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How to Get Blazing-Fast Internet With Google Fiber

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Sometimes it’s hard to cut the cable because that’s the only way to get internet. Is it though? Sometimes you may have more options than you think, depending on where you live.

Google Fiber is a great option if you live in one of its coverage areas. Read on to get all the details.

ProsCons
✔ Blazing fast speeds❌ Extremely limited availability
✔ Unlimited data❌ Relatively expensive
✔ Equipment rental included❌ Limited plans

Google Fiber Overview

Google Fiber has two plans: 1 Gig and 2 Gig. The “gig” refers to gigabits, the next standard unit bigger than a megabit but smaller than a terabit. To give you a point of reference, standard cable internet typically runs between 10 and 500 Mbps (1 Gbps = 1000 Mbps) for download speeds.

DownloadUploadPrice
100 Mbps†100 Mbps$30/mo
1 Gbps1 Gbps$70/mo
2 Gbps2 Gbps$100/mo
† Limited availability.

Generally, upload speeds are a fraction of download speeds, which is fine if all you’re doing is passively surfing the web. But it can be a real problem if you need to video conference or upload a lot of content. That’s why it’s more impressive that both Google Fiber plans have a 1 Gbps upload speed.

Also, think of your broadband as a big water pipe. Every person in your home using an online device for anything is diverting water from that pipe. So you’ll want a pipe that can push a lot of water.

The 1 Gig plan comes with Google Wifi, which uses a mesh network for wifi instead of a traditional router. The 2 Gig plan includes Google’s Wi-Fi 6 Router with a Tri-band Mesh Extender. A mesh network means more consistent, thorough coverage of your entire living space.

There are no contracts or minimum periods. Also no data caps or throttling. The connection is 99.9% reliable.

Webpass

Google Fiber Webpass is a completely separate service that Google acquired and rebranded under Google Fiber. It’s also only in limited cities and is for businesses and apartment buildings.

Speed is highly dependent on a bunch of factors. For standard customers, it ranges from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps (remember, cable runs 10 to 500 Mbps). You can check your particular location before you sign up, but chances are, it will be as fast if not faster than cable.

It’s $70/mo. Installation is free and takes about fifteen minutes. You can schedule at a time of your choosing (not a window).

The catch is, Webpass does not include equipment (though they will give you an ethernet cord). You don’t need a modem, but you will have to get a router if you want wireless in your space.

Get Affordable Internet with Google Fiber

Google Fiber Availability

As of this writing, Google Fiber is available in select areas of the following cities:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Denver, CO
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Kansas City, KS/MO
  • Miami, FL
  • Nashville, TN
  • Oakland, CA
  • Orange County, CA
  • Provo, UT
  • Salt Lake Valley, UT
  • San Antonio, TX
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • The Triangle, NC
  • West Des Moines, IA

Webpass is currently available in select locations in the following cities:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Denver, CO
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Miami, FL
  • Nashville, TN
  • Oakland / East Bay, CA
  • Raleigh-Durham, NC
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Antonio, TX
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA

Competitors

But Google’s not the only one rockin’ the glass threads around the US. Check out the competition:

  • AT&T Fiber: AT&T’s big strength is the widest availability of any fiber ISP. Having low prices ($35-$65/mo) doesn’t hurt.
  • Verizon Fios: Verizon wants to woo you with gifts, like $200 gift cards and free AMC+ and Disney+ subscriptions. Spring for the 1 gig service and they’ll throw in a free rental of wifi router and extender. Only available in mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Fios also provides streaming TV.
  • Frontier FiberOptic: Now covering 19 states, Frontier is more available than it used to be. Like Google Fiber, they include equipment costs in their pricing, so you actually pay the advertised price — no hidden fees.
  • Kinetic by Windstream: Bringing the fios to the ‘burbs and the sticks — and, with Gbps service at only $67/mo, doing it affordably.
  • CenturyLink: Available in more states (though not to more people), and, like Windstream Kinetic, targets suburban and rural areas.

The Future of Google Fiber

Google Fiber abruptly stopped all of its new cable-laying in 2017. Speculation is that costs for continued fiber optic cable expansion were getting too high.

It only just resumed some cautious expansion last year, and most of that was expanding already established areas, like the surrounding areas of Salt Lake City in Utah.

They also introduced their 2 Gig service. One thing seems clear: Google Fiber is here to stay in the cities they’ve already established.

Wrapping Up

When will the rest of us get this reasonably-priced, blazing-fast, ultra-stable internet? That’s more uncertain. But Google Fiber says on their blog:

While we still have a lot of work to do in many of our communities to bring access to as many people as possible, we continue to make our build processes more efficient and less disruptive. This will be a focus area for our teams across the country leading into 2022, as we expect to expand even more next year.

Get Blazing Internet with Google Fiber

Ditch “Big Cable” Now — 3 Simple Steps to Cutting the Cord

  1. Pick the right streaming service
  2. Supercharge your internet provider
  3. Protect yourself and power your streaming with the best VPN.

That’s it — you’ll save money, gain control, and enjoy TV more!

Alanna Baker
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