Google Wifi system (set of 3) - Router replacement for whole home coverage by Google
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Pros: its easy to setup, seems to be reliable and coverage is VASTLY improved over my Apple Airport Extreme. I like the app with the speed tests and other info like connected devices.
Cons: If you have more than one unit you are forced to use NAT on the main unit, thus making your entire network a NAT, which in many cases causes it to be a sub-NAT if your router is not bridgeable. Mine is not, AT&T in their infinite wisdom has no way of doing a pure bridge, never a dull moment with AT&T and Comcast, ughh.
So in my case, I was forced to do the DMZ dance with my AT&T modem, some of you may know that DMZ is NOT the same as a pure bridge between modem and router and let me explain why.
In a pure bridge ALL traffic in and out, originated within or from outside is just passed to the Main Google Wi-Fi unit, then it handles ALL routing in and out. IN a DMZ ALL ports are pointed to an IP (my Google Wi-Fi main unit), however unlike a pure bridge not all data gets thru like it should.
Example # 1
My Ryobi garage door opener has an app to open and close it. After I completed setting up my new Mesh network, I could not complete the setup of the garage door opener, the setup process ALWAYS got stock during the setup process, I tried maybe 50 times. For days I thought the GDO was broken, I even started an RMA with Ryobi. I decided that it was FAR too coincidental that it stopped working at the same time as I installed the Google Wi-Fi so I installed my old Apple Airport Extreme Wi-Fi and I hooked it directly to my AT& T modem, thus bypassing the NAT on the Google Wi-FI and BAM! the install worked, and it worked over and over, I tried it several times. * Update, it working on the Apple Airport Extreme could be because the Ryobi GDO only runs 2.4 Ghz and the Google Mesh was so close to the GDO it forced the GDO to use 5 Ghz Wi-Fi (dumbly) and Google Wi-Fi has no way to hard set 2.4 Ghz on any specific Wi-Fi device. -- OR it could be as originally thought, the NAT causing the issue, I am just not sure at this point, either way, this is a problem I did not have prior to installing Google Wi-Fi.
I use D-Link Home smart outlets, they offer a scheduling function, example turn lights on at 5 PM and off at 11 PM. This scheduling stopped working when I installed the Google Wi-Fi. If I manually turned a light on or off thru the app it always worked but the schedule for all 5 of these devices stopped working completely. I unplugged them, reset them over and over and nothing fixed it until I also reset them and put them back on my Apple Airport Extreme that was hooked directly to my AT&T modem, BAM the schedule started to work.
So the moral of the story is this. If you have smart devices in your house, some of those smart devices, probably the older ones, may not work correctly behind the NAT OR maybe 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi ONLY.
Either problem WILL NOT be apparent that it is due to the Google Wi-FI. Basically what I am saying is use basic logic, if devices worked before installing Google Wi-Fi and now they don't work or partially work its highly likely due to double NAT (Network Address Translation) OR your devices only use the 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi spectrum and GW is trying to use 5 Ghz on that device.
In my opinion, Google needs to let users opt out of the NAT on the Google Wi-FI if we want to allow our modems to continue to be the ONLY NAT. Yes, I know Google, some of the nice app functions like the mesh to mesh speed test won't work right but at least I will be able to open my garage door and turn on my lights.
At this point, the advantages outweigh the problems and I am moving forward with Google Wi-Fi HOWEVER if I find more surprises I might send it back for a return. I tried the overpriced UB - UNIFI MESH W-Fi system before this and that was really nice but my T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling didn't stay connected on my iPhones when I was home and at the time that problem seemed like a huge problem to me LOL, now its not that bad to be honest and that is where I will go back to if Google Wi-FI does not work out. Lets see.
To Google, I took the time to tell you in detail where your deficiencies are, both here in this review and directly to you, it is my sincere hope you add a way to turn off the NAT for multiple nodes or figure out why DMZ is not functioning the same as a true bridge and make it work so it does.
There are / will be a LOT of customers that have smart devices in their homes that don't understand why suddenly some of their stuff stops working and will just give up and send your devices back. I personally think you could have done a better job being compatible with devices, it almost seems like some stubborn decisions were made on your part to force NAT and 5 Ghz on your users Google? Why?
People have complained about loss of flexibity and tweaking since they have to use their phone to configure the google network. I have no issues with doing anything I did prior to using this. I work from home and connect to my employer via VPN with no issues. I can view network traffic, turn off internet for the kids and see how many devices are connected at the click of a button on my phone. No longing into the router from my desktop or my phones tiny browser. When you walk from one level to the next, I can see which google router I am connected to. It automatically switches to the closest one as advertised.
Tips and advice:
1. To get full WiFi speed, make sure your device (PC, laptop, tablet, phone, etc.) has both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz bands. If you don't you'll be stuck at around 30 Mbps to 70 Mbps.
2. A SINGLE Google WiFi covers 1500 ft. Make sure you're within that range, or get more to create a mesh network so you fall within WiFi range. My home was 1300 ft. so I only needed one.
3. The Google WiFi router only has two ethernet ports, one of which is used to connect to the modem. If you need more wired ports, buy an ethernet switch and connect the router to the switch.
4. When WiFi first connects, it will likely connect you to the 2.4 Ghz band. Don't freak out. If you have a 5 Ghz band and the signal is good, it will connect you within 24 hours. It connected me to 2.4 Ghz band the first time I connected for a long while, but the next day when I started my PC again, it was now using the 5 Ghz band.