Google Launches OnHub Smart Wi-Fi Router For $199.99

By 01:52 Tue, 27 Jul 2021 Comments

Google's latest hardware project is, a bit unexpectedly perhaps, a Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) router. It's called OnHub and it's built in partnership with TP-Link. Oh, and it looks nothing like your average router.

The OnHub is an AC1900 router, boasting a total of 13 built-in antennas: 6 for the 2.4 Giga Hertz (GHz) band, 6 for 5 GHz, and another one that's used for continuously monitoring your environment for wireless congestions. In conjunction with this antenna's scans, the software automatically switches wireless channels when necessary (but not when you're actively using the Internet).

Aside from the 802.11ac support, you acquire legacy a/b/g/n too, but this router also has Bluetooth (with Bluetooth Smart Ready), and support for Weave and 802.15.4, so it's as future-proof as possible.

Speaking of which, Google promises many firmware updates, and these will apparently download and install automatically. The OnHub doesn't have annoying blinking lights, instead featuring a dimmable four-color light ring that uses each of those colors to give you feedback.

On the hardware side, we're looking at a elegant Qualcomm / Atheros chipset solution, with an IPQ8064 1.4 Giga Hertz (GHz) dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8Mega Bytes (MB) of NOR flash, 4GB of eMMC flash, and a QCA8337 Gigabit Ethernet switch.

There's only one Ethernet port, though, unlike normal routers which come with four. The OnHub has a Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.0 port, an ambient light sensor (presumably for auto-dimming those LEDs), and a 3W integrated speaker. This is used for the initial setup of the router, which also requires an Android or iOS device and the Google On app installed.

Basically all the management of the router is done via this app. It lets you easily test the speed of your connection, see each connected device and which is using the most bandwidth, and even prioritize the traffic from certain devices.

The OnHub is available to order today from the Google Store as well as many other retailers. It costs $199.99 and is offered in blue and black. According to Amazon, it will be released on August 31. Google itself only says it will be shipping "in the coming weeks".

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