Google Wifi – Find Coverage

Coverage problems are number one in terms of Wi-Fi annoyances. A WiFi mesh system like Google Wifi tries to solve these complaints by adding extra WiFi points. Will we get coverage throughout the house with Google Wifi?

Google Wifi

Price: € 359,-

Router connections: WAN connection (gigabit), gigabit network connection, usb-c

Wireless Node Connections: 2x gigabit network connection, usb-c

Wireless: 802.11b/g/n/ac AC1200 (two antennas per frequency, maximum 866 Mbit/s)

Dimensions: 10.6 (diameter) x 6.9 cm

App: Android or iOS


6 Score 60

  • Pros
  • Compact nodes
  • Clear app
  • Connect wired
  • Negatives
  • Limited adjustable
  • No access point mode

Google Wifi is a WiFi mesh system that is sold in the Netherlands in a set consisting of three WiFi access points. The WiFi points as Google calls them are very compact with a diameter of 10.6 cm and a height of 6.9 cm. In terms of size, they can best be compared with TP-Links Deco M5 and a lot smaller than the nodes of, for example, Netgear Orbi or Linksys Velop. At the bottom, each node contains two network connections that are invisible when you place the WiFi point. Power is provided by a USB-C adapter. This connection is also invisibly concealed, so that Google Wifi looks very nice.

The installation of Google Wifi is very simple and is done entirely via the accompanying app that is available for Android and iOS. You connect one of the nodes to your router or wired network and the voltage adapter. Before you can start the installation in the app, you need to sign in with your Google account. According to Google, Google Wifi does not track surfing behavior. You then need to scan a QR code on the bottom of the node, after which you will be guided through the installation procedure. You can indicate where the Wi-Fi point is located and choose the name for your wireless network. Adding the other two WiFi points is also very easy and takes almost no time. The extra WiFi points are automatically found by the app and linked to the mesh network.

Again Qualcomm

Like the other WiFi mesh systems we tested, Google Wifi is based on Qualcomm's IPQ4019. This SoC also forms the basis for the previously tested mesh systems from Netgear, Linksys and TP-Link. Like TP-Link, Google chooses not to add an extra radio for communication between the nodes. So your clients and the nodes use the same radios. The SoC contains one 2.4 GHz radio and one 5 GHz radio, each with two data streams with a theoretical speed of 400 and 866 Mbit/s or AC1300. Google also chooses to stick to the AC1200 designation. In practice, AC1200 and AC1300 are the same. Technically speaking, Google Wifi is the same as TP-Links previously tested Deco M5.

In addition to wireless, the WiFi points can also be connected wired. Although a wired connection may undermine the great advantage of a mesh system a bit, it allows you to use the WiFi points flexibly. A wired Wi-Fi access point is expected to be faster than a wirelessly connected Wi-Fi point.

As a mesh system no router

You can only use Google Wifi as a router, it is not possible to use Google Wifi as a supplement to your own router. Technically, this comment is not entirely correct, because you can set Google Wifi as an access point if you only work with one node. But you probably don't buy a mesh system for that. So if you hang Google Wifi behind another router to which you also have (wired) equipment connected, you work with two separate networks. It is therefore best to use Google Wifi as the basis for your entire home network. In addition to the WAN connection, the node that you use as a router has one lan connection. So you quickly need a switch if you want to connect multiple devices wired to your network.

Manage through the app

You also use the app with which you install Google Wifi to manage the system. Google Wifi does not have a web interface. A web page is shown when you surf to the router's IP address, but that page only shows a reference to the app. The app consists of three tabs. The first tab contains status messages and lets you know if the system is functioning properly. The second tab gives you access to the information about the Wi-Fi points and clients, while the third tab takes you to the settings. The information about the system gives you access to a test with which you can test whether the mesh network is functioning properly.

In terms of wifi, Google Wifi offers few settings and you can not set anything except the network name and password. The same ssid is used for both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Google Wifi itself determines the channels used. Band and client steering support means clients need to connect to the best frequency and Wi-Fi point. In practice, switching between the different Wi-Fi access points works fine. It is not possible to choose the IP range for the system yourself. However, it is possible to reserve IP addresses and set up a DNS server. By default, Google's DNS server is used. You will find in the settings the possibility to choose between NAT mode or bridge mode, but this is only possible if you only use one access point. If you use Google Wifi as a mesh system, only NAT mode is possible.

The settings also give you access to Family Wi-Fi with which you can pause the use for devices of your choice or groups of devices. Handy for not giving your children internet access in the evening. Furthermore, Google Wifi contains a built-in filter based on Google's SafeSearch that can prevent you from viewing websites with content that is harmful to children. You can choose for which devices SafeSearch is active.


Like previous WiFi mesh systems, we tested Google WiFi across three floors in two scenarios. The first scenario is the so-called star scenario in which the wired node (the router) is located on the middle floor and the wirelessly connected nodes are located in the attic and ground floor. While this scenario generally provides the best performance, our second scenario, which we call the mesh scenario, is likely to be more in line with real life. Here we place the wired router on the ground floor, while a wireless access point is placed on the first floor and attic.

In the star scenario we achieve a speed of 326 Mbit/s on the middle floor, while on the ground floor and attic we achieve 130 and 126 Mbit/s respectively. In the mesh scenario, we achieve 320 Mbit/s on the ground floor, 148 Mbit/s on the first floor and 77 Mbit/s in the attic. As we saw with previous mesh systems, Google Wifi also performs best in the star scenario. The performance that Google Wifi achieves is the least good of the systems we tested. The technically comparable Doco M5 from TP-Link achieves better results.

In the mesh scenario, we also wired the node in the attic to the system, then we achieved about 448 Mbit/s. That's a great score. In addition, you can make a mix between wireless and wired nodes, with which Google Wifi can be used flexibly.


In terms of design and user-friendliness, Google Wifi is a very accessible mesh system. The WiFi access points are beautifully designed and the app is clearly structured. In terms of performance, we are not very impressed with Google Wifi. The system provides coverage throughout the house, but speeds are slower than we've seen with other mesh systems. Ultimately, the biggest drawback of Google Wifi is the price. TP-Links Deco M5 is based on the same hardware and even performs slightly better. With a price of 269 euros, the Deco M5 is no less than 90 euros cheaper than Google Wifi, which costs 359 euros.

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