I have often wondered whether my Google WiFi routers can be connected via a wired backhaul as my house runs ethernet cables across all rooms anyways.
With a little bit of digging, I came to realize that not a lot of users know what a wired backhaul is, and why it can be an important upgrade to a WiFi setup.
So I figured I should make an article discussing setting up a wired backhaul and the various benefits you can gain when you set it up with your Google WiFi routers too.
To set up an ethernet backhaul on a Google WiFi mesh system, simply connect an ethernet cable from the primary Google WiFi router to the secondary WiFi access point. If there are multiple WiFi access points, use an ethernet switch to configure the connections.
Here's a video walkthrough from us on how to do wired backhaul on Google WiFi,
How to Connect Google WiFi Routers via an Ethernet Backhaul
Fortunately, connecting your Google WiFi mesh system via an ethernet backhaul is as simple as plugging in an ethernet cable to your access points.
In order to implement ethernet or wired backhaul on your Google WiFi to a single access point, simply follow the steps given below:
- Pair your Google WiFi and Google Point or access point from the Google Home app certified with your Google account.
- Set up and pair the Google WiFi and Google Point as per the instructions on the Google Home app.
- Connect an ethernet cable from your primary Google WiFi router to your secondary Google Point or access point to implement an ethernet backhaul.
This will properly set up ethernet backhaul with one access point on your Google WiFi mesh system.
If you have multiple access points, it can seem to be impossible to connect the Google WiFi router via ethernet backhaul to all points, as there are only two ethernet ports available.
Of those two ethernet ports available, one is already used up by the modem connecting to the Google WiFi router.
In such a case, use an ethernet switch, which lets you access multiple ethernet jacks and therefore connect to multiple access points.
In order to implement ethernet or wired backhaul on your Google WiFi to multiple access points, simply follow the steps given below:
- Pair your Google WiFi and Google Points or access points from the Google Home certified with your Google account.
- Set up and pair the Google WiFi and Google Points as per the instructions on the Google Home app.
- Connect an ethernet cable from your primary Google WiFi router to an ethernet switch in order to access multiple ethernet jacks.
- Connect ethernet cables from the ethernet switch to the WiFi access points in order to establish an ethernet backhaul.
This will properly set up ethernet backhauls on your Google WiFi mesh system across all access points.
What Is Wired or Ethernet Backhaul?
Ethernet or wired backhaul is a term that comes across frequently when one looks up when implementing mesh WiFi networks like Google WiFi.
Basically, with a wired ethernet backhaul, you have to connect all the access points of your Google WiFi with ethernet cables for the best network performance.
Ethernet vs WiFi
Usually, in the Google WiFi mesh networks, the main Google WiFi router connects to the Google Points or access points using the WiFi signal from the router.
This, being very convenient, unfortunately, can take a toll on the bandwidth received on the points thanks to various factors, with the primary being signal degradation.
Since WiFi signals are wireless in nature, any obstacle in front can decrease the reach of the signal, with signal strength being inversely proportional to the distance from the Google WiFi router.
There is also the factor of link speed, which relates to the maximum theoretical bandwidth the WiFi signal can transmit, and this also decreases with distance from the Google WiFi router.
Therefore, you are quite restricted based on where to place the access points across your home if you pair the access points only with the WiFi signal from the Google WiFi router.
Ethernet connections, on the other hand, are hardware connections that connect directly in order to provide maximum bandwidth.
Connecting via ethernet will also ensure that you get the maximum bandwidth that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) promised.
Benefits of using Ethernet Backhaul for Connecting Routers
There are a lot of benefits to connecting your Google WiFi mesh system via ethernet or wired backhaul, with the main reason being proper internet speeds.
This increase in speed compared to a traditional WiFi connection is very noticeable, especially if the WiFi access point near you is far from the main Google WiFi router.
This can be relevant, as most routers offer better bandwidth with an ethernet connection compared to WiFi speeds, even in ideal conditions.
This is primarily because a hardware-bound connection always excels when compared to a wireless connection, with respect to speeds, stability, and reliability.
Apart from the speed gains though, the ethernet cable can act as an additional communication channel too, taking the load off the wireless channel.
Drawbacks of Connecting Google WiFi Routers via an Ethernet Backhaul
Despite its excellent benefits, implementing an ethernet backhaul can have a few drawbacks compared to using just WiFi to pair the Google WiFi routers to the access points.
The most glaring issue with a wired overhaul is running the ethernet cables around the house, as the connections can seem untidy and messy.
This is especially apparent if the place you set up the Google WiFi mesh system is large with open spaces.
If the place you set up the Google WiFi mesh system doesn't come with ethernet cables preinstalled, it can turn out to be a mess if not hidden properly.
Also, it can be costly to get ethernet cables at custom lengths in some markets.
Facing Network Issues After Connecting Google WiFi Routers via an Ethernet Backhaul?
If you face network issues after connecting your Google WiFi routers and points using an ethernet backhaul, chances are that the issues are hardware-based.
Sometimes, certain hardware issues can cause faults in the system over time, and fortunately, it is a simple matter to troubleshoot in order to fix the issues.
Check the Hardware and Cables
If there are any faults in the hardware of the Google WiFi or its connected points, be it physical deformation or misbehavior, it can break the connectivity.
This can be due to accidental damage, or even physical wear over time due to the device being exposed to a not-so-ideal environment.
If there is any rupture on the body of the device, Google WiFi, or its points alike, it can cause dust to settle inside the system, which can damage the internals.
Check your Google WiFi routers and points for any such wear and tear, and if you notice any glaring issues make sure to get them fixed.
Also check the ports for any damage, as they are a part of the device that is often neglected but an important piece in the communication of ethernet backhauls.
The cables are just as important as the devices too, as they serve as the lifelines of communication between the modem and the Google WiFi mesh network.
So check for any wear on them too, and make sure to replace them with quality ethernet cables, preferably from a reputed brand.
Power Cycle the Devices
A power cycle can do wonders for any electronic device, and the Google WiFi routers and their access points are no exceptions.
A power cycle or a hardware reboot is basically a restart of the charges inside the internal components of the Google WiFi routers and their access points.
When a device like Google WiFi is charged up, there is a chance for misbehaving charges to be inside the system when it shuts down.
When booted back up, these charges can cause an imbalance inside the internal components, leading to certain failures in functions like ethernet connectivity.
A power cycle helps reset this charge and makes sure the internal components inside the Google WiFi and its access points are charged in a balanced manner.
In order to do a proper power cycle on your Google WiFi and its access points, just follow the steps mentioned below:
- Unplug the Google WiFi and its access points from the power.
- Let it sit idle for a full minute without charge.
- Plug the Google WiFi and its access points back to power.
- Let it sit idle for a full minute powered on.
This resets the charge inside the Google WiFi and its access points. It is best to do this multiple times to completely reset the charges.
Ethernet backhaul can help your Google WiFi mesh systems immensely, helping you achieve the internet speeds as advertised by your ISP over wide WiFi ranges.
If still in doubt about whether you need a wired backhaul on your Google WiFi mesh system, it is best to contact Google and take professional advice from them.
I hope my article on implementing and connecting Google WiFi routers via an ethernet or wired overhaul has been a helpful read and aided you with the same.
Have a good day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does Google WiFi support wireless backhaul?
Google WiFi does not come with a wireless backhaul band and therefore doesn't support wireless backhaul, instead relies on the traditional wireless 2.4GHz bands for communication.
Can ethernet backhaul be implemented on either of the two Google WiFi ethernet ports?
Either one of the ethernet ports can be used to implement an ethernet backhaul, as the Google WiFi router is smart enough to configure either one for the modem.
Can ethernet backhaul lead to packet loss?
There should be no packet loss when it comes to communication via an ethernet backhaul unless there are software or hardware bugs present in the system.