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How to Change Google WiFi to Bridge Mode

Davy123
Community Member

I have problems connecting my 2-puck wired ethernet devices to WiFi devices on Google WiFi Mesh. 

Following advice on this forum I decided to change my GWFM router to bridge mode. But when I drill down through the menus to Network Mode I find the message "Device Mode has been automatically set" and tapping on Bridge Mode has no effect.

How can I change the GWFM router to bridge mode. I have read all the Google advice but it doesnt mention my problem.

thanks, Davy

1 Recommended Answer

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

Hello @Davy123 

Bridge mode is only supported in single-unit configurations (i.e., only the Ethernet-connected primary can be in bridge mode, and there can't be any mesh / secondary units). If you have an existing multi-unit system already set up, I suspect you may need to go through factory reset and then set up just one of them in bridge mode.

View Recommended Answer in original post

12 REPLIES 12

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

Hello @Davy123 

Bridge mode is only supported in single-unit configurations (i.e., only the Ethernet-connected primary can be in bridge mode, and there can't be any mesh / secondary units). If you have an existing multi-unit system already set up, I suspect you may need to go through factory reset and then set up just one of them in bridge mode.

Davy123
Community Member

Michael, thanks for the prompt reply - I will try the factory reset method.

I will attempt to prevent the devices going back to automatic NAT setup mode. So I will switch off the satellite puck, factory reset the router puck, add it back into Google Home app if necessary, then set the router to bridge. Hopefully it wont automatically go to NAT if the satellite is switched on later - maybe best if kept in a drawer.  So a waste of money really, dont see what I could use the satellite for.

olavrb
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

A workaround if your 2nd point has ethernet ports and you want to use it as a 2nd access point, is to create a new Google Home home, and add your 2nd point into it in bridge mode. Multiple bridged Nest Wifi devices in one Google Home home ain't possible as of now. But one per multiple Google Home home however. Certainly not intended/ supported, but should work. 🙂


I don't work for Google.

Davy123
Community Member

Olavrb, thanks for that. I was hoping to just switch on my spare puck as a simple access point and take the ethernet feeds that I need off of that. But I think you are saying that in Google Home, if I add another puck then one puck will need to be set as a router. 

I wonder if I could improve the coverage in my house by installing a non-Google WiFi extender with an ethernet out port?

olavrb
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

If cable is no option I'd rather go double NAT with regular Nest Wifi setup. I'd go double NAT either way when I think about it.

Ethernet over coax (MoCA) is an option btw, if ethernet over power is not any good for you.

Repeaters, better go for a suitable access point only system, like Unifi from Ubiquiti, or Zyxel Nenula, or Cisco Meraki Go.


I don't work for Google.

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

Here's a help article with more details on bridge mode: https://support.google.com/googlenest/answer/6240987?hl=en 

Generally speaking, putting your ISP router+modem in bridge mode will be a better fit for the way Google WiFi is intended to be used. It allows Google WiFi to be a router+firewall as well as create the multi-unit wireless mesh that supports multiple remote Google WiFi units to expand coverage. Using it as a single bridge mode device may work, but you're losing a lot of the features. 

Olav's suggestion of creating multiple parallel bridge mode Google WiFi units can work, but there are some really important caveats to understand with that approach as well. Not only will you lose the features described on that support page, but you will also lose the 802.11k and 802.11v handoff support. So, devices that support those specifications will be more likely to get "stuck" to an access point or band that is still working, even when a better one is available. I don't want to overstate this, since not all devices support these standards in the first place, but for devices that do, it's pretty nice to have the devices switch from 2.4GHz to 5GHz when they get close enough, and from one 5GHz access point to another 5GHz access point as they move around the home.

Davy123
Community Member

Thank you Michael.

Unfortunately my ISP's modem/router cannot be put in bridge mode so its Google WiFi in bridge mode or nothing.

Having put the GWF puck into bridge mode and ethernet wired it into the adjacent ISP modem/router, I find that I really dont have any advantage over just using my ISP's WiFi modem/router. I just have one WiFi transmitting location and no meshing. 
With my original ISP WiFi modem/router in my study I was able, using an Ethernet over power device, to have a WiFi transmitter with two output Ethernet ports close to my lounge TV/audio. gear. The Ethernet over power connection dropped out and had to be reset about once a week but at least it was a simple setup and I had two WiFi transmitters - one at each end of the house.

So I might sell my Google WiFi pucks and go back to the ISP solution.

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

Ugh – Ethernet-over-power has never worked reliably for me, either. I do have to ask why you are focused on eliminating double NAT, though? It can be a problem for some occasionally, but most people can live with it just fine. I just set up a Google WiFi system for my parents this way (Google WiFi in router+firewall mode inside a modem+router+firewall from their cable provider, including a wired Ethernet secondary Google WiFi unit), and it's working perfectly for them. I just made sure the primary Google WiFi unit is the only thing connected to their modem+router+firewall so all of the wired and wireless devices in their home are on the same "inner" network created by Google WiFi. But, if you are having issues you believe are caused by the double NAT, then you may be better off using some simpler WiFi access points instead.

Davy123
Community Member

Michael, that's a lot to think about.  

Going back to mesh mode would bring up all the problems I had when I first installed the Google WiFi Mesh. 

Will get back when I have time to experiment. I am getting very confused now having tried many configurations.  You hint that I may have to settle for a compromise where not everything works - I need to develop a score sheet!

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi, Davy123.

I just wanted to check in real fast. It's been a while since you and MichaelP were discussing this and I wanted to see if you had sorted this out or to see if you still had any questions here. If you still need help, just let us know.

Thanks.

Davy123
Community Member

Jeff, I really appreciate your taking an interest.  

I have now tried eleven configurations !!! Since I have about 18 Wi-Fi devices, some of which require reprogramming at each change, and each change requires long-term testing, so the effort is considerable.

Ironic really cos my original intention was to use Google Hi-Fi Mesh as simple plug and forget solution!

At the moment I have everything working; but it requires 3 Wi-Fi sources and a ethernet over power coupling. So the next job is to simplify it.

When I have got a solution I will post it as a new thread. So this thread can be closed now.

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Sounds good, Davy123. Sounds like you have a good grasp on your process. I'll go ahead and close up the thread, but if you need anything else, please feel free to open up a new discussion.

Thanks!