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Home WiFi

Internet at home was already critical before the pandemic struck. Now, it is more important than ever.

Whether it is a video call, chatting with co-workers on an instant messenger app, or streaming a TV show or movie, our home networks are asked to do much heavier lifting these days.

Unlike our work office, though, there is generally no IT guy or gal at your home to troubleshoot issues when they arise: devices not able to connect to WiFi, web pages not loading, slow loading or buffering on videos - the list of issues could go on for some time.

When it comes to IT and networking, there can be some pretty complicated solutions to issues like this. The problem is that for a home or home office, the budget for your setup may be tight.

There are a lot of good home WiFi solutions on the market these days, and I’m sure it would be easy to find good things to say about a lot of them. However, I wanted to take this post to explain one of my favorites to deploy for friends and family, with some of the reasons why I like it.

Google WiFi was first introduced by Google in 2016. I had one of these units for a couple of years, and it was so reliable I got bored with it! For an IT pro, that is a problem, but for those of you at home, that is the kind of reliability you want. In 2020, Google refreshed their Google WiFi unit with a faster processor and various other upgrades, making a good product even better.

As you can see in the photo above, the Google WiFi is understated and sleek. Unlike a lot of other routers out there, this one will likely even pass inspection by your significant other if it is placed out in a living room area.

Despite the understated looks, Google WiFi performs very well in most home situations. One great feature is the ability to “grow” your network if you have dead spots or multiple floors in your home. Each unit can cover about 1,500 square feet. If you have more square footage than that, it is easy to add a second, third, or even fifth WiFi unit to your mesh network. The main unit plugs into your Internet modem via Ethernet, but the remaining units only need power and need to be within range of the main unit to spread the wireless network further throughout a home. In testing, our main floor at home is about 1,300 square feet. I have the WiFi unit in one extreme corner of the house, and even when I moved to the far opposite corner of the house, I was still able to get a good connection on my iPhone 12 Pro Max. This mesh network setup allows for expanding a home wireless network without having to run cable through floors, walls, or crawlspaces.

Google WiFi is said to be able to handle about 100 wireless devices. Although we find ourselves with more Internet-connected devices each year, this leaves plenty of performance for most homes these days.

If you find yourself moving around the house while on a call or while streaming your favorite show, Google WiFi does an excellent job of “handing off” the connection between the various units (or “access points”), so you won’t experience drops or buffering even if you have to move to a different part of the houses.

At home, we have a 450Mbps Internet service, and the Google WiFi was easily able to fully saturate that connection while in the same room as the access point. Google WiFi is also smart enough to seamlessly switch your devices between a 2.4Ghz connection (longer ranger but slower throughput) and 5Ghz (shorter range but faster throughput). It does all of this in the background without any intervention.

Updates and patches for Google WiFi are also handled automatically in the background, so you are always rocking the latest version of the underlying software, helping to ensure better security on your network. These updates also offer better features as newer versions of the software roll out.

Google WiFi is an excellent option for home users with basic Internet and networking needs. While it does not support more advanced networking features, most home users don’t require these features and will be well-served by a Google WiFi mesh system.

If you have questions about your specific home setup, feel free to reach out, and TechNellogic will be happy to recommend a solution that would work best for you! Happy surfing!

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