/ tech

Google Fiber - First Impressions

After months of waiting following the first door hanger announcing Google Fiber's construction in my area, it's finally here. I'm like a giddy school girl.


the setup

Tuesday, sign-ups for Google Fiber went live for my apartment complex. A $10 deposit later, I had my Express Connect Kit was in the mail and on the way.

The box contained two gigabit ethernet cables, the Google Fiber Network Box, and a power cable for both the network box and our wall-mounted fiber jack that crews came out to install a few months prior.

The setup guide included in the box lists all the steps necessary to go from 0 to 1000 in around 10 to 15 minutes.

For most people, the 'setup' stops there. The Network Box provides 802.11ac wireless that supports both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands, and was quite fast and responsive across all devices in our apartment, both PCs and Apple devices.

That's it. Open box. Plug everything in. Wait for it come online, configure from fiber.google.com, and you're all set.


the speed

Sweet mother of packets is it a glorious upgrade.

Charter's $60/mo 60Mbp/s down 5Mbp/s plan

(WiFi Connection)

Admittedly, not bad. Definitely above average for residential internet service, and a pretty great deal. I honestly can't knock Charter, they had mostly solid internet with only intermittent downtime or connection quality issues. No data caps either. If you're in an area with a choice between Comcast or Charter, Charter seems like a considerably better offering.

Google Fiber's $70/mo 1Gbp/s plan

(WiFi Connection)

(Ethernet Connection)

I'm only one day into the new connection, but everything is noticeably faster. Web pages load almost instantly, buffering is a thing of the past, and my roommates and I can all game, stream music, watch streaming TV, and download updates for our various devices all at the same time with no noticeable network impact. One of my room mates thought I was being silly about the level of excitement I had for Google Fiber, then quickly changed his tune when he noticed that logging into World of Warcraft took a fraction of the time it used to.

I was able to download an 8GB ISO of CentOS in two minutes. Two. Minutes. Insanity.


the conclusion ...and one more thing

I'll update with any other notable experiences or issues I run into in the future, but so far it's been an amazingly simple process with vastly superior benefits from my previous ISP.

One thing I did notice, is that there are no concise guides online for using Google Fiber with either the Xbox One (or Xbox Live at all, for that matter) or the Airport Extreme wireless router. Next on my to-do list is releasing a setup guide for both of these devices, as it took me a hair longer than it should have to figure out exactly how to get these things working properly.

For now, that's all. I'll need to be excused to finish downloading a car...