Google’s line of OnHub routers, which launched just a year before Google Wi-Fi, will turn seven years old in 2022. That’s an incredible lifespan for any connected device with fancy cloud-controlled smart features, but sadly, OnHub’s days are numbered. Come December 19th of 2022, OnHub routers will no longer work with the Google Home app.
Two OnHub routers launched in 2015, oddly enough. The more expensive model had TP-Link branding and a weird gesture control for network prioritization, while a less expensive (but still overpriced) model from ASUS claimed to increase Wi-Fi range using antenna reflectors. (I still don’t see how that’s a serious selling point.)
In spite of their general weirdness, the OnHub routers pioneered an idea that’s quite common now; your router can double as a smart home device. Google sent firmware updates and new features to the routers until 2019, so they’re still quite modern when compared to some of the routers that are floating around today.
But if you own an OnHub router, it’s time for an upgrade. Losing Google Home app support means that you can no longer adjust basic router settings, add secondary routers to your home, or use voice controls to pause networking. Also, Google stopped sending security updates for OnHub routers a few years ago, so they may be vulnerable to hackers. (Or at the very least, they will be vulnerable to hackers in the future.)
Thankfully, Google is sending OnHub users a 40% discount coupon for a new Google Wi-Fi router. That means you could get a new router with advanced smart features for just $54, or for $120 if you buy a three-pack (which will provide a more reliable networking experience across your whole home).
Google’s coupon expires March 31st of 2020, and it should arrive in the email inbox associated with your Google Home account (I assume Google is checking the Home app to see who’s still using an OnHub router, though I may be wrong). If you don’t receive this coupon, I suggest reaching out to Google.
Source: Google via 9to5Google