While our house isn’t particularly large, there were quite a few wireless dead zones with our previous setup. For several months now, we’ve been patching it with a Linksys wireless extender that we move around the house to extend the network in a single direction. That had a few drawbacks, and the signal wasn’t too strong to begin with, but it worked okay.
Out with the old, and in with the new.
4x Google Wifi routers + 1x Cisco 8-port Gigabit switch
I’ve now picked up a three-pack and a one-pack of Google Wifi devices, after having it recommended to me by some coworkers in my software development job (and a Boxing Week sale at BestBuy Canada). The internet comes in from the basement, so I figured that one on each floor (roughly in a vertical line) and a fourth near the deck (with rough line of sight to the middle one) would provide optimal coverage. Each Google Wifi device can only drive a single wired device, so I opened a Cisco gigabit switch that I purchased several years ago to increase that to seven.
Setup was quite easy – just plug the first one in and follow the directions on the Google Wifi app. One step will ask you how many more hotspots you have, excluding the one connected to the internet modem. I answered three, so it asked me to set them up one at a time. I needed to scan the QR code on the first of the three pack, and the QR code on the fourth (which came from the one-pack).
Yeah, I totally need to clean up these wires…
… some day.
When it was all done, everything had internet except the wired devices; that was automatically resolved by the Windows networking troubleshooter, though, so it wasn’t really a problem. Now, as I walk around the house, I see the Wi-Fi drop for an instant (seems like literally a second or two) and reconnect as it chooses a new access point. I suppose this could be annoying if you’re on a Skype chat and walking from room-to-room. The wired devices are getting the full 125/10 that my internet provides, so that’s good.
One interesting note is that, while I have the option to prioritize devices using my phone, there doesn’t seem to be a “permanently prioritize this device until further notice” option. All I can select is one hour, two hours, or four hours. Seems like an odd omission, but I almost never use prioritization in real-world scenarios anyway.
Interesting… I have been
Interesting… I have been toying with the idea to get Google WiFi for awhile but I have seen some reviews showing lower then expected network file transfer speeds.
Does it allow you to do a 5 Ghz, 2.4ghz and a guest network??
Yes. Both 5 and 2.4 bands
Yes. Both 5 and 2.4 bands are on the same SSID. The guest network is also both bands. You can optionally allow access to specific devices on your main network to the guest network (like a printer).
The downsides are limited configuration. There’s really no QoS (except the previously mentioned temporary prioritization) and no settings like IGMP mulicast. But I’ve been using the Google OnHubs (previous hardware before the Google Wifis) for almost 2 years and have no complaints. I’ve set them up at my parents’ and sister’s.
All configuration is via an Android or iOS app — no web interface. That makes is handy to monitor remotely.
I’m not too concerned about
I'm not too concerned about network speed here. I just wanted something that had good coverage for any level of YouTube or Netflix, and was easy to setup.
Nice write up thank you. It
Nice write up thank you. It is good to see devices like these on the market to make life a bit easier when it comes to networking. My only gripe is why most new devices now days either look like hockey pucks…lol
Praise Scott Michaud and his
Praise Scott Michaud and his amazing article [/`.`]/