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StCJM
Aspirant

Orbi VPN - Random MAC addresses for same device

Orbi RBR50 v2.5.1.8

 

OpenVPN up and running and can connect remotely via VPN.

 

I'd like to assisgn a reserved IP on the Orbi for the specific computer while it's connected via VPN.  The problem is... each time I connect from the same laptop (same remote location) I get a different MAC address (completely different) on the Orbi for the same connected device? 

 

connect/disconnect/connect/disconnect/connect/disconnect --- differnet MACs.

 

Why is Orbi showing a differnt MAC address for the same VPN device with each connection?

 

I read another post from a couple of years ago, but it was not updated/answered.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Model: RBR50|Orbi AC3000 Tri-band WiFi Router
Message 1 of 7
CrimpOn
Sensei

Re: Orbi VPN - Random MAC addresses for same device

My experience is different than yours.  I think there could be several issues.

 

  1. MAC addresses do not pass through routers.  When a packet gets forwarded by a router, it picks up the MAC address of the router.  It is the Internet Protocol (IP) address that allows routers to decide where to forward packets.  When I connect to my VPN, the device shows up with a MAC address "00:00:00:00:00:00".  As an example, I just connected my phone to the Orbi OpenVPN and also opened a Hot Spot on the phone.  Then, connected a laptop to the phone Hot Spot and opened OpenVPN on the laptop.  They both show up on the Orbi Attached Devices with empty MAC addresses and a connection type of "vpn".
    VPN.PNGWithout a MAC address to work with, there is no possibility for an IP address to be assigned.
    So, the first question is, "How does your OpenVPN report MAC addresses when mine does not?"
  2. The second issue is that VPN assigns IP addresses in a different IP subnet than the primary DHCP subnet.  My Orbi uses 192.168.1.x with subnet mask 255.255.255.0, and I have assigned IP's within that space to many devices and left the remainder for DHCP to use dynamically.  These two VPN devices were assigned in the 192.168.2.x subnet and Orbi has an internal mechanism to allow them to connect to the internet and to local devices.  I think if it were possible to assign the VPN devices a 192.168.1.x IP address, then Orbi would not be able to forward packets to them. And, if the subnet mask was changed to 255.2555.254 that would make it even worse.

In short, I think it is impossible to assign IP addresses to devices which connect via VPN and have VPN function.  What I cannot explain is how your Orbi reports MAC addresses for devices connected via VPN.

I love my Orbi.
Message 2 of 7
StCJM
Aspirant

Re: Orbi VPN - Random MAC addresses for same device

My Orbi is handing out an IP in the same DHCP range as those physically on the network, not a different range as others have reported?

 

Same laptop, same remote (cable modem) connection... connect-disconnect-connect.... different MAC address listed in the "connected devices" on the Orbi with connecteioon showing as VPN. 

 

???

Message 3 of 7
CrimpOn
Sensei

Re: Orbi VPN - Random MAC addresses for same device

I have not updated to 2.5.1.8.  I guess there is no longer a reason to put it off.  Maybe this is an undocumented change in OpenVPN?

I love my Orbi.
Message 4 of 7
CrimpOn
Sensei

Re: Orbi VPN - Random MAC addresses for same device

If it is not too personal, can you please describe what OpenVPN software is being used and how the connection is being made.

For example, I use

  • OpenVPN Connect v 3.1.0 (4292) on Android
  • OpenVPN 4.5 on Linux Mint
  • tunXten 1.1 on Windows 10

To test my Orbi OpenVPN, I disconnect my phone from WiFi to use LTE, set up the phone as a Hot Spot, then start OpenVPN which reports being connected to my Orbi.  I also connect one of the laptops to the Hot Spot and then run either OpenVPN or tunXten on it to connect to the Orbi.  How do you test the Orbi OpenVPN?

I love my Orbi.
Message 5 of 7
CrimpOn
Sensei

Re: Orbi VPN - Random MAC addresses for same device


@CrimpOn wrote:

I have not updated to 2.5.1.8.  I guess there is no longer a reason to put it off.  Maybe this is an undocumented change in OpenVPN?


I just now updated firmware to 2.5.1.8.  Appears to have worked fine, except for that maddening bit about the device types: (a) trashing the nice pictures in favor of generic icons, (b) removing useful device types like "Linux PC" in favor of adding "Refrigerator", and (c) mis-identifying IP cameras, Raspberry Pi's etc.  Being **bleep** retentive, I "fixed" it as best I can.  (sigh)

 

OpenVPN still works.  Did another test and my remote VPN connection still comes up with (a) IP address 192.168.2.2 (different subnet) and (b) MAC address of 00:00:00:00:00:00.  Connection type "vpn".

 

Evidentally, firmware 2.5.1.8 OpenVPN works the same (for me) as 2.3.5.0.  I am at a loss to explain how it could be any other way.

I love my Orbi.
Message 6 of 7
StCJM
Aspirant

Re: Orbi VPN - Random MAC addresses for same device


@CrimpOn wrote:

If it is not too personal, can you please describe what OpenVPN software is being used and how the connection is being made.

For example, I use

  • OpenVPN Connect v 3.1.0 (4292) on Android
  • OpenVPN 4.5 on Linux Mint
  • tunXten 1.1 on Windows 10

To test my Orbi OpenVPN, I disconnect my phone from WiFi to use LTE, set up the phone as a Hot Spot, then start OpenVPN which reports being connected to my Orbi.  I also connect one of the laptops to the Hot Spot and then run either OpenVPN or tunXten on it to connect to the Orbi.  How do you test the Orbi OpenVPN?


Usung Tunnelblick v3.8.1 on a Mac from another wifi network several miles away.  I can I be on the same comoputer on the same network, connect--disconnect--connect, and Orbi shows different MACs for the same devicer with each VPN connection.

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