Google OnHub Router Gets Mixed Reviews

Attractively designed and clearly intended to be put on display in a user's home rather than hidden away, the new OnHub Wi-Fi router from TP-LINK and Google is cool but costly, most reviewers agree. Its future-focused functionality for smart home technology, however, though, has some observers like Ars Technica warning that the OnHub is also something of a "Trojan Horse."

Announced earlier this month as being available for pre-ordering, the $199.99 router is now being stocked by a number of online and storefront retailers, including the Google Store, the TP-LINK store, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.

Google describes the sleek-looking OnHub -- a slightly flared cylinder that comes in either a blue or black finish -- as a "router for the new way to Wi-Fi." One notable feature is that it "speaks human" and is designed to be easy to set up via the Google On app for iOS or Android.

Built-In Support for Future 'Smart Devices'

"We count on Wi-Fi more than ever, and we need it to work well to do all the things we love to do online," said Trond Wuellner, group product manager at Google. "By working with TP-LINK, we've brought together expertise across hardware and software to design OnHub, a new router that gives you a fast connection, makes Wi-Fi management simple, and gets better over time."

Google says the OnHub's built-in Bluetooth Smart Ready, Weave and IEEE 802.15.4 functionality will enable the device -- over time -- to support a growing number of "smart devices." Weave is the protocol used by Google-owned Nest to allow its smart thermostat to connect with other devices, while IEEE 802.15.4 is used for ZigBee, a communication specification for personal area networks.

Noting that the underside of the OnHub sports a label reading, "Built for Google On," Ron Amadeo in...

Comments are closed.