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Customer ratings & reviews
Great Mesh Wi-Fi Solution, But Not Without FaultsPosted
NOT a TRUE mesh Wi-Fi system. Does this mean don’t consider Google Wi-Fi? Hardly. For some, it’s an excellent choice…maybe their best choice. UNBOXING, AND INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Excellent job in the packaging design, Google. Not even Apple could have come up with packaging as elegant as this. The box isn’t just “nice looking”…it’s top-quality, with a hint of Japanese influence. Upon opening the box, you find 3 Google Wi-Fi units in near-perfect presentation, with each unit appearing to be high quality. They are compact, & can easily be placed where they will not be overly noticed. Under the tray, there are 3 identical boxes, with each box containing a white power cord/adapter. The middle box also contains a white, flat, 6ft Ethernet cable. The power cord/adapters also have a unique design, almost Apple-esque, but better looking. The instruction sheet is very simple, explaining everything with 2 diagrams, and very few words. SETUP: Setup is a breeze, requiring only plugging the power cord into the chosen primary unit & wall outlet, plugging the Ethernet cable into the router’s WAN port, & plugging the opposite end into the router. Configuring the primary unit (henceforth “router”) is as simple as installing the app (Google Play, or Apple App stores), opening the app, making sure your Bluetooth is turned on, and scanning the QR code on the bottom of each node. From there, you select your SSID & password, the router automatically configures itself, & downloads/installs any available firmware update. I estimate it should take approximately 10-14 minutes to set up & configure a 3-unit system. In testing, I ran multiple speed tests & data transfer tests. For each type, I first ran the “current” router tests, followed by the Google Wi-Fi tests. So as to not use too much space, I’ll only reference results. SPEED & SIGNAL STRENGTH TESTS: To begin, I set up only a single node to compare against my current router (brand A$^s). After running several speed tests on both 2.4GHz & 5GHz bands, I determined both routers operate almost equally, with download speeds of 89-92Mbps, and uploads of 6.5-7.5Mbps. After speed tests, I moved to signal strength tests, checking signal strengths on both bands. As with the speed tests, signal strengths proved approximately equal. Interestingly, while it’s normal for signal strength to decrease as distance and/or number of walls increases, the percentage of signal decrease was not equal. On the 2.4GHz bands, my “current” router was marginally better at the closer distances, but as distance increased, signal strengths became virtually equal. For the 5GHz band, the results were the opposite. At closer distances, Google Wi-Fi produced slightly stronger 5GHz signals, but at greater distances, Google Wi-Fi had the greater signal strength loss. To test Google Wi-Fi’s “mesh” ability, I added a second unit, to the far opposite exterior corner of the condo. To compare signal strengths, I also connected a repeater to my “current” router (same manufacturer as router), in the same location as the 2nd Google Wi-Fi node. Signal strengths on both the 2.4GHz & 5GHz bands were relatively consistant. DATA TRANSFER TESTS: A total of 15 data transfer tests were conducted, & internet speeds were not affected, as the internet provider connection is the true “bottleneck”. For each (Google Wi-Fi, plus my “current” router), data transfer tests were conducted in 3 ways, all with a 1.01GB file. First, between two laptops. Second, from a network-connected drive to my laptop. Third, from my laptop to the network drive. The first 6 tests (3 per router/manufacturer) were done while connected only to the router, with the laptops & network drive in living room. The remaining 9 tests were done with the ‘controlling’ laptop in the back bedroom, and the other laptop & network drive in the living room…“controlling” laptop connected to the repeater/node, and the 2nd laptop & network drive connected to the router. 6 involved a 2-node Google Wi-Fi mesh against my “current” router, while 3 involved my “current” router plus the repeater. For the first 6 tests, the results were close, as expected. Moving to the 2-node mesh vs router-only configuration, my “current” router won (also as expected), although by a somewhat narrow margin. I expected the Google Wi-Fi’s data transfer rate to be half, but it was much better. I won’t spoil the fun, but kudos to Google, as I was extremely surprised. While I fully expected my “current” router-repeater configuration to cut data transfer speeds in half, or close to it, the results of the 2-node Google Wi-Fi were unexpected. While my “current” router-repeater configuration preformed far better than expected (data transfer speed degraded approximately 35%), the 2-node Google Wi-Fi configuration performed even better (data transfer speed degraded approximately 25%). What Google Wi-Fi lacks in advanced features, it makes up for in data transfer speeds. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: There is one point of interest (not “good”, but not “bad”) I discovered while testing. Google Wi-Fi automatically selects which band (2.4GHz or 5GHz) it connects to…there’s NO ability to manually select your band. Also, with the app, you have no way of knowing which band your devices (computers, phones, tablets, etc) are connected to. Through the device, you might be able to determine this, but through the app, you can’t. For devices with ability to connect via both bands, I assume they connects to the 5GHz band when in close proximity of a Google Wi-Fi node, and when signal strength degrades, it probably automatically switches to the 2.4GHz band. Additionally, Google Wi-Fi automatically switches channels, based on whatever channels have the lowest congestion. As with Google Wi-Fi’s inability to manually select 2.4GHz or 5GHz, there’s also no ability to manually select the channel. To use Google Wi-Fi, you need a Google account (ie. Gmail address). According to Google, Google Wi-Fi doesn’t collect user activity data…only network, hardware, and app-related information. You do have the ability to turn this off in the setting’s ‘Privacy’ section. As a constant connection with Google is required, this could be a ‘deal breaker’ for some. However, it should be noted that Google’s “mesh network system” is not the only hardware requiring this. Of the other two well-known mesh networking hardware manufacturers, one has an identical requirement. Additionally, there’s no web browser interface. An Android/iOS app is needed to set-up Google Wi-Fi, and to configure & maintain Google Wi-Fi. This is, again, a ‘deal breaker’ for some…and an advantage for others. Personally, I’ve found this to be a considerable advantage. THE GOOD: Ease of setting up Ease of configuring Ease of maintaining Compact form-factor Modular design (can handle up to six units, up to a 10,500sf house (by my estimates)) Inexpensive (comparted to other mesh Wi-Fi systems) THE BAD: Few advanced/customizable features (this could change in future updates) No DDNS or VPN ability Port forwarding, and DHCP, are difficult to configure THE UGLY: No MAC filtering (this could change in future updates) No switch, limited to single physically-connected network device (unless external switch is added) FINAL THOUGHTS: Is Google Wi-Fi for you? It depends on your technical expertise, how much security you need, & how much network control you want. If you live in an apartment/small condo, then the answer is probably “No”. For the same $129 price of a single Google Wi-Fi unit, you can get a router with more advanced features. If you live in a house/large condo, the answer is complicated. For power users, Google Wi-Fi will NOT meet your needs. If you’re an “average” consumer wanting/needing a mesh network, but want advanced features (ie. MAC filtering), until Google adds these features (if Google adds them), the answer is still “No”. However…”good news” time…for the average consumer needing a mesh Wi-Fi system, who doesn’t need MAC filtering, DDNS, VPN, etc, Google Wi-Fi might be your BEST choice. You’re NOT going to find a more affordable mesh Wi-Fi system. You’re NOT going to find another home networking system that’s easier to set up, or configure. You’re NOT going to find home networking equipment that’s easier to maintain. Simply put, if I were shopping for a mesh network system for family/friends, I knew they had a large area-of-coverage need, & I knew they didn’t need MAC filtering, VPN, DDNS, etc, Google Wi-Fi would be the ONLY system I’d consider for them. Disclaimer: This product was provided free, or at reduced cost, for the purpose of reviewing the product. Nevertheless, the above review, be it positive, negative, or somewhere in-between, is a 100% honest review, and the price paid played absolutely no part in my review.
I would recommend this to a friend
Good, but not without hiccupsPosted
I have mixed feelings on this product. Upon opening the box, I was impressed with the packaging layout. There were no instructions except for a single square card. "Plug in" pretty much. It's not rocket science, but a little pamphlet about the features available would have been nice. The first unit paired up with my wifi network and the BT on my phone; however, it would not connect to the network and establish itself as a new SSID (which is what you SHOULD do - make this SSID different than your router SSID for the main purpose of helping your devices not have as high a battery drain and also so it won't confuse the devices using the network - it happens with identical SSIDs). So I skipped that unit and tried another unit. That one passed and became my primary. I then used the app to connect the 2nd unit, and then I tried to connect the original faulty unit as another wireless access point. The app crashed every single time I tried to add. It's strange that this did not happen when I hooked up the 1st two devices. I used a different phone and was able to get the 3rd one online. So my network was up and working. I found that my 5GHz devices were only connecting at the 2.4GHz frequencies. When running a speed test, they were only getting about 70% of the allotted bandwidth available. I called tech support about this, and they said that was normal... and that it would switch to 5GHz when necessary. Seems to me that if you're running a SPEED test, it would allow the fastest tunnel possible to that device. It did not. However, video-heavy apps will probably force that to a 5GHz channel when needed. You can check to see what a device's frequency is in the app. Next, my main quirk with the system is the fact that they can ALL 3 be wired at once and provide a better signal overall - since they wouldn't be getting signals from the primary (which is normally the only wired access point). However, once all 3 were connected (1 wired, 2 wireless), I connected the final 2 "child" units via ethernet, to my network. Since my house is ethernetted throughout, this was a piece of cake. Everything stayed online. Everything seemed to be working. THEN, the next morning, I leave for work and about 10 hours after installation, my AT&T U-Verse service (TV and internet) start acting flaky. TVs are pixelating, and the internet is showing little to no response. I checked one of the "child" devices, and it had turned RED. The primary and other child looked ok. Keep in mind that all 3 are wired right now. I immediately unplugged all 3 devices, reset the entire U-Verse network (TV's, everything is on ethernet, not COAX), and all was fixed. The Google WiFi system somehow screwed everything up with one failed unit, and I'm not sure why. Since then I hooked up the single primary unit, and made the child units wireless for now - since then, I have not had any issues. However, I'd like to wire them back up in order to get full bandwidth from each point rather than feeding both children through the primary. One great thing about these little units is that you can control the brightness of the white light in the middle of each device via the app. They can be quite bright all the way to completely OFF, which in my case was great because it sits in a dimly-lit basement "man-cave" next to the TV where you don't really want a lot of glare or bright light while watching movies, etc. So that's a great feature. Each light on each device can be individually set. Speed levels seemed to be great when all 3 were wired (before the chaos), and with only the primary wired, they are about 10% slower due to the distance between the children and the primary. The "red" unit came back up as white when everything was plugged back in, so I'm not sure what caused it to go into that state. Google support was unable to determine what caused that as well. If it happens again after wiring all 3 to ethernet, I will be forced to go wireless with the children. One other great feature that I have not utilized yet is the additional ethernet extender port on the bottom of each unit. If you need a wired ethernet connection, there is a port you can use to hook something up via ethernet even though the unit itself is wireless to that point. That's a great feature but I have not had the need to use it since all of my locations have ethernet already. Having said all this, I would likely buy again, but just be aware of possible issues if you decide to hardwire each unit due to the size of the house and trying to cover more space.
I would recommend this to a friend
Google Wi-Fi did the job and over delivered!!!Posted
I have spent literally many, many hundreds of dollars trying to get Wi-Fi to work in our 3,900 sq. ft. home since we moved in 11 years ago. My kids would taunt me and complain the Wi-Fi wasn’t working in the basement, their bedrooms, it was unstable, works slow, doesn’t work at all. I tried different routers (antennae, no antennae), upgraded my modem, moved the location several times. The last thing I tried was an expensive combo modem/router that was over $200! I had the cable company put in all new coax from the box to our hookup. I replaced the cable inside the house. I tried 4-5 different extenders. They were fussy, hard to work with, worked and then stopped working- especially when I was out of town traveling. (The kids describe themselves as computer experts but were helpless on the Wi-Fi issue). So I tried Google Wi-Fi. I bought them a couple weeks before Christmas, but didn’t set the time aside to set them up until the 23rd. I actually bought the 3 pack and a separate additional 4th unit that I assumed I would need for the bedrooms upstairs. It took me 10 minutes to set them all up. Soooo easy! The speed is incredible- my cellular is 25 MBS, the WoW internet I buy is 60 MBS. But I consistently get almost 70 MBS wirelessly throughout my entire house. (I don’t know why or how that’s possible as a speed test on a wired laptop goes right to 60 MBS as advertised. I put one in the 1st Floor Office at one end of the house where the cable comes in the house, another also on the 1st floor at the other end of the house in the family room and the 3rd in the basement. I checked the upstairs just to make sure I needed the 4th unit which I assumed I would need and had fully planned on installing. Luckily I did a Speed test before opening the 4th unit. It was as fast as the entire rest of the house. I kept the 4th unit unopened for another week just to be sure. It’s now been over 2 weeks and I am a VERY happy camper! My wife just shrugged when I put in the latest system. BUT, last night she commented that whatever I did, the internet is lightning fast- which is exactly what the Google Wi-Fi ap told me when I did a test- see the photo I added to my review. My oldest son said the Internet speed is nutz! My second son commented that the Wi-Fi is now “sick!” (Apparently that is high praise). It has been rock solid, its fast as I could ever have hoped for and I couldn’t be happier. I know there are similar mesh type products, but I tried Google based on the reviews. You know I'm happy as this is the first time I took time out of my life to review anything, ever! I recommend it to anybody and wish Google Wi-Fi existed when we first moved in. A really great product that actually over deliver as far as I'm concerned!
I would recommend this to a friend
An Outstanding Product for 3 level Homes.Posted
This is truly an excellent solution if you have a multi-level dwelling and need to get both signal strength and speed delivered to every corner of your residence. I have a traditional 3 level home with a basement, 1st, and 2nd floors. For about 7 years, I was forced to have TWO cable modems to get every part of my home to have access to very high speed (50+MBPs). I used a 150 MBPs cable modem on the first floor that covered the 1st and 2nd floors. I used a separate 54 MBPs cable modem for the basement. The reason for this excessive cost was that we had 3 kids in college taking college classes at a public university near our home needing very high speed and reliable internet connectivity for their many assignments, projects, class videos, etc. My son also played XBox live. Additionally, I have Netflix, Roku, and Apple TV. All of the preceding TVs, computers, iMacs, iPhones, IPads, PCs were working with ZERO BUFFERING under my 2-Cable Modem setup. This summer my kids left home to pursue careers. So I wanted to get rid of the basement cable modem if possible. However, not having high speed access in the basement would mean relocating frequently used TVs and computers to the 1st or 2nd floor. Due to the layout of our house no signal strength extending device had really worked. So I was very skeptical when I saw this Google Home WiFi package with 3 pods. I had not done any research on this, but decided that I needed to take a leap of faith on the Google Brand and bought it. They work beautifully!!!! I have 130 MBPS speed everywhere in the house (using only the 150 MBPs cable modem on the 1st floor). Also Google has you download their Google Wifi App which is outstanding in managing the setup as well as TESTING THE INTERNET SPEED IN EVERY PART OF OUR HOME. The Google Wifi app is very user-friendly, simple to use and INVALUABLE. I returned the basement modem and saved myself $75 a month in cable Modem charges. ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have an Internet Phone like Vonage, you will need another ROUTER like Cisco, Apple's Airport, Netgear, etc. the 3 Pods are identical having one Ethernet input and one output, besides the power jack input. I connected the cable modem to the Input of one Google Pod with the Google provided Ethernet cable. Then used my own Ethernet cable to connect the Output from the preceding Pod to the Input of my Apple Airport Router. I connected my Vonage device to the back of Airport which has 4 ports to connect. Everything is working same or better than before. I did not want to write a review till I had had time to check the reliability of the Google Wifi setup. After using it continuously for 3 weeks with over 10 connected devices, I have had no disruptions or deterioration in Wifi qualify. Hence I am pleased to write this review.
I would recommend this to a friend
Not for advanced users or complicated wifi setupsPosted
This was one of the most frustrating technology purchases I have ever made. Before purchasing the product I called Google to make certain that it would work since I CANNOT turn my current providers router/modem into bridge mode (Verizon Fios) as this will disable MOCA and make a few of my cable boxes paperweights as they rely upon this connection method to get cable and VOD. I was assured that this would not be a problem, though they weren't very familiar with what "MOCA" was. This was disconcerting but I figured that at worst I would simply return the units. To that end I went to my local Best Buy and bought the three pack. Setup was easy and my wireless connections worked far better and my few weak and dead zones were gone. However, oddly the second mesh unit that I had in a wired location in my Family Room was not showing as wired in and was instead working as a mesh unit. Odd, but I thought Google would obviously have a support document to say how to set this up properly. They did...but it was amongst the most vague and poorly worded tech documents I have ever seen, mostly with an intuitive flow chart to make it 'easier' then any real text. I gathered from the information there that I had to have the ethernet cable going from the secondary Google Wifi port on the primary Google Wifi device direct to the second Google Wifi device. Since they're on different floors they were originally going through two unmangaged switches on this journey. This did not work. Thinking that perhaps they meant directly into the Wan port of the device downstairs I switched from my Unmanaged Switch to that port directly from the wall both upstairs and downstairs and it did work and showed up as a wired connection. Sadly, it did not pass a connection from its second port back out to all the other devices plugged into the unmanaged port downstairs. This is when I first called Google Tech Support. They were completely useless. Not only did they have no clue what bridge mode or MOCA was as my fear was that the Google Wifi was trying to provide its own IPs and was messing with my primary router. They did not understand why that was a cause for concern. Nor did they have any idea how to provide assistance. There main mode of support was 'turn/unplug everything and turn it on again.' When, I had of course done this before calling them. That old chestnut of tech support ignorance out of the way the level 1 tech connected me to a level 2 and finally level 3 tech all of which remained utterly clueless and none of which knew at all what bridge mode meant or if my main router was causing a problem like I suspected. Eventually I seemed to come across the solution myself and disconnected the port going into my living room from the primary Google Wifi point and then plugged it back into a unmangaged switch upstairs. Then from the end of that connection downstairs into the secondary Google Wifis WAN port and then from that ones secondary port into the unmanaged switch there. And suddenly everything seemed to work. Getting off the phone with the Google Support tech I tested the connection and everything seemed to be working well. Upon waking up the next morning however I noticed that the Living Room secondary unit was again acting as a mesh unit and was not seeing the wired connection and again all my devices connected to it were offline. Annoyed I just figured the wired connection was not to be and disconnected the secondary units Ethernet ports and went back to my previous connection type happy that at least I had an expensive though working quite well wifi booster. However, upon opening up my Plex server to watch some movies I noticed that it failed to connect. Fearing the worst I attempted to log into it with my NAS's web interface only for the IP to come up as unresolvable. Going upstairs I checked the NAS and found that its IP had been somehow reassigned by the Google WIFI router even though it had never been directly connected to it at any point. Groaning I checked the rest of my devices. All of my port forwarding and permanently assigned local IP addresses had been broken by the Google Wifi. This was infuriating but not entirely unexpected. Throwing up my arms in defeat I went into my Fios modem and put it in bridge mode. I knew if I was going to make this work I'd just have to deal with the Google Wifi as my new main router. And I never watched much TV anyway, so I might as well embrace this as finally cutting that cord. So not a big loss. Sadly, the Google Wifi's port forwarding, MAC address filtering, and IP reservations were completely lacking and in fact worse then a cheap $25 router. So back to the store the Google Wifi units went after another totally unproductive call to Google support whose sole solution seemed to be 'turn it on and off again and wait an indeterminable amount of time for our diagnostics technicians to look over a report.' All of that said I think this is a great product for someone who has absolutely no complexity in their WIFI setup, and doesn't have any sort of MOCA boxes with their own proprietary connections. If you do, or want more advanced control of your network this product is not for you.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Super Easy Setup & FastPosted
Units are off white, pretty small with a rubber strip around the bottom to keep them from sliding around, so they stay put where you put them. Activity light is in a small slot in the middle, white means your network is up and running. If you have an issue they'll change color to let you know. You can change the brightness of the lights or turn them off completely if you wish. They also have a small indentation on the bottom for attached cables so the unit sits flat on the surface wherever you decide to put it. Each unit has a USB C connector for power and they plug directly into a socket, no power bricks or extra boxes are used. Each unit has only two ethernet ports available and the one used as the main unit you're using one to connect to your modem so only one is available to connect additional devices. If you need more than one I just hooked up a five port switch and it was easily solved. On the others you're using as mesh access points you can use both if needed or add a switch if you have that many devices. Setup is crazy easy. Download the Google Wifi app from either Google Play or the App Store. All the units are the same so just pick one to use as the main router, connect the power cable and the provided Ethernet cable and fire up the Google Wifi app. You can use pretty much any phone or tablet, either Android or IOS to do the setup. Sign into your Google account or set one up if you don't have one, scan the QR code on the bottom of the unit, set up a network SSID and a password and you're good to go. The app already knows you have two additional units so your next step is pretty much plug them in and the app does the rest of the setup by itself. Couples of minutes later your mesh Wifi system is ready to go. I needed to move one of them a couple of feet to get a better connection back to the base unit but that was it. The app will tell you how strong the connection is between the mesh points and the router so it's really easy to see if you need to make any adjustments. Performance from the router unit is comparable to any other router I've used with max throughput (ISP speed is 350/25) within about 20 Feet from the base unit. If you have a small apartment one unit will cover it nicely with no dead spots. I have the base unit upstairs and the mesh units downstairs on opposite sides of the house (2500 sq. ft.). No dead spots I can find and the mesh units provide a really strong, fast signal with low latency. Speed on the two mesh units are around 160/25, which is quite usable for gaming, 4K video, etc. For comparison I've used a recently released super high end traditional router with eight antennas and a different system that looks like a couple of giant air fresheners and Google Wifi compares very favorably to both of them for a lot less money. The entire system is controlled by the Wifi app, includes pretty much any info you could need about signal strength, performance, etc. If you're a tech geek who likes to tweak their network settings you may be disappointed, but if you want a solid easy to setup and maintain mesh wifi system then this is a solid choice and highly recommended.
I would recommend this to a friend
6 I have been using both basic Access points/WiFi routers and more advanced gear for years. Our latest was a Netgear Nighthawk, which worked great as an omni-directional Access Point, but wasn't so good as a Router. I put a Ubiquiti Networks router, in my front of the Netgear, which made things stable, fast, and met all our needs. I did try wifi extenders, but didn't like how they required you to set up an additional SSID for thier location, so if I moved though our the house it would eventually require an handoff, which was never seemless. I also think there was a security flaw in this setup, but don't remember. I wanted a greater signal spread in our 3200 sqft multi-story house, so I first bought Luma, while keeping an eye on Eero and Orbi. I liked the security features of Luma, but when I tried to set it up, it had a hard time finding the DHCP assigned IP address from my Cisco/Charter Cable modem. After working on thier gear for numerous hours with thier wonderful customer service, and I seriously do mean wonderful, I gave up and returned thier gear. I still wanted a mesh wifi, and this is right when Google wifi was available for pre-order. After it arrived 30 days later, it took me ~15 min to set up, establish groups, do some port forwarding, and reassign few devices that dropped thier connection. Speed test returned fast great results both from hard wired desktops and wifi connected devices. I connect both Android and IOS phones, iPads and Android based tablets, Ooma VoIP, SmartThings hub, Nest thermostat, Ring Pro door bell, Sonos, Chronecast, FireTV, Nvidia Shield Android TV, Roku 3, both Windows and Mac laptops, Windows 10 desktop, WiiU, 3DS, Tivo, Qnap NAS, HP Laser printer, Epson Muti-Inkjet Printer, and a couple of Echos to the network. I also connect my Ethernet based devices via various switches throughout the house. Everything works great and and has a strong signal. I agree with all posts that say this is a very simple device, and provides very limited advanced networking features, especially when compared to my Ubiquiti router. I have decided to give up my multiple SSIDs for 2.4 and 5Ghz frequencies, routing protocols, subnets, and VPN Into my network, because I really didn't need it. Also, the Google wifi sets up ONE SSID for all frequencies, and determines the best frequency based on signal strength, beam firming capability, and overall speed. Although I can force a 5G via my device, I figured I will only change this if I experience any lag or delay, which hasn't been a problem thus far. We cut the cord a while back and stream multiple session, at once of PlayStation Vue, Netflix, Amazon Video, Plex, HBO Now, Starz Play, Spotify, and Kodi without problem I also play online shooter like BF4, BF1, and Titan Fall2, whithout port forwarding set up, and haven't experienced and lag. I of course set my desktop as a priority device, in settings, to ensure the streaming video doesn't affect my gaming. This would sometimes happen with my previous set up, when we were all streaming something, even with QOS turned on. In summary, although a simple solution, it does everything I want, thus getting 5 stars. I hope for greater networking features as time goes on, and if I experience any problems, then I may reevaluate my review. One suggestion for all users is to hardwire the APs if you have the chance. The wireless mesh works flawless, but if you want the best performance possible, then hardware the APs, which will produce the fastest mesh network available today. This is when compared to Orbi, Eero, or Luma. This has been validated by numerous consumer and trade rag reviews. Orbi does offer some more features and a faster all wireless mesh setup, due to the dedicated network channel, but it also costs $100 dollars more for a two AP solution. I hope this helps and provides some perspective. « less
I would recommend this to a friend
It works, but...Posted
This wifi system well addresses one or two important issues. First; there is no question that this Mesh network fixes dead spots and dropout zones. Second: it is simple to set up and requires that the user not have a hand in configuration. That is a thing I'm not too comfortable with, not least because I have run into a problem that I can't seem to find a way out of without technical assistance, which isn't readily available. The packaging this system comes in is minimalist in style which directly reflects the relationship the user has with this device. I have to be honest - I love the smell of some plastic/electronic products when they are new - not unlike the "new car smell" - and I took a couple sniffs of this before getting down to business. There aren't too many ways to mess up getting the first unit plugged in and set up because you just pick one - any one - out of the box. Then simply open up the Google Wifi app and follow the steps: plug the modem in (this one will be the "primary point"), power it up, scan the code on the bottom, enter the information asked for, and wait until it is registered. Then place the next (a "mesh point"), power it up, and let the app find it, and do the third. You'll be prompted to test the network around this time. That's all there is to getting it up and running. All of my devices connected fine. The app controls all settings and it is particularly nice that each point is controlled separately. Each point's light can be dimmed or be made brighter and can be restarted independently of the others, and can be moved/removed through the app. My problem is one that I can't identify - there is a persistent red light on the primary that indicates something is not right. I went through a complete reset with the same result. I've attempted to contact their tech help via email but no joy so far (about 10 hours). My network isn't quite as speedy as with my previous router, but it does work albeit with some dropped wifi (about 5 times now - never with my previous router). Also, I'm not accustomed to having no web interface and so few available settings, and this router runs the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands together so you can't choose which one you want for your devices - it is chosen for you. You can find which one each device is using within the app but that was not a nice surprise. At least there is a guest network available, and some basic IP, DNS, etc settings. Pros: simple to set up; multiple points provide robust coverage for a space underserved by a single wifi point; WPA2-PSK encryption and built-in TPM; attractive and smells good :); independent controls for each point; decent length of power cord Cons: this system is meant to operate on its own for the most part - not the right product for those who want or need to tinker and configure; no web interface; solutions to problems can seem frustratingly out of reach; no usb port; only 1 available LAN port on the primary point Summary: if you have some bucks and hate messing around in the guts of your tech products, and if you like the aesthetics of this, and especially if you have a relatively large area or several rooms to cover with wifi, then I'd for sure recommend looking at this Google Wifi network. My 4 stars - "good but not great" - are a net value of positives and negatives with coverage and aesthetics weighted heavily. If I ever get my "red light" problem worked out in my favor it might be a "great" product.
I would recommend this to a friend
Great Wifi, missing some featuresPosted
I picked up Google Wifi to increase coverage in my townhome. My existing router covered the whole house (about 1700 sq.ft), but I would have some strange issues, like connecting to my wireless multi-function printer (3rd floor) from the basement - sometimes it worked fine, other times it did not. I got the three pack because it was only $50 more than 2 individual points, and we plan to move to a larger home in the next year or so. It was very easy to set up, only taking about 15 minutes total (including changing settings in my Verizon FIOS router). I have between 20-25 devices connected at any one time, with 8 wired (6 through a switch connected to the main access point, and 2 connected to the other access points). Everything works seamlessly, and the speeds and connections are excellent. Because the coverage is so good, the devices consistently connect to the 5 GHz network. And while it sometimes seems like the system is making weird choices for connections (the aforementioned printer is always connected to the basement access point, for example), everything is running smoothly and I have not had any issues with LAN connectivity. I wired my wife's desktop to the upstairs access point and she now gets our full Internet bandwidth to her system, even though it's technically not connected to the Verizon router/modem. The access points look good compared to other routers or network devices, and I don't mind having one sitting on my entryway table, or next to my TV. I like the fact that the light can be turned off or dimmed, so it won't distract viewers in the home theater. The guest network and family controls are easy to set up and provide powerful control of the network, allowing you to turn off any device (or a group of devices for a family member). The guest network also allows you to share devices with visitors, such as smart bulbs or printers. Google's app has some good reporting, like an instant view of the network and all connected devices, with real-time stats as well as historical data (1, 7, or 30 days). Clicking on a device will show more stats, such as the IP address, connection radio (2.4 or 5 GHz), MAC address, etc. The app also has a suite of tests including internet speed tests, mesh tests, and wifi tests that show the speed of the connection to each wireless device. There is also some basic network control through the app, including port forwarding, DNS settings, and DHCP settings. It is not as robust as the Web interface of most home routers, but I find it provides what I need for my network. For example, I run a remote desktop from my main PC, and I was able to easily set up the port forwarding rule. A few wish list items: 1. It would be nice if they G the ability to enter custom date ranges and also download the data, though. 2. I would also like to be able to specify a wifi point for certain devices. I have a ring doorbell, and while it generally connects to the closest access point, if I restart that point, it gets reassigned and won't always switch back, which can cause connectivity problems. 3. Even a basic Web interface that would allow me to restart the Google access points would be good. The way it works now, if the Internet goes down, I can't control the network. All in all, this is a solid product for anyone, though more advanced users will definitely miss some of the granular control offered by other routers.
I would recommend this to a friend