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4K Streaming Fans Beware: Google Chromecast & Google Home Are Ruining WiFi Connections

by on January 14, 2018
 
Stephan Jukic – January 14, 2018

It has now been confirmed pretty much worldwide from multiple sources: due to a major internal bug, Google Cast devices, such as the Chromecast 4K, the Google Chromecast and Google Home are causing major temporary WiFi blackouts for users all over the place. This issue apparently affects a wide range of devices and routers from Asus, TP-Link, Synology, Netgear, Linksys and others have all been nailed. In some cases the router in question becomes temporarily totally inaccessible, to the point where some users have commented that they’ve even gone out to buy a replacement router, and in other cases, routers merely disconnect from the internet for a while.

Both Linksys and TP-link have also independently confirmed this problem and the cause has been narrowed down to Google Cast devices.

chromecast

One TP-Link engineer posted up an explanation of this problem when it first started appearing in October of 2017, you can read that here. To summarize what he stated though: the WiFi disconnect issue mostly happens when a Google Cast device of some kind is hooked up to a network with other Android devices that are running a recent version of the Android OS. As soon as a Google Cast compatible app such as YouTube wakes up from its sleep mode, it starts sending packets of data to the network for the sake of finding and connecting to Google Cast devices that are also present. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem and a device should be able to send multiple packets every 20 seconds but more recent versions of Android have had apps send out a lot more in the form of large packet sequence bursts called “MDNS multicast discovery packets” in which as many as 100,000 packets might go out at very high speed all of a sudden (especially from apps or devices that have been in sleep mode for a while). The result is a router suddenly shutting down connectivity to devices or the web.

Some router makers, most notably LinkSys, Netgear and TP-link have already put out firmware updates to fix this problem, but for users whose router doesn’t yet have a solution, the main work-around for now is to disconnect any Google devices from your network. Yeah, this is going to be a major hassle for some people, especially Chromecast fans.

Story by 4k.com

 

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