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What To Do if you See ‘This Google Home Mini was manufactured for a different country’

Posted by Jamie on September 19, 2018

Like the Amazon Echo, the Google Home Mini is region-specific so if you buy one from a different continent, you are likely to see a message that says ‘This Google Home Mini was manufactured for a different country and may not be compatible with your Wifi network’. If you buy one from eBay or are gifted one and see this message, what do you do now?

The message itself isn’t an issue but the subsequent inability to connect to your WiFi network is what causes the problem.

The Google Home Mini is the company’s attempt to take on the Amazon Echo. It’s a small bubble shaped device that enables you to use Google Assistant to do everything from control your smart home to setting up the next episode of your favorite TV show. I have only had a brief time with it but I think it is easily as good as Alexa, better if you’re not tied into the whole Amazon ecosystem.

It was initially US-only but gradually rolled out across the world. Inevitably, a gray market sprang up selling them on eBay, Facebook and other places so they propagated much faster than Google planned. The Google Home Mini is now available in most places so it should be rare that you see this error. Here’s how to fix it if you do see it.

This Google Home Mini was manufactured for a different country

There are a few things that seem to cause this error but none of them are to do with the Google Home Mini itself. All the solutions I could find are on the router. So the device itself works fine outside the country it was manufactured for but your WiFi network might need tweaking to get everything working.

First, retry the standard setup routine:

  1. Download and install the Google Home app from the Google Play Store if you haven’t already.
  2. Plug in and switch on your Google Home Mini.
  3. Enable WiFi on your phone and open the Google Home app.
  4. Turn on Location services and allow the app to search for your Google Home Mini.
  5. Sign in with your Google account when prompted.
  6. Select the devices icon in the top right of the app screen and select Set Up next to the Google Home Mini the app found.
  7. Select Proceed if you see says ‘This Google Home Mini was manufactured for a different country and may not be compatible with your Wifi network’.
  8. Set your home location when prompted and select a default music player.
  9. Follow the Google Home Tutorial to learn how to use your device.

This is the approved process for setting up the Google Home Mini. Depending on where you live and how you acquired your device, not all of the default music players will work in your region. Pandora and Spotify are region-locked so if they don’t work, use Google Play Music or YouTube.

If you’re lucky it will connect after setting things up. If you’re not, you will need to perform a couple of router tweaks to get everything working. Perform a single change and retest your Google Home Mini. If it connects and everything works, leave it there. If it doesn’t, move on to the next step.

  1. Log into your router with your credentials.
  2. Navigate to WiFi or Wireless depending on how your router names its menus.
  3. Turn WiFi Protected mode to Off and retest.
  4. Set your WiFi channel to be between 1 and 10 and retest.
  5. Make sure you have connected to your 2.4GHz WiFi channel and not 5GHz and retest.
  6. Consider using a VPN and retesting.

Google Home Mini manufactured for certain countries cannot connect to WiFi channels above certain frequencies which is why I suggest restricting them to between 1 and 10. Checking you are using the 2.4GHz frequency and not the 5GHz frequency is for dual band routers and is for the same reason. The two steps are interchangeable for some routers but not for others. On my Linksys, the 5GHz channels are labeled 16-40 so would already be disabled by choosing channels 1 to 10.

From what I could gather, each of those fixes has enabled users to connect their Google Home Mini to their network and begin using it. Not everyone has been able to use the default music players, but one of the options is sure to work. Step 6, using a VPN is a step of last resort but worth trying if you really want to connect your Google Home Mini and get it working with all the music playing options.

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