn’t know how to go looking for it. There’s not many reasons why you would need to publicly display your home wireless network, unless you want to be sharing it with your friends and neighbours! 

5. Keep up with the latest software updates

As with any firmware, software can have vulnerabilities. Thankfully, these are usually swiftly rectified and shared via updates by the manufacturer. By staying up to date with software for your router you can make sure that it has the highest level of security. Hence helping to prevent hackers getting access to your home Wi-Fi network. 

6. How good is your firewall?

If you want to protect your computer or other device from malware, viruses and other cyber attacks then you need a firewall. You’ll find that most wireless routers come with a firewall built in – But do make sure that this function isn’t turned off. No firewall on your router? You’ll want to make sure that you download a decent firewall onto your system to act as a guard to anyone attempting to access your wireless network with ill intent. 

7. Use VPNs to access your network

A virtual private network is a really effective way of keeping your online communications private and secure. You can use your devices on your home Wi-Fi network and connect to a VPN which then checks your credentials and links with another server. Once both sides are authenticated, all your internet communication becomes encrypted – Which means no outside prying eyes can see or access what you’re up to. 

How secure is your home Wi-Fi network? 

It is so important to keep your home wireless network secure – Perhaps now more than every before with the amount of employees working from home. 

You should know exactly how secure your home Wi-Fi network is, and the steps you can take to ensure it is as secure as you can possibly make it. 

You should be aware of all the devices that connect to your home network and ensure that they all have reliable security software installed. That way all of the devices across your home Wi-Fi network will be protected from viruses and spyware, and thus protecting any sensitive information you may be sharing for work. 

Can I Check The Internet Speed Before Moving Home?

Once upon a time, we would walk into a prospective new home and tick the fundamentals off our list. Water pressure? Cracks in walls? Water marks or mould? Double Glazing? Overall presentation?

But now, topping the list of importance, is how good is the broadband? The lack of a decent internet connection is now just as much of a deal breaker as a huge crack in the wall. 1 in 7 people would forfeit a bath in favour of good broadband, and 15% would prefer reliable internet to a garden, 

Not only would people refuse to buy a home with unreliable internet, but people would even be willing to pay more for a house that does have fast internet! 

It’s unsurprising that home-buyers see internet connection as so vital. With the prevalence of home-working and video calls, plus online streaming and shopping from multiple devices it’s obvious why strong, fast internet is top of the list for prospective house buyers. 

How can you make sure you’re getting the best internet connection when buying a new house?

If you’re buying a new build, then you’re in luck. Most new property developers are now making sure that their properties are connected to ultrafast broadband. 

Some will even let you choose between the major fibre suppliers with connections ready to go. 

But what if you’re not buying a new build? 

Most Estate Agents now include an estimate of broadband speed alongside their listings. Geekabit actually have their own service which we offer to Estate Agents which provide just this – An accurate reading of the internet speeds available at a specific property. It’s called SpeedScore – You can read more about it here

As a homeowner – Or prospective home owner! – It’s important that you’re getting the most accurate information possible when it comes to the reliability of the Wi-Fi at your potential property. 

How to secure seamless internet when moving house

Once you’ve chosen your property and are ready to move in – Hopefully having previously checked how reliable the internet connection is – There are a couple of things you can do to make sure you are connected and ready as soon as possible.

  • Decide whether or not you are taking your current supplier with you
  • Give your current or new supplier as much notice as possible – They usually need at least 2 weeks if you want things ready on your moving date

How are house prices affected by bad internet?

If you are looking at buying a new property, chances are you’re also selling yours! But is your home one of the estimated 466,000 properties that experience bad broadband here in the UK?

If you’re selling a property, it should be obvious that your current internet speeds are going to be just as scrutinised as the potential properties that you’re considering buying.

If you have fast speeds and minimal interruption then your house price is likely to be unaffected by the internet. If, however, your broadband speeds are slow then you could be seeing a horrendous 24% decrease in your property value. With the average property value in the UK being £278,000, that’s a decrease of nearly £67K – Just because of bad broadband. 

Generally speaking, it’s more rural properties that are affected by unreliable broadband and slow internet speeds. House prices can tend to be lower in more rural areas too, but will fall even lower if the Wi-Fi offering isn’t up to scratch. 

What can you do about it? 

Fix the internet problems before you try to sell! If you’re thinking that you can get away with no potential buyers noticing then think again.

Whether you’re in a rural home or not, our Wi-Fi experts here at Geekabit can help make your Wi-Fi woes a thing of the past. There are plenty of options to boost your internet connectivity – From extra devices to mobile 4G/5G broadband. Give us a call to discuss – Our Wi-Fi engineers work out of Hampshire, London and Cardiff and are on hand to get you better connected. 

With the recent working-from-home revolution, there has never before been a need as big for fast, affordable, available broadband. 

Wi-Fi Woes at Home: Could it be your Router?

Wi-Fi is one of those things that we don’t tend to take much notice of – Until it breaks.

Just like when a power-cut stops our electric, or cloudy water comes out the tap – When our Wi-Fi goes down, we notice! Slow or faulty internet might be one of the most frustrating things of all time. There’s nothing quite as annoying – Whether you’re in the middle of a Netflix binge or an important Zoom meeting.

The last time you thought about your internet probably coincided with one of those moments. Maybe it was back when the first lockdown came in and you were suddenly thrust into a world of remote working. Or when schools were closed and you abruptly and unexpectedly became a teacher and had to navigate an online classroom with your children.

Never have we had to rely on our home Wi-Fi networks like we have the last 2 years. The world still looks like a bit of a scary place right now – Don’t let your home network be an added source of stress.

We might have electricians to sort out our electrics and plumbers to sort out our plumbing – But who sorts out our Wi-Fi in our homes? Here at Geekabit, our Wi-Fi experts are here to help you. Most people get sent a router from their broaband provider, plug it in and hope for the best (no judgement here!). But what about when that’s not enough to provide you with a reliable home Wi-Fi network?

We’re going to take you through the basics of Wi-Fi so you can make sure your router is providing your home with the network you need.

So let’s start from the beginning.

Wi-Fi Standards – What are they?

What we understand as Wi-Fi was only named that after the ability for us to connect to other computers and the internet has long been around.

It started out as 802.11 (The first Wi-Fi standard). Not quite the description you’d expect for such a transformative piece of technology! And certainly not a word that lends itself to the general population of internet users.

So what came next? Along came 802.11b (there was a 802.11a but we won’t go into that). Catchy huh! This was the first major revision of 802.11 which came in 1999 alongside the name Wi-Fi. These numbered standards come from the Wi-Fi Alliance – A global group of technology companies who ensure that anything labelled as a Wi-Fi product has been adequately tested as such.

This means that if you buy a product with Wi-Fi, such as a laptop, and you have a functioning Wi-Fi network, then the 2 will be able to connect. That’s the rule!

In the 20 years since we’ve had more revisions and improvements, taking us through more standards: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac and 802.11ax. They don’t exactly roll off your tongue do they?

What they have done however, is:

  • Increase the maximum speed
  • Minimise congestion in built-up areas
  • Improve connections when multiple users on different devices are accessing the same network

Wi-Fi Standards and Compatibility

What these complicated names also mean is that even the most technological savvy people don’t have much knowledge about how their home Wi-Fi network actually works. Again no judgement – It’s not your fault!

Without Googling or hunting down hardware – Do you know which of the standards above your home network supports? How about your laptop, tablet or smartphone?

Without also knowing what standard your router runs on, how could you know whether the standard your devices are running on is compatible?

Backward compatibility has its costs. If you have a new router running on the latest standard of 802.11ax, but your laptop is 20 years old with 802.11b compatibility, the laptop can only go as fast as the old standard. It can’t access the benefits of the newer standard that the router supports. Unfortunately, having this laptop connected to the network can cause the whole Wi-Fi system down to its level. For this reason, the default settings on many networks automatically kick off any older devices to stop problems arising for other users.

For this reason, it’s wise to make sure that the Wi-Fi standard that is supported, is common amongst your router and the devices connected to it.

The re-branding of Wi-Fi Standards

Thankfully assessing compatibility will become a lot easier now that the Wi-Fi Alliance has rebranded the Wi-Fi standards.

You might be surprised to find that you are already acquainted with the latest Wi-Fi standards – Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E.

With the branding of these newest standards, comes the relabelling of the older ones. They become:

  • 11 – Wi-Fi 1
  • 11b – Wi-Fi 2
  • 11g – Wi-Fi 3
  • 11n – Wi-Fi 4
  • 11ac – Wi-Fi 5
  • 11ax – Wi-Fi 6

The ones we need to know about and look out for are Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6. Simply put – Your home Wi-Fi network will run better if use routers and devices that support the latest Wi-Fi standard.

We mentioned Wi-Fi 6E. This is the latest Wi-Fi standard which arrived this year. This standard, for the first time since the beginning of Wi-Fi, it uses 6GHz. This band is a new section of the radio spectrum which hasn’t been used by Wi-Fi before. This new standard will minimise interference with other networks and help achieve speeds we haven’t seen before.

Where do routers fit into all of this?

As you have seen, there has been a steady stream of Wi-Fi standards since the internet first emerged.

As with most things technological, improvements are constantly being made. We live in a world where there is always the newest device – Faster, more compact, better this, better that. Always competing with what came before it.

You probably replace your phone quite regularly, especially if you are on a contract or plan. Getting an upgrade is the norm! You may also do the same with laptops and tablets, TV’s and other smart devices around the home.

But do you do the same with your router?

Have you ever stopped to think that the router you’ve had since you moved in is stopping all your new devices from working to their optimum ability?

Your smartphone might support Wi-Fi 6, but that’s no good if your router is ten years old! Could your router be the cause of your home Wi-Fi problems? Slow internet speeds, bottlenecks, buffering?

What’s the point in spending thousands of pounds on the latest phone, tablet, laptop, smart TV etc if you haven’t invested in a router – And instead connect all your top-of-the-range devices to a box you got free from your provider when you moved in nearly a decade ago.

It seems pretty obvious now we’ve pointed it out, but so many of us do this very thing. We’re not trying to shame you – the majority of people don’t consider that their Wi-Fi woes could be a result of an older router.

‘I think my router could be causing my Wi-Fi problems – What do I do next?’

Assuming that the connection coming into your home is not ‘dodgy’ then a new router could be the answer to your Wi-Fi problems.

The majority of households have a pretty straightforward set of needs when it comes to Wi-Fi coverage. A simple change, such as a pair of Wi-Fi 6 ‘mesh routers’, could be just what you need to to provide a bit of extra bandwidth and even cover those annoying ‘black spots’. Esepcailly if one of those happens to be out in the garden where you desperately tried to catch a bit of sun whilst working from home during the summer!

For the cost of skipping the latest smartphone upgrade, you could fix the Wi-Fi problems for your entire household.

No more buffering mid Netflix binge. No more dropping out of video calls and online meetings. No more being ‘that colleague or friend’ that causes the tech problems.

This one small switch could be far more beneficial that upgrading your devices or doubling your monthly BT bill.

What if replacing your router could give all your Wi-Fi devices a new lease of life in your home?

 

Could 4G Broadband Be The Answer to Threat of BT Strike?
Working-From-Home Fears Due To BT Strike

For the first time since 1987, BT are facing nationwide industrial action due to a ballot regarding job cuts and site closures. The Communication Workers Union is due to hold a ballot soon, which could have an enormous impact on the network if a yes vote is returned.

Through this ongoing pandemic, effective internet has kept us connected with colleagues as well as loved ones. It’s held businesses together through the rise of working from home, and it’s kept part of the economy going throughout lockdown restrictions. As a nation, we’ve realised how vital a good internet connection is.

Most of the UK’s broadband network consists of BT, EE and Openreach, serving millions of homes across the nation. If, in late Spring, a strike goes ahead this could mean big problems for people who are working from home and reliant on their broadband connection.

Assuredly, they will only strike if they feel they absolutely must – They don’t want to disrupt services across the country to people’s internet unless they feel they have no other choice to protect their workers and service.

What does the possible BT strike mean for those working from home?

Nationwide industrial action by BT staff could have a huge effect on those working from home, who are relying on a dependable internet connection. Is there anything worse than trying to get some work done with a slow internet connection, or a meeting via video call dropping out every 2 minutes?

The pandemic and lockdown restrictions has meant that almost 50% of the working population have been working from home during the pandemic (ONS).

These workers are relying on their home broadband connection to be able to continue doing their jobs.

As we’ve seen from the challenges of home-learning and home-working, those who are currently based at home need a connection that can support both upload and download speeds in order to partake in video conference calls like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.

Not only is home internet needed more than ever, but the quality of the connection is also more vital then it has been previously.

What alternatives to Wi-Fi would be unaffected by a BT strike?

If you are worried that your home internet connection could be affected by the posed threat of BT industrial action, there are thankfully alternative methods of getting internet into your home.

We have seen an influx of 4G broadband installations and enquiries. Whilst these have mostly been from areas in rural Hampshire where standard internet connections are unreliable and slow, 4G broadband is an excellent way of backing up your existing internet connection.

Why 4G broadband?

4G broadband is the idea solution to patchy, unreliable Openreach internet connections. It can also be an excellent back-up solution should your standard Wi-Fi connection go down or become unavailable.

4G signal is received via an external 4G antenna and emitted into your home through a 4G router using a sim based data plan.

Here at Geekabit, we have a 4G testing pole so that we can accurately estimate 4G internet speeds in your location before installing a new antenna and router.

How could 4G broadband help if my internet is affected by BT industrial action?

Our expert Wi-Fi engineers are skilled in providing 4G broadband services for hire. We are experienced in providing an ideal internet solution for scenarios such as building sites, TV filming and temporary cabins. It’s also a great interim option for people moving house and between service providers when they first move in to their new home.

This makes 4G broadband the perfect alternative if your internet was to be affected and your home-working situation compromised.

If you would like more information on our 4G broadband hire options, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Wi-Fi experts here.

If you are already experiencing internet problems in a rural area, then 4G broadband may well be the answer. You may be interested in previous blogs we’ve written regarding this – Or for more information, please see our website.

 

You can read more details on the threat of BT industrial action via The Guardian.

4G Broadband – The Answer to Your Rural Wi-Fi Woes?

Over the last year, we’ve been inundated with requests from people looking for a different and more reliable source of broadband service.

Many people are moving out of London into more rural areas and expecting the same internet connectivity as they would have in urban areas.

They soon realise that many parts of the countryside are suffering from a broadband deficit and there’s a connectivity imbalance across the countryside.

We’ve installed countless numbers of external 4G antennas and routers, effectively replacing the broadband through the telephone cable, with a data SIM card.

This simple solution has meant that people who couldn’t Zoom for work at home now can, children can do their schooling online through Google classroom and Teams, and the dreaded buffering of Netflix binging no longer happens.

Not only is this solution perfect for those at home, but it works excellently for temporary offices too, such as those in construction, archaeology and film and TV work.

We thought we would share a couple of case studies from some recent 4G installations that have seen a hugely positive affect on their connectivity since making the switch.

 

Case Study – A Rural Home in Bishops Waltham

Wi-Fi Issue: This charming rural home in Bishops Waltham struggled with only 2-3mb download speed and 0.5mb upload speed through their BT Openreach line. As the Director of a large London bank, this unreliable connection meant she couldn’t work from home.

Our 4G Broadband Solution: We installed a 4G antenna and router, and she’s now getting perfect 60mb download speeds with 20mb upload speeds. This means she then didn’t have to travel into London so often.

Case Study – A Garden Landscaping Company in New Alresford

Wi-Fi Issue: This garden landscaping company recently moved their office to a rural location without any internet or traditional phone line. Their new office was a converted shipping container which, as it is made of metal, meant that their phones wouldn’t work quite so well for internet speed.

Our 4G Broadband Solution: Our 4G external antenna solution means they now get 40mb download and 20mb upload speeds within their new office.

Case Study – A Large Metalwork Company in Rural Dorset

Wi-Fi Issue – This metalwork company was having trouble with 3-5mb download speeds and less than 1mb upload speeds. This was the maximum possible speed in their area. Having asked  BT Openreach to extend fibre to their premises, they found out it would not only have cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds, but also ruined a beautiful part of the countryside. (If you watch The Crown you may well have seen it!) The poor internet connection meant that contacting their London based clients over Zoom was very difficult, and often required them to do so from their home instead or office.

Our 4G Broadband Solution: Using our 4G router and external antenna, they now receive 70mb download speeds and 30mb upload speeds. This means they can now easily maintain contact with their clients without having to travel back to their homes for a good quality Zoom call. It also means they can employ more people onsite and increase employment in the local community without moving their office to a larger town.

 

If any of these problems seem familiar to you, whether it’s your home connection or business, perhaps now is the time to get in touch and let us see if we can help.

These 3 examples are just a handful of the successes we’ve seen from clients moving from a slow BT Openreach connection to a faster 4G broadband option.

 

How can you be sure that 4G broadband is the right option for you?

It’s okay to feel nervous, we understand how frustrating a slow connection can be. We can come and assess your property to see whether a 4G broadband option would be viable for you with our new 4G antenna testing pole. This bit of kit means we can get an accurate representation of how our 4G routers and eternal antennas can solve your broadband connectivity problems.

For more information on our 4G broadband service, head to our website. You can also get in touch with one of our Wi-Fi experts who will be happy to discuss your requirements.

 

Don’t let a slow BT Openreach connection hold you back. Whether it’s for Zoom calls to keep in touch with colleagues, WhatsApp video calls with friends and family, or nightly Netflix binges – You deserve a connection that doesn’t freeze, buffer or drop. Call in the Wi-Fi Experts today.

The Best Unlimited 4G Data Plans for Broadband

We’ve talked quite a bit recently about the demand we’ve seen for 4G broadband, especially in more rural areas around Winchester and Hampshire.

In previous weeks we’ve shared our favoured pieces of kit for 4G routers. This week we’re going to talk a bit about the data plans needed for 4G broadband.

Many of our clients ask us about the best unlimited data sim plans for their 4G routers. For people swapping from traditional broadband over to 4G, this is next on the list of ‘need to know’ following hot on the heels of coverage.

We are pleased to be able to offer our clients an unlimited 4G data plan solution through Utility Warehouse.

Who are Utility Warehouse?

 

Whilst they may not be as well known as some of the big networks, Utility Warehouse uses the EE network which you all will have heard of.

Wherever there is good 4G signal with EE, we can provide a superior external antenna and mobile router to give you better upload and download speeds.

Did you know the emergency services use EE?

EE is the network currently used by the emergency services for their radio communications. It is one of the most reliable networks that you can use.

What’s the deal?

Other networks are of course available, however they often cost a little more as well as locking you in to a longer contract.

Our deal with Utility Warehouse is only on a 30-day rolling contract, which gives you the peace of mind that you can enjoy unlimited data whilst not being locked into a lengthy contract.

Is your home suffering from a slow BT Openreach connection?

Slow internet is frustrating at the best of times, but add in the stressors of working from home, remote learning and Zoom calls dropping in and out and you’re bound to be tearing your hair out.

For homes suffering from a slow Openreach connection, the speeds offered by Utility Warehouse Mobile will solve many of the issues you’re facing.

Can you get 5G through Utility Warehouse?

Many devices are crossing over to 5G so it’s natural that the question of whether something is 5G compatible is on your lips.

At the moment, 4G is the only option through Utility Warehouse, although we understand that 5G will hopefully be added in early Spring.

Want to find out more?

If you would like more information on the 4G Broadband service we can provide through Utility Warehouse, please contact us directly.

You can also find out more about our Utility Warehouse service offering by clicking here: https://uw.co.uk/?position=F62402

If you’re unsure about making the switch to 4G broadband or you’re not sure if it would be right for you and your home, have a read of our website. You can also give us a call – Our Wi-Fi experts would be happy to chat through the options and ascertain whether 4G broadband could solve your Wi-Fi woes. You can reach our Hampshire office on 01962 657390 – We look forward to chatting with you!

 

Amplifi Alien – The New Wi-Fi 6 Router from Ubiquiti

In this week’s blog we’re going to take a look at the new Wi-Fi 6 router from Ubiquiti – The AmpliFi Alien. With attractive performance features, this router could be great for a busy household working and learning from home as well as the intrepid gamer.

This Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 router brings a revolutionary Wi-Fi 6 benefit into your home along with an elegant design.

What are the key features of the AmpliFi Alien?
  • Wi-Fi 6 compatible
  • It has a scalable mesh system. This is great for gamers! The Wi-Fi 6 standard Mesh system can easily cover any home, providing 4K/8K UHD streaming and online gaming to multiple users in any room
  • It has true Gigabit mesh
  • An 8×8 super antenna system
  • You could get up to 4 times your current network capacity (compared to an AmpliFi HD)
  • Boost your coverage by up to twice your current network (compared to an AmpliFi HD)
  • Reduce battery drain in mobile devices
  • It has 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi 6 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi 5 radios
  • From this single unit, they deliver a total capacity of 7685Mbps and 16 spatial streams
  • Build a virtually unlimited Wi-Fi capacity within your home by easily meshing multiple units over the air
  • It has a convenient touchscreen which displays the network status and provides instant controls
  • The AmpliFi Alien has a single Gigabit internet interface and internal power supply
  • It is integrated with a LAN switch with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • You can use Wi-Fi 6 for wireless connectivity and the LAN ports for local wired connectivity
  • It takes just one minute to set up using their easy-to-use app.

 

What performance features could make the AmpliFi Alien a good choice for remote working and home learning in a device heavy household?

There’s a lot of households across the UK that are suddenly finding themselves in a network nightmare at home. Families where both parents are working from home, plus multiple children doing home learning lead to multiple Zoom / Microsoft Teams / Google Meet video conferences all needing to happen at the same time. And this can cause some big issues with internet and Wi-Fi. The AmpliFi Alien has some performance features would be enticing for anyone currently in this predicament.

  • The Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien is optimised to provide your home network with the highest possible performance – Irrespective of how many users or devices are connected at the same time
  • The AmpliFI Alien can eliminate dead spots and increase the total capacity in your home network by 4 times through utilising MU-MIMO and OFDMA for communication across 12 Wi-Fi 6 spatial streams
  • Got a video meeting you just cannot have interrupted by lag or loss of video? The AmpliFi Alien has 5Hz radio with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) speeds which you can choose to dedicate to performance critical devices
  • Using the above features can help you to avoid competing for bandwidth with any other devices on your home network
Sounding good, but worried you don’t have the technical know-how to set something like this up?

The AmpliFi Alien comes with the AmpliFi App – A simple app that allows you to set up your network in just a minute. It’s user friendly yet full of controls and statistics to enable you to configure the AmpliFi Alien for your environment.

For more information and detailed specifications on the Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien, head to their website.

What other products are in the Ubiquiti AmpliFi range?

The AmpliFi Alien is the latest router that Ubiquiti have added to their extensive range of Wi-Fi products. You can find out more about their range of products by heading to their website, plus see real-life reviews of how Ubiquiti AmpliFi products have changed home networks for the better including all the stats.

 

We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty excited to see the AmpliFi Alien in action!