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Can I add wifi controlled devices that are only compatible with 2.4Ghz with Google nest?

Nick6
Community Member

I have a bunch of devices that are wifi controlled (doorbell, AC, lights) and need to be added using a 2.4Ghz ssid. I see you can't separate the ssid's or temporarily disable the 5Ghz said, so is there a way to add these devices with the nest mesh system or should I not buy the nest?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Hello @Nick6 

Yes, in most (but not quite all) cases, keeping the same SSID and password will allow existing devices to connect to the new network, including 2.4GHz-only devices. I did something very similar when I retired my old Apple Airport Extreme system in favor of Google WiFi.

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13 REPLIES 13

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Hello @Nick6 

For most well-engineered devices, yes – I have plenty of things on my network that only support 2.4GHz and I had no trouble getting them added whatsoever. Where some people have run into trouble is with some less-than-well-engineered devices that were designed with simplifying assumptions about what modern home networks increasingly look like (multiple access points, multiple bands, one common network name). Those devices can have trouble because they rely on a phone to tell them which BSSID to connect to (and each access point that supports both bands actually has two BSSIDs – one for 2.4GHz and another for 5GHz). If the phone itself is on 5GHz, it only knows about the 5GHz BSSID, and the 2.4GHz-only device can't use that. There are a few ways to work around this if you run into it (e.g., walking far enough away from your home just during initial setup to force your phone to fall back to 2.4GHz so it's on a BSSID the device can use). But, hopefully it won't be a problem (it hasn't been for me – the TP-Link Kasa devices I use were all easy to set up).

Nick6
Community Member

I have tried another mesh system and my devices wouldn't connect to that, though I didn't try walking away past the 5Ghz band's range. Though it's a bit of a gamble to spend all that money to find out it doesn't work...

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Hello @Nick6 

The issue isn't related to whether it's a mesh network or not – that is just how some systems interconnect multiple access points to each other. The issue is with devices that were designed based on flawed assumptions of what home networks look like. Specifically, having a single network name (SSID) supported across both bands. This is what Enterprise networks have done for years, and it allows devices to connect to the band that works best and switch between bands as needed. So, if you had another system that used a common network name for both bands, and you had trouble connecting some devices to it, you'll have trouble connecting those devices to any network that has a common network name for both bands (including Google/Nest WiFi). The solutions are the same – try walking far enough away to get your phone on 2.4GHz, or go through a more complex setup using either an old router you can configure with your current network name on 2.4GHz only (temporarily – just long enough to get those devices connected). Neither approach is awesome, but I know people have managed to make both work for at least some devices. I prefer not to reward companies that make devices like this in the first place, but I know there aren't always good options.

Rmonio
Community Member

Michael - 

Thanks for your explanation and review.  I’m working currently to install a LaCrosse Clock/Weather station and having the same issues.  To try and get this thing to work, I’ve had to:

  • Unplug all my pucks except for the router.
  • Walk into another room where my laptops now register that they are on 2.4ghz for their connection.
  • Try to connect the unit and phone together.

The issue I believe I’m having is that the Clock is not on the network - and if I walk to where it can be, I still need to move my phone to a point where it is on the 2.4ghz network.  At this point I’m unsure if the two units are talking and it always fails setup.   And if I walk back to where it is plugged in (bedroom), then my iPhone automatically goes to the higher speed connection.

I plan to call LaCrosse tomorrow to discuss this - but in the meantime, I really do believe these manufacturers need to get with the program.   Meaning:

  • Google.  Allow for separate network connections in the software on the mesh system or allow us to shut off the 5Ghz component from the configuration app.  This would allow us to do the setup and then re-turn it on.  
  • Apple.  Let us see what speed we are connected at.  Heck - even a Windows PC will tell you that.
  • LaCrosse.  Get 5mhz compatibility and allow us to either turn it off or have it pick the speed that works best upon setup.  Also - the **bleep** app won’t allow me to do anything but follow the steps it provides (which when it fails tells you only to move your telephone).  What I’d like to know - and what I will ask tomorrow - is whether I have to have the phone near the unit or can I walk out of the room somewhere else (while the clock stays near the router) in order to get on the 2.5ghz speed.

I’d really like to hear more feedback from people on this.  Also - are all cameras coming with 2.5ghz only connection bands?  I would think you’d want the faster throughput of the 5ghz band if you’re running HD cameras.  If they can select for setup, or perhaps maybe they could just do Bluetooth (INSTEAD) for setup, then this would be a moot point.

 

Thoughts?  Thanks for your feedback!

-Bob

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Hello @Rmonio 

Since I don't work for any of these companies, but I have been a computer engineer for the last 30+ years in a similar industry, all I can do is give my perspective. In my opinion, 99% of this problem is from device makers (LaCrosse, in your case) that have made extremely bad assumptions in an attempt to save money. They don't need to support both bands, though – they just need to have a more robust installation process (just like hundreds of other 2.4GHz-only products that work just fine in dual-band environments).

That said, it doesn't solve your problem, and I don't expect LaCrosse to get their act together any time soon (and they're not alone in this). So, yes, Google could make one change that would help solve this problem: disable 5GHz client connections for 1 hour. That would force your phone onto 2.4GHz without jumping through any hoops and make set-up of those poorly-designed 2.4GHz-only devices much easier. I like the time-out better than a manual setting, because I suspect a lot of people would just disable 5GHz when they have trouble and leave it that way. This has some down-sides, though, too – forcing all clients onto 2.4GHz may result in some of them staying on 2.4GHz even when 5GHz comes back. That's not the end of the world, but for things that are doing video streaming (and can't be on Ethernet), it would cause more congestion in the 2.4GHz band. Do I expect this to happen? Honestly, no, I don't. I think Google would much rather see companies fix their broken stuff themselves. But, on the other hand, Google gets blamed for things not working, so... maybe?

Rmonio
Community Member

Thanks, Michael.  I agree.  With the rapid changes to technology, it’s not uncommon for 3rd party players who rely on a certain - very popular set of devices or services - to be behind on their product updates when it comes to accommodating a change in a standard (ex. Apple).   I fully expect consumers to leave LaCrosse if this doesn’t get addressed (for example, why not just use Bluetooth?) as mesh systems are becoming more popular and less expensive (with Costco pushing Google cheaply, it won’t be long - people want the wider networking capabilities with easy setup).  
I did call LaCrosse and left a message - we’ll see if they respond… but I wasted quite a bit of time on trying to force my 2.5ghz band to be active here (2 windows laptops proved it was on 2.5ghz in the corner of the house that I went to after all the mesh hubs were turned off).  I could not get it to work.  I will try again - but for now I’ve got other things to do.
Thanks for your commentary and collaboration!

-Bob

Nick6
Community Member

So if I already have all my wi-fi controlled devices set up on my current router, all I have to do is name the ssid of the Google nest to match the name of the current 2.4Ghz channel and it will connect that way?

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Hello @Nick6 

Yes, in most (but not quite all) cases, keeping the same SSID and password will allow existing devices to connect to the new network, including 2.4GHz-only devices. I did something very similar when I retired my old Apple Airport Extreme system in favor of Google WiFi.

View solution in original post

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey, Rmonio.

It looks like you and MichaelP were able to sort everything out, and as well for you Nick6. I just wanted to make sure we had everything answered and resolved here. If either of you need any more help, just let us know.

Thanks!

Rmonio
Community Member

Jeff - 

Thanks for checking in.  I believe we have a workaround, but it is still not advantageous for the average home user (someone without technical knowledge) that has a mesh system to work with.  Having the ability to shut off 5GHZ on the pucks would be great (we can always turn it back on for full bandwidth) as it would allow us to deal with the older devices (even some newer ones - like the LaCrosse weather units).  Would it be possible for Google to contemplate a software update to accomodate this - notably the ability to shutoff the 5ghz band so we can just run the 2.4ghz?  if not then I'll need to just do the disconnect hubs and walk away until I'm only in 2.4ghz technique we're talking about.

Thanks for your consideration and support!

-Bob

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey, Rmonio.

I will definitely pass that suggestion along. We always like to take into account ways that we can make the devices work better for our users, and our teams take feedback seriously. I'm glad you find a workaround, but I'm sorry it's not as easy as it could be! Thanks for letting us know, however. That really is quite helpful.

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey, everyone.
I just wanted to follow up real fast to see if we were needing anything else on this question or if we were all good here. If anyone still has questions or any needs, please let me know.

Thanks.

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi, everyone.
As we haven't had any activity here recently I'm going to go ahead and close the thread. If you have more to add, feel free to start a new discussion.
Thanks