Did you pick up one of those Google Home smart speakers over the holidays? Has the wireless network in your home been inexplicably crippled ever since and you can’t, for the life of you, figure out what’s wrong? As it turns out, the culprit may be that innocent-looking, always-listening, always-connected device on the kitchen counter.

There are several reports circulating around the Internet indicating that Google Home products, as well as the Chromecast family, have been causing temporary Wi-Fi outages for a number of users. From what I can gather, one of the first instances involved a Google Home Max and a TP-Link Archer C7 router, but the problem has since been reported with a number of other combinations too.

Routers from such companies as Asus, Linksys, Netgear and Synology have all been affected, so that covers the overwhelming majority of users. The problem seems to arise when one of these devices, either a Google Home or a Chromecast, wakes after a dormant period. In order for the always-on connection to work, these devices need to send multicast DNS (MDNS) packets periodically.

The problem is that when the Chromecast or Google Home has been in sleep mode for a period of time, it bursts out with an overwhelming number of packets “at a very high speed in a short amount of time,” according to Vulture South. Normally, these packets are sent out over a 20-second interval as not to overwhelm the network.


When you’ve got literally more than 100,000 packets flying through in a matter of moments, the memory on the router can fill up and the only way to fix the situation is to reboot. Router manufacturers are pushing out patches and firmware updates as we speak and Google says that it is also “working quickly to share a solution.”

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