By Jerry Hildenbrand.
When “just works” means it just works great.
There have been many good words praising Google Wifi and Google OnHub. Most of them center around how easy it is to set up a full-house Wi-Fi network and how taking away the confusion makes keeping one running well something anyone can do. They’re all true, and for anyone who just wants fast Wi-Fi everywhere in their house and has no need for advanced features and settings, Google Wifi is a perfect fit.
Fewer words have been written or spoken about the Google Wifi app. It’s an integral part of the experience and the friendly wording and simple tools will help you make the most out of your new network even after you’ve set it up. And everything that’s great here also applies if you have more than one network running.
Your cloud meets Google’s
When you set up a Google Wifi network — whether using the new mesh routers or a Google OnHub router with the latest software — you sign in with your Google account. All your settings and information are backed up not only on the device firmware but as data inside your online cloud on a server somewhere that Google has set up to hold our data.
Having an online account is trading convenience for privacy. But sometimes it’s worth it.
This can be a bit off-putting, and there are legitimate concerns about giving so much data to one company. I have them, too. We all should. But Google has been shown to value our privacy almost as much as we do and gaffes have been minor and few in number. So far. While it’s fine to be a little uncomfortable about it, there’s no denying that a lot of value is to be had from this arrangement.
One great way to see that value is if you need to setup and manage more than one Google Wifi network. Each is part of your Google account, and that means you can make any adjustments or new settings from anywhere with a data connection — even if that connection isn’t part of a Google Wifi network.
I have a Google Wifi network at my house. It consists of three Google Wifi mesh routers and an ASUS OnHub router using the latest software to merge it into the mesh. I can control who has access and what priority any devices on the network have, manage a guest network and even turn on my Hue lights. I can do this from anywhere right through my phone. I can even set someone else as a trusted person to manage my Google Wifi network.
Google Wifi lets me keep mom and dad’s network in tip-top shape instead of a cable company technician.
My parents needed a good router for their place so I picked them up a TP-Link OnHub router a while back. Mom and dad are pretty smart folks, but hooking up a cable modem and Wi-Fi router isn’t something they felt comfortable with. I set it up for them and used my Google account in the process. They have reliable and fast Wi-Fi all through their house (and in dad’s workshop thanks to the TP Link’s forward firing antennae) and I can make sure it stays that way without a long trip. They both are able to do the things they like to do online and don’t have to worry about any type of maintenance to keep their network running smoothly.
The best part of it all is that I didn’t have to do anything special to enable remote administration or open any ports or anything else. It just works because it was designed to just work this way. This is a small thing, but it’s an important thing for those who need it. Without it, my parents would be at the mercy of the cable company when it comes to equipment and service. Instead, they have me. That makes it one of the best features of Google Wifi for our family.