Google Wi-Fi vs. Netgear Nighthawk X6 – Is the upgrade worth it?

Google Wi-Fi vs. Netgear Nighthawk X6

These two routers have different capabilities, but they are excellent for the environments for which they are made. So, should you consider upgrading at all?

The Google Wi-Fi router is a great device for transmitting internet in medium sized homes that do not have many rooms or multiple floors. It allows for heavy activity on multiple devices and can support 4K video streaming without struggling. However, internet demands in a medium sized home become quite high and there grows the need to upgrade.

The Netgear Nighthawk X6 is a device that is made for transmission in large homes with multiple storeys. It makes an excellent router for a medium sized home with high internet demands. So, should you consider upgrading?

What are the differences between the Google Wi-Fi and Netgear Nighthawk X6?

Google Wi-Fi
Netgear Nighthawk X6
4.17 x 2.70 inches
11.63 x 8.92 x 2.14 in
1,500 square feet
3,500 square feet
Transmission speed
400Mbps at 2.4GHz

867Mbps at 5GHz

600Mbps at 2.4GHz

1300Mbps at 5GHz

1300Mbps at 5Ghz

800MHz Dual Core
1GHz Dual Core
1 WAN, 1 LAN
1 WAN, 4 LAN, 2 USB

Google Wi-Fi vs. Netgear Nighthawk X6 – How do they compare?

Design and Build

The Google Wi-Fi router is a cylindrical device that is somewhat compact. Its size, combined with the fact that it has a flat base, makes installing it quite easy. It looks quite simple, but it has a stylish design that makes it blend in with your home décor. If you wouldn’t like for it to be within eye’s reach, you can also hide it behind books in a shelf. To boost range and speed of transmission, it has 4 internal antennas that are ideal for enabling good transmissionin all rooms of the house.

The Netgear Nighthawk X6 router looks quite different. It is a flat device that has a wedge shape and has 6 external antennas that make the router look futuristic to say the least. When placed next to the Google Wi-Fi, you will notice that this router is considerably larger. Its 6 external antennas ensure you have consistent speed and range at all times.

Boasting 6 external antennas and a considerable size, the Netgear Nighthawk X6 makes for a better looking router than the Google Wi-Fi router.

Speed and Performance

The Google Wi-Fi is a mesh router which means that it can be connected to other routers of its type to increase transmission and range. However, it also works quite well when installed as a single unit.That said, the Google Wi-Fi amply covers a 1,500 square feet house with speeds that reach a combined throughput of 1,200Mbps.

When it comes to performance, the Netgear Nighthawk AC3200 delivers more than the Google Wi-Fi router. Unlike its counterpart, this device acts as a single unit, but it does a much better job while at it. Placed in a home that spans 3,500 square feet, this router peaks at a speed of 3,200Mbps theoretical throughput.

The Netgear Nighthawk X6 is a better performer than the Google Wi-Fi since it is a tri-band device that transmits at higher speeds.

Port and Connectivity

The Google Wi-Fi router is a small device and as such, it comes with very few ports. It has 1 WAN and 1 LAN port. It does not have any USB ports, and it therefore cannot be able to handle many wired connections. However, when installed as a mesh router, each satellite device offers an extra LAN port for ethernet connections.

As far as ports go, the Netgear Nighthawk X6 is quite accommodative. It comes with a standard WAN port and 4 LAN ports that allow ethernet connectivity. Aside from these 5 ports, it also has 2 USB ports that go a long way in enhancing connectivity.

The Netgear Nighthawk boasts more connection ports than the Google Wi-Fi router, making it the better router of the two.

Google Wi-Fi vs. Netgear Nighthawk X6 – A comparisonoverview

Google Wi-Fi Overview

Google WiFi System, 1-Pack - Router Replacement for Whole Home Coverage - NLS-1304-25,white
  • A new type of connected system that replaces your router for seamless wifi coverage throughout your home,...
  • Network assist technology keeps your connection fast by always selecting the clearest channel and fastest...

Even though the Google Wi-Fi is quite small, it features a clever design that makes it quite beautiful. This design means that even a visitor would have to take a close look to realize that it is a router. You will have an easy time installing it since it has a flat base that allows it to sit on any flat surface.

The Google Wi-Fi depends on an 800MHz Dual Core processor, and a 512MB RAM that combines effort with a 128MB flash memory for optimal running. As a dual band router, it is able to transmit from two different bandwidths with a 2.4GHz bandwidth delivering 400Mbps and a 5GHz bandwidth delivering 867Mbps. This results in a combined throughput of 1,200Mbps theoretical throughput.

We like how easy it is to set up and operate this router, a characteristic that ensures that even the least tech savvy people have an easy time while at it. All you have to do is download a mobile app that guides you through the setup and running of the router. However, in case you encounter any trouble, you can get technical support from Google’s tech team that is available at any time of day or night. Other features of this router include parental control, guest network management and speed tests from the convenience of your phone.


  • It is small and can easily be tucked away
  • High speed transmission for medium sized homes
  • Comes with a mobile app
  • Has many performance enhancing features


  • It has very few ports

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Netgear Nighthawk X6 Overview

NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 Smart WiFi Router (R8000) - AC3200 Tri-band Wireless Speed (up to 3200 Mbps) | Up to 3500 sq ft Coverage & 50 Devices | 4 x 1G Ethernet and 2 USB ports | Armor Security
  • Netgear Armor protects your network and connected devices from Internet threats. Get peace of mind...
  • Fast wifi performance: Get up to 3500 sq ft wireless coverage with AC3200 speed (Tri-band up to 600 +...

The Netgear Nighthawk 6router embodies fanciness to say the least. It is a flat device that has a wedge shape, measuring 11.63 x 8.92 x 2.14 inches. This makes it considerably larger than the Google Wi-Fi router. Its 6 external antennas make it look like a bird preparing to fly.

Inside the router is a 1GHz Dual Core processor that is pretty efficient. It also has a 256MB RAM and 128MB flash memory. Unlike the Google Wi-Fi, this device is a tri-band router which transmits at three speeds with one 2.4GHz bandwidth delivering 600Mbps and two 5GHz bandwidths giving 1300Mbps each. This gives it the capacity to handle up to 50 devices at a go.

One of the features we fancy most on this router is the NETGEAR Armor, a software that ensures a high degree of protection for all your data. Also, you can download a mobile app that gives you full control of the router from the convenience of your mobile phone.


  • It has many antennas
  • Comes with many ports
  • Boasts high speed transmission
  • Comes with a mobile app


  • It is quite sizeable and may be difficult to hide away

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Verdict: So, which one is better – Google Wi-Fi or Netgear Nighthawk X6?

After conducting an in-depth comparison,it was clear that the Netgear Nighthawk X6 is the better router since it boasts better speeds, wider range and more connection ports than the Google Wi-Fi. The upgrade would definitely be worth it.


  1. Does the Netgear Nighthawk X6 offer a guest network feature?

Yes, it does. It allows for guest connection that is separate and secure.

  1. Is the Netgear Nighthawk X6 a mesh router?

No, it is not. It works as a single unit.


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