So, the first thing I just wanted to mention that I find different about these two routers is going to be the footprint. You can see how much larger and well put these in the same area just like this. You can see how much larger the Orbi is in comparison to the Google Wi-Fi.
So if you’re looking at aesthetics and purely aesthetics and believe me there are people who do the google solution is the best looking solution and it has the least footprint and it’s not going to be the most obvious one when you put it around your home. And keep in mind that there are two packs, there are three packs.
So you’re going to have these placed in different places. So google really takes it when it comes to footprint and overall look and feel.
Now the next one I wanted to cover is coverage which one gives you the best coverage. Now while the three pack from Google. This one right here is going to give you 4 500 square feet. It takes three bucks to do that. The OrbI all you need is to to get 4 000 square feet coverage. But again you’re dealing with the footprint which is much larger hence why you get better coverage.
So the next thing we want to cover is connectivity and each one is going to serve a different use case. So first of all its pretty obvious that the Google Wi-Fi only has two ethernet ports and you see that this one has four. Not only does it only have two but it lacks any kind of USB connectivity. On this side, you’ll notice that it has USB connectivity as well.
Now, why would this be important to you? Well, if you are using a router in your home and you have in addition to your standard internet you know being plugged into the first port. You have other ethernet cables then google Wi-Fi is only going to be able to supply you with one port. One is going to be used for your internet service provider and then the one you have extra.
Now you could connect a hub with multiple a gigabit hub that you’re going to be able to supply. You could do that but this one comes with a four which should satisfy most people.
So overall given the fact that the Orbi has four ethernet ports and one USB. It has superior connectivity then the google router does.
Now when it comes to connectivity both of these solutions will support you as a satellite right. Because this is what orbit calls them satellites and google just have as I’m called Wi-Fi points. The ability to be able to plug in devices. So if this is a Wi-Fi point and all you have is the power connected because you have another one of these as serving as your router. You can actually use these two ports to connect manually to these devices.
Now, why would you want to do it?
I really you know you have to think about what the use cases you may have an older printer that is not wi-fi based and you want a Wi-Fi to enable it and you can do that. So you literally you have the flexibility of moving this anywhere in your home powering it up and then having two ethernet ports. In this case, you have the same capability but you have four in addition to the USB.
Easiest to install
Now which one is the easiest to install. I’d probably give it hands down to the Google solution. The Google solution is the easiest to install. This is really for the person that just wants to plug it in and make it go and really doesn’t care about any kind of intermediate or advanced features. Plug it in you use your phone it has an app and you’re set to go.
Orbi is I would say for the beginner that wants to get into more intermediate features and also advanced users. This is going to have much more robust capabilities so the setup while it’s easy. It’s not as straightforward in my opinion as of the Google Wi-Fi solution.
Overall router reconfigurability
The Google Wi-Fi is very basic. It lacks a lot of critical features in my opinion. For example, you are not able at this point to configure the router to have your own IP range. So if you want to change the IP range from the standard out-of-the-box configuration which is typically 192.168.1.1. I believe you can’t change it. It’s fixed. It cannot be altered.
And why is that important?
Well if you have an existing router in your home that is serving up IP addresses to many of your devices and some of those devices have fixed IPs. You’re not going to be able to have this solution match those IPs unless you change your existing solution and as someone who also deals with security I always recommend changing your IP range so that it’s not standard out of the box to something that is different.
So you don’t have that flexibility here. You’re pretty much stuck with the Orbi. You can configure the IP range. You can set. There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to also even reserving IPs. There’s a lot of flexibility. Just in general with the solution because it has virtually almost the same software that the standard routers have.
So there are much more configuration options on the Orbi than there is on google.
Now the other thing that you have is the google router will not serve as an access point and maintain. It’s mesh capabilities. So let’s say for example you have a router and you want to connect this to your router but then kind of extend your network and you know to use the same IP range that you have in your existing router. Well if you turn this into an access point what ends up happening is all the mesh capability is gone.
With the Orbi. You can connect it into an existing router. It could be a net gear, it can be an Asus router or any other brand and you can basically set it up as an access point and what that means is that the router itself is not handing out the IP address is not doing the DHCP type capabilities. And it’s just being an extension of your existing router which means the IP address everything is the same.
Now again this is more of an intermediate to advanced users needs but this is much more capable and much more flexible google doesn’t have that capability.
Orbi is the only one who supports a VPN google does not.
Which one performs better?
I’ve done several tests. I’ve had some issues with the internet. So my testing while it is accurate didn’t really represent the full speed capability in my home.
Now that I resolve those issues. I found that Orbi has higher throughput. It maintains my throughput to a greater extent than Google Wi-Fi did. So if you’re looking for something that has more horsepower you may want to consider Orbi.
Feel looking for the simplicity and you’re looking for a balanced, I would say coverage of your home but still maintaining decent Wi-Fi then google Wi-Fi is your best.
Alright, now the very last thing is going to be overall cost. The Orbi solution is the most expensive solution coming at $332 and the Google Wi-Fi is $232.
Now that being said it comes down to what capabilities you want, what kind of throughput you want, it’s going to help you decide which one you’d like to choose.
So $399 versus $299 is what you’re looking at.
Now another thing that I’ve noticed with both of these solutions and actually even with some of the newer or older routers that are receiving new firmware is that the Wi-Fi signals are being combined. So typically you have two Wi-Fi signals 2.4 and a 5 gigahertz and they both have unique SSIDs unless you name them the same.
Now what’s happening is in both of these solutions even though you have two point four and five they share the same SSID in both and you don’t have the ability to separate them.
So it’s only one they also have both guest usage. So you can go into it and set up a guest network. So they’re both comparable in that area.
If you’re looking for also let’s say parental controls each has a certain level of parental controls but the Orbi is much more robust. With Google, you have the ability to pause the internet to make sure that the kids are not on using the internet but the reality is that if they have a cell phone they can just use data but if they have a tablet that is dependent or a TV that’s dependent on the internet. You can put some parental controls here but the parental controls on this system go far beyond it.
The Orbi also has the ability to block websites to a greater extent than this solution does. Both of these solutions have the ability to set that times where the Wi-Fi will be enabled disabled. So that you can control late-night internet usage but again the Orbi has more advanced capabilities.