Google Continues Digital Dominance with OnHub WiFi Router

by Matt Klassen on August 20, 2015

For years we’ve known that Wi-Fi connectivity will be a needed and necessary part of any comprehensive connected everything existence going forward, leaving tech and telecom companies alike working to seamlessly connect network access with Wi-Fi technology. There’s only one problem with this though, Wi-Fi is incredibly unreliable.

So enter Google, the company working feverishly to control every aspect of our digital existence. The search engine giant announced this week the release of OnHub, the company’s Wi-Fi smart router, which is able to automatically find the most interference-free channels so your connection remains stable and strong. Not only that, but OnHub allows you to prioritize traffic to a particular device, perfect for streaming video to your tablet or simply boosting your computer’s connectivity from a device that blends seamlessly into your home decor. Sounds perfect, right?

But of course like everything else in Google’s extensive cadre of products and services, they serve as part of the company’s combined efforts to dominate our digital existence, OnHub simply providing one more portal—this one directly into your home—that feeds Google’s insatiable data machine, one you’ll open to the company likely without a second thought.

Now Google’s entry into Wi-Fi really comes as no surprise, as the company is already trying to create a better broadband Internet with its Fiber project, it makes sense they would invest in online infrastructure as well…and let’s be honest, Wi-Fi needs all the help it can get.

That’s where the real genius of Google’s marketing strategy comes into play, find the weaknesses of our digital existence, fix them, get people to depend on them, and then watch the data start to flow, data it then can sell to third-party marketers. I really can’t blame Google for this strategy; it just seems really creepy the more I think about it.

Now of course you won’t hear Google talking about OnHub this way, as the company has learned a thing or two from Apple: Appeal to emotion, and people will line up in droves to by your product. That’s why Google’s official blog hooks you like this:

“Ugh…not again. You get home at the end of the day, and sit down to stream a new movie or upload vacation photos — and your Wi-Fi slows to a crawl or just stops working. Instead of relaxing in front of the screen or sharing those photos with friends, you spend it unplugging and re-plugging cords, trying to decipher blinking lights, or contemplating a call to customer support.”

It’s an experience we can all likely relate to, the frustration of inconsistent Wi-Fi connection, and of course, it’s a problem that Google has an answer for.

“OnHub makes it simple to set up and manage your Wi-Fi, all from the Google On app, available on Android or iOS. The Google On app tells you how much bandwidth your devices are using, lets you run a network check, and if there’s an issue with your Wi-Fi, the app offers suggestions to help. And, instead of lost passwords and sticky notes, it even reveals your password with a single tap and lets you text or email it to friends.”

The ironic thing is that several years ago Google took significant heat from privacy advocates and regulators over the accidental collection of Wi-Fi data by its StreetView project, but not with its smart router OnHub, we’ll be giving Google the exact same information, only this time willingly and gleefully.

As one analyst writes, OnHub offers Google “unfettered access to your home Wi-Fi router,” providing the company “a much better and legal way of finding out what you and your devices are up to.” Sure the company’s service will shore up a glaring weakness of our digital existence, but like everything else, it will come at a cost.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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