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Four reasons to crack (or not) for Google Wifi
The days of WiFi repeaters may be well counted. With Google Wifi (as Google spells out), installing a router system that can cover the entire home is both simple and affordable, especially with the kit that includes three boxes.
Indeed, you will probably need several repeaters, because each Google Wifi case has a rather small scope compared to the competing systems that we tested. You will also need a smartphone (or tablet) and a Google account to set up the system.
Faced with competing solutions such as Eero or Luma, for example, Google Wifi is much more affordable. But if you can afford it, we recommend investing in the Netgear Orbi, which is even more powerful.
Yes, for design
With a diameter of 104.14 mm and a height of 68.58 mm, each Google Wifi satellite is small enough to be placed discreetly on a shelf or on the edge of a window.
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We can even say that they are tiny when compared to the Netgear Orbi which measures 226.06 mm. In fact, because of its size, Google Wifi is closer to the cubic router of 99 mm Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD.
Like the latter, each Google Wifi box is equipped with an LED that allows knowing its status in a snap. It can be grayed out or turned off, bluish-white when all is well, or amber when the Internet connection is off. On the other hand, unlike the AmpliFi HD, Google Wifi does not have a 1.6-inch touchscreen.
It can not be used as a clock or a monitor to visually control the network status. Google Wifi is sold individually or in packs of three. It’s a more affordable solution than competing systems such as AmpliFi, Eero or Luma, which are also available in packs of three.
Not to mention the solutions of Linksys, Velop or Netgear which are even more expensive with only a very powerful satellite in addition to the base.
Based on MIMO 2×2 technology (which means it can simultaneously handle two streams of data with a compatible laptop), Google Wifi has a theoretical maximum throughput of 1.2 Gbps. It is equipped with five antennas (four for Wi-Fi and one for Bluetooth) that are arranged all around the case.
Each Google Wifi module can theoretically cover an area of 139 m² which is ample for most apartments and small houses. In theory, three modules can cover an area of 418 m².
Finally, it is possible to connect up to four satellites, for a total of five broadcast points for those of you who live in a castle.
Under each unit is a USB-C port for power, as well as two Gigabit Ethernet ports to connect to the Internet box and connect devices. It can be a network hard drive, a network printer, or even a switch if you need an additional Ethernet port.
On the satellite modules, the two Ethernet ports allow you to connect other devices if your router does not have enough ports. If you have a modem/router, you will need to configure it in bridge mode and disable its router functions that will be managed by Google Wifi.
On the other hand, in the absence of USB 2.0 ports, it is not possible to connect a standard printer or an external hard disk. If you use this type of equipment, it will invest in network versions (in fact, routers of this type that offer USB ports have not even activated).
All Google Wifi boxes are identical and anyone can act as a router in a network mesh configuration. Finally, note that this system is also compatible with the previous Google router, OnHub, so that one or more Google Wifi satellites can be added to extend its reach.
Yes, for performance
Google Wifi can handle two streams of data only. It’s less than the Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD and the Linksys Velop. Not to mention the three simultaneous streams of Netgear Orbi. What is true in our tests especially as the MU-MIMO technology is not supported to manage multiple customers at once.
Each Google Wifi module is powered by a quadcore 710 MHz ARM processor with 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal flash storage. The Wifi modem is an IPQ4019 from Qualcomm.
Google says that the network created from three or more modules provides a mesh such that signals can pass between satellites without going through the main router. We have not been able to verify it in our tests, but in all cases, the network created by Google Wifi is both stable and consistent in its performance.
Using the IxChariot software we measured a combined rate of 464.4 Mbit / s at 1.5 meters, then down to 440.1 Mbit / s at 4.5 meters, 389.7 Mbit / s at 15 meters and 227.2 Mbit / s at 30 meters. All with one Google Wifi module. Figures that are respectable without being spectacular when compared to competing systems.
However, from 45 meters, a single Google Wifi ceiling at 33.8 Mbit / s, a decline of 93% over the flow to 1.5 meters. Of all the solutions that we have tested, it is the only one that shows such a drop in performance beyond 30 meters.
In comparison, the Amplifi HD, Eero, Orbi, and Velop had speeds between 229 and 288 Mbit / s at 5 meters, much more than Google Wifi at 30 meters. Again, if you opt for the Google solution, you will have to acquire several satellites.
The Google Wifi signal was undisturbed by walls with metal shelves or thick ceilings. On this point, the Eero is the only one to do even better.
By placing Google Wifi satellites every 15 meters, the latter takes over, mainly because the latter emits a signal so powerful that it generates interference between its satellites.
Wifi returns to the charge when its satellites are distributed in several rooms on two floors. With the router nine meters from a satellite installed behind a wall, we found a bitrate of 189.9 Mbit / s on our computer installed on the top floor.
That’s four times better than the rate offered by a single module and much more than the Eero. However, the Velop and the Orbi literally crush the Wifi (and Eero) in these 3D tests.
These systems feature MU-MIMO technology, much stronger signals, and a third frequency band between satellites that is inaccessible to client devices. They clearly do not play in the same yard.
In an old suburban home with lots of thick walls, a single Google Wifi unit that serves as a router has a range of up to 32 meters. By comparison, the Eero did not exceed 20 meters. The Google Wifi network has easily covered the house of 914 m2 spread over three floors.
We first configured one of the boxes as a router in the middle of the main room of the house. The other two satellites were extending the network by being placed in the basement and on the second floor, directly above and below the router. Then we did the opposite by placing the router in the basement and the satellites on the ground floor and upstairs.
In all cases, the network has provided a bandwidth of between 60 and 95 Mbit / s on potentially 100 Mbit / s, as measured by speedtest.net.
Google Wifi also survived our informal saturation test, in which we launched videos on an iPad Pro and a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet, while a MacBook Air broadcasted an internet radio and a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S transferred data to a network hard drive. The audio quality was at the rendezvous while the video was smooth and without loss of image.
Yes, for the ultra simple configuration
In a world where every new router/satellite kit is trying to simplify the installation process, even more, Google Wifi leads the way. The system does not require any knowledge of networks, the Internet or IT. However, you will need a Google Account.
After connecting the Google Wifi module, which we decided to use as a router on an electrical outlet, and have connected to a box, it is necessary to install the appropriate application on a smartphone or tablet.
This is available for devices with iOS 8 or Android 4 as a minimum. On the other hand, as with all competing systems (with the notable exception of Netgear Orbi), it is not possible to configure devices from a PC, Mac, or any other interface. line.
The installation is a snap by entering the code printed under the Google Wifi device or by taking its QR code in the photo to connect the smartphone or tablet in Bluetooth. Then you have to log in using a Google Account. The app will then detect the device and ask you to select the location.
The process ends with the creation of a network name and an access code. After rebooting, the network immediately worked. Adding satellites to create a mesh does not take more than five minutes each.
At the end of the process, the application displays a summary of the settings and performs a network test. All in all, this installation procedure was completed in just 15 minutes.
Yes, for security
Like any recent system, Google Wifi supports WPA2 encryption. On the other hand, it will not work with older WEP devices with less security. If you still have Wi-Fi devices that pre-date 2002, you may need to connect them using Ethernet.
Each Google Wifi unit has an integrated Infineon Trusted Platform (TPM) module. It limits the risk of hacking by creating an encrypted link with Google’s servers for firmware update downloads. Google Wifi is automatically updated, something that several competing systems also offer now.
In contrast, Google Wifi has no parental control. Only feature available, pausing the Internet connection of specific devices, or for all devices in the house, at the time of going to dinner or for a family reunion for example. You can not create a blacklist of websites or set login time ranges.
Moreover, Google Wifi does not allow filtering known malicious websites, something the Bitdefender box knows how to do, just like the next Norton Core and F-Secure Sense routers.
Google Wifi Amazon – Best Sellers
- A new type of connected system for seamless Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home, helping eliminate dead zones and buffering
- Replaces your current router, and works your modem and internet service. It's compatible with major internet service providers including Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon Fios
- A single Wifi point covers up to 1,500 sq. ft, a set of three covers homes up to 4,500 sq. ft. Wifi points work together so you can add more if you need additional coverage
- Network Assist technology keeps your connection fast by always selecting the clearest channel and fastest band for your devices
- A simple app gets you set up quickly and allows you to see what's connected, prioritize devices, and pause the Wi-Fi on kids' devices.Family controls allow you to pause the WiFi on kids' devices, like during
- A new type of connected system that replaces your router for seamless Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home, helping eliminate dead zones and buffering
- Network Assist technology keeps your connection fast by always selecting the clearest channel and fastest band for your devices
- A simple app gets you set up quickly and allows you to see what's connected, prioritize devices, and pause the Wi-Fi on kids' devices
- A single Wi-Fi point covers up to 1,500 sq. ft., a set of three covers homes up to 4,500 sq. ft. Wi-Fi points work together so you can add more if you need additional coverage
- 24/7 phone support from Google; 1-year warranty
- FAST WHOLE HOME WIFI SYSTEM - Covers up to 5000 square feet with high performance WiFi, kit includes WiFi router and Satellites
- TRI-BAND TECHNOLOGY - Unlike other WiFi sets that lose speed as you add devices, Orbi routers maintain data flow for your connected devices using a dedicated backhaul connection
- SINGLE WIFI NETWORK NAME - Provides seamless room-to-room roaming throughout your home
- QUICK & EASY SETUP - No need to create new accounts; just download the Orbi app, plug in your system, and follow the instructions on your PC, Mac or mobile device to get your house on the net
- GUEST NETWORK - Easily set up a separate and secure WiFi network for visitors and guests to use; the perfect web gear combo for movie streaming and gaming sessions with friends and family
- Use the Orbi app or any web browser to create secure whole home WiFi in minutes. No accounts to create or personal information needed to setup.
- COMPATIBLE WITH AMAZON ECHO/ALEXA - Control your home network using voice commands. Now includes Circle with Disney Smart Parental Controls - Manage your family's access to the internet by device, app, or website
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