Google Fiber puts other ISPs to shame: $70/month, gigabit connection

Google Fiber launches in Kansas City

Google announced today the launch of Google Fiber, the search and advertising giant’s first step to becoming an Internet service provider (ISP). Currently only available to customers in Kasas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, Google Fiber offers 1 gigabit uploads and downloads for the relatively low cost of $70 per month.

To put Google Fiber’s 1 gigbit connection in context, the average U.S. broadband service tops out at about 5.8 megabits per second, making Google Fiber roughly 100 times faster than most Americans’ Internet speeds, according to Google.

“No more buffering. No more loading. No more waiting. Gigabit speeds will get rid of these pesky, archaic problems and open up new opportunities for the web,” writes Google Vice President Milo Medin, on the company blog. “Imagine: instantaneous sharing; truly global education; medical appointments with 3D imaging; even new industries that we haven’t even dreamed of, powered by a gig.”

Another offers includes gigabit Internet access plus the new Fiber TV for $120 per month. Google will also give Internet + TV subscribers a free Google Nexus 7 tablet, which will serve as the Fiber TV remote. Or, if you just want basic Internet, Google is offering 5Mbps download/1Mbps upload service for “free” — just pay the one-time $300 “construction fee,” which can be paid out over a year for $25 per month. After that, it’s free Internet for “at least” seven years.

Google Fiber, Fiber Internet + TV, and Free Internet customers will receive a free Google Network Box, which includes four gigabit ethernet ports and high-speed Wi-Fi. All customers will have the option to purchase a Chromebook for as little as about $300.

All of this sounds too good to be true, of course. And for most of us it is, since Google Fiber is, as mentioned, only available in Kansas City. Even for residents lucky enough to be in the Google Fiber operating zone, getting the service is a bit tricky. Medin explains:

We’ve divided Kansas City into small communities we call ‘fiberhoods.’ To get service, each fiberhood needs a critical mass of their residents to pre-register. The fiberhoods with the highest pre-registration percentage will get Google Fiber first. Households in Kansas City can pre-register for the next six weeks, and they can rally their neighbors to pre-register, too. Once the pre-registration period is over, residents of the qualified fiberhoods will be able to choose between three different packages (including TV).

At the moment, the only service close to Google Fiber in terms of speed is Verizon’s recently launched “Quantum FiOS” plan, which offers users 300Mbps downloads, and 65Mbps uploads. While the availablity of this service is much greater, so is its cost: $205 per month with a two-year contract, TV service and free tablet not included.

The launch of Google Fiber is a long time coming — and a necessary step for the U.S. Internet to take. According to Pando Networks (pdf), a consumer and enterprise file-sharing network, the U.S. currently ranks 26th in the world in terms of Internet connection speeds, well below South Korea, which is number one. Of course, South Korea’s Internet service is heavily subsidized by the government. But that’s precisely why we need private companies like Google to take the lead and pull the U.S. in to the future.

As Medin said, the faster our Internet access, the greater our ability to innovate and evolve our connected world.

Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.