MikeMikeM's profile

Contributor

 • 

30 Messages

Fri, Jul 29, 2022 12:48 PM

how do I disable the Hidden Network beacons that are broadcast from this XB8 ?

I noticed there are Hidden Network beacons being broadcast from this XB8.

Even after I disable the 3 network bands in the gateway's admin settings, (2.4GHz - 5GHz - 6GHz), there are still beacons being broadcast that omit any network name.

"Hidden Networks" that's often called.

There's no way in the XB8 gateway to turn off the radios.  There's no way to stop it from broadcasting those beacons.

The only way to stop it is to unplug the XB8.

After googling this, I found a half dozen threads on reddit that also complain about it, with XB8, XB7, maybe even earlier Xfinity gateways.

It's undocumented, surreptitious, raises security concerns, and it's just plain creepy.

I've already spent 5+ hours with online Xfinity Chat agents, with voice-phone Tech Support agents, and escalated to Supervisors.

It just goes in circles and I'm really beginning to fume.

If I can't get some info what this Hidden Network beacon monkey business is about, and how to stop it, I'm just going to shipcan this XB8 and ship it back.

Accepted Solution

MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

15 d ago

The MAC addresses of the 3 wifi radios look like this:    AC : xx : xx : xx : xx : xx

The MAC addresses in the Hidden Network beacons look like this:     AE : xx : xx : xx : xx : xx

That one bit  b1=1  means it is a locally generated MAC.

In other words, those "AE" MACs are fabricated by the XB8 in order to create its creepy hidden networks.

Credit:  Wikipedia.org


----------------------------------------
I persisted relentlessly and finally got somebody in Xfinity Tech Support to make an effort to track down the source of this nasty thing.
She said she escalated the question to a Tier 2 tech support team, and gave me their phone number and case ticket number.
I'll post an update if I ever hear anything from them.


---update
That Tech Support agent lied.
The phone number she supplied was to the ordinary horrible automated menu Xfinity Customer Support.
It was NOT to Tier 2 Tech Support.
They never called back.
But I'm told, my Case Ticket is closed.


[Edited: "Language"]

(edited)

flatlander3

Problem Solver

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422 Messages

20 d ago

You can't.  There's a hidden one for their 'home security systems'.  The public WiFi access one can be shut off, but it will flip back on when your gateway crashes or updates firmware.  https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/disable-xfinity-wifi-home-hotspot  Setting may work or it may not, as with every other setting or feature. 

To disable it entirely, don't use or rent Xfinity gear.

MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

20 d ago

Thanks @flatlander3

It took you 1 minute to answer what 5 hours with Xfinity agents couldn't.

Then I'll just shipcan it.

MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

20 d ago

The online Returns portal does not list this XB8.

https://customer.xfinity.com/devices/returns/new

It looks like I will waste another hour on the telephone with Xfinity Customer Service.

MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

20 d ago

[Edited: "Inflammatory"]

now I got a voice-mail from a supervisor, saying I can use the UPS shipping label number that she DIDN'T PROVIDE and WOULDN'T SUPPLY.

[Edited: "Inflammatory"].

check the timestamp on this post.

I've been on the phone this whole time trying to get RMA to ship it back this whole time.

I'm still on hold.

(edited)

MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

20 d ago

I will never make this mistake of having anything that says "Xfinity" on it in my home again.

Official Employee

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289 Messages

Hi, @MikeMikeM.

 

If you want to return your equipment you can drop it off at a local Xfinity or UPS store. You do not need a shipping label. 

I am an Official Xfinity Employee.
Official Employees are from multiple teams within Xfinity: CARE, Product, Leadership.
We ask that you post publicly so people with similar questions may benefit from the conversation.
Was your question answered? Please, mark a reply as the Accepted Answer.tick
MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

Thanks.  Yeah, I found that out yesterday.

I called UPS Store, and they said to just bring it in and they would scan its Serial/MAC label, box it and ship it back, and give me a receipt.

So I did.

It would be  nice  if Xfinity would post that 1 sentence instruction on their xfinity.com/returns site.

Official Employee

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567 Messages

That is a good point! I will make sure I bring that up for you. If you have any additional questions you can feel free to reach out! 

I am an Official Xfinity Employee.
Official Employees are from multiple teams within Xfinity: CARE, Product, Leadership.
We ask that you post publicly so people with similar questions may benefit from the conversation.
Was your question answered? Please, mark a reply as the Accepted Answer.tick
MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

how about this question....

  • where's there any Xfinity documentation about those Hidden Networks beacons.
  • and instructions to disable it.
  • or as last resort, instructions how to disable the wifi radios altogether, while leaving the other router (ethernet) functions still operation.

Official Employee

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567 Messages

For the disable of your wifi, I did find this, https://comca.st/3Q4WKAX. Let me know if this helps you with that. 

I am an Official Xfinity Employee.
Official Employees are from multiple teams within Xfinity: CARE, Product, Leadership.
We ask that you post publicly so people with similar questions may benefit from the conversation.
Was your question answered? Please, mark a reply as the Accepted Answer.tick

NoNoBadPuppy

Contributor

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399 Messages

18 d ago

Currently, the only way to not broadcast those hidden/extra signals is to ditch the [Edited: "Language"] hardware that xfinity makes you pay for each and every month, and buy your own hardware.  Short answer is no, you cannot turn them off.  Even it you could, the next time that xfinity reboots your modem, they would return. 

(edited)

MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

17 d ago

Live Agent
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Good morning Mike.

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Connected to a live agent

Now chatting with Ashish

Live Agent Chat started

A wonderful day! Thank you for choosing Xfinity ! This is Tejinder your Xfinity Ambassador for today . May I have the first and last name of awesome customer .

Kindly do not click on the back button or open a new tab/browser/app as switching to any other application would disconnect the chat. We do not want you to lose this chat and start over again.
will you please provide a link that explains why XB7 and XB8 broadcast Hidden Network beacons
Sure .
May I know your first and last name ?
will you please provide a link that explains how to stop XB8 from broadcasting Hidden Network beacons
I am Mike (redacted)
Thank you .
Sure I will share it .

Please allow me 2-4 minutes to check the account information for you.

will you please provide a link that explains how to set the XB8 router operation for ethernet only, no wifi.
Can you please elaborate the concern regarding Hidden Network beacons
what more is there to say?
Okay .
I got it .

Due to occasional latency, please be patient if there is a delay in response. Please do not close out the chat.

Ethernet Port 4 (bottom right-side port when looking at the rear of the XB8) supports 2.5Gbps throughput and serves as the WAN port for EPON installations

Ethernet Port 2 (top right-side port when looking at rear of XB8): Supports Xfinity Home Functionality

so what? that does NOT answer my question in any way.
It can't be setup only for ethernet .
please supply link to official Xfinity document that says that.
Sure .
Help me with your email address ?
because it is NOT true. you can turn off the 3 networks (for 2.4 GHz - 5 GHz - 6 GHz )
You can do it from the Xfinity App .
You can disable the networks directly in the XB8 online console.
so why did you just tell me it cannot be done?
here are instructions.
https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/hide-disable-in-home-wifi?linkId=175470873
I thought you are telling to switch off the wi-fi
YES. I want to stop the XB8 from broadcasting Hidden Network beacons. That article "implies" that's how to do it. But that article is deceptive. The Hidden Network beacons continue being broadcast.
Let me check once more .
I began this chat asking 3 direct simple questions.
please answer my simple direct questions.
Please allow me few minutes .
Help me with your email address to share steps .
no.
just tell me.
post links here.
Summary

Learn how to activate your Xfinity Internet service.

Quick Links

Overview

If You Have an xFi Gateway or You Purchased Your Own Approved Modem/Router

If You Have Xfinity Voice

Need More Help With Your Self-Installation?

Additional Information

Internal Notes

Collapse All Sections

Overview

Download the Xfinity app to set up your internet and get online in minutes — with real-time support when you need it. It's the easiest way to get connected.

If you’re replacing a device that's already installed in your home, make sure to disconnect it before following the activation steps below.

Back to Top

If You Have an xFi Gateway or You Purchased Your Own Approved Modem/Router

Activating an xFi Gateway or an approved modem/router is simple with the Xfinity app (download via App Store or Google Play). Please note that the xFi Fiber Gateway (Arris X5001) is only available through professional installation and can't be activated using the Xfinity app.

For WiFi Ready Apartments with pre-installed xFi Fiber Gateways, Xfinity app activation is not available. You’ll need to activate by using the default SSID and Password listed on the gateway sticker to connect to WiFi and then open a web browser to configure your Xfinity Internet. For more details, see Getting Xfinity Internet in Your WiFi Ready Apartment.

why did you blurt that article how to ACTIVATE ???
I can share the document as It is too large .
Please try to understand .
that has NOTHING to do with my question. are you trying to make me angry?
Not at all sir .
I asked 3 simple direct questions.
I am trying to help you out in best possible way .
You are weaving around my questions, and talking about completely unrelated things.
My questions are simple and clear.
what is the problem?
How do I turn off the WiFi on my Xfinity router?

Open a web browser on one of your computers and in the address bar type the IP address of it (the default one for the Comcast Xfinity is 10.0. 0.1) and enter the login credentials. 2. Once you are connected, navigate to Gateway > WiFi and click on Edit for both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz and disable the WiFi.

that is NOT my question.
You are now transferred and chatting with Ashish, an Xfinity Live Agent
A wonderful day! Thank you for choosing Xfinity. This is Ashish, your Xfinity Ambassador for today. Glad to assist you today. Please allow me few minutes to review your last interaction.
that article explains how to DISABLE the wifi networks. It does NOT explain how to either (1) stop the Hidden Network beacons, nor, (2) how to TURN OFF the RADIOS.
I asked simple clear questions.
please answer.
Sure
Hello Mike, my name is Ashish and I am from central chat repair team and you are being transferred from previous agent and please allow me 2-3 minutes to review your last conversation.
[ 1] will you please provide a link that explains why XB7 and XB8 broadcast Hidden Network beacons
[ 2] will you please provide a link that explains how to stop XB8 from broadcasting Hidden Network beacons
[3] will you please provide a link that explains how to set the XB8 router operation for ethernet only, no wifi.
Mike, I got your question and please allow me to check your account and please be assured I will answer each and every query of you
Please do not press the back button and also avoid using other application for us to stay connected without any interruption.
Could you please confirm your modem CMAC address, which you can find on back or bottom of your modem on white sticker.
no.
I asked simple clear questions.
please answer the questions. you said you would. now, please do it.
Okay, please make sure not to close the chat and I need few minutes to check , please stay connected .
I do value your time. However it will take few more minutes of yours. Please stay connected with me.
As I can understand you want to turn off the in home wifi broadcasting from your modem, is that correct Mike?
and want to stop broadcasting the hidden networks from your gateway ?
[1] will you please provide a link that explains why XB7 and XB8 broadcast Hidden Network beacons
[2] will you please provide a link that explains how to stop XB8 from broadcasting Hidden Network beacons
[3] will you please provide a link that explains how to set the XB8 router operation for ethernet only, no wifi.
Yes
Please help me with the email id where I can send you the document file to support your queries
no. please DO NOT weave around my simple questions. I asked for links.
my questions are clear and simple.
each can be answered in a very few words.
Okay
Hidden networks that's often called. There's no way in the XB8 gateway to turn off the radios. There's no way to stop it from broadcasting those beacons . The only way to stop it is to unplug the XB8 and turn back on in 45 minutes
that is not true. after unplugging the XB8 and powering it back up, those Hidden Network beacons resume.
Okay, now let me send you the steps for same
Login to the device.
Access Gateway>Connection>WiFi from the left navigation menu
I asked, WHY does it broadcast those Hidden Network beacons?
Click the Edit button next to the Network
I asked, HOW to stop it from doing that?
Yes, I answered the same as well There's no way in the XB8 gateway to turn off the radios
I asked, HOW to disable the wifi altogether, so the XB8 operates as a router with ETHERNET ONLY.
you evaded my questions.
you did NOT answer WHY it does that sneaky thing.
Mike, I got your question pretty well. You need to use XB8 with only ETHERNET not through WIFI , correct .
no. not exactly.
as a LAST RESORT if those SNEAKY CREEPY UNETHICAL hidden network broadcasts cannot be stopped, then yes, the only remaining solution is to TURN OFF the wifi RADIOS totally.
I wish if I could send you a link But I can share the steps to disable the wifi broadcasting from your modem firs
I already know the link. It does NOT stop the Hidden Network broadcasts.
I asked, WHY does it broadcast those Hidden Network beacons?
I asked, HOW to stop it from doing that?
Because you did not followed the and tried the steps properly .
yes I did.
Please do that one more time and it will be done .
you did not verify what I said is true.
May i have the name of the network which is being broadcasted ?
you don't even know for a fact that those Hidden Network beacons are being broadcast.
NO NAME. that is an idiotic question. the beacons have NO BSSID NAME. they are HIDDEN NETWORKS.
are you trying to make me angry?
It looks like that the network is not hidden
that is a ridiculous statement.
Let me check
I asked, WHY does it broadcast those Hidden Network beacons?
I asked, HOW to stop it from doing that?
I asked, HOW to disable the wifi altogether, so the XB8 operates as a router with ETHERNET ONLY.
WHY does it broadcast those Hidden Network beacons? - answer is by default settings
why does it have that DEFAULT SETTING that is a security risk?
HOW to stop it from doing that?- for that answer is follow the steps which I a sharing and it will be done .
How do I disable that DEFAULT SETTING that is a security risk?
why is that SECURITY RISK the DEFAULT.
in other words, you have substituted the word "DEFAULT" to evade the question.
Yes, hidden network still send a beacon frame, just without the SSID. Your wireless hardware sends the estimated received power level to Aircrack-NG. It could be due to unsupported hardware or your hardware is not able to come up with a good power figure for the signal.
what is that baloney you just said?
I have NetGear and D-Link routers that do not do that SNEAKY CREEPY thing.
so please give me a straight answer.
Okay, sure
broadcasting Hidden Networks without a customer/user's authorization is UNETHICAL.
it's SNEAKY.
it's CREEPY.
[1] will you please provide a link that explains why XB7 and XB8 broadcast Hidden Network beacons
[2] will you please provide a link that explains how to stop XB8 from broadcasting Hidden Network beacons
[3] will you please provide a link that explains how to set the XB8 router operation for ethernet only, no wifi.
Shall I arrange you a callback so that you can speak directly to the technical team.
NO.
just answer my questions. they are simple and stated clearly.
Okay, got it
Please stay connected
Mike, I don't have access to share you any link on chat however I can send you on the email only .
you already said that.
you simply have no answers. you simply don't know the XB8 broadcasts Hidden Network beacons.
Alright, so you don't want the answers on the emails, correct ?
but it does. it is UNETHICAL. It is SNEAKY. It is CREEPY.
don't give me bunk.
you don't have a link to these simple questions.
I don't want [Edited: "Language"] email that again does NOT address my questions.
Hidden Networks" that's often called. There's no way in the XB8 gateway to turn off the radios. There's no way to stop it from broadcasting those beacons.
That's what you would send me.
Just to end this chat.
:As I can understand you want to turn off the inhome wifi broadcasting from your modem You:and want to stop broadcasting the hidden networks from your gateway
You say there is no way to turn off those beacons. Great. Now, provide me a link that says so.
I am not ending the chat and I am here to assist you , you are valuable to us .
Yes, hidden network still send a beacon frame, just without the SSID. Your wireless hardware sends the estimated received power level to Aircrack-NG. It could be due to unsupported hardware or your hardware is not able to come up with a good power figure for the signal.
404 not found
Let me check
you mean this. MY THREAD. I POSTED IT.
https://forums.xfinity.com/conversations/your-home-network/how-do-i-disable-the-hidden-network-beacons-that-are-broadcast-from-this-xb8/62e3d7336a3f856065f6f65e
and I am going to post a transcript of this chat there. just to show how HORRIBLE and EVASIVE this chat has been.
you're giving me the "who's on first" double-talk lipservice runaround, bub.
read it.
https://forums.xfinity.com/conversations/your-home-network/how-do-i-disable-the-hidden-network-beacons-that-are-broadcast-from-this-xb8/62e3d7336a3f856065f6f65e
why did you just post that link to the xfinity support entrance portal?
.
ok. you are just giving me the runaround.
I will post a transcript of this chat in the forum.
and forward it to xfinity management.
MIke, please allow me 2-3 minutes more
that's all.
I have walked up to my supervisor and asked him to intervene.

(edited)

MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

17 d ago

...and just now I got back online.

that Chat Tech Support de-activated my NetGear modem.

I had to wade through phone Customer Support agents to get it re-activated.

wasn't that nice?

sheesh

MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

17 d ago

@moderator

kindly un-Private the Chat transcript above.

future viewers may find it enlightening.

NoNoBadPuppy

Contributor

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399 Messages

17 d ago

Not sure why they marked the thread as private.  I would appreciate it if someone would explain to my why they made it private.

Official Employee

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304 Messages

@NoNoBadPuppy Good afternoon! I'm happy to answer your question today. It was market "Private" due to the language, as this violates the community rules for profanity. I hope this explanation helps. Please feel free to let us know if you have any other questions we may answer for you! 

I am an Official Xfinity Employee.
Official Employees are from multiple teams within Xfinity: CARE, Product, Leadership.
We ask that you post publicly so people with similar questions may benefit from the conversation.
Was your question answered? Please, mark a reply as the Accepted Answer.tick
MikeMikeM

Contributor

 • 

30 Messages

16 d ago

There is still a completely civil post of mine missing that protested this link.

---edit.  oh I see now.  my reply there is hidden within a collapsed section beneath.

https://comca.st/3Q4WKAX.

That linked article is no solution.

It is deceptively worded and does NOT address the Hidden Network beacon issue.

--------------------------------

and frankly, even a casual glance inside the XB8 console will take you to that self-explanatory setting.

how else can you set up your network names + passwords, except by editing them right there.

don't you think that was the very first thing I did with the XB8 ?

it was.

so thanks, it may have been well intended, but posting that link was insulting.

(edited)

MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

16 d ago

Guess what UPS delivered on my doorstep today.

An XB7.

Yeah.  a  "7".

I didn't order it.

MikeMikeM

Contributor

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30 Messages

13 d ago

I spoke on the telephone to two more Xfinity-employed liars last night.

The first lying Supervisor stated these Hidden Networks are for "Hidden Guests".

Yes.  Hidden Guests.

That's why they have no known SSID and no known password.

Furthermore, they are special wifi that doesn't need a radio to produce their wifi radio signals, I was told.

That's how they are able to be broadcast while the radios are turned off.

The second lying Supervisor stated nearly as creatively, these are for "Hidden Hotspots".

Again, that's why they have no known SSID and no known password.

They're so special, they're broadcast even when I have turned off Hotspots in my Account.

And likewise as above, they are a special kind of wifi that doesn't need a radio to produce their wifi radio signals

That's how these too are able to be broadcast while the radios are turned off.

Needless to say, in each conversation an argument ensued.

Arguments which ended  abruptly  with my cursing at them and hanging up the phone.

Guess what exactly I said.

-----------------------------------

So there's the official answer.

  • These networks are for "Hidden Guests" and "Hidden Hotspots".
  • There is no SSID or password because they're hidden.
  • They are special radio signals that are produced without radios.

 

(edited)

MikeMikeM

Contributor

 • 

30 Messages

13 d ago

Oh look.  Just now.  Xfinity Tier 2 Tech Support texted me this astonishing info about the Hidden Networks.

Exactly what I wanted.  So worth the wait.

https://x.cmp.xfinity.com/47A9847

(redirects to:  https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/xfinity-rewards)

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