Bridge Mode may well be the answer for all the double NAT issues on your network. And what better device to deploy Bridge Mode than the Google Nest WiFi!
One of the game-changers in the networking world in the last decade or so, the Google Nest WiFi made the already perfect Google WiFi look like a run-of-the-mill device with its even more innovative features.
But with all its MESH goodness to aid your ISP-supplied router/modem, how can you get the most out of your network without compromising speeds to double NAT and other issues?
Google Nest WiFi supports Bridge mode, but it's best not to enable this feature since it deactivates most of the distinguishing features of the device. Instead, switch ON Bridge Mode on your primary/ISP-supplied router-cum-modem, and then connect the Nest WiFi to it.
Here's everything you need to know about Google Nest Bridge Mode.
Bridge Mode on Google Nest WiFi
Google has provided the Nest WiFi with the coveted Bridge mode to enable a universal singular Wireless network if you plan on using multiple Routers/Access points with it.
But enabling the feature on the device is not recommended since it does come with a few caveats. More about this later.
Bridge mode negates the effects of double NAT, which is one of the most common issues with using multiple independent routers on the same network.
Although double NAT won't affect you much with regular internet activities, like streaming, music streams, or social media, it will become evident on high-intensity load activities like online gaming and downloading.
Note: with Bridge mode enabled on your Nest WiFi, you lose Mesh networking capabilities.
You can only use your Google WiFi Router or primary AP as the host.
With that said, follow these steps on your Google Home app to enable Bridge Mode on your Nest WiFi:
1. From the Home screen, tap open the WiFi option.
2. Select Settings and then tap on the Advanced Settings option.
3. Click on Device Mode and choose your Nest WiFi.
4. Select Bridge Mode and tap Save.
Exit the menu, and you're all set!
To enable Bridge Mode on your Nest WiFi, you will have to integrate another intermediate Router between the modem and the Nest WiFi.
Bridge Mode on Nest WiFi requires a unique IP address to work.
If your WAN/ISP modem uses a public IP address, Bridge Mode will get disabled on Nest WiFi (if you connect it directly to the modem).
How to Properly Integrate Bridge Mode on Your Network
While it may be worthless to enable Bridge Mode on your Google Nest WiFi, you can still integrate the feature on your network to negate NAT errors and issues with DNS steering.
Instead of activating Bridge Mode on your Nest WiFi, why not enable it on the ISP-supplied modem/router (or the primary router)?
In this manner, you can avail of the entire spectrum of Nest WiFi features and deploy a Mesh Network!
Although the process is a bit tedious, it's definitely worth it. The end result: a unitary WiFi network across all your devices!
Here's how to enable Bridge Mode on your Router:
1. Connect the Router to your PC through an ethernet cable or USB (if supported).
2. Open a browser and enter the IP address of your Router onto the search bar. You can find the IP address of the Router underneath the device.
3. Enter the login credentials and enter the Router portal. (Credentials too can be found underneath the device)
4. Navigate to the Settings menu and look for the Advanced Settings menu.
5. Then, look for the option marked as Bridge Mode/Wireless Bridge/Network Mode.
6. Enable the Bridge Mode and enter the required credentials of your modem like SSID, WiFi freq, etc., of the primary device (ISP router/modem in this case).
7. Save your settings and exit the portal.
Refresh the Router and connect the Nest WiFi to the Bridged device through Ethernet.
With Bridge mode enabled, the Router can facilitate data transfers but will forgo the NAT (Network Access Translation) process.
And so, you can now connect all your devices to the same network regardless of the host. Bridge Mode essentially enables Mesh networking without many gimmicks.
What is Bridge Mode?
Ever experienced issues communicating with your devices connected to the same ISP? If so, the problem may be with multiple independent networks hosted on your premise.
Even if you have serially connected multiple routers to your modem, you don't necessarily get a unified wireless network from all these routes.
Independent Routers tend to host their own private networks, essentially divvying up the modem services among them.
In such cases, you may have a hard time accessing the internet, and the primary reason for such inconsistencies is Double NAT or too many peripheral connections.
And one way to countervail double NAT and other network issues is to enable Bridge mode on your devices.
With Bridge mode, all your networking devices will host a single selfsame wireless network rather than multiple independent WLANs.
Bridge mode turns off the NAT process on your Router, which facilitates the allotment of IP addresses to your client device and enables access to the internet.
With NAT disabled, routing devices will no longer be able to host private wireless networks.
Think of it as a Mesh network with multiple independent routers.
Advantages of Bridge mode include:
- Wider Network access.
- Better Reception.
- Faster Network speeds.
- Seamless integration of devices.
- Obviates double NAT and other network-related issues.
Popular use-case scenarios for Bridge Mode include: expanding the coverage area of the network, connecting multiple devices, on multistory buildings, or as a mode of inexpensive MESH networking.
*Note: You may have to enable Bridge Mode on every parent router you plan to connect to another routing device.
Disadvantages of Using Bridge Mode on Nest WiFi
Even if you can enable Bridge mode on the Nest WiFi, it might be best if you don't do so.
Bridge mode essentially disables most of the underlying features that make the Nest WiFi a brilliant networking device.
Let's start with Mesh networking.
As you know, Nest WiFi is an all-out Mesh Networking product. But with Bridge mode, you can no longer host it.
For the time being, if you enable Bridge mode on your Nest WiFi, you won't be able to connect any of your Google/Nest WiFi points to it.
However, you can hardwire the point to the router if you have old-school Google WiFi points. This is commonly called a wired backhaul and can be easily set up.
Another feature to succumb to Bridge mode is the Priority Device feature.
The Priority Device feature directs a chunk of the network's bandwidth to a preferred device, giving it an upper edge over other devices with better network speeds and signal strength.
You also lose the ability to edit and modify DNS and WAN settings with Bridge Mode on Nest devices. The simplicity with which you can do such things on the Nest WiFI is a determining factor for its success.
Guest WiFi also takes a hit by using Bridge mode. With Guest WiFi, you could host a private network just for the guests so as to not interfere with the master network.
You can also say goodbye to several security protection features Google Nest WIFi offers. Timely updates also get disabled with Bridge Mode.
Here's a more convenient account of features and functions you lose with Bridge mode on Nest WiFi:
- Priority Device.
- WAN and DNS modifications.
- Guest WiFi.
- Mesh Networking capabilities.
- Security features and updates.
- Smart Home controls with certain products.
Bridge Mode helps you explore new horizons in the networking field as a cheap alternative to Mesh Networking.
You can now avoid falling victim to the many network issues like Double NAT, all thanks to Bridge mode.
While it may sound like a pretty sweet deal, Bridge mode on Nest WiFi is for sure a no-go.
Instead, employ the Bridge mode on your primary modem/router and enjoy all the goodness of the feature plus the Mesh networking capabilities of the Nest WiFi.
You may want to consult with your ISP before enabling Bridge Mode on your ISP Router/modem so as to know any caveats associated with the same.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Bridge mode better than router mode?
If you plan on using multiple routers in your network, Bridge mode would be the best option. However, with Nest WiFis, you lose a lot of critical features if you use it in Bridge Mode.
Can you hardwire Nest Wi-Fi?
You can hardwire multiple Nest WiFi routers through the LAN port it houses. You cannot hardwire Google Nest WiFi points because, unlike their predecessors, the newer Points lack an Ethernet port.
How do I get out of bridge mode?
To turn OFF Bridge mode on Nest WiFi, follow these steps:
1. Open the WiFi option from the Google Home app home screen.
2. Tap open Settings and select Advanced Settings.
3. Select Device mode and choose your Nest WiFi.
4. Tap on the NAT(standard) mode and Save the changes.