If your Wi-Fi at home has been acting up lately, your Google Home ($129.00 at Walmart) speaker or Chromecast ($35.00 at Walmart) might be the culprit. On Jan. 13, Android Police originally reported several instances where a Google Home Max ($399.00 at Walmart) speaker was knocking TP-Link Archer C7 routers offline.
Since then, other devices have been affected by the bug, including other Google Home speakers and Chromecast dongles, as well as additional TP-Link router models and routers from Asus, Linksys, Netgear and Synology. According to some Reddit comments, some Google Wifi ($114.00 at Amazon.com) users are also affected.
TP-Link explains that the issue is caused by the Cast feature which allows your phone, Google Home speakers and Chromecast devices to communicate. This feature “sends an MDNS multicast discovery packets to discover and keep a live connection with Google products such as Google Home,” says TP-Link. Normally, the packets are sent out in 20-second intervals. Following a recent firmware update, for some unexplained reason, when exiting a sleep state, the devices would sometimes send an excessive amount of the packets (exceeding 100,000 packets, in some cases) to the router, causing it to crash.
TP-Link says the longer the device sleeps, the “larger this packet burst will be.”
So what can you do to keep your Google Home or Chromecast from crashing your wireless network?
A fix by Google has not yet been released, though the company told 9to5Google it’s “working quickly to share a solution.” CNET reached out for comment but Google has not responded.
For TP-Link users, the manufacturer has released official patches for the bug to most of the hardware versions affected and beta firmware for the Archer C1200.
For anyone else affected, there is no official solution yet. The best workaround until either Google or your router manufacturers issue a firmware patch is to unplug your Google devices when they’re not in use.
If your Wi-Fi at home has been acting up lately, your Google Home ($129.00 at Walmart) speaker or Chromecast ($35.00 at Walmart) might be the culprit. On Jan. 13, Android Police originally reported several instances where a Google Home Max ($399.00 at Walmart) speaker was knocking TP-Link Archer C7 routers offline.
Since then, other devices have been affected by the bug, including other Google Home speakers and Chromecast dongles, as well as additional TP-Link router models and routers from Asus, Linksys, Netgear and Synology. According to some Reddit comments, some Google Wifi ($114.00 at Amazon.com) users are also affected.
TP-Link explains that the issue is caused by the Cast feature which allows your phone, Google Home speakers and Chromecast devices to communicate. This feature “sends an MDNS multicast discovery packets to discover and keep a live connection with Google products such as Google Home,” says TP-Link. Normally, the packets are sent out in 20-second intervals. Following a recent firmware update, for some unexplained reason, when exiting a sleep state, the devices would sometimes send an excessive amount of the packets (exceeding 100,000 packets, in some cases) to the router, causing it to crash.
TP-Link says the longer the device sleeps, the “larger this packet burst will be.”
So what can you do to keep your Google Home or Chromecast from crashing your wireless network?
A fix by Google has not yet been released, though the company told 9to5Google it’s “working quickly to share a solution.” CNET reached out for comment but Google has not responded.
For TP-Link users, the manufacturer has released official patches for the bug to most of the hardware versions affected and beta firmware for the Archer C1200.
For anyone else affected, there is no official solution yet. The best workaround until either Google or your router manufacturers issue a firmware patch is to unplug your Google devices when they’re not in use.
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