It’s actually pretty easy to deal with your wireless router. All you need to do is plug in an Ethernet cable, go to a very particular IP address, remember a username and password (it’s probably “admin” for both), find your settings in a dial-up-slow interface that wasn’t even impressive in the 80s (when it was presumably last updated), and then hope against hope you don’t cause thirty more problems every time you fix one. OK, fine. Dealing with your wireless router is horrible. That’s what Google found out over the last year or so, as it started dropping into people’s homes to talk about Wi-Fi.
“We spent a lot of time with people who were having all kinds of trouble with their Wi-Fi,” says Trond Wuellner, a Google product manager. Wuellner’s been at the company for eight years, most of it spent working on wireless connectivity for Chromebooks. He knows your Wi-Fi sucks, and he thinks Google can help.
Today, the company is launching a new device called the OnHub, in partnership with router-maker TP-Link. There’s another, an Asus-made device in the works. For $199, it promises to make your Wi-Fi faster and more reliable and to give you the ability to update and fix your connection. (You know, for the rare times unplugging it and plugging it back in just won’t do.) Presales start today, and devices will ship in the coming weeks.