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Google Home Max Owners Report That Smart Speaker Kills Wi-Fi Networks

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The Google Home Max smart speaker is crashing the Wi-Fi connection of several users, a problem that Google has confirmed, but it is limited on a TP-Link router model.

The networking anomaly chiefly involved the TP-Link Archer C7 router, and it appeared that the Home Max had encountered issues with the hardware's firmware. Google said the case is now under probe and called on affected users to continue submitting reports on the matter.

A case in point was that of Alastair Hadden, who claimed his Wi-Fi troubles started upon using the Google Home Max. After setting up the speaker, Hadden said his network simply went haywire.

"My Google Home Max arrived today. Initial setup was fine, everything was working ... but then my Wi-Fi network went down, which required a hard restart of modem and router to fix. It took it going down a few more times for me to realize the Max was causing it; whenever I tried to stream radio or Spotify, the Wi-Fi died and had to be restarted," the user reported.

Subsequent attempts to correct the issue failed, but Hadden said when he disconnected the Home Max from the network, the problem disappeared, essentially confirming that Google's smart speaker was causing the glitch.

Google And TP-Link Dealt With The Issue

In a statement, a Google representative has acknowledged that the Home Max indeed was the root cause of the users' networking woes. The company said engineers are now investigating the matter and indicated detailed feedbacks sent in by customer will help resolve the issue fast.

When filing reports, Google said using the keywords "GHT3 - Unable to setup Max to network" and providing screenshot and logs will speed up the work to identify the origin and possibly the solution to the problem as well.

For its part, TP-Link said initial investigation showed the problem could have been triggered by Multicast Domain Name System or MDNS, which is the transmission of discovery packets to maintain live connection in a network. In the case of the Google Home Max, the speaker overwhelmed the Archer C7 router by sending thousands of these packets in quick instances, thus leading to the crash.

According to TP-Link, a fix is now available for affected users. A beta firmware update for the Archer C7 router is ready for download, which the company said should temporarily solve problem. It's unclear, though, if a permanent solution will be rolled out by Google or TP-Link anytime soon.

For now, the options available are the firmware bump released by TP-Link and the workaround discovered by Hadden.

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