Google has launched new WiFi routers simply called Google WiFi. The router will cost $129 for a single unit while a three-pack will cost $299. The device will be available for order in November in the US, with no word on an international release.
The WiFi device supports AC1200 wireless, simultaneous dual-band 2.4Ghz and 5GHz networks, and 2 gigabit LAN ports that can be configured as WAN. The device is primarily meant to be used more than one at a time (in a mesh-network), to provide WiFi coverage throughout the house. Installed devices can detect each other and optimally handle traffic sharing without any user configurations.
The device can be managed via a smartphone app, which allows users to set up parental controls and manage other settings. The app has some interesting features like the ability to ‘pause’ WiFi to kids’ devices, share passwords with guests, and prioritize devices on the network. The router itself requires minimal configuration, and automatically selects settings like the clearest channel and fastest band to a device.
Hardware specifications include a quad core CPU, 512 MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. The routers are circular and diminutive in size at 4.17 inch diameter and 2.7 inch height. The device is also Bluetooth Smart compatible.
This is not Google’s first foray into routers- the company had earlier released the OnHub router, which is more expensive at $199. While the mesh-networked WiFi might individually provide lower WiFi bandwidth than the OnHub, in a large home, three WiFi routers make more sense to provide more even coverage. Note that OnHub is compatible with WiFi.
Competition: Google’s WiFi is similar to eero WiFi, which also comes in packs of 1, 2 or 3. Eero’s offering is however more expensive at $199 for a single unit or $499 for 3 units and is otherwise comparable in capabilities.