I'm writing this post for those who have been also struggling to connect their 2.4GHz IoT devices (lighbulbs, plugs, doorbells etc) to their Google Nest Wifi Router (December 2022). In this post I will address some of the myths discussed in other posts. These includes the two main 'workarounds' suggested by various community members, which are to; Walk far away from the router and to create a guest network.
Before getting into it, I just want to clarify the issue. Most IoT devices operate on a 2.4GHz bandwidth. In many cases, you will use a mobile app to set up the IoT device. These IoT devices cannot be set up when your mobile phone is connected to a 5GHz bandwidth. Google Nest Wifi defaults to a 5GHz bandwidth. The problem is that the Google Nest Wifi Router has no way to manually switch to the 2.4GHz bandwidth. The 2.4GHz bandwidth runs in the background and your device decides which bandwidth it connects to automatically, based on signal strength. In many cases, your devices will be connected to the 5GHz bandwidth by default. In theory this is a good thing. Most other routers will create 2 unique networks that you can choose between. This is discussed in more detail here - https://support.google.com/googlenest/answer/6293481?hl=en-AU
In my opinion, this is no fault of the IoT device manufacturers. The Google Nest Wifi Router should simply have an option to switch to the 2.4GHz bandwidth manually. That would solve the problem.
Okay let's talk about the proposed workarounds.
1. Create a Guest Network - Some have suggested that you can create a guest network that uses the 2.4GHz bandwidth - "Through the Home app, you can set up a guest network. This guest network is 2.4GHz only, and your devices that struggle with the dual band should be able to connect to the guest network." - This was written in 2021. I've tried this and it does NOT work (DEC22). The guest network works the same ways as the primary network work. It defaults to the 5GHz bandwidth.
2. Moving far enough away from so that the 5GHz bandwidth comes out range and defaults to 2.4GHz. I can confirm this DOES work. It's not easy but it does work. If you are trying this, here are my tips.
-- Switch off all the additional network points.
-- In the wifi settings you'll find which bandwidth is being used. Keep this app open as it confirms which bandwidth you are on before running the IoT setup. I found using 2 devices helpful.
-- Find a spot inside or outside your house where the 5GHz drops off. In my case I had to search a long time to find a place that it was consistent. Form me it was out on the deck with the doors closed.
-- You'll have to run between your phone and where the device is located in the house. Move the IoT device as close to you as you can. In my case I was able to power my IoT device on the deck, but it seemed that for the IoT device it was too far away from the router, so I ended up putting it back in the house.
-- Be prepared for a lot of trial and error, failed attempts and running back and forth.
-- Remove your sim card or use an old device not connected to a sim. Im my experience, my phone toggled between 5GHz and 2.4GHz sporadically and was never stable on either bandwidth. My phone would give up on wifi and defaulted to the SIM card network.
It all seems a bit silly when a simple software solution at googles end could fix the problem. I'm surprised more people aren't complaining about this. Best of luck!
Thanks for the detailed information!
This is helpful for other users. 🙂
I disagree about one thing, loads of IoT devices do use not that good WiFi adapters or bad software. Sure you can fix it by splitting SSID's for a 2.4GHz and 5GHz but is shouldn't be necessary with current technical capabilities.
But my opinion doesn't fix the ones with issue... So we are both right? 😂
@RXShorty, appreciate your helpful response.
@jamieshek, we appreciate your feedback and suggested workarounds. 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.