Mesh networking for dummies
CONCLUSION This is the easiest mesh networking system you will ever use.
Each Google Wi node is a compact white plastic cylinder that measures 10.6mm wide and stands at 6.8cm. Underneath each node are two Gigabit Ethernet ports, which can operate in WAN or LAN modes, and a single USB Type-C port for power.
It is super compact and minimalistic in design. It is also perfect for anyone who has an aversion to setting up routers. Simply unpack Google Wi, download the free Google Wi app (Android and iOS), follow the onscreen instructions, and you will have a mesh network setup within minutes. It is almost unbelievably simple.
Everything is then controlled and managed using the app; there is no traditional web interface. There are, however, some tradeoffs. Google Wi is quite basic in terms of features. Users can change their Wi-Fi passwords, create a Wi-Fi network for guests, and manage family settings so that you, for example, turn o the children’s devices every night so that they can concentrate on their homework.
Beyond that, there’s not much else. You can prioritize devices and tweak DNS and port forwarding settings, but there is no support for VPN or Dynamic DNS. You cannot even manually assign devices to the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands - Google Wi takes care of that for you.
Performance isn’t Google Wi’s strongest suit either. In our tests, we found that transfer speeds started to dip quite drastically past ve meters from the node. But if you keep within ve meters, Google Wi can actually deliver speeds of around 350Mbps. At ten meters, we only managed around 50Mbps. Nevertheless, you should still be able to comfortably surf the web and watch HD clips on YouTube.
What this means is that even though it expands Wi-Fi coverage through its mesh networking capability, the extent to which it is expanded can be quite limited. Obviously, this depends very much on your home layout and environment, but it is worth keeping this thought in mind.
Ultimately, Google Wi is a neat Wi-Fi mesh networking system for casual users whose main priority is to have Wi-Fi coverage around the house. Oh, it’s also considerably less pricey than its rivals, so there’s that too.
Everything is controlled and managed using the Google Wi app.