This is pucking brilliant
Google’s brilliant minds are at it again bringing the latest and greatest wifi hardware to our inadequately covered homes. Never again will you have to get out of bed when your Netflix show stops and bring your iPad closer to the door to regain wifi signal. Never again will your backyard party go silent when Spotify loses connection. We will look back on this day and tell our children we remember when wifi wasn’t a guarantee, we remember a day before Google Wifi. That day, my friends is today.
But not for long. Google’s new wifi puck (what is it with cool tech hidden inside pucks these days?) will start shipping December 6th, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Here’s the deal:
GoogleWifi is a router that supports an expandable mesh wireless network, which basically means you can add additional nodes (or routers) to the same network to increase wifi coverage.
Mesh networks are normally used to cast wifi across large campuses, connecting colleges, sports stadiums, or corporate buildings.
This is not like a wifi extender that repeats a weaker version of a router’s signal on a different network. Mesh systems create comprehensive coverage of the same wifi network throughout a home without weakening the signal at all. And no, I know what you’re thinking: they don’t all have to be plugged into ethernet (though your internet will be stronger if they are).
Every Google Wifi router casts the same wifi network seamlessly across a home. It automatically connects you to the strongest signal so you’ll never have low bars, and it manages device traffic so no one drops a Facetime call just because somebody was playing Call of Duty downstairs. If you have a small home (under 1500 square feet) you probably only need one router. Larger homes (3000-4500 square feet) could use the bundle of three routers.
Features and price point
Google Wifi’s mesh technology in itself not new. What is new is the price point, and some additional features. Google Wifi is off the shelf at $129 for a single package and $299 for the bundle of three. This is well below the price point for other popular mesh networks on offer — Eeros ($499 bundle of 3), the Netgear Orbi ($399 bundle of 3), and the Luma ($325 bundle of 3).
This is great news for people with smaller apartments and homes who still have wifi issues, but may not need three routers. This is especially great for anyone who occasionally needs internet on the back porch, near their smart fridge, or by that new wifi bird feeder camera.
Google Wifi also offers parental controls, like some other mesh networks, which allows owners of the network to refuse wifi to certain devices.
Through the Google Wifi App, users can easily share wifi passwords, and prioritize important devices on their home network.
Google Wifi is an enticing option at an even more enticing price point. Though they didn’t revolutionize home wifi mesh networks, they’re making them more accessible to everyone and they’re raising the bar. While Google Wifi is not yet available for immediate purchase, Google Store, Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy are offering pre-order waitlists. Wifi frustrations, I’m hoping, will be a thing of the past before we know it.