Arms-On With Google’s OnHub Router

In an ideal world, you’d by no means have to consider your router. It might simply sit someplace in a nook and ensure that your favourite YouTube movies discover their approach to your laptop computer.

However in actuality, you typically should reset your router when your connections begin dropping and woe to you when you ever have to truly change any settings. Regardless of their ubiquity, most routers nonetheless have dismal consumer interfaces. Enter Google. With the $200 OnHub router, Google needs to repair every part that’s improper with trendy routers — and for probably the most half, it does.

After a number of days with the router in my house, I’ve to confess that I don’t need to return to my previous setup of utilizing my previous Verizon-provided Actiontec router. OnHub’s Wi-Fi protection and consumer expertise is just superior to some other router I’ve tried.

Hands-On With Google’s OnHub Router

So what makes OnHub particular? Google partnered with TP-Hyperlink to principally construct a reference mannequin for what it believes a contemporary router must be and put it into a reasonably cylindrical package deal that’s meant to obviously present that it’s not simply one other boring Netgear field. It’s powered by what’s primarily a small pc and it’s utilizing all of that brainpower (and extra antennas than your typical router) to make sure that your knowledge flows on no matter channels work greatest for you.

As a result of OnHub focuses a lot on discovering the greatest Wi-Fi connection for you, it’ll doubtless offer you a much better connection than your commonplace router, particularly for those who reside in an space the place there are many lively Wi-Fi networks.

If all you need is a working Wi-Fi community at residence, OnHub offers you that and many extra.


My Macbook Air presently picks up about 25 networks and as that quantity has gone up, so have my networking points — particularly at night time when everyone is on their tablets, laptops and Apple TVs. That meant Netflix movies would typically buffer or come to a whole halt, for instance.

As soon as I switched to OnHub, the general community throughput went up, movies began quicker and I haven’t seen a buffering difficulty since. Your mileage might differ, in fact, however for me at the very least, the OnHub has labored wonders for the Wi-Fi connectivity in my place.

Hands-On With Google’s OnHub Router

OnHub isn’t simply concerning the hardware, although. To arrange the router and handle it, you put in an app in your telephone (Android or iOS), and after the telephone and router have shaken arms (over audio, no much less), you decide your community’s identify and password and also you’re able to go.

The OnHub options an LED ring that’s considerably harking back to the failed Nexus Q challenge to offer you a visible cue about its standing. That’s a static mild, although. There are not any blinking lights on the OnHub.

Utilizing the cellular app, you possibly can share your Wi-Fi password with others, give precedence community entry to some units (perhaps your Xbox if you find yourself beginning a gaming session, for instance), monitor your bandwidth utilization, and handle all the opposite primary router options.

Hands-On With Google’s OnHub Router

In comparison with a regular router, these choices are considerably restricted, however that’s precisely the purpose of OnHub. You continue to get entry to primary DNS and WAN settings, in addition to port forwarding and Common Plug-and-Play settings, however that’s about it.

No one loves managing a house Wi-Fi community, however OnHub makes it about as straightforward as could possibly be. You lose a little bit of flexibility within the course of, however the overwhelming majority of customers couldn’t care much less. If all you need is a working Wi-Fi community at residence, OnHub provides you with that and many extra.

Should you’re having Wi-Fi points at house, then OnHub is value a attempt.

You do hand over a bit greater than just some configuration choices with OnHub, although. The router solely includes a single Ethernet port. For probably the most half, this can be a utterly Wi-Fi centric system. In case you solely have a single desktop, that’s no massive deal (although likelihood is you desktop doesn’t stand in your front room). However when you have a few non-Wi-Fi units at residence, likelihood is the OnHub isn’t for you. Google is working with different companions to construct comparable routers, so perhaps the subsequent one may have extra bodily ports.

OnHub is unapologetically concerning the future. In that respect, it’s not that totally different from Google’s earliest Chromebooks, for instance. It’s about wi-fi connections — not bodily ones. And perhaps it’s a little bit of a Computer virus, too, as a result of there are many hints that OnHub is greater than a Wi-Fi router.

Hands-On With Google’s OnHub Router

OnHub will quickly help Weave, for instance, Google’s new Web of Issues protocol. As soon as that’s activated, the OnHub router will develop into a bit greater than “simply” a terrific router — it’ll develop into the central hub for Google’s sensible residence initiative. That may solely work if a router can cowl a full home, so Google not solely improved the router’s community attain, however it additionally made it engaging sufficient to take a seat on a shelf in your front room (that’s simply not likely the place your community cables sometimes attain, however that’s a unique query).

What precisely that “Google On” future will appear to be stays to be seen. It’s not even clear what “Google On” actually stands for. At present, the query is whether or not it’s value shopping for this $200 router — as a result of for now, that’s all of the OnHub is.

When you’re having Wi-Fi points at house as a result of the airwaves are too congested or your present router doesn’t fairly have the attain to cowl your whole house, then OnHub is value a attempt. For those who don’t and you’ve got a secure connection already, then there’s no actual cause to modify and also you’re in all probability higher off ready. I, for one, am not going again to my previous router.