Hi, so I mistakenly ordered three Google Nest routers instead of one router and two points. Can I use the extra routers as points and what would be the limitations? Do I need to connect the routers used as points to the ethernet?
I ordered them in the US, but am already back in Europe where I live and would rather not go through the return hassle if this is an option.
Thanks for your feedback!
A few comments. First, the good news (there is bad news below, though): Yes – the Nest WiFi Router units can be used as points. In fact, they have more powerful WiFi radios (not in terms of transmit power, but in terms of how many simultaneous streams are supported – 4 vs 2), so there can be an advantage to using them instead of Nest WiFi Point units. When adding them to the system, just make sure you pretend you're adding points, not routers.
You do not need to connect them back to the primary via Ethernet. You can do that, though, since they have Ethernet ports, and it pays off in terms of system performance. But, even if you don't have wiring in place to do that, you can use the Ethernet ports on them to connect nearby devices that support Ethernet avoiding one WiFi hop.
Now for the bad news. It looks like you bought a system made for use in the U.S., and you plan to use it in Europe. That's going to be a problem. U.S. units are configured to use a 5GHz WiFi channel that is not allowed in Europe. The units can technically still talk to each other, but your European devices (or any device – like a cell phone – that can figure out that it's in Europe) may not see the 5GHz band on the system. Worse yet, since setup requires using a cell phone (and that phone won't see the system in Europe), you may not even be able to get it set up to start with. I hate to say it, but you may need to return these just for this reason and purchase a system manufactured and configured for use in Europe in order to ensure trouble-free operation.
Thank you for the very detailed and informative response. I will need to look better into the details of US vs EU systems. I happen to know a few people that bought these in the US and are successfully using them here.
It's not that it won't work at all (though it may have trouble during setup) – it's just that European clients may not see or connect to the 5GHz band of a U.S. system, which uses channel 149+. They will still see and connect to the 2.4GHz band, which works fine, but has slower performance.
It looks like MichaelP was able to give you some good advice here. I wanted to check in and see if that worked out for you or to see if you still needed some input on this. Let me know if you still need some help.
Just one quick final check in here since activity has slowed down. We'll be locking the thread in the next 24 hours, but if you still need help, I would be happy to keep it open. If there's more we can do, just let me know.
Awesome — glad to hear that and thanks for getting back to us. It looks like we can consider this one complete, so I will lock the thread now. If you have any new issues, updates or just a discussion topic, feel free to start a new thread in the Community.
It sounds like you're asking about optimal placement of primary and secondary units. Since the mesh path selection prefers fewer hops, the optimal placement is to have the primary as close to the center of your home as possible with secondary units (either another Nest WiFi Router unit, a Nest WiFi Point unit, or a Google WiFi unit) one or two rooms away from there – close enough they can get strong 5GHz connections for themselves. From there, they will provide 2.4GHz and 5GHz coverage to more distant clients. Trying to build a multi-hop topology is not recommended.
Unfortunately, our Router is not in a central location, so I need 2 Nest Points to provide signal to the back of our house. In that scenario, does it make any difference if we a second Nest Router (acting as a Point) at the back of the house, or in the 2nd position nearer the main Router? I hope that makes sense.
If a point can get through directly to the primary, it will do that instead of going through an intermediate – even if that means using a much slower connection speed (which WiFi will absolutely do). So, trying to string multiple points together really doesn't work. That's why the placement advice is to have the primary/router unit as close to the center as possible, even if that means using a longer Ethernet cable to get it into a better position.
If you can run an Ethernet cable from where your modem is to a more central location, I suspect a better approach would be to use that to place the primary Nest WiFi Router in that new location. But, if you have two Nest WiFi Router units, then sure – you can use that Ethernet cable to connect the secondary Nest WiFi Router unit back to the primary Nest WiFi Router unit's LAN Ethernet port. Just be aware that when a secondary Nest WiFi Router unit is connected back to the primary via Ethernet, it does not act like a "base station" for more distant wireless-only (mesh-connected) Nest WiFi Router or Point units – those will still need to be close enough to the primary to get a strong 5GHz connection for themselves.