Tag Archives: Google Wifi

How the Nest Wifi team set up their home networks

The building I live in was built in 1912—and 100 years ago, nobody was thinking about Wi-Fi signals when building homes. So I’ve had to improvise. My fiancé and I have a Nest Wifi router set up in our living room, at the far end of our one-bedroom apartment. But even though our apartment is only 850 square feet, we’ve found having a Nest Wifi point gives us the signal boost we need, even down three stories to the building’s garage and backyard. We placed our Nest Wifi point in the kitchen, and since the device doubles as a smart speaker with the Google Assistant, I can listen to music and my favorite podcasts while I’m cooking dinner or doing the dishes. 


Every home is unique, and that’s why we designed the Nest Wifi system to be completely modular. While most homes up to 3,800 square feet will be covered by a Nest Wifi router and point, you can also get a three-pack consisting of a Nest Wifi router and two points for homes up to 5,400 square feet. You can even purchase a standalone Nest Wifi router for a smaller home, or a standalone Nest Wifi point to add to an existing network. Plus, Nest Wifi is backward compatible with Google Wifi, so you can easily upgrade your network. 


Nest Wifi is on shelves today at the Google Store, Amazon, Target, Best Buy and more retailers. Here’s how a few people behind Nest Wifi have used it to make the most of their home’s connectivity.


Pushkar Sharma, product manager

I live in a 1300-square-foot house with a large backyard. I have a Nest Wifi router in my garage, because that’s where our cable drops in. But one of the bedrooms behind the kitchen often drops to low speeds. I have now added a Wifi point in my daughter’s bedroom, and it extends our signal to all rooms and even the backyard. So now I can make Google Duo video calls on my phone to my parents while I sit outside. As a family, we love asking the Google Assistant on our Wifi point to answer questions or play Bollywood songs.


Shea Ritchie, product marketing manager

We live in a long, old, San Francisco apartment, with high ceilings and thick walls, and the cable box is in the living room, on one end of the apartment. Our Nest Wifi router sits in there next to the TV–we cut the cord last year, so good Wi-Fi is critical for watching our favorite shows and sports without constant buffering. My boyfriend works from home, so halfway down the hall in his office we have his work’s access point plugged into the Google Wifi point we’ve been using for the last few years. Without the Google Wifi point in the office, his work network wouldn’t be strong enough for him to actually get online. At the other end of the apartment, I keep the Nest Wifi point in Mist next to my bed so I can listen to guided meditation at night and the news every morning. We use the Google Home app to manage our network, share the guest network password and troubleshoot from anywhere. 


Melissa Dominguez, engineering manager

We live in a two-story house with a large backyard. We have the Nest Wifi router in the office, which is downstairs at the front of the house, and a Nest Wifi point in the master bedroom, which is upstairs at the back of the house. This gives us great coverage for the whole house and yard, access to the Assistant from the adjoining bathroom so I can ask about the weather while I get ready. Plus, I can enforce bedtime with Wi-Fi pause schedules and remind the kids to get out the door on time with a scheduled broadcast reminder. This helps the kids build good habits without constant nagging from their parents. 


Sanjay Noronha, product manager

We have a U-shaped house with stucco exterior walls—a big no-no for Wi-Fi signal. The Nest Wifi router is at the end of one of the legs of the “U.” We put a Nest Wifi point in the kitchen, which is at the opposite side. We spend most of our time in the kitchen, where having a Wifi point in plain view allows for a fast and robust signal where we need it the most. Even our garage door opener is Wi-Fi connected, so we can verify we didn’t forget to close it after we’ve left home. I’ve got Safesearch turned on for everyone so we don’t stumble upon explicit content, and we have Wi-Fi schedules set up for the kids.



Boost your home’s signal and style with Nest Wifi

Homes weren’t built for Wi-Fi, so when we introduced Google Wifi in 2016, we built it to work for any home. With Nest Wifi, we’re taking everything you love about the original and making it even better, with a powerful router and a Wifi point that includes the Google Assistant, bringing you more help at home.

Whole home coverage

The Nest Wifi system is actually two separate devices: The Nest Wifi router plugs directly into your modem, forming the basis for a strong and powerful home network, and the Nest Wifi point expands your coverage where you need it most. 

Nest Wifi is more powerful than Google Wifi, delivering up to two times the speed and up to 25 percent better coverage. A two pack can deliver coverage for a 3,800-square-foot home. The system is scalable, so you can add more points later (or buy a three pack to start with) to make sure you’re covered. And if you’ve already got a Google Wifi network, you can easily add Nest Wifi to it for additional coverage.

Simple setup and control in the Google Home App


App controls on Google Wifi

 You can manage your network in the Google Home app alongside your other supported connected devices.

Setting up Nest Wifi is easy. Plug it in and download and open the Google Home app, which will guide you through setup in minutes. Once you’re set up, you can manage your network in the app alongside your other supported connected devices.

The app makes it easy to share your Wi-Fi password with guests, prioritize devices (like when you’re on a video call), test the speed of your network, set up a guest network or change your password. Plus, if you have a Nest smart display like the Nest Hub Max, you can share the guest network and password right on the display—and scan the code with your phone to get online. 

You can also manage separate homes in the app. I’m the tech expert in my family, so I also manage my parents’ network. This way, when I get a call that the Wi-Fi isn’t working, I can quickly check what’s wrong or let them know if they need to call their internet provider. 

My sons are in middle and high school, so while I want them to go offline at certain times during the week, I don’t mind if they stay up later on weekends, playing video games or streaming their favorite shows. With Family Wi-Fi features in the Google Home app, I can easily set my sons’ devices on a Wi-Fi schedule, pause the Wi-Fi to their devices at any time and block adult content on their devices. 


Hands-free help with the Google Assistant


Introducing Nest Wifi

The Nest Wifi point also has a speaker with the Google Assistant, which means it can do everything that Nest Mini can do; it’s really two devices in one. We’ve even incorporated the same speaker as Nest Mini, so you can add it to a speaker group and rock out to your favorite playlist throughout the house. 

And if you’re like me and sometimes have trouble getting your kids’ attention, just say “Hey Google, pause the Wi-Fi for Daniel.” You can also use the Assistant to get more info about your Wi-Fi network. Just say, “Hey Google, what’s my internet speed?”


Designed for your home 

Nest Wifi Point

Many routers are ugly, which means they get hidden in a closet or cabinet, where the signal is blocked and can be reduced by up to 50 percent. Nest Wifi has a beautiful design with soft, rounded edges and unobtrusive lighting. It’s meant to be placed out in the open, where it’ll perform at its best. And Nest Wifi points come in three colors, Snow, Sand and Mist, all of which will naturally blend into your home. 

Nest Wifi is built using sustainable materials. The router enclosure is made from 45 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, and the point enclosure is made from 40 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. 


Smart home support 

We also built the Nest Wifi system to provide the foundation for your future smart home devices. It has local home connectivity, which means that some devices can connect directly to the system without needing a hub, so you can easily set up the most popular lights and plugs right from the Home app. We’ll also enable Thread capabilities in the coming months to deliver secure connectivity for smart home devices like door and motion sensors, door locks and more. You’ll start seeing these devices roll out from partners in 2020.

Nest Wifi will be available in eight global markets in 2019. In the U.S., you can preorder today and Nest Wifi will be on sale on November 4. You can get a two pack with one router and one point for $269, or a three pack with one router and two points for $349 at the Google Store, Target, Best Buy and more retailers. 


5 tips to make your home Wi-Fi even better

These days, access to a reliable Wi-Fi signal can feel as crucial as having basic electricity or plumbing. In fact, a recent study conducted by Kelton Research and commissioned by Google found that 28 percent of people don’t think they could last a single day without Wi-Fi. But in that same study, a whopping 81 percent of people said they have experienced issues with their Wi-Fi at home. So why is something so essential considered such a hassle?

Luckily, there are some simple strategies to maximize your home Wi-Fi network to avoid slow loading times or grumbling when you’re trying to get online. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your Wi-Fi.

Place your router as centrally as possible. 

Wi-Fi signals get weaker the farther away you go from your router, so if you keep your router by the front door, your videos might load more slowly if you’re trying to watch them by the back door. So if you can, place your router as centrally as possible within your home, though this may not always be possible depending on where your internet provider brings in the connection. And if you don’t mind your router sitting on the counter top, keep it out in the open. If you can avoid hiding it by a bookcase or filing cabinet, you can really help boost your Wi-Fi signal.

Consider a mesh network. 

A mesh network is a group of routers that wirelessly communicate with each other to create a single, connected Wi-Fi network over a large area. It allows you to have multiple sources of powerful Wi-Fi throughout your home, not just one from the main router. Having a mesh network solves the problem of having the router just relegated to a corner in the house. We created Google Wifi as a mesh system because having multiple points work together to create a seamless single network provides consistently strong coverage for all connected devices in every room of the house. 

Make sure your router is up to date. 

If your existing router is more than three or four years old, check to make sure it supports 5GHz Wi-Fi signals. Some older routers only support 2.4GHz signals, which can make your devices much slower. Think of it as having a car that isn’t fast enough to drive on the freeway. Upgrade your router to at least an 802.11ac system so you can also use 5GHz frequencies, which are like the autobahn of Wi-Fi. (There are more lanes, and higher speed limits.) 

Always, always make your network password-protected. 

Having an “open network” without a password might seem convenient, since there’s no need to remember a complicated password. But if you do that, anyone even driving by your home could join your Wi-Fi network and compromise your network, devices and data by accessing your drives or slowing down your network. Choose a strong password that’s tough for anyone to guess, but easy for you to remember. 

Create a separate Wi-Fi network for guests. 

If you have kids at home, or just get a lot of guests, chances are you’ve handed out your Wi-Fi password a lot. Setting up a guest network creates a second Wi-Fi network in your home so your guests can have a great experience while your own devices stay secure and private. 

Ask a Techspert: How does Wi-Fi actually work?

Editor’s Note: Do you ever feel like a fish out of water? Try being a tech novice and talking to an engineer at a place like Google. Ask a Techspert is a series on the Keyword asking Googler experts to explain complicated technology for the rest of us. This isn’t meant to be comprehensive, but just enough to make you sound smart at a dinner party. 

How do you define a best friend?  Is it that someone who understands your needs? Or maybe it’s the person who is there through your ups and downs. Or, perhaps, does it require a special ability to allow your electronic devices to connect to the web without cords? 

While there aren’t many people who immediately consider wireless routers their bestie, according to a recent study commissioned by Google and conducted by Kelton Research, 57 percent of respondents say their Wi-Fi is like their best friend. In fact, 25 percent compared Wi-Fi to their significant other, and 68 percent said they’d be lonelier without Wi-Fi. And respondents said they’d rather suffer annoying situations like long lines at the DMV than deal with spotty Wi-Fi connections. 

Certainly, Wi-Fi is part of our daily lives, but how does it actually work? For this edition of “Ask A Techspert,” I spoke with Sanjay Noronha, a product manager at Google Nest and our resident expert on Wi-Fi and routers, to learn more about how the technology behind Wi-Fi works and about the future of home networks.

How does Wi-Fi even work? 

“It’s like listening to the radio, but two-way. Instead of just receiving sound like we do with AM or FM, Wi-Fi also lets you send data, like an email or a post to social media,” Sanjay told me. “Wi-Fi sends the data over radio waves quickly and reliably so that the thing you’re trying to do, or video you’re trying to stream, or game you’re trying to play, happens in a seamless way so you’re not stuck to your wall with an ethernet cable.” 

Wi-Fi operates on 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio frequencies. Think of those numbers like tuning your car to 97.9 FM to hear your favorite station. Except you don’t actually need to set anything yourself. Your Wi-Fi router decides which radio station to put your devices on so you can watch YouTube videos on your smartphone or take a video call while moving around your house. Multiple Wi-Fi networks can exist on the same frequencies, which is why you might see your neighbors’ networks when you try to connect on your device. (And respondents to our survey know this well: 13 percent said they have tried to connect to another network in their area, and five percent have asked their neighbors if they could tap into their Wi-Fi.)

Why does my Wi-Fi slow down at certain times? 

The overwhelming majority (81 percent) of router users in our survey have experienced issues with their home Wi-Fi. Among people who experience issues, half reported dealing with a slow connection, and 43 percent report slower speeds during certain times of day. 

I live in New York City and sometimes, particularly at night, my Wi-Fi gets particularly slow. And that’s because other New Yorkers are trying to stream their favorite TV shows, too. “That’s Wi-Fi congestion,” Sanjay told me. “If you have multiple Wi-Fi networks operating at once in the same area, they’re all using the same frequency ranges.” 

But if you use Google Wifi, there’s a way to avoid that problem. Wi-Fi was originally built for only 2.4 GHz, then newer Wi-Fi technology also added 5 GHz channels.  (If you see a wireless network with the number 5 at the end, that’s what that means.) That means you sometimes may have to pick which one to connect to when you’re online. But with Google Wifi, the experience is simplified. Users just connect to one network and are automatically moved between channels with a technology called “band steering.” Google Wifi also seamlessly selects the Wi-Fi frequencies it uses,  depending on the congestion, so you can binge-watch without interruption. 

How come some parts of my home get better Wi-Fi? 

According to Sanjay, that depends on your router. “A single router is like a lightbulb,” he says, noting a lightbulb has a limited range of light, and a router has a limited range of signal. “Just like you have multiple lightbulbs throughout your house, we want to make it easy for you to put in multiple routers.” 

Google Wifi is “mesh technology,” and it enables you to get better Wi-Fi by putting additional Wi-Fi routers throughout your home. So it’s like having multiple lightbulbs in your house, instead of expecting one lightbulb by your front door to illuminate your attic. Having a mesh system helps spread Wi-Fi signals throughout your home, wherever you’re using Wi-Fi. 

“Even though Wi-Fi has been around for many years, many people still experience Wi-Fi that cuts out,” Sanjay says. “We’re applying our years of experience to make Wi-Fi even more accessible everywhere in your home, not just in the room with the router.” 

Wi-Fi survey

Even though Wi-Fi might be like your best friend, some people have an odd way of showing it. According to our study, router users go to great lengths to hide their routers. Over two in five router users confess they’ve attempted to hide their networking device because of its appearance. So, we designed Google Wifi to look different from a traditional router. Instead of clunky cords and external antennas, Google Wifi is sleek and compact, so you may not mind having it hang out on you counter or shelf for the best connection possible. That way  you can hang out with your best friend, anywhere in the house, without worrying about making the place look neat. 

Google Wifi’s Network Check now tests multiple device connections

Wi-Fi is a necessity for tons of connected devices in our homes. And when it isn’t working the way you expect, it can be a bit of a black box to troubleshoot. Google Wifi’s Network Check technology has always let you measure the speed of your internet connection and the quality of the network connection between your Google Wifi access points (if you have more than one). But what about that new smart TV in the bedroom that’s constantly buffering? Or your outdoor security camera with a flaky connection?


Starting today, we’re rolling out a new feature to Google Wifi that lets you measure how each individual device is performing on your Wi-Fi network. Knowing Wi-Fi coverage is poor in an area of your home can help you pinpoint the exact bottleneck when you notice a connectivity slowdown. Then, you’ll know to move your Google Wifi point closer to that device or even move the device itself for a stronger connection.

Network Check update

In the past month alone, we saw an average of 18 connected devices on each Google Wifi network, globally. With so many devices on your network, we want to make sure you have a way to know each device has the best connection possible, and that your home Wi-Fi is doing its job.


This update to our Network Check technology will be available in the coming weeks to all Google Wifi users around the world—just open the Google Wifi app to get started. Dead zones be gone!

Help keep kids safe online with Site Blocking from Google Wifi

Being a parent in today’s connected world can be tough. You want to give your kids the ability to learn and explore across the digital universe, but worry they might stumble upon inappropriate content along the way.


With Site Blocking—the latest addition to Google Wifi's family controls—we're removing some of the worry. Site Blocking allows you to block access to more than 8 million non-kid-friendly websites websites on any device in your home—all with a few taps in the Google Wifi app.

wifi site blocking

Site Blocking uses the best of Google’s SafeSearch technology to protect your family. SafeSearch was created in 2009 to help filter explicit content from your Google Search results, and now we’ve worked with the SafeSearch team to apply some of their technology to Google Wifi. Because SafeSearch is constantly crawling the web for new sites, the list of explicit sites blocked by Wifi’s family controls will automatically be updated in real time.


Site Blocking joins an existing set of Family Wi-Fi controls and will be available over the next day to all Google Wifi users around the world—just open the Google Wifi app to get started. Peace of mind is only a few taps away.


Canada, meet Google Wifi

Nothing is more annoying than losing your Wi-Fi connection when binge watching your favourite TV show or video chatting in a business meeting. From spotty connections to dropped signals, leave your Wi-Fi troubles behind with the help of Google Wifi, launching today in Canada. Google Wifi is a new kind of home Wi-Fi system that works with your modem and internet provider to give you strong, reliable coverage, in every room.
Traditional Wi-Fi routers aren’t always built to support the increasing number of devices we use or high bandwidth activities like gaming or watching videos. Google Wifi is different. It’s a connected system that replaces your current router and brings everything you love about Google -- smarts, security and simplicity -- to home Wi-Fi.

Strong, reliable coverage
Google Wifi uses a technology called mesh Wi-Fi. Within our mesh network, each Google Wifi point creates a high-powered connection, and the different Wifi points work together to determine the best path for your data. The result is Wi-Fi coverage even in hard-to reach areas, not just right next to the router.*

Keeps itself fast 
Most of us don’t want to spend time tweaking complex settings or managing our Wi-Fi network. Google Wifi is smart and automatically places your devices on the clearest channel and optimal Wi-Fi band, so the entire family can keep doing what they love without missing a beat. And as you roam around your house, our built-in Network Assist software will seamlessly transition your device between the Google Wifi system points in real time, to help you avoid dead spots and delays. Google Wifi is an expandable system, so if you have a larger home, you can simply add Google Wifi points.* They connect to one another to spread a strong network signal to every room.

A simple way to control your network
To make sure you’re always in control, Google Wifi comes with an app, available on Android and iOS*, that lets you do things like pause Wi-Fi on kids’ devices (or create recurring pauses for dinnertime or homework) and is built to help keep your network safe and secure. It also shows you which devices are connected and how much bandwidth they’re using and lets you prioritize devices within your network so you can stream that latest episode uninterrupted.

Google Wifi will be available in Canada on April 28th as a 1-pack for $179 and a 3-pack for $439 from the Google Store, Best Buy Canada, Staples Canada and Walmart Canada, with more retailers coming soon.

Find out more about Google Wifi here.



Google Wifi now makes scheduling internet time easier

From binge-watching your favorite TV shows with Chromecast, to searching online for a cookie dough recipe for a night in, having great Wi-Fi at home helps with special everyday moments. But as we all know, sometimes these moments can turn into hours spent watching videos or browsing photos.

That’s why we built Scheduled Pause, a new feature in Google Wifi that lets you automatically pause the internet for everyday events like “Bedtime” to help wind down at the end of the day, or have a daily “Homework” schedule so your kids can focus before dinner.

google_wifiGif.gif

The idea behind Scheduled Pause started a year ago. While exploring how to best create tools for families, I noticed that I was having trouble falling asleep. I’d check emails and surf the web late into the night. Experimenting with options, I started using a timer on my computer to turn the internet off at 11 p.m. The first night was a shock, but after a few nights I was ready to shut down earlier. And I was more refreshed and rejuvenated in the morning.

As I started talking to more people, in and outside of Google, I found that screen time was a common challenge for parents—from getting kids to put down their favorite game to struggling to have dinner without eyes glued to devices.

We hope Scheduled Pause helps you and your family create time for everyone to be more present and enjoy everyday moments.

Google Wifi now makes scheduling internet time easier

From binge-watching your favorite TV shows with Chromecast, to searching online for a cookie dough recipe for a night in, having great Wi-Fi at home helps with special everyday moments. But as we all know, sometimes these moments can turn into hours spent watching videos or browsing photos.

That’s why we built Scheduled Pause, a new feature in Google Wifi that lets you automatically pause the Internet for everyday events like “Bedtime” to help wind down at the end of the day, or have a daily “Homework” schedule so your kids can focus before dinner.

google_wifiGif.gif

The idea behind Scheduled Pause started a year ago. While exploring how to best create tools for families, I noticed that I was having trouble falling asleep. I’d check emails and surf the web late into the night. Experimenting with options, I started using a timer on my computer to turn the internet off at 11 p.m. The first night was a shock, but after a few nights I was ready to shut down earlier. And I was more refreshed and rejuvenated in the morning.

As I started talking to more people, in and outside of Google, I found that screen time was a common challenge for parents—from getting kids to put down their favorite game to struggling to have dinner without eyes glued to devices.

We hope Scheduled Pause helps you and your family create time for everyone to be more present and enjoy everyday moments.

Google Wifi now makes scheduling internet time easier

From binge-watching your favorite TV shows with Chromecast, to searching online for a cookie dough recipe for a night in, having great Wi-Fi at home helps with special everyday moments. But as we all know, sometimes these moments can turn into hours spent watching videos or browsing photos.

That’s why we built Scheduled Pause, a new feature in Google Wifi that lets you automatically pause the internet for everyday events like “Bedtime” to help wind down at the end of the day, or have a daily “Homework” schedule so your kids can focus before dinner.

google_wifiGif.gif

The idea behind Scheduled Pause started a year ago. While exploring how to best create tools for families, I noticed that I was having trouble falling asleep. I’d check emails and surf the web late into the night. Experimenting with options, I started using a timer on my computer to turn the internet off at 11 p.m. The first night was a shock, but after a few nights I was ready to shut down earlier. And I was more refreshed and rejuvenated in the morning.

As I started talking to more people, in and outside of Google, I found that screen time was a common challenge for parents—from getting kids to put down their favorite game to struggling to have dinner without eyes glued to devices.

We hope Scheduled Pause helps you and your family create time for everyone to be more present and enjoy everyday moments.