Your router might just be the most under-appreciated but essential part of your home. Without it, you couldn’t stream Netflix or HBO Now to your smartphone, tablet or laptop without cumbersome Ethernet cords or weird workarounds. When it’s doing its job well, you never give it much thought, but when it isn’t… well, you notice.
Thankfully, routers have come a long way, and the best can easily cover the largest home. Whether you’re looking to jump into the Google Home ecosystem, or blast unencumbered high-speed Wi-Fi through your home or office, chances are we know a router that will get the job done.
Why you should buy it: You’re not just looking for a high-end router, you’re looking for a long-term investment.
Who it’s for: Anyone looking to supercharge and future-proof their home network.
How much will it cost: $200
Why we picked the Google OnHub:
It works, and it works well. Your router should be something you can plug in and forget about, and the Google OnHub delivers on that promise by offering up rock-solid Wi-Fi connectivity and a fully-featured Wi-Fi ecosystem. The OnHub replaces those awful 192.168.1.1 menus you used to have to navigate with a slick, easy-to-use app that offers complete control over your Wi-Fi router.
Sure, the OnHub is a little spendy. But it’s a good investment. Earlier this month, Google unveiled another Wi-Fi router, the aptly named Google Wifi. Immediately, users who had purchased the first generation Google OnHub were worried that the router would be abandoned.
Google reassured those users by rolling the OnHub into the new Google Wifi family. That’s right, the OnHub can act as a node in the Google Wifi mesh network. So if you find you need more Wi-Fi coverage someday, you’ll be able to pick up a Google Wifi node and set it up with your existing Google OnHub router – right through the same app, Google On.
That means you get a future-proof device when you invest in the OnHub. Not only are you getting one of the best routers on the market, you’ll be in a position to take advantage of Google’s future plans for its Google Wifi line of products.
The OnHub does, however, only feature one Ethernet port, so it might not be the best choice if you need a bunch of wired connections alongside wireless connectivity. If you do, you might be interested in something a little more… heavy duty.