More Google Home devices reportedly crashing Wi-Fi networks

16 January, 2018, 05:21 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • Google Releases Chromecast Wi-Fi Update

Wi-Fi router vendors have started issuing patches to defend their products against Google Chromecast devices.

The issue reportedly affects routers from ASUS, Linksys, Netgear, TP-Link, and Synology, which covers most brands you're likely to find in your home. This issue stems from these devices' "Cast" feature, which sends MDNS multicast discovery packets in order to keep a live connection with Google products such as Google Home. The only way I could get the network up and run is by restarting the router several times.

These companies like Linksys and TP-Link have already confirmed the problem that will only continue to be a challenge. Some are also installing the latest beta of Google Play Services (opt-in here), assuming that Google may have patched this.

If left alone long enough, TP-Link warned, the burst will fill up the router's memory and leave a reboot the only option to restore connectivity. If you're affected, you can help Google track down the issue by submitting feedback from the Google Home app with the keywords "GHT3 - Unable to setup Max to network". The problem seems to be affecting Google Home devices as well. What happens here is that a Google Cast device would try to look and see other Google Cast devices running on the same network.

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Normally, this would occur at 20-second intervals, however, TP-Link's engineers discovered that "the devices will sometimes broadcast a large amount of these packets at a very high speed in a short amount of time", sometimes exceeding "more than 100,000 packets".

Because of the thousands of packets being shared, the router needs to turn off or shut down connections. But now it appears to be spreading to other routers too.

The last borkage was fixed with a firmware update to the offending devices, and the fact that these are all from Google suggests that will be the case again.

Whatever the reasons, analysts are confident that Google will come up with a fix soon.

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