Google Wifi, the company’s wireless mesh network system, has hit the European mainland.
Announced back in October last year, Google Wifi is a cylindrical 802.11ac router that’s available as a single unit or double pack.
If multiple units are installed, they can interact with one another to ensure maximum coverage at every point in the home, something that’s very handy if you have thick walls or if your home spans multiple floors.
The network is controlled by an Android and iOS app that lets users suspend access to particular devices or prioritize others, for example, when an important video chat is under way. The app also saves and allows the sharing of Wi-Fi passwords.
Google Wifi rolled out in North America at the end of 2016, then in the UK in March. On Monday, the company announced its availability in Germany and France, at the price of €139 for a single unit and €249 for the two-pack.
The product, of course, theoretically gives Google yet another vantage point from which to monitor people’s online activities, on top of the Chrome browser and operating system, Android, and the company’s online trackers.
However, the firm told Der Spiegel that it only earns money from the sale of the hardware, and customers can turn off the anonymized usage statistics and crash reports that the device feeds back to the mother ship.
Google updated its Wi-Fi units last week to introduce IPv6 support. The update also brought a feature to let users check the performance of their mesh speeds, as well as more minor tweaks such as a warning that pops up in the app if someone tries to “pause” their own device’s reception of connectivity from the system.
In February, the company accidentally triggered a mass factory reset of Google Wifi and OnHub, the firm’s previous router system, devices. Google blamed the incident on “an issue with the Google Accounts engine”.
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