All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.Google launched support for the new Matter standard for Nest and Android devices on December 15th, and Google’s Nest WiFi Pro routers were built to act as Matter controllers or hubs — in addition to providing access to the potentially faster and less congested 6E WiFi band. The routers have just hit their lowest price ever, with single routers and multi packs getting a 20 percent discount at Amazon. That makes one unit $160, down from $200, and the two- and three-packs down to $239 and $320, respectively. Note that the multi-unit packs are only available in white at the moment — if you want multiples of the other colors, you’ll need to add single units to your cart.
Nest WiFi Pro routers offer tri-band connectivity, providing access to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency WiFi bands, which the majority of existing devices run on, along with the newly available 6 GHz band. Smartphones and other devices that are WiFi 6E-compatible can take advantage of connections up to twice as fast as standard WiFi. A single Nest WiFi Pro unit will cover WiFi connections for up to 2,200 square feet. With three routers, that coverage extends to 6,600 square feet, and will also give you a mesh connection, which is best for both larger homes and homes with physical interference such as thick walls or multiple floors.
With an eye on appearance, Google gave these new routers a rounded design and glossy shell, which happens to be composed of 60 percent recycled materials. The look was “inspired by ceramics” and is meant to blend with a home’s decor.
As a Matter hub, Nest WiFi Pro routers are enabled to connect all Matter-enabled devices so they work together harmoniously. A common frustration with smart home devices has been the inability of devices from different brands to work together. Created by the Connectivity Standards Alliance, a group that brought together Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung and many other companies in the smart home market, Matter is a universal standard that aims to solve that frustration by letting devices work together more seamlessly. It’ll also allow new smart home devices you bring home to be easier to connect in the first place. Not every device is Matter-enabled, but the new standard will likely apply to most smart home products going forward.
Of course, if you’re only in the market for something that will act as a Matter hub, you may already have what you need. When Google flipped the switch on Matter back in December, automatic updates turned many existing Google Home speakers and hubs into controllers for Matter. The iOS 16.1 update gave Matter support to iPhones and HomePods, and Amazon enabled Matter control on many newer Alexa devices shortly after Google did so.
In addition to acting as a smart home hub, the Nest WiFi Pro routers also have built-in Thread network support, allowing connections to even more devices that run on that low-power wireless network. And if Google is your preferred smart home interface, you should be able to control everything through the Google Home app.
Now that Google’s newest routers are cheaper than ever, this might be a good time to invest in the latest in WiFi connectivity that supports both Matter and Thread control.
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