Google Launches Home Networking Gear

GOOGGoogle GOOGL -0.79% is trying to lay the groundwork for better broadband Internet access with Google Fiber. So it?d make a lot of sense if Google wanted to take part in helping make network infrastructure better, too.

Well, that?s exactly what Google is trying to do with the OnHub WiFi router that it?s launching on Tuesday. Working with networking gear company TP-LINK, OnHub contains 13 WiFi antennas in a circular design, a 1.4 gigahertz dual core processor and whole lot more. The companies claim the router will achieve speeds of up to 1900 megabits per second.

Shenzhen, China-based TP-LINK is one of the bigger consumer networking companies in the world and competes with the likes of Netgear and Belkin?s Linksys.

Users will manage the router with a new smartphone app from Google called ?Google On? available on both Apple AAPL -0.57% iOS and Android. The app will help users with the setup process, manage devices on the network, prioritize which devices get more bandwidth, and give out guest login credentials. The app will also be able to provide information about network performance to check out what might be causing any slow Internet performance.

OnHub will also regularly receive updates with new features and security patches.

Although many details about the product aren?t entirely clear yet, there are some other interesting things going on inside the router. In addition to the 13 WiFi antennas, OnHub will also come with Bluetooth and ZigBee radios to connect with smart home devices. The ZigBee radio is using the Weave communication protocol, which is designed by Google-owned Nest. Nest uses Weave to connect up its own smart home products. Essentially, OnHub could work as a smart home hub.

OnHub also has a speaker built into it. No details on what kind of quality these speakers are. At this time, the speaker is mostly intended to aid in the setup process, said a TP-Link spokeswomen. But a speaker just for assisting in the setup process seems unlikely. Google could potentially integrate OnHub with its voice-enabled intelligent personal assistant Google Now.

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No word on how and where this new product fits in under Google?s new operating structure with Alphabet. I have asked Google for comment and will update this post if I hear more.

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