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Google has started to roll out a clever new update to its Google Wifi and Nest Wifi mesh systems, which should 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 some of that precious bandwidth being sapped by housemates or family members streaming Netflix while you’re working.
That’s exactly what the latest update rolling out to Google Wifi and Nest Wifi aims to fix. While these systems, which are designed to remove any blackholes in your Wi-Fi signal by placing small nodes in different rooms around the house, have been able to prioritise select devices for a while, Google is now adding the ability to drill down to specific applications.
With the latest update to the Google Home app, the Preferred Activities menu has been updated to include a few 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 every day, this setting is a must-have. It will prioritise the traffic from these productivity apps over anything else happening on your network. So, if you’re streaming music or downloading a new game to a console while you’re on a video call via Slack or Teams, the latter will get a bigger share of the bandwidth.
While you might notice some buffering on 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 with it all the usual “stability and performance improvements” as well as improved “compatibility with Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) networking infrastructure”.
Google will also offer insights into your broadband performance. Scrolling through the main feed within the Google Home app, you’ll see notices likes “Your internet is slow because of network congestion. Try reducing your usage. If it continues, you can always upgrade your internet speeds.”
As always, the update also includes new security fixes. Opting for a mesh system, like Nest Wifi and Eero, ensures your Wi-Fi router is always kept up to date with new security patches. While the Wi-Fi routers sent by your broadband supplier are usually updated with new firmware during the first couple of years, these stop over time.
If you’ve been with your current internet provider for a while and haven’t upgraded your kit, you might be using hardware that’s missing crucial security updates. Coupled with the widespread Wi-Fi coverage, more granular controls for family members and prioritising individual apps.
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