Google Chromecast devices are messing with WiFi connections

Okay, Google: why does Chromecast clobber WiFi connections?

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.

The issue seems to be negatively impacting other routers aside from those manufactured by TP-Link. The tool sends MDNS multicast discovery packets in 20-second intervals in order to maintain a live connection with smart home products like the Chromecast and Home. When a Google Cast compatible app such as YouTube awakens the device from 'sleep mode, ' it will send packets to the network to try to discover Google Cast devices and to keep the connection active.

"The longer your device is in "sleep", the larger this packet burst will be", says TP-Link. "This issue may eventually cause some of router's primary features to shut down - including wireless connectivity", said the engineer.

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But when your smartphone - or another connected device - is put into a sleep mode, this packet transfer stops.

The original problem was patched fairly quickly by TP-Link, and if you own the Archer C7 router you should go update it with this beta firmware. The result? A stable network that has had no dropouts or issues since. Google has acknowledged the issue where the speaker is "killing the Wi-Fi network" for users. However, there's now a confirmed issue with multiple routers where Google's devices are the cause of temporary outages.

It appears as though some of Google's hardware and software, including Google Home, are causing network disconnections.

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Linksys and Netgear have also issued firmware updates, the former for its WRT3200ACM and WRT32X routers and the later for its Orbi mesh routers.

It's not clear why the TP-Link router is the only one affected, but it's possible there are others that just haven't been reported. The amount of data can be so large it completely fills the memory of your router meaning a reboot is likely required to allow it to work properly again. Meanwhile, Google said that it is aware of the issue and will be issuing a patch soon.

If you've been noticing your home network performance has been lagging of late, it turns out that your Chromecast enabled devices could be to blame.

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