Google Wi-Fi: Google's Answer to the Home Router - Is it worth it? (Spoiler Alert: It is)


Google Wi-Fi. Google’s Answer to the Home Network.

Right now it did cost $99 but now it’s back up to $119-$129 cause the Amazon Prime day sale ended…

First off, it’s a pretty reasonable router. it has a lot of Basic goodies. it has an LED light around it

when the light is blue, that means it’s waiting to be connected. when the light is green, it means everything is ready to go, if the light is Amber, that means it has no connection to the internet and if the light is Red it means their is an error.

Here’s the screen in the settings

[edited for security]

Now for most of the tech users here, we only care about this part. “The Network and General” type things…

Here is the Advanced Settings Tab

  • DNS tab you can change it to Automatic, your ISP’s DNS and or a Custom One
  • WAN tab shows you your IP address and you have the option of setting it to DHCP Static or PPPoE
  • LAN tab, you have the option of changing your Router LAN address, your subnet mask, and your DHCP Address Pool
  • DHCP IP Reservations TAB - You can make DHPC IP Reservations
  • Port Forwarding: Self Explanatory
  • UPnP (Universal Plug and Play… devices can quickly discover each other on the network, you have the option of enabling this feature or not
  • NAT tab: you can set your router to be NAT or Bridge Mode: Bridge Mode is great if you bought the 3 pack Google Wi-Fi so you can connect the three routers as a Mesh Network. if you’re like Me and have just one router. you can set this to NAT.
  • IPV6 tab: Self Explanatory. you can enable this or disable it, if your ISP supports it.



would be nice to tinker with but this is for people that just want to get their networks setup quickly and fast. it has all the basic and intermediate goodies. advanced users (SECURITY CONCIOUS AND PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENICS) beware… if you like tinkering with this like a DD-WRT Router THIS IS NOT FOR YOU…

For the TL;DR People

  • Must be Setup with your Phone
  • Has Intermediate Security Features and gets regular firmware updates
  • LED Light Signals: Blue Light: (Ready to Be Connected) Green Light: (It’s working and Connected to your Network) Amber Light: (Everything is Connected but you have no connection to the internet. Red Light: There is an Error:
  • Brightness of the LED can be adjusted within the app.
  • No Way to Hide Your SSID like other Routers
  • Has Guest and Family Features (You can kick people and limit people’s network time)
  • You can control Your network Away from Home once you have the router completely setup.

hard pass


I like ubiquiti too much to switch but if I had to set up something for a family member I didn’t trust to maintain it this would be my first choice.


As has been said, this seems really nice for setting up for family members. I do however wonder what kinds of analytics are being sent from it. It would be of great use to Google to see areas where they could expand fiber to. There’s probably something about it deep in some user agreement somewhere.

You can turn them off from the app. The “Data it harvests” if you leave the analytical data setting and cloud setting features are the same like every app.

  • improve the device
  • how you compare to others
  • security features

I keep it off I have no reason to keep it on anyways

“Improving the device” always seems like a lame blanket statement to me. Same with comparing one to others, however it is a little more forthright.


I did forget to mention unlike other routers which separates the bands on the router to 2 different networks

  • Network1 - 2.4ghz
  • Network1_5ghz

This router doesn’t. It will choose the 5ghz band by default, and if you are not close to the router it will automatically choose the 2.4ghz band. Instead of having 2 different Wi-Fi networks.

I will mention, you used to be able to force the band you wanted to use but ever since the Oreo update, it does the same thing as the Google Router, it will default to the 5ghz band.

I normally get 220 down and 30 up on wired Ethernet. This

I get 190 down on 5ghz from my ShieldTV on WiFi

yeah, no router should ever call home for any reason. It’s a lan device for chrissakes

I could look it up if I have the time, I think it’s per mac address 2d histograms of data rates, error rates, retry rates over signal strength/airtime, but I’m not sure - could just be aggregates instead of per mac address, it’s been a while since I looked last. It’s generally not useful for ad targeting and ad personalization.

It’s still data I would rather not be available to Google or anyone Google cooperates with.

I’m taking the hyper-paranoid viewpoint, but signal strength over time for a specific device (MAC address) could be used to find where (radius from AP) that device is located within a house at specific times of the day. Of course I’m sure their user agreement doesn’t allow them to do that, but what fun is the hyper-paranoid viewpoint if we were to assume the respect of user agreements?

Maybe Google will start targeting me with ads for toilet paper when they notice my phone is in the restroom :thinking:

Certainly Reasonable.

I don’t think it’s per device signal strength over time, I think it’s just daily histograms which basically get munged together to produce radio calibration data that gets uploaded back into the wifi card. There’s also a limit to what kind of processing Qualcomm will let you do on the radio firmware which limits what kind of data would be useful, NDAs typically don’t get you access to that. Typically the first 3 bytes of mac address should be more than enough for to be able to detect regressions specific to certain brands of phones which is what most people care about.

Regarding toilet paper ads, you’d be surprised how typical human behavior can be. For example, if you prefer to use a certain app or a certain set of websites during your daily reading and you spend a certain amount of time per article or page and if there’s a likelyhood that folks would tap on a toilet paper ad that correlates to that, and if advertiser is willing to pay for that (they’re probably better off paying for shelf space than trying to outbid newspaper subscription ads for people sitting on a toilet) - you might get a toilet paper ad. My point is I’m pretty sure you don’t really need a mac address or precise location information. … Edit: I just realized it’d be super useful if I never run out of toilet paper, and that by writing about toilet paper ads I might just cause this website to be slightly more associated with it… oh well.

if you were hyper-paranoid about data, I would recommend you leave the Internet. you get advertisements for things you search for using anything. not just google.


Don’t like having your data harvested and mined? Leave the internet.
Don’t like being photographed in public? Never go outside where there might be security cameras.
Don’t like being stolen from? Throw away your material possessions.

Jokes aside, paranoia is relative. There’s a lack of paranoia which is the usual social media user. There’s paranoia (I hate to use that word because it’s so hyperbolic in this case. “Awareness” seems more fitting) which would be someone who doesn’t use/doesn’t have social media accounts, blocks ads and ad websites etc. Then there’s hyper-paranoia, which is the person who uses Qubes with a VM count in the double digits as their daily driver and hops from (self-hosted) VPN to VPN in random time intervals. For the hyper-paranoid and maybe even the forward-leaning paranoid normie, these could be considered legitimate concerns.

the amount of people that do that are horrendously miniscule. and if you feel the need to do that cause of paranoia. all I can do is feel sorry that you feel the need to do that…

Also second if you are that paranoid, why are you asking about a Google product knowing what they do? get a Linksys router and go install DD-WRT…

I made it clear this is not for advanced users… this is for people who want basic and intermediate functionality and features in their router. which IMO it does that well.

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I do hope you realize most of my comments were made in jest. I was just stating how, in theory, it could be a security concern. Of course the “hyper-paranoid” would treat any Google product like the boogieman, and of course the “paranoid” would take note of the expanded attack surface. That’s why in my original post I stated that it would be best for setting up for family members and such.

everything could be a security concern if you allow it to. even if you were thinking from a security conscious perspective, this would be the last product you should be looking at. in the settings tells you very well what is going to be collected (if you enable the setting) as for does it do more nefarious things… there is no evidence it does as far as we know.

but like I said this isn’t for that person. and I know you made the point, but I would recommend anyone who feels need to do those things look elsewhere.

Right, but there is a difference between the assumption of a security concern and the specific statement of a security concern.

Either way I think this is a weird non-argument as is common on the internet.

Having a data mining company responsible for all of my internet traffic on their own hardware? Sign me up for “no fricking way” please :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the review. I will certainly keep tjis router in mind if some of my less tech saavy friends/family need a router. Nice work.

And this is where it gets retarded. So are you telling me that i can’t login to the router using its IP? What if you don’t have any smartphone that can install the shitty app?

The only reason why they demand you to pair it with your phone is to spy on you even more. If that wasn’t the case then there would be an option to set it up just like any regular router.

It’s already bad enough when 7 out of every 10 websites you visit have google analytics installed. We really don’t need a router that will send a copy of every packet i send and receive to google’s data centre.