If you currently have a WiFi router in your home, odds are it’s tucked under a desk or table or hidden away in a closet somewhere where its unsightly, chaotic mess of wires and antennas can be out of sight of you and your guests (or kids, or pets). Not only are most routers an eyesore, but they have also often been, at least for a klutz such as myself, a dangerous impediment to my desire to stay upright and keep my face out of the carpet. The only problem with tucking these little gadgets away is that the nooks and crannies found suitable for router placement often lie in a place where the router is apt to lose power. Google has just tackled the messy router situation head-on with the introduction of their latest product, the OnHub WiFi router, which elegantly moves your router out of the closet and into your home.
In recent years, Google has taken standard household items like speakers, thermostats and smoke alarms to the next level by reimaging their functions and the way that we use them. This week they got around to announcing their latest revamp, the OnHub WiFi router, which is not only sleek enough to display in your living room, but also simplifies the way you interact with your router altogether. Rather than a line of bright, sporadic flashing lights attached to a tangle of cords, the OnHub displays “subtle, useful lighting” and has all of its antennas packed inside its cylindrical black shell. There are a total of 13 antennas (six 2.4GHz, six 5GHz and one to monitor congestion) providing WiFi speeds of up to 1900 Mbps and the router even comes with 4GB of storage space for updates – updates which it will handle automatically, with no additional hassle to you and absolutely no disruption to its WiFi output. One of my personal favorite features of the OnHub is the option to display the WiFi password when the device is tapped (I know they’re necessary, but I just can’t remember anymore passwords…).
OhHub works in partnership with an app (available for iOS and Android) that lets you do things like prioritize certain devices if you want them to receive faster streaming or connection speeds, and will even let you monitor the amount of bandwidth being used by various devices in your home. Google says it will support smart devices via Bluetooth Smart Ready, Weave or 802.15.4. The inclusion of Weave is particularly interesting, as it could eventually pave the way for the OnHub to actually serve as a smart home hub. The OnHub is available for pre-order now for and costs $200. While current color options for the shell come in only black or blue, Google promises that the shell is removable and that more color options are on their way.
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