Under the hood, they run ChromiumOS, including things like trusted boot (yes, this home router has a tpm), and the A/B partitions so when you get an automatic update, (which happens during a time of low bandwidth usage), it reboots into the new version in about 6 seconds. The security team is awesome: they pushed an update to all onhubs within 48 hours of public disclosure of a critical RCE earlier this year.
There has been some slowness to expected features, like ipv6, but the PMs have been clear about their goal: they won't include a feature that's buggy. It's exactly what you want in a piece of infrastructure.
Since the OnHub only comes with Ethernet you'd have to put something between it and the wire anyways of course, but it then has to be more than a dumb modem, and you'd be forcing all traffic through the tunnel.
IPv6 isn't without problems, but many people use it without noticing, through consumer devices way cheaper than this. The ones complaining the most are the enthusiasts which suddenly can't reach their home server via IPv4 anymore.
Yet another device Google will sell, and then discontinue in 24-36 months.
You don't know that.
I've been burned, and I refuse to purchase yet another Google device for a market they're just testing the waters in. I'd rather spend my money with someone who needs it to support their product, and that product is their business.
Chrome devices have 5 years of updates guaranteed. I have a cr-48 from 2010 which still gets updates (currently on -dev 56). How many times has there been a story on HN about RCEs unpatched for months or years in consumer routing gear? The fact that you purchased that hardware doesn't seem to be sufficient incentive based on the record. But when you have an incentive of a secure and performant internet, and also have the talent, infrastructure, and existing codebase to make something work and work well, you have economies of scope that make supporting it much easier and cheaper.
How could they launch such a faulty product. If it was 3 years ago maybe, but it's not really optional now.
Except it's not, we live in an IPv4 world.
Edit: How are you guys downvoting me on your v6 connections? HN only supports v4.
The engineering time is going into upstream too, so ath9k, hostap, and other big networking libs are benefiting from this.
Jan 2016 -> 10%
Jan 2017 -> 20%
Jan 2018 -> 40%
Jan 2019 -> 80%
Jan 2020 -> 100%
Seems quite good to me.
The ability to actually connect arbitrary devices, I hope, will be something that people will take advantage of. I know for many game servers I set up with siblings, the ability to not need to mess with a router's crappy "port forwarding" would be a welcome change. (Even if I had to mess w/ some local firewall, but that can perhaps be much more tightly integrated or at least, a better UX.)
IPv6 has been around for almost 20 years now, and is only recently cracking 10% (and I wonder how much of that 10+% is also dual stack). IPv4 sure as hell isn't going away in my lifetime. Who knows, maybe the lifetime of my kids too. What a mess!
The shittiest of routers support it so when you get one from a major internet company you should expect that it has support for an internet protocol which has been out for 18 years.
That's weird, here we get a /48 v6 block by default and one /32 v4 address. You'll never need more v6 addresses, but each v4 address comes at a monthly fee.
If this doesn't support ipv6 then it can only connect to legacy sites. Yes that's pretty much all sites today but this is inexcusable in a new product.
* Eero: https://eero.com/
* Ubuquiti: https://www.ubnt.com
* Cisco: http://www.cisco.com (sized for larger buildings)
Does this new Google device come with the Google Fi feature which backhauls all your traffic to Google via a VPN?
The bad news is if you're used to the cost of consumer gear, this ain't it. When it was all said and done it set me back $400. Throw in the cost of a pfSense router (because my old workhorse died recently) and we're at about $600. So, much like everything else, getting to that first 90% is cheap. That last 10%, not so much.
Personally, for my home I need just two units. Shame there's no $199 2-pack yet. It would be an instant buy for me.
3-pack $300 or $100/item
2-pack $230 or $115/item
1-pack $130 or $130/item
This was started as a kickstarter campaign and they have just begun shipping out the first units.
Like the Google APs, Portal can form a mesh and automatically figure out which channels have the least interference.
Overview : https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202076
While the wireless distribution mode drops speed (as does Ubiquiti etc.) it's still faster than a DoCIS 3 cable modem, and the Airport Express for end nodes is cheap.
The purpose of Google Connectivity Services is to provide protected access (encrypted via VPN) to the Internet on an unsecured 802.11 network like one that you'd encounter at a coffee shop.
In that case, GCS sets up a tunnel from your phone to Google's edge network, traffic from your phone egresses via an IP address dedicated to GCS and then you're surfing the Interwebs.
If you've entered a SSID and a related PSK or WEP password (as one typically does on a home network), GCS isn't available to use.
Use of GCS is optional. It can be disabled as desired.
I'm seeing about a dozen fancy modern wifi routers all trying to solve a problem I'm not sure exists.
Last year I bought an Edge router and a higher end Netgear hotspot. Works wonders separating things out and letting me easily add separate "Guest" wireless networks on different channels or whatever using my older devices.
If I were to have done that change now I would've definitely used a device like Google's. But to do something like that would've been outside my budget. I wish I could easily add new hotspots that just seamlessly worked so that I could eliminate the dead spots on the edges of my house and in my yard over time.
Maybe there's something I don't know already and I don't need Google's new Wifi System. But it definitely seems to fix my usecase.
I too have bought a variety of high end consumer devices (for a small business), and they all crash or randomly drop out.
Disable wifi radio on router, plug in Unifi AP, solid connection.
They are annoying to configure, but have been so worth it.
Apple AirPort has also been rock solid.
I did spring for a "Unifi Cloud Key", which is just a small (pack of cards sized), dedicated host for running the Unifi Controller. Makes administration and updates a fair bit easier.
As someone else mentioned, they do require a wired ethernet connection, but the point of that is these are intended as (entry-level) enterprise hardware. Unifi vs. Amplifi is for contexts where 1) the administration overhead isn't a burden and 2) it's preferable to run cable and leave wifi bandwidth available for clients and/or the rich multiple network support (vs. mesh networking). Obviously, #1 means it's not intended for the general consumer market.
My office just upgraded to an ERL3 and Ubiquiti Unifi on my recommendation and there hasn't been a peep about internet problems since.
Ubiquiti has wifi APs and you can add them whenever youd like. They automatically detect the existing APs and download their config.
Is the issue just that the non-Apple-customer market didn't have a good analogue?
And I've had Airports that just dropped things--all the time, randomly.
The Airports were a very mixed bag and would go from being excellent to piles of dogsh*t and back again with software upgrades let alone hardware cycles.
This very much has the feeling of a "marketing" product designed to trick people into thinking it will solve internet speeds. When really the issue is the ADSL connection.
All the experience I've always had with wifi in the last ~10 years has been abysmal. I play games and make a lot of use of internet (downloading, working through ssh sessions, etc) and the slight hiccup and packet loss is very evident in my system and frustrates me a lot. When I am playing games and there's a slight interference, I notice immediately. When I am chatting on irc through ssh and my keystrokes don't go through due to spotty wifi, I notice immediately. Sometimes it's unbearable. I think this idea is really great. I had to finetune my wifi so many times in all the apartments I've lived at. Using channel analysers to pick the correct one every once in a while (due to recurring congestion/interferences), living in a very crowded area I often have ~30 access points broadcasting and cluttering and it's really obvious in the performance of my network.
In the last apartment I was staying at (moved out a few days ago), every time my flatmate at the opposite side of the house would open the living room door to walk to the bathroom, my signal would experience a latency spike of 100-200ms (average would be 10-20). We had a pretty poor router, to be honest, and I was at the other side of the apartment, but it was simply ridiculous. At times it would just refuse to work and I couldn't browse the internet for a few minutes simply because of too much congestion.
I think this idea with multiple smart access points is simply genius and while I plan to use wired connection for my next apartment, I'm definitely looking forward to a better implementation of the currently abysmal wifi that we have in general.
Anything that allows me to just say "go buy this" instead of having to troubleshoot their cheap ISP-provided combo access point/router is a win in my book....
If I lived in a less dense area, in a wood-framed house of the same size, I have no doubt my wifi would be just fine. But with all the interference from neighbors and all the reinforced concrete, my home wifi definitely has a problem that requires something more than the simplest, cheapest router to solve.
This Google product might work very well for my use case, though I'm happy enough with my current solution.
The problem in NYC is that there's just too much band crowding; adding more access points is only going to provide an improvement (if any at all) until everyone else does it, too, and then it's going to be worse for everyone.
We really need better solutions for extremely high-density deployment of competing WiFi networks.
My SF apartment is the same -- well under 1,000sqft, need an enterprise router and a substantial repeater to get signal on the end opposite from the cable modem.
The downside is that you might need more access points to achieve equivalent coverage. Forming a mesh, like these Google APs do, is useful for avoiding additional wiring.
The beam-forming features present in 802.11n and 802.11ac also help reduce interference.
The problem in NYC is that there's just too much band crowding
But to your point, I'm sure it's all interrelated and if I had concrete walls with no neighbors it would be significantly better.
I really can't imagine a house that would not be entirely serviced by a single one of those.
I still get 3 bars on my iPhone 30 meters down my driveway, let alone in the house.
I got one because we use them at work, and I was still getting usable internet in a supermarket 100 meters from my office across a parking lot.
They are designed for commercial use so initial setup is a bit complicated and requires java, but I have to recommend it.
They now even allow basic AP config via an Android/iOS app, so I didn't have to install the Java-based controller on a Windows box...
edit Not saying that Google's system fixes this but some users require nicer routers for that connection. I should note my actual computer gets an ethernet because I can never achieve on wireless what I can on wired!
With stock ISP router, I see occasional connectivity problems with several devices connected and one of them is streaming video (even though there is more than enough upstream bandwidth capacity to handle multiple devices streaming), all reasonably close to the router, and greater problems when one is farther from the router (even without any of the streaming video), in a relatively modest suburban house (<1500sf).
Anecdotally, I've seen lots of similar complaints from other people.
OTOH, for lots of people the cost of a new router is a small fraction of even a years ISP service, so if it significantly improves performance of the internet service you are paying for monthly, and is usable for several years, its worth it.
Sure, I might upgrade for $50-100 if it's more reliable.
This access point 'network' uses each other to make a mesh network, increasing the chance that the nearest access point has a connection to the base access point, which has a connection to the internet.
We got an Eero to try to fix the coverage problem (I lived with several housemates), but it didn't let us choose between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, it would switch dynamically. Certain IoT devices we had were 2.4Ghz and worked intermittently. No matter what router we used, no matter how expensive, the issue there never went away. There were ways to force the 5Ghz band on the client side using some BSSID hacks, but it was cumbersome. So we had to switch back to a single router setup with two networks, one 2.4Ghz and one 5Ghz, and urge people to only use the 2.4Ghz network if absolutely necessary.
I live elsewhere now and use a cheap 802.11ac TP-Link router without any issues in a house for a 200mbps connection.
Edit: Oops, I should probably say something about improved wifi as well, as that was the point of the parent comment! :P
Needless to say my ISP's aforementioned modem router struggled to cover our typically average (for the UK) 3 bed semi. I even had a wired network point installed in my office upstairs, which I've barely used since we chucked it out. We can pick up the Asus router half way down the street!
that alone creates plenty of noise to wade through...
I could've fussed with placement of the old router, hunted through the channels, installed different firmware, or whatever -- but I don't spend that much time at home, and that's no longer what I'm interested in fiddling with.
I personally do need multiple routers to get wifi throughout the house.
Oddly, it basically did solve it except in a couple places in my house until a few weeks ago when the drop-outs got a lot worse (again, at the edges). The conspiracy theroists will love that. :-)
A real problem is that 2.4GHz is crowded not just by wifi but by other things. My old AP I couldn't use when I used my Microwave, and it is a brand new high end microwave. Not something I'd expect to leak. The OnHub did much better than the previous Buffalo (which in other locations has worked great for me).
So, you want to go 5.2GHz, because there is more spectrum. But there is also less interference because --- wait for it --- it doesn't go as far and penetrate walls as well. Which reduces interference. But it really means you want an AP directly in the rooms where you use WiFi the most. Which means you want something like this where multiple APs can cooperate.
The OnHub also is supposed to have stupendous antennas and multiple radios, even allowing it to do spectrum surveys. That's according to the marketing literature.
But it's not just me. My inlaws just built a 4600 ft^2 house and their A/V guy installed a AP in the centrally located laundry room. Wifi was terrible in the living room, and unusable in half the other rooms. Not sure if it was a crappy AP, or the location or what. I put another AP in the Livingroom and solved most of their pressing problems. But when I go back at Christmas I expect to put in an OnHub or Eero or AmpliFi... They have Ethernet all over the house, so I want something that can do wired meshing like the Eero. The AmpliFi doesn't seem to support it, IIRC, and the OnHub doesn't say anything about it with todays release, but the old OnHub is supposed to support it, according to a line item in their FAQ. I'm skeptical until I see it.
My brother in laws new house ALSO has similar problems. He had wireless drop outs, and was going to get the Eero, but I pointed him at the AmpliFi, which he got and has been VERY happy with.
If Google WiFi supports wired meshing, I will probably get that. If not, I'll either get a second OnHub, or maybe switch to the AmpliFi, especially if AmpliFi supports wired meshing and PoE. Ubiquity's cameras support PoE, so I'm hopeful there.
So, do these fancy products solve a problem that doesn't exist? Well, I'm glad your wifi works so well. But I'm definitely having problems at home, and am not alone. At least at work the WiFi is pretty uncomplicated, oddly enough since we have steel stud construction.
After some fussing, I bite the bullet and went back to Xfinity. I have a Netgear AC1750 router and an Aaris modem and I've never had coverage or speed issues in my house.
It's about slowly caching the top 100 YouTube videos and then moving them quickly to whatever device you want to watch them on.
On a different note, is there any reason why someone should prefer this to Ubiquiti's AmpliFi? Unlike Google, Ubiquiti has a long history of making networking gear. The only obvious benefit I see right now is Google Wifi starts at $129 for one unit whereas AmpliFi starts at $199, but that $199 includes 2 "mesh points" and presumably to get the same effect with Google Wifi you'd have to shell out $299 for the 3-pack.
There's also an inconvenient truth that such problems are greatly hindered by … Google in their prominent role improving security for average users. If their goal was to spy on people, they'd be the last to push HTTPS, HSTS, HKP, various TLS hardening, etc. rather than one of the first.
Conspiracies do happen from time to time. Unfortunately the term "conspiracy theory" is often used to refer to unreasonable theories that are more about reinforcing preconceptions about what ought to be instead of observing what the situation actually is.
Obviously it is important to check any theory, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. In this case, however, the claim that Google wants to get their hands on as much data as possible isn't an extraordinary claim. It isn't a conspiracy which is usually defined as a secret plan. Google is very open about their business model based on analyzing large amounts of data with modern techniques.
Calling concerns about giving even more data to Google a "conspiracy theory" not only ignores Google's business model, it also dilutes the term making an actual secret conspiracy harder to identify in the future.
> think about just how many people use Google search, Gmail, Chrome, Android, etc.
The only service that is similar to sending all of your traffic to Google is GA (Google Analytics), which most people are not using willingly. Yes, a lot of damaging analysis can be done from search/mail/etc, which is why it's a terrible idea to also include the rest of your internet traffic.
> improving security for average users
Google has done a lot of work to keep user data safe from third parties. Very little of that work prevents Google itself from seeing your data. When the default configuration isn't end-to-end encrypted, in practice this means Google is still seeing everything. Google even calls this a feature that is part of their "assistant".
> If their goal was to spy on people
So you don't think their business is based on spying on users in various ways for better ad targeting? Even though Serge Brin and Larry Page personally explained their intention to spy to CA State Sen. Liz Figueroa?
This is what I think of every time I hear of Google Fiber.
Do you get upset when a new phone is introduced a year after you bought your last one? A new car?
Of course, those of us seasoned with the experience of buying Google products before should know better, but it really doesn't change the fact that people who bought it are absolutely right to feel upset.
I thought it was cool to deploy a web application from my smartphone but after having done it once or twice, and two or three times having to hotfix production stuff from my smartphone, I can say it's not a device made to configure anything except alarm clocks.
- Proxy settings
- MAC address cloning
- Port forwarding
- Strict security controls
- Wifi bands, 2.4 vs 5GHz (I guess this is less important)
The native application is pretty great, because I can manage it from anywhere. (Which includes managing my parents one from anywhere.) I've honestly not needed a web interface, after getting used to it.
A web interface is reportedly on the roadmap, but not a high priority. The last time it came up on reddit, the question asked by the PM was "how would you use it differently than the native app?" And the nice thing is, he takes those suggestions and feedback seriously.
This is misleading. You can create your own mesh networks with several off-the-shelf routers / access points using open source software like batman-advanced .
No, its not. The fact that there are inexpensive alternative means by which it can be deployed, and by which certain segments of the population can and do deploy it, doesn't make it any less true that it is usually only seen in expensive commercial installations.
> And it is still misleading if it tends to mislead one group of people more than another group.
I don't think it tends to mislead any group at all. I think that the group to whom the exceptions to the "usual" case accurately described here is relevant will be well aware of it and so not misled, and the group who is not interested will also not be misled by the accurate statement, even though they are likely to be less aware of the nature of the alternative.
> No, its not. The fact that there are inexpensive alternative means by which it can be deployed, and by which certain segments of the population can and do deploy it, doesn't make it any less true that it is usually only seen in expensive commercial installations.
Well then they should have made that more clear. Expensive + commercial means, well, expensive, and commercial installation means proprietary and hard to access (which, by the way, is also untrue).
> I don't think it tends to mislead any group at all. I think
that the group to whom the exceptions to the "usual" case accurately described here is relevant will be well aware of it and so not misled, and the group who is not interested will also not be misled by the accurate statement, even though they are likely to be less aware of the nature of the alternative.
Sorry, I edited my comment for clarity. Anyway I don't think it's right to just say that because a certain population can't be mislead, it means that the information itself is not misleading.
"Usually" generally means that they are exceptions, but they are less common. There's no lack of clarity here, you are just ignoring that word.
It disregards a whole field of volunteered hard work to make mesh networking technology accessible by people who don't want to buy "expensive, commercial" hardware and software.'
It sends the message: "Don't look further, because it's not worth it -- because usually other solutions are expensive and commercial."
Then you are criticizing something other than their actual description.
No, I'm criticizing the wording. Perhaps you should ask yourself more questions about the construction of these descriptions and what messages they convey, than merely the definition of the word usually.
Well, except that you are expressly ignoring a key word in doing that.
I believe European mains is 220 volts and our Australian mains is 230 volts, so it should be fine. I think.
Might need an adapter or change the plug.
Mesh networks automatically judge the path of least resistance to a destination, and distribute the state of all the access points on a network. If one access point goes down, all the access points previously connected to the faulty access point will find alternatives if there's anything else within signal range.
In this case, if those are meant to be portable access points, you can move them between different rooms without worrying about nodes choosing a suboptimal path.
More relevantly, for instead of by (though its quite possible both are true), but, sure, in a small urban apartment, coverage isn't going to be your big issue, and you aren't going to need a set of routers forming a mesh network.
OTOH, lots of people don't live in small urban apartments and use the internet.
Such a weird and negative comment. Are you alright? I mean, such negativity surely has got to come from somewhere?