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Google Debuts A New Wi-Fi Router And Chromecast Ultra

The router resembles the Eero network setup, and the new Chromecast Ultra will feature high quality streaming.

Posted on October 4, 2016, at 1:26 p.m. ET

Google debuted its advanced Chromecast Ultra streaming device and a new Wi-Fi router at a launch event in San Francisco on October 4th.

Alongside Google’s new Pixel phones, Daydream View VR headset, and its new Google Home device, the company announced Chromecast Ultra, an advanced version of Chromecast, which allows computers and phones to broadcast to other devices such as TVs and speakers. It also announced Google Wifi, a new wireless router.

Building on Chromecast's popularity — Google said it had sold 30 million copies of the device and that watching time is up 160% since 2015 — the revamped Chromecast Ultra will feature faster and higher quality streaming, as well as ethernet support. It retails for $69 and will be available in November.

Google Wifi, a mesh network Wi-Fi router similar to Eero and Luma, will retail for $129 for one device and $299 for three. Eero's routers sell for $199 each and $499 for three. Google's device will feature an updated version of Google Assistant, which resembles Amazon’s Alexa voice control. This new router is an update to Google OnHub, announced in 2015 to little fanfare.

“Traditional routers weren’t designed for the way we use the internet today," said a Google spokesperson during the announcement.

Google Wifi is an expandable system that gives you great internet throughout your whole home. And it looks great, t… https://t.co/xF5jS28Tg2

The router comes with Network Assist, a feature that controls and optimizes the network, transitions users to the nearest and strongest router, and allows users to pause Wi-Fi access on connected devices through an app. Google said it added Network assist "so you don't have to deal with your router." Google Wifi will be available for preorder in November — $129 for one, $299 for three — and will ship in December.

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