Google has started rolling out a nifty new update to its Google Wifi and Nest Wifi mesh systems to ensure you always get the internet speed you need, where it really matters. If you’re struggling with a slower broadband connection at home, you don’t want any of that valuable bandwidth to be consumed by roommates or family members streaming Netflix while you work.
That’s exactly what the latest update for Google Wifi and Nest Wifi aims to fix. While these systems, which are designed to remove any black holes in your Wi-Fi signal by placing small nodes in different rooms around the house, have been able to prioritize selected devices for some time, Google is now adding the ability to certain details to access applications.
With the latest update of the Google Home app, the “Favorite Activities” menu has been expanded to include several other applications. Google has now added support for Microsoft Teams, Slack, Webex, and GoToMeeting.
If you rely on Slack or Microsoft Teams for work or study on a daily basis, this setting is a must. It prioritizes traffic from these productivity apps over everything else that’s happening on your network. So if you’re streaming music through Slack or Teams during a video call or downloading a new game to a console, the latter will get a bigger share of the bandwidth.
While you may notice some buffering from other apps and services on your network, your Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Webex call should stay crystal clear.
Elsewhere, the Google Wifi and Nest Wifi update brings all the usual “stability and performance improvements” as well as improved “compatibility with the Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) network infrastructure”.
Google also provides insights into your broadband performance. As you scroll through the main feed in the Google Home app, you’ll see messages like, “Your internet is slow due to network congestion. Try to reduce your usage. If it continues, there is always room for increasing your internet speed.”
As always, the update also contains new security fixes. Choosing a mesh system like Nest Wifi and Eero will ensure that your WiFi router is always up to date with new security patches. While the WiFi routers sent by your broadband provider usually get updated with new firmware for the first few years, they stop over time.
If you’ve been with your current ISP for a while and haven’t updated your kit, you may be using hardware that is missing critical security updates. In conjunction with widespread Wi-Fi coverage, more precise controls for family members and the prioritization of individual apps.