Categories: ChromecastNews

Chromecast Killing WIFI Devices: Fix Coming Today

This story has been floating around the internet for about a week and every time I sit down to write it, there’s an update to the story. Today is no different, but this update should hopefully be the last chapter in this slightly odd story.

What’s Happened So Far

On January 15th, The Telegraph posted an article outlining the initial problem that had begun popping up for users. It seems that TP-Link and Netgear routers were the main devices affected, but no one has limited it to a specific type of router at this point.

The issue, it seems, stems from Google Cast devices (Chromecast, Google Home, Android TV, etc.) missing a needed feature while they sleep. These devices are configured to send out multicast DNS (MDNS) packets as a way to keep the connection alive over time. The issue is when these devices go to sleep, those packets get stored up and sent out all at once when the device is awakened.

This massive amount of data thrown at the router all at once – if the Cast device has been asleep for too long – takes up too much of the router’s memory and forces the need for a restart in order for data transfer to continue.

Vendors like ASUS and TP-Link issued quick-fix updates, but these were really just patches awaiting a real fix from the actual culprit: Google Cast.

Google Has Spoken

Google has not only owned up to the issue and promised they were working on a fix, they’ve actually already set the patch in motion.

According to this Google Home help page, the fix for the Wifi snafu is actually rolling out today via Google Play services and should be hitting devices as we speak.

Kudos go to Google not only for quickly fixing this, but for quickly owning it as well. Too often we see outright denial by large tech companies even in the face of damning evidence. Google’s willingness to accept the issue, turn attention to it, and snuff it out in short order is encouraging.

Hopefully, if you’ve had this issue crop up in your home or office of late, you can say goodbye to Wifi struggles after today.

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Robby Payne

Tech junkie. Musician. Web Developer. Coffee Snob. Huge fan of the Google things. Founded Chrome Unboxed because so many of my passions collide in this space. I like that. I want to share that. I hope you enjoy it too.

View Comments

  • I'm not too familiar with my ChromeCast device, as I generally use Firestick or built in SmartTv's. Will I need to manually update the one ChromeCast I'm using, or will it update itself? TIA.

  • Glad I have Google wifi as I seem not to have been affected by this on Google Home, Chromecast or my smartTV. Everything has been running smoothly and as expected for me. But I join Robby in giving kudos to Google for getting this fixed quickly. J

  • You wouldn't happen to have the new version numbers we should be watching out for would ya?

    Not that I really pay too much attention to what version I'm on/when they update...

  • I've been striking this lately when using my Nexus 7 (2013) to access my Chromecasts. It's been a minor nuisance needing a reboot to clear it. I had been wondering if it was a sign that the Nexus 7 was starting to give up on me but this give me some hope that it ain't necessarily so.

  • I'd have to disagree on the "kudos" part. This has been a crippling issue for several weeks across multiple device forums, subreddits, etc. The problem was that it seems that no one was looking across these various user forums for a common denominator.. First folks thought it was Pixel devices, and then it was any Android 8 device. Then it was the router manufacturers. Then it was Google Home devices, and then it was Android TVs. The break last week was that the TP-Link engineer finally figured out that all the devices had one thing in common: Cast. It was the combo of Cast enabled Android devices AND a Chromecast device on the same network causing the issues.

    I'm glad that they're treating this as the critical bug that it is as of this week, but a scan of reddit and router manufacturer forums would show that this has been far from a quick response.

  • I've had a Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra for around a year now, and haven't experienced any problems at all.
    Still waiting on this so called update.
    Hopefully it doesn't screw anything up though.

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