Google Mesh Wi-Fi - Use a Switch, or No Switch. Need Help

Hoping to get some advice on a Google Mesh set up.. the set up sounds convoluted as the modem is located in an awkward place in my house, that, and we are renting - so no option to hardwire Ethernet.

Looking at a Google Mesh router, given how exposed our router is (we have FTTP so the box is in an awkward place). My wife would prefer something a little less Nighthawk looking. Time to upgrade.

Option 1
- buy the new Google Nest router, and a Gigabit switch. Have my TV, PC and PS4 hooked up to the gigabit switch
- buy a new Nest access point for the other side of the house, no physical connection needed.

Option 2
- Buy the older Google Wifi and 2 of the Google Wifi pucks.
- Google Wifi router can hook up to my PC
- 1st Google Wifi puck would connect to TV and PS4 via ethernet
- 2nd Google Wifi would act as a wifi extender at the other side of my house
- Both Google Wifi pucks would be connected wirelessly to the Wifi router

Now my preference is option 2, as it avoids having cabling, everywhere - very clean set up.. but - what performance difference will I see? I assume hardwired is always best - is option 2 even helpful?

At the moment I use an old Netgear Nighthawk running wireless to everything.

Thanks in advance, I’ve been searching all morning - very new to this.


  • Depends on whether you are transferring data between the PS4, PC and TV or you just want to access internet on all the devices. Most network setups are far faster than even NBN. So if it's just internet access it shouldn't be problematic either way (from my non-IT professional understanding) however if you want to data share between the devices (e.g. video stream) then the option to have them all hard wire connected via a switch would be fastest. I am sure others will weigh in though particularly regarding latency on the PS4 which I have no real understanding of as a non-gamer. 😉

    • Thanks for the detailed response! I should definitely have been more clear.. so:

      PC - is a Plex Media server, serving content to the TV 4 metres away. Rarely use Plex as most shows on streaming services etc.

      TV - streaming services and consuming Plex

      PS4 - online gaming

      Nothing insane ever goes on. I’m currently running wifi only now, and I have SOME sporadic lag (latency?)issues gaming online, but figured that was normal.

      Perhaps I’m over complicating it trying to achieve the best results.. without ever really knowing the difference.

      • In that case, the bottleneck you need to worry about is between the PC and TV. I would likely go option 1 because it would future proof you in the sense that you will have maximum throughput between the plex server and client enabling you to stream larger higher-definition files. I feel like a bit of future-proofing has saved me buying new network equipment as frequently over the years (which also wins husband/wife points). However, it depends on how "rarely" you use plex.

        Additionally, your throughput on wireless would likely be dependent on the amount of congestion on the WiFi band you are using in your area which is worth considering if you go option 2.

        However, I too am also married and understand the "wires" issue… my solution was to buy a top-end Asus router and place it on top of a high cabinet where it cant be seen… thus increasing my range (esp. in a two-storey house) and also hiding it from the aesthetics police. ;) I am lucky that my NBN connection and TV point are next to each other though!

    • +1

      Latency with WiFi for the PS4 isn't huge depending on the wifi point location. I'm running mine in wifi about 1 meter from the router because my testing didn't have any noticable difference between the two (with exception to download speed)

      No in game performance hit so decided the lack of a single cable was worth it.

      This all probably changes when the PS4 had any obstacle between the device or not, but as long as its close out shouldn't be a problem.

      Plus, you can blame WiFi lag for your own shitty play

  • If you need anything connected through ethernet then definately go for option 2. I've been using the older google wifi setup for few years now and highly recommend it. I also place my pucks in strategic locations such as one in the study so I can connect my desktop and Nvidia Shield to one of the pucks and a NAS to second puck to have stable connections. All my other devices are connect through wifi and have a strong signal anywhere in my house. One thing to consider is whether you want a smart speaker as the newer Nest access points have that function.

    • Thanks for the response! And nice set up. Are your pucks all wirelessly connected to each other?

      The issue I will have is - the pucks will be connected via Ethernet to the device, yet the pucks will still be connected via wifi to the main router. Is this any better than just wifi altogether etc?

      • +1

        Yes all my pucks are connected wirelessly as that's the whole point of wifi mesh systems in that only one connects to the router and the pucks are all connected wirelessly to each other. I have a long and narrow house and the router is at one end of the house. Before google wifi, I would get bad wifi signal at the other end of the house. After I got them, I have a strong signal anywhere in my house. As long as you don't place the pucks far apart (say greater than 10M from each other subject to walls and other objects) then you should be good. This setup works for me as I need some ethernet connections as mentioned and the fact I get crappy signal on some parts of the house.

  • OP, incase you are not aware, you can buy multiple of the Nest WiFi routers and use their ethernet ports and a switch to do option 2. It will be more expensive but their WiFi is better.

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