How Google Wifi Works for Home, Small-Business Networks

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How Google Wifi Works for Home, Small-Business Networks

One of Google's most important announcements at its Oct. 4 media briefing just may have been Google Wifi. Here's why it could be an important buy both for homes and small businesses.

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It's an Expandable Wireless System

Each person's Google Wifi setup will depend upon the size of the space. A single Google Wifi unit can cover between 500 and 1,500 square feet, while three units can cover between 3,000 and 4,500 square feet. Google will sell units individually, as well as in packs of three.

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It Delivers the Power of Mesh Networking

Google Wifi uses mesh wireless to deliver its access. The feature means each Google Wifi point creates a high-powered connection and can be linked to work together and determine the most effective way to deliver access. Mesh networks are most commonly used in commercial installations, making their inclusion in Google Wifi a welcome one.

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It's All About Simple Setup

Google has said that Wifi will make it as easy as possible for users to set up the devices. Once the Google Wifi points are plugged in, these units do much of the hard work automatically, including tweaking settings, delivering faster data throughput to certain points and more. They also can change wireless bands when one becomes too crowded. Such simplicity means a quicker setup and less time worrying about connectivity.

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Control WiFi From a Mobile Device

Like the OnHub routers, Google Wifi can be fully controlled from a mobile app running on iOS and Android. Using the app, users can name their networks, see who's connected at any time and view diagnostics information when things aren't working right. Users also can choose to prioritize certain connections so individual devices are always offered the best internet access.

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Decide Who Can Access the Network

At any time, Google Wifi's mobile app will let administrators decide who can access the network and who should be blacklisted. In addition, the technology includes a pause feature to temporarily stop a device from accessing the internet. Google says the pause could be especially useful when parents want to disconnect their children at bedtime or dinnertime.

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Google Thought About Security

Google has bundled security features in Wifi. The points, for instance, come with verified boot and automatic updates in the event of a security concern. The 802.11ac-ready Wifi also supports WPA2-PSK and has an Infineon SLB 9615 trusted platform module for encryption.

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Small Businesses Can Use Google Wifi

Although Google's focus appears to be on the home with Wifi, it has its place in small-business settings. Google Wifi, for instance, could be used to cover a small office, and access points could be placed in far reaches that other consumer routers just can't touch. And with the security features built in, Google Wifi could deliver the encryption and defenses small-business users are looking for.

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No Need to Manually Connect to Different Access Points

In keeping with its simplicity narrative, Google says users' connections to the Wifi network will automatically switch to other Wifi points as they move around a space. That means users won't need to choose the point they want to connect to manually and should be able to get a steady internet connection regardless of where they go in a house or small office.

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Network Assist Could Be an Important Feature

Network Assist could be the secret to getting the best Google Wifi experience. With Network Assist, Google Wifi will continue to analyze connectivity and speeds and give users tips on where to place points around a space to get the fastest speeds. Network Assist also analyzes usage and informs users when it might be time to upgrade their internet plan with their ISP.

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How to Buy Google Wifi (and How Much)

Expecting strong demand, Google is currently accepting applications for prospective buyers to sign up for its waitlist. The company says Google Wifi will be available for preorder in the United States in November, and will be available at the Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart. A single Google Wifi point will cost $129, and the three-pack will retail for $299.

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