What the Hell is Wrong with Google Wifi?

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I’ve had a first gen Google Wifi setup with three pucks for something like 3 years now. For the first 2.75 years of ownership, I’ve been pretty happy with it. In the last month or two, they rolled out an update that seems to severely limit wifi speeds. I actually noticed then when I went to fix my dad’s internet. His router had gone out, and I suggested the newer version of Google’s mesh wireless network, Nest Wifi. He picked up a two pack of them, and I installed them for him and got his wifi back up and going. Except it was slow. Download speeds over wifi were basically never over 30mbps, and his internet plan is 300mb down. I ran out of time and had to go get groceries, but it made me curious about mine. If you check using the Google Wifi app, it tells you that you’re getting amazing speeds. Which is technically true. Your internet is fine, their wifi is total ass though.

This is because the Google Wifi app tests your connection to the internet from the puck that’s acting as the router, wired to the modem via ethernet. If you actually run a speed test via wifi though, your speed sucks. This is sitting in the same room, line of sight, with the wired router puck. Maybe 15 feet away.

I’ve done the entire song and dance that their useless tech support tells you. Reboot modem and router, factory reset all the pucks, move them around and use a different one as the router, leave the other ones disconnected, disconnect everything else from the network, etc, etc. Nothing makes a damn bit of a difference and my speed tests are all around 30mbps down on wifi, just like my dad’s on the new Nest Wifi setup. I finally got bored with playing “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” with tech support and did some digging. Turns out, Google’s support forums are filled with people who have the same problem as me.

It’s not just our imagination either. It really did used to work better. I can scroll back through past speed tests in the Ookla speedtest app and see where I used to get pretty much full speed through wifi. (I had 300mb internet at the time).

It’s also not device specific. Everything on wifi is slow. So far I’ve tested on an iPhone 11 Pro, a 2018 iPad Pro, a 2020 MacBook Pro, a 6th gen iPad, an iPhone 10, a Pixel 3, an old HP laptop running linux Mint I use for ECU tuning, an Apple TV 4K, an Apple TV HD, and a kindle fire. All of them get the same lame-ass 30mbps. Anywhere in the house. Sitting on top of the router, or out in the yard. I have to say the coverage is very solid, I just wish it wasn’t stuck at download speeds from the mid 2000’s.

It’s also not any kind of issue going INTO the Google Wifi, because connected to the Google Wifi router via Ethernet, I get the speeds I’m supposed to see. I know there will be SOME loss with wifi, but I don’t feel like 540mb to 30mb is just wifi loss. Especially when it worked fine before at speeds around 300mb on wifi.

This all seems to be related to a software update from a month or two ago. It’s hard to pin down exactly when my speeds dropped off vs when the update was installed because the Google Wifi system installs updates in the background automatically, but TONS of people seem to be seeing significantly reduced wifi speeds now. So far google support forums are just filled with the same copy/paste advice to reset everything, try changing DNS, etc. None of that works for me. I would love for google to fix this, but at this point I’m thinking I might just throw away my wifi setup and buy something different. Any suggestions?