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How Nest Wifi and Google Wifi 2.4, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands work

Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi devices keep it simple by automatically directing your devices to use the band that gives them the best Wi-Fi.

Your Nest Wifi or Google Wifi network uses the same name for both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Google Nest Wifi Pro also uses the 6 GHz band. All radio bands are active simultaneously. Keep in mind your personal devices such as your smartphone, tablet, or laptop will typically connect to only one radio band at any given time. Based on the device capabilities and network conditions, Nest Wifi and Google Wifi attempt to select the band that will deliver the best performance for your device.

This method is different from many routers. Some other routers have 2 (and now with 6 GHz, 3) separate Wi-Fi networks, one for the 2.4 GHz band, another for the 5 GHz band, and another for the 6 GHz network, which require you to manually connect to the band you want.

Every wireless device is different and each manufacturer develops its own rules for choosing the best band. It's possible your smart home device connects to the 2.4 GHz band and your laptop connects to the 5 GHz band, while your phone connects to the 6 GHz band. Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi's Band Steering feature will attempt to guide your connected devices to the band with the best performance for each device. Ultimately, after analyzing wireless connections, your device will decide which band to connect to.

How devices choose a band

Devices that support only the 2.4 GHz band, such as an older phone, will automatically connect to the 2.4 GHz band. Most dual band devices that support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, or tri-band devices that support 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz, will attempt to automatically pick a band based on different factors, like client compatibility, security, signal strength, and distance from a mesh Wi-Fi point. It's possible to have a device that supports 6 GHz or 5 GHz that instead connects to a point over 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz, respectively, so you can feel confident that your device has the best connection.

How the 6 GHz band works

The 6 GHz band allows the use of a comparatively large number of high bandwidth radio channels which can deliver great performance not only to clients but to the mesh connections used by Nest Wifi Pro.

To confirm whether your device is connected to 6 GHz, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi .
  3. In the middle of the screen, tap Devices.
  4. Scroll to find the device you want to check.
  5. Tap the Info tab.
  6. If the device is wireless, the app shows which band it's using.

How to turn on WPA3

To ensure a seamless transition of your 6 GHz-capable device between 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz band operation, you'll need to turn on WPA3 for the older 2.4 and 5 GHz bands as well. To enable WPA3, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi .
  3. At the top right, tap Settings .
  4. Scroll down to and select Advanced Networking.
  5. Tap to select the toggle for "Use Wi-Fi Protected Access 3."
    • Note: When you toggle the WPA3 setting on or off, your network will restart and devices will lose connectivity for a short time.

Note: Some legacy WPA2 devices might be incompatible with WPA3 and experience connection issues when WPA3 transition mode is on. Learn more about security features. If you have legacy devices that are experiencing connection issues with WPA3, turn off WPA3. Your 6 GHz devices might not connect as often to the 6 GHz band, yet the entire network will deliver 6 GHz benefits since Nest Wifi Pro's mesh connections make use of the benefits of 6 GHz.

How bands affect smart home devices

Some smart home devices only use the 2.4 GHz band and will not be available for setup if your phone is on the 5 or 6 GHz band. Refer to your phone's user manual if you'd like to specify the band.

Tip: The signal of the 2.4 GHz band can travel a greater distance than those of the 5 or 6 GHz bands. If your phone doesn't have the ability to switch Wi-Fi bands, try to move farther away from your router and points until your phone moves to the 2.4 GHz band. Then proceed with setting up your smart home devices.
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