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I believe we can all be one in that we think WiFi routers aren’t sexually attractive devices. There isn’t much excitement over an internet router, except maybe working in IT. Yet Wi-Fi routers are part of a craze in the present. We all need high-speed and reliable Wi-Fi at every room of our homes. However, the majority of networking equipment is “meh,” with ugly and bulky hardware as well as sub-par software, with a lot of outdated web-based interfaces that may also require the degree of a computer scientist to comprehend.

The Google OnHub router that debuted in 2012 it was a way to improve Wi-Fi at home However, at $200, it was still expensive and did not really improve connectivity in large, multi-room homes. Google’s new strategy to enhance home Wi-Fi, which is simply called Google Wifi ($129 per unit, $299 for three), a single device and $399 for three) is a completely different approach. Instead of packing a dozen antennas in one router, Wifi mimics routers from the such as Eero or Luma by using a variety of small routers to form an “mesh network” and essentially remove dead zones.

Speed and coverage

The only ports available within your Google Wifi unit. Credit: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE Although it’s possible to purchase a powerful wireless router with several dozen antennas hanging from the side of it in the shape of something from a spacecraft to improve wireless coverage but the majority of people don’t want to purchase one that looks like the body of a plastic tarantula having an afternoon nap.

The majority of people stick with the router and modem that the internet provider or cable company provides with the internet services they offer. Since these routers are typically normal, they usually are not Wi-Fi compatible that means that the further you are from the physical location of the router the less signal strength becomes.

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The majority of newer Wi-Fi routers are compatible with 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies for wireless. Each one has advantages and drawbacks. For instance, a 2.4GHz network has greater coverage over longer distances, however lower speeds. On the other hand, a 5GHz network is less effective for coverage for long distances, however more speed.

Google Wifi, just like Eero and Luma provides the best of both : speeds and coverage.

Google OnHub (left) vs. Google Wifi (right). Credit: Raymond Wong/Mashable One Google Wifi unit works exactly as OnHub. Connect it to your modem through Ethernet and plug it into the power source, then use to use the Google Wifi app (previously called OnHub) available for iOS and Android to set it up in under the time required to cook a delicious sandwich, you’ve created a fully functioning Wi-Fi network. It’s amazing how simple Google has made setting up the network as the box doesn’t include instructions.

If you’re living in a smaller home (500-1,500 sq ft) one Google Wifi unit is enough for you, and at $129, it’s cheaper over the OnHub. Also, its physical Google Wifi is less than half the size of its predecessor. The idea of a home’mesh network.

A 3-pack of Google Wifi is $299. Credit: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

However, you’re probably reading this article because you are likely to have dead WiFi zones at home and would like to know whether the $299 three-pack Google Wifi routers can help fix your issues. The answer is Yes, Google Wifi will fix these issues. All you need in order to have weak Wi-Fi disappear is put an additional or the third Google Wifi unit in the room you’d like to expand Wi-Fi coverage to and connect it wirelessly to with the main unit.

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As an example, suppose my primary Google Wifi unit is connected to a modem located in the living room but I’d like to gain an even stronger Wi-Fi signal in the garage or basement it is enough to put Google Wifi units in those two rooms, and then have them wirelessly connect with the connected one located in the room. Place additional Google Wifi units in rooms that are farther away and have weaker signals. Credit: Screenshot: Raymond Wong/Mashable

Credit: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Two Google Wifi devices in the garage and basement serve as nodes to the wireless network. I tested the setup above at my my sister’s home where the upload and download speeds are typically half of what you get is in the lounge. I tested my Ookla Speedtest application using my iPhone to check the speed before (network using OnHub) in addition to after (network using Google Wifi) in the garage and basement. I was pleased to see that the speeds were comparable to the ones in her living room.

Living room Wi-Fi speed (OnHub) Credit: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Basement Wi-Fi speed (with Google Wifi) Credit: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Living room Wi-Fi speed (OnHub) Credit: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Garage Wi-Fi speed (with Google Wifi) Credit: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

If you’ve tried accessing Wi-Fi network in areas which are too distant or blocked by physical barriers so that the WiFi isn’t able to pass through easily You’ll be aware that the connection may be very intermittent. Try streaming the latest YouTube or Netflix video is a test for patience while you watch it. You’ll try to buffer but with no results and downloading files can be slow as a ball.

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At some point, you’ll decide to give up and get closer to your router.

I didn’t notice any such problems with wireless when I tested Google Wifi as well as its other units in previously dead Wi-Fi zones. The Wi-Fi signal was as strong and quick as if I were standing right next to the router that was in use. It’s possible that your mileage will differ and I’m pretty amazed by how wireless mesh networks have been solving the issue of poor Wi-Fi coverage and performance.

Google claims that two Wifi units are ideal for homes with 1,500 to three hundred square feet. You can use three units to cover a house with between 3,000 and 4500 square feet.

App control

The Google Wifi app (formerly called OnHub) makes it easy to configure and monitor your wireless network(s). Credit: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE No more blinking lights on your router. When your Google Wifi isn’t work right, it’ll send a notification to you via the app. Credit: Screenshot: Raymond Wong/Mashable The OnHub application raised the bar high and nice thanks to its user-friendly interface. It also included a useful speed tests and the ability to prioritize bandwidth to particular devices.

Google Wifi is a great app. Google Wifi app is just as appealing and user-friendly. It lets you control all of the more advanced router features (DNS, WAN, PPoE etc.) in a manual manner if you’d like. It includes all the features mentioned above that were available in the OnHub application. The Google Wifi app is easy to use and very friendly. Credit: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE. With Family Wi-Fi, you can “pause” the Wi-Fi on select devices on your network, blocking them from accessing the internet. Sorry kid, homework first or no YouTube! Credit: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE.

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Family Wi-Fi

One of the new features is “Family Wi-Fi” and it allows users to “pause” a device from connecting to Wi-Fi. Devices that are stopped are still linked to Wi-Fi network however, they will not be able refresh app content or connect to the internet. Google claims this feature is helpful to parents who wish to disable the Wi-Fi connection of their child during dinner or during homework time. I can see this being an excellent tool for parents however, in the event that your child still has access to cellular and the pause feature isn’t able to stop the connection.

Another useful feature one of the most useful new features is “Guest Wi-Fi”, which will, as you’re likely to imagine, is an wi-fi network that is accessible to guest. This guest network is different from your primary Wi-Fi network and lets you give guests access to devices that you have connected with your primary network (i.e. Chromecast). It’s definitely a convenient feature.

Better Wi-Fi for your home

It is possible to dim the light or shut off the lighting using Google Wifi. Google Wifi app. Credit: Raymond Wong/Mashable Google Wifi isn’t the only mesh network system that is available. Like I mentioned in the past, Eero and Luma promise the exact same thing. I’ve heard mostly positive things about these devices and how they can bathe your home in better, faster and better-quality Wi-Fi. But they’re too costly.

One Eero costs $199, while one Luma cost $149. Google Wifi is cheaper than the other two at $129. Luma is priced at the same the price of Google Wifi for 3 packs ($299) However, the three-pack of Eero costs $499. Google Wifi is all the more attractive (even even if you don’t reside in a big house) since Apple has said to be discontinuing production of its AirPort WiFi routers. If you’re looking to get that your WiFi to “just work,” I cannot suggest Google Wifi enough.

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Google Wifi

The Good

  • Really easy to set up
  • Simple elegant, beautiful designed application
  • Handy Wi-Fi pausing feature
  • Increases coverage and speeds for Wi-Fi.
  • One device is less expensive than the competition

The Bad

  • It is only available in 3-packs or a 1-pack.

The Bottom Line

Google Wifi is a sleek and cost-effective way to upgrade the quality of your home’s W-Fi.

 

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By Jack

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