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Google OnHub Wi-Fi router review: It's designed to coddle novices and annoy power users

Michael Brown | Sept. 1, 2015
On the upside, it’s a very good performer. On the downside, it makes all networking decisions for you.

Power users, on the other hand, won’t be as satisfied with the OnHub for their own use. It’s a strong performer, and it has some innovative features—including that TPM module to foil hackers—but its feature set is much too limited: The OnHub won’t let you share storage or a printer over your network; it doesn’t have DLNA, ftp, or VPN servers; and it has just one LAN port.

While I appreciate hardware that recommends settings it thinks will deliver the highest performance, I want the freedom to override those recommendations if I don’t agree with them. You can’t control which channels the OnHub operates on, you can’t choose the network your clients join; heck, the OnHub doesn’t even provide for a guest network.

Google is currently working with Asus on the design of a second OnHub model. Given Asus’s history of delivering high-performance routers stuffed to the gills with features, here’s hoping that that collaboration yields a router that will be more appealing to power users.

 

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