As a tech influence, I should care more about routers. I know enough not to rely on the hunk of junk provided by most ISPs, but after buying a good router for a hundred bucks years back, I just didn’t see any reason to upgrade after Google WiFi.
And then we stirred into a bigger home.
Bigger, as it turns out, isn’t always better. Bigger, in this case, intended to stretching our Linksys router to its limits, and — sorry Linksys — it just couldn’t handle the added square footage. Littered all through the house were the most casual of dead zones where, try as you might, you just couldn’t get a strong signal.
This was my life, my frustration, my nightmare.
But then Google suggested its network system, Google WiFi, could be the answer to my hells cape of a new home. After few days, a trio of routers arrived at my doorstep.Cute, isn’t?
It’s really worth to talking about aesthetics, because these devices are as close to unseen as you can get from a router. My previous router had six antennas, and looked as if it were moments away from assembly my other electronics and launching into orbit. It was flashy, ugly, and worst of all: I couldn’t hide it.
Google offers much obligatory neutrality. It’s not going to be a central point of any living room and quietly does its job while sort of merger in to the background. The hockey puck-shaped units are in the size of two Echo Dots stacked on the head of each other, and frankly, I barely even notice them.Another bonus was the wire connections being concealed underneath each unit. Both power and Ethernet reside in a little dug in area on the underside of the router and have a single opening out the back to easily route a wire out of view.
Because, and I can’t declare this enough, I really hate wires.
It’s the little things.
Since I wasn’t relying on Wi-Fi, I switched back to my ISPs router, which was absolutely more minimalist than the outrage I was previously using from Linksys. It lacked the functionality of my “good” router, but I didn’t need it for anything other than incredibly to plug Google WiFi into. It’s really a modem now.
After plugging the first unit into the wall, and then to the existing router via Ethernet, I have unlocked the Smartphone app to complete the setup process. It was a breeze. I’m not exaggerating when I say it took less than 90 seconds. Connecting means opening the app, typing in the numbers on the bottom of the Google WiFi router, and dialling an SSID (if you want to rename the connection) and password.
Subsequent units need even a less setup. All you have to do is plug them in, and tell the app they exist. It’ll look for out, search them, and blend them together into one giant whole-house connection.
Once Google finds all your routers, it takes a few minutes to configure them. You’ll get a notification that they’re ready to use, and you’re off to the races. Not in my age as an internet user have I experienced a router that was so easy to set up and use, superior yet three routers connected to the same network.
But does it work?
Aesthetics and connectivity mean slight if the structure doesn’t work as intended. Luckily, Google WiFi scores high marks. Not only does it work, I think it’s the smartest and most accessible way to ensure whole-house coverage.
Web networks are legit, ya’ll.
For those unknown with the term, it’s really a group of connected routers that form one network. Each one is placed all through the home, but linked together effortlessly without requiring constant manual switching between as you move out of range. Move all over the house, or even outside, and Google has you covered.
And functioning is flawless. I never experienced a slowdown, and the dead spots are no more.
I did find it astounding that the third router turned out to be overkill. Our home is around 2,800 square feet, and two provided more than sufficient coverage. But it’s not like we’re not departing to use the extra one to coverlet our back yard too, so we just moved the last one close to the back door.
As great as the hardware is, it’s the software that really left a sense. While it lacks some of the hardcore hacking type router enthusiasts’ love — I would have loved to add a VPN, for example — the simple move towards works best for most homes. And Google’s app-centric move towards makes this about as close to plug-and-play as it gets.
Alongside from an easy setup, the app handles all of the serious lifting for day-to-day management as well. You can run speed tests (on both the web network and incoming signal), set up guest networks, and limit your Snapchat-addicted adolescent from connecting at specific times. I also liked that I can give the middle finger to the rest of the family and prioritize bandwidth to the device I’m using at the time.
I’m a jerk, I know.
The system, in my belief, offers the best bet for most households. It’s simple, aesthetically enjoyable, and just does the job it’s invented to do. In fact, it does the job better than any router (or combination of routers) I’ve ever been tried.At $129 for a single unit, or $299 for a pack of three, Google WiFi is a no-brainer, especially for people with connectivity issues.