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Putting Google Wifi to the test

At Google we care deeply about connecting people to the information and services they care about. Better connectivity is at the center of this, and we know that many people wish they had better Wi-Fi coverage in their home. That’s why we created Google Wifi, a new system that replaces your router to provide fast Wi-Fi for every corner of your home, on all your devices.

Google Wifi works differently than a traditional router, using mesh technology. Last week, we wrote about how mesh Wi-Fi is the best way to provide whole home coverage and as mesh is becoming increasingly popular, there are a few other companies offering home mesh solutions.

To see how we stack up, we recently asked Allion USA, a third party testing company, to put Google Wifi head-to-head with other mesh systems: Eero® and Luma®.

Allion connected two units from each system in a 3,000 square foot, two story home and tested Wi-Fi speeds at four different locations. The graphic below shows the speeds (in Mbps)  they measured at each of those locations. Google Wifi came out on top, with the fastest Wi-Fi across the whole home.

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Google Wifi is 75% faster than Eero in the living room, and more than twice as fast as Luma at the same location. When you’re sitting down with your family to stream the latest Hollywood blockbuster in 4K, that speed difference matters!

And when you want to kick back and game in the upstairs bedroom, Google Wifi is 23 Mbps faster than Luma, and five times faster (185 Mbps) than Eero.

Google Wifi is able to outperform other mesh routers because we built it from the ground up to provide fast Wi-Fi in every room. Each Google Wifi point packs high-gain antennas along with powerful amplifiers that make the signal stronger and farther-reaching.

Each point’s quad core network processor, fast packet forwarding engine, and dual gigabit Ethernet ports help the network keep up with all your needs.  Each point delivers AC1200 802.11ac performance in a device that looks nice enough to keep out in the open, where Wi-Fi works its best. Dual-band dual-concurrent radios are compatible with all your Wi-Fi devices, and Google’s Network Assist software takes care of managing complex settings in the background, so you can sit back and enjoy the Wi-Fi.

Simply put, not all Wi-Fi systems are created equal. We’re confident that Google Wifi can deliver better, faster Wi-Fi to your home, no matter what its shape or size. And since we care so much about ensuring you get the best coverage, Allion will continue to test Google Wifi against other mesh products over the coming weeks.

Google Wifi is currently available for pre-order online at retailers like the Google Store. Happy surfing and streaming!


Test performed by Allion USA with an Apple MacBook Air.  Individual results may vary depending on home layout, construction, network client, and interference.  MacBook Air is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Eero is a registered trademark of Eero, Inc. Luma is a registered trademark of Luma, Inc.

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Reinforcement learning with unsupervised auxiliary tasks

Our primary mission at DeepMind is to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be taught how. Our reinforcement learning agents have achieved breakthroughs in Atari 2600 games and the game of Go. Such systems, however, can require a lot of data and a long time to learn so we are always looking for ways to improve our generic learning algorithms.Read More

Found in translation: More accurate, fluent sentences in Google Translate

In 10 years, Google Translate has gone from supporting just a few languages to 103, connecting strangers, reaching across language barriers and even helping people find love. At the start, we pioneered large-scale statistical machine translation, which uses statistical models to translate text. Today, we’re introducing the next step in making Google Translate even better: Neural Machine Translation.  

Neural Machine Translation has been generating exciting research results for a few years and in September, our researchers announced Google’s version of this technique. At a high level, the Neural system translates whole sentences at a time, rather than just piece by piece. It uses this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to be more like a human speaking with proper grammar. Since it’s easier to understand each sentence, translated paragraphs and articles are a lot smoother and easier to read. And this is all possible because of end-to-end learning system built on Neural Machine Translation, which basically means that the system learns over time to create better, more natural translations.

Today we’re putting Neural Machine Translation into action with a total of eight language pairs to and from English and French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Turkish. These represent the native languages of around one-third of the world’s population, covering more than 35% of all Google Translate queries!

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With this update, Google Translate is improving more in a single leap than we’ve seen in the last ten years combined. But this is just the beginning. While we’re starting with eight language pairs within Google Search  the Google Translate app, and website; our goal is to eventually roll Neural Machine Translation out to all 103 languages and surfaces where you can access Google Translate.

And there’s more coming today too — Google Cloud Platform, our public cloud service, offers Machine Learning APIs that make it easy for anyone to use our machine learning technology. Today, Google Cloud Platform is also making the system behind Neural Machine Translation available for all businesses through Google Cloud Translation API. You can learn more about it here.

Today’s step towards Neural Machine Translation is a significant milestone for Google Translate, but there’s always more work to do and we’ll continue to learn over time. We’ll also continue to rely on  Translate Community, where language loving multilingual speakers can help share their language by contributing and reviewing translations. We can’t wait for you to start translating and understanding the world just a little bit better.

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Making a ‘mesh’ of your Wi-Fi

Whether we’re binge watching in the bedroom, gaming in the basement, or taking a video call from the kitchen, we want fast Wi-Fi in every room of our homes. And yet we still put up with Wi-Fi headaches, like spotty connections, dead zones, and blinking lights when something goes wrong.

As we continue to bring the latest and greatest gadgets into our homes, we want to make sure they get the connectivity they need. That’s why we built Google Wifi, to give you fast Wi-Fi in every room, on every device. We’re able to eliminate spotty connections, dead zones and blinking lights using our new mesh Wi-Fi system.

But what is mesh, exactly? We’re glad you asked…

A mesh network is a group of routers that communicate wirelessly to each other to create a single Wi-Fi network that provides a blanket of connectivity. This allows you to have multiple sources of powerful Wi-Fi throughout your home, instead of just a single router.

Think about where the router is located in your home. Probably in a corner, close to where the internet service enters your home. The problem is, that far flung corner is the worst location to place a router if you want fast Wi-Fi throughout the house. The farther you are from the router, the weaker the signal, which leads to dreaded dead zones and buffered videos.

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Google Wifi addresses the problem by allowing you to wirelessly expand your network through mesh.  For the networking experts – that’s IEEE 802.11s mesh, that’s further improved by a few of Google’s own innovations.

Since Wi-Fi is broadcasted from each Wifi point (and not just a single router), Google Wifi is a connected system that provides better coverage over a wider space. The system is flexible and scalable, so if you have a larger home, connect as many points as needed to get better Wi-Fi in every room (our 3-pack covers up to 4,500 sq. ft). Wifi points connect wirelessly, so you don’t need to run Ethernet cables throughout your house.

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Since all the Wifi points are connected to each other, data can take several paths toward its destination — and we use our Network Assist technology to ensure that Google Wifi points always choose the fastest route from your device to the internet. This means that you get faster Wi-Fi speeds for things like streaming and gaming.

Want to make a ‘mesh’ of your house? Google Wifi is available for pre-order in the US beginning today at retailers like the Google Store. A single Wifi point retails for $129, and covers homes up to 1,500 square feet. The three-pack, at $299, covers homes up to 4,500 square feet. Google Wifi ships on December 6th, just in time for fast Wi-Fi for all of your holiday guests.

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Meet the new Google Home app (previously the Google Cast app)

new Google Home app logo

If you’ve opened the Google Cast app recently, you might have noticed we’ve been hinting at some exciting changes. With the recent announcement of Google Home, our new voice-activated speaker, we are renaming the Google Cast app to the Google Home app. So you now have a one-stop destination to manage your compatible home devices. On top of the new name, we gave it a new icon, made the app easier to use, and added some useful new features.

Google Home app UI

New design to make it even easier to watch & discover.

Using the Watch tab, you can discover trending and popular video content on your Chromecast-enabled apps like HBO Now, Netfilx, Hulu, YouTube, and Google Play Movies.

The Discover tab lets you explore a library of 1000+ apps that work with Chromecast, as well as the latest offers, features, and tips.

And you can search and browse for content across Chromecast-enabled apps right in the Google Home app anytime — just look for the magnifying glass icon in the bottom right hand corner.

Control and manage your Chromecast and Google Home devices.

The Google Home app is also your one place to control and manage all your Chromecast and Google Home devices. Tap the Devices icon in the top right of the home screen to easily set up a new device, control playback or adjust Backdrop settings on your TV, and more.

Google Home app Device Management

The Google Home app will be coming this week on Google Play and the App Store, so keep your eyes open on your homescreen or app drawer for the new app icon. And stay tuned for more updates with the app as Google Home becomes available in the US in early November.

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The fastest Chromecast yet, with 4K and HDR support

What do The Upside Down, Jason Bourne and cliff jumping videos have in common? They all come in stunning 4K picture (which basically means the picture is suuuuuper crisp). And with the newly introduced Chromecast Ultra, now you can stream all of these 4K titles and more to your 4K TV.

Chromecast Ultra includes everything you love about Chromecast. Plus, it comes with advanced features like 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) support, faster speed and Wi-Fi improvements.

Stunning picture, deeper colors

Chromecast Ultra supports 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision, so you’ll get a crisper picture with higher resolution and more vibrant colors. At first, you’ll be able to stream 4K content from Netflix, YouTube and Vudu, and we’re working to bring more 4K and HDR content on board. Later this year, Google Play Movies & TV will be rolling out 4K content. Even if your TV isn’t 4K-ready, Chromecast Ultra automatically optimizes your TV’s picture.

Faster than ever, with optional Ethernet port

Chromecast Ultra loads videos 1.8 times faster than other Chromecast devices and includes major Wi-Fi improvements to support streams from full HD to Ultra HD without a hitch. For those tricky Wi-Fi environments, we’re also adding Ethernet support for a wired connection.

Everything you love about Chromecast

Just like the original Chromecast, you can cast all of your favorite content from thousands of apps using your phone, tablet or laptop. Mirror any content from your Android device or from a browser tab on your laptop (using Chrome) to the TV. And it comes in a small size that hides nicely behind your TV, without adding clutter to your living room.

Works with Google Home

Today we also introduced Google Home, a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. With Google Home, you can play music, get answers from Google, manage your everyday tasks, and control smart home devices, like Chromecast. Combined with Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra, use Google Home to control your TV — completely hands free. Simply say “Ok, Google, play the Jungle Book trailer on my TV” to watch the YouTube video on the big screen.

Chromecast Ultra will be available in November for $69 from Best Buy, the Google Store, Target, and Walmart in the U.S., as well as from international retailers in 15 more countries.

Join the waitlist on the Google Store and we’ll let you know when you can get your hands on Chromecast Ultra, so you can start enjoying some seriously crisp entertainment.

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Introducing a new kind of Wi-Fi system

We count on Wi-Fi at home more than ever. Whether you’re video chatting with mom, binge-watching the latest series, or simply getting work done, strong and reliable Wi-Fi is key to staying connected.

Today, we’re excited to introduce Google Wifi, a new connected Wi-Fi system designed to give you a fast signal in every room, on every device.

Google Wifi, a new approach to home Wi-Fi

Most of us get Wi-Fi in our homes through a centralized router, but using a single router to spread signal throughout your whole home is like expecting one light bulb to light up every room. Walls and distance make it difficult for a single device to send a strong signal to every corner of your home, resulting in slow Wi-Fi and dead zones.

Last year, we introduced OnHub with partners TP-LINK and ASUS to create a better Wi-Fi experience, focusing on design and simplicity. Google Wifi, built on the strengths of OnHub, is our next step towards ensuring that our homes can have great Wi-Fi everywhere we need it.

Fast Wi-Fi throughout your home

Google Wifi was designed from the ground up to support the new ways we use Wi-Fi. These days, Wi-Fi has to be able to support lots of devices at the same time, and stand up to high-bandwidth activities like streaming video or gaming — in every room of your house. Google Wifi is an expandable system, so for larger homes, you can simply add Google Wifi points. They connect to one another and spread a strong network signal to every room.

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The system uses a technology called mesh Wi-Fi (something usually only seen in expensive commercial installations). Within our mesh network, each Google Wifi point creates a high-powered connection, and the different points work together to determine the best path for your data. The result is fast Wi-Fi everywhere in your house, not just right next to the router.

Keeps itself fast

Most of us don’t want to spend time tweaking complex settings or managing our Wi-Fi network. Google Wifi comes with Network Assist technology, which works behind the scenes to keep your Wi-Fi fast so you don’t have to figure out how to adjust your router. Network Assist automatically places you on the clearest channel and optimal Wi-Fi band for your device. And as you roam around your house, Network Assist will seamlessly transition your device between the Google Wifi system points in real time, so you avoid dead spots or delays.

A simple way to control your network

For those times when you do want more control over your network, Google Wifi makes it simple through a companion app, available on Android or iOS. The app lets you do things like pause Wi-Fi on kids’ devices (like when it’s time to come to the dinner table). It also shows you which devices are connected and how much bandwidth they’re using and lets you prioritize devices within your network so you can stream that latest episode uninterrupted. Google Wifi was designed with user privacy as a top priority. For example, it has settings for easily controlling cloud management and industry-leading security features such as wireless encryption, verified boot, and auto updates to keep your network safe and secure.

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Google Wifi will be available for pre-order in the U.S. in November. It will retail for $129 for a single pack, and $299 for a three-pack at the Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.

Join the waitlist on the Google Store, and we’ll let you know when you can get your hands on one, so you can enjoy a fast Wi-Fi signal in every corner of your home.

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Announcing the Partnership on AI to Benefit People & Society

We believe that AI has the potential for transformative, positive impact in the world. Fulfilling this potential is not only dependent on the quality of the algorithms being engineered and the data they use, but on the level of public engagement, transparency, and ethical discussion that takes place around them.Its precisely because AI has the potential to have such a major positive impact on the world, that we believe its critical that we build new models of open collaboration and accountability around it. Thats why we at DeepMind are really proud to have worked with Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft, to form a non-profit organisation that aims to create a forum for open discussion around the benefits and challenges of developing and applying cutting edge AI. Together, we hope to advance public understanding of AI and formulate best practices on some of the most important and challenging ethical issues in the field.Read More