Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973
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Re: Wondering what "connected" actually means?

marknelson
Aspirant

Wondering what "connected" actually means?

I let the Google rep talk me into using their mesh router after my new Google Fiber install, and it turned out to be not so good. I have a house full of automation, averaging 70-80 connected devices (don't judge!) and it became pretty clear to me that their router couldn't handle the load. Really flaky performance, and their router interface is mostly locked down - can't even rename devices. 

 

So I reverted back to my old Orbi RBS50 (so old it is not even listed in the Associated Products field), but I wanted to set myself up with some tools to work on problems like this in the future.

 

I started by writing a short script that uses pynetgear to monitor the router's list of connected devices, and flagging devices as they come and go.

 

I've seen a few surprises here, and I realize that I don't actually know what it means to be "connected".

 

For example, my two Schlage door locks routinely disappear from the list of connected devices. But even when they are missing, I can still control them from the Schlage app. So they are still lurking with a WiFi connection, but the router has decided they are no longer present? These are two of just a few battery operated devices on the local network.

 

My Apple Watch comes and goes, too. Maybe battery operated devices are in power saving mode of some kind?

 

But even my Apple TV is a bit of a wanderer, and it's running on wall power and has a wired Ethernet connection.

 

Excluding these few exceptions, almost all other devices stick around once they are attached, so I have a lot of curiosity about what is actually happening with this small collection of outliers.

 

I never really thought about what it means to be connected in the GUI. Is it a combination of having a DHCP lease and then seeing regular switch traffic? It doesn't seem like the router itself can really do any sort of keep-alive for checking on devices, I don't know how that would work. Pinging wouldn't do it as many devices choose not to respond to ICMP pings.

 

Any knowledge on this topic?

 

 

Message 1 of 6

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quagmire1
Luminary

Re: Wondering what "connected" actually means?

1. You’ve posted to the wrong forum. This is the forum for Orbi Pro products.  The forum to discuss the RBS50 is:

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi-Wi-Fi-5-AC-and-Orbi-with/bd-p/Orbi

 

2. Is it the Orbi app that has devices disappearing from the “connected” list?   That’s a known, long-standing bug in the Orbi app. 

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Message 5 of 6

All Replies

Re: Wondering what "connected" actually means?

When it comes to determining whether a device is "connected" on a network, it typically refers to the device being actively connected and communicating with the network infrastructure. However, the exact definition and criteria for determining connectivity can vary depending on the specific network equipment and protocols being used.

In most cases, devices are considered connected when they meet the following conditions:

1. IP Address Assignment: The device has obtained an IP address either through DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) or has a static IP address assigned to it.

2. Network Reachability: The device can communicate with other devices on the network. This can be verified through various network protocols like ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) or NDP (Neighbor Discovery Protocol) for IPv6.

3. Link Status: The device is physically connected to the network and the link is active. This applies to both wired and wireless connections. For wired connections, it typically means the Ethernet link is up, and for wireless connections, it means the device is connected to the Wi-Fi network and has a strong signal.

4. Keep-Alive Mechanisms: Some devices implement keep-alive mechanisms, such as sending periodic packets or heartbeat messages, to signal their presence and maintain their connection status. However, not all devices or network equipment support or rely on such mechanisms.

It's worth noting that different routers and network monitoring tools may use different methods to determine device connectivity. Some may rely solely on DHCP lease information, while others may perform active probing or monitoring to check the responsiveness of devices.

In the case of the devices you mentioned, there could be various factors at play. Battery-operated devices like Schlage door locks and devices in power-saving mode like the Apple Watch may temporarily disconnect from the network to conserve power and re-establish their connection when needed. It's also possible that the router's monitoring interface may have limitations or delays in updating the connected device list.

To get more detailed insights into device connectivity and behavior, you can consider using network monitoring tools or scripts, like the one you mentioned, to track and monitor device status, network traffic, and any anomalies. These tools can provide more information about device connections, uptime, and performance metrics to help troubleshoot connectivity issues or identify patterns in device behavior.

Ultimately, the concept of "connected" devices is multifaceted and can depend on various factors, including network protocols, device capabilities, and monitoring mechanisms.

 

Regards;

David Johnson.

Message 2 of 6
marknelson
Aspirant

Re: Wondering what "connected" actually means?

So this response was generated by Chat GPT, clearly, and like anything you get from that guy, it sounds great but is kind of missing out on details. I don't think Chat GPT really knows much about the specifics of the Netgear GUI.

Message 3 of 6
williamswelsh75
Aspirant

Re: Wondering what "connected" actually means?

Hi

Message 4 of 6
quagmire1
Luminary

Re: Wondering what "connected" actually means?

1. You’ve posted to the wrong forum. This is the forum for Orbi Pro products.  The forum to discuss the RBS50 is:

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi-Wi-Fi-5-AC-and-Orbi-with/bd-p/Orbi

 

2. Is it the Orbi app that has devices disappearing from the “connected” list?   That’s a known, long-standing bug in the Orbi app. 

Message 5 of 6
marknelson
Aspirant

Re: Wondering what "connected" actually means?

Since my product seems be EOL I had a hard time finding the right place to post, sorry.

Message 6 of 6
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