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Google Looks to Replace Your Wi-Fi Router With Smarter OnHub Device

No one likes having to fiddle with their wireless router when the Internet seems slow, or looking up how to reconfigure it if you forget the password or need to tweak some setting. Google knows this, and hopes to change the game with a new device called OnHub that they hope will do the same for Wi-Fi what Nest did for thermostats.

Google

OnHub doesn't look like your typical paperback-sized router with antennas sticking out. It's more of a space-age cone like Amazon's Echo, meant to be unobtrusive while staying in plain sight — you get better range on your signal when the router isn't on the floor, it turns out.

And there are no blinking lights with cryptic symbols that you have to consult a manual to decode. Configuration is done via a mobile app, where you can set or share passwords, prioritize devices (so your Netflix streaming doesn't interrupt junior's online gaming) and so on.

At $200 (to pre-order; it's shipping "in the coming weeks"), OnHub is rather more expensive than garden-variety routers — even nice ones from TP-Link, Google's manufacturing partner for the device. But it does come with the most important features of those nice ones, and if its promises of usability and reliability are for real, that could be worth the price right there.

If that still seems like too much, hold off a bit — another version of OnHub, possibly cheaper, will be coming out soon.