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Unnamed Offline devices on Nest WiFi

ScottG_TC
Community Member

There are tons of unnamed offline devices on my Google WiFi device list. There were multiple threads on this in the old community but were locked without resolution.

 

What are these devices, where did they come from and why cant they be removed? Is my network a security risk even though it requires a password to access my wifi?

 

I am really concerned that my network safety is being compromised. 

1 Recommended Answer

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey all,

 

Sorry to hear about offline, unnamed devices displaying in the Google Home app. While this is not a security risk, we understand the list of unnamed devices can be bothersome. The appropriate teams are aware of this behavior and have been investigating. In the meantime, we can give some context about what you’re experiencing: 
 

Having “unnamed device” entries in the Google Home app is common– many devices don't provide Google Wifi with signals (e.g. DHCP host name, MAC address OUI) that we can use to identify them, or we just haven't seen enough of a particular device to interpret the signals we're given. 
 

While it’s difficult for Google to automatically detect, you can identify these devices yourself by manually matching up the IP or MAC address you see in the Google Home app with the same information on your devices’ control interfaces. Some devices even print the MAC address on the device itself. Once you identify them, you can rename them in the Google Home app to help you keep track of these devices in the future. 
 

When your device list fills up with unnamed devices, as many of you have described on this thread,  it’s likely the result of one device on the network regenerating its MAC address more frequently than usual. We are working toward a solution that cleans up your list of devices without affecting every device with a randomized address.
 

We hope this helps explain, and we apologize for the inconvenience. For updates, be sure to stay tuned to this thread.

 

Thanks,

Jeff

View Recommended Answer in original post

166 REPLIES 166

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

Hello @ScottG_TC 

Sorry for the delay – this got lost amongst the deluge of migrated threads. Plus, I didn't have a working theory until now. Do you by chance have a Pixel phone? I suspect it's configured to generate a random MAC address for your home network. Try disabling that (just for your home network). The unnamed offline devices are basically "old" random MAC addresses your Pixel phone was using earlier. They should eventually "age out" of the list and disappear on their own, but that may take a long time. Assuming my working theory is right, this should not be an indication of a security risk – it's a side effect of the privacy-preserving feature in the Pixel phone. Apple iPhones have a similar feature (which can also be disabled), but I don't know if it causes the same issue (they may only generate a new random MAC address once for each unique network), and it's possible non-Pixel Android phones have a similar feature.

Thanks Michael - I just switched to use device MAC on all my pixel devices and see if these fall off, but they have just been growing for months.

MichaelP
Diamond Product Expert
Diamond Product Expert

It may take something like 60 days for all of them to finally disappear. But, if the list stops growing, that's a good indication this is the issue. If you see that, it seems like something worth letting the Pixel team know. It's not that they're doing something wrong – and neither is Google / Nest WiFi – it's just an unexpected feature interaction between the two products that the two teams should probably "discuss". Disabling this for the networks you trust is probably a good idea in any case.

Just a quick update (I know it hasnt been 60 days) but none have dropped off. Still have 32 devices listed in Unamed, with most not showing any activity for 30 days. I say most cause I gote bored checking that many. 

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey, ScottG_TC and emwright.

With the time frame having passed for these devices to drop off and without us knowing where the devices are coming from, I think it's time to escalate this to an internal team. I'll be handling that and I'll update the thread as I hear more.

Thanks.

ScottG_TC
Community Member

Great. Thank you

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey, everyone.

I know it's been quite some time, but I wanted to jump in here and say that this is still being looked at internally. I still don't have a time frame for a fix, but I am waiting to hear more.

Thanks.

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey, emwright.

Thanks for running through that troubleshooting. Typically the Home app does not store information about a network once it's been factory reset, but we're definitely seeing some settings carried over. I've passed the info along to our teams from the thread. For everyone reporting their results, thank you very much.

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey, tiricotodd.

Can you clarify a little bit what's happening with your situation? Are you saying that someone hacked their way onto your network or into your Google account? If it's your network, I would advise changing the network's name and password immediately. If you are talking about your Google account, updating your password there should lock anyone out as well. Either way, if you can give me a bit more clarification, we can look into things.

Thanks.

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Thanks, Finken.

Yes, the more instances we have reported, the more attention these issues receive. Also, the more reports we get into the internal teams, the faster they can paint a picture of what is going on. Thanks for all who are participating in the thread and with support.

JohnDoe1
Community Member

Im reporting another one. Tell google to update their home app so we can delete these devices. That would fix everything. Easy Peasy

A billion $ tech company and they can’t figure out how to allow the admins of their own home network to remove devices from their network. And it takes 60 days for it to disappear. How ludicrous is that… I’m a google household but I’m getting fed up with seemingly easy fixes to their home app that they seem to just keep kicking down the road. As the admin I should be at anytime kick any device off my network, hit refresh button and see that device gone. What in the actual F is wrong with you google. Why is this so difficult…this thread alone is years old and nothing has been changed. I think its about time to switch to a different wifi network solution that actually allows me to manage it

Unknown1
Community Member

Notice how Google NEVER addresses the elephant in the room: SECURITY!  They always conveniently slough it off with a "No worries.  Not a security threat".  Convince us!  And how can any device be allowed to connect itself to a network without me giving it permission first?!  Sounds like an easy fix!  So FIX IT!

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi, all.

It's been a while, but I still don't have anything new to share. As usual, I did want to check in to see if anyone has seen any changes in their circumstance. If so, please let me know and if you know of any troubleshooting tied to the change.

Thanks.

ScottG_TC
Community Member

Still happenin and the list is growing. It's a bit rediculous there's no update if the issue doesn't exist in the Google wifi app but does one the Google home app. Should be easy to figure out if they are even trying

Finken
Community Member

Agree! The Home app also has problems with displaying devises connected to the right SSID.

Devices connected to the guest network is displayed as connected to the main network. 

I expect a more serious approach from you, as of now I've lost control over my wifi, and the impression is that my network is no longer safe. 

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey, everyone.

It does seem to be a Home app issue rather than a device issue from all the information we've been able to gather. In the transition from the WiFi app, there have been some bumps in the road, but things are continually being improved, updated, and more deeply integrated. The idea is for the Home app to work as a central hub for all smart devices in the home, but we've definitely had a few hiccups in that process.

Hang in there. A fix will roll out and I'll share news when I know more.

Thanks.

Finken
Community Member

ETA  on a fix? Clearly you must have an idea of what’s causing the issue? 

emwright
Community Member

This has gotten out of hand. I have to rebuild the network from scratch for a second time as so many unnamed devices are taking up all the IP addresses. If I hadn't spent upwards from 500 on Google products already I would ditch for another mesh system

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey, everyone.

We have a lot of new reports that I'm noticing and I'm still keeping an eye on things. Unfortunately I still don't have news of when a fix might be ready, but I'm hoping to hear something sooner than later. I know this is frustrating for all of you, and you've been hearing the "we're working on it" line for a while. We are still addressing this. I'll share when I know more.

Thanks.

Zewack
Community Member

Hey Jeff,

These unnamed devices started showing up on my WiFi within the last two weeks. Is this a security concern?

 

Redpedr0
Community Member

Hi Jeff

Here we are mid way through March when this issue was first raised over 12 months ago. What are Google doing if anything. Their Mesh Wi-Fi package of router and points has got to be an integral part of their home automation solution and yet a major issue like this is identified and they drag their heels on a solution. Is that because fixes don’t generate revenue? 

I am experiencing the same as everyone has noted above with unnamed connections, but in addition I now have devices that have connected seamlessly for ages now refusing to connect. If Google can’t come up with a fix then i will have to look at an alternative solution. The annoying thing is the items are listed but showing as offline. 

Let me guess “You’re working on it.”

I’m having this issue also and would really like a fix as I’m concerned about my network security.  This mesh system was too exspensive to begin with for google not to provide a solution in a year and going!!! 

Literally all they have to do is update the app with option to delete these devices

I have over 40 unnamed devices on my list. They are offline and it have been well over 60 days. Any updates as I would love to delete these ASAP!

tiricotodd
Community Member

 Hey how about helping me I have no idea what I'm doing I was hacked I've been trying to fight them off for a month I think they just lost interest or I'll have nothing in the bank not sure yet the banks are closed 

 

emwright
Community Member

Not to be smart or anything, but a fix would be important. We have been hearing the "we're working on it" for too long.

emwright
Community Member

One thing to note: I have been renaming items from unnamed device to it's MAC address to keep track of them. When I added new light bulbs from Cync by GE direct connect, I cannot match the MAC address to a device since these items won't show up in the Cync app. I wonder if there's some connection with these items?  Still, delete devices would solve this as well as a way to see the IP and MAC on the same screen.

JohnDoe1
Community Member

Im having the same problem. Why doesn't google home have an option to delete these unknown devices? 

Macsware
Community Member

Please do so. Will be nice to have a 'delete' button, like the 'pause' one.  Keep us posted when this can be solved. 

Fortejd
Community Member

Sorry Jeff, I didn't know how to message you. I started having major issues with my Home App and Google WiFi. Can you look at this thread and see if you have any input?

https://www.googlenestcommunity.com/t5/Nest-Wifi/bd-p/Nest-Wifi

PLEASE add a "delete device" function to the Google home app to manage wifi config. It's shocking that you can't do this.

I agree, I have many unknown devices that I can’t delete. Also, I’m a foster parent and have the kids’ devices labeled but when they leave I am unable to delete their devices. My list is very long and getting longer by the minute!!

It's been 2 factory resets and nope, nothing falls off...

This has nothing to do with anything Pixel or random MAC addresses because every device I have I assigned IP addresses and shortened the DHCP pool. Not to be smart or anything, but a fix would be important. We have been hearing the "we're working on it" for too long.

Hi, Is there a newer thread to this? I don't see any comments from this year but I'm experiencing two issues I see reported here. 

  1. Unknown devices connecting to the network. I check them out, they're not actually connected. Not sure if they were ever actually connected. I switch both of our phones to use phone MAC instead of random MAC. Actually seeing more notifications now of new devices joining the network - often when one of us comes home and reconnects. 
  2. Devices that I connected to my guest network showing as connected to the primary home network. I check them and they are not. One (Aerogarden) even shows as a wired connected when its not. 

I bought my Google Wifi for both security and better connectivity. This issue makes me have no confidence in the security of my network. Assuming these are not legitimate security issues only makes me lower my guard against real issues that sneak in between all this noise I'm having to deal with from my own network devices. 

 


@BradfromAZ wrote:

Hi, Is there a newer thread to this? I don't see any comments from this year but I'm experiencing two issues I see reported here. 

This is the active thread.  There are so many replies you need to click the "Load more replies" button at the bottom multiple times to see everything.  Activity has been ongoing even in the last couple of weeks.  Many people have the issue, and it is unresolved.

 


@BradfromAZ wrote:
  1. Unknown devices connecting to the network. I check them out, they're not actually connected. Not sure if they were ever actually connected. I switch both of our phones to use phone MAC instead of random MAC. Actually seeing more notifications now of new devices joining the network - often when one of us comes home and reconnects. 

Yes, I and others experience the same.  It has nothing to do with the MAC addresses, as already verified by others too.  It's a bug, there's no way around it until they bother to fix it.  I typically get a few new bogus unnamed devices whenever I restart the network, or even just the router or an individual point.

 


@BradfromAZ wrote:
  1. Devices that I connected to my guest network showing as connected to the primary home network. I check them and they are not. One (Aerogarden) even shows as a wired connected when its not. 

I have experienced that too.  Active thread on this other issue is here: https://www.googlenestcommunity.com/t5/Nest-Wifi/Device-on-guest-WiFi-network-showing-as-quot-Wired-... .  This one goes back more than 2 years, and is still unresolved.  There used to be a post on the previous version of the Google support fora on it, and several also on Reddit.  It seems every couple of years, they just invent a new support forum system, so the old issues silently disappear in the bin... until they pop up again of course.


@BradfromAZ wrote: 

I bought my Google Wifi for both security and better connectivity. This issue makes me have no confidence in the security of my network. Assuming these are not legitimate security issues only makes me lower my guard against real issues that sneak in between all this noise I'm having to deal with from my own network devices.


100% spot-on.  They keep on saying "don't worry, your security is not compromised".  This is of course nonsense, as when the tools to monitor your network are cluttered, or report even overtly wrong information, they lose all value in that regard.

Tku for the links to other forums. Great to gather info and “look into” on our side as Google has gone dark. 
I do believe the issue is possibly coming from a bug “in” the Google home app as the primary source start. Why? Well, (side note: Im an animal behaviorist and my job is to notice minute repeating patterns primarily of dysfunction, and resolve, as one aspect of my profession. Having said that…)  there is a SIGNIFICANT repeat pattern to what everyone is dealing with with this Wi-Fi product. And it all seems to be centered around a few lines of code (plz forgive me if I got that wrong, I’m not an IT person , best way I can describe it). BECAUSE… everyone’s issues began within 3 timeframes post usage, even when factory resets and uninstall/reinstalls we’re done there were still the same issues, which is possibly where a “bug” was left in everyone’s isp addresses(?)/digital storage bin (again, plz forgive my lack of IT terms). The “bug” seems to display an interesting AI “quality” in that it seems to lodge itself deeper into the isp’s data (not the Google devices nor the app) the more it “feels threatened” by factory resets and app uninstall/reinstalls, hence why the issues keep popping back up,  The “bug” might POSSIBLY be what is creating the “unknown device” notifications  on the Google home app. The pattern too is that the more the internet traffic with the higher amount of devices, and the more the “bug” has been focused on by the account user, the more the the unknown devices pops up. And there’s also a pattern of timing as to WHICH user arrives home and is away - that’s when the unknown devices seem to pop up 50/50, and when one’s internet connection really does go offline. Nor ruling out the system being hacked as I do see some of that patterning as well, possibly (mainly when no one is home and one gets a notification their system unexpectedly goes offline for no reason from multiple sources that would cause an offline event).

Plus, after literally reading hundred and hundreds of reports from consumers on this topic there are a couple things that are clear: 1.) This has been going on for at least 3 years. 2.) Google has known about it. 3.) Google IS DEFINITELY AWARE and rolled the produce and it’s services (app) out to the public as live a data-research project. 4.) Google meet the MINIMAL legal requirements from the many legal parameters it has to comply with from different countries, to circumvent the consequences they would face from gov entities since users “feedback” from community forums and other sources are not nearly as costly and restrictive. 5.) Hence, why in 3 YEARS google has only “offered” tiny pieces of “help.” Aka: google is feeding the users a single, scarce, teeny-tiny antacid “solution” to see if the heartburn and indigestion they know they intentionally caused from releasing and rolling out microscopically contaminated meat mesh-nest-Wi-Fi devices. 
Best to not expect the correct type and dose of antacid to get rid of the digestive “bug” anytime soon. 

 

**** Also, EVERYONE WHO HAS ALTA FIBER FIOPTICS, BEWARE!! I had my isp Alta fiber come out this week and the tech informed me ALL FIOPTIC CUSTOMERS WITH ALTA FIBER WILL RECEIVE THE GOOGLE WI-FI/GOOGLE NEST WI-FI, ALTA FIBER IS NO LONGER USING ANY OTHER DEVICES FOR their fioptic svcs”  Sooooo, knowing Google, and Google has not fixed this security and intentionally stress inducing issue, DOES THIS MEAN GOOGLE HAS SOLD A LARGE QUANTITY OF THESE GOOGLE WI-FI/NEST/MESH DEVICES (for lack of terms) TO ALTA FIBER???!!! ARE THEY NEW OR REFURBISHED DEVICES Alta fiber purchased?? I’m going to say BOTH from how bad “Google Greed” (I usually call it greedy google) is anymore. 

Btw, re: the wired connection reference, I found it oddly amusing that my iPhone came up as “wired connection” in my greedy Google home app. Ok so I lmao 😂.

Yes, Cincinnati Bell did this to me last year. The year before the installation guy installed everything wrong and the wi-fi modem was junk. Our internet the whole year was nil. No refunds no reimbursement. They send a technician out. He finds the installation had been done wrong. Then he installs the google one. Well you know what happens after that 💩