Google is about to open up its Mountain View WiFi network to more than 500 more trusted testers, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans. The expanded test indicates that the service is inching closer to its public debut. Google hopes to make the service ready for general availablity later this summer.
When I posted about Google’s Mountain View WiFi yesterday, the biggest request from readers was to check out the network’s speed. So I went back to the network, and did several speed tests around Mountain View.
The fastest speed I got when sitting relatively close to one of the access points outdoors was 928 kbps download speed and 567 kbps for upload. Google has said the maximum speed for both download and upload is 1 Mbps, so that’s pretty consistent.
At other areas, farther away from nodes I got 850 kbps and as low as 420 kbps for download speeds and lower than 100 kbps for upload speeds. So for residents, the farther away your house is from a light pole with a Google access point, the signal will likely degrade considerably. Seems like by at least half of the maximum 1Mbps. But that’s also for outdoors signals only. Google has said indoor use will be hard to get without an extended-range WiFi modem.
At my house I have DSL with a WiFi network and that speed using the same tests was 2.43 Mbps download with 415 kbps upload. So as far as speed goes, Google’s Mountain View WiFi isn’t exactly a cable/DSL replacer for now. But its free and ubiquitous and that beats cable and DSL on any day.