As you may have heard, I’m going to experiment with mesh wireless networking when we move to Pennsylvania. And the Google Wifi three-pack I’ll be using arrived today.
This one will be brief since I can’t actually install it until we are in Pennsylvania next week: We’re getting a cable modem installed next Thursday, so I should be able to get the Google Wifi system going then as well, and it will be ready for us when we move.
Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday — and get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (normally $9.99) as a special welcome gift!
"*" indicates required fields
In any event, Google Wifi—yes, it’s written as Wifi and not the more correct Wi-Fi, hooray for product names—is a modular, mesh-based wireless networking solution. That is, you can buy a single access point for smaller homes or a three-pack for larger places. And they should just work seamlessly together in the latter case.
One thing to know up front is that Google Wifi doesn’t provide modem capabilities. So if you’re using a traditional cable modem-type solution as I will be, via RCN, then you will still need your provider’s cable modem or will need to buy a compatible unit yourself. Indeed, you may also need a switch of some kind, depending on your needs, as each Google Wifi access point only includes a single Ethernet port.
Another thing to know up front is that Wifi, as a Google product, isn’t set up, configured, or maintained like other Wi-Fi access points or networking hardware. That is, there’s no web interface at some arcane URL like 192.168.1.1 (or whatever) to know about. Instead, you need to use the Google Wifi mobile app, which is available on Android and iOS.
And to be clear, that app is available only on Android and iOS: You will need a smartphone—and a Google account—to get Google Wifi up and running. Some may find this off-putting, but I’m used to the way Google does things, and I actually kind of enjoy it. (Google has similar apps for Google Home/Chromecast and other hardware products.) Certainly, the software is clear and easy to use.
From a packaging standpoint, the Google Wifi is pure Google, which is to say a high-quality Apple knock-off. I won’t begrudge them that, other than to note that I’ve often complained of Microsoft’s Apple envy and Google may be even worse. In any event, the box contains the three access points, three USB-C-based power adapters, and a single flat Ethernet cable, which is used to connect on of the access points to your modem. The documentation consists of a “getting started” brochure. It seems like that’s all you’ll need.
Prices are reasonable: A single Google Wifi is $129, but you can get a three-pack, as I did, for $300.
And next week, I’ll let you know how it goes.
<blockquote><a href="#136363"><em>In reply to FalseAgent:</em></a></blockquote><p>Abandonware? Google only abandons products and services that are not being used. If you or anyone suffered from "abandonware" then you are using a freebie that 90% of the world is not using. Google did not abandon Blogger, or Docs/Drive or Chrome or Gmail or Maps etc….</p>
<p>Congrats to Paul. I am so proud of him. Not only has he chosen to get scroogled, but he's lovin' it. LOL…just kidding.</p><p>Like I said, in a previous post, Google is the best in the business for setting up an affordable "smart home." </p><p>Now all Paul has to do, is make sure that his Google Home is not only connected to the Wifi (which I am sure will be easy to do), but also to his TV. </p><p>Also, buy the NEST thermostat (by Google) and connect every TV with a Chromecast. </p><p>IN addition, I would also buy the RING doorbell for the heck of it. </p><p>Welcome to the real world, Thurrott family!</p><p>(next up: CHROMEBOOKS) *evil laugh*</p>
<p>One more thing……for Paul. For some odd reason, in my head, …perhaps I heard it from a podcast, but why put bookshelf speakers in your entertainment area. Just get another Google Home and use it as a speaker or an Alexa device? The point is…moving to a new home, means a new opportunity to start all over in life and with Paul being 50 years old…keep things simple. Lose the clutter. If you need to have music, just buy a bluetooth speaker like a Bose or a Bang& Olufsen and stream the music from your phone. All in all, don't complicate your lifestyle. </p>
<p>How is it a "high-quality Apple knockoff" when Apple doesn't even sell a mesh network system?</p>
<blockquote><a href="#136507"><em>In reply to ozaz:</em></a></blockquote><p><span style="color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87); background-color: rgb(250, 250, 250);">It depends on the cloud for OS and security updates (which occurs approximately every 6 weeks), user authentication, congestion management, performance analysis, network analysis, amongst other features. Of course, the tinfoil hatters are too shortsighted, and irrational, to appreciate Google Wifi is more than just your grandfather's insecure and vulnerable swiss cheese router that will never ever get a security update. </span></p>
<blockquote><a href="#136518"><em>In reply to ozaz:</em></a></blockquote><p>Yes.</p>
<p>I still don't understand what this does for $300 vs buying 3 of these: TP-Link N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender for $20 a piece. Sell it to me.</p>
<blockquote><a href="#139682"><em>In reply to melinau:</em></a></blockquote><p>Such as? I have 2 extenders and they work flawless and invisible. Each for $19.95 from Amazon. So why would I dump $300 on Mesh? I think Mesh is just trendy right now and people are willing to like always to spend big $$ to be trendy.</p>
<blockquote><a href="#140509"><em>In reply to KingPCGeek:</em></a></blockquote><p>No they don't. That is the reason they are called "Extenders"…. </p>
<blockquote><a href="#140592"><em>In reply to KingPCGeek:</em></a></blockquote><p>Whatever a**hole. Gee you got me, I haven't used every pos extender on the market. See, I actually read first and buy an Extender that can use the same SSID. Hence again the name "Extender". Maybe you're actually installing an Access Point?</p>