128 WiFi devices ought to be enough for anyone...


Google have just announced their brand new WiFi router - OnHub. It promises to make WiFi connectivity a breeze, increase speeds, reduce buffering, and clean your carpets.

Nestled at the bottom of the annoucement is this curious specification.

128 OnHub-fs8

That seems... low. Doesn't it? I did a quick tally of all the devices my wife and I have which use WiFi.

  1. My phone
  2. Wife's phone
  3. My ebook
  4. Wife's ebook
  5. My laptop
  6. Wife's laptop
  7. My work laptop
  8. PS4
  9. Xbox 360
  10. Wii U
  11. 3DS
  12. Media Player
  13. Onkyo Amplifier
  14. Smart TV
  15. Original Xbox
  16. Home server
  17. Lifx Lightbulb (only the one so far!)
  18. IP Security camera (internal)
  19. IP Security camera (pointing the other way)
  20. IP Security camera (external)
  21. IP Security camera (PTZ)
  22. IP Security camera (internal upstairs)
  23. Roomba!
  24. Raspberry Pi environmental monitoring station
  25. WeMo plug socket
  26. WeWo IR Blaster
  27. Solar panels
  28. nCube IoT Hub
  29. Car dashcam
  30. Google Glass (meh, someone has to keep the dream alive!)

That doesn't include all the odd phones I trial, nor the couple of Raspberry Pi's I fiddle with.

Admittedly, we're a fairly high-tech couple - and being child-free means there's more money for gadgets - but I don't think we're that unusual. Over the next few years, I'd expect us to get more WiFi lightbulbs, and plug sockets, and probably doorbells, washing machines, thermostats, and an Internet fridge.

We're a two person family. A typical UK family is likely to have 4 people. So that's double the amount of phones and laptops, more TVs, probably more handheld consoles, baby monitors, pet trackers, and and neural implants.

128 devices looks like an achievable limit for a modern family home.

For those of you young enough not to get the reference in the title, computer companies have a habit of self-limiting their technology.

I would hope that OnHub will receive updates to make it useful past the year 2020. Given Google's record with Android updates, I suspect we'll all just have to buy a new router. Plus ça change!

3 thoughts on “128 WiFi devices ought to be enough for anyone...

  1. OnHub contains a ZigBee / Thread antenna. The latter is where Google wants you to spend your money. I mean, where *Nest* wants you to spend your money. The sooner you run out of WiFi connections, the sooner you realize that LIFX or any WiFi lightbulbs, sensors, etc., are a "bad idea" and you switch to Nest's new "Nest Enlighten" bulbs (yes... they don't exist -- yet!).

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