Google Play Store / YouTube service stopped working with Deco X20

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Google Play Store / YouTube service stopped working with Deco X20
Google Play Store / YouTube service stopped working with Deco X20
2021-06-18 11:11:01 - last edited 2021-06-18 20:01:04
Model: Deco X20
Hardware Version: V1
Firmware Version: 1.5.1 Build 20210204 Rel. 50738

Hi,

 

(actually the hardware version is 1.2, the dropdown didn't have that choice)

 

I've been using Deco x20 for about 3 months, primarily for its mesh WiFi capability as well as its parental control features. Cannot exactly pinpoint when but started probably a week or two back, YouTube and Google Play Store services no longer function.

 

YouTube:

On our laptops, since we used web browsers for YouTube, seems after initial slow connection (with spinning circle) for a few (up to 10) seconds, video clips eventually played. But on Android cell phones, YouTube app simply didn't work, and the spinning circle stayed on forever. I suspect it's because laptop web browser uses http/https and has some fallback mechanism, while YouTube app on phones doesn't. Even on laptop, youtube playing is very close and interrupted (bufferring) frequently.

 

Google Play Store:

This is simply not functioning anymore on all our of Android cell phones. While we could still browse apps, but we couldn't install new ones nor could we update existing ones - all downloading is stuck at pending state.

 

We tested segment by segment eventually narrowed the problem down to the X20, most likely around Parental Control / AntiVirus area.

- We tested our phones on mobile 4G network: both YouTube and Play Store worked perfectly fine with practically 0-lag/delay.

- We tested our phones directly with our ISP modem (which has WiFi, but we simply disabled it in the past), and it worked flawlessly as well.

- We tested connecting X20 to our ISP modem using Access Point mode, everything worked flawlessly. But AP mode doesn't have AntiVirus or Parental Control or QoS feature.

- Now we test our regular setup: connecting x20 to our ISP modem using wireless router mode. Youtube app on android phone doesn't work, Play Store doesn't work. Note it was working for a month or two, only recently started experiencing problem. We suspect it was caused by some heavy use of parental control features.

- Another test we did: same x20 to modem in wireless router mode, but on our phone, if we enable VPN (we used privateinternetvpn), and YouTube / Play Store worked flawlessly. This really suggesting some sort of filtering/blocking is going on the router.

 

One of th reasons we suspect it is related to parental control is because we utilized it heavily: we created 6 profiles, and some of the profiles had max 16 devices. Totally we had more than 30 devices in various Parental Control groups. Everything seemed working except starting a few days/maybe a week or two back, we started noticing YouTube / Play Store problems.

 

Yes, we did hard reset on the deco unit and redid setup, and confirmed no parental control groups and no antivirus enabled. Still the problem persisted. I highly suspect some of the (parental control / antivirus / qos) data/configurations didn't get fully cleaned up by reset and still lingering around causing the issue.

 

Desperately need help! We really need the Parental Control feature, so we can't really use x20 in Access Point mode.

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Re:Google Play Store / YouTube service stopped working with Deco X20
2021-06-29 21:50:13

An update from working with TPLink customer service.

Problem resolved after they suggested changing DNS to Google DNS (8.8.8.8) - during my previous investigation I did try that but apparently I put the DNS IP in a wrong setting field in the app thus didn't work.

Now after some soul searching I think this is a bug in deco firmware and this is what I wrote back to TPLink:
==================================

Ah...One more update. I think you should relay it to engineering team to have the fix in the future firmware update

Turns out it isn't that Google DNS is the magic sauce. I highly suspect it is because deco router's internal DNS caching screwed up.

When I set up deco a few month back everything worked fine, but somehow things stopped working - I suspect some web services DNS records were recently updated. However deco internal DNS cache somehow didn't invalidate those, resulting in loss of connectivity to those specific web services. I also suspect deco in access point mode doesn't turn on internal DNS cache - thus when I switched it to AP mode things magically came back alive.

Now when I changed to Google DNS as you suggested, all the cache is purged thus things started working again.

To prove my hypothesis, I simply switched DNS back to the originally dynamic IP assigned DNS, thus effectively using the old settings without a single change. But this time , things still work. This proves it wasn't a DNS problem before but a DNS stale cache problem.

In the future inevitably DNS records will be updated and things might start to malfunction again, at that time I just need to change DNS server to flush the cache.

Although it would be a lot nicer for you and for other customers to have a new firmware update to address the bug.

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