In my home environment, I have 48 wireless devices. From smart switches to computers, Chromecast and Apple TV spread all around. Just to name a few.
I have owned an Apple Airport Extreme gen 6th for years and never had an issue. However, after seeing in action at work some of the features of Google WIFI I decided to look into it deeper and end up buying it. Loving it.
Below there’s my experience and some notes, I hope it helps someone to decide.
The package looks and feels very nice. It gives in many ways that sense of care and attention that you typically experience with Apple products.
There’s a very user-friendly tool on their site that helps to decide how many “pods” you need for a good signal. In my case 2 would have been enough, however, I wanted to cover also the backyard and given that more pods form a mesh network I figured that at some point I can extend everywhere over my land (11K sqft)
As typical, you can use Android or iOS to configure the devices. I am an Apple guy so I used the iOS app which worked like a charm. At the bottom of each “pod” there’s a QR code that does all the job for you. If you have installed NEST webcams before the process is identically simple. You might struggle a bit to get the QR code in focus in low light but nothing that a weekend warrior can’t handle.
If you end up struggling too much with the QR code, the app’s team has thought of let you enter the number as well.
After this screen, you are literally taken as a baby step by step through the process. I am avoiding posting the screens because they are really self-explanatory.
There are a couple of kicks that was nice to see in action that is worth mentioning:
If you have other Google products, like Google Home or Chromecasts it will auto-detect and configure everything at its best with almost no intervention in most cases. it even runs a performance test to provide suggestions if needed.
Once the app is installed there are a few applets within the app that allow you to add additional behaviors to the routers. For me is a must to have a guest network and in the way, this system handles and configure it is the best I have seen. It works literally for any type of device. Even WINDOWS PHONE gen 2!!!
with a convenient local handler that responds to http://on.here for any client to go and get auto-configured. Meaning you don’t have to explain anything to your guests.
Perhaps the least favorite option from my children POV is the Family Pause :-)
I am particularly happy with the coverage, speed, feature set and how simple is to get up and running what behind the scene is quite a complicated mix of things to get right. The only feature is missing for me is the ability to set the IP base address as the default is set to 192.168.x.x and I would have preferred to keep Apple’s default which is 10.1.x.x. to avoid to reboot all clients. Beside this probably limited scenario this thing is good for its money and does more than a regular home user would expect.