While I am still testing the Nest Wifi + Mesh in a different scenario, and would be testing it on Google Fiber at this point had they not failed, I started doing some diving to find out how many people were having the exact same problem I was with the Nest Wifi locking up. The results: a lot. Others have had issues that looked exactly like I’ve had since early 2020.
Going to put this up at the top because this is the point of this: Don’t put up with tech junk and support running out the manufacturer’s warranty while blaming you for the problem. Your network is (most likely,) *not* complex. As a person who gets paid to set up networks and maintains a ton of Wi-Fi units, trust me, it’s not you, it’s Google.
There appears to be some movement on Google’s side as of Friday, although supposedly this is an almost monthly announcement based on the comments to it.
Google Nest Community: Nest WiFi randomly going offline. (1,115 replies, 11 months old)
Piunikaweb: Months of hope for a fix (hasn’t come)
I can keep going, but the short of it is it appears that claiming “double NAT,” complicated network, and performative hoop jumping while not fixing the issue have been going on for quite a while based on the comments. There’s no fix, just make a change, close the case, blame the end user for the problem. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong but it’s Google’s hardware on an internet standard platform and your old Wi-Fi router worked with no problems, didn’t it?
So, here’s a list of all the things I did (italics,) that didn’t work, and all the things I see on the forums Google has asked people to do that didn’t work.
- Change DNS
- Change subnet/private IP space
- Change from double NAT scenario to Bridge Mode on router (not possible on AT&T fiber with my modem)
- Factory reset
- Switch to Bridge Mode on Nest Wifi (this loses Mesh)
- Set up DMZ / port forwarding all to Nest Wifi
- Change patch cable
- Change power cable
- Replace the unit
- Change the associated Google account
Basically nobody seems to have come back and said any of that worked…or they do and 3 weeks later there’s a retraction. I read many many techs like me blaming themselves (which I sort of did,) for odd or excessive usage.
I posted this not because I’m anti Google, or that I think this is a bad product (it needs a fix and logging added in an emergency update,) but because people are putting up with being blamed by support for Google’s problem, and that really ticks me off. It’s not your complicated network, the Nest Wifi + Mesh is literally the only Wi-Fi router I have run into in 20+ years working with Wi-Fi that could not handle a common networking situation.
I may bear a little grudge against Nest that they ran me through the dog and pony show running out a warranty on a Nest Camera that it turned out the power cable they shipped had a manufacturing defect… after blaming every single thing in my network for the issue. They wanted my Wi-Fi router changed at one point and kept telling me even though I was getting 60+mbit on 2.4ghz next to the thing that it was my slow Wi-Fi. Not that I remember that whole convo…
Lordy, I’ve been contacted by people telling me how great the product is while telling me they had to purchase replacement equipment for it. Or that after changing out X it hasn’t locked up for like two and a half weeks and now they’re happy. Well, three weeks or so give me a call but I had hope every week that I had passed a week with no lockups and then, bam.
And you know what, I’m sure it works for some people. It probably works for most people but there’s something with a subset of us that if they had provided any sort of logging tools or ability to get any useful information out of the unit, we’d have a fix in hand most likely.
I worked in tech support, I headed a small group of people back in 2000. We never had performative hoops executed with no chance of working requested. Like literally why would changing DNS to something else change anything unless the DNS is going down? Wonder who runs 188.8.131.52 which was one I’d hardcoded?
Does Nest Customer support think the average user changing from NAT to bridge mode on their modem is a safe operation to take? It’s not. You make a wrong move you down your internet and you’re asking the average consumer to make changes to what was the ISP’s default configuration… meaning every other customer of that ISP is probably on the exact same setup.
I’m going to get off my soapbox and request that Google/Nest have a discussion with their tech support and stop blaming the customers for Google’s issues.
The Home test
Day 1 – initial impressions
Week 1 – the first lockup
Week 3 – the thing operated ok
Week 5 – Yikes, it’s so unreliable I’m going to replace it
Week 6 – Playing with Family Safety / restricted while trying to fix the thing
Week 6+ – all the lockups I’ve had with the unit
Week 7 – after a suggestion from a reader lockups appear to have resolved – yeah, no, they didn’t 15 hours later
Week 7 – have removed the unit from my network and purchased a different brand router because it just wasn’t stable
After giving up, the corporate test
Day 1 – initial impressions in commercial world (day 55)
Day 7 – locks up with next to no usage, no devices connected (day 62) – this one contains a possible retraction
Sometime after day 7 – soapbox, I am on it.
Day 21 – Mesh unit disappears, two reboots later it’s back (day 83)
Day 30 or so, giving up