Google Wifi is the most simple and value-packed WiFi mesh system.
While other mesh Wi-Fi systems might have outperformed Google Wifi, no other mesh router has been able to bring mesh routing to as many people as this entry from Google.
Google Wifi is the benchmark for mesh Wi-Fi routers, even though SamsungConnect Home and Netgear Orbi are more recent. The Google mesh router is a combination of a simple design, easy installation, and full features at a very affordable price. It blends well in any location and offers a strong, continuous connection regardless of where you are located in your coverage area. You will no longer have dead spots.
Google Wifi can be used to provide a reliable and affordable solution to weak or intermittent internet signals.
Google Wifi pricing and availability
Google doesn’t ask for much in terms of features and accessibility, especially when it comes to Google Wifi. For $259, you can get a set of three Wifi units (about PS204, AU$399). It includes one main “WiFi point”, which connects to your gateway or modem, and two secondary WiFi points. Google claims that three Wi Fi Points can cover approximately 4,500 square feet (418 sq. meters) within a given area.
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The price of the three-pack-system is $199 / PS189, or AU$499. The new generation of Google Wifi devices has been reduced by $60. One Google Wifi unit is available for $99 / PS89 (about AU$199), the same price as the previous-gen. It’s a great deal if you have a small apartment.
You can also purchase the Google Wifi 2-pack or 3-pack if you are in the UK. These will be available at a cost of PS229 and PS329 respectively. Google Wifi Australia has been removed from their product page. This means that you can’t choose between the new Google Wifi mesh router or the old one. This strongly suggests that, while Australia’s rollout may be a little slower than the US and UK’s is expected to happen soon, there will almost certainly be a similar price drop on the three-pack of network points.
Google Wifi is a remarkable value – it offers more units for less money than any of its competitors like the Netgear Orbi. Other wireless mesh routers come in at $400 (about AU$520, PS320) for the same amount of mesh nodes.
Google Wi-Fi units are small cylindrical devices with a white LED band at the center.
Wireless Connectivity, IEEE 8002.11a/b/g/n/ac AC1200 2×2 Wi-Fi (expandable mesh, dual-band 2.4GHz & 5GHz; TX beamforming); Bluetooth Smart Ready
ProcessorQuad Core ARM CPU (each core can up to 710MHz).
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage:4GB eMMC flash
Google Wifi setup and design
Google has a price advantage, but also the most elegant Wi-Fi units. Every Google Wifi unit is a small, simple cylinder with a white LED band at its center. It delivers the same capabilities.
Google Wifi units can be used as the core router, and the other units can transmit the wireless signal wirelessly to it via their Ethernet ports. All three units can be powered by USB-C.
The setup process is very simple, much like Google Wifi hardware design. To make it easier, you can use an iOS or Android app. Although we won’t get into the details, the Google Wifi App allows you to set up your network by scanning the QR codes at the Wi-Fi points connected to your gateway or modem.
After you create a new network name and password, scan their QR codes to pair additional Wi-Fi points. Once that is done, you will be able identify individual nodes within the app. It takes only a few seconds for the first Google Wifi Node to recognize additional nodes, and then they start working.
Band switching is not an option as you won’t get the same level of access that Netgear Orbi provides. Google Wifi handles this automatically behind-the scenes.
All Google WiFi units can be powered by USB-C.
Google Wifi offers more useful settings such as continuous monitoring of your network and the devices and points connected to it. You can also use the app to test your internet speed.
Despite the lack of toggles and dropdown boxes, this is the most comprehensive and sophisticated set of controls that we have seen on Wi-Fi mesh systems.
You can also prioritize bandwidth for one device, control smart home devices, and pause internet access to certain users in a family environment – all within the confines of this app.
Now Google has extended Google Wifi Network Check to allow you to test multiple devices. This will enable you to identify potential bottlenecks and rearrange Google Wifi access points to improve network performance.
Google Wifi performance
Google Wifi can match, if not exceed, Netgear Orbi in terms of performance. We have never seen a router deliver the same 100Mbps Wi-Fi service. Google Wifi can deliver this same high-performance service to all rooms in our small house, which is the main difference.
It’s possible to stream 4K video via Netflix to our Roku Premiere downstairs, and to play Overwatch at the office with no problems. Wi-Fi mesh systems such as the Google Wifi don’t focus as much on coverage as they do on throughput. This product delivers.
Traffic prioritization ensures that your gaming session receives more bandwidth than other devices in your home that are most used for streaming HD videos and Facebooking. The network can also automatically repair itself if one or more Wi-Fi points lose power.
We don’t see any significant difference in performance between the two systems, even though Google Wifi uses existing Wi-Fi bands (2.4GHz & 5GHz) and uses the 802.11s protocol rather than Netgear Orbi’s tri-band Wi-Fi system. The Orbi’s 2.4GHz band is slightly faster than the Google Wifi. We see marginally higher download speeds. This could be an aberity.