Google Wifi and Cloud Services
The majority of the data Google Wifi collects is used for Cloud Services, a group of features that helps Google Wifi keep your network operating at its best. To provide a smart wireless experience, data is gathered from your Wifi point. This allows us to give you real-time information about your network and enables Cloud Services-dependent features like the following:
- Network checks: Test the download and upload speeds of your internet connection to provide insights and make sure everything is working properly.
- Insight cards: See updates on your network performance. This lets you know when your network is offline or not at peak performance and provides steps to fix it.
- List of connected devices: See how many devices are connected to your network, what those devices are, and how much data each uses (both in real-time and historically).
- Automatic channel selection: Google Wifi collects information about your surrounding spectral environment and uses that to determine which wireless channels will deliver you optimal performance. As wireless environments become increasingly crowded (with more neighbors actively using wireless networks), picking the best channel becomes increasingly important.
- Guest Wi-Fi: Create a special network just for your guests. Guest will be able to get online and discover streaming devices that you make available from your main Wi-Fi network.
- Tailored Wi-Fi via Device classification: Understanding the nitty gritty details of your devices helps us optimize Google Wifi so it performs in the best way possible. Wi-Fi isn't one-setting fits all, so to tailor your Wi-Fi, we need to understand the capabilities and nuances of the devices that connect to your Google Wifi network.
Here are some examples of the kinds of data managed by Cloud Services:
- Broadcast information from your connected devices. For example, if your phone announces itself as “John’s iPhone,” Google Wifi detects this and shows “John’s iPhone” in your list of connected devices in the Google Wifi app.
- Inferred information about your connected devices. Google Wifi looks at how devices establish a connection to your network. With this, your Google Wifi network can determine when certain types of devices connect to it. If, for example, your phone doesn't broadcast a name but Google Wifi can determine that it was manufactured by "Motorola," the Google Wifi app will display "Motorola" in your list of connected devices. Examples of inferred signals are manufacturer OUI, order of DHCP options, and order of Wi-Fi options in probe and association requests.
Note: Though Google Wifi relies on MAC address information to help with this determination, your Wifi point does not store MAC addresses in the cloud. Instead, MAC addresses are stored locally within your Wifi points and retrieved by the Google Wifi App only as needed.
- Network Status. This indicates if a device is currently connected to your network, its assigned IP Address, and its signal strength.
- Data usage. Current transfer speeds and historical data consumption. This allows you to see which devices are consuming network resources.
- Network settings. These are encrypted and stored securely in the cloud. The exception is your Wi-Fi password, which is only stored in your Wifi point. Storing these settings in the cloud allows you to access them from anywhere whether your Google Wifi network is online or not.
- Automatic Channel Selection. Google Wifi gathers information about your wireless environment. Your Wifi points scan for other routers in the area, collects their signal strength, Wi-Fi channel usage, and the list of 802.11 standards supported. The Wifi point and the Google Wifi app do not collect the content of any communications.
This data helps Google Wifi improve Wi-Fi performance for its users and their neighbors by reducing interference (due to channel congestion). The data allows Google Wifi to determine if there are better channels to use and automatically change those channels.
Note: Per Google’s Location Service Access Point opt-out option, data from network names ending in “_nomap” will not be collected.
1. Open the Google Wifi app.
2. Tap the tab, then Network & general.
3. Tap Privacy.
4. Toggle "Google Wifi Cloud Services" ON or OFF.