Google wifi is awesome

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lightheir
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Google wifi is awesome

Post by lightheir » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:00 pm

I know this is as brazen a product plug as it gets, but I think it's warranted.

I spent a lot of time and money trying to improve the wifi in my 2200ft house last year. The main problem was that the internet came in through a closet in one corner of the house, and my wife did not want to run external wiring to a more central location.

I ended up using a $200 Netgear router, a $150+ Netgear wifi extender placed near the opposite end of the house, and even a powerline setup to run to my garage where my treadmill TV (for Netflix) was. And despite all this hardware, the internet was quite unreliable in the far corner of the house, often dropping to <5 Mbps, or even worse, getting the wifi cards so confused between 2G/5G main+extender networks that it would just lock up completely until I manually quit out of one network and went to another. My wifi speeds in the far corner of the house would range literally from <5 Mbps to 10-20 most of the time, to 50+ about a third of the time - usable, but totally wacky. The powerline also sucked - would spontaneously quit about 10% of the time and not return for days.

I recently took a gamble and bought 2 (not the 3-pack) of the Google wifi mesh network hub/routers (whatever you call them).

I gotta, say - it's amazing. I put one hub in the original closet, and put the other one at the furthest opposite corner of my house (I tried everything in between as well, made no speed difference so I put it as far away as possible since I wasn't losing speed) and now I get 85+ Mbps in the far corner of the house EVERY SINGLE TIME.

In addition - only ONE wifi network. No more confusing "East 2g, West 2g, East 5G, West 5g, Garage extender" multiple networks - there is ONE wifi domain and it works everywhere. Shockingly, it even gets 50+mpbs in the garage that was unreachable with wifi (that wifi repeater I had was reviewed as one of the most powerful 2G/5G repeaters in mid 2016) every single time. It's so good that I get 50Mbps in my car, on the street outside my house (where previously I got 0 or 1Mbps.)

Another benefit - it was stupidly simple to set up. You literally plug it in, download an app on the phone, and turn it on. Takes it a few minutes to set itself up, but there are no tricks required. Worked right out of the box, as claimed.

An added feature that I don't see mentioned in the reviews as well but may be valuable to you - each google hub has TWO separate hardline Ethernet-out cable ports (note that one of the ports is dedicated to the cable modem IN on the first hub, but both ports are free on the other hubs.) So if you're like me and use a Ooma internet phone, you just plug the Ooma into one of the ethernet jacks on the Google hub, and you're good to go.

So the summary to my longwinded review:

- Get google wifi if you have home wifi problems, at least to try it. It's the cheapest mesh network out there, and it rocks.
- Stupidly easy setup.
- Beat the pants off my expensive router and repeater gear that I got around 6 months ago. I get essentially full speed wifi even at the far corner of my house (as compared with being right next to the original hub.)
- Has hardline ethernet outs for online phones like Ooma or to any wired ethernet setup you need
- And the final gold star of approval: My totally nontechie wife, said "woah - the internet is awesome now!" :sharebeer

sandramjet
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by sandramjet » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:02 pm

lightheir wrote:I know this is as brazen a product plug as it gets, but I think it's warranted.

Another benefit - it was stupidly simple to set up. You literally plug it in, download an app on the phone, and turn it on.


and thats the deal killer for me... we don't own any smartphones, and you can't set it up without it.

jebmke
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by jebmke » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:31 pm

lightheir wrote:In addition - only ONE wifi network. No more confusing "East 2g, West 2g, East 5G, West 5g, Garage extender" multiple networks

This can be done with plain routers - I have one WIFI net across the house with multiple access points; that said, next time I upgrade I will probably look at this.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

maria00200
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by maria00200 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:35 pm

is it faster than Verizon FIOS?

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unclescrooge
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:17 pm

lightheir wrote:I know this is as brazen a product plug as it gets, but I think it's warranted.


Thanks for sharing. I will be purchasing this in about 8 weeks when I move into the new home.

Do you know how well it works across two floors?

bloom2708
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:21 pm

*Update* I found the Google Wifi router system on Amazon. Different from OnHub.

Just to clarify, you are talking about Google OnHub? Not Google Wi-Fi where Google tried to provide a free municipal network for internet access.

You have an internet connection with some provider and use the Google OnHub devices to add Wi-Fi to your house for wireless internet?

A hardware device and not an internet service.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MP123
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by MP123 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:23 pm

Is there really no way to administer it from a laptop? That would be a deal breaker for me.

jebmke
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by jebmke » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:25 pm

bloom2708 wrote:A hardware device and not an internet service.

That is what I assumed the OP meant. The system will not be any faster than the ISP for internet traffic. It probably is faster for local traffic. My ISP gets me 8mb on a good day so internal speed is interesting but not relevant. My high volume traffic to my NAS goes via a 1gb switch so wifi isn't relevant.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

masteraleph
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by masteraleph » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:28 pm

OP is talking about https://madeby.google.com/wifi/ which is a mesh network designed by Google (technically it's not mesh, since it really needs the satellites to all talk to the original router/AP, but it functions as one when set up properly). This can be accomplished with multiple access points physically connected to a router, as well (a lot of networking experts use Ubiquiti Unifi and Edgerouter equipment for this, but that's technically enterprise equipment and setup can be challenging), and there are a number of other brands that have started doing it- my wife and I chose Netgear's Orbi, which is a little more expensive than the Google solution but tends to get better ratings overall. Other brands, like Eero and Plume, are also out there.

The main difference between these and standard wifi router/extender combinations is speed and ease of setup. On a router/extender combo, anything connected to the extender runs at half the throughput vs. something connected to the original router (you may not have noticed this if you don't have particularly fast internet service at home). That's not the case on one of these. They're also designed to work together, so they're easy to set up. A lot of them do require a smartphone app, but Orbi doesn't.

If a nice router/access point is doing it for you, that's great. If you have a very large house, or wifi killing walls- for example, plaster lath over metal wire- these systems can be really good.

drummerboy
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by drummerboy » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:29 pm

Have to make another plug for the product that got this started....

eero

Super Simple Wifi! Multiple points around my home, works perfectly. Insanely simple to setup and administer. Single SSID namespace, easy to access advanced features. No "Techno-babble".

https://eero.com/

jebmke
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by jebmke » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:40 pm

masteraleph wrote:If a nice router/access point is doing it for you, that's great. If you have a very large house, or wifi killing walls- for example, plaster lath over metal wire- these systems can be really good.

I have a matched pair of routers; one is configured as a WAP and is connected via powerline to the main router. The main does all the routing. I get about 150mb end to end across the powerline which is good enough for now. Both routers have the same SSID and PW so the connection is pretty seamless. I am able to stream ROKU through the slave and my spouse connects her devices via the slave most of the time with no issues so I can't complain.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

bubbly
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by bubbly » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:02 pm

bloom2708 wrote:*Update* I found the Google Wifi router system on Amazon. Different from OnHub.

Just to clarify, you are talking about Google OnHub? Not Google Wi-Fi where Google tried to provide a free municipal network for internet access.

You have an internet connection with some provider and use the Google OnHub devices to add Wi-Fi to your house for wireless internet?

A hardware device and not an internet service.


I bought the onHUB before google WIFI was available. From what I can tell, the google WIFI is a cheaper piece of hardware than the onhub (by about 80 bucks). The google wifi can function like a router (master) or work as a node (slave) in your mesh network whereas the onhub, I believe, is only a router (master) and not a node. I'm not sure what justifies the 80 dollar difference between the onhub and google wifi, though. I guess the google director put it best:

"Ben Brown, Google senior product manager, stated on the Keyword Blog that Google Wifi is "built on the strengths of OnHub" and the "next step toward ensuring that our homes can have great Wi-Fi everywhere we need it." Google Wifi is merely a continuation and rebranding of OnHub."

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/onhub-route ... ogle-wifi/

Sill unclear where the 80 dollar difference between the onhub and wifi comes from :confused

MindTheGAAP
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by MindTheGAAP » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:32 pm

bubbly wrote:
bloom2708 wrote:*Update* I found the Google Wifi router system on Amazon. Different from OnHub.

Just to clarify, you are talking about Google OnHub? Not Google Wi-Fi where Google tried to provide a free municipal network for internet access.

You have an internet connection with some provider and use the Google OnHub devices to add Wi-Fi to your house for wireless internet?

A hardware device and not an internet service.


I bought the onHUB before google WIFI was available. From what I can tell, the google WIFI is a cheaper piece of hardware than the onhub (by about 80 bucks). The google wifi can function like a router (master) or work as a node (slave) in your mesh network whereas the onhub, I believe, is only a router (master) and not a node. I'm not sure what justifies the 80 dollar difference between the onhub and google wifi, though. I guess the google director put it best:

"Ben Brown, Google senior product manager, stated on the Keyword Blog that Google Wifi is "built on the strengths of OnHub" and the "next step toward ensuring that our homes can have great Wi-Fi everywhere we need it." Google Wifi is merely a continuation and rebranding of OnHub."

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/onhub-route ... ogle-wifi/

Sill unclear where the 80 dollar difference between the onhub and wifi comes from :confused


You say Google is cheaper than OnHub - could it be as simple as Google has a better supply chain or economies of scale vs. OnHub? Speculating.
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fourwheelcycle
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by fourwheelcycle » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:14 pm

MP123 wrote:Is there really no way to administer it from a laptop? That would be a deal breaker for me.


I checked - the app only runs on iOS 8 and above or Android 4 and above. For Mac, that means it would run on an iPod or an iPad, or an iPhone, but not on any Mac OS computer.

Dottie57
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:46 pm

I really want my wifi administered through computer, not smartphone.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:47 pm

I am not sure that I'm understanding this.

I have a FIOS modem/router (with wifi turned off) that connects via Ethernet to two Apple AirPort Extreme WAPs (802.11ac) at opposite ends of my house. There is one SSID and password, and the handoffs as I move around the house appear seamless. I used Netflix's Fast app and it clocked the speed at 82 down (I pay for 75).

Is ther any benefit to switching?

lightheir
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by lightheir » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:13 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:I am not sure that I'm understanding this.

I have a FIOS modem/router (with wifi turned off) that connects via Ethernet to two Apple AirPort Extreme WAPs (802.11ac) at opposite ends of my house. There is one SSID and password, and the handoffs as I move around the house appear seamless. I used Netflix's Fast app and it clocked the speed at 82 down (I pay for 75).

Is ther any benefit to switching?


I'd say pretty confidently zero benefit for you. 82 Mbps is 'very fast' even according to the Google app diagnostic that runs my Google mesh network.

Most of the reviews of this Google wifi make it very clear that you can duplicate or even exceed the performance of Google wifi with high quality routers and repeaters and/or powerlines, but if there are any 'problems' that come up, you can quickly find yourself spending hours and hours going down an endless rabbit hole of mysterious wifi parameters. (I'm not a network professional, but I've spent probably over 10 hours of my life troubleshooting wifi networks, both at home and friends/family!)

It's perfect for folks like me, who couldn't get reliable wifi at the far end of my house despite trying numerous methods. And let's just say it was sufficiently technical to get a unified wifi SSID working that RELIABLY handed off to the fastest portion of the network (pretty much completely unreliable in my case) that it makes Google wifi utterly worth it. I'm no tech dummie, and I will say that it got very complicated, very quickly with the DIY method.

I will add that for those afraid of using the smartphone app, it's really good. I was wary at first too, being a strong PC-prefererrer, but now that I've done it, I think the phone is the way to go. At least on Android, there's just a lot less to go wrong compared to Windows 10, and therefore less complicating factors. As well, you can 'administer' your wifi at home remotely via the app (I see no real compelling reason for it, but it's pretty cool to easily see how fast your network is running and all the CPUs/phones connected to the wifi when you're not even home.)

I still however agree with the old maxim - if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Last point - Eero got really good reviews too, and is apparently even better in some situations. Google wifi is a hair cheaper though - I think it's the cheapest mesh network out there right now.

bubbly
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by bubbly » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:57 pm

MindTheGAAP wrote:
bubbly wrote:
bloom2708 wrote:*Update* I found the Google Wifi router system on Amazon. Different from OnHub.

Just to clarify, you are talking about Google OnHub? Not Google Wi-Fi where Google tried to provide a free municipal network for internet access.

You have an internet connection with some provider and use the Google OnHub devices to add Wi-Fi to your house for wireless internet?

A hardware device and not an internet service.


I bought the onHUB before google WIFI was available. From what I can tell, the google WIFI is a cheaper piece of hardware than the onhub (by about 80 bucks). The google wifi can function like a router (master) or work as a node (slave) in your mesh network whereas the onhub, I believe, is only a router (master) and not a node. I'm not sure what justifies the 80 dollar difference between the onhub and google wifi, though. I guess the google director put it best:

"Ben Brown, Google senior product manager, stated on the Keyword Blog that Google Wifi is "built on the strengths of OnHub" and the "next step toward ensuring that our homes can have great Wi-Fi everywhere we need it." Google Wifi is merely a continuation and rebranding of OnHub."

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/onhub-route ... ogle-wifi/

Sill unclear where the 80 dollar difference between the onhub and wifi comes from :confused


You say Google is cheaper than OnHub - could it be as simple as Google has a better supply chain or economies of scale vs. OnHub? Speculating.


You might be onto something here that I didn't consider. Looking back on it, the google wifi was developed and branded exclusively by google, cutting out the possible licensing/outsourcing/development fees that was required of Google in a partnership with another company - Asus or TP Link depending on which model of the google onhub you've purchased.

Given this info however, upon further reading, I've noticed spec differences between the two. Too lazy to list them all but here's the link on Reddit:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddit ... ogle_wifi/

masteraleph
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by masteraleph » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:32 pm

jebmke wrote:
masteraleph wrote:If a nice router/access point is doing it for you, that's great. If you have a very large house, or wifi killing walls- for example, plaster lath over metal wire- these systems can be really good.

I have a matched pair of routers; one is configured as a WAP and is connected via powerline to the main router. The main does all the routing. I get about 150mb end to end across the powerline which is good enough for now. Both routers have the same SSID and PW so the connection is pretty seamless. I am able to stream ROKU through the slave and my spouse connects her devices via the slave most of the time with no issues so I can't complain.


Apologies, I should have been more clear:

If you have wired backhaul (which is what powerline is functioning as for you), then you shouldn't really be noticing degraded performance (below the 150mbps, that is). Degraded performance mainly comes with a wifi connection between the router and an additional AP.

ilisira
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by ilisira » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:56 pm

jebmke wrote:
lightheir wrote:In addition - only ONE wifi network. No more confusing "East 2g, West 2g, East 5G, West 5g, Garage extender" multiple networks

This can be done with plain routers - I have one WIFI net across the house with multiple access points; that said, next time I upgrade I will probably look at this.


The problem with using the same SSID on different AP's is, you are dependent on the devices to disconnect from one AP, to connect to the nearer one, and that might not happen automatically. Google wifi (and other mesh wifi systems) take the responsibility from the devices (phone, laptop, or any other wifi client), and AP's take care of this switching.

I am on the same boat with the OP, bought google wifi about three months ago, extremely happy except for the trouble google had two weeks ago (when they reset all usernames, and forced a re-auth, some of the AP's were factory reset, one of my AP's was reset in that process as well).

As others had pointed, the configuration is only done through the app.

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reriodan
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by reriodan » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:00 pm

MP123 wrote:Is there really no way to administer it from a laptop? That would be a deal breaker for me.


Seems like the perfect excuse to get a chromebook.

masteraleph
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by masteraleph » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:27 am

MP123 wrote:Is there really no way to administer it from a laptop? That would be a deal breaker for me.


Netgear's solution (the Orbi) uses a web portal for administering things, so you can use anything for that.

letsgobobby
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:39 am

lightheir wrote:I know this is as brazen a product plug as it gets, but I think it's warranted.

I spent a lot of time and money trying to improve the wifi in my 2200ft house last year. The main problem was that the internet came in through a closet in one corner of the house, and my wife did not want to run external wiring to a more central location.

I ended up using a $200 Netgear router, a $150+ Netgear wifi extender placed near the opposite end of the house, and even a powerline setup to run to my garage where my treadmill TV (for Netflix) was. And despite all this hardware, the internet was quite unreliable in the far corner of the house, often dropping to <5 Mbps, or even worse, getting the wifi cards so confused between 2G/5G main+extender networks that it would just lock up completely until I manually quit out of one network and went to another. My wifi speeds in the far corner of the house would range literally from <5 Mbps to 10-20 most of the time, to 50+ about a third of the time - usable, but totally wacky. The powerline also sucked - would spontaneously quit about 10% of the time and not return for days.

I recently took a gamble and bought 2 (not the 3-pack) of the Google wifi mesh network hub/routers (whatever you call them).

I gotta, say - it's amazing. I put one hub in the original closet, and put the other one at the furthest opposite corner of my house (I tried everything in between as well, made no speed difference so I put it as far away as possible since I wasn't losing speed) and now I get 85+ Mbps in the far corner of the house EVERY SINGLE TIME.

In addition - only ONE wifi network. No more confusing "East 2g, West 2g, East 5G, West 5g, Garage extender" multiple networks - there is ONE wifi domain and it works everywhere. Shockingly, it even gets 50+mpbs in the garage that was unreachable with wifi (that wifi repeater I had was reviewed as one of the most powerful 2G/5G repeaters in mid 2016) every single time. It's so good that I get 50Mbps in my car, on the street outside my house (where previously I got 0 or 1Mbps.)

Another benefit - it was stupidly simple to set up. You literally plug it in, download an app on the phone, and turn it on. Takes it a few minutes to set itself up, but there are no tricks required. Worked right out of the box, as claimed.

An added feature that I don't see mentioned in the reviews as well but may be valuable to you - each google hub has TWO separate hardline Ethernet-out cable ports (note that one of the ports is dedicated to the cable modem IN on the first hub, but both ports are free on the other hubs.) So if you're like me and use a Ooma internet phone, you just plug the Ooma into one of the ethernet jacks on the Google hub, and you're good to go.

So the summary to my longwinded review:

- Get google wifi if you have home wifi problems, at least to try it. It's the cheapest mesh network out there, and it rocks.
- Stupidly easy setup.
- Beat the pants off my expensive router and repeater gear that I got around 6 months ago. I get essentially full speed wifi even at the far corner of my house (as compared with being right next to the original hub.)
- Has hardline ethernet outs for online phones like Ooma or to any wired ethernet setup you need
- And the final gold star of approval: My totally nontechie wife, said "woah - the internet is awesome now!" :sharebeer

do you know if this is compatible with my comcast modem? or suggest a modem compatible with this google device and also my comcast service?

michaeljc70
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:35 am

jebmke wrote:
lightheir wrote:In addition - only ONE wifi network. No more confusing "East 2g, West 2g, East 5G, West 5g, Garage extender" multiple networks

This can be done with plain routers - I have one WIFI net across the house with multiple access points; that said, next time I upgrade I will probably look at this.



Yes. I had mine setup this way. It was not easy to get setup and I am fairly technical (I also have a router/modem I am just using as a modem). The problem I had is my devices will not switch to the stronger signal unless the other signal drops. Therefore to get the strongest signal I had to turn off wifi on the device and then turn it back on and it would connect to the stronger signal.

So, if I started close to the main router with 100% signal and went upstairs to where it had a 20% signal, it would still stay on the 20% signal rather than automatically switch to the 100% signal from the upstairs router.

Edit: I see ilisira mentioned this above.

Texanbybirth
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:47 am

So did you plug the first hub in your closet into the router that came from your Internet Service Provider? Or do you just plug the Google hub straight into the network cable, bypassing the router from your cable company?

This is a pretty penny for my pocketbook, but we have the same problem with dead zones on the far end of our ranch-style home.

Thanks for sharing! :beer

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:00 am

michaeljc70 wrote:Yes. I had mine setup this way. It was not easy to get setup and I am fairly technical (I also have a router/modem I am just using as a modem). The problem I had is my devices will not switch to the stronger signal unless the other signal drops. Therefore to get the strongest signal I had to turn off wifi on the device and then turn it back on and it would connect to the stronger signal.

So, if I started close to the main router with 100% signal and went upstairs to where it had a 20% signal, it would still stay on the 20% signal rather than automatically switch to the 100% signal from the upstairs router.

My devices that are mobile (iPads, iPhones, MacBooks) are all Apple, so perhaps that gives them magic sauce for doing handoffs with Apple AirPort Extreme WAPs. My non-Apple devices (Roku, desktop PCs, printers) are static and mostly Ethernet connected.

Re installation. I've done a half dozen PC-managed installations. 192.168.1.1 is seared into my memory. Installing the Airport Extremes, via my iPhone, was a walk in the park by comparison; it just worked. As much as I "hate" Apple, they do make this kind of thing easy (no idea why they hose iTunes every time, but that's another thread).

lightheir
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by lightheir » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:09 am

Texanbybirth wrote:So did you plug the first hub in your closet into the router that came from your Internet Service Provider? Or do you just plug the Google hub straight into the network cable, bypassing the router from your cable company?

This is a pretty penny for my pocketbook, but we have the same problem with dead zones on the far end of our ranch-style home.

Thanks for sharing! :beer


It's really easy:
1. Connect an ethernet cable from your cable modem directly into one of the Google hubs (I dunno what you call the Google thing). You do NOT need a separate router - the Google device IS the router/hub.
2. Run the Android setup app (takes a few minutes, it does almost all the work)
3. Drop a second Google hub somewhere else farther away and use the app to connect it .

And you're done. There's a built in speed test to check that the additional hub(s) are running fast.

At least for me, it completely solved the recurrent problem mentioned above of any internet devices hanging onto the original wifi network as you moved farther away from it (and not handing off the the much faster, closer network once you're in the other part of the house.)

michaeljc70
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:10 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:Yes. I had mine setup this way. It was not easy to get setup and I am fairly technical (I also have a router/modem I am just using as a modem). The problem I had is my devices will not switch to the stronger signal unless the other signal drops. Therefore to get the strongest signal I had to turn off wifi on the device and then turn it back on and it would connect to the stronger signal.

So, if I started close to the main router with 100% signal and went upstairs to where it had a 20% signal, it would still stay on the 20% signal rather than automatically switch to the 100% signal from the upstairs router.

My devices that are mobile (iPads, iPhones, MacBooks) are all Apple, so perhaps that gives them magic sauce for doing handoffs with Apple AirPort Extreme WAPs. My non-Apple devices (Roku, desktop PCs, printers) are static and mostly Ethernet connected.

Re installation. I've done a half dozen PC-managed installations. 192.168.1.1 is seared into my memory. Installing the Airport Extremes, via my iPhone, was a walk in the park by comparison; it just worked. As much as I "hate" Apple, they do make this kind of thing easy (no idea why they hose iTunes every time, but that's another thread).


For Android devices there is an app that will do the switching for you. Since my 2nd AP is in a room that isn't used much, I never played with them to see how well they work. I imagine a similar app exists for Windows devices. Based on what you are saying it sounds like Apple handles that if you are using all Apple products.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:25 am

michaeljc70 wrote:For Android devices there is an app that will do the switching for you. Since my 2nd AP is in a room that isn't used much, I never played with them to see how well they work. I imagine a similar app exists for Windows devices. Based on what you are saying it sounds like Apple handles that if you are using all Apple products.


I guess I should be more precise. I never bothered to check if my devices moved from one WAP to the other when the device moved around the house, but I never had a situation arise where I was experiencing sub-standard wifi with my mobile devices, and thus didn't research it further.

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Toons
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by Toons » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:37 am

Thanks for the info,,,,
I had been researching them for a while as I have a Google Onhub router.
One is on the way :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Hug401k
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by Hug401k » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:18 pm

Thanks, Great info for me. We struggle with dropped wifi, slow wifi, and crossed signals despite an extender and repeater and paying for a high speed. Plus we have a big ol' house full of horse hair plaster, lath and chimneys which does not help.

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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:38 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:Yes. I had mine setup this way. It was not easy to get setup and I am fairly technical (I also have a router/modem I am just using as a modem). The problem I had is my devices will not switch to the stronger signal unless the other signal drops. Therefore to get the strongest signal I had to turn off wifi on the device and then turn it back on and it would connect to the stronger signal.

So, if I started close to the main router with 100% signal and went upstairs to where it had a 20% signal, it would still stay on the 20% signal rather than automatically switch to the 100% signal from the upstairs router.

My devices that are mobile (iPads, iPhones, MacBooks) are all Apple, so perhaps that gives them magic sauce for doing handoffs with Apple AirPort Extreme WAPs. My non-Apple devices (Roku, desktop PCs, printers) are static and mostly Ethernet connected.

Re installation. I've done a half dozen PC-managed installations. 192.168.1.1 is seared into my memory. Installing the Airport Extremes, via my iPhone, was a walk in the park by comparison; it just worked. As much as I "hate" Apple, they do make this kind of thing easy (no idea why they hose iTunes every time, but that's another thread).


I have an Asus router and a couple of access points with all (2.4 & 5) assigned to the same SSID. Asus, at least with the flashed Merlin firmware, has a "Roaming Assistant" that can be adjusted (within bounds) to drop devices below a specified signal strength so that another AP can pick it up. I assume the stock Asus firmware allows the same. It works quite well in my home for both android and i-Phones as well as other wireless devices.

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ixohoxi
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by ixohoxi » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:40 pm

MP123 wrote:Is there really no way to administer it from a laptop? That would be a deal breaker for me.


Most likely you can run the wifi admin app inside an Android emulator on a laptop. I have used the Bluestacks emulator but have not tried the Google Wifi app.
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by jf89 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:55 pm

Half the reason this works is that people don't realize that a closet in the corner of your home is the worst place to put your router. Physical objects and distance both degrade your router signal.

You could have saved the money by moving your router to a better location.
"Save as much as you can, diversify diversify diversify, and you can't go wrong with tech stocks" | -First investing advice I recall from my parents in the 90's (two outta three ain't bad)

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bostondan
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by bostondan » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:09 pm

+1 for Eero.

We live in a two-story brownstone with walls made of whatever material blocks wifi signals. Wifi barely makes it across one room normally.

I set up three Eeros across our apartment, hard-wired (not necessary but I wanted to get every last drop of speed) and it's incredible. I can walk around our apartment without any loss of signal. There were some issues with wifi-calling dropping, but those are now fixed in the latest release.

Also, the Eero team is very responsive. This is their baby and they want it to be perfect. I'm sure the Google Wifi team is similarly interested in making a good product, but Google has a history of suddenly stopping development of something and being less transparent about development. Obviously Eero could go out of business and stop working, but hopefully not before it's time to upgrade my network anyways. Check out http://www.reddit.com/r/eero to get a feel for the Eero team. The Eero engineers post there frequently.

I think people will probably be happy with any of the products. If it were me I would stick with Eero, Google Wifi or Orbi. The other contenders are late entries and probably at higher risk of development stopping due to lack of interest.
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lightheir
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by lightheir » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:22 pm

jf89 wrote:Half the reason this works is that people don't realize that a closet in the corner of your home is the worst place to put your router. Physical objects and distance both degrade your router signal.

You could have saved the money by moving your router to a better location.


I was 100% aware of this problem of suboptimal router placement.

Unfortunately, reality is that it is often hard to move the router to a central location. In my case, it would me running hardwire through walls and a floor.

The very first thing I did before I got the Google wifi is optimize my router placement. Alas, my wife hated the cable running out of the closet and across the floor, and I wasn't even getting it up to the upper level where it had to be.

I did the same optimization for the earlier wifi repeater - tested every part of my house, even using wifi signal strength apps to monitor weak/strong spots.

Despite all that, google wifi beats the pants off every single setup I did - by a longshot, and requiring near-zero fiddling or placement issues. I really believe it's the mesh (or meshlike) technology they use - it's almost certainly not just a stronger signal, as my wifi repeater alone cost almost as much as two Google units and was top of the line 6 months ago, and it only performs at less than half the download speed of the google wifi most of the time.

I'll also bet that it's a lot cheaper to buy 2 or even 3 google wifi mesh devices than it is to pay someone the money to drill through your walls and floors to run the cabling to where you'd like it to go.

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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by finite_difference » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:51 pm

1. What's to stop Google from using this to track you? Are they committed to privacy?

2. How are security updates handled?
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lightheir
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by lightheir » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:06 pm

finite_difference wrote:1. What's to stop Google from using this to track you? Are they committed to privacy?

2. How are security updates handled?


Nothing can stop them.

But if you're gonna ask that question, you should be asking the same question of whatever company is maker your router or cable modem setup and asking whether they've got enough to lose if they're busted. Google has enough to lose with their reputation if they do something nefarious, so I'm going with them.

This is actually an increasingly larger issue with home electronics. I was about to buy a cheap Chinese home wifi-enabled video security cam from Amazon that got a ton of good reviews, but a few of the reviewers got into the ways of how you were really vulnerable to any nefarious activity on their end if they chose to be evil, and that was the end of that for me. I'll buy cheap chinese headphones from fly-by-night gone-by-tomorrow companies, but stuff that transmits personal data or surveillance video? Probably not.

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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by jf89 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:03 pm

lightheir wrote:
jf89 wrote:Half the reason this works is that people don't realize that a closet in the corner of your home is the worst place to put your router. Physical objects and distance both degrade your router signal.

You could have saved the money by moving your router to a better location.


I was 100% aware of this problem of suboptimal router placement.

Unfortunately, reality is that it is often hard to move the router to a central location. In my case, it would me running hardwire through walls and a floor.

The very first thing I did before I got the Google wifi is optimize my router placement. Alas, my wife hated the cable running out of the closet and across the floor, and I wasn't even getting it up to the upper level where it had to be.

I did the same optimization for the earlier wifi repeater - tested every part of my house, even using wifi signal strength apps to monitor weak/strong spots.

Despite all that, google wifi beats the pants off every single setup I did - by a longshot, and requiring near-zero fiddling or placement issues. I really believe it's the mesh (or meshlike) technology they use - it's almost certainly not just a stronger signal, as my wifi repeater alone cost almost as much as two Google units and was top of the line 6 months ago, and it only performs at less than half the download speed of the google wifi most of the time.

I'll also bet that it's a lot cheaper to buy 2 or even 3 google wifi mesh devices than it is to pay someone the money to drill through your walls and floors to run the cabling to where you'd like it to go.


"Mesh" technology is just a dual-antenna router (one to receive information from the first and the second to send the information out to you). The big technology jump here is that you don't need to set them up to communicate with each other and they look prettier so people are more willing to leave them out instead of in a closet... that's not worth almost $300 to me and something you can do with a cheapo router from ebay or sitting in the back of your closet. And running a wire is a lot easier than you might think... especially with a basement or attic.

Having said that, I'll still recommend that you pull that thing out of the cabinet and put the receiving unit a bit closer to the first and not tucked away... especially not on the far wall of the house. Weather conditions, bodies, power fluctuations, and locations of receiving devices can all affect your wifi signal in the house. You should still set up your routers with the worst case in mind... not when it's just you in the house checking signal on your phone.
"Save as much as you can, diversify diversify diversify, and you can't go wrong with tech stocks" | -First investing advice I recall from my parents in the 90's (two outta three ain't bad)

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bostondan
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by bostondan » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:11 pm

jf89 wrote:"Mesh" technology is just a dual-antenna router (one to receive information from the first and the second to send the information out to you). The big technology jump here is that you don't need to set them up to communicate with each other and they look prettier so people are more willing to leave them out instead of in a closet... that's not worth almost $300 to me and something you can do with a cheapo router from ebay or sitting in the back of your closet. And running a wire is a lot easier than you might think... especially with a basement or attic.


This is not what mesh technology is. The dual-antenna feature does help prevent the halving of bandwidth with each jump between nodes as you get with plain vanilla repeaters, but mesh technology is much more than that. It adds all sorts of features to help allow the smooth transition of your devices as they roam around your home. Eero is constantly improving what they refer to as "TrueMesh" to make it even more seamless. A basic repeater will often keep your device connected to it as you move around, even when you get close to another repeater (or even the main router), sometimes resulting in very poor performance even when you are right next to a router or extender. This issue absolutely never arises with Eero. I have full speed wherever I walk in my home. I was skeptical at first, but it really does work as well as they advertise.

That being said, it is not yet clear which of the "mesh" options are truly mesh vs. fancy wifi extenders. I believe it is well accepted that Eero and Amplifi are mesh. It seems like Google Wifi probably is. Orbi is not, but appears to perform relatively well despite that. I'm not sure about the other products.
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lightheir
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by lightheir » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:22 pm

Ill second that it's not just a different brand of repeater.

The Google wifi mesh is FAR superior to my pricey repeater. I don't know how it works but I read somewhere about intelligent handoffs between networks.

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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:39 pm

lightheir wrote:Ill second that it's not just a different brand of repeater.

The Google wifi mesh is FAR superior to my pricey repeater. I don't know how it works but I read somewhere about intelligent handoffs between networks.

OK, google forums says you can use with Comcast modem by changing modem to bridge mode (something like that).

Anyway, Google says this device covers 1500sf. Our router is almost in the middle of our 2800 sf (single level) home. Do you think 1, or 2, devices are needed?

Right now we actually have decent coverage, except for one device which seems to be a weak receiver. But everything could be faster. We get very fast Comcast internet so if Google wifi allows our system to run faster it would be worth it.

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Toons
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by Toons » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:37 pm

Ordered the single mesh unit to go with the Onhub router,
Easy set up working superb .
In the garage
Google always was and always is ,
"My Friend" :happy



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lightheir
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by lightheir » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:47 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
lightheir wrote:Ill second that it's not just a different brand of repeater.

The Google wifi mesh is FAR superior to my pricey repeater. I don't know how it works but I read somewhere about intelligent handoffs between networks.

OK, google forums says you can use with Comcast modem by changing modem to bridge mode (something like that).

Anyway, Google says this device covers 1500sf. Our router is almost in the middle of our 2800 sf (single level) home. Do you think 1, or 2, devices are needed?

Right now we actually have decent coverage, except for one device which seems to be a weak receiver. But everything could be faster. We get very fast Comcast internet so if Google wifi allows our system to run faster it would be worth it.


I use my Google wifi plugged directly into a cable modem (that I bought) on a Comcast network. It should def work with comcast for you.

Check the google wifi recs for 2 vs 3 square foot coverage. I get 90-100% max speed at the furthest part of my house through walls with only 2 units, however, they're cheap enough that it's no biggie to get 3 of 'em and have near-max speed for sure everywhere you need it (and then some).

Honestly, the only reason I went with 2 rather than 3 units was because the 3-unit Google wifi was (and I think is) still sold out, so I bought 2 single units instead (costs a bit more per unit than the 3-pack combo.) If the 3-pack was available, I DEFINITELY would have bought the 3-pack. I even entertained the idea of just buying a 3rd one for kicks after I setup up the 2 units, but reason prevailed, and since I was getting 90+% of max speed (routinely 85+Mpbs), there was no reason for me to get a 3rd unit.

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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by mclvngr » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:39 pm

If you're at all concerned with your privacy (even if you don't have anything to hide) you should NOT use Google products. All data going in and out of Google hardware is being mined. Two safer alternatives are eero and Orbi (Netgear).

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TimeRunner
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by TimeRunner » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:49 pm

mclvngr wrote:If you're at all concerned with your privacy (even if you don't have anything to hide) you should NOT use Google products. All data going in and out of Google hardware is being mined. Two safer alternatives are eero and Orbi (Netgear).
Google says: "Google Wifi app and your Wifi points do not track the websites you visit or collect the content of any traffic on your network. However, your Wifi points does (sic) collect data such as Wi-Fi channel, signal strength, and device types that are relevant to optimize your Wi-Fi performance...." See: https://support.google.com/wifi/answer/ ... 9193082304
One cannot enlighten the unconscious. | Endurance athletes are the Bogleheads of sports. | "I like people, I just don't want to be around them." - Russell Gordy

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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by Yooper » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:25 pm

TimeRunner wrote:
mclvngr wrote:If you're at all concerned with your privacy (even if you don't have anything to hide) you should NOT use Google products. All data going in and out of Google hardware is being mined. Two safer alternatives are eero and Orbi (Netgear).
Google says: "Google Wifi app and your Wifi points do not track the websites you visit or collect the content of any traffic on your network. However, your Wifi points does (sic) collect data such as Wi-Fi channel, signal strength, and device types that are relevant to optimize your Wi-Fi performance...." See: https://support.google.com/wifi/answer/ ... 9193082304


Care to buy the Brooklyn bridge? Seriously though, it's not just Google, they're ALL the same and your activity is being tracked. Maybe not at THAT particular point, but further down the line. I think the point is that you have to assume it's all being recorded and sucked up by default (storage of data being so inexpensive) and anyone who places any value on any level of privacy has to make a serious effort overcome the invasion (or reduction) in privacy. Or maybe so much info is being recorded that your actions are lost in the noise. I honestly don't know. To use a very poor analogy, I can stop in a mall and look at the Victoria's Secrets window display, ponder a gift for my wife/girlfriend, move on and it's like it never happened. However online there's a record of that and my "interest" can be shown in a positive or a negative light - depending on who's spinning it and what their agenda is. I've strayed from the OP's post (Lord knows I hate it when others do that....) but I had to chime in on this part. Don't take it personally TimeRunner (smile).

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TimeRunner
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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by TimeRunner » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:45 pm

Yooper wrote: Don't take it personally TimeRunner (smile).
I don't and won't. Your ISP is certainly keeping track of every DNS query and URL you put in your browser, and that's not hidden when you are in say "Incognito Mode" in Google Chrome or the other hidden modes in other browsers. OK, off this rabbit trail. :wink:
One cannot enlighten the unconscious. | Endurance athletes are the Bogleheads of sports. | "I like people, I just don't want to be around them." - Russell Gordy

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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by VGisforme » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:14 pm

With a Comcast DOCSIS 3.0 gateway in the upper level of my two story home I get reliable service in the basement, yard and garage. Have to use 2.4 ghz when I get too far but 5 ghz works great otherwise. We don't have a huge house about 2,180 sq ft.

Important to place the gateway/router in a good spot, not on the floor in a corner or behind a desk etc.

I pay for the 75 meg speed but test out at 89 meg over wifi and over an ethernet connection more times than not.

If I was forced to stick the router in a tight spot the Google WiFi solution does sound good to me.

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Re: Google wifi is awesome

Post by Five Scoop » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:27 pm

Just want to thank the OP for starting this thread! I didn't know about mesh networks until now. Thanks to some other posters for mentioning the Eero. I just got a 3-pack and had them all up and running within 10 minutes. I have great wifi signal throughout the house now (basement, first, and 2nd floors). I had previously bought extenders that never seemed to work.

I went with the Eero over Google Wifi because Eero has the ability to be hardwired to existing ethernet ports.

Thanks again to the OP!

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