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What is Google WiFi, how does it work and how much does it cost?

Google has finally brought its home WiFi solution, catchily dubbed Google WiFi, to the UK. So what is the Google WiFi router, what are the best features, how much does it cost and should you buy one? Here's all you need to know.

Google first launched its new Google WiFi home network solution last year, but it's taken until 2017 for the tech giant to bring this super-smart and easy-to-use 'mesh network' router to the UK.

Google WiFi is built in-house and was announced alongside its new Pixel phone (and the bigger Pixel XL), the sexy new 4K Chromecast Ultra, and the Google Home assistant (which is a serious rival to the Amazon Echo).

But what is so special about Google’s own WiFi router and should you be getting in line to upgrade? Here’s everything you need to know, and don't forget to check out our in-depth Google WiFi review for our final verdict.

Read next: Can I get broadband internet without a phone line and costly line rental?

Google WiFi: What is it?

Google WiFi is essentially a home router that's designed to supply a stable WiFi connection to every corner of your home. And to do that, you'll need more than one.

Google explained that using a single router to spread WiFi around your homestead is just like trying to light the entire house with a single light bulb. This 'mesh WiFi' system will fix that. By positioning a couple of Google WiFi routers at different locations, they can smartly work together to extend that precious WiFi signal to every cranny.

It's basically a similar system to using a WiFi signal booster, but a lot more intelligent and offering some impressive control via the Google WiFi app.

Last year Google dipped its toes into the WiFi wavelengths by partnering with TP-Link and Asus, to offer the OnHub system. Clearly the search giant decided to go on its own in 2017 with the WiFi device.

Google WiFi: How does it work?

The idea with Google WiFi is to offer multiple points that can be added to scale the Wi-Fi to suit the home. The result is a stable, fast connection all over the house that supports high bandwidth streaming for 4K video and gaming alike.

This system uses mesh WiFi - something that Sky Q already uses with its mini boxes, to help boost Wi-Fi signals in the same way. This is also something currently used on the commercial level, to offer a better WiFi connection over large or cavernous spaces.

And now it's coming to our homes, thanks to Google WiFi. Here's Google's own video explaining how the Google WiFi router works:

 

Google WiFi: What are the best features?

Here are the best features of Google WiFi, which elevates it over other home router/WiFi solutions.

Network Assist

One of the positive points of Google WiFi is its ability to adapt its own settings, to make sure you’re always getting the best internet connection. This means you don’t need to fiddle with the settings to tweak your network when performance dips. Google's Network Assist tech, as it’s named, does it all for you.

Google says this works by automatically placing users on the clearest channel and optimal Wi-Fi band for the particular device being used. As you move around your home, the Network Assist system will adapt without you ever noticing a change and should result in zero dead spots or delays, apparently.

App controls

Just because the Network Assist feature makes everything simple, that doesn’t mean the Google WiFi setup is hands-off. If you want to drill down into the system to control everything yourself, there’s an accompanying app that’ll help you do just that.

The Google WiFi app is available to download for Android and iOS devices. This app shows all of the devices that are currently connected and displaus exactly how much bandwidth is being used by each. It’ll even let you prioritise certain devices when they're in use - like your 4K TV for streaming Netflix, for example, or your gaming console when you're blasting your mates online.

Dive further in and you get even more handy features, such as the ability to pause the WiFi connection on your children’s devices at night or set up a guest network. And you can remotely configure your WiFi setup too, all via the app.

For a closer look at the app, check out our Google WiFi setup video below. And check out our in-depth Google WiFi tips and tricks guide for some of the best features packed into the app.

Google WiFi: UK price and release date

Google WiFi is available to buy in the UK right now. You can pick up a single router pack for £129, or a box with two routers for £229.

But where in the UK can you buy the Google WiFi? Well, you can order it online direct from Google, via the Google Store. The WiFi will also be coming to Amazon. And if you'd rather pick it up on the high street, head to Dixons, John Lewis or Maplin.

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