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Google - Google Wifi AC1200 Dual-Band Mesh Wi-Fi Router - White-Front_Standard

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Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 9912 reviews

97%
would recommend to a friend

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Mesh Wi-Fi Solution, But Not Without Faults

    Posted
    Panther68
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    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

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good, but not without hiccups

    Posted
    BADog
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    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

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Wifi, missing some features

    Posted
    Chezjuan
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    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

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Simple and Elegant but Lacking

    Posted
    YourMainDude
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Presentation The 3-pack arrived in what I would describe as Google’s minimalist approach to packaging, devoid of clutter and waste – or in other words – much like their packaging approach for mobile phones. The container securely holds the three pods and tucked away underneath each is a separate box containing the power wart and attached cable. No additional crud to store or throw away. The units are diminutive and feel solid in the hand, with great rubber pads and a centered, striped section that illuminates to show status and activity. Initial Setup Setup was so simple and presented nothing in the way of complication. This is what I expect from Google engineers. Brilliant. You simply plug the first unit into your modem or existing router via a CAT cable and then you connect the power wart and you’re off to the land of mesh by adding the next two pucks to the environment. I personally found the Android app to be completely straightforward, intuitive and brilliant in approach. The app sequences through a few steps that employ both wifi and Bluetooth functionality to communicate to the wireless ‘pucks’ and within no time at all – really – the mesh was complete, the firmware updated and the status clearly displayed within the app. I believe Google was aiming for simplicity and in my mind, they nailed it. The app just needs a few more bells and whistles to be able to compete with less expensive solutions but at this early stage of the game – it does everything it needs to do. Internal Configuration These aren’t your standard faire routing devices and with that in mind, you’ll need to utilize the Android or iOS mobile apps to bring it all together and setup the particulars. From what I see – and I expect the features to expand with future firmware & app updates – there’s not much to fiddle around with internally and more interesting, is that the minor set of advanced features that are present are managed through the Google cloud. Some folks may be put off by that. You can control family time via the app although it does fall short of providing comprehensive ‘scheduling’ control for the radios. That’s an oversight in my mind. You can also control the brightness of the indicator lights from the same app. That’s a cool feature. Each puck only has 2 Ethernet ports, so if you’re someone who has the need to do physical connections to more than 1 device nearby to the primary ‘node’ or puck or more than 2 devices down-stream, you’re going to need to pony up for some switches. Additionally, Google has chosen to not include any USB ports for localized storage enhancements. Just another ploy to push people into becoming dependent on the cloud. In my mind, these facets of the design limit the scope of this system to a wider audience. In a nutshell, the app configuration method is sure-fire easy and should appeal to the plug-and-play crowd that live through their phones – for what I believe is the intended market. Performance The Google wifi mesh system quickly adapted to the existing network present in my home, automatically selecting channels ‘around’ those that were present & accounted for by way of my Linksys router. When I went into my Linksys and forced different static channel assignments, even in the more congested bands, the Google mesh automatically reassigned without any overlap with competing channels. In other words, if you want to add the Google wifi mesh to your existing home setup – you can – and you need not worry about flipping some switches on either end of your hardware arrangement to enable ‘bridge mode’. These things bridge straight out of the box. Again – brilliant. As for overall performance, I do have to ding these critters for not being up-to-snuff vs. my existing wireless network arrangement. I didn’t experience any random disconnects or perceivable lost connections in 1 months’ worth of trials – but the speed was mediocre at best. My home has more challenging wall construction and I believe that this played a part in the reduced performance over ~2000 sq/feet of living space… so your mileage may vary. One thing I did notice is that although it has been stated that these bad boys support IPv6 addressing, when I checked numerous devices connected to the mesh only IPv4 was being supported. I’m not sure exactly why this was the case but in any event, it might simply be due to the fact that these are still maturing – or perhaps the bridge mode approach I used crippled their ability to do simultaneous IPv4 & v6 routes. So if IPv6 functionality is critical to you, I’d research it more before purchasing. All in all I would say that this system should satisfy most people’s need for broadened coverage over a medium to large home with the least amount of hurdles. Summary For the price, there’s a compelling case to be made for selecting other hardware solutions over this mesh kit. Many of the newest MU-MIMO routers are a bit more sophistication in their channel beaming optimizations. Conversely, if a consumer is looking for a really simple solution to set up with a powerful mobile app to control their wireless universe … this will work beautifully. If I could, I would give this product 4 and a half stars but since it's "lacking" - I cannot round up to "Excellent". Pros: Ease of setup. Provides reliable, broad coverage. Small, unobtrusive profile. Cons: Mid-tier wifi performance for a premium price. No aggregate wireless ‘scheduler’. Limited CAT expansion and no USB support.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Simple setup, great coverage, but a bit lacking

    Posted
    rtbestbuy
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    First, let me say that Google got a lot right with these routers, I would have given them four and a half stars if I could have, but there is enough missing to keep this from being a really excellent product. Setup is dead simple. The units are quite small and unobtrusive and fit well with modern decor. Coverage and speed is excellent. The Good: 1. Setup - Download the app (android or ios) and login to your Google account, connect the first (primary) unit to your (cable/dsl/...) modem, plug in power, and follow directions. Scan the QR code on the bottom of the unit to link it to your account. Assign a location (eg. "living room"), network name (SSID), and password and you're done. To set up the secondary (bridge) nodes, simple place one, plug it in, tell the app to add a wifi point and follow the instructions. The App also has tests to check the mesh connectivity, internet speed, and wifi signal at the device. 3. Performance - Uniformity of speed is really excellent. Mobility support is also very good, moving from node to node causes no disruption in service even on real time apps like whatsapp. Most importantly, we were able to plug an ethernet VOIP phone into one of the bridge nodes with no drop in quality, which is something we couldn't do with any other range extender or game type adapter. 3. Updates - It appears that updates are automagic and timely. No more checking the support website hoping for a firmware update and trying to block the latest attack. 4. Support - There is both dedicated email and phone support. 5. Style - Sorry, but when you have a device sitting in the living room, a big box with a bunch of antennas just doesn't do it. These are small, stylish, unobtrusive and fit in well. Yea! The Not-So-Good: 1. Phone app and cloud configuration only - There is no web interface, and no access to the cloud configuration except by the phone app. Google account is required. 2. Configuration is limited - In keeping with the minimalist install, common configuration options are missing. The local network is fixed at 192.168.86.xx/24 and there is no option to set the local address or DHCP address range. If you are upgrading an existing network with fixed addresses (like printers), you will have to set up those devices as well. DHCP reservations can be set, but only for devices the routers have 'seen' on the network; no manual add option. Common wifi, firewall, time of day access, and protocol priority options are missing as well. Additionally, IPv6 support is missing. There is no configuration at all for IPv6. It does appear to be routed in the latest update, but come on, it's 2016. 3. No logging - When things go wrong, either the status LED changes from white if it is a wifi point problem or there is no indication at all. There is no logging of any errors or, more importantly, security issues. You pretty much get to guess at what to try next. 4. Privacy - As part of the install, the Google wifi app uses your location and registers the wifi points to your location. The entire configuration is maintained in Google cloud with very little visibility into what is actually stored there. There is language in the agreement that Google may use your traffic patterns to adjust the (cloud) configuration, but no indication of what data is transmitted back to Google. It would be nice if all of this was a bit more transparent. Summary: A relatively inexpensive way to provide fast uniform wifi coverage over a large area with a simple setup. It provides excellent mobility support across wifi points. However, configuration options are excessively limited and privacy is a significant concern.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Aesthetically appealing with one downfall

    Posted
    Grouticus
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I recently converted from a dual band wifi router with tri-stream technology to the new Google Wifi system in an attempt to expand our wifi access throughout the house. For reference, our house a single story, 4br, 2200 sq ft. but we are moving to a two story, 3400 sq ft house and needed the extra wifi range. With our last router we were able to get high speed dual band wifi in most of our single story house without any wifi extenders. After the relatively simple installation with only having to reset everything once to get it to set up correctly, the Google Wifi uses any one of the "round pods", as I now refer to them, as your main hardlined modem access point. With the three pack, you can place the other two pods anywhere throughout your house/area that the main pod can reach which uses the main wifi signal and extends the range, similar to a wifi extender. One thing that I have noticed with Google wifi is they've seemed to perfect the wifi extension with their mesh technology allowing any of your devices (cell phones, tablets, etc.) to travel with you throughout the area with no wifi disruption. The Google Wifi app is very easy to use and has many handy features including speed testing, prioritizing internet to one area and monitoring connected devices including parental control. The pods are very unique and aesthetically appealing as most people would not notice their purpose placed throughout the house since they are not what recent wifi access points/extenders look like. Besides the lack of colors to choose from, the only downfall I have noticed thus far is the lack of Ethernet ports to hardline devices to the pods. Each pod only has one ethernet in for your modem and one out so you will have to rely heavily on the wifi signal when, in some cases, your only or better option is to have a hardline connection for internet. I would suggest using a different router set up if you need more hardline connections.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great coverage, missing features

    Posted
    PeboQuattro
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    First off I wanted to love this product. Without a doubt this was the easiest and strongest wireless solution I have deployed so far. Setup was accomplished by scanning a QR code on one of the mesh points, entering in a network name/password, and naming the mesh point. Adding mesh points was also very quick and easy, I had all three up and running within 15 minutes. The mesh can even be expanded beyond the 3 points provided, but for my single story home 3 were more than adequate. Google is very good at design and it shows. The product is visually appealing, the small white cylinders blend in well compared to large black boxes with antennas protruding out. The points have a status LED (white under normal operation) that can be dimmed or turned off, a nice touch. The points each have two gigabit ethernet ports and power provided by USB C using the included adapters. The ports can provide ethernet backhaul between the points and wired client access, though not required. The app has some great features such as being able to identify and group devices on your network by user, pause the internet for a device or user, run speed tests, check network health (mesh point to point), and do some advanced networking such as port forwarding. The signal and range of Google Wifi blows away my previous setup. I had strong signal and was able to achieve full download speeds(60/5 Spectrum) anywhere in my home (<2000 sq ft, see the attached images of a heat map of before and after). Hands down, Google Wifi is the best performing wireless solution I have tried in my home. One MAJOR downside (at the time of this review) is lack of bridging capability (disabling NAT for advanced users who run a router/firewall upstream). The app claims you can bridge the devices, however it is greyed out and can not be changed. I imagine Google will release an update in the future to allow this but it is not available at this time. If you don’t know what or why you would bridge network equipment (majority of homes) than this is a great solution to blanket your entire home in Wifi.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great System, easy to set up, great coverage

    Posted
    TrueReviews20
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The Google WiFi system is perfect for any basic or advanced user depending on your specific needs. Quick facts: user friendly, easy and quick set-up (quick as 10minutes or less), great coverage area, no noticeable speed decrease when power-using. Design: These devices are great for the modern home. They come with nice white power cords and one white Ethernet cable. The devices are a good size, not too clunky, not an eyesore. Definitely much smaller imprint that other routers, especially routers for power users. Set-up: Set up is quick and simple. The one caveat is that you have to download the app to your phone to get the network going. This can be a problem for some. I was not a fan of this requirement. In addition, it requires you to set up a new Google account, or link to an existing one. I see no reason why this had to be required. However, set-up is as easy as plugging in a few cords and following the directions on the app. You can also make your user-specific adjustments in the app, which is convenient. Overall, this is one area I believe can be improved. However, it is definitely smooth and easy to get up and running for anyone. Functionality/Compatibility: I enjoyed that the additional units can be configured to have up to 2 ethernet ports away from the main router connected to the modem. Unfortunately a big area of improvement for many users is the lack of ethernet ports on the main unit. You can only connect ONE ethernet device to the main unit. For additional connections you will need to connect them to another device or purchase a separate ethernet switch/port. Although many devices have WiFi, this is a huge shortcoming since there are many users would will need additional ports for wired devices, max speed, etc. Hard to compete with top of the line routers without this. No USB port to set up a local hard drive, printer, etc. Also a big miss for some users. These units would also be great to mount on a wall, ceiling, cabinet, etc. Unfortunately there are no mounting tabs which would also be useful. Overall, I think Google has missed big points here, but most likely the average user won't care and therefore they left it out. Connectivity: I used three devices to cover approx 5,000 square feet (indoor and outdoor). Coverage was always excellent (with well-placed devices) inside the house. However, once going outside the signal did not reach very far, but it was not terrible. Not uncommon for many routers, so if this is a must you might want to place one outside in a protected area. The coverage in my opinion was very good. Speeds were never an issue, even with streams, gaming, and internet use at the same time. It must be noted that if you are setting up three of these in areas under 4-5K sq feet, there really shouldn't be any issues. I would recommend at least one unit per 1,000-1,500sq. feet max. Summary: great for the average user, excellent for basic user, and 50/50 for advanced user depending on needs. The connection can definitely handle power-use. Lack of ethernet ports on the main unit, no usb, requirement of App and Google Account to set-up are the only major pitfalls. I think most users will be very happy.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Big improvement in speed and coverage

    Posted
    ug2br
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Bought about 2 months ago. I didn't give 5 stars because of a hiccup in the pickup (rhyme not intended). I bought online, and when I arrived at store for pickup, product was not available. Requested delivery at that point and then got further delayed by a rare southern snowstorm. Anyway..... Installation could not be any easier. Less than 5 minutes for the first main router. Less than 10 minutes for the 2 additional units. you get immediate feedback on how well the units are placed. I am in a large house of more than 5500 sq. ft. I have 2 computers in my office in a room more than 100 ft and one and a half floors up from the internet modem and first Google Wifi point (connected to modem). Previously, I tried to reach this office with a Netgear 3700VR4 router and got inconsistent internet service. I could not stream video. I then tried wifi extenders and got consistent internet service and the ability to do some streaming, but not HD streaming. I then tried powerline adapters and was able to do 1 and sometimes 2 HD streams. With the Google Wifi, I am able to better handle 3 or more HD streams. I am making much better use of the 105+ mbps internet service coming to the house. According to speedtest my speeds went from 20-50 mbps downloads and 6-10 mbps uploads with the powerline to speeds of 70-90 mbps downloads and 15-20 mbps uploads. I have added a 4th Google Wifi point and seen a nice increase. I am seeing 90-120+ mbps download speeds and 20-25 mbps uploads. The performance 100+ feet from the internet modem and several rooms away is almost the same as at the modem. I can also access my Wifi outside the house, even at the mailbox more than 150 feet from the house. Uptime has been good. A few weeks ago, I had a few seconds of downtime. However, it might have been an issue with my service provider. The good thing is that I could look at my Wifi point in the office and see the Wifi indicator light change in color from white (all good) to amber (oh-oh) and then change back to white after about 5 seconds. I like that I now have 4 Wifi mesh points at a cost that is less than the cost of 3 mesh points with other systems like Netgear or Linksys. Some reviewers don't like that you have to use a Google app on your phone to manage the network, but I find the phone app convenient. This is a very simple, but flexible system . Other mesh systems provide more function in terms of LAN mgmt. If you don't know or care to know a lot about LAN mgmt or Wifi access, this might be the choice for you.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    How to resolve Slow Mesh Speeds

    Posted
    SJB01
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Google WIFI works as designed if you have the patience to determine the correct configuration that is right for your needs. After spending hours on the phone with google tech support and following all of their instructions (Took several hours), I decided to troubleshoot the issue myself. The issue was with the Wifi Point Mesh speed, it would not exceed 210MB based on the google wifi app which was the cause of the slow speeds I was experiencing. When connected to the endpoints (No matter where I placed them) the speed was about 200MB versus 500MB+ when connected to the primary router. In reading some reviews and blogs, it is noted that the mesh can only support about 200MB given the way it needs to communicate over the mesh and support the devices connected to it. There are references to the FIOS router needing to be in bridge mode but that is not a feasible solution nor supported by Verizon. Based on the information, I decided go to a wired configuration for the Wifi points and this resolved the mesh speed issue. The FIOS router is connected to CAT5 run between a utility room and my office. The Google primary router is in my office where both the WAN and LAN ports are connected to a GB unmanaged switch and the CAT 5 run to the utility room. There are 2 additional CAT5 runs (to the two rooms where the Wifi points are located) connected to an unmanaged switch in the utility room and the FIOS router. In each of the rooms, the Wifi points connect to a GB unmanaged switch and the google wifi points are connected via the WAN port. I am getting 500+ MB speeds when connected to the wifi points which is what I expected from the mesh in the first place. Having to run the CAT5 wiring was inconvenient but if you really want the to get the faster speeds I recommend doing it even if you using another vendor's product.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Wi-fi coverage for 3 floors

    Posted
    NBCTeach05
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I received the Google Wifi Ac1200 Dual-band Whole Home Wi-fi System (3-pack) in the mail and I waited several days before hooking it up until I had several hours at my disposal. I was thinking that I would need lots of uninterrupted time to set it up, troubleshoot, etc. At least that is what I anticipated after setting up our Samsung Home Theater system. I couldn't have been more wrong. It was as easy as 1..2..2 1/2..3. The directions were simple: plug in the first Wifi point and connect it to the modem. Then download the Google Wifi app to set up the other 2 Wifi points. I had to redo the set-up via the app a couple of times. I changed my wireless network connection name and that caused all my wireless connections to have to be redone (cell phone, ipod, home theater, etc). The app will let you know if the Wifi points are well-placed or if they need to be moved. That helps to maximize the network accessibility (eliminating pockets of poor connections), especially when you live in a larger house with multiple floors. I got a couple of messages from the app that evening letting me know that everything was working. I was glad to get good marks for my connection speed when I tested that. I like that I can see all the devices that are logged into the Wifi network. Clicking through the app, I was glad to see that I can set up a guest Wifi network. That means friends and family can get online. Family Wifi allows me (the administrator) to pause the internet to a specific device or group of devices. For example, I can turn off access at dinner time so everyone pays attention to those at the table and aren't secretly surfing. Also a benefit when a child is grounded or it is bedtime. I can adjust the brightness of the Wifi point light. Very handy when it is in a bedroom at night. An aspect I really liked is being able to adjust the settings while I am not even at home. For example, I can restart my network, pause a device, and manage my Wifi while I am not at home. How great when you have latchkey children. The last things to mention is Google Home, the voice-activated speaker and home assistant (think of the amazon Echo) can easily be added. I don't have plans to add it at this time, but I like that I have the opportunity to expand very easily. So why did I give it a 4 out of 5 if there are so many elements that I like? First of all, I would have given it a 4.5 but that wasn't possible. When I was upstairs in the room where one of the Wifi points is housed, I noticed the light was not on. It was then I realized it was unplugged. That is what I would have expected the app to send me a message about.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Extremely Easy Setup with Some Shortcomings

    Posted
    TcCokato
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    From start to finish the router and all three mesh points were fully setup and broadcasting in less than 10 minutes. Simply plug in the USB C power adaptor in each unit and place in your desired location. Connect one unit to your modem and download the app. Follow the onscreen instructions and you are done. It really was that simple. Overall I have been pleased with this system. My house has full strength WiFI coverage from top to bottom with no dead zones. Any device connected to your network will automatically choose the hub with the strongest signal as well as pick the optimal frequency to provide you with the best possible connection to the network. The connection quality between my devices and this system have been comparable to my other high-end routers on my network. One downfall to this system is the lack of a web interface, thus everything must be done through the app, which can be downloaded from both the apple app store and android play. Fortunately, the app is very intuitive and extremely easy to use and as a bonus enables you to manage and monitor your network from anywhere in the world with no additional setup steps. Because of the simplicity of this system, many advanced functions available on comparable systems are not available. Your network will be limited to the 192.168.86.XX IP range. So if you plan on integrating with your existing network you will need to reconfigure every other device on your network because it is not possible to change IP address of this system; which may be a dealbreaker for some. This system also lacks the ability to permanently establish priority devices. Priority settings are limited to time intervals with the maximum of 4hrs. Pros: (+1 for each item listed) Easy Setup < 10 minutes Fast network speeds Full coverage - No dead zones Compact and contemporary design. Easy to use app Easy to upgrade Automatic updates Cons:(-1 for each item listed) No web interface Unable to change IP and Subnet Tempory QoS setting Overall rating: +4 Summary: If you are looking for a router that just works with very little effort then this is the system to choose. However if you are looking for more control over your network you may want to consider alternate devices.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Expensive but works

    Posted
    Phorts
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I have a 2000 sf old Victorian house with an office on the 3rd floor that my existing Comcast xfinity WiFi wasn't reaching consistently. Rather than futz with a repeater or ethernet over power device I decided to try Google WiFi. I've been in IT 15 years so my knowledge is extensive, however when it comes to my home tech I keep things simple. I just wanted something that works and didn't have to mess with. I decided on a mesh wifi system as my wife frequently roams around the house and I take calls over google voice so the connection needs to stay consistent. Three things of note that I didn't see from other reviews. 1. If you are using your carrier supplies modem/router combo (or "gateway" as Comcast calls it) then you will need to enable bridge mode to pass on the connection and functionality to the Google system. If you don't do this, it won't work. Something they left out of their Instructions. 2. These do not work in a daisy chain formation as I expected. IE. I have the main unit in the living room, a 2nd unit on the 2nd floor and the last one in my office on the 3rd floor. I expected the 2md floor unit to repeat and amplify the signal for the 3rd unit, it that is not the case. They 2nd and 3rs floor units both connect directly back to the base unit. Google support suggested it was because it was close enough to the main unit that it didn't need to daisy, but I couldn't get it far enough away to test his theory. In any event, I only needed 2 units and I eliminated the 2nd floor one, and still have good coverage. Better than before. $300 better? Probably not. 3. I do have the occasional drop out. Can't figure out if it's when reconnecting to a new unit or not but the connection always comes back quickly. I haven't taken any calls while roaming or done extensive testing, but hopefully this doesn't become a problem. Google support is good, though not that responsive for more complicated problems. I sold the unnecessary 3rd unit to recipe some costs. It'd an expensive system but it is less than competitive mesh systems and I'm a Google fan boy so... It works. Good luck!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    No complaints

    Posted
    justmeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    I was in a bind my Netgar Nighthawk that had been set up for the last few years at a 2nd home died. I went online looked for inexpensive routers and didn't find much, having used an Eeero router for my house I figured I'd give Mesh Networking a try. The home is about 1500 sq ft so I only needed one puck to start with. I ordered the Google WiFi and made the 45 min drive to the nearest Best Buy and picked it up about 15 mins before the store closed (gotta love the order online and pick up in store when you're in a hurry). I also had to order an inexpensive switch as so I could keep the 5 devices I had connected via LAN up and working. I got home and in the span of 30 mins or so I had everything up and running. The ease of setup is great, so much easier than in previous years when you had to logon to a web page address and know what to check and which values to set up. I did go into settings to change the default web address to match up to my previous router so my legacy devices could connect without a big issue. The biggest issue for me was figuring out where the open ports tab was since I run a webcam and Slingbox that still require ports to be open. After a few minutes I found all the needed tabs to set up everything. I run anywhere from 35-50 connected devices (Iot) at a time. I ran everything for 24 hrs without any major issues. Only thing that appeared for me was the need to purchase a 2nd puck to put at the other end of the home, one of my devices is an outside weather station (Bloomsky) and the signal wasn't always strong enough for it to stay connected. Other than that I really didn't see any major issues and now have had it up and running for a week. The ability to use the app to restart the network is something I do like, everyone once a while I find I need to reset the network when a device disconnects and can't reconnect.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Set it and forget it

    Posted
    Xeiyros
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Google did a very nice job with setting up with home network solution However there is just a few issues i do take part with. 1. Is the fact its wayyyyy too simplified. So advanced techie people looking to get really in the details on things, might want to look elsewhere. (Like, you can't change wifi channels for example..) 2. when and IF there is an issue (particularly from what i've seen, if theres an issue with an access point that may or maynot bring down the ENTIRE network) You cannot restart the network unless you unplug it. which leads me to my main issue with this mesh wifi. 3. It has to be connected to the internet to function. So using it on a peer to peer infrastructure is impossible to do or for that matter, using it with an existing wifi network, i.e making this google wifi a subnet of an existing network is really, really difficult, especially if you have a Verizon fios network. Oh and lastly. 4. You HAVE TO USE the google wifi app. You CANNOT use the webpage or a terminal, or any other means. And the issue with google wifi is it MUST be connected to the internet to function, or edit settings, which is the biggest flaw i have with this unit as a whole. But personally once its connected you really don't have much issues. The only major one i've had is, when the network does go down and you need to reboot the mesh wifi, you have to manually go over to it and unplug it, which is a hassle for me because its in its own isolated space that isn't easy to get to. So please keep in mind when you set these up to have the main access point easily accessible incase you have to service it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Really good wireless mesh, but not perfect

    Posted
    reach
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I wanted this to more thoroughly cover my 3500 sq ft tri-level home with Wi-Fi, and it has done that very well (my previous system was old and hodge-podged together). It was easy to set up and use - others have reviewed that in detail. I am not a power user, but I have noticed one thing repeatedly. Once in a while while browsing the internet *on my laptop*, I'll try to go to a page and it will hang part way through, and be hung for many seconds (when three response 3 minutes earlier was quite fast). I'll be sitting there watching the Chrome spinning arrow, and will go to the Google Wifi App *on my phone*, and run the three Network checks: 1) Test internet, 2) Test mesh, 3) Test Wi-Fi. Every time, the instant I start the Test mesh test, my laptop Chrome browser will all of a sudden instantly display the page it had been spinning on, and goes back to being fast from then on. This is very strange, but has happened too many times to be coincidence... Certainly not a deal breaker, but something is not quite right... My only other concern is that Google can take control of my network at any time of course, and can see any traffic, etc., that I don't have end-to-end encryption on... sigh... The product has worked very very well beyond that. I am happy with it, would purchase it again, and would recommend it to others.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Getting better

    Posted
    Arvada
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I am glad someone is trying to create a true mesh network for home wifi. Google has made these little discs easy to set up and tie together. But, I would say they are still in their first generation of evolution and there are some tweaks I'd like to see. 1. Be aware that the design requires all of the routers to be within range of the primary router to create the mesh. This means that if your router is at one end of the house, you can't daisy your routers to extend your mesh to the other end of your property. A larger mesh is created if you are fortunate enough to have your primary router central and can put the others out and around like a spoke and hub. It would be superior if there was a way that the mesh could daisy the routers wirelessly to allow you to truly create an extended mesh network. 2. The app is easy to use but could use some enhanced features. One would be to allow you to allocate specific amounts of bandwidth to a given device. Currently the app allows you to "prioritize" a device which is not the same thing. Prioritize would allow you to select say your Apple TV while watching a movie so that it gets the bandwidth while you are using it. But this is a limited solution. If you for example you have a web cam set up somewhere, you might want to be able to gate it so that it never takes up say more than 1 Mbps of your upload bandwidth. Higher resolution cams can take a lot of pipe and if you access the camera remotely and it is feeding HD upstream, you can really congest your router. Being able to limit certain devices to "no more than" would be an excellent feature for Google to consider. I do like them and would recommend them but understand they could be better yet.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Should please most users

    Posted
    MrFixer
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The motivation for replacing my existing Netgear router was the increasing reliance we (all) have on reliable home Wifi coverage. Now everything from my printer to our security system quits if we lose internet. (I really hate that, but now no one can escape ). Prior to installing the Google hardware I did a signal strength and data rate map of the house , garage and yard. As expected in the remote rooms, on the patio and in the garage performance was poor or unusable, with some locations clocking in at 1 MB or worse. ( We have a 2400 sqft house, one story with typical sheetrock interior and frame stucco outside) Installation and setup is trivially simple, using the cell phone app for setup. It came up immediately and all my stuff (TV's, ROKUs, laptops, Yamaha wireless music, Xfinity Home, and several ethernet devices) all connected automatically without issues. It doesn't get any easier than this. If you don't consider fighting electronic gadgets "fun", then this is the system for you. We now have measured 40MB to 80MB everywhere in the house, and about 35MB on the patio and garage. Coverage is wide enough outside to allow wireless TV cams for the perimeter. Overall I am very pleased with the simplicity and effectiveness. I docked it 1 Star down to four because of the limited I/O. No USB support, and few Ethernet ports. I was able to spread stuff out among different pods, so I didn't run out of ports, but more would be handy. Overall, a very good choice for most people, though probably not for super gamers who sleep on their mother's couch.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good router

    Posted
    gbott
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I gave it 4 stars because there is one feature that I wish it had, and that is MAC filtering. MAC filtering would add an extra layer of security to the password that is required to join the network. Other than that I am glad that I purchased it, My streaming devices do not glitch or lag. My family uses iphones, android phones, ipads, android tablets, Netflix, Xbox, Alienware laptop, and Amazon FireTV cube, I get the full 100Mbps plus more download speed provided by my ISP. I have my work laptop connected to work, through VPN on the guest network, and when streaming is going on on the main network, I do not drop the VPN connection. Controlling my kids Wi-Fi is easy I can schedule time when the Wi-Fi is available, or I can turn off Wi-Fi with one click through the app on my phone. I do not need to be home I can control it anywhere where there is an internet connection. You do need a gmail account to manage and setup the device. There is no local web management of the device you can only do it through an app that gets installed on your phone. I thought this would be a problem for me, because I am old school, but I find it more convenient and easier to manage it this way. Setup was easy it only took 45 minutes from unboxing, setting it up, installing the management application on my phone and then and adding all of my devices. Adding the devices took the longest because of how many we use.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Very Good But Quirky

    Posted
    Cibo
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    The system was purchased to replace an Apple AirPort Extreme due to Apple dropping support. A 3 puck, as the units are lovingly called, system was installed. The first puck was attached directly to the cable modem and installation went very well. The two remaining pucks were hard wired, but must be meshed first with the primary puck first before attaching them to the lan. If you hardwire, make sure you have a solid, reliable gigabit unmanaged switch to create a lan with the primary puck. The system operates at 2ghz and 5ghz simultaneously without the ability to choose. Some Amazon devices will not operate at 5ghz because they use the lower channels and the Google system operates at the higher 5ghz channels. There was an issue with a Google Chromecast Ultra initially. Tech support indicated a new network name was required to clear out network information in the Chromecast. Coverage and strength of the system is excellent. All my devices with 5ghz capability have solid signals. You must use an app to install and operate the system. The app is great, but not always intuitive. The app is deigned for smartphones, but operates fine on a newer iPad. The app is not fully informative on older iPads. IPV6 activation was very simple. There have been a few reported instances of systems dropping the internet and going off line with a Chromecast as the potential culprit. Lastly, there is a second lan port if a direct connection is needed in lieu of Wifi.

    I would recommend this to a friend