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Google WiFi is a municipal wireless network deployed in Mountain View, California. It is entirely funded by Google and installed primarily on Mountain View lightposts. Google is committed to keeping the service free until 2010.
As of 2009, Google uses over 500 Tropos Networks MetroMesh routers acting as access points mounted primarily on utility poles providing usable signal and broadband internet access to over 95% of the city's area of 12 square miles. As of 2009, it serves over 16,000 unique users each month and handles over 500 gigabytes of data in 24 hours. There are three aggregation points (or base stations) that all traffic is forwarded to. The radios in the access points offer both GoogleWiFi (which has no encryption) and GoogleWiFiSecure (which uses WPA to encrypt the over-the-air traffic) Service Set Identifiers (SSID). Google WiFi only requires its end users have a Google Account. Google offers a free virtual private network (VPN) software client called Google Secure Access (GSA) and maintains a list of other recommended third-party VPN software packages. Unlike a residential gateway, the network does not use network address translation (NAT): it provides a routable IP Address from a DHCP pool with a one-hour "DHCP lease" under the DNS domain wifi.google.com directly to the client PC. A mobile laptop user can roam through Mountain View and maintain the same IP address for at least the one-hour lease time.
While the equipment is of high quality and well-placed, actual coverage with a laptop with built-in WiFi hardware is less than 100% of the claimed area; the system works well in commercially zoned areas but residential coverage areas are still spotty from block to block. There are areas in the city which do not have city owned light poles and thus do not have routers.
The service was announced by Google on September 20, 2005 and the service went live on August 16, 2006. Google Wifi is available throughout most of Mountain View.