SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is making a Wi-Fi router as part of its ambition to provide better Internet connections that make it easier for people to access its digital services and see more of its online advertising.
Pre-orders for the $199 wireless router, called OnHub, can be made beginning Sept. 1 at Google’s online store, Amazon.com and Walmart.com. The device will go on sale in stores in the U.S. and Canada later this month.
Google is touting the cylinder-shaped OnHub as a leap ahead in a neglected part of technology.
The Mountain View, California, company is promising its wireless router will be sleeker, more reliable, more secure and easier to use than other long-established alternatives made by the Arris Group, Netgear, Apple and other hardware specialists. Google teamed up with networking device maker TP-Link to build OnHub.
OnHub also will adapt to the evolving needs of its owners because its software will be regularly updated to unlock new features, according to Trond Wuellner, a Google Inc. product manager. The concept is similar to the automatic software upgrades the company makes to its Chrome browser and personal computers running on its Chrome operating system.
Wuellner expects most people will be able to set up OnHub in three minutes or less. The router is designed to be managed with a mobile app called Google On that will work on Apple’s iPhone, as well as devices running on Google’s Android software.