If Google Home keeps disconnecting from wifi, there are many things to consider.
Your Google Home may have some problems, or there is something wrong with the network.
The Nest smart speaker (formerly Google Home) is a networked speaker with a powerful virtual assistant that can make a great centrepiece for a connected home.
One of the things that distinguishes Nest speakers from other devices such as Amazon Echo is that it is part of the Nest smart home range from Google, which includes wifi routers, smoke detectors, thermostats and security devices.
However, while the Nest speaker is a very popular hub, with over 50 million sold since its launch in 2016, it does suffer from recurring issues related to wifi connectivity.
First steps – Fix Google Home keeps disconnecting from wiFi
If your Nest speaker is having trouble connecting to wifi, we’ll work through what the problem might be and suggest some solutions.
Follow these steps to fix the issue easily.
Reboot both your Google Home device and your router
The obvious solution, and the easiest, so it pays to try this first. Make sure you only restart the Nest speaker after restarting your wifi router and waiting a few minutes to allow it to reset itself.
And it is worth fully unplugging the device for a few seconds rather than just switching it off.
While you’re there, check the power cables for both devices and any wired connections from your modem and/or router (such as the ethernet cable) to ensure they are not loose.
If your router is older or underpowered the signal may be weak, and it may pay to invest in a new model.
Modern smart homes place heavy demands on routers to keep up, and it may be that yours just doesn’t have the juice required.
Check If there are outages reported in your area
After all, you don’t want to spend hours messing around only to find there was nothing wrong with your device and you were wasting your time.
Have you changed anything in your home electronics set-up recently?
Once you have tried the obvious steps, an important next question is whether your problem occurred while setting up the speaker, or after a period of use.
If your issue arose after a period of use, think of any changes you made recently (were additional devices connected that could overload the network, did you get a new smartphone, or change your wifi password?)
If so, reverse the change and see if that resolves the problem.
Once you’ve tried the obvious
1. Router channels
Your router operates on one of several channels within a band (some routers are dual-band, using both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz).
If you live in a flat or terraced house with nearby neighbors, your channel is especially likely to be congested if it operates on the same channel as your neighbors – typically channels 1, 6, and 11 by default.
You can find out which channels are heavily used among nearby wireless networks by using a free tool for your smartphone or desktop.
For Apple Mac users, MacOS even has an integrated tool that you can access by selecting Open Wireless Diagnostics from the wifi icon at the top of your screen, clicking Window, and then Utilities.
Then select the Wifi Scan tab and Scan now.
On Android, the best tool is probably Wifi Analyzer, and on iOS check out the AirPort Utility app.
Once you discovered which channel your neighbors are not greedily hogging, you’ll have to change your router to it by logging into your router’s web portal.
Here, there will usually be a Wifi Channel menu item, sometimes under Advanced Settings or a similar heading.
2. Device interference
If your home, like ours, has dozens of wifi devices connected at one time, your router could be overloaded.
It is worth disconnecting most or all of the other devices from wifi, then assessing whether your Nest speaker is able to maintain a stable connection.
If so, reconnect the devices one-by-one to see at what point your Nest wifi connection starts to drop out.
As we mentioned above, if your router is old, it could be a good time to invest in an upgrade, or at the very least buy a wifi extender.
If you have a dual-band router, you can split your devices between the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, which should reduce interference between them and allow the router to distribute the load more effectively.
If the signal strength of your router is at all in doubt, the source of your connection trouble may simply be that the Nest speaker is too far away from your wifi router.
If they are already in the same room, try placing the speaker somewhere elevated, to move it away from electronic interference.
You can assess the signal strength of your wifi signal at a different location in your house using the free Ubiquiti Wifiman app on iOS or Android, or the Wifi Analyzer app for Android mentioned above.
If you have a large house or one with many floors, you may even like to think about getting mesh wifi, especially since Google Nest provides a mesh network as part of their suite of products.
4. Guest mode
Guest mode is an option that you can enable on the Nest speaker to allow people who are not connected to your wifi to access your Nest device to play media.
Some users have suggested that this led to an increase in wifi disconnections, so try disabling guest mode.
You can do this via your Google Home app, or via the speaker itself.
If nothing else works…
If nothing solves your Google Home keeps disconnecting from wifi issue, and the device has previously worked normally, it is always worth falling back on that old standby, the factory reset.
Depending on your device, this can typically be done by holding down the microphone button for an extended period, at least 10-15 seconds. Your speaker should then notify you it is resetting itself.
After it reboots, you can then go through the setup process from the start.
Finally, if even this fails to resolve the problem, the problem could be related to the speaker itself, and it is worth contacting Nest support to assist you.
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Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues.