If you’re still using a Google OnHub router, Google wants you to know that you’re nearing the end of the line. According to Android Police, the company has been emailing OnHub owners to let them know that support for the router is ending on December 19, 2022. The router will still function on a basic level after that date, but advanced services and router configuration will no longer be available through Google’s apps, and you’ll no longer receive security updates.
In the email it’s sending to OnHub users, Google is also offering 40 percent discounts on Nest Wifi hardware for people who want to replace their OnHub with another Google router.
OnHub has always been a bit of an outlier in Google’s hardware lineup; it shipped with mediocre performance and was never very flexible or configurable, and it was replaced with Google Wifi (now Nest Wifi) just a year after it launched. OnHub early adapters could always integrate the older router into their modern Google or Nest Wifi setups as a router or satellite, but that functionality will presumably go away when Google ends support a year from now.
That Google can take an aging but perfectly functional router and switch off big parts of its functionality is one of the downsides of networking hardware that requires you to sign up for an account or use an app to administer it. While most advanced mesh routers are moving in this direction, offerings from Asus, Netgear, Linksys, and others at least retain some kind of web administration interface so you can continue to handle basic configuration tasks if those companies discontinue support or cease to exist. Mesh systems like Google-owned Nest and Amazon-owned Eero offer simple configuration, affordable pricing, and an overall ease-of-use that these more advanced products can’t always match, but the downside is that your router’s manufacturer might decide that it’s time for you to get a new router whether you’re having problems with the old one or not.
Listing image by Ron Amadeo