The Google OnHub app was updated last week and while the official release notes indicated it was primarily around performance fixes and adding support for Phillips Hue lighting, there was another small but important change made to the app. The OnHub app has always been able to do some network testing and when I initially reviewed the router and app, this was one area that was really in need of improvement. That improvement has come over the course of the past few updates (I have no hesitation in recommending it now) but the change made to the app last week brings some clarity to those network tests.
To begin, the testing of your Internet connection speed and your Wi-Fi speed are now two separate tests. You can run both of them or just one of them where as before, they were all lumped in together. To be clear however, you have to run the Internet test first, every time, to get to the stand alone Wi-Fi test. Hopefully this will change in the future but for now, it is what it is.
That Internet test is much faster than it was previously and it ranks your test results on how well you can playback video content. Depending on your speed, you will be able to show SD video, HD
video or 4K video. This simplified bar graph makes it simple to figure out what kind of streaming quality you can expect from your connection. At the bottom of the results page there is now a button to Test Wi-Fi. If you want to test your wireless connection from your phone to your OnHub router, tap that and the test will begin automatically.
The results for the Wi-Fi test have equally easy to understand language on how your wireless connection is behaving. You can get more information however by tapping on the overflow menu then tapping on More Details. Here you will get an exact speed measurement and an explanation of how environmental items like your house construction, distance between you & your OnHub router, etc. can impact your Wi-Fi speed.
Inevitably you will see a difference between the two tests. If you look at my Internet test screen capture on the right, you will see that my download speed is a healthy 169Mbps. That’s plenty fast to do anything I want really and I’m pretty happy with my Comcast connection. If you look to the screen
capture on the left however, you will see that my Wi-Fi test results show that my phone is downloading at 73 Mbps. In this test, my phone was some 50 feet away from my OnHub router and I have two thick walls in my basement that the signal is having to go through. If I move into my living room where the router lives, I bump up to over 120 Mbps.
To see these changes, you’ll have to have the latest Google OnHub app which is in the Play Store. If you have the app already installed, you should have received an OTA update for it or will shortly.