Are you seeing an unstable Wi-Fi network at your home or an internet connection that has been going down entirely? Then, your Google Home and Chromecast devices could be to blame. Users on the Google help forums and Reddit are reporting that Google Home and Google Chromecast devices are causing issues with their Wi-Fi networks.
The issue initially seemed to be bumped only to those who owned the Google Home Max speaker and TP-Link Archer C7 router, has been slowly creeping out to other Google devices, with Google Home Mini, Google Home, and Chromecast apparently having similar issues. Also, the Wi-Fi routers from other brands, like Asus, Linksys, Netgear, and Synology also reported the issues.
The issue, according to TP-Link, appears to be related to some of the recent versions of Android OS and Google Apps. In a blog on the TP-Link website, a TP-Link engineer explains the issue, saying:
“This issue stems from these devices’ “Cast” feature, which sends MDNS multicast discovery packets in order to discover and keep a live connection with Google products such as Google Home. These packets normally sent in a 20-second interval. However, we have discovered that the devices will sometimes broadcast a large amount of these packets at a very high speed in a short amount of time. This occurs when the device is awakened from its “sleep” state and could exceed more than 100,000 packets. The longer your device is in “sleep”, the larger this packet burst will be. This issue may eventually cause some of the router’s primary features to shut down – including wireless connectivity.”
Essentially the Google devices are waking up from sleep and then sending way too much data at once to the routers, causing them to crash.
TP-Link has created beta patches to try to resolve the issue on their own hardware but notes that a true fix will depend on Google releasing one themselves.
Google said that it is “working quickly to share a solution.” However, if you are finding your internet drops out anytime you interact with your casting devices, try to reboot your router to clear the memory and reset it after a data siege. Otherwise, you can simply try disabling the “Cast” feature on your Android device to help mitigate the issue, at least until an update is released to permanently fix this issue on the device itself.
Update: Google has posted a support page for this issue promising a fix on January 18. The page says the issue is limited to “People with an Android phone and a Chromecast built-in device (such as a Chromecast or Google Home device) on the same Wi-Fi network” and that a fix will be rolling out via Play Services.