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Google Nest Replacement

SteveKBiot
Community Member

Hi - seen similar posts.  My new fibre access has the modem installed at one end of my house.  If I put the primary Google WiFi puck close to it, then great service for it and the 2 closest nodes but unusable service for the two others - even though they connect.  (Previously modem/primary were in the centre of the house - and all showed great).   I've been using powerlines but I can't get more than 100Mb across my old wiring and seems a shame as I get 450Mb when it's connected via Ethernet able.   If I use a Nest unit as the primary, will this allow my 2 poor performing units to mesh or will I still be in the same situation as I am today.  

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Stone and concrete or plaster are going to be significant challenges for WiFi in general, but even more challenging for mesh-based solutions, since they usually use 5GHz for the mesh interconnect. Running Ethernet will be painful, though you may be able to get creative by running it outside, through an attic or basement/crawlspace, etc. If you have coaxial cabling in place, you may also be able to use MoCa adapters to create an Ethernet equivalent. Powerline adapters aren't great in my experience, but you may find them to be better than relying on 5GHz WiFi for the interconnect.

All of that said, it's important to follow the connection rules here: https://support.google.com/wifi/answer/7215624?hl=en 

In short, the primary must be connected to your internet service via Ethernet. The secondaries connect to it via 5GHz WiFi mesh, but can be connected back to the primary via Ethernet. They need to be connected to the primary's LAN Ethernet port. They can't be connected to the "outer" Ethernet network that the primary's WAN (globe) Ethernet port is connected to.

So, you could use powerline to get from your modem to a more centrally-located primary. But, if you do that, you won't be able to use powerline for anything else, since it would be part of that "outer" network. Or, you can leave the primary where it is and connect a powerline adapter to its LAN port and then connect distant secondary units to that "inner" network through powerline adapters. That won't be fast, but it may be more reliable than trying to make 5GHz work through stone walls.

If you do connect secondaries back to the primary via Ethernet (either directly or via Powerline or MoCa adapters, etc.), it's very important to understand that those wired secondaries cannot act like mesh extenders for more distant wireless-only secondaries. I would try to get all of the secondaries connected if possible, especially in a difficult environment like you describe. When you do that, it doesn't matter where the primary is located.

I hope this helps.

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5 REPLIES 5

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Hello @SteveKBiot 

The Nest WiFi Router unit does have a better WiFi radio, but it's not going to increase range substantially under this scenario. It supports 4 streams instead of only two, but your existing Google WiFi units only support two streams, so that connection will still be limited to two streams. I would try to run an Ethernet cable from your new modem location to the center of the structure so you can place your existing primary in that spot with the secondaries arranged around it (one or two rooms away). I know that's painful, but having a primary at one end of a structure is not going to be great.

SteveKBiot
Community Member

Thanks, it's my thinking too.  Since my two low performing pucks are for the garden and the garage then I'm also wondering if I could repurpose the powerlines for them as I'm not so worried about speed there.  (I live in France and houses are built of solid stone so running a new cable is a real headache)  Thing is, how can I ensure that the primary uses ethernet as backhaul and not the radio.  I've read on some blogs that it'll always select the radio path regardless of performance.  Does it automatically disable the backhaul radios if it detects a fixed connection?   Thanks in advance..

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Stone and concrete or plaster are going to be significant challenges for WiFi in general, but even more challenging for mesh-based solutions, since they usually use 5GHz for the mesh interconnect. Running Ethernet will be painful, though you may be able to get creative by running it outside, through an attic or basement/crawlspace, etc. If you have coaxial cabling in place, you may also be able to use MoCa adapters to create an Ethernet equivalent. Powerline adapters aren't great in my experience, but you may find them to be better than relying on 5GHz WiFi for the interconnect.

All of that said, it's important to follow the connection rules here: https://support.google.com/wifi/answer/7215624?hl=en 

In short, the primary must be connected to your internet service via Ethernet. The secondaries connect to it via 5GHz WiFi mesh, but can be connected back to the primary via Ethernet. They need to be connected to the primary's LAN Ethernet port. They can't be connected to the "outer" Ethernet network that the primary's WAN (globe) Ethernet port is connected to.

So, you could use powerline to get from your modem to a more centrally-located primary. But, if you do that, you won't be able to use powerline for anything else, since it would be part of that "outer" network. Or, you can leave the primary where it is and connect a powerline adapter to its LAN port and then connect distant secondary units to that "inner" network through powerline adapters. That won't be fast, but it may be more reliable than trying to make 5GHz work through stone walls.

If you do connect secondaries back to the primary via Ethernet (either directly or via Powerline or MoCa adapters, etc.), it's very important to understand that those wired secondaries cannot act like mesh extenders for more distant wireless-only secondaries. I would try to get all of the secondaries connected if possible, especially in a difficult environment like you describe. When you do that, it doesn't matter where the primary is located.

I hope this helps.

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Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi, SteveKBiot.

It looks like MichaelP was able to explain what's going on here and provide a lot of info. I just wanted to follow up and see if you needed anything else here. If you still need some support on this, just 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