Some of Google’s streaming hardware is causing Wifi connectivity issues, according to multiple reports from router makes as well as affected users. Router makers have been issuing firmware updates; Google has said it is investigating the issue.
Reports about the issue first surfaced in Google’s product forum in December, with users reporting that devices like the company’s new Google Home Max speaker were rendering their Wifi networks unusable. Soon, other users were chiming in and reporting similar issues with a range of Google devices, including the Google Home and Home Mini smart speakers as well as the company’s Chromecast streaming adapter.
This week, router makers began to respond to the reports as well, with TP-Link telling customers that the issue at heart may actually be tied to mobile apps trying to discover Google’s devices. This discovery process usually entails sending messages, or “packets” in networking lingo, every 20 or so seconds.
“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,” the company explained on its website. ” This occurs when the device is awakened from its ‘sleep’ state, and could exceed more than 100,000 packets. “
Such an onslaught of data can knock out a home Wifi network, which is why TP Link released patches for its routers this week. Linksys has released a similar fix for some of its Wifi routers.
Google acknowledged the issue in a statement sent to Variety: “We’re aware that a small number of users are having issues and our team is working quickly to share a solution.” The company didn’t go into further details about the cause of the issue.