Google Wifi review: The best way to blanket your entire home with Wi-Fi

If you want to extend the fast internet to every corner of your home, Google Wifi is the best device for that. You only need two things:

  • An Internet-connected iOS or Android mobile device such as a phone or tablet
  • A Google Account that you can get for free

This is because, unlike most routers, there is no web-based interface and the new Wi-Fi system can only be set up and controlled via the new Google Wifi mobile application. Once set up, Google Wifi will stay connected to Google at all times and will log into your Google account every time you want to manage it.

Continue reading: Wi-Fi 6: Better, Faster Internet Coming This Year – Everything You Need To Know Is Here

According to Google, the wifi does not collect any data on user activity, e.g. B. which websites you visit. By default, only hardware, app, and network information is collected. However, you can disable this in the privacy section of the settings.

However, a constant connection to Google is required. For some, this is a deal breaker. Not all home mesh Wi-Fi systems that use multiple “satellite” devices to extend the Wi-Fi signal require a connection to the provider in order to function Eero does while the Netgear Orbi Not. Most home routers don’t need this at all.

But most people won’t care, and it protects the device from being hacked through regular automatic updates. If you’re cool with this setup, Google Wifi offers the best balance of ease of use, performance, and price yet.

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The Google Wifi contains three identical pieces of hardware.

Josh Miller / Tips Clear

What I love about Google Wifi

The Price: At just $ 129 for a single unit or $ 299 for a set of three, Google Wifi is cheaper than other Wi-Fi systems like that Eero or Orbi. (Google didn’t say if the wifi is on sale in the UK or Australia, but those prices convert to around £ 100 or AU $ 170 and £ 235 or AU $ 400.)

It’s really easy to use: it took me about 15 minutes to set up all three devices with an Android phone. The whole process was self explanatory and dare I say fun.

And fast. In terms of throughput, it has been tested well for a dual-stream AC1200 router with a sustained top Wi-Fi speed of more than 470 megabits per second.

However, the nature of Wi-Fi means that every time you expand the signal wirelessly, there is a loss of signal, which basically means a slower speed. You can mitigate this by placing the satellite units around the first router unit. To avoid this completely, you can connect the devices to one another using network cables.

Coverage and reliability are great: as a single unit or a three-unit system, Google Wifi passed my 48-hour stress test with flying colors. During the test, I determined that a lot of data was being transferred between multiple wireless clients (four laptops in this case). The wifi did this without any interruptions. The system also had excellent signal handover so you could walk around your house and seamlessly connect from one device to another without being disconnected from the internet. I tried while talking on the wifi and the conversation was not affected at all.

Google claims that the system is constantly analyzing the airspace to determine the cleanest channel and the best Wi-Fi band (5 GHz or 2.4 GHz) for a client. I’ve used it in a home with a lot of other routers and the Google Wifi network stayed stable, which definitely makes its claim more believable.

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Each device has a Gigabit WAN and a Gigabit LAN port and can be used as a router or extender.

Josh Miller / Tips Clear

OK, how exactly does that work?

In many ways, Google Wifi is the evolution of the company’s previous home routers, the OnHubs. The difference to wifi is that you can have up to three instead of just one unit. Each hardware unit is called a wifi point. When you get a single unit, you only have one point that can cover approximately 1,200 square feet and is suitable for a small house or average sized apartment. More points (up to six) spread across the house will increase the coverage area accordingly. One set of three units can easily cover a 4,000 square foot or even larger home.

All Google Wifi devices are identical. When multiple devices are used in a house, the first device acts as the main router, connecting to an Internet source like a broadband modem. The additional units extend the Wi-Fi coverage to create a single Wi-Fi mesh network. Depending on the layout of your home, you can place the WiFi points a room or two apart to maximize WiFi coverage. The Google Wifi app can help you find the best location by measuring the connection between units.

The app shows your entire home network in an easy-to-understand layout. You can use it to visualize your entire home network, quickly prioritize the broadband connection to a specific device and pause the Internet to one or a group of devices. You can also use it to find out which WiFi point a particular client is connected to and adjust some of the network settings that Google Wifi offers, including guest network, IP reservation, and port forwarding. Everything can be done with a few taps on the screen of your phone. Google says that it will continue to use the wifi with other functions such as voice control (via your phone, Google Home and Amazon Alexa) and support for other devices like the Nest thermostat. Make sure to check back to find out how these features work.

So yeah, Google Wifi has a lot to love. It offers both ease of use and Wi-Fi coverage. It also has great performance. And there’s more: if you already own one of the Google OnHubs today, it will automatically update to be part of the Wifi ecosystem and you’ll be using the same Google Wifi app. This means that each OnHub is not only a stand-alone router as before, but can also function as a Wifi point, just like a unit from Google Wifi.

Tips Clear Labs Wi-Fi system performance

Google Wifi (single router)

Netgear Orbi (single router)

Netgear Orbi (via an extender)

Linksys Velop (single router)

Portal (via an extender)

Linksys Velop (via an extender)

Google Wifi (via an extender)

Almond 3 (via an extender)

Legend:

Short range

long range

Note:

Measured in megabits per second. Longer bars mean better performance.

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