Google might just have released the Holy Grail for Wi-Fi routers — at least for ordinary consumers — as it promised to obliterate any dead zones in a home network through its new product dubbed as Google Wifi. It began shipping Dec. 6 and you may be assured reviewers are the first to give the world a piece of their mind.
But first, let us recap what the technology is all about.
Google Wifi is similar to Google's previous product called OnHub router. The main difference is that this latest iteration falls within the "Made by Google" category.
The device's selling point is that it is going to give your home universal Wi-Fi coverage via an approach called mesh system.
Here, the router is constituted by several components, acting as wireless access points, which can then be placed in different locations. So it is, therefore, better able to envelop your entire home with Wi-Fi.
There is a consensus that the Google Wifi router looks good and that it is a piece of hardware that one will not be ashamed to display at home especially for those into the interior design pursuit.
The Verge's Dan Seifert captured the rationale behind this particular view.
"Since mesh systems work best when they are out in the open and spread throughout your home, they should look somewhat nice," he said. "Each unit is a compact, unobtrusive cylinder that can be tucked away on a shelf or counter and doesn't look like a piece of computer equipment in the middle of your living room."
Other sources enthusiastically agree.
"The vast majority of people aren't going to buy a router that looks like a plastic tarantula taking a nap," Raymond Wong declared in Mashable post.
Writing for Business Insider, Antonio Villas-Boas provided a succinct statement to cap this aesthetics business.
"Since the Google Wifi units actually look good, and not like a tentacled robot, I didn't mind placing it somewhere where it's visible," Villas-Boas stated.
In terms of performance, it appears that Google Wifi is on par with similar products in the market. In Seifert's test, for instance, he found that it provides almost similar internet speeds to what Eero, another mesh router, can offer. He also noted that Orbi could beat these two systems but that it uses fewer components.
Elsewhere, the case is also the same.
"As a single unit or as a system of three units, the Google Wifi passed my 48-hour stress test with flying colors," CNET's Dong Ngo said. "The system also had excellent signal hand off, allowing you to walk around your house, seamlessly connecting from one unit to another without getting disconnected from the internet."
What You Will Love
Reviewers each have something to love about the Google Wifi. Aside from the aesthetics, the multitude agrees that Google has hit the sweet spot with the router's price. At $129, it is significantly cheaper than similar mesh routers like Eero ($499) and Orbi ($399).
Other notable value propositions include the setup.
"Setup is incredibly easy," Villas-Boas said. "You'll find a single card in the box with two easy steps."
Digital Trend's Ed Oswald has more to say about this feature.
"Everything is done through a companion app, which allows just about anyone to set it up successfully," he explained. "Maintenance of your network is automatic once it is set up, keeping the wireless network operating at peak performance."
Google is not exactly introducing a groundbreaking product in the Google Wifi. As has been previously cited, there are mesh routers that have beaten it to the market and these products are no shrinking violets in terms of performance either. The reviews have noted this point, along with the fact that mesh networks are pretty effective when it comes to network coverage in general.
The Google Wifi reviews, however, all agree that — while not the fastest — the router strikes a perfect balance between aesthetics, performance, coverage and, of course, price. This has even prompted some reviews to call it the best Wi-Fi system in the market today.