So yeah, whoa. I’m at a point where I’m a little less sure of everything here below. Let’s leave this article as “probably was factually correct but there’s some doubt and I’m posting it here.” Upon inspection, the cable that was in the unit needed replaced. While I generally would say that probably was not the cause of everything I originally wrote below, because this is the THIRD cable it’s on, third ethernet port, the cable I used in this was not up to snuff and the clip on the end was broken off meaning it could back out. The Nest Wifi + Mesh unit behaved similarly, but this could have been the cable for once.
Original follows, take with the knowledge as this one time it could be the cable.
At 9:03PM on a Wednesday, one week after factory resetting and deploying the Nest Wifi + Mesh (their capitalization and lack of hyphen, not mine,) the unit went down and locked up. Being able to remote into the network I see that it’s doing the same thing at my work as it did at my home, having once again locked up after about a week. Looking at a security camera, I can see the power light.
Today is evidently day 62 of having it. I have six documented lockups in two locations (home, work.) I am not trying to crap on Google today, but their products make it seem like I am.
Nest Wifi + Mesh (home vs work test)
There are key differences this time between networks and usage. Now, I talked a lot in the home tests about how simple my network was, but how much use the Nest Wifi + Mesh was actually getting with 70+ devices and how I suspected I was moving a lot more data than the average person and that it might be my fault.
When I set up the Nest Wifi + Mesh at work I gave it a name, SSID, a password, and nothing else. It’s plugged into our tenant switch which is DHCPing off of an AT&T fiber modem, and that is it. Because I didn’t have time to really mess with setting things up I did not set it up for any duty in the building. I asked three people to join the network on their phones last week. They did. No other devices have joined, or at least I have not been notified.
The thing spent the week with 4 phones occasionally connecting to it. I found I was generally on the existing Wi-Fi because it’s stronger at my office. Basically it has not been used.
At 2:13pm if I’m looking at the cameras right, the only person in the building who would have been possibly connected to this Wi-Fi left. Unless he left his phone at work.
At one week to the day after deployment, maybe an additional ten hours from when I set it up, the Nest Wifi + Mesh went down and hard locked again. It’s there, it’s brain dead, and once again it took 7 days for it to happen. This is on DHCP, it’s the only Wi-Fi router I’ve ever had to lock up consistently at 7-9 days.
I’ve never had a piece of hardware reliably fail at the same time again, and again, and again. But I suspect it could be a hardware issue that pops up once every 7-9 days again. This was next to no use. Couldn’t trust it at home because my Nest cameras are on it. Can’t trust it at work because it locks up with no use.
Whether this is a garbage product, a defective unit, etc… at this point I don’t know. I read a lot about people with my issues, and Google Support has been less than useless on this case with suggestions that as experienced network technician, I can tell you are total garbage but I did them any way.
So in the end let me tell you what has been tried
- Home test
- Factory reset
- Replaced ethernet cable
- Changed port Nest Wifi was plugged into on back of fiber modem
- Changing LAN addresses
- Changing DNS servers
- Enabling/Disabling Family Wi-Fi
- Enabling/Disabling Preferred activities
- Setting everything except name and password to factory defaults
- Work test
- Factory reset
- No change other than WiFi name and password
- Different ethernet cable
- Plugged into a switch that’s plugged into a fiber modem
It’s in a factory reset default config in a DHCP environment that literally no other router has had issues with on a network set up so clients can just plug in and internet, it’s not being used, and it doesn’t work. I’ve installed or helped to configure a wide variety of routers connected to the network for various tenants throughout the years and I’ve seen pretty much every Wi-Fi brand work with no issues.
I’m going to nicely ask if they want to replace the unit, but based on previous attempts to get any help I expect Google’s tech support will ask me to turn it upside down and rename it in the app, ask me to report if it locks up, attempt to close the case 4 days later, and then have to spell it all out again when it locks up again in a week.
I’m sure some people are having great experiences, and I’m sure there’s a reason why I’m not. But I can only operate and review by what I get and the service I receive when I ask for help.
The combo of lockups and support or lack thereof have made the Nest Wifi + Mesh experience a really really bad one for me. I can’t stress enough how much time and effort this cost, along with money as I passed along my beloved Portal Wi-Fi before confirming stability and had to buy a replacement.
I’m going to take the Mesh out of the equation, factory reset the thing, and see if Google wants to do anything about it. You know, for that one brief time the PR people for Nest talked to me and gave me the Nest Wifi + Mesh (terrible,) and that Nest Hub Max (mostly great,) that was nice. Not heard anything back in weeks at this point.
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
Related to the product line