Installing Google WIFI into an existing routed network

Getting it to work

3 mins

Google Wifi is a mesh network system designed to "flood" your home with lovely uninterrupted WIFI signal, without having to reconnect when you move rooms. However, the setup process doesn't actually step you through the config, if you are installing into an existing routed network.

It seems the Google Wifi is not a plug in and go solution, as it wants to be the primary network provider, not a just a service within an existing network. I already had a router and managed switch network at home. I didn't want the Google Wifi to be separate from my existing system, but it wasn't obvious how to get both systems to play nicely either.

I powered up the first node and followed the great app instructions and it worked. Yay.

BUT the Google Wifi subnet was wrong and it wouldn't change over to the existing subnet where my resources resided. I read that Double NAT (having two sources of active routing) would cause issues so I factory reset the Google Wifi nodes and started again.

The problem was that I needed to stop my integrated Modem / Router from being a Router. I needed to turn it into just a modem for connecting to the ISP. All routers are different but the concept of "bridge mode" kept reoccurring in my search queries. Bridge Mode is where you switch off the "router" aspects of the router so it acts like a modem. 

On my router (a Draytek Vigor) this was achieved by selecting the option "To enable PPPoE pass-through" and not bridge mode. 

The first Google Wifi Primary node needs to connect directly to the router (which is just a modem now). Make sure you disconnect any connections to a switch if you router has multiple Ethernet connections. The only connection to the LAN Ethernet socket Router, should come from the Primary Google Wifi node (the left RJ45 socket).  The right RJ45 socket needs to connect back to your switch.

So to recap...From the outside...the copper connects to the modem (your switch/router)...which is connected to the Primary Wifi node...which is connected to the switch. 

Phew...

I then powered everything up on the Google Wifi, it detected the network now, I inserted my ISP access creds and reset the default IP address and DHCP scope to the existing subnet, changed the primary Wifi node IP to the Old Router IP and everything worked.

So.. the only issue I am left with... is that I have a really expensive router acting as a modem which isn't great and no configurable firewall or advanced functions because Google Wifi doesn't support them (yet).

I spent way too much time figuring this out, so I hope it helps you out


Last updated on: 24 Apr 2019 07:56 PM

Google WIFI