Internet-of-Things gadgets bring many conveniences to the modern connected household. When smart appliances, especially of the same ecosystem, are integrated within your smart home, the results can oftentimes feel magical.
However, this interconnectivity comes with certain caveats. Different software configurations, incompatible hardware, and firmware bugs can wreak havoc, not just on individual gadgets, but on other smart appliances on your network too.
The constant traffic flowing between these gadgets can lead to network hiccups and worse, can even cause your router to completely crash. Case in point, this is the exact issue that was found to be affecting these particular lines of Google connected home products.
Do you have these Google products in your home?
According to findings from a TP-Link engineer, Google products, like the Chromecast and the Google Home smart speaker, regularly send data packets to discover and maintain their connection to other gadgets in a network.
These packets are typically sent at 20-second intervals. The issues start when Google gadgets resume activity after being in sleep mode. It sends an enormous number of these packets at once, overloading your Wi-Fi router.
TP-Link states that the longer your Google gadget is in 'sleep' mode, the larger this packet burst will be.
The TP-Link Archer C7 seems to be the most vulnerable model out there but the issue is not limited to TP-Link routers either. It also affects other home Wi-Fi routers from other manufacturers like Netgear, Asus, Linksys and Synology.
What you can do for now
Right now, if you own a Google Home or a Chromecast and your Wi-Fi router keeps crashing, constantly check for updates for both your Google products and your Wi-Fi router.
Router manufacturers have also started to release new firmware updates to help resolve the issue. In case you didn't know, checking for firmware updates for your router is essential to your network security. Click here to learn how.
Another trick you can try is to connect the products to your guest network and check if segregating them helps protect your router from seizing up. This will limit their functionality but they can at least fetch the latest updates if needed.
Google is reportedly working on the update to fix the issue. If your router is affected but a firmware fix is not yet available or the guest network trick is ineffective, disconnecting these Google products from your network, for now, is, unfortunately, your only option.
In the meantime, let's hope Google issues the patch soon to fix the problem for good.
Wi-Fi security overhaul coming with WPA3
With the surging popularity of connected appliance and Internet-of-Things gadgets, the next generation of Wi-Fi security has some welcome upgrades that can simplify the smart home setup. Click here to read more about WPA3.