You move into a new home. From the curtains to the couch pillows, you choose every last item to fit your aesthetic. Then, it’s time to install the internet router: an ugly black box with blinking lights and tangled wires.
Then there’s Google’s OnHub router, which won’t cramp your home’s style. It features an outer shell that hides all the wires and comes in a neutral navy blue or black.
Released in December 2015, there are two different models — one manufactured by TP-Link and the other by Asus. Unlike with the Asus model, TP-Link’s USB and plug-in ports are completely hidden, and the light ring is at the top rather than the base. The OnHub by TP-Link was recently nominated for an Industrial Design Society of America Award, indicating that the router not only performs well but is beautifully designed, too.
Underneath the shell, 13 antennae are wound around the cylindrical router, providing 2,500 square feet of coverage, according to Google. If your internet goes out, chances are the OnHub will know immediately, since it scans Wifi channels every five minutes.
Google also says an OnHub can support over 100 devices at one time with a max speed of 1,900 megabytes per second.
That’s fast enough for multiple people to use it without any delay, but keep in mind, 1,900 mbps is the ceiling speed. Other factors, including the number of users and devices on it at once, can affect speed. Watching Netflix movies or Skyping, for example, takes up more bandwidth than just checking your email, slowing down a router.
Although these features are impressive, most medium to high-end routers can do all of that for a lower price. The OnHub costs $178 for the blue and $185 for the black. With this router, you’re paying a higher price for the easy set-up (you connect it using your phone and a Gmail account) and sleek design.
After all, most routers don’t look this stylish.