Google first launched its new Google WiFi home network solution in the U.S last year, but it’s taken until August 31, 2017 for the tech giant to bring this super-smart and easy-to-use Wifi router to Singapore. Here, we cut through the jargons and technicalities to tell you why every family needs to upgrade their Wifi routers to Google Wifi.
Q1. What is Google Wifi?
Google Wifi is essentially a home router that’s designed to supply a stable WiFi connection to every corner of our home. It’s basically a similar system to using a Wi-Fi signal booster, but a lot more intelligent, stylish and offering some impressive control via the Google WiFi app.
Q2. How is Google Wifi different from our existing Wi-Fi router?
Google Wifi replaces our single router with multiple “points”, giving us an entirely new home Wi-Fi experience. Google Wifi points connect seamlessly to each other, so we can add as many Google Wifi units as we need (wherever we want–balcony, bathroom, study room, kitchen etc.) without compromising on Wi-Fi speed. Each Wi-Fi point acts as a router, ensuring super fast Wi-Fi in every room.
Q3. Doesn’t Singapore already have the fastest Wi-Fi speed around? Why do I need to upgrade to Google Wifi?
According to a 2017 report by Channel News Asia, Singapore has one of the fastest broadband Wi-Fi speeds in the world. But sadly, Wi-Fi speed and stability in our home can be limited by the following factors:
- Physical layout of the home: Pillars, beams, nooks and corners can block the Wi-Fi connectivity. Electrical signals and frequencies from other electrical equipments nearby may also adversely affect Wi-Fi signals too.
- Time of usage: If everyone in the family decides to use Wi-Fi all around the same time (e.g. Evening after dinner), a traditional Wi-Fi setup can limit the speed and stability of the Wi-Fi connection.
- Equipment: The reliability and efficacy of our Wi-Fi router greatly affects the speed and stability of the Wi-Fi signals sent.
Q4. With Google Wifi, how will my connectivity improve?
Traditional Wi-Fi routers are placed only at one location in the home and that’s where the signal is emitted. Using a single Wi-Fi router to send connectivity signal throughout the home is akin to depending only on one lightbulb to illuminate the entire home – the further you are from the source, the lower the intensity. With traditional Wi-Fi routers, we often experience weak connectivity at certain blind spots within the home. With Google Wifi, spotty Wi-Fi connectivity will be a thing of the past.
Apart from its stylish and compact features, Google Wifi routers use Mesh technology and Network Assist (an intelligent software that takes care of complex settings behind the scenes, so we can sit back and enjoy the Wi-Fi without having to fiddle with our router).With multiple Google Wifi points, Network Assist invisibly puts our device on the best point and fastest band so we can take our video calls (or Facetime) from the living room to the kitchen without losing signal.
Q5. Will traditional routers, repeaters and splitters work just as good?
No, repeaters and splitters are just distributing the same Wi-Fi signal from the router across different areas in the home. The signal will just get thinner and more static in strength. Google Wifi uses Mesh Technology which ensures strong and steady Wi-Fi signal wherever we are. It also allows users to control which device(s) has priority of the Wi-Fi signal and when to shut it down (if needed). In other words, Google Wifi gives users greater control over our OWN network. Here’s Google’s own video explaining how the Google WiFi router works:
Q6. What benefits will I enjoy with Google Wifi?
- Total control…anytime, anywhere: Google Wii gives a whole host of features that are can be controlled by the users / subscribers from the Google Wifi App at their fingertips anytime, anywhere. The features that can be controlled include:
- Control Family Time: Pause the Wi-Fi on devices or set a scheduled pause (schedule a regular Wi-Fi pause on our kids’ devices) for any device like at bed time or dinner time. We can still pause Wi-Fi in the moment, whenever needed, as well.
- Prioritize A Device: Prioritise which device gets priority in terms of faster streaming. E.g. Prioritise streaming of an important overseas video-conference work call to our device over the wife’s Korean drama marathon.
- See what is happening: We can check on what is happening to our network anytime anywhere. Check on which devices are logged into our network and how much bandwidth they are using. Great for enhancing our network security too!
- Steady and strong signals for any home configuration: A three-pack Google Wifi package currently on offer, covers up to an impressive 2700 sq. ft. / 251 sq. m (larger than average 5-room apartment) of steady coverage. With Google Wifi, we can be assured dead zones and areas with spotty Wi-Fi signals are a thing of the past.
- Easy to setup and manage: Not every household has an IT expert at home and even when we outsource, IT support don’t come cheap. The Google Wifi App walks you through the set up step-by-step. With a few simple instructions and a scan of the QR code, you’re all ready to go! See how simple it is…here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=100&v=z7PPYNs5Xao
- Check and manage OUR network with ease: Network security and management is something we home users are baffled with! But not with Google Wifi. From running a network check to creating a separate guest network, from adding a network manager to finding passwords etc. Google Wifi lets you own our network and take charge of it easily.
- Auto updates: Google Wifi updates itself with the latest patches without families having to do anything technical ensuring seamless and fast Wi-Fi throughout.
- 24/7 Google Support Agent: In the event that IT support is REALLY needed, Google is there to assist with a 24/7 Google Support Agent here: https://madeby.google.com/wifi/support/
- Stylish and Space –saving: Traditional Wi-Fi routers stick out like a sore thumb…literally. Their huge black antennas and cables are eye-sore in any home. Google Wifi units are small, stylish and in fact very inconspicuous. With no antennas sticking out and with only a dim moving LED light that can be controlled, it exudes futuristic style and can act even as a night light for the home!
Q7. Why is strong, steady Wi-Fi a necessity in our homes?
The way we use Wi-Fi has changed. Today, we have more devices that need strong Wi-Fi in more parts of our home. A single-router solution often just doesn’t cut it. Google Wifi represents an evolution—more Wifi points throughout our home that deliver a signal to all our devices. You’ll still need service from our ISP, as well as a modem—from there, Google Wifi will handle the rest. In our home, we depend on Wi-Fi for the following activities:
- Online learning that increasingly involves online video streaming: Whether you are a schooling child trying to pick up coding from an online tutorial or an adult learning to cook a dish via Youtube, online learning is prevalent in our lives these days.
- Working from home: With companies offering more family-friendly working arrangements like telecommuting, Wi-Fi is essential in ensuring that work gets done while trying to juggle family commitments. My wife was fortunate to be able to telecommute in her previous job.
- Home businesses: Response time to customers and suppliers is critical for any businesses. For home businesses, a strong and steady Wi-Fi connection is even more critical.
- In touch with family overseas: Whether it’s a working parent checking in on our kids when they return home from school or the kids saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to their grandparents worlds apart, Wi-Fi helps keep families in close contact with one another through online video chats. When I was away in USA on business trip, we depended on Facetime daily to stay in touch and even virtual shopping!
- Mobility solutions: With so many businesses and services going online, Wi-Fi helps to save time and energy from physically going out by doing everything virtually online. Especially helpful for parents with young kids who can’t leave their homes so readily or aged folks who may have mobility issues.
- Online trip planning: Online forums and blogs (like ours!) are very effective in helping families (like ours) plan a well-deserved and well-researched trip entirely online.
- Entertainment: With so many online portals offering quality shows or even ‘catch-up’ shows, families can spend time catching up on the latest TV or old movies from the comfort of our home. Saves time and costs too!
Q8. Ok, where can I get a Google Wifi and how many do I need?
Google Wifi is now available in Singapore in a set of 3 exclusive from Starhub at $0 upfront costs when users sign up for or renew selected StarHub Broadband or Hubbing all-in-one plans. Users can split the payment of the 3-pack set over 24 months at S$15 per month. Starhub will send their trained staff to help determine the best location to place the 3 Google Wifi routers to optimise our family’s Wi-Fi experience.
To know more about Google Wifi, please visit: https://madeby.google.com/wifi/ or http://www.starhub.com/personal/promotions/google-wifi.html