If you are the proud owner of one of Google’s OnHub routers, you may have taken the time to configure a guest network in addition to your main network. You may have a shared device on your network, like a Chromecast, that you’d like to share with guests to your home. Follow along this short Android customization post to see how to pass connectivity of your secured network devices through to the guest network on your router.
This project is pretty simple itself, the hard part may be in deciding what devices to setup on what network, then to decide which on your main WiFi you’ll allow access via the guest network. Don’t worry, we’ll talk theory a little bit before we get too deep into the settings.
Google OnHub hands-on impressions
Before we begin
Google On – Google Play StroreI hope it goes without saying, you’ll need a Google OnHub router to follow along today. This can be the TP-Link version or the ASUS version, like we’ll be using. You’ll also need to have a relatively modern Android device that has the Google On app installed, it’s free in the Google Play Store, but I imagine if you have an OnHub router, you’ve already got the app installed.
Shared devices through the Guest network on your OnHub router
As mentioned, the scenario that pertains to this project is when you have a guest network configured on your router, but then have a specific network accessed device on your main WiFi network that you’d like guests to have access to. This may sound like a random thing, but I know that there are millions of Chromecasts out there, somewhere, and plenty of network connected TVs, videogame consoles, smart home accessories and so much more.
For the sake of this project, I will give network names in a very descriptive form, so, my main Wifi network I shall call ‘MyNetwork,’ and my guest network, forgive me for being boring, ‘GuestNetwork.’
In MyNetwork, I connect just the core and most secure of my devices. On this network are some shared network drives, with lazy authentication, thus, anyone connected to MyNetwork will be able to see the content of these drives.
As I write this, I have a guest in the home, (it’s Nirave,) and as much as I like my coworker, I would rather he not have access to my storage drives that contain family photos and such. To this end, I have setup the GuestNetwork in the OnHub router and given him the password.
Now, we want to spend a few minutes not working this week, not long, just an hour or two, please forgive us. During this time, we were thinking of firing up some tunes or maybe some fun YouTube videos to the big screen through the Chromecast. But, I configured the Chromecast onto MyNetwork so that it could see my media drives. What to do?!?!
Finally, this is what you came here for, using the Google On app, we are able to establish specific devices that can be seen by users on the guest network, but without having to reconfigure the Chromecast, as an example, to connect to GuestNetwork.
For my needs, this means that the Chromecast remains on MyNetwork, able to access my private drives, but Nirave can see the Chromecast from the GuestNetwork, and still not see my private drives. Good deal.
Let’s see how it’s done!
First and foremost, you will have to connect your desired device to the network, it should only be connected to your MyNetwork. Once up and running, we’ll head over to the Google On app on your Android device.
In the Google On app, tap into the Wi-Fi Access tab at the top.
Tap on your GuestNetwork name to enter its details.
Now, tap on the edit Pencil icon in the top right of the screen.
Below the network name and password will be a header labeled Suggested devices. I hope that the resource you wish to share is within this list, but if not, tap on the Other devices drop down to find your item. If your item is not showing, please double check that it is powered on and connected to your MyNetwork.
Tap on your desired device, marking the checkbox as active, to share.
Tap the Save button in the top right of the display.
If all went well, you will see the list of items that your guests can access, in this case that is the internet and my Chromecast. Nice and simple.
Congratulations, your friends can now use your shared resource.
We’re now watching the Hydraulic Press channel, they’re crushin’ it, and some Cinema Sins to learn what was wrong with The Force Awakens – um, nothing! OK, a few things. – Somehow, something called the NiraveIsSuperProudToBeBritish channel is queued next. Good thing the process to disable device sharing is as easy as setup, just dive back in and turn off that checkbox.
I may have been joking about the choices of YouTube videos playing on the big screen, but I was serious about the simplicity to disable a device. Simply repeat the setup steps, but turn off the checkbox. Just remember to hit that save button.
There is an extra feature available in the guest network setup, called On.Here. When configured, this is actually a website that your guests can visit to view all available resources on the network. It’s simple enough, open a browser and go to on.here, the little web page you land on will take you through the rest.
I know only a few of you have the Google OnHub router, but I hope that this Android customization post helped any new users get all set up, and more importantly, keep secure, when guests visit your home. Next week, I wonder, I began writing a piece on managing your battery level on the road, but it went overboard for this week, maybe I can make it make sense in the next seven days, if not, stay tuned for something related to either my trip in June or we’ll head back to playing with root apps and features.
Do you use the Guest WiFi on your OnHub router?
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