More often than not, ISPs will require you to use their own equipment, sometimes at an additional cost, with the reason of having certified and tested only those. More often than not, those basic routers and modems don’t exactly give the best performance, especially in unconventional home setups and structures. Google Fiber started out with the goal of setting itself apart from other Internet providers and it is taking one more step away from the status quo by allowing subscribers to bring their own routers.
Google Fiber says that the router it includes in the service was chosen for the best performance but even Google’s own product marketing manager admits it can’t cover all use cases. Few basic routers have enough power to penetrate multiple layers of walls or cover long distances. For those cases, dedicated routers and meshes deliver a better performance than any ISP-supplied hardware.
With the rise in Internet use at home, a stable and strong Internet connection has become even more critical. To that extent, Google Fiber is finally allowing subscribers to use their router of choice. When signing up for a 1 Gig account or changing plans, customers can simply check “Use your own router” in the account.
Of course, that presumes you know your way around setting up your own router and network. Most subscribers might not and Google recommends staying with its own Google Wi-Fi for majority of its Fiber customers. That said, it does offer some guides on what to do when setting up your own router with Google Fiber so you’re not exactly left clueless.
Not all routers are created equal, of course, and Google lays out the minimum requirements for routers connecting to Fiber. That includes at least Wi-Fi 5 and WPA2 security but those that will be going this route will most likely want to take advantage of newer Wi-Fi 6 equipment anyway.