The user friendly Google OnHub app and wireless routers have received a significant update today, bringing with it one of the most requested features in the user forums: Guest Networks.
To this point, when you had guests over and you wanted to give them access to your wireless network, you had to give them your main network password. It wasn’t ideal and for many who looked at the device, it was a turn off. With the update of both the OnHub app and the router’s firmware, you now have the option to create a guest network which you can easily control from the app.
You can read my review here of Google OnHub.
The update to the Android app is already in the the Google Play Store and if you haven’t seen the update yet, it will be coming shortly via an OTA update. Once you update the app, you will also need to update your router’s firmware which will happen automatically when you go to your
OnHub through the app, go to settings, and tap the current firmware version.
Google thought through how to do this guest network and it is pretty sophisticated. Once you get your guest network setup with a name and password, you can chose which devices on your network that you want users to have access to on the guest network. For example, you may want to give them access to your Chromecast so they can Cast to your TV, or your printer so they can print. This isn’t simply a restricted pipe to the Internet but a true managed network with access to certain elements of your network.
The news of this feature will certainly be welcome to those who have been on the fence about the OnHub device. While you still don’t have more sophisticated network controls (which really isn’t the point of this device), having a guest network will certainly help for some users who need that feature alone.