Google’s offering for mesh home WiFi is a solid choice for most consumers. We tested the Google WiFi three-pack option - it ships with one router that connects to broadband, and two nodes to extend the WiFi signal.
Setup is simple enough that any child with an iPhone (or Android device) could manage it, but the performance and features here are not child's play.
Google WiFi provided the best Internet speed with a cable connection that has 400 Mbps download service level -- with Google WiFi reaching throughput speeds of up to 120 Mbps at certain points in testing. That is incredible performance in our testing environment: a multi-dwelling apartment building in a highly-populated area with lots of other WiFi routers competing on the same wireless radio bands. A standalone home in a less-densely populated area is likely to see even stronger performance.
As mentioned, Google WiFi is simple to set up and even guides you through the best placement of the nodes for optimal performance and coverage. The setup uses Bluetooth so if you don’t have an Internet connection beforehand, there is no problem setting the system up and it can be set up just using a smartphone.
The companion app (available at the App Store or Google Play) offers full control of the home network via a smartphone. Parents can set Internet access schedules or block adult content from children’s devices.
Its small nodes are unobtrusive and should be easy to place in any room. The main router and the two nodes each have dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, so you can hardwire a gaming console, smart TV or other Internet-connected device to them.
Google WiFi is such great networking hardware that it is baffling why there is currently no integration with Google Home or Google’s Smart Assistant. Especially since you can manage many other smart home devices through the app. It would be ideal if you could use Google’s smart assistant to reboot the network or find out which devices are connected or kick your kids offline from the office.
Still, Google WiFi is our top pick for a mesh networking solution. It’s affordable, not among the most expensive we tested, has an adequate feature set, and is easy to set up and configure.