Monday, January 16, 2023

Goodbye OnHub!

 On January 11, 2023  Google shutdown support for the 7 years old OnHub WIFI router.  Technically, Google shutdown the Google Home App support of the OnHub because OnHub devices were technically made and sold by other companies (either ASUS or TP-Link) depending on which OnHub you had.  However, since the software was all handled by Google, if the software doesn't work then you can't do anything with it.  It will still "run" but no configuration changes can be made nor can you see any info about the device.  The only thing you can still do is to factory reset and delete the whole network.  It's unfortunate that once Google decided to stop supporting the device that they are essentially dead.

I found the OnHub to have been a great WIFI router that was powerful and easy to manage.  It had enough customization for my uses and didn't require me to be an IT admin for it. Even though there were probably a few features that I wished it added, it was balanced enough that I was willing to sacrifice those features.  I wished that before its end-of-life, Google provided a way to download its setting and load it to a new network.  Even though I replaced the OnHub with a Google Wifi (not the Nest Wifi), I had to manually put in all the setting information including tracking down all the devices that connects to it so that I can give each a recognizable name.  Other settings like groups, schedules, reserved IPs, IP range, etc. all had to be manually entered.  Most of it is pretty quick but the device naming is a pain.

Over on the OpenWRT forum there are developers trying to give the hardware additional life by replacing the software on it so it is not reliant on Google and Google's cloud.  That would be great as it saves devices from going to landfills and honestly the hardware is still perfectly fine even to this day.

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