If you’re still using a Google OnHub router, Google wants you to know you’re approaching the end of the line. According to Android Police, the company has emailed OnHub owners to let them know that support for the router will end on December 19, 2022. The router will still function at a basic level after that date, but advanced services and router configuration will no longer be available through Google’s apps and you will no longer receive security updates.
In the email it sends to OnHub users, Google also offers a 40 percent discount 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 came with mediocre performance and was never very flexible or configurable, and it was replaced by Google Wifi (now Nest Wifi) just a year after its launch. Early adopters of OnHub can always integrate the older router into their modern Google or Nest Wifi configurations as a router or satellite, but that functionality will likely disappear when Google ends support in a year.
The fact that Google can use an outdated but perfectly functional router and disable large parts of its functionality is one of the drawbacks of networking hardware that requires you to sign up for an account or use an app to manage it. While most advanced mesh routers move in this direction, offerings from Asus, Netgear, Linksys, and others retain at least some sort of web management interface so you can continue to perform basic configuration tasks should those companies discontinue support or cease to exist. Mesh systems like Nest, owned by Google and Eero, owned by Amazon, offer easy setup, affordable prices and an overall ease of use that these more advanced products can’t always match, but the downside is that your router manufacturer may decide that it’s time for you to get a new router whether you are having problems with the old one or not.
List image by Ron Amadeo