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The Cylinder That Google Built: Re-imagining The Wireless Router


For years the silent MVP of all your at home devices had been your wireless router. And as more and more of your devices become network capable the importance of this device will become more apparent. With the recent push for internet connected gadgets and appliances (Samsung’s “smart things” line of connected gadgets for example) there has long been a need for a new kind of router. After years of different versions of the same device Google has decided to introduce the OnHub router ($200).

OnHub Router - PHOTO: Cnet OnHub Router – PHOTO: Cnet

For starters the OnHub is aesthetically pleasing. While most people like to set up their routers out of the way, its important to place the device centrally for the best coverage throughout your home. This device doesn’t look too out of place on a living room table where it would also best serve its purpose. The device is a little over 7 inches tall, about 4 inches across and weighs 2 pounds, so it wouldn’t take up too much space wherever you decided to place it.

PHOTO: TheVerge PHOTO: TheVerge

Although most routers double as network hubs and have 4 to 6 spare Ethernet jacks for plugging in extra devices, the OnHub only has one. This can be inconvenient for anyone looking to hard wire several devices but it seems to be a space saving issue. To make up for this you can always install a switch but that would defeat the purpose of the device being inconspicuous. They did however manage to include one USB port.

PHOTO: Gizmodo PHOTO: Gizmodo

On the plus side the device delivers; powerful connection throughout your home with the only problem being how fast your internet is. The cylindrical device has a circular antenna to it is able to provide more coverage. The OnHub is ridiculously easy to setup on your smart phone through an app. Once installed you can use this app to manage the router, even choosing to prioritize certain devices which comes in handy in this age of streaming.

PHOTO: Engadget PHOTO: Engadget

The OnHub is also future proof. It was built with the future of connectivity in mind. It can simultaneously connect an incredible 128 devices. It features built in Bluetooth, Zigbee (open, global wireless standard), built in 802.15.4, and weave to be network compatible with all future home devices. These features will eventually all be made usable through updates. The router will continue to improve through system updates that will not interrupt you in the slightest. Google says they wont be tracking your internet use but only the future can tell.

The router may be pricey at $200 but you would be hard pressed to find one better on the market right now.


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