Google OnHub: Review

Online_OnHub_HERO_TPLink_BLUE-w_shadow_RGB-e1439909691677-1940x1381I’m excited to announce that I got my hands on a product from Google! It’s their OnHub router! Not only am I going to give you a little bit of information on the router itself, but I’m going to talk about a new feature that just recently launched that integrates Philips Hue into your device for easier use at home.

Officially, “OnHub from Google is a better, faster router. It’s designed to handle the new demands we put on Wi-Fi, making it easier and faster to stream, download, and share. With simple setup and optimal design, OnHub improves connectivity for all your devices.”

This product has 13 antennas and it scans WI-FI channels every 5 minutes with up to 1900 mbps speed. Even more, it connects to more than 100 devices simultaneously and covers up to 2,500 square feet of your home. It’s an absolute beast for what it’s made to do.

Now, this isn’t a high-in-depth-tech-focused website, so the way I am setting up this review is to be as simply explained as possible. I’m a tech-nerd and I could roll through stuff that most people don’t understand, but this is for people that either don’t understand or have average knowledge of this field. I could talk to you about the smoother streaming, lag-free gaming, lightning-quick downloads, with a whole bunch of numbers — but if you’re like most people in my family, you don’t know why a product like this is awesome and you would skip right past it. Let me show you why this is awesome and how it’s made for everyone, how it works with Philips Hue, how it’s easy to use, and even more, why you need it in your home.


This may be one of the prettiest looks I have seen when it comes to a product. You take the cover off and it’s this solid teal color of a box with a lift-type of function. Lift it up and there it is — something similar to the way Philips Hue has their products lined up — the set-up is super easy and it’s not complicated at all. Almost as easy as plug it in and go. “Ready to use, right from the box.”

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Set Up

When it comes to setting this product up — it may be, take that back — it is, the most simple router set up I have ever done before. Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the Google on app for your phone.
  2. Plug it in — both to power & ethernet.
  3. Open the Google On app on your phone and follow the instructions — less than 5 minutes later you are completely up and running.


Here are the 11 biggest features listed in the OnHub and as listed on their website. What do they mean and how did they work? They are listed below and the ones I will be talking about are 1, 2, 5, 6, 10 & 11.

  1. Designed with you in mind
  2. More antennas, better coverage
  3. Guest network creation
  4. IFTT enabled.
  5. Check your network.
  6. Prioritizing devices.
  7. Congestion sensing antenna.
  8. Automatic band steering.
  9. Stronger security.
  10. Next-gen compatibility.
  11. Password sharing.

Designed with you in mind — the app makes it easy to set up and manage OnHub from your phone. You can play with the settings, test connections, prioritize devices and troubleshoot network issues. Also, it has the ability to assign guest managers, you can give and receive network help from friends and family, no matter where they are. It is all super simplistic and really easy to use!

More antennas, better coverage — while most routers have two antennas, OnHub from TP-LINK comes equipped with 13. They’re set in a unique circular pattern that extends optimal Wi-Fi coverage across multiple directions throughout your home. That means you’ll benefit from faster, more stable connections in the house.

Check your network — OnHub regularly performs a Network Check to evaluate the speed of the connection between your devices and the speed delivered by your Internet service provider. This helps you quickly identify anything that might be slowing down your Wi-Fi network.

Prioritizing Devices — continuing forward with checking your network, in the same breath you can see every single device connected to your WI-FI inside the app. At that point you can click on one and prioritize it to get the best capability out of that device. Watching Netflix in the living room and you want to make sure that gets the bulk of the WI-FI? You can now do that with this.

Next-gen compatibility — OnHub uses Bluetooth Smart to pair with devices longer while using less power. With 802.15.4 support built-in, OnHub is prepared to connect with smart home products and it’s ready for Weave — a new technology that allows device setup from your smart phone. 

Password Sharing — in a matter of  seconds I can pull up my password for my WI-FI and share it through text messages and even social media (if you needed to do that for some reason.) No more “What’s you password?” when friends and family come over, just a click of a button away

Philips Hue Integration!!!

On OnHub’s first birthday they announced a new partnership with Philips Lighting, the first connected home device you can control directly with OnHub. ” Now anyone connected to your OnHub can type “On.Here” in a computer, tablet, or mobile browser and control the most popular features of your Philips Hue lights from there.” You can read a little more about it here.

It’s awesome! One of my most favorite products that I literally use everyday is my Philips Hue — learn more in my review — because it adapts in some many situations from mood, watching movies and more. While I’m super in tune with multiple apps, voice commands and beyond, anyone that comes over whether it’s family or friends, don’t. Why would they have the apps on their phones or know the Alexa or Siri commands? They wouldn’t. Even if they did, it’s all connect to their Hue at home, not mine. 

Not anymore! Since they’re already on my WI-FI, thanks to OnHub, all they have to do is type in On.Here on their computer, tablet or phone to pull up and change the lights I have designated on the network. They can chose from a handful of scenes and colors right from their devices at ease, quickly and smoothly.

Initial Test

As I continued to set up this review in the simplest possible way I need to test the product. How could I test it in the easiest way? Strength, distance, reliability. Before I set it up, I put my Xbox One in the farthest corner of the house and ran a wireless test — I was getting a signal strength of 46-51% and the down & up rates were below sub-par to say the least.

After I set it up and had it up and running, which took just a few minutes, I ran the test again. Now — in the farthest corner of the house the down and up rates tripled (yes, tripled) and the strength was sitting between 71-76% That increase was immediate and impressive. In other areas of the house my phone would get a 1 bar strength signal from the WI-FI and now there’s not one place in the house that isn’t 3 bars strong. WI-FI would die out in the driveway and now I can walk to the mailbox and still get WI-FI, pretty crazy. 

It’s now been about two weeks week since I’ve had the product up and running and my WI-FI is stronger and more reliable than ever — no problems to speak of. I have multiple people in the house, so on a random weeknight one person could be browsing social media on their smartphone while a couple people are streaming shows on Netflix and another is playing multiplayer on the Xbox. With the way this world is going tech-wise with internet use in everything from our Consoles, Phones, Televisions, Smart Homes, etc — a simple modem just won’t cut it anymore. 

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My Thoughts  (set up for you)

This can replace your current modem you use through your provider and I would recommend using it just like that for the fastest and most reliable speeds if you can, but you don’t have to get rid of your modem, you can use both if you’d like at the same time. (That’s how I’m using it.)

The only true negative of this product is that there is only one extra port on the back side of the product. If you’re a power user, I know you already have an alternative, but if your not and you’re going to use this product for it’s simplicity, you can set it up with Bridge Mode. This enables there to be no Double-NAT issues and everything can work together — so you can use all the ports on both your modem and OnHub at the same time.

Like I said, I know this could be an issue for ‘power users,’ only having one port, but just for fun I checked out some of my families set ups and everyone a) doesn’t use even any of the ports — and — b) in some cases, only used one port. If your like me and you’ll have more than one, set it up in Bridge Mode and use what you need. Currently I have the OnHub plugged into my Modem (in Bridge Mode) along with my Philips Hue Bridge, my Xbox One & Playstation 4. All working in perfect harmony and I haven’t had one single problem.

Another cool thing is you can pick up some skins for your OnHub, there are only a few to choose from, but if you don’t want that black you can get something like a bamboo look, white and gold or black and silver. It’s not a necessity, but it’s a cool option if your someone like me that likes a clean set up and cool look.

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Just for fun I researched some reviews of this product and I remember one reviewer saying, “this is the perfect router for your mother.” I agree with that statement fully, not in a negative sense, but in the way that this product is super easy to use and it’s easy to set up for anyone out there that’s “non-tech” friendly. It’s easy to benefit from because it brings reliability and fast speeds to your home in the simplest way possible.

If you have a bundle of people living at your home, you have a big family, you share a house with a bunch of roommates — this is for you. Do you have too many devices running WI-FI at the same time and you run into problems — this is for you. Do you want to monitor your kids internet usage — this is for you. Do you live in a big space and you need your WI-FI to reach every corner of your home — this is for you. Are you not “tech-friendly” and you want something reliable that you can do yourself — this is for you. 

The set up is easy, the app is user-friendly, it’s a winner.

There are a lot of positive things this product can do for your home, so if this interests you, research it more and then go and pick it up.

– Matt