What is Google Wifi and How Do I Get Started?

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Google Wifi is a home network product that uses Mesh Networking to improve overall Wi-Fi coverage in your home. Here is a glimpse of what it is and what to expect.

Products like Google Wifi is replacing traditional home router networks, which often produce dead zones. It is called mesh networks. And these products have been designed to improve Wi-Fi accuracy and coverage in home environments. Simple in its execution and configuration, Google Wifi is one of the most popular mesh network solutions on the market and has been since its launch in late 2016.

What is a Mesh network?

A traditional home network includes a router that is connected or part of a modem. In large houses and those with more than one floor, Wi-Fi range extenders are used to relay the router's signal, usually creating a separate network. Depending on the number of extenders, this type of system quickly becomes inefficient since you must manually switch your devices from one side to another between networks as you move. In addition, most reach extenders reduce their bandwidth by half, since the wireless connection is half-duplex, which means that connected devices cannot send and receive information at the same time, which slows things down.

Mesh networks such as Google Wifi replace an existing Wi-Fi network. A device, called a node, is connected to your current modem while placing other nodes around your home. Unlike a router and extender configuration, there is only one network in this scenario. And because Wi-Fi transmissions from each node (also called Wifi points), and not just a router, you can easily extend your coverage by adding more units at any time.

As you move around the house with your devices, you are always connected to the nearest node automatically, which guarantees a fast and consistent signal.

 mesh network versus traditional

Google Wifi

Mesh starter kits are normally sent with two or three nodes and only the one connected to your modem requires an Ethernet cable The rest works on your network wirelessly. Google Wifi, which is available in a 3 or 1 package package, provides 1,500 square feet of coverage per node. Most owners will want to start with the 3 pack and then they will have to decide if it is better to add more nodes. My house is approximately 2,200 square feet on three floors. For this, the package of 3 is necessary. Keep in mind how the materials in a house affect the journey of Wi-Fi signals, so even a house of the same size may need more or less nodes.

Installation

The configuration of your Google Wifi network requires only a few minutes, depending on the number of nodes needed to install. Google Wifi is delivered with Wifi points, an ethernet cable for the primary Wifi point and power adapters for each Wifi point. Each device includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Other requirements include a Google account username and password, a broadband connection and a compatible modem.

To install Google Wifi:

  1. Download the Google Wifi application on your mobile device. The required application is available on the App Store and Google Play.
  2. Connect your main Wifi point to your existing modem using the included power and Ethernet cables. In a Google Wifi 3 package, it doesn't matter which node you select as primary, since they are all the same. Ideally, you should place the node on a shelf or TV stand at eye level.
  3. Connect the supplied Ethernet cable to the WAN port of your Google Wifi point. Then, connect the other end to your modem.
  4. Connect your Google Wifi point to a power outlet. The light flashes slowly in blue to indicate that it is on and ready for configuration.
  5. Open the application, review the Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy. Uncheck the box if you want to opt out of sharing anonymous usage statistics and bug reports to help improve Google Wifi.
  6. Touch Start .
  7. Log in to your Google Account .
  8. Follow the additional commands to get your first node online.

  Google Wifi Settings

Troubleshooting

You can use more nodes with the Google Wifi application. Google suggests placing the Wifi point at no more than two rooms one of the other. The elevated positions are the best, especially if you have more than one floor. You can perform a mesh test with the application to verify that your Wifi points do not have good connections.

When the application detects a bad connection, Google suggests:

  • Line of sight: Google Wifi points work best when they can see each other. Changing the position of the Wifi points to avoid obstructions such as walls, doors and aquariums can improve performance.
  • Take off: Lifting devices from the ground can greatly improve coverage.
  • Consider your mesh: Wifi points depend on each other to provide great coverage in your home. To fix a particular "weak" Wifi point, you may need to move a different Wifi point to fix it.

Features

Naturally, the main use of a mesh network is to provide Wi-Fi to your home -Fi. However, thanks to the application, there are other functions available, including the following:

  • The ability to verify Internet speeds; You can try your entire network or a portion at a time.
  • Pause the Internet at any time manually or according to a schedule. Better yet, pause the Internet only on selected devices, such as those used by your children.
  • Block adult websites automatically.
  • Create a separate network for your guests.
  • Control Philips Hue smart lights automatically without downloading more applications.
  • You can prioritize devices so that faster speeds are always sent there first.

  Google Wifi speed test

Updates and support

Google Wifi checks software updates daily and automatically installs them When this happens, Google posts notes about any changes, That could include new features, improvements and bug fixes. You can get support for your Google Wifi at any time using the application or online. In addition, there is a Google Wifi community forum online. There is also an online help center.

Conclusion

Over the years, I have tried numerous mesh networks for home use, including Linksys Velop, Netgear Orbi, Google Wifi and many others. Each one is much better than traditional systems. Google Wifi offers fast and hassle-free configuration and ease of use. Better yet, it is available at a much lower price than most competitors.

However, Google Wifi is not free from defects. On the one hand, it allows a small control and customization of the hardware, although for non-experts in technology, this is undoubtedly the preferred one. On the other hand, there is no web interface. Otherwise, this product is highly recommended for anyone who wants to go beyond a router and extender configuration.

You can buy Google Wifi through Google and other retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy.

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