Google is jumping into yet another hardware market with the OnHub WiFi router announced today. The search giant is looking to make managing and setting up WiFi networks simpler and eliminate the need to deal with outdated and confusing router management systems.
The first thing Google did was make the OnHub something you won’t mind putting on a shelf, and that’s not just for aesthetic reasons. When routers are put in more open, higher places (as opposed to stuffed in a closet or under a desk) users will see much better router performance.
Next, interacting with the OnHub is done through an app. No more ancient-looking setup menus; instead you have a control center designed to fit into Android’s new Material Design motif, available on iOS and Android.
The router also automatically updates without disconnecting devices, and its 13-antenna array constantly monitors the network and alters its setup for the best results. The OnHub will also be ready for future smart devices that rely on different standards than 802.11 WiFi.
Apple has worked a lot on making WiFi routers easier to deal with as well. The Airport router lineup can be setup and controlled with a Mac or iPhone app, with straightforward language. However, it’s best when used with other Apple products; Google is bringing that ease of use to everyone.
Some people may be concerned about Google, an ad-reliant business that is known for tracking people, getting a peek at everything accessed over WiFi. However, with many people using Chrome and Google services, much of that data is already in Google’s hands.
Immediately started to think of Google router privacy concerns but Chrome is already by main portal to the Internet https://t.co/y7XevckJOr
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) August 18, 2015
The OnHub is available for preorder now for $199.99 from Amazon, Walmart and the Google Store, among others. The device will ship “in the coming weeks” to customers in the U.S. and Canada.