Google’s OnHub router gains IFTTT support on its way to becoming a smart-home hub

Conditions, such as your smartphone joining or leaving your Wi-Fi network, can trigger actions by other devices.

onhubrouter beauty
Credit: Michael Brown

With IFTTT support, Google is turning its OnHub Wi-Fi router into a connected-home hub that knows when you’re home or not.

IFTTT is a website and mobile app that lets users automate tasks through “recipes” (IFTTT stands for If This, Then That). These recipes tie into various online services, along with a growing number of connected-home devices. OnHub can now serve as a trigger for these recipes, sensing when various devices connect to its Wi-Fi network.

Here are some example recipes for IFTTT and OnHub:

  • If your child’s phone connects to Wi-Fi, then get a message saying she’s home.
  • If your phone connects to Wi-Fi, then turn on the downstairs Philips Hue lights.
  • If your phone disconnects from Wi-Fi, then engage the smart door lock.

In addition to acting as a trigger, OnHub can also respond to external triggers as a way to set bandwidth priority on the router. For instance:

  • If Nest Cam senses motion, then prioritize the camera’s bandwidth.
  • Tap a button on an Android Wear smartwatch to prioritize PC bandwidth.

IFTTT integration is free to use with Google’s OnHub routers, which cost $200 and are manufactured by TP-Link and Asus. Bear in mind that the automation and bandwidth priority privileges don’t extend to people with only guest access to the network.

Why this matters: While Google has been coy about the OnHub’s future, it’s been pretty clear from the outset that it was designed to be more than just a Wi-Fi router. That's why it has (currently dormant) features such as Bluetooth and IEEE 802.15.5 radios (the latter is a low-data-rate PAN—Personal Area Network—that’s ZigBee's kissing cousin), and support for Weave (Google’s nascent IoT platform).

But Google's not the only router manufacturer going down this path. TP-Link's upcoming SR-20 802.11ac router combines 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Z-Wave and ZigBee radios, and you can add Z-Wave and Bluetooth radio dongles to Securifi's Almond 3 802.11ac Wi-Fi router. 

If you already own an OnHub, you might find IFTTT support useful, but it doesn't change our lukewarm opinion of the router.

This story, "Google’s OnHub router gains IFTTT support on its way to becoming a smart-home hub" was originally published by TechHive.

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