Google pushes for access to connected home with new Wi-Fi router
Search giant releases OnHub router, developed in partnership with TP-Link
Google yesterday announced the launch of a new Wi-Fi router, which it has developed in partnership with TP-Link.
The router, dubbed OnHub, is black and cylindrical in shape, with Google boasting that are no cords or blinking lights. Instead, there are internal antennas and subtle lights, which Google said would encourage users to place the device out in the open, where Wi-Fi works best. Google also promised strong Wi-Fi performance from the new router.
"During setup, OnHub searches the airwaves and selects the best channel for the fastest connection. A unique antenna design and smart software keep working in the background, automatically adjusting OnHub to avoid interference and keep your network at peak performance," wrote Trond Wuellner, group product manager, on the official Google Blog.
"You can even prioritise a device, so that your most important activity - like streaming your favourite show - gets the fastest speed."
Wuellner added that the device can be controlled through a mobile application, dubbed Google On. The app, available on both Android and iOS, provides diagnostics information such as how much bandwidth each device is using, and allows users to run network checks. It'll also offer suggestions on how to help with any Wi-Fi issues.
Questions have arisen as to why this hardware offering has come from Google, rather than Nest, a Google acquisition that sells smart thermostats. However, a simple explanation would be that Google is banking on becoming a large part of the connected home, and a direct line to users' home internet connections would help its efforts in that department.
The device is only available in the United States at the moment, at a cost of $199.99. If you're keen on it, it is available to buy from online retailers from Amazon, and no doubt the router will end up on the UAE grey market sooner rather than later.