I have been using an Asus router for years. The Asus is powerful, and my most recent one was a Asus RT-AC88U with eight LAN ports. It is a beast of a router and looks like you have to sacrifice a small animal on it. But I could never get even coverage in my HDB home. There was always SOME CORNER of the flat with DEAD SPOTS and it drove me crazy.
I ran a second wifi access point in my bedroom just to eliminate this, but even so, it was not ideal. I had intermittent connections and also a second SSID (the wifi name) to deal with. Yes, my home had TWO wifi networks, one that covered the study and living room, and the other to cover my bedroom. It was a PAIN in the ASS.
So when Google offered to let me try their Google Wifi product, that offered Mesh networking, I said sure. Anything to eliminate dead spots.
Setup was easy. I had three identical white pucks in my set (I call them pucks because they look like white hockey pucks, I am sure Google calls them something else). You choose one of the pucks to be the main router or Primary unit. Connect that with a network cable to your modem (the internet thingy that your ISP gives you), and use the Google Wifi app to set it up. Then you pair the other pucks to the main puck, and you place the other two pucks elsewhere in the house. I put one in the living room, and one in my master bedroom, while the primary puck lives next to my modem in the study.
I recommend doing the pairing of the three pucks in the same room first, before moving them elsewhere. That way, you confirm that the three pucks are talking to each other before you place them at the far reaches of your home.
The three pucks form an overlapping mesh with each other, covering your home with wifi goodness. It will always hand off the wifi to the strongest unit. Upon testing, I found that I was getting five bars throughout the home. And I needed to deal with just one SSID. One network name to rule them all.
Google Wifi polls the wifi network every five minutes to ensure the best connection. This is another headache that used to bug me. When you live in a densely populated place like Singapore, where every flat has wifi, you will inevitably get clashes over wifi channels. I used to make my old router reboot every night to choose a new stable channel because the channel interference in my HDB block was insane. No longer. Google Wifi scans and adjusts it for me.
I found that there is a difference in speeds depending on how you set up your Google Wifi units. Most people will just connect the Primary puck to the modem by ethernet cable, and let the other two pucks be un-wired. This means the three pucks talk to each other over wifi, and create the mesh network wirelessly. The term used to describe how the pucks in a mesh pass data to each other is "backhaul". So the default setup is wireless backhaul.
This works fine, but you do get a speed hit because your pucks are using the same wifi bands to talk to each other to make that mesh, as well as give your devices internet.
If you want maximum speeds, and your home is already wired up with ethernet cable in every room, you can use "wired backhaul" and connect your pucks to the LAN points in your home. This way, the pucks talk to each other and create that mesh with a more stable wired connection, thus freeing up the wifi bands on the pucks to solely give your devices wifi internet.
I currently run my Google Wifi with ethernet wired backhaul and it makes me happy.
There are two wired LAN ports in each puck. For the primary puck, the modem will be connected to one of those ports. The second port is up to you. In my case, I connect a switch with 8 LAN ports to the second Google Wifi LAN port, so that I can connect other devices and computers that need a more stable and faster wired connection, like my gaming PC.
You are free to connect other things to the two LAN ports of your second and third pucks.
Therein lies the problem of Google Wifi. The lack of LAN ports. If you are the kind of user who has a gazillion things that need LAN ports, then perhaps a regular router is better for you. If you are primarily a wifi user, and don't have that many wired devices, a Google Wifi setup is better.
Also, if you are the kind of user who needs to tinker with router settings, like static routing and what not, Google Wifi is not for you. The focus is on ease of use and ease of setup, so you have less customization access to router settings. And if you are a user who needs the fastest possible wifi speeds, I am talking 800Mbps and above, a mesh system will lose out to a beefy Asus router.
Also, Google Wifi is not the fastest mesh product out there. Partly because it is only a dual-band product (it has one 2.4Ghz band and one 5Ghz band). Some other brands have three bands, one 2.4Ghz band and two 5Ghz bands, so that you can use one dedicated 5Ghz band for wireless backhaul. It is supposed to improve speeds. Google Wifi does not have a dedicated 5Ghz band for backhaul.
In real world use, though, I doubt if you will notice it. In real world terms, if you get 100 to 200Mpbs consistently throughout the home, you are pretty good for most use cases. And if you really want the best speeds, ethernet wired backhaul is the best setup anyway. I get about 300Mbps wifi speeds consistently with Google Wifi and wired backhaul. Fast enough to stream my Apple TV, PS4 and Xbox One X over wifi.
The Google Wifi app is also a pleasure to use. You sign up with your Google account and from the app, you can remotely control and check the status of your Google Wifi network at home.
And as an added bonus, you can choose which device gets priority (like your 4K streaming TV in the evening), and here is the best part, even PAUSE wifi for specific devices.
I have a schedule set up where my children's iPhones have their wifi paused during the weekday afternoons, when they should be studying and not looking at their phones. It is very useful.
Google Wifi is currently available as an add-on when you sign up with Starhub's fibre broadband service. It is cheaper if you buy it this way, after taking into account the monthly payments.
Or you can buy it online from overseas, and give it a go yourself. I have heard it is a bit of a pain to set up Google Wifi with the likes of Singtel, because their internet service has to take into account the Mio tv settings too, which is not found in the Google Wifi product by default. I had no trouble setting it up with my M1 fibre broadband service.
I don't think I can ever go back to regular wifi, now that I have tasted of Google Wifi's mesh networking. I don't get complaints from my wife as she uses her iPad Pro while walking from the bedroom to the kitchen anymore. And there is no more dead spot at the corner of the bed where I sleep too. Shiok.
I am currently listening to Christmas music on my new Beats Studio 3 Wireless, next to some Christmas buddies.
The new Studio 3 comes Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling (Pure ANC) and the Apple W1 chip. I found the noise-cancelling to be very decent. The battery life is a whopping 22 hours with noise-cancelling on, and up to 40 hours with that off.
Pairing with other Apple devices and Macs was a breeze, just like all the headphones and earphones with the W1 chip. Once paired, all devices that use your Apple ID will be able to switch to it.
How is the sound? Like its little brother, the Beats Solo 3, sound has been tightened up, compared to older Beats. Apple quality control seems to have permeated this current range of Beats.
I liked the overall sound, though a tad weaker in the mids. The bass isn’t as crazy heavy as it used to be though, which I appreciated.
The Beats Studio 3 folds up quite nicely and has a premium carrying semi-hard case. Comes with a wire with mic, for when you really need to run it wired (though at 22 hours of battery life, I don’t see why you would).
If I have any complaints, it is that the headphones can get warm and sweaty if you wear them in our Singapore heat all day. Other than that, the cans are comfy.
Now my travel headache will be, so I carry the Beats Solo 3, which is slightly smaller, or the full-on Beats Studio 3, which has bigger drivers? Decisions, decisions.
As a headphone fan who used to shun Beats, I have to say the Solo 3 and Studio 3 has changed my mind.
Limpeh watch Justice League liao. This movie is can watch.
Was it perfect? No. Was it fun? Yes.
Wonder Woman and The Flash — The Princess and the Jester — did it for me.
Every time Wonder Woman has a scene, you cheer a little. And Ezra Miller had all the best lines, which he milked with his fish-out-of-water Flash.
Even Affleck’s Batman was less unlikeable than his brooding angry version in BvS.
Plot was a little basic but you forgive it once the team gets together and does its thing. The villain and his flying cockroach men were quite generic as bad guys go, but the focus was really on the good guys’ team anyway.
Some of the CG was a little jarring. Like Cyborg’s body and some Super person’s mousache being digitally erased. Steppenwolf also looked a bit like the digital Princess Leia very often.
I liked the use of the music in this movie a lot. Listen for the theme from the 1978 classic Superman: The Movie by John Williams, weaved into the movie.
And oh, do stay for the TWO closing credits scenes. One of which was a comic lover’s scene come true.
It was a real pleasure to be in London to meet the cast of Justice League. Ben Affleck (Batman), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Ezra Miller (the Flash), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), and Ray Fisher (Cyborg) were all very warm and friendly.
It made the 14 hours to fly to London (and another two hours to clear immigration and get from Heathrow to town) all worthwhile.
It is very rare to get all the cast together in one room like this, and even more precious to be able to meet them. I told Gal that Joy, my youngest, was a fan, and that she watched the Wonder Woman movie more than once. And also thanked Gal for being a strong role model for girls.
Ben Affleck was amused at how my blue hair and clothes all matched.
Thanks to Warner Brothers for inviting me to be at this special fan event.