This post was originally posted on our sister site, TechFresca.
Traditionally, routers have been fugly little things that we try to keep out of sight behind some dresser somewhere. They’re usually fickle, tough to set-up, and rarely address the handful of dead spots we deal with. However, last October, Google presented its own solution to our collective wireless struggles. The new Google Wifi system is a sleek, three unit set boasting mesh technology and its been dominating the competition since its release. Providing unrivaled coverage and reliability, Google Wifi is an excellent choice if you’re looking to invest in a mesh system.
The system’s initial set-up is astoundingly simple and only requires a Google account and an internet connected mobile device. Rather than a web-based interface, the new Wifi system can only be set up with the new Google Wifi mobile application. Once setup, the system stays connected to Google at all times and will automatically log in to your Google account whenever you want to manage its settings.
According to Google, a single unit is capable of covering a 1,500 square foot home, while three-pack will cover a 4,500 square foot home. If you’re still looking for further coverage, additional units can be purchased. For those who aren’t familiar with mesh networking, the process involves a collection of radio transmitters that function in much the same way as wireless routers. These nodes are programmed with software that tells them how to interact with the larger wireless network. While one node needs to be wired to a network connection like a DSL internet modem, it shares its internet connection wirelessly with all other nodes in its vicinity.
In terms of design, it’s a bit taller than Eero, and most closely resembles two white hockey pucks stuck together. A singular light display indicates network status, blue for setup and white for connected. If you’d rather not see that OCD triggering glow, it can be disabled at any time. Beneath each unit is a power port and two gigabit ethernet jacks, one to connect to hardwired devices, and another for internet connection from a broadband modem. For specifications, Google Wifi has AC1200 2×2 Wave 2 capabilities and supports both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac networking. The system is secured with the standard WPA2-PSK protocol.
Google Wifi’s mobile application is available for iOS and Android and provides a number of features you may not have access to with our wireless systems. The app takes you through the process of setting up a new network and allows you to view network speeds and signal strengths, and offers helpful tips for improving network performance. Furthermore, the mobile app lets users see the number of devices connected to the network, pause wi-fi on specific devices, give priority to some, and create guest networks.
The system can be purchased individually for $129 or as a three pack for $299. In terms of price, that’s a much better deal than you’d get with Eero ($499)and Orbi ($399). Check it out here at Amazon.