Thursday, June 13, 2024

Google Fiber and Home Networking: My Initial Setup

Prior to Google Fiber, I used the Netgear DG834G Wireless Modem Router along with Netgear XE103 85 Mbps Wall-Plugged Ethernet Adapters for home networking. The Netgear XE103 85 Mbps Wall-Plugged Ethernet Adapters allow you to turn your home power outlets into ethernet connections, and using this combination along with 10/100 Netgear and Linksys hubs, I networked about six desktop computers, in mostly two rooms of the residence.

My MacBook Pro is the only wireless computer I have, and I used the DG834G wireless feature to connect the Mac to the wired desktops, which all run some version of Windows (Mostly Windows XP Home or Pro). With this setup, the Mac could see all of the desktops, and all the desktops could all see each other, but the Windows desktops could not see the Mac.

With Google Fiber, I signed up for the Gigabit + TV Plan, with two extra TV Boxes. I have the Google Fiber Storage and Network Boxes on the bottom floor of the residence with the main tv, and both of the other TV Boxes are on TVs on the top floor. One of my rooms with ethernet connected desktops is on the bottom floor, and the other room is on the top floor next to a room with a TV box.

The Google Fiber technician said that the Netgear Wall-Plugged Ethernet Adapters would not work with Google Fiber, but then explained that they could connect the wired desktops to Google Fiber by sharing a fiber connection with the TV Boxes. The connection would not be as fast as being connected directly to the network box, but it would allow the computers to be on the network. I liked that solution!

To connect the computers on the top floor, they drilled a hole through the wall and connected the shared fiber cable to my ethernet hub in the next room. To connect the wired computers on the lower floor, they drilled a hole through the floor under the other TV Box to run a shared fiber connection to that room.

Now, all of my desktop computers are on the network, and, with just regular 10/100 ethernet cards and 10/100 ethernet hubs, I am able to get a minimum 35.30 mbps downlaod and 15.1 upload speeds. When I unplugged the shared fiber cable from a hub and connected it directly to my MacBook Pro, I got 160.02 mbps download and 159.67 upload speeds! Before Google Fiber, I barely got 1 mbps with any computer. With my MacBook Pro connected directly to the Google Fiber Network box, I’ve gotten up to 722.77 download and 742.04 mbps upload speeds.

So, this is my starting point for exploring the possibilities with Google Fiber. I don’t think that, at this point, I am going to invest much in increasing the speed to the wired desktops, though I could change my mind about that. My newest desktop is about 10 years old, and there is a lot to explore with Google Fiber, so from this point forward, I think I am going to concentrate on new technology. Thank you, Google Fiber!!