Firewalla Gold Tutorial: Google Wifi Mesh network with Gold (Beta)

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    Quakewalla

    Thank you for this document, but does this scenario create a "double NAT" for the devices on the Mesh?

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    Firewalla

    No, there is no double NAT ...   This special trick turns the Google wifi (which doesn't want to be an AP) into an AP

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    Chris Dillard

    How stable is this setup? I'm considering the Gold and currently running Google WiFi. I may end up going with different access points in the future but was hoping to run the Gold along with Google WiFi for a period.

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    Firewalla

    There are a few people using it, should be usable.    If you are going to a new mesh, avoid google/nest wifi, it is probably the only mesh out there refuse to support AP or bridge mode.   

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    Shawn Damon

    I must have done something wrong ... My entire wifi went down .... Tutorials like this ... If they are done using video ... That would be much easier...

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    Tyler Jones

    This guide worked well for me, but one thing to note:

    Using the Google Home App to add the router and points requires the mobile device to ALSO connect to the same WiFi network; I had to set aside some additional IP's to get the access points added to the mesh.

    A separate question I have: where can I add a switch in this setup for my other devices that also need to be on the same network?

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    John Lin

    Ah, I think I see. So, the idea is that 210 and Google WiFi router's .86 are going to broadcast in the same VLAN but since you're limited the DHCP range on the Nest WiFi, it's not to push address and default gateway to devices?

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    Chris Dillard

    I haven't gotten my gold yet, but here's my thoughts.

    @Tyler Jones - I'm going to need to add a switch as well. Hoping I can use the 4th port on the firewalla and share that interface with the .210 network in the above example to add additional switch ports to the setup.

    @John Lin - Seems that way to me and the idea of 2 DHCP servers broadcasting on the same Vlan seems less than ideal. Hoping it's stable though. Seems blocking the access points ability to pull IPs from the .210 segment after it happens the first time will keep it to a minimum though and you may just have to keep an eye out for any devices that inadvertently pull a .86 the first time they join the network, assuming there's an IP or 2 left open in the DHCP scope for device mgmt/additional Mac addresses on the access point network.

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    Hayden Stobbs

    FYI for anyone that’s interested I got this working although getting the mesh network stable proved tricky. All of the steps mentioned are relevant including the fix when the mesh network eventually moves over to the wrong subnet.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that google nest hub devices [just seems to be the display] does not seem to accept the DHCP relay request from Firewalla, it only likes the mesh subnet which is rather annoying...

    Any questions hit me up, I’m a Cisco engineer.

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    Powerland

    Was unable to setup my Google Wifi using this tutorial. I have 80+ devices and although I followed step by step I always have 1 or more AP going down. I'm so sad because right now my gold is sitting on my desk...

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    Jason McKee

    I'm having an odd issue where one device is trying to pull an IP from the mesh network and failing. Sometimes a reboot will work, but after a while it goes back to the mesh DHCP server. Using a static IP works fine, but is annoying to manage.

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    Jeff Duvio

    OK just got my Firewalla Gold. Question. Do I have to reset all of my Google WIFI pucks and rebuild from scratch? Or can I just make these adjustments within the app, w/o having to reset and rebuilding everything?

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    Jason McKee

    You can save yourself a lot of trouble by getting different wifi pucks that support AP mode. But answer your question, yes, it's easier to factory reset them and start from scratch. And make sure to name your SSID something temporary or your wifi devices will jump in and take the puck IPs.

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    Powerland

    @Jason what would you suggest?  I also have Google Wifi (1st gen) and it's a nightmare to configure properly and very unstable...

     

    Thanks for your help.

     

    Marc

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    hoops

    What is suggested for best wifi AP?

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    Jason McKee

    We could probably debate that for weeks. :)  I can tell you what I went with and why. 

    I went with the TP-Link Deco X60 (Three pack.)

    They are super easy to configure, support WiFi-6, support ethernet backhaul, and were relatively inexpensive. 

    I directly wired each one to a port on the Firewalla and then created a single network for all of them.

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    hoops

    Great. Thanks for the info. Does it have a way to limit time of clients? For example, set a usage limit of 1 hour per day for a particular client device?

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    Jason McKee

    Yes and No. Unfortunately when you put most of these devices in AP mode they loose all of their intelligence. In router mode these have a ton of advanced functionality as do most of the others. I don't have a good answer for you off the top of my head.  

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    hoops

    Gotcha. I'm hoping to see that feature supported by firewalla gold :)

    But I just re-read you previous response about wiring each AP to a port- what is the advantage of that? I thought these operate as a mesh network already so aren't you wasting ports which could be used for something else?

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    Jason McKee

    My house is three floors (basement, main, and 2nd). While the mesh does work, signals from the 2nd floor get relayed through main floor and down to the basement where the router is. Since my house was pre-wired for ethernet I "backhauled" the traffic so that each AP gets a full gig to itself. Devices latch on to whichever AP has the best performance based on the location. The main reason that I got rid of the google nest mesh is because it didn't support this and internet speeds upstairs were not great.

    Each AP also has a port coming out of it that you can connect to other devices or a switch. I could have also connected a switch to the firewalla and then the APs to the switch, but again I wanted maximum throughput on the WiFi.

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    Jeff Duvio

    @Jason, these Deco X60's. I have been reading up some reviews on em. How do you like it around the house? And how well do they go beyond your home? My current home is built like a faraday cage. I get great signal inside, but outside not so much...I haven't upgraded to WIFI 6 yet, but with all the trouble it takes to get Firewalla gold to work with it, i might just move on to a different setup.

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