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Set up a network that uses VLAN tagging

Some Internet Service Providers (ISP) require VLAN tagging (Virtual local area network tagging) in order for their modems to communicate with wireless routers.

Nest Wifi and Google Wifi (Wi-Fi 5) devices built or updated after June 2020, automatically support some VLAN tags and additional steps aren't usually needed to set up Nest Wifi or Google Wifi

However, some devices with older firmware don't support VLAN tagging out of the box. For these, you'll need additional equipment to support VLAN tagging or your setup will fail.

Google supports VLAN tag values of 2, 7, and 10 (from a possible range of 0 to 4095). If your ISP requires a different tag, your setup will require an additional device for it to work. To determine the proper tag required, check with your ISP or  modem's manual.

To confirm if your ISP uses VLAN tagging, or if you have IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service through your ISP, ask your ISP if your CPE box (ISP-provided modem or router) requires a VLAN tag. If it does, and isn't a Google-supported tag, follow the instructions below.

Use Nest Wifi or Google Wifi with a VLAN-tagged broadband connection

When VLAN tagging is required by your ISP, for some Nest Wifi and Google Wifi devices to work, you'll need to add a switch to your network or use an additional VLAN-supported router.

Note: If your ISP uses a Google supported tag, and you temporarily use a VLAN-supported router, then once your network is set up and online, Nest Wifi and Google Wifi devices will be able to download an update that allows it to support VLAN tagging. This will allow you to set up your Nest Wifi router or Google Wifi primary point again in the future without additional equipment.

Use a managed network switch

Add a separate managed network switch (sometimes called a "smart network switch") with VLAN features:

  1. Connect your modem's LAN port to the switch's WAN port  with an Ethernet cable. 
  2. Connect the switch's LAN port to your Nest Wifi router's or Google Wifi primary point's WAN port  with an Ethernet cable.
  3. If your switch has the option for Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), make sure it's disabled. You should also forward Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs), when STP is disabled. This will avoid technical issues with some managed switches as it relates to routing and network loops.
  4. When finished, set up your Nest Wifi or Google Wifi devices in the Google Home app.

Use a VLAN-supported router

If you have a router already connected that supports VLAN tagging, you can add your Nest Wifi router or Google Wifi primary point to it.

  1. Connect your modem's LAN port to the third-party router's WAN port with an Ethernet cable.
  2. Connect the third-party router to the Nest Wifi router or primary Wifi point's WAN port  with an Ethernet cable.
  3. When finished, set up your Nest Wifi or Google Wifi devices in the Google Home app.

​With this configuration, you might run into Double NAT, which isn't necessarily a problem. But if it's causing problems, it's recommended you put your third-party router in bridge mode and turn off Wi-Fi on your third-party router to avoid interference.

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