Why you may be losing home internet connectivity

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Google and Android devices may be overwhelming your router

With so many smart devices available for home use, it's probably not surprising that some of them could cause conflicts, resulting in internet outages.

That's apparently the root cause of issues being reported by some consumers who have a Google Home Max smart speaker, Chromecast, and a TP-Link Archer C7 router. They've reported that when all the devices are activated, they sometimes lose internet connectivity.

"My Google Home Max arrived today. Initial setup was fine, everything was working (Assistant, streaming services), but then my Wi-Fi network went down, which required a hard restart of modem and router to fix," a poster named Allistair reported on a Google forum last month.

"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."

Alistair was also using a TP-Link Archer C7 router. The company now says it has gotten to the bottom of the issue.

Key origin of the issue

"Following initial research and investigation, our engineering team is confident that they've determined one of the key origins of the issue," TP-Link said in an online support bulletin. "From what we have gathered so far, the issue appears to be related to some of the recent versions of Android OS and Google Apps."

According to the support team, devices running Android OS and Google Apps use the "Cast" feature to send regular signals to the router to maintain a live connection. Under normal operations these devices are supposed to send the signals about every 20 seconds.

However, TP-Link engineers say the devices will sometimes send out a massive number of signals in a much shorter time span. This typically happens when the device comes out of its sleep mode. The longer the device is asleep, the more signals it will try to send.

"This issue may eventually cause some of the router’s primary features to shut down – including wireless connectivity," the company said.

What to do

To correct the issue, consumers will need to reboot their devices to release the memory. The company also advises consumers to temporarily disable the "Cast" feature on Android devices until a software update is released.

Media reports indicate consumers are experiencing similar problems with other brand name routers, including those from ASUS, Linksys, Netgear, and Synology.

Meanwhile, 9To5Google.com reports a Google engineering team is at work to "quickly share a solution."

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