Google has launched a Wi-Fi router, the latest move in the company’s efforts to get ready for the connected home and draw more users to its services.
The search giant on Tuesday unveiled the OnHub, a sleek new router that Google developed with the networking hardware company TP-Link.
The cylinder-shaped router, can be pre-ordered for $199.99 online from retailers; Google Store and Amazon.com.
The idea is this: Most Wi-Fi routers are ugly, with unruly cords, so people put them on the floor or out of the way where they can’t be seen. But that also causes the device to emit a weaker Wi-Fi signal, Google said. The company hopes the answer is making a better-looking device that people don’t mind displaying out in the open. It has subtle blinking lights and all its antennas are packed inside its black, cylindrical shell. The device also displays the Wi-Fi password if someone taps on it.
The device supports not only 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, but also Bluetooth 4.0 and a few smart home protocols. One such protocol is Weave, the Android team’s Internet of Things (IoT) communications layer that it announced at Google I/O alongside Brillo, its Android-derived OS for IoT.
It also supports Thread, an IoT wireless protocol created by Google’s Nest Labs and Samsung. OnHub also offers IEEE 802.15.4, the basis for Zigbee, another IoT protocol that is popular in many devices.
Credit: ArsTechnica, CNet,