First Look

Up close with Google Wifi's setup process

A quick walkthrough of what you'll see when setting up the Google Wifi mesh system.

Google Wifi

Google Wifi jumps into the wireless mesh space

Google's new Google Wifi system combines wireless access nodes called "points" with a mobile app that lets you manage your mesh system. A mesh is created when you add two or more points to the existing system.

Google Wifi three-pack points

Three points!

Each point within the Google Wifi system is exactly alike. Things change when you plug the first point into your broadband modem - that node becomes the primary router, and the other points become LAN nodes.

Google Wifi cables and cords

Power parts and cables

In addition to the Wifi points, the system comes with three power adapters and cables, and one Ethernet cable (to connect the first point to the broadband modem). Instructions tell you how to download the Google Wifi app, which then runs you through the setup process.

Google Wifi app setup screen 1

Let's set up a Google Wifi!

The Google Wifi app does a good job at step-by-step setup, with language geared towards non-technical users. For example, it really wants you to place the first point in a good area in your home (not in a closet or basement).

Google Wifi Setup screen 2

Next steps - plug in and name the device

After you've chosen your location, Google then has you plug in the point to your modem, and lets you pick a label based on the location of the device. You can also customize a location/label if you don't like the options presented by Google.

Google Wifi placement

High up, out of the way, but still in a living area

Google put some thought into making sure that its Wifi points are acceptable decor within a living room or other area occupied by people. Note in this case (on top of a piano) how the cables are not all over the place and how there's nothing else close by to interfere with the Wi-Fi signals.

Google Wifi setup screen 3

Let's get funky with our wireless network name

After the system is plugged in, the app lets you name your wireless network (aka the SSID) and choose a password. The system automatically secures the password via WPA2-PSK. No, our password is not "LippsInc"

Google Wifi Setup screen 4

Next up - setting up second and third nodes

With the first node (next to the modem) set up, the system then has you set up nodes 2 and 3 (if you purchased the three-pack). At each stage, the app tests the mesh to make sure it's close enough to the other nodes and is working fine.

Google Wifi Setup Screen 5

Google likes my network! Yippee!

With all three nodes set up, the app gives you some positive reinforcement. Testing my Internet speed went fine as you can see from this nice note. Time to get a 4K TV!

Google Wifi setup screen 6

Network map and advanced options

The app provides a small map to let you know how many devices are connected through the network, and the option for "advanced" features like DNS, DHCP changes and port forwarding. Sadly, you can't adjust these via a web browser like with traditional routers.

Google Wifi Setup Screen 7

Other status screens and a password saver

Each individual node has a status page (Dining Room was node 2 in my setup), which you can access if you want to move it to a different location. Another cool feature - if you forget the password, you can easily access it through the app. No, it's still not "LippsInc".