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Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

Official Employee

Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

We recently had an issue where xFi was showing a large volume of connected devices and subsequently generating a large volume of "New Device Connected" notifications for customers with third-party extenders, access points, and/or side-car routers connected to their network. We apologize to those that were impacted by this.

 

The reason for these "new devices" appearing in xFi is due to how some of the third-party access points report the connecting device information back to the xFi Gateway. In many instances, they create a new virtual MAC address (the unique identifier of a connected device) for each connection - even for those device that have previously connected.

 

We have implemented a change that should minimize the impact of these connected devices. In addition, we are looking into ways to implement more robust device intelligence tools for device identification.

 

As we work to continually improve the xFi experience, please be advised that more complex network setups (defined by additional access points, switches, virtual machines, etc.) may potentially impact how devices connected to your network appear in xFi.


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Regular Visitor

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

Hi. I have that problem -- my xFi has reported dozens of "new device connected" alerts over the past month, and they are NOT my devices.

 

However, I do NOT have an extender, or other wifi access points, or side-car routers on my network. My only active router is the XB6 (Arris TG3482G) from Xfinity, and my xfinitywifi is disabled.

 

For many of these Phantom / Intruder Devices, xFi says:

  • is connected to MyCoolNetwork     <--  connected to my WiFi 
  • connected with a cable    <-- yet not connecting by WiFi
  • wired device
  • connected to your Gateway with a cable
  • Connection Type:  Ethernet
  • Access Point:  Wireless Gateway

See screenshots below.

 

Also:

  • These devices never get an IP Address, and do not appear on a LAN scan.
  • They always disconnect within a minute or so, yet remain on my Devices list, under "Not Connected".
  • Some have no Manufacturer.
  • Some have very strange MAC addresses (000100000000, 000000000032, 0000000001D0).
  • Changing my WiFi password did not block these phantom/intruder devices.

Of course this is all very annoying. But it's also extremely concerning -- I want to know if my netowrk has been hacked. What is going on here?? 

 

 20180220c2.jpg  20180220c.jpg

Official Employee

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

tex335, I have escalated this to the engineering team for further investigation. I will let you know when I have an update for you. 

 


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New Poster

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

Same issue here ..wifi almost unuseable ..although my tv volume will be slightly lowered when it occures. the best if figured out is my phone will ring with a spam like # so in reality both tip me off.

Official Employee

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

@tex335 the team has taken a look into this for you and noticed that you have an Apple AirPort device on your network. That type of device does act as a WiFi router/extender so that's likely the source of the problem.

If you wish to single out the source of the devices, I would suggest disconnecting the Apple AirPort device (or devices if you have multiple) for 2-3 days and see if this reduces the number of new devices on your network.   


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Contributor

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

Out of curiosity, what is a "side-car router"?

Service Expert

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers


@NEWcam30era wrote:

Out of curiosity, what is a "side-car router"?


In my case, it was a small router for my XHome system.  When I got my Arris XB3, I was able to eliminate it because the XB3 supported my XHome system.




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Contributor

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

I HAVE NOTHING AIR PORT SAME PROB!!

Regular Visitor

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

  • Wireless > Network Mode = Off
  • Network > Router Mode = Off (Bridge Mode)

But at your suggestion, I entirely removed both Apple "routers" from my network, by unplugging their power. 

And I can report that, in the 2 weeks since then, I've seen ZERO phantom / unknown / intruder "new device" alerts in xFi.

 

To confirm this, today I powered up the Time Capsule again, retaining the Airport Utility settings noted above (Network Mode = Off; Router Mode = Off / Bridge-mode). And within 7 minutes, I got another dreaded New Device alert. 

 

So it does seem that they're somehow coming from Apple's router -- despite the software settings that, I would expect, should have disabled their Router / Access Point functionality. 

 

That said, this particular alert (and many others) were reported as "wired", "connected with a cable" and "connection type: ethernet" -- and that's how my Time Capsule is indeed connected. 

 

By the way, the reason I want my Time Capsule on the network is as a Time Machine destination for my MacBook Pro. 

But I SHOULD be free to use third-party Access Points to extend my WiFi coverage, without this whole "new device" problem. 

 

My immediate primary concern is -- I want to know if these "new devices" really are intruders, such that I have a major security issue on my network. Or, if they are just improperly reported legit devices, which are annoying but not concerning.

New Poster

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

Im having the same issue. They come up as cell phones and when I tell it to forget the device within a few minutes they reconnect. says they connect through my wifi which has a password. I tried changing my password and I tried pausing devices but the pause device doesnt even work on our own phones. 

New Poster

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers

Having 18 devices all w coded names not helpful. You need to figure a way to allow us to identify which device is which
Service Expert

Re: Information Regarding xFi and Third-Party WiFi Extenders, Access Points and Side-Car Routers


@Cgrande4 wrote:
Having 18 devices all w coded names not helpful. You need to figure a way to allow us to identify which device is which

My XB6 gateway has a screen that shows all the connected devices; I use the MAC address to match up with devices; 90% have been identified so far.




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