Fix double NAT when two routers are running at the same time

In most cases, double NAT does not affect Wi-Fi performance. But it can be an issue if you play online games or use port forwarding rules and UPnP. Learn more about double NAT.

If double NAT is causing problems, you have a few options:

Remove ISP-provided router from your network (RECOMMENDED)

If this router is independent of your modem, power off and unplug this router and directly connect your modem to your Google Nest Wifi router or primary Google Wifi point. That should do the trick.

If this router is combined with your modem, enable bridge mode on your modem/router combo. This will take care of the potential double NAT issue.

  1. Connect a computer directly to your router with an Ethernet cable.
  2. Log in to your router or modem/router combo and find its settings to enable Bridge mode.
  3. To access your router’s settings, you might have to open an Internet browser and enter your router’s IP address in the address bar like this:

     

Steps will vary depending on the device. Many ISPs and manufacturers provide instructions on how to do this.

Enable Bridge mode on your Google Nest Wifi router or primary Wifi point (NOT RECOMMENDED)

A single Google Wifi point or Google Nest Wifi router that is not part of a mesh system can be set to Bridge mode.  Bridge mode disables the DHCP and routing functions so that double NAT is no longer an issue. In Bridge mode, this single mesh point will operate as a pure Wi-Fi access point connected over an Ethernet wire to the primary modem/router. Note: Bridge mode will only work if you’re using a single Nest Wifi router or Google Wifi point. If you’re creating a mesh network with multiple Wifi devices, your Nest Wifi router or primary Wifi point cannot be in Bridge mode.

This is because the Nest Wifi router or primary Wifi point needs to control settings and communication within your Wi-Fi network. If it’s in Bridge mode, in addition to losing mesh capability, you’ll also lose some of Google Nest Wifi or Google Wifi’s functionality:

  • Priority device will be unavailable.
  • DNS can’t be edited.
  • WAN settings can’t be edited.
  • Guest Wi-Fi will be unavailable.
  • Wi-Fi speed results in network check will be unavailable (but download and upload results will still work).
  • Philips Hue pairing and controls will be unavailable.

Additionally, Bridge mode disables many of Google Wifi and Google Nest Wifi’s security protections. This is because your upstream router (the modem/router combo in the above scenario) is the one performing DNS steering, packet inspection, executable patching, etc.

Google Wifi and Google Nest Wifi’s automatic security updates maximise your privacy and security. These protective features are most effective – and in some cases, only effective – when all traffic passes through your Nest Wifi router or primary Google Wifi point (instead of through another router).

If you have a third-party router, you can wire a Nest Wifi router or primary Google Wifi point to it, then mesh additional Wifi points downstream. 

Still want to turn your Nest Wifi router or primary Wifi point into a bridge? Here’s how:

Note: To enable Bridge mode, you’ll need to use the Google Wifi app, even if you normally use the Google Home app to manage your device. Download the app at the Play Store (Android) or App Store (iOS).

  1. Open the Google Wifi app .
  2. Tap the Settings and actions tab  and then Network and general.
  3. Tap Advanced networking and then Device mode and then your Wifi device and then Bridge mode.
  4. Tap Save.
You cannot transition your Nest Wifi router or primary Google Wifi point into Bridge mode if your WAN IP is a public IP address. To enable Bridge mode, there needs to be another router between your modem and your Nest Wifi router or primary Google Wifi point. If your Nest Wifi router or primary Google Wifi point’s WAN port has a public IP, that means it’s directly connected to your modem. In this scenario, the Bridge mode option in the app will be unavailable in the app.

Additional questions

What is Double NAT?

Connecting two routers can extend the Wi-Fi coverage in your home. But when you have two routers – each with their own private Wi-Fi network – your personal devices can have a hard time communicating with each other. This scenario is called Double NAT.

For example, let’s say you want to wirelessly print a picture from your computer. If you have two Wi-Fi networks, it’s possible that your computer is on one network while your printer is on the other. And if both networks are private, your computer won’t be able to tell your printer to print the picture.

Double NAT

This can also result in performance issues if you play online games or use port forwarding rules and UPnP.

Bridge mode fixes this by letting multiple routers share one single Wi-Fi network. Here’s what that could look like:

Bridge mode

But Double NAT isn’t necessarily a problem. For most people, Double NAT does not affect Wi-Fi performance. But it can be an issue if you play online games or use IP address assignments, port forwarding rules and UPnP.

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