Google has brought the world better and faster ways to expand their reach of knowledge in the world, from powerful search tools, file archiving, email, and that hidden Breakout game in their image search feature.
One of their hardware offerings has helped people expand the reach of their home networks without a ton of complicated machinery. Google WiFi mesh networks helps users create their own expanded networks within their home or small business environment. WiFi has a long range, but it can be affected by all sorts of factors such as:
The problem is just where to put the devices. Rather than just scatter them randomly about and hoping for the best, we can use tools like NetSpot to show the strength of our network at each location, and use that information to best place our devices.
Google WiFi mesh networks work by a series of small devices working together to connect devices to the network. Imagine a gymnasium of people, and we really want to talk to the person on the other side of the gym. We have a few options:
The last option is how a mesh network works. We have to set up our “network of friends” beforehand, but now even when there are more and more people in the gym, our messages have a good chance of getting through.
The more friends we have, the more we can get our message to the other areas of the gym. But more important than just the number of friends is where they’re positioned. If we can’t hand our note off to someone because they’re out of reach, then our messages still won’t go anywhere.
Now that we know what kind of network we want to use, here’s how to set up our Google WiFi mesh network. In order for this process to work, we need some things first:
If all of those pieces are in place, let’s get to setting up our Google WiFi
If we have the hardware and Internet connection in place, here’s how to add our Google mesh WiFi devices:
Before we go on, make sure that NetSpot is installed and running. Remember that for the Heat Map functions we need a registered version of NetSpot. For more information, check out the license options at https://www.netspotapp.com/netspotpro.html.
Once the first Google WiFi mesh device is plugged in, launch NetSpot on our laptop and let’s see how things look so we can decide where to place our next device. Here’s the procedure for this:
Now we can see where our signals are stronger or weaker. Blue is weak, and red is strong. As we can see from our map, we have decent signal strength through most of the location, but the far left side things are weaker. Placing our next Google mesh WiFi device in the middle where the signal starts to weak would be a great place for our next device.
Now we know where to setup our Google WiFi devices. Here’s how to add a new device to the network to expand its reach:
Here’s an example of a very simple building and the heat map with just two devices attached, scanned in different areas:
Using NetSpot with the Google WiFi setup process can turn the easy to use Google WiFi devices into an even stronger system for our devices. We can find all of the weak zones, and maximize the spread of our network so every device has maximum connection. The download is free, a license for home use is very affordable, and it’s an easy to use tool that gives the power of an enterprise application with an easy to use interface. Try it for yourself, and happy connecting.