This deals with the Nest Wifi + Mesh unit I received from a Google associated PR firm who is never going to talk with me again I’m assuming. As covered previously the unit completely failed every test I threw at it at home and the solutions offered by support were universally not useful.
TL;DR – the unit I have in factory default configuration fails every 7-10 days. This is consistent with others reports. Your experience may vary and if it does it’s probably because hardware changes mid run.
Failed the home test completely, started the corporate test on a different network. This time I did not connect anything of value to the unit.
The last reboot the unit had was September 6th or 7th when the Mesh went down. During the last ten to eleven days the Mesh has as far as I know been up. I have not received an error message on it. I connected nothing whatsoever intentionally to the unit until yesterday.
So – to preface – 10 days of no use. Maybe one of the 3 people who I asked to test the unit (by connecting their phones,) connected to the Nest Wifi in passing, but it’s been a dead week as far as I know. During these 10 days of forgetting about the thing it’s had power, been connected to the internet, and supposedly connected to the Mesh unit. I have received no mesh disconnect notices this time.
Yesterday I rebooted my phone for a T-Mobile update and got an error message that the internet was down. This was another one of the phantom ones that is showing from weeks ago. Checked and cleared that, got another T-Mobile update today and once again got a weeks old message, but a different one indicating it was down. Also something I’d discovered in person.
Yesterday, September 16th, I went to work at 7ish at night because there’s a film shoot there and the stage manager can’t be bothered to drive down from Canada to let someone into a set storage location… a mere 29 hour drive and I had to roll 12 minutes… the horror. I’m kidding, really wasn’t an issue. Anyway, while I was there I noticed the internet was abysmally slow.
I was about 12 feet from the Nest Wifi unit. It was right there. I did a speed test and it was agonizingly slow. I jumped onto one of the other Wi-Fi units and things were normal speed. I reconnected to the Nest Wifi unit as I was giving it another chance (sometimes when you connect at a distance to any Wi-Fi router you are at a slower speed, sometimes on 2.4ghz at a distance, just things you account for.) Things seemed to connect, seemed normal, 866 connection speed if I remember correctly.
I needed to download a 94MB app from Google Play and started it and started unpacking yet another puck vacuum robot. This, at the speeds I should have been getting, was a 4-8 second download with a gigabit backed connection. I wasn’t planning on doing a test of the Nest Wifi + Mesh setup, but it was literally the closest access point. I unpacked the robot, went to pair with the app, realized the app still had not downloaded after roughly two minutes of unpacking, and blamed Google Play for a minute… then decided to speed test. I couldn’t even get a server to speed test.
I checked, the connection on my phone said connected without internet. I connected to another of the Wi-Fi units that shares the same backend switch this was plugged into and it worked fine. The other Wi-Fi I connected to is connected to the same switch and has had the AP name changed, the AP password changed, is on DHCP. In other words, the exact same setup as this Nest Wifi.
Connected without internet. I could disconnect, reconnect, and then it would work for a bit and then start throwing weirdness. Once again, at 10ish days it failed. This time with no usage. I can’t stress enough here the only thing connected to this for this entire week was the internet, and the Mesh unit. This wasn’t even a high usage issue.
Here’s a quick list of every unit for the past 22 years that has not worked properly at my work:
- Nest Wifi + Mesh
OK, long list huh. There’s 20+ years of 3 stories of tenants with their own Wi-Fi units and me not having any issue with them. Literally the only notes I have on Wi-Fi problems with tenants in the past few years involve an off brand Wi-Fi that was not working for VoIP when you plugged something into the back of it. It was a QoS bug that a firmware update fixed.
I’m not an expert consumer Wi-Fi-ologist, but I have played with at least five different routers a year for the past 20 years of Wi-Fi. I’ve flashed more OpenWRT and off brand firmware to play with than anyone I know. Until recently I had a stack of WRT-54gs, consumer products that were left by previous tenants (tenants do their own Wi-Fi at our building, I help configure.)
Just looking at my list of products that have not caused problems
- TP-Link Archer A20
- Any Linksys (got a list of 15 or so)
- Any ASUS branded unit (1 problem involving burned out transmitter, 8or so units)
- AmpliFi anything (seems like 2 units I reviewed, one was in operation until last month)
- Clean Router (until a bad internal antenna)
- Trendnet routers (although I only see the TEW-824DRU on my list of 2 or 3, know there’s a POE I used)
- Devolo (though as noted this was a terrible unit)
- Netgear anything
- Cisco anything (clients usually bringing this in)
- Ubiquiti anything
- Portal Wi-Fi
I could probably go on, but let’s just leave it at the above I can prove in a court of law, and if I go for what I’m pretty sure I’ve used I’m going to be guessing at a few products.
I’ve documented some of the things that the support staff had me do. Pretty much done with this at this point.
During this time I’ve seen support threads that tend to indicate that Google’s support of this is regularly advising people to switch their Comcast & AT&T gateways from NAT to bridge mode which I can not stress enough is the stupidest bullshit move that will probably down at least a third of users until their ISP comes out to fix what Google support has asked.
Did Google support fix your Nest Wifi + Mesh?
Literally the only posts I can find involving support fixing anything are in the format “google had me do this and it’s worked for 4 days!” and three to ten days later “yeah, never mind.”
If support did anything that has lasted as a fix for more than 10 days on the Nest Wifi + Mesh I would really appreciate knowing this.
The only fix I’ve found for the Nest Wifi + Mesh was to replace it
I can not stress enough that as a computer technician my philosophy is “fix it,” not “replace it.” People come to me quite often with “maybe I need a new…” and my goal is to get them from “new,” to being happy which quite often, and usually, is just fixing the problem. I mean, I can sell them something, I can repair something, I’d like to not contribute to making junk and 95% of issues with equipment are software, configuration, etc. So there’s a wide world of fixes. There isn’t one for the Nest Wifi + Mesh system.
Lordy, I’d love to sell these things. Commission on them is pretty decent. Want to buy one? Make me $12-16 a purchase. I can’t stress enough I have driving incentive to tell you this is a great product (which it is when it works for the first 4 days). They get the problems fixed and stop downing their customers, I’m going to pack up these articles and shill out for Google. Really, I want the beer money. These types of articles make a site no money, burn bridges, but do inform people and I’m stupid enough to do them.
But damn, this is the sort of experience and stability I expect in 6+ month prerelease demo unit on IndieGoGo, and not a product that’s been out over a year with thousands of complaints in a forum never addressed.
I’m concluding any testing on this. I’m not going to be checking day by day for updates. Removing it from my app, phone, and network on Monday September 19, 2022. I’ll pack it up and if anyone has any questions or updates on the unit I’ll break it back out.
It’s obviously a firmware issue. Maybe it’s only a firmware issue on certain network configurations, but I’d assume at this point everyone on AT&T Fiber would be screaming that it doesn’t work. Or our corp fiber provider. Or etc.
We know it works fine for some people. If you’re one of them, great. I am truly happy for you. The range and speed of this were incredible while it worked. The stability, support, were not. The blaming the customer for Google’s product failures really, really, really ticks me off.
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