cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Some advice on mesh Wi-Fi network needed

Thepoint
Community Member

Greetings. I have a three puck 1st gen Google Wi-Fi network. 1200 sq. ft. Single story house with a detached garage. Primary puck is wired per usual to the modem on one end of the house, with another puck sitting mid-house in a kitchen window to facilitate connection with the 3rd puck which is about 50’ away in the garage, peeking out a window so these pucks actually have line of sight. Not sure that helps.  My garage has 3 Nest cameras and two Wi-Fi garage doors openers, so pulls some Wi-Fi demand. My garage signal has always been weak and lately it’s somewhat unreliable. I’d appreciate any suggestions on beefing this up:

?- will an extender of some type help?

?- I could run an Ethernet cable to the garage, but I understand Google mesh extender pucks don’t benefit from being hard wired, true? 

I also have a whole house generator that has Wi-Fi comm capability through an app. That is in the yard on the opposite end of the house from the modem and primary router puck. Very unstable connection despite a proprietary link (switch?) plugged into my kitchen window puck.  
Any suggestions appreciated. 

 

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

I would be surprised if your "phone" jacks (typically 4-pin RJ11 connectors) can support Ethernet (typically 8-pin RJ45 connectors). In any case, for experimentation, you may just swap pucks around instead of doing a factory reset to swap roles. 

An Ethernet switch is just a box with multiple Ethernet (RJ45) ports on it. It is used to connect multiple Ethernet devices to each other, including your primary Google WiFi unit via its LAN Ethernet port. Think of it a bit like a USB hub, but for networking. They are available as inexpensive "unmanaged" and more expensive "managed" versions. For typical home use, the less expensive unmanaged type is all that's required. But, the reason I emphasized using unmanaged switches in this case is because there is a known interaction between the loop detection feature typically enabled in managed switches and the way Google/Nest WiFi need loop detection to work when wiring secondaries back to the primary. To avoid that issue, you'll want to use only the inexpensive unmanaged Ethernet switch products and avoid options that say "smart" or "managed" (or even, in some cases, "gaming").

View solution in original post

11 REPLIES 11

KobRRagE
Community Member

If it is in a window with LOS it shouldn't have any real resistance... not aware of "glass" being a strong barrier to signals.  I do know that the higher you place the Access Points the further range you will have... just like an antenna for sending RF waves. If the one in the window is sitting on the  window sill, try and elevate it to a higher spot. 

Also... most smart devices run on the 2.4gz band vs the 5gz band.  The first Generation of Google Wifi pucks do have 2.4 and 5gz frequencies but there really isn't an option to choose which one.... it chooses for you and sometimes it will drop devices because it keeps trying to stick them on the 5gz frequency.  ALSO.... the 2.4 frequency might be a little slower speed than 5gz bandwidth BUT!!. The 5gz has a much shorter range than 2.4 and at the border of its limits will drop off fast and hard.... If you ever had a phone that when you search for Wi-Fi points to connect to and had a router that used both and the phone would show you both the 2.4 and 5 from your router, usually the 2.4 would be at full bars and the 5 would be much lower bars... so the 5gz "automagic" crap that Google Wifi has is kind of a double whammy for Smart Devices... They not designed for the 5gz band and Google like to use the 5gz if they will "accept" the signal even though it sucks for them.

Here is a good post about this on Gen 1 pucks. With a work around using the Guest Network setup (tha... 

Thanks much!  I’ll try your suggestions. 

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Hello @Thepoint 

It's important to understand that the secondary points will use the "fewest hops" to get their traffic through the mesh. So, if that garage puck can get through directly to the primary, it will – even if that means slowing down significantly. It would only use an intermediate (e.g., your kitchen puck) if it can't get through at all. That would only happen if they are all quite far apart, and the result wouldn't be great anyway. This is why the optimal placement advise is to put the primary as close to the center of the home as possible with the secondaries one or two rooms away from there so they are close enough to get solid 5GHz connections to the primary. From there they can provide 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections to more distant clients. However, it may not always be possible to have the primary in the center.

In your case, if you can connect the garage puck via Ethernet to the primary (not the kitchen secondary), either directly or through one or more unmanaged Ethernet switches, it will not rely on the 5GHz mesh connection and will instead carry traffic back to the primary via Ethernet. This works quite well (and if you can connect the kitchen puck that way as well, you'll improve its performance, too). I have both of my secondaries connected this way and my primary is at one end of my house in the basement.

I'm not sure what's going on with your generator, but hopefully, if you can get your garage puck (and kitchen puck, ideally) wired, it may provide a more stable connection for clients. Basically, I'd focus on making the core WiFi network more solid/stable and then tackle any specific client issues.

Thepoint
Community Member

Thanks for your advice on this. I was planning to move the router to the basement where the Internet line comes in anyway. I have phone jacks, one near kitchen window, that can carry ethernet connection to that puck,  so will try to get that kitchen puck set up as primary and see if that improves the signal to the garage.  Then I’ll move the other house puck around for optimal connectivity.  I can run an Ethernet wire to the garage if this does not improve the signal. Can you say more about the “unmanaged Ethernet switches?” I’m not sure what they are. Thanks again. 

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

I would be surprised if your "phone" jacks (typically 4-pin RJ11 connectors) can support Ethernet (typically 8-pin RJ45 connectors). In any case, for experimentation, you may just swap pucks around instead of doing a factory reset to swap roles. 

An Ethernet switch is just a box with multiple Ethernet (RJ45) ports on it. It is used to connect multiple Ethernet devices to each other, including your primary Google WiFi unit via its LAN Ethernet port. Think of it a bit like a USB hub, but for networking. They are available as inexpensive "unmanaged" and more expensive "managed" versions. For typical home use, the less expensive unmanaged type is all that's required. But, the reason I emphasized using unmanaged switches in this case is because there is a known interaction between the loop detection feature typically enabled in managed switches and the way Google/Nest WiFi need loop detection to work when wiring secondaries back to the primary. To avoid that issue, you'll want to use only the inexpensive unmanaged Ethernet switch products and avoid options that say "smart" or "managed" (or even, in some cases, "gaming").

Thepoint
Community Member

I appreciate the info, again. 

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi, Thepoint.

It looks like MichaelP gave you some good info to work with on this. Hopefully you were able to use that to get things all worked out. I just wanted to follow up and see if you're all set or to see if you still needed some input on this. If you need anything, just let us know.

Thanks,

- Jeff

Thepoint
Community Member

I have a tech coming next week to give me a hand with some wiring and jack installation on the CAT5 connections and moving my modem and mesh network pucks around . Then I’ll know how things are looking. Appreciate you checking back.

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Thanks for the update, Thepoint.

I'll keep this open and we'll check in later to see if everything worked out. Hopefully that's going to be a solid solution for you!

Thanks,

- Jeff

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey again, Thepoint.

I'm just checking back to see if things are still working out. If you've had any issues, just let me know.

Thanks,

- Jeff

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi everyone,

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,
Jeff