MANILA, Philippines – Two years after its unveiling, Google Wifi finally makes it to the Philippines, Tuesday, June 26, through a partnership between the search giant and PLDT.
Google Wifi is a mesh wifi router system, which unlike traditional routers, can be made up of several wifi nodes or terminals that are placed strategically around a space to ensure a steady wifi signal wherever. Such a system is known to be beneficial for large spaces or those with complex layouts or comprised of two or more stories. According to Google, a 3-piece system can cover up to 255 square meters, more or less depending on factors such as construction materials, layouts and other variables.
Google Wifi will be offered as a 3-piece system with PLDT’s Google Wifi Plan 3799, which comes with an unlimited 50 Mbps fiber connection. Existing PLDT fiber subscribers can get the 1-piece Google Wifi for P299, and the 3-piece set for P799. The Philippines is the fourth country in Asia to get Google’s Wifi device after Singapore, Japan and Hongkong. (READ: Google’s augmented reality-based Measure app comes to Android phones)
“Wi-Fi dead spots at home are more common than we think, and mesh networking is a smart and effective fix to these dreaded zones. We are thrilled to be Google’s exclusive local partner for Google Wifi, which has set the standard for ease-of-use, performance and security for mesh networking solutions,” says Oscar Reyes Jr., PLDT and Smart’s consumer business market development head.
Mesh wifi versus traditional routers
Google Wifi offers several improvements over traditional routers aside from its multi-node coverage. It has a compact, chic, external antenna-less design, which means users will be less inclined to hide it behind furniture or other househould objects.
It makes use of a Google Wifi app, pictured below, which lets users monitor data usage and speed per device, turn off devices, or schedule network usage per device. Passwords can also be set through the app, which is a more convenient method than the browser-based configuration for traditional routers. Devices can also be set as priority to give them a faster connection than other devices in the network.
The mesh network also places users on the clearest channel automatically, meaning if a user moves to a different room, the network determines whether another node may be able to provide a stronger connection and performs the switch if it recognizes so.
The system also switches a device’s connection between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band depending on the situation. The 2.4GHz band is used as the default – it’s slower but has a longer reach and can go through walls. In ideal conditions i.e. the user is near enough a wifi spot, the network shifts the user to the 5GHz band.
“Having a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection is important to Filipinos. Google Wifi provides seamless coverage at home, solving common issues like dead zones, spotty Wi-Fi connections, confusing set-up processes, and so much more,” says Mickey Kim, Google’s director of Asia Pacific hardware product planning and partnerships. – Rappler.com
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