Question Significant package loss on home wifi with both Nest and Eero, not when hardwired or old router ?

May 9, 2022
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Hello. I'm hoping someone out there can help. We have been dealing with this problem for almost a year now. We initially had the old puck style Google mesh system that worked flawlessly and we loved it. All of a sudden our basement point started disconnecting. I called Google and they did all the things they could think of. In the end they said the point was bad and since out of warranty I was out of luck. I bought the new bubble shaped Google Nest mesh system with 3 points. This system worked great for a couple days and then we noticed disconnecting. Sometimes for minutes. before it would come back. I then replaced our modem with a Motorola DOCSIS 3.0. The problem continued.

I downloaded Ping Plotter and could now see all the package loss occurring. It was happening at all times of day and sometimes small loss and other very long losses. I had Cox come out 3x and in the end we hardwired my PC and the drops stopped, pointing to it being the router as the issue. I then replaced the Google Nest mesh with an old TP Link router. No problems with wifi and package loss. I contacted Google and they had me do some trial and error with different electronics in the house that could be causing interference. Nothing fixed the issue. We had not changed anything when the problem began.

Frustrated I went out and bought another expansive mesh system, the Eero. This worked great for a couple days and the problem AGAIN came back. We both work from home so this is extremely problematic. Why would this happen on both the Nest and Eero. There's no rhyme or reason for when the drops start. For example as I'm typing this I went to look at Ping Plotter and there was a disconnect for almost 10 minutes. Please can anyone point me to a solution or reason? It has been so frustrating to have Zooms drop for work.

  • Provide us with the make and model of your laptop (if applicable) - We have an Apple MBP, an HP Desktop (never used) and a company supplied Dell laptop.
  • Provide us with the make and model of your router (if provided by your ISP please note) - Currently running the Eero AX1800 with 3 pucks total
  • Provide us with the make and model of your modem (if provided by your ISP please note) - Motorola DOCSIS 3.0
  • Provide us with the exact specifications of your PC (if applicable) including:
    • Make and model of motherboard
    • Make and model of USB / PCI-E / motherboard Wifi Adapter,
    • Operating system and current version being used (eg Windows 10 version 1909 or Mac OS X version 10.5.3 - This happens on all devices, not just a PC.
  • You will also need to post your ISP and connection type*. - Cox. Coax. I think that's what this is asking.
  • You will also need to post the exact number of devices connected to your router (this includes tablets, smart phones, laptops, and desktop PCs) as some routers can only handle a specific number of devices at a time. - Around 10 depending on time of day.
  • Post any and all error messages you are getting from your ISP or Windows itself - None, other than what I see on Ping Plotter.
  • If requesting help with current Wifi standards, such as Wifi 6, it will help to know what equipment you are connecting to what router
  • If requesting help with non PC related Wifi devices, such as a gaming console or streaming device, let us know what it is you are trying to connect - This issue disrupts everything. Including when using our Apple TV's and Apple iPad.
 
"in the end we hardwired my PC and the drops stopped, pointing to it being the router as the issue"

No it doesn't it clearly points out that it is a wifi problem. What likely happened is one or more of your neighbors started using the same wifi channels as you. It is now extremely common with people using these mesh systems for a single house to try to use every single possible radio band. This just causes everyone to stomp on each other signals.

Mesh systems should be your very last option especially when you use it for things like gaming or video conferencing

The best solution is to hard wire any device you can directly to the main router. If you need wifi in remote rooms your run a ethernet cable to the remote room and then hook up a AP or a router running as a AP. Your current mesh units can also be setup to run in AP mode rather than repeater mode.
If you do not have ethernet to remote devices from the main router you can look at technology called MoCA. You need coax cable in the rooms but it will function like ethernet.
If this is also not a option then you can consider using the newer powerline units. You can use your mesh units as AP in with both moca and powerline.

....and then very last when you options is no signal vs a signal you tolerate random outages you use mesh/repeaters.

So first the mesh systems you have been buying are the lower end ones, at least the ones you put the part number on. These units are just the old style repeaters with a different name. They have the same issue of using the same radio to transmit back to the router as they talk to end devices. For you best chance you need
to have a different dedicated radio for the back haul. This does increase you chance with interfering with neighbors since you are now using twice the radio bandwidth but at least you are not interfering with yourself.

The key problem with mesh is placement. The marketing stuff makes people think they can just stuff these decorator style boxes in their remote rooms and by magic you get signal. This is the worst placement in most cases. The repeater is still getting a crappy signal from the main router and then attempt to repeat it making it worse.
It might be a stronger signal ie more bars but the content of the signal, your actual data, is worse. To work properly these devices must be placed where they can get strong signal from the main router but still be able to provide a strong signal on the second radio to the remote room.
This is very much trial and error in many houses and it may not exist if you have very dense floor and walls that absorb wifi signals.

So your best option is to attempt to get rid of as much of the wifi as possible and try to use some kind of wires to extend to remote rooms. Then try to move your current mesh units around the house and see if you can get lucky. You then would consider one of the mesh systems that has extra dedicated radios.
These systems are very expensive because of the extra hardware, you might consider spending the money on paying someone to running a ethernet cable in the walls instead.
 
May 9, 2022
2
0
10
0
"in the end we hardwired my PC and the drops stopped, pointing to it being the router as the issue"

No it doesn't it clearly points out that it is a wifi problem. What likely happened is one or more of your neighbors started using the same wifi channels as you. It is now extremely common with people using these mesh systems for a single house to try to use every single possible radio band. This just causes everyone to stomp on each other signals.

Mesh systems should be your very last option especially when you use it for things like gaming or video conferencing

The best solution is to hard wire any device you can directly to the main router. If you need wifi in remote rooms your run a ethernet cable to the remote room and then hook up a AP or a router running as a AP. Your current mesh units can also be setup to run in AP mode rather than repeater mode.
If you do not have ethernet to remote devices from the main router you can look at technology called MoCA. You need coax cable in the rooms but it will function like ethernet.
If this is also not a option then you can consider using the newer powerline units. You can use your mesh units as AP in with both moca and powerline.

....and then very last when you options is no signal vs a signal you tolerate random outages you use mesh/repeaters.

So first the mesh systems you have been buying are the lower end ones, at least the ones you put the part number on. These units are just the old style repeaters with a different name. They have the same issue of using the same radio to transmit back to the router as they talk to end devices. For you best chance you need
to have a different dedicated radio for the back haul. This does increase you chance with interfering with neighbors since you are now using twice the radio bandwidth but at least you are not interfering with yourself.

The key problem with mesh is placement. The marketing stuff makes people think they can just stuff these decorator style boxes in their remote rooms and by magic you get signal. This is the worst placement in most cases. The repeater is still getting a crappy signal from the main router and then attempt to repeat it making it worse.
It might be a stronger signal ie more bars but the content of the signal, your actual data, is worse. To work properly these devices must be placed where they can get strong signal from the main router but still be able to provide a strong signal on the second radio to the remote room.
This is very much trial and error in many houses and it may not exist if you have very dense floor and walls that absorb wifi signals.

So your best option is to attempt to get rid of as much of the wifi as possible and try to use some kind of wires to extend to remote rooms. Then try to move your current mesh units around the house and see if you can get lucky. You then would consider one of the mesh systems that has extra dedicated radios.
These systems are very expensive because of the extra hardware, you might consider spending the money on paying someone to running a ethernet cable in the walls instead.
Thank you for the thorough response. We live in the in a rural area and the closest house to us is over a football field away. We don't see their wifi network on our devices. Could there networks still be inferring with ours that far way?
How do I get a dedicated radio for the backhaul? I thought the eero advertised that they did that already.
 
EERO make lots of models some like yours are simply renamed repeaters. Now maybe you could do something like use the 5g radio for the backhaul and 2.4 for end devices but then your end devices only could use 2.4.

What they seem to call the units that have dedicated backhaul is tri-band. They also have started selling a wifi6e device they also call tri-band with 2.4,5 and the new 6g radios. To make this work they are going to have to add a 4th radio if they want the end devices to be able to use all 3 bands.

Unfortunately you can't see the wifi signals. There are lots of non wifi stuff on the same radio channels. Although it can never legally put out a signal you can really detect a microwave oven runs on the same 2.4g. It can also be you moved furniture around or maybe a new picture on a wall.
Maybe your traffic pattern changed and your devices are now stomping on each other. Wifi is half duplex so only 1 device can transmit at a time. The way they avoid issues is they need to listen to see if another device is transmitting and wait until it is clear. This doesn't work if the devices can't hear each other. It is made even worse by using repeaters where the devices are on different units and likely can't hear the main router. So if the main router would be talking to one of the remote units and your pc transmits to the other one the signals will stomp each other between the router and the repeater. This is why a dedicated backhaul helps. They are using different radios and hopefully channels so the 2 signals do not hit each other. When you use simple repeaters they actually make this issue much much worse because they actually transmit the signal they just received back to the router. Unlike a pc that transmits only small amounts compared to what it receives a repeater is retransmitting every things it hears both from the pc and the router.

I really really hate mesh/repeater systems.

Your only option if you are not going to replace any hardware is to try to change the placement of the units.

When you are working from I would spend the money and have a ethernet cable run.
 

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