Google thinks there are benefits to this design: In its announcement post, it explains many people keep unsightly routers hidden away under desks and
behind TVs where they don’t work as well. Within the cylinder are 13 antennas, 12 for signal and one for checking the signal congestion in the area. Apartment dwellers fighting their neighbors for a decent connection should be excited about that congestion antenna.
Replacing your old router’s blinking lights is an Android/iOS app called Google On, which helps you set up and manage your Wi-Fi network. OnHub will find your phone using audio the first time you set it up. The app will save your password and let you send it as a text to guests, so you don’t have to frenetically search for a sticky note in your drawers.
You can even use it to “prioritize” devices, giving some more bandwidth than others. This reporter definitely won’t use that feature to throttle his roommates.
The router will automatically update its software and is designed specifically to work with Internet of Things devices. Google says this router is only the first OnHub device and is working on another with Asus, which is planned to debut later this year.
While OnHub sounds like it could be great, it won’t come cheap. It’ll sell for $199, which puts the pricing right in line with Apple’s AirPort Extreme and double that ofThe Wirecutter’s pick for the best home router, the TP-Link Archer C7.
Chances are, if you’re happy with the current Wi-Fi in your home, you probably don’t need this. It seems like it would be best for those in larger homes with many connected devices, otherwise, $199 is pretty steep for a router.
It also seems like the preorder on Google’s Store has already sold out, but other retailers have it available for preorder as of 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.