Settings up a WiFi router isn’t exactly rocket science. But it does take a bit of work to change the default password, find the channel with the best connection, and solve problems as they arise.
Google thinks it has a solution: the company has partnered with TP-Link to release a powerful but simple router called OnHub.
It’s available for pre-order for $200.
TheOnHub has a few things going for it. First, it’s not a bad looking device: so Google figures you’re less likely to hide it behind furniture or on the floor where the signal won’t be as strong.
Second, it can automatically detect the best channel for an optimal signal… and it’ll continually scan and make adjustments without any user interventions.
Third, OnHub is designed to work with the Google On app for Android or iOS, making it easy to manage your device from your phone or tablet. The app can show you how much bandwidth devices connected to the network are using, manage your password, and even share it with friends who want to connect to your network.
OnHub is also designed to download software updates automatically, and it’ll support smart home standards including Bluetooth Smart Ready, Weave, and 802.15.4.
The OnHub is a cylinder that measures about 7.5″ tall and 4.6 inches in diameter. It weighs about 1.9 pounds.
The system is powered by a 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Atheros IPQ8064 dual-core processor and features 1GB of RAM, 4GB of eMMC flash storage, and 8MP of NOR flash. It has a USB 3.0 port, six tri-color array LED lights, a TPM chip, and an ambient light sensor.
There’s also a 3 watt speaker which is used during setup. The OnHub device emits an audio tone which can be detected by a mobile app to help pair your phone or tablet with your router.
The router supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi networks and features 13 antennas (six for 2.4 GHz networks, six for 5 GHz networks, and one that’s dedicated to network congestion-sensing). There’s an Ethernet jack for input and a single 10/100/1000 Ethernet out jack.
You can connect up to 128 devices to a single OnHub.
While the first OnHub product is manufactured by TP-Link, Google says it’s working with Asus on another device that will be available in the future.
While there are certainly cheaper 802.11ac WiFi routers available, the TP-Link OnHub certainly isn’t the most expensive model I’ve seen either. And it certainly seems like it could be simpler to manage than some other routers.
via Google Blog