Created through a joint effort between TP-Link and Google, the two companies announced that their dual-band AC1900 OnHub router is now available for pre-order. Stylish in looks, the new router is designed to bring the latest networking technologies home in a single, simplified package.
Powered by Qualcomm's dual-core 1.4 GHz iPQ8064 processor and 1 GB of DDR3L memory, the cylindrically-shaped router stands 7.5 inches tall and houses 13 built-in antennas, including six 2.4 GHz antennas and six 5 GHz antennas positioned in a circular pattern for better coverage, and one congestion-sensing antenna just under the router's only speaker. Classified as an AC1900 Wi-Fi router, the OnHub is rated to serve up to 1900 Mbps, supporting 600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 1300 Mbps at 5 GHz.
The OnHub also supports up-and-coming IoT technologies including Bluetooth Smart, Google Weave and 802.15.4, helping cement a path toward future updates that could better integrate compatible devices into the connected home.
Other smart features built into the OnHub include the ability to search for and switch to the least crowded Wi-Fi channels without disruption to connected users, bandwidth prioritization for specific devices, and automatic updating that can add new security and feature upgrades.
Keeping tabs on the router is simplified by using the free Google On app. The app is not only used to set up the OnHub, but also for monitoring a problem with the network or just managing the router remotely. Just note that the Google On app is required for the router's initial setup, and the app only runs on Android 4.0 or higher, and iOS 7 or higher.
Aside from its physical and operational design, the OnHub has a unique installation method. Using its built-in speaker, the OnHub can send an audio tone to an Android or iOS device to initiate the setup process, providing a secure method to set up the router using a phone or tablet.
Wired interfaces on the OnHub include a single Gigabit WAN port for Internet access, a single Ethernet port that connects to another network device like an NAS or switch, and a USB 3.0 port for plugging in additional devices such as a USB drive.
The $199 OnHub is now available for pre-order from online retailers including the Google Store, Amazon and Walmart.com, and will be available in retail stores in the U.S. and Canada in the coming weeks.