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Google Nest WIFI Network Management and (in)convenience

CptnStronghold
Community Member

Before going into details, I can give a brief summary of my migration to the complete google ecosystem.

I've moved my complete list of home devices into the ecosystem for home automation purposes and convenience. My house feels like the house of the future, when walking through a door that automatically opens when I arrive at home to the lights responding on routines to eat, sleep, watch a movie, repeat. 

It changed my life forever. But ... when it comes to fine tuning, setting up servers, VPN, custom domains, SSL certs and a hole list of other necessary features of a modern IT household ... it is non-existing in the ecosystem.

 

Now for the negative feedback, I am sorry for the inconvenience I cause to anyone reading this.

First of all, setting all this up on a mobile screen is insanity to say the least ... have you ever tried to type a IPV6 address or MAC address flawless on your phone? Which is actually on your PC screen on where you have a mouse, keyboard and copy paste. Having no web interface to manage simple things like IPs or Ports is not a missing feature, it's bullying your users. 

Secondly, there is no way, but I mean not a single possibility to search 🔍 throughout the hole interface, it's like they just forgot about it completely ... for company who build the greatest search engine on this planet this feels a bit ridiculous.

Thirdly, why oh why would we only be able to access the network control interface when the internet is up? I literally can't make a single mistake in my configuration or reboot the modem and lose complete control over my network. I just have to sit and wait in front of an amber light and wish to the stars I can access it after the reboot. 

And the list goes on, it's insane ... I can't figure out the product owner's choice to let the whole network control part decay into oblivion ... 

* No possibility to setup a port forward based on an IP, the device has to be online and already reachable 
* No support for port forwarding to IPs of dockers when they don't have a fixed MAC address
* No access to logs to debug any issues
* No APIs to allow the community to build a better or at least one web-interface
* No plugins to expand the router features to add VPN, Home DNS, and so on 
* No timestamps of the measured internet speed or a way to export them
* No way to clean up Unnamed devices from the device list
* .... 

 

Also, a huge point but very hard to explain ... no way to combine wired access points and wireless access points in the same mesh setup without creating loops when they are close to each other. 
I noticed this when upgrading the wired setup to 2.5 Gbps the switches had loop detection ... so bye bye Wifi coverage over the complete house.

 

The list is sooo long I don't even feel like completing it ... and some issues are just too complex to explain in such a short notice ... I really really really hope Google gets the idea and fixes one of its most shameful branches in their product line. It turns me from a Google advocate into a sour regretting customer desperately looking for alternatives... next week I should receive a Pfsense device and hopefully I can fix at least 70% of the issues described above, it will be a pain to configure, but less painful then keep using the Google home app to configure a fraction of my network.

 

And please, before sending me the link to "Share feedback about Google Nest Wifi or Google Wifi".
Don't even bother, I am never, ever, ever typing all this kind of feedback on my phone. Why on god's green earth would you only take feedback from inside the app? That is maybe the main reason why all these issues don't reach the correct product team? Why Google thinks the router is still a top-of-the-line product because of no customer feedback?  

 

1 Recommended Answer

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

Hello @CptnStronghold 

There's some great feedback in here, and I will escalate this if only to improve the chances it gets in front of the right people without going through the feedback feature in the app.

That said, I did want to mention one thing regarding loop detection. It sounds like you have a smart/managed switch with spanning tree protocol enabled. Since the 802.11s mesh interconnect only runs over WiFi (not Ethernet), connecting secondary Google/Nest WiFi units via Ethernet creates a loop. This is resolved by using STP (loop detection) on all of the nodes. But, for this to work properly, the "primary" (router) unit has to be the highest priority bridge in the spanning tree, and all of the nodes need to see all of the STP BPDUs (packets). Smart/managed switches that have STP enabled very often interfere with this and cause significant issues. The solution is to just disable STP in your smart/managed switch. As long as it passes STP BPDUs transparently, it doesn't need to be part of the spanning tree, and your wired secondary units should be happy.

View Recommended Answer in original post

11 REPLIES 11

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

Hello @CptnStronghold 

There's some great feedback in here, and I will escalate this if only to improve the chances it gets in front of the right people without going through the feedback feature in the app.

That said, I did want to mention one thing regarding loop detection. It sounds like you have a smart/managed switch with spanning tree protocol enabled. Since the 802.11s mesh interconnect only runs over WiFi (not Ethernet), connecting secondary Google/Nest WiFi units via Ethernet creates a loop. This is resolved by using STP (loop detection) on all of the nodes. But, for this to work properly, the "primary" (router) unit has to be the highest priority bridge in the spanning tree, and all of the nodes need to see all of the STP BPDUs (packets). Smart/managed switches that have STP enabled very often interfere with this and cause significant issues. The solution is to just disable STP in your smart/managed switch. As long as it passes STP BPDUs transparently, it doesn't need to be part of the spanning tree, and your wired secondary units should be happy.

CptnStronghold
Community Member

Hi MichaelP,

i have no managed switches (yet) in the house. Only the virtual switches of the NAS have spanning tree enabled, maybe that can be the cause of the issue. Thank you for the advice, i will investigate.

switches i currently installed:

QNAP QSW-1105-5T

QNAP QSW-2104-2T

QNAP QSW-1108-8T

 

 

olavrb
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Even though all three switches are unmanaged, they all have loop detection and prevention. Seems other people experience problems with this mechanism, like:

I don't know if that could interfere with the built in loop detection of Nest Wifi, but maybe worth exploring.


I don't work for Google. I'm here to help and learn more.

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

Yeah, it looks like those switches have loop detection and – unfortunately – it can't be disabled (which is not a great combination, in my opinion). That is highly likely to interfere with the way Google/Nest WiFi needs STP to work. I hate to say it, but if it can't be disabled, you may need to choose between using those switches and using a mesh network that supports wired secondaries (after a quick search, it looks like this issue applies to at least some non-Google mesh WiFi solutions as well).

CptnStronghold
Community Member

Thanks for all the feedback concerning the loop detection and mesh setup. Compared to the usability issues on the other hand, it's one of the less cumbersome ones.

I've been advised to use Wifiman from ubiquity to improve my mesh performance. I installed a nest wifi or nest router in every room so i should be able to get more than 70 Mbps on the top floor.

I really hope Google opens up about the software and upgrades the whole app and APIs to be top of the line again. In the meantime im going to look for a Pfsense device to cover some other concerns as well, like security.

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi everyone.

 

Wow, there's some really good and DEEP feedback in here. I always love seeing when tech smart users discuss ways in which the products could be made more useful. I have made sure that your comments have been passed along to our internal teams. I did want to check in to see if there was any other way I could help out here.

 

Thanks,

Jeff

CptnStronghold
Community Member

there is one way you could help out even more 🙂. there is an API on the router that spits out debug information. But the file format is encrypted/encoded so only Google can read it. You might want to share the tool and ways to decrypt/decode that file so i can investigate my own network if any issues occur in the future?

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

Well... it's not actually encrypted, though anything that might be considered sensitive (e.g., all MAC addresses) has been replaced. It's a (rather large) "protocol buffer", which is a binary encoding that started at Google but is pretty widely used in the industry. It's just gzip-compressed for transport. Let's just say it is definitely possible to decode it. There are some log files in there (some of which have been gzip-compressed as well), but digging through them can be tedious. If one were motivated, they might get started by looking for a tool called "onhubdump".

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey CptnStronghold,

 

I wanted to check back in to see if you were able to find what you needed with MichaelP's help. If you're still looking for some input, just let me know.


Thanks,

Jeff

Jhonleanmel
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey everyone,

I wanted to follow up and see if you are still in need of any help. Please let me know if you are still having any concerns or questions from here, as I would be happy to take a closer look and assist you further.

Thanks,
Mel

Hi folks,

Just one quick final check in here since activity has slowed down. We'll be locking the thread in the next 24 hours, but if you still need help, I would be happy to keep it open. If there's more we can do, just let me know.

Thanks,
Mel