I'm gonna throw out an answer to this which I would be willing to wager is the answer to the question as to how many devices are connected, although in regards to them bypassing the parental filters you can probably blame that on VPN. Yes your kids know how to download a VPN to bypass parental filters, I guarantee it.
Aside from filtering, in a nutshell, you will see device count fluctuate quite often when any of the devices are in some sort of "power saving mode". You may have 5 phones added to the wifi but that doesn't mean they're all talking to the internet. Laptops and phones in particularly will almost always have momentary pauses in network activity because they're not actively using data and will basically turn off wifi to conserve power.
If you wanted to test this theory, get 4 devices on your network (laptops or phones) then use command line or an app for phones to ping something like google non-stop. I'll bet you a dollar that your device count stays at 4 the entire time those devices are pinging google.
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NOTE: If you want to blame my issue on too many devices, wifi location, my home, or something outside my home then please refer to this video of Liam Neeson before considering posting such a reply https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZOywn1qArI
So I too have been combatting persistent wifi and network outages that came with XFi. I've dealt with it persistently and exhaustively and can tell you with almost 90% certainty that I know what the issue is and the cause is definitely the Comcast supplied hardware. Unfortunately I purchased the expansion pods to blanket my house in internet (which does NOT support a true mesh network but that's a conversation for another day) which is a problem because I don't want to have to buy new freaking equipment because the pods work well but the modem/router is the actual problem.
So in short, the underlying cause of the network issues that I see, and I suspect a significant number of other people, is a failure of the DNS Server service in the gateway itself at least for my Arris TG3482G. How do I know this? Because when the internet suddenly stops working, all wifi devices come to a screeching halt but my wired devices do not entirely stop working. They maintain a local IP address and in most cases I can login to the gateway, go to troubleshooting, go to reset/restore gateway, then do reset wifi router, and the network is back up and running in about 90 seconds. I noticed that during these outages I could ping IP addresses but *NEVER* an external web domain. Also during this outage if you go to the gateway's diagnostic tools you'll notice that you CAN ping an external web domain. This is usually a symptom of a failing DNS Server service because the DNS Client service is what sends the ping outside, but inside the network everything is handled by the DNS Server service which is restarted when you reset the wifi router module in the diagnostic tools.
Now for the actual question, I want to utilize the wifi features of the gateway while bypassing the gateway for DNS handling thereby possibly permanently fixing the network drops. A bridge would facilitate this function perfectly. Having never utilized a residential Comcast gateway's bridge feature, I'm not quite sure how it will handle the wireless functionality. Does anyone have any insight into the viability of bypassing the gateway to do this? Any comments welcome except for those who wish to blame outage on something else, those individuals can refer to the aforementioned youtube link.
Thank you in advance
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To start off with I'm an career IT Systems Engineer, so bare in mind that asking things like "make sure it's plugged in" and "try restarting your computer" are not necessary......
I switched from Comcast Business for home office internet to Comcast Residential about 8 months ago when I moved and had the opportunity to get Xfinity Gigabit. I went the whole nine yards, I got the XFi XB6 gateway, I got the Xfi Pods. When I first setup everything, I was super happy and never looked back.
Fast forward to about November and all the sudden I've noticed consistent drops in my internet connection. The gateway is accessible and even the diagnostics on the gateway reflect that "everything is working fine" but it's not and I cannot figure out a resolution. When the network suddenly stops responding I am not able to resolve any dns lookups. So pinging google.com returns host not found but pinging 126.96.36.199 responds instantly. If I use the gateway diagnostics to ping www.comcast.net though it will work about 70% of the time, usually though the issue resolves itself about the time I get to the gateway to investigate.
This happens at all times of the day, I've seen it in the mornings, afternoons, evenings and middle of the night. Usually it resolves itself in a matter of minutes but soemtimes I have to reset the wifi and router modules using diagnostics, once in a while I have to restart the gateway using diagnostics, once in a blue moon I have to power cycle the gateway.
I'm wondering if this is a documented issue or if there's something I can do about it? I noticed with XFi that I cannot change the DNS, I'm 95% sure that's because a lot of the parental controls and filtering facilitate the functionality using DNS. While yes, I could set static DNS on devices other than my kids, that's not ideal of course. I spent a lot of money on getting all this setup and getting the equipment. I really don't think it was ethical for Comcast to make me buy proprietary wifi mesh pods when I cannot buy a gateway but that's another subject....
Looking for thoughts or suggestions before making a call to customer service or making a formal complaint.
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