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Bye-bye, spotty Wi-Fi. How a mesh network can help.
A stronger, more reliable signal can make a big difference. Here’s how to get started.

Who knew there was such a thing as horsehair plaster, or that it was five times more resistant to Wi-Fi than regular drywall?

Chuck Smith didn’t, until he and his wife, Lisa Rapaport, moved into their historic 2,500-square-foot home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Built in 1752 – the same year as Benjamin Franklin’s famous experiment with a kite and a key – the house seemed determined to block wireless router signals from reaching more than a room away.

“The router had worked fine in my 1,000-square-foot apartment in Manhattan, but that wasn’t the case here,” says Smith, a mechanical engineer. Before long, Rapaport, a freelance journalist, was doing her work in a chair in the basement, tethered to the cable modem that brought the internet connection from outside. “We got this house in part so she could have a nice office, not be forced underground,” Smith says. 

At the suggestion of some engineer friends, Smith decided to try a Nest Wifi Pro network, an approach that ties together multiple Wi-Fi routers for better coverage. 

Get better coverage with a mesh network

In a traditional Wi-Fi network, your phone or laptop is connected to a single router, and all communication passes through that single router. The farther you are from the router, the weaker the signal. Walls, furniture, and other obstructions can impact the distribution of wireless signals throughout your home.

With mesh systems, you have multiple connectivity points in your home, so you’re never far from one.

Nest Wifi Pro with Wi-Fi 6E is built on mesh Wi-Fi technology. The routers work together to make sure your devices stay on the channel with the most bandwidth. The result is a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout your house, not just near your modem. This makes it possible to move from room to room on a video call with minimal disruption or to stream multiple 4K videos at once.

This Wi-Fi system is scalable, too, so you can find the right number of Nest Wifi Pro devices available for the size and shape of your home. If you still need more coverage, just add an additional Nest Wifi Pro router.

You can also control access. Nest Wifi Pro can turn on guest access or limit how much time kids can spend online and which apps they can use. Download the Google Home app to easily manage this from your phone or tablet.

How Nest Wifi Pro creates mesh coverage

For Smith, a mesh network would address his own new home’s connection issues, so he ordered a Nest Wifi Pro 3-pack. With Nest Wifi Pro, any router can act as the base that hooks to the modem, with additional routers serving as “points.” This makes it easy to extend mesh Wi-Fi coverage with additional Nest Wifi Pro routers.1 Smith set up his 3-pack with a router to connect to that cable modem in the basement and the two additional routers to increase their coverage for the ground floor. “I was super pleased with how easy it was to set up with the Google Home app, and we got great coverage in two-thirds of the house,” he says.2 A few more Nest Wifi Pro routers were added to cover the remaining third.3

Because additional points can be added in hard-to-cover areas like hallways and near walls, a mesh network gives you better coverage. Since all the points are connected to one another, data can take several paths toward its destination⁠, and it will always choose the best route from point A to point B. These points form a “self-healing” network: If one point goes down, communication is simply rerouted through another point. If it’s the primary point connected to your modem, your entire network will go down, but it won’t go unnoticed: You’ll get a notification in the app after a few minutes.

Nest Wifi Pro
Fast, reliable Wi-Fi 6E coverage for life at home.
How to get the most out of your mesh network

When you’re ready to get started with Wi-Fi that will cover your whole home, first consider your home size, what your home is made of (like horsehair plaster), and any neighborhood Wi-Fi congestion – if you live in an apartment or townhouse, for example. 

You might be tempted to fill your home with Wi-Fi devices, but more than five on a single network could be detrimental to performance. As a general rule, points work best when they’re about two to three rooms apart. If the far end of your house has weak Wi-Fi, don’t put a Nest Wifi Pro point in that exact spot. Instead, put it halfway in that direction. Try to place it in an elevated position, like on a shelf.

You’re less likely to encounter horsehair plaster, but walls made of thick concrete or brick can affect Wi-Fi performance. Points work best when they can see each other with a clear line of sight. With additional points, placing them in a way that avoids obstructions is optimal. If you have a house that spans more than one floor, add another Wi-Fi point to create a strong mesh throughout the home. Just as Smith placed points on different floors, if you have a two-story house that’s 2,200 square feet, two mesh points will provide good coverage: one for the first (ground) floor and one for the floor above (or below, in case of a basement).

Crowded Wi-Fi areas like apartment buildings can result in busy Wi-Fi channels and reduced performance. In these environments, the closer you are to a point, the better your Wi-Fi will perform. Consider placing your mesh points a bit closer to each other, one or two rooms away.

Freedom to connect in any part of your home

Nest Wifi Pro opened up options for Smith and Rapaport, who can now enjoy their historic home without losing a Wi-Fi connection, no matter which room they choose for working, streaming music, or watching their favorite shows.

Takeaways
With mesh systems, multiple connectivity points in your home mean you’re never far from oneEach home is different – consider size, construction materials, and neighborhood densityControl how much bandwidth is used in areas of the house or by family members
Nest Wifi Pro
Fast, reliable Wi-Fi 6E coverage for life at home.
Related products
Nest Wifi Pro
Nest Hub (2nd gen)
Nest Mini
Nest Audio
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  1. Nest Wifi Pro is not compatible with previous generations of Nest Wifi and Google Wifi.

  2. Router placement and home size, materials and layout can affect how Wi-Fi signal travels. Poor placement and larger homes or homes with thicker walls or long, narrow layouts may need extra Wifi points for full coverage. Strength and speed of signal will also depend on your internet provider. More than 5 routers in a network may result in degraded performance and is not recommended.

  3. This is based on only using connected devices at a maximum data rate of 1Mbps. Requires sufficient broadband internet connection and connected devices must be located within Wi-Fi coverage area described at g.co/nestwifi/coverage. Strength and speed of signal will also depend on your internet provider.