onhubrouterbeauty100611061orig
Networking & Communications

Google's OnHub Wi-Fi routers take a novel approach to guest networks

Guest Wi-Fi was a major missing feature from Google’s OnHub routers at launch, but Google is making up for lost time with clever execution.

With the last firmware and companion app updates for OnHub, homeowners have complete control over which connected devices guests may access. For instance, guests can be allowed to take over the living room Chromecast, but not the TV in the master bedroom or the office printer.

With a typical router, setting up a guest network usually involves providing all-or-nothing access. Either guests are allowed to connect with other networked devices, or they’re not. OnHub is trying to address an emerging scenario in which guests should be allowed access to certain connected devices, but not all of them.

It’s not hard to imagine where this approach might go next. Both OnHub routers—TP-Link and Asus each manufacture their own versions—are packed with radios for Bluetooth Smart, Weave, and 802.15.4 smart-home protocols, along with regular old Wi-Fi. Down the road, OnHub owners could potentially provide guest access to lighting, window blinds, and ceiling fans in certain rooms, while keeping door locks and thermostats off-limits.

OnHub users can learn more by heading to the on.here website, which is also where guests must go to log into the local network.

Why this matters: OnHub routers are far behind traditional routers in terms of performance, and at launch the lack of other standout features made the $200 asking price tough to justify. Guest Wi-Fi won’t do much to change that equation, but it does hint at where Google is going as the company tries to reimagine home networking around a broader range of connected devices.

IDG Insider

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« With STEM degrees, it's not the school that matters

NEXT ARTICLE

How Sigfox plans to spread its low-power IoT network across the U.S. »
author_image
IDG News Service

The IDG News Service is the world's leading daily source of global IT news, commentary and editorial resources. The News Service distributes content to IDG's more than 300 IT publications in more than 60 countries.

  • Mail

Recommended for You

Trump hits partial pause on Huawei ban, but 5G concerns persist

Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond

FinancialForce profits from PSA investment

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Future-proofing the Middle East

Keri Allan looks at the latest trends and technologies

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?