As units like Netgear Orbi and Eero have proven: the age of routers and vary extenders has ended. The long run is tri-band or Wi-Fi mesh methods. And, shocking nobody, the smart-home obsessed Google is throughout it with the eponymous Google Wifi
And, it seems that Google might have very effectively crafted the perfect Wi-Fi mesh system but. Google’s managed to create a system that gives extra mesh models than opponents at a lower cost, and a concentrate on easy setup and administration. The consequence? We by no means need to have a look at one other router once more.
Worth and availability
Unsurprisingly, Google doesn’t ask for some huge cash for what’s on provide. Google Wifi prices $279 (about £197, AU$360) for a set of three models – that’s one major ‘WiFi Level’ (the one you hook as much as the modem or gateway) and two secondary WiFi Factors.
Within the UK, Google Wifi comes with a two unit set costing £229.
A single Google Wifi unit may be had for $119 (round £84, AU$153). Google guarantees that three Wifi Factors can cowl as much as four,500 sq. ft (418 sq. meters) in a house.
Sadly, on the time of writing, Google has made no mentions of pricing or availability in Australia. Nonetheless, once we spoke to Google simply earlier than the UK launch, it prompt that it was trying to launch Google Wifi globally sooner or later.
Google gives extra models for much less cash than any competitor, just like the Netgear Orbi, with all others costing no less than $400 (about £320, AU$520) for a similar quantity.
Wi-fi Connectivity: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, AC1200 2×2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi (expandable mesh; dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz, TX beamforming); Bluetooth Good prepared
Processor: Quad-core ARM CPU (every core as much as 710MHz)
Reminiscence: 512MB RAM
Storage: 4GB eMMC flash
Beamforming: Implicit and Express for two.four & 5GHz bands
Ports: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per Wifi level (1 WAN and 1 LAN port every)
Dimensions: four.1 x 2.7 inches (106.1 x 68.7mm; D x H) every
Weight: 12oz (340g) every
Design and setup
Not solely does Google have the clear benefit of pricing on its fingers, however it additionally has the best-designed particular person models and best setup of any providing. Every Google Wifi unit, a tiny, unassuming cylinder with a easy white LED band in its middle, is able to the identical performance.
Because of this any of the three models may operate because the “router” of the system, whereas the others can bestow wired web (which is beamed to the unit wirelessly) with their included Ethernet ports in addition to wi-fi web. All three models are powered by way of USB-C.
Setup is as elegant as Google’s design, utilizing a free iOS and Android app to facilitate the method. Whereas we received’t belabor you with the whole process, however the app configures your Wi-Fi community by first scanning the QR code on the Wifi Factors related to your modem or gateway and energy.
From there, the app tells you to call your community and set a password, then pair the extra Wifi Factors and label them within the app for reference. Once more, it takes seconds for the “router” to acknowledge the Wifi Factors and for them to start broadcasting.
However, you’re not going to get the identical depth of entry as even Netgear Orbi offers, so no band switching for you. Nonetheless, Google Wifi handles this within the background robotically.
Nonetheless, the app gives lots extra helpful options, like fixed monitoring of your community, its Factors and the units related to it. The app has an included web pace check much like that of Ookla’s, a mesh check that measures the well being of your Factors’ connections in addition to a Wi-Fi check that measures your connection energy from inside the community.
You can even prioritize bandwidth to 1 machine for a time, management sensible dwelling units and pause web entry to sure units in a household setting – all from inside this app.
By far, that is essentially the most full and stylish suite of management settings we’ve seen from a Wi-Fi mesh system to date, regardless of its lack of dropdown bins and toggles.
Right here is how the Google Wifi fared in our temporary suite of assessments (carried out on a 100Mbps service):
Ookla Velocity Check 5GHz (Obtain | Add):
Inside 5 ft/1.52 meters; no obstructions: 101.41 | 117.83 Mbps
Inside 13 ft/three.96 meters; three plaster partitions: 97.05 | 118.67 Mbps
Ookla Velocity Check 2.4GHz (Obtain | Add):
Inside 5 ft/1.52 meters; no obstructions: 47.53 | 96.72 Mbps
Inside 13 ft/three.96 meters; three plaster partitions: 50.95 | 82.98 Mbps
1.5GB Steam obtain 5GHz (peak pace):
Inside 5 ft/1.52 meters; no obstructions: 12.6 MB/s
Inside 13 ft/three.96 meters; three plaster partitions: 12.2 MB/s
1.5GB Steam obtain 2.4GHz (peak pace):
Inside 5 ft/1.52 meters; no obstructions: 7.2 MB/s
Inside 13 ft/three.96 meters; three plaster partitions: eight.eight MB/s
We’ve seen simply as spectacular, if not higher, efficiency from the Google Wifi system as we have now Netgear Orbi. Google Wifi attracts absolutely the most from our 100Mbps Wi-Fi service that we’ve seen any router capable of, however can achieve this from each room of our, albeit small, home.
We’ve been capable of stream 4K video by means of Netflix to our Roku Premiere within the basement in addition to we’ve been capable of play Overwatch within the workplace the place the modem is situated: with out problem. Wi-Fi mesh methods like Google Wifi aren’t centered a lot about throughput as they’re protection, however this product delivers regardless.
The visitors prioritization function can make sure that your gaming session is getting extra of that essential bandwidth than the opposite units in your own home which can be Facebooking and streaming HD video.
Plus, the community can robotically restore itself ought to a number of of the Wifi Factors be by chance unplugged or in any other case lose energy.
Whereas we all know that Google Wifi operates its mesh system over present Wi-Fi bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz) over the 802.11s mesh protocol quite than Netgear Orbi’s tri-band system that communicates over a second 5GHz Wi-Fi band, we haven’t discovered a horrible distinction between both’s efficiency. We do see barely sooner obtain speeds in MB/s on the two.4GHz band from the Orbi over the Google Wifi, however that is also an anomaly.
The true good thing about Google Wifi over others is, merely put, its protection for the value. You may get equal quantities of protection in pure sq. footage from competing methods with fewer models, however the versatility having extra models offers you by way of shoring up lifeless spots can’t be ignored.
Google Wifi is extremely simple to setup and handle on a day-to-day foundation regardless of its lack of some finer management. The truth that the system contains three models for lower than some opponents cost for 2 or fewer can be an enormous profit. Lastly, these models look even higher by way of design than methods like Netgear Orbi, and are a lot simpler to cover in plain sight.
Whereas there isn’t a lot to gripe about concerning Google Wifi, some would possibly like finer management over Wi-Fi settings, like controlling which bands are broadcast and when. Additionally, because it makes use of AC1200 know-how, Google Wifi isn’t able to the AC3000 and even AC2200 throughput that Netgear Orbi and Linksys Velop are, respectively, which could flip off these paying huge for super-fast web speeds.
Google Wifi is the best router that we’ve ever arrange, interval. And, that’s contemplating the 2 additional units required to finish it. For a comparatively inexpensive value, Google gives extra models than most opponents and the perfect setup and administration app by far.
For all the finer controls it lacks, Google thought of each toggle and check it may current in an simply comprehensible method by means of its app. (There’s even bandwidth precedence management.) Couple that with a design that’s simpler to cover in plain sight than any we’ve seen but, and also you’re wanting among the finest Wi-Fi methods that cash should purchase at this time.
First reviewed April 2017.