Google Wifi might not be the first mesh Wi-Fi router on the scene, but it’s probably the only device that launched the mesh router revolution – or at least propelled them into the mainstream market.
The tastes of Netgear Orbi Where Samsung Connect Home may have arrived on scene first, but Google Wifi has set the benchmark for what to expect from mesh Wi-Fi routers. It offers better value for money than most of the competition because of its affordability, rugged features, easy setup, and sleek, minimalist design. This is an intuitive router to set up and can be placed just about anywhere without appearing to be a massive intrusion into your space while delivering a strong, uninterrupted signal to every inch of your space. .
So that you are ready to move from your router or need a more efficient solution for your connectivity problems, Google Wifi is a great choice when it comes to price, performance and features.
Google Wifi pricing and availability
With what it has to offer in terms of accessibility and functionality, Google isn’t asking for much, especially what Google Wifi can do. First-generation WiFi costs $ 259 (around £ 204, AU $ 399) for a set of three units, consisting of a primary ‘Wi-Fi point’ (the one you connect to the modem or gateway) and two secondary Wi-Fi points. Google promises that three Wi-Fi points can cover up to 4,500 square feet (418 square meters) in one location.
The new generation of Google Wifi devices cut the price of the three-pack system by $ 60, now on sale in the US and UK for $ 199 / £ 189 (around AU 499). A single Google Wifi unit can be purchased for just $ 99 / £ 89 (around AU $ 199), which is the same as the last-gen price. If you are working with a small apartment, the coverage is more than enough and still an unbeatable deal.
If you’re in the UK, you’ll also get the option of Google Wifi in a 2-pack and 3-pack, costing you £ 229 and £ 329 respectively. Google Wifi has disappeared from the Google Australia product page, so there is no option to purchase the first generation or recently updated Google Wifi mesh router. This strongly suggests that even though the Australian rollout is a bit further behind the US and UK, it is likely imminent and will almost certainly see a similar price drop on the networking three-point pack.
Google Wifi is phenomenal value – it provides more units for less money than any of its rivals, like the Netgear Orbi, along with other $ 400 wireless mesh routers (around £ 320,520 AU $), at least, for the same number of nodes of the mesh.
Wireless connectivity: IEEE 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, AC1200 2×2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi (expandable mesh; dual band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, TX beamforming); Bluetooth Smart compatible
Processor: Quad-core ARM processor (each core up to 710 MHz)
Memory: 512MB RAM
Storage room: 4 GB eMMC Flash
Beam formation: Implicit and explicit for the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands
Ports: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per WiFi access point (1 WAN port and 1 LAN port each)
Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.7 inches (106.1 x 68.7 mm; D x H) each
Weight: 12 oz (340 g) each
Design and configuration of Google Wifi
Google not only has a price advantage, but it also has the sleekest Wi-Fi units and perhaps the easiest setup of all the offerings. Each Google Wifi unit, a simple small cylinder with a white LED strip in its center, offers the same capacity.
This means that any Google Wifi unit can act as the main “router” of the system, while the others can extend the wired signal, sent to the wireless unit, with their included Ethernet ports as well as an internet connection. wireless. All three units are powered via USB-C.
The setup is also completely smooth, as is the hardware design of Google Wifi – using a free iOS or Android app to make the whole process easier. We won’t go into the details of the process, but the Google Wifi app will let you configure your network by first scanning the QR codes on the Wi-Fi point connected to your modem or gateway.
The app will then ask you to give your new network a name and set a password, then associate any additional Wi-Fi points you have by scanning their QR codes. You will then be able to name individual nodes in the application. Again, it only takes a short time for the first Google Wifi node to recognize the additional nodes and get them started working.
You won’t get the same depth of access as even Netgear Orbi, so band switching is not a choice. However, Google Wifi handles this automatically behind the scenes.
The Google Wifi app provides more useful settings, such as continuous monitoring of your network, and the points and devices connected to it. The app also includes an internet speed test, like the Ookla Mesh Test which measures the connection health of your points, as well as a Wi-Fi test which measures the strength of your connection from the network.
This is the most comprehensive and sophisticated command suite we’ve seen on a Wi-Fi mesh system to date, despite its lack of dropdowns and toggles.
Additionally, you can prioritize a device’s bandwidth for a period of time, control smart home devices, and suspend internet access to certain devices in a family setting, all from within the confines of this app.
And now Google has extended Google Wifi’s network verification functionality to test multiple devices, so that you can detect potential bottlenecks in your network, as well as rearrange your Google Wifi points when trying to optimize network performance.
Here’s how Google Wifi performed in our brief series of tests (performed on a 100 Mbps service):
Ookla 5 GHz Speed Test (Download | Download):
Within 5 feet / 1.52 meters; no obstacles: 101.41 | 117.83 Mbps
Within 13 feet / 3.96 meters; three plaster walls: 97.05 | 118.67 Mbps
Ookla 2.4 GHz Speed Test (Download | Download):
Within 5 feet / 1.52 meters; no obstacles: 47.53 | 96.72 Mbit / s
Within 13 feet / 3.96 meters; three plaster walls: 50.95 | 82.98 Mbps
1.5 GB Steam download at 5 GHz (maximum speed):
Within 5 feet / 1.52 meters; no obstruction: 12.6MB / s
Within 13 feet / 3.96 meters; three plaster walls: 12.2 Mb / s
1.5GB Steam 2.4GHz Download (Max Speed):
Within 5 feet / 1.52 meters; no obstruction: 7.2MB / s
Within 13 feet / 3.96 meters; three plaster walls: 8.8 Mb / s
Google Wifi performance
Google Wifi is able to match, if not surpass, the performance of Netgear Orbi. Making the most of our 100Mbps Wi-Fi service, surely we haven’t seen a router that can provide the same service. But, the main difference here is that Google Wifi is able to bring this high performance to every room in our house, no matter how small.
We are able to stream 4K videos via Netflix to our Roku Premiere in the basement, as well as play Overwatch in the office where the modem is located without any issues. Wi-Fi mesh systems like Google Wifi don’t focus on speed as much as they focus on coverage. Still, this product certainly lives up to it.
The traffic prioritization feature ensures that your gaming session receives more of this critical bandwidth than other devices in your home that are most often used for Facebook and streaming HD videos. In addition, the network can automatically repair itself in the event of an accidental failure of one or more Wi-Fi points.
Even though we know that Google Wifi operates its mesh system on the existing Wi-Fi bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) via the 802.11s mesh protocol instead of Netgear Orbi’s tri-band system which communicates on a second band 5 GHz Wi-Fi we have I haven’t seen a huge difference in the performance of one or the other. We are seeing slightly faster download speeds in MB / s on the Orbi’s 2.4 GHz band over Google Wifi. However, this could also be a possible anomaly.
Where Google Wifi really excels over similar routers is in its striking price / coverage ratio. You can get similar coverage with competing systems with fewer units, of course, but the flexibility you get by having more units – just in terms of minimizing dead spots – is huge.
Google Wifi’s final verdict
Google Wifi is the simplest and easiest router we’ve ever installed, bar none. And, that takes into account the two additional devices needed to complete the process. For a reasonably affordable price, there are more units on offer than most of Google’s competitors, along with the best configuration and management app yet.
Despite the finer hardware controls it lacks and the lack of AC3000 or AC2200 throughput, Google deliberated on every toggle and test it could present in an easily understandable way through its app. There is even a bandwidth priority check. Pair that with a clean, uncluttered hardware design that’s better at highlighting than any of the other routers we’ve seen so far, and what you’ve got is one of the best Wi-Fi systems the money can get. buy in 2019.
Image Credit: Gadgetmasti
First revised in April 2017
You can also check the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) review