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Nowadays, having a reliable Wi-Fi connection is crucial. We rely on our Wi-Fi for data browsing, music streaming, video calls, and even our home appliances, as is evident with Apple’s HomeKit. But Apple’s HomeKit isn’t the only program that’s tapping into home appliances that utilize Wi-Fi connectivity for user-controlled functions. Google recently added a competitor into the mix by releasing OnHub, a new 802.11ac Wi-Fi router aimed at simplifying and upgrading a person’s Wi-Fi experience.
Cylindrical in shape and sleek in design, the OnHub WiFi router was constructed by Google with the help of TP-LINK, a manufacturer of computer networking products stationed in China. The hub takes everything you know about the traditional router and challenges it. There are no external antennas. Instead, the device houses a total of 13 antennas inside. And how about those tell-tale and entirely generic router lights? Google’s OnHub is cleared of these, and instead uses a light ring to show your router’s status. Neat!
Additionally, the router has some pretty cool tech specs: 4 GB of on-board storage, speeds up to 1.9 gigabits per second, and the ability to operate on both 2.4 and 5 gigahertz frequencies. It also updates automatically without any interruption to your Wi-Fi.
The best part is that Google’s OnHub isn’t limited to just Android devices; iOS gets some love, too. The OnHub app Google On is available for both operating systems; and through it, you are able to setup and control your OnHub device. Through the app you can run tests, view network traffic, and more. Engadget even notes that you can use the app to prioritize Wi-Fi for certain devices; say, if you were streaming a movie and wanted a better connection speed. Plus, the app makes sharing your Wi-Fi password easy: according to Google, simply tap and share via text message or email.
OnHub will probably be Apple TV’s biggest competitor when it comes to at-home Wi-Fi controlled devices. OnHub is capable of controlling smart home devices that support Bluetooth Smart Ready, Google’s Weave, or the 802.15.4 standard. More OnHub capable devices are to be added later this year, including a model from ASUS.
The device is available for preorder at $199.99. The first devices will begin to ship within the upcoming weeks.