article 17 Jan 2018

Google Home or Chromecast might be crashing your Wi-Fi

If your Wi-Fi at home has been acting up lately, your Google Home ($129.00 at Abt Electronics) speaker or Chromecast ($35.00 at Walmart) might be the culprit. On Jan. 13, Android Police reported several instances where a Google Home Max ($408.99 at Dell Home) speaker was knocking TP-Link Archer C7 routers offline.

Since then, other devices have been affected by the bug, including other Google Home speakers and Chromecast dongles, as well as additional TP-Link router models and routers from Asus, Linksys, Netgear and Synology. According to comments on Reddit, some Google Wifi ($114.00 at users have also been affected.

TP-Link explains that the issue is caused by the Cast feature, which allows your phone, Google Home speakers and Chromecast devices to communicate. This feature “sends an MDNS multicast discovery packets to discover and keep a live connection with Google products such as Google Home,” says TP-Link. Normally, the packets are sent out in 20-second intervals. Following a recent firmware update, for some unexplained reason, when exiting a sleep state, the devices would sometimes send an excessive number of packets (exceeding 100,000, in some cases) to the router, causing it to crash.

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