Google has dipped their toes into all sorts of hardware development and their latest attempt is on the home router market with their brand new OnHub, the router they say is the new way to Wi-Fi. Well Google, you got ready, you took the swing, and you totally missed the target, at least that is my opinion.
When Google makes something of this sort, we do expect it to be something extraordinary, something that has been missing, or something ground breaking. Neither were achieved with the OnHub, but let us first take a look at what the OnHub has to offer.
When you buy a Google OnHub, you’ll get a Wi-Fi router in one of two colours, blue or black. Inside you’ll find an IPQ8064 dual core processor at 1.4GHz backed by 1GB DDR3L memory. There is 4GB e-MMC flash memory and 8MB NOR flash. You’ll get one USB 3.0 port to attach devices, one WAN port for your direct connection or modem, and only one Gigabit Ethernet LAN port. This is a Wi-Fi only router, kind off, and that is the first fail in my opinion.
The Google OnHub does have a strong wireless presence, but it’s nothing spectacular and it even looks tame when you compare it to the TP-Link C3200 tri-band router that we could tell you about earlier today. The Google OnHub has three wireless bands too, but the third is an AUX wireless. It has 3×3 internal 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz antennas and 3×3 internal 802.11a/n/ac antennas. A strong lineup, but internal antennas are generally a fail and Google knows that. The choice was made in order to keep the unit looking great so it can be placed in the open space rather than being tucked away. They also created the router so it automatically amplifies the signal to help boost for the lack of external antennas. A lot of work for something that wasn’t really needed. So basically you get a normal, but funky looking, wireless AC1900 router with just one LAN port.
There are other benefits to this router such as a built-in speaker, Bluetooth 4.0 and TPM, but that’s really not the big selling point here. Google is trying to sweeten the whole thing with a smartphone app that “talks human language” to you when trouble happens and otherwise helps you with easy setup.
Generally, I don’t see anything that I haven’t seen in current router products that we have reviewed in the past year. It isn’t particular cheap either with its $199.99 price tag. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, you should rather take the 30% you can save by buying something like the TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 router or D-Link DIR-880L AC1900 router and treat your loved one to a nice dinner or a movie. Funny thing now that I’ve mentioned TP-Link several times, it looks like it is TP-Link that is the company behind the hardware, how’s that for a plot twist!