Back in 2016, Google almost single-handedly brought an elitist technology to the masses, Mesh Networking, with Google WiFi. And it had an Ethernet port as well, two as a matter of fact.
Since then, Google had revised the Google WiFi with an even better, sleek rendition: the Nest WiFi.
The newer model features more powerful networking capabilities. Google also came out with improved Mesh Access Points (AP) to supplement the Nest WiFi; they also house some smart features.
But what about the Ethernet port situation? How did it fare in light of all these changes?
Google WiFi has two Gigabit Ethernet ports: a WAN and a LAN port. To enable internet access, connect your modem output to the WAN port. And use the LAN port to host a local network through the WiFi router. You can use network switches and additional CAT cables to accommodate more uses in your LAN.
Here is a detailed guide on everything you need to know about Ethernet on Google WiFi.
Ethernet Ports on Google WiFi
Google has endowed Google WiFi with two Gigabit Ethernet ports, which can transmit and receive data with speeds exceeding the 1 Gb range.
And you have every right to think that "two parts are a bit underwhelming, isn't it?" since most modern routers house more than two Ethernet ports.
And one must also take into consideration that you can only use one of these ports to materialize a LAN connection since the other serves the purpose of connecting to the modem, WAN connection.
They are distinguished by their distinctive markings, clearly indicating which's which.
For the LAN port, you will find a double-edged arrow mark(<-->) marked below it. In the case of the WAN port, you can find a globe design etched in green next to the Port.
CAT 5e or CAT 6 cables will give you a much more stable connection than a traditional CAT 3 cable.
While the newer Nest Mesh points don't have the provision for an Ethernet port, its predecessor- the Google Mesh point- had an Ethernet port.
And so, with older models, you could daisy-chain APs for a faster, more reliable connection.
The newer versions support Mesh networking solely through wireless RF communication.
Coming to the WAN port, first, connect one end of the Ethernet cable to the LAN/uplink port of the Modem.
Connect the other end to the WAN port on the Google WiFi, and you're good to go.
Remember to not connect devices simultaneously to the modem and the Google WiFi to form two independent LAN networks.
Doing so will result in multiple unrelated LAN networks and cause NAT issues on the network. (more about this later)
Now, let's look at how to increase the Ethernet port selection on your Google WiFi.
Verizon, Spectrum, AT&T, Xfinity, etc., are some of the ISPs that provide Gigabit connections at various price points.
How to Add More Ethernet Ports to Google WiFi
As you've come to terms with the port situation on Google WiFi by now, let's talk about how to increase them.
Even if you can't drill holes and solder in ports to the device, you can look into other prospects to serve the purpose.
And one such prospect is with a network Switch.
A Switch, much like a router, enables data packet transfer between devices and the internet. But unlike a router, it doesn't have the provision to host a network or enable ISP communication.
What it does is increment the number of connections possible on a network. In other words, a Switch increases the number of ports on your Google WiFi.
A Switch may come in various increments of ports, ranging from 2 extra ports all the way up to 8 or more ports.
There are also various types of Switches, differentiated based on its functionality and targeted mode of implementation.
For the most part, look for Unmanaged switches that don't require any setup, configuration, or monitoring to work. It's basically a plug-and-play sort of device.
Popular choices include Switches from TP-link, NETGEAR, Linksys, among others. Only make sure to opt for a 2 GB or more data speed Switch to utilize the capabilities of the Google WiFi.
Once you have your hands on a Switch, connect a good quality CAT 5e or CAT 6 cable to the LAN port of your Google WiFi.
Then, connect the opposing end to the WAN port of your Switch. Once done, you're good to go. If the Switch is off the powered type, connect the power cable.
Now you can connect your wired devices to the various ports of the Switch and utilize the capabilities of Google WiFi.
You could also connect other Google WiFi routers to the Switch, but it may be susceptible to NAT interference.
CAT 6 cables reign supreme over almost all other CAT cables solely based on their full copper conductive cable array.
With these cables, you can expect better signal strengths with minimal interference.
Ethernet Throughput on Google WiFi
Finally, let's look at how much speed you can get through Google WiFi while using Ethernet.
For the purposes of this test, I subjected the Google WiFi to my Gigabit connection. This connection did(ideally) produce the same download and upload speeds(1000 Mbps per direction).
Here are the results when I connected my laptop to the Router via a CAT 6 cable:
I also subjected the Google WiFi to another internet connection. A 400 Mbps network with a 200 Mbps upload ceiling was the subject of the test this time.
Certainly, Google WiFi does deliver on its promise of a safe and reliant router with an almost impeccable internet throughput, as evident from these results.
You can also run a speed test on your Google Home app to know the exact input you get on the Google WiFi router from the modem.
Follow these steps to run a speed test on your Google WiFi:
1. Open the app and select the WiFi option.
2. Scroll down to the Network tab and tap on the Run Speed Test option.
3. Wait for the test to finish. Once completed, you will get to know an accurate account of the download and upload speed on your Router.
While all this Ethernet business speaks for itself, Google WiFi, as the name suggests, is designed to be used as a wireless Mesh networking device.
It certainly has the hardware capabilities to outshine most competitors on the market.
So why should you choose the Ethernet route over the WiFi router? Let's discuss this dilemma in detail, shall we?
As good as it sounds, Ethernet communication does indeed have some boundaries. It is susceptible to discrepancies such as cable length, interference, etc.
Inferior cables can induce interference to the transmission, effectively reducing the speed. So does cable length.
Why Choose Ethernet Over WiFi?
Even if WiFi makes a strong point for itself with better versatility and ease of use, the factors that undermine WiFi outweigh the ones that make it so desirable.
Here are the many factors in which Ethernet reigns supreme over WiFi:
Ethernet provides a more stable connection than WiFi. WiFi connections are susceptible to interference over longer distances.
As the distance between the Router and the device increases, the signal strength wavers due to interference. As a consequence, network speeds start dropping.
In the case of Ethernet connections, however, interference has a negligible effect on long-distance transmission.
Ethernet connections are much faster. Due to its high resistance to interference, expect higher speeds and lower dropouts with an Ethernet connection.
Only make sure to sure good quality CAT cables.
Network traffic has little effect on Ethernet connections. WiFi networks suffer from network traffic issues, especially the 2.4 GHz band.
Once the traffic exceeds the limit, users start experiencing slower network speeds and higher buffering times.
Ethernet connections host no such problems since they are limited to a particular number of users at a time. It's also more user-focused than WiFi connections.
Google WiFi had been nothing short of a revelation to the tech world. Before its inception, Mesh networking was something seldom seen among consumers.
With the changing landscape in the tech world in its wake, Google decided to refresh the Google WiFi with the Nest WIFi, a far more advanced and better networking device than its predecessor.
With features like beam forwarding and a very handy Home app integration, Google(for sure) had hit a homer with this device.
But, there are indeed a few unsavory things to be said about Google WiFi such as its evident lack of Ethernet ports.
Fortunately, there exist ways to increase this deficiency, as explained above.
Nonetheless, the Ethernet ports on the Google WiFi do fare well in this regard, even if it's on a device designed to be used wirelessly.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Can I use both Ethernet ports on Google Wifi?
Google Wifi has dual gigabit Ethernet ports. However, out of these two ports, only one supports LAN connections. The other serves as the WAN port for connecting to the modem. If you want to increase the number of LAN ports on your Google WiFi, consider availing of the services of a Switch.
Does Google Nest Point have Ethernet ports?
Google Nest WiFi points do not host an Ethernet port. They are solely meant for Mesh networking and not meant for hardwiring. Older Google WiFi points did, however, support Ethernet ports on them.
Does Google mesh have 2.4 GHz?
Google WiFi mesh networking devices support both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz band connections. The newer model comes with a more advanced MU-MIMO (4x4) configuration. In other words, they now produce more powerful signals for communication.