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How to hardwire 2 Nest WiFi routers?

MarkBoon
Community Member

I have a deck outside with practically zero WiFi connectivity. So I had a direct Ethernet connection installed and connected a 2nd Nest WiFi router to it. But I still hardly get any connectivity, ranging between 0-20Mbps. When I plug a laptop directly into the Ethernet port, I get 800-900Mbps. (Measured by Ookla.)

Google Home shows weak connectivity between the Nest WiFi router inside the home and the one on the deck. Sometimes it won’t connect at all. I’m suspecting the two routers are trying to communicate over WiFi to form a mesh. But they are connected by wire to the same switch, they should be able to communicate directly.

So I guess the question is: what do I need to do to make the 2 Nest routers communicate with each other directly? Or… can I set the 2nd router up separately? (But with the same WiFi name of course, it would be a pain having to switch manually each time I step outside.)

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

4 REPLIES 4

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

Hello @MarkBoon 

Take a look at this support page first: https://support.google.com/wifi/answer/7215624?hl=en 

In short, your primary Nest WiFi Router has a LAN Ethernet port you can use to build a wired network from. That wired network can be used to connect other Nest WiFi Router units (or Google WiFi units) as secondaries. They need to be set up as wireless mesh secondaries first somewhere close by, but after that, connecting them back to the primary via Ethernet should "just work". 

What you can't do is connect a secondary to the same "outer" network that the primary is connected to. I suspect that's what is going on here, but it would be good to confirm. So, it should look something like this:

internet <-> [WAN] primary Nest WiFi Router [LAN] <-> unmanaged switch <-> [WAN or LAN] secondary Nest WiFi Router

The other thing that can go wrong is using a managed Ethernet switch. So, if you have things configured as shown above, and it still isn't working properly, look into this possibility. Managed switches often have loop detection enabled and that can interfere with the way Google/Nest WiFi needs to work for wiring up secondaries. You may be able to configure the switch to disable loop detection and/or enabled STP BPDU flooding.

I hope some of this proves useful. I have both of my secondary Google WiFi units wired into a switched network, and it works great.

Michael, thanks for trying to help. With your suggestion I tried the following.

My original setup:

Modem —> WAN 1st router

                |—> WAN 2nd router

                |—> unmanaged switch

I now tried the following configurations, but they all show the same performance, being +500Mbps over WiFi when next to the 1st router, 10-20Mbps when next to the 2nd router or no connectivity at all.

Modem —> WAN 1st router —> unmanaged switch —> WAN 2nd router (which is the one you suggested I think)

Modem —> WAN 1st router —> WAN 2nd router

                 |—> unmanaged switch

Modem —> unmanaged switch —> WAN 1st router

                                                             |—> WAN 2nd router

MarkBoon
Community Member

Thanks to Michael’s suggestion I figured it out. With the setup he suggested, it started to work when I reshuffled the cables in the unmanaged switch. Although the ports are not labeled, just numbered, I guess one does double duty as uplink and the Nest WiFi router doesn’t like that one.

 

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey, MarkBoon.

Thanks for the update and letting us know what worked for you. That will definitely help others searching for a similar solution. As we have our answer here, I'm going to go ahead and close up the thread. If you have anything else you need, please feel free to open a new thread.

Thanks.