Google Set To Enter Router Market In Partnership With TP Link + ASUS
Google is set to enter the router market with a new low cost device that has been developed with networking company TP-Link who are currently expanding their networking range at Australian stores.
In the US where the device has already gone on sale for $199 Google is selling the device both direct and via mass retailers.
Google who are currently testing the delivery of broadband from balloons in Australia claims their new device is “simple to use”. The 19cm tall router and communications hub, can be set up and managed via an iOS or Android app.
This means, that rather than writing down the wVsgB23#! Password each time visitors arrive, users can instead tap and text the password to friends.
The app will also display network speeds and allow users to prioritize tasks requiring more bandwidth.
Google said OnHub will support Bluetooth Smart, 802.15.4, Thread and its own Weave standard.
The OnHub has 13 antennas – six 2.4GHz antennas, six 5GHz antennas, and a congestion-sensing antenna – arranged in a circle. The OnHub monitors the Wi-Fi environment and automatically adjusts its settings to provide an optimal experience.
Since it doesn’t have the usual front panel of indicators, you will need an Android phone or Apple iPhone with Google’s OnHub app to manage the router. However, these apps let you do things like assign bandwidth priority to a specific device. This would let me, for example, make sure that the computer I’m using to record a podcast over Skype gets the bandwidth it needs, even if someone in the family is watching Netflix.
In addition to Wi-Fi, the OnHub also has Bluetooth 4.0 and 801.15.4 (ZigBee/Thread).
The Bluetooth 4.0 standard supports Bluetooth Low Energy, which lets it communicate with sensors and activity trackers like the Fitbit without expending much power. 801.15.4 is an IEEE low data rate and low power Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) standard that allows a variety of devices to communicate with each other – in other words, the Internet of Things (IoT). Neither of these radios are active in OnHub at launch according to Google. But the company advises us to “.stay tuned. We have exciting things in the works.”
And while the OnHub lacks the usual front panel of high-end consumer routers, it does have six tri-color LED arrays, which Google says is a dimmable light ring that provides feedback.
Also of note: The OnHub has one USB 3.0 port and a 3-watt speaker. A grill on the top is an audio speaker.
Google said that other devices are in the pipeline in partnership with ASUS.
OnHub is capable of speeds up to 1,900Mbps according to Google, and its 13 antennas supports the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. It’s currently available for preorder from the Google Store.