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Wi-Fi

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[Update: Google says it's coming back] Android P doesn't support WPS, and it may be gone for good

It was recently pointed out to us that Android P lacks support for the Wi-Fi Protected Setup authentication mode. WPS, as it's know, is a protocol that allows a client Wi-Fi device to connect to a router using a PIN or a push-button, and is widely regarded as being deeply insecure. In short, the PIN-based method for authentication is inherently crackable with a brute force attack, and the PIN mode is required to be enabled by default on routers with WPS support, making using WPS at all a Very Bad Idea.

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Google may bring proximity-based Nearby API to Chromebooks

Last year, Google released v2.0 of its "Nearby Connections" API, which allows for your gadgets to communicate with other devices in close proximity via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It was a part of the overall "Nearby" package, which also includes a few other systems for more specific applications, including messaging and notifications. According to a pair of commits recently spotted by the folks at XDA Developers, these Nearby APIs may be coming to Chromebooks. 

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TP-Link announces Deco M9 Plus mesh router with built-in smart home hub

Single routers are so 2014. Now, everyone is making mesh router systems that blanket your home in the warm glow of wireless connectivity. The new TP-Link Deco M9 Plus mesh router (not to be confused with the old non-Plus version) connects your computers, smartphones, and other devices to the internet like other routers, but there's more. The Deco M9 Plus also contains a smart home hub for controlling IoT devices.

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Android P can turn off Wi-Fi hotspot automatically if no devices are connected

Android P will come packing so many new features that it’s hard to keep up with what’s changed. One helpful function that slipped under our radar is the ability to have your Wi-Fi hotspot turned off automatically when no devices are connected.

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Linksys launches dual-band Velop mesh Wi-Fi system, starts at $129

Last year at CES, Linksys announced its first mesh Wi-Fi system, called 'Velop.' The main selling point was tri-band 2x2 802.11ac connectivity, resulting in no latency loss between the main router and the other nodes. However, the system was rather expensive; a 3-pack would cost you $500. Linksys has now released a cheaper dual-band version, designed to directly compete with the Google Wifi and other consumer mesh systems.

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Google Wifi is now available to buy from the Google Store in Ireland

Google Wifi impressed when it first came out right at the end of 2016. And it's still an excellent option today, especially if you want a reliable connection throughout your home which you struggle to achieve with a single-router setup. Unfortunately, Google Wifi is only available in a handful of countries, but Ireland has just been added to the list.

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Google Station spreads its public Wi-Fi love to Mexico

It's really easy to take internet connectivity for granted: between increasingly capable cellular networks, and high-speed private Wi-Fi access points in our homes and workplaces, staying connected 24/7 is more effortless than it's ever been. At least, that may be the case for some of us, but wireless infrastructure varies wildly around the globe, and there are millions of fellow users out there who would no doubt love to see their local internet access seriously overhauled. Today Google's doing what it can to help, as it announces the availability of free public Wi-Fi in over sixty popular areas across Mexico as part of an expansion of Google Station.

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Android P feature spotlight: Apps can measure distance to nearby WiFi access points to determine your position

Your phone can already use a combination of signals to determine where you are, including known WiFi access points. However, that's designed to give you a geographic location. In Android P, Google has added support for IEEE 802.11mc, which allows apps to measure the distance to nearby WiFi access points and determine your exact indoor location.

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Lawsuit alleges Google Project Fi charged a subscriber for Wi-Fi data

One of the big advantages of Google Fi is its flexibility. You just pay for the data you use at a rate of $10 a gig, up to a recently-set maximum of $80 a month. But, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this week, Google may have charged at least one Project Fi subscriber for data that was used while the customer was on a Wi-Fi connection. 

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Google Play services 11.9.75, which fixes Cast device Wi-Fi issues, has hit stable

Last month it was revealed that Google Cast-supported devices were causing networking issues for many. After the story garnered widespread attention, Google quickly pushed out a fix in the form of the Play services 11.9.74 beta. Affected parties were able to manually install this version or jump into the testing program to get it, and it was supposed to fix the issue. But, that was a beta release that not everyone received (since betas are opt-in). The beta seems to have gone well, though, as Google has now pushed these fixes to everyone else via the latest stable release, v11.9.75. 

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