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MAC addresses wrong, inconsistent !!


MAC addresses wrong, inconsistent !!


I am having [problems connecting to the extender when I have MAC filtering, access control, swicthed on in my Netgear router.

The MAC addresses listed on the back of the box state they should be:

2C:........D8 and 2C.........D9

My router currently reports something different but similar, and I think its not consistent either:

2E........D8 and 2E.......D9

I normally use the access control list on my router and its list has 12 MAC addresses in it. It worked fine until the WN2500RP came along and now it have to turn it off!

Does the 2500 have a problem with its MAC addresses???
Message 1 of 5

Fixed.... add virtual MAC addresses to ACL!!!

Fixed, resolved 🙂

..... I almost took the unit back for an exchange but after much angst, gnashing of teeth etc. finally tel.support from Jeff at Netgear put me on the right track.

I will summarise what I found because I didn't see much on the internet and nothing in the documentation to help.

First.... network stuff can be a little slow to respond to changes and initial poor result can just be due to slow network, windows, waiting for IP address refresh etc. Be patient and do not dismiss changes too quickly. Reboots of router and extender, power cycling often helps too. Each 'idea' takes time to check out thoroughly 😞

Windows 7 on laptop
Extender Netgear WN2500RP
Router Netgear WNDR4500 Dual band

My initial symptoms....
'unidentified network' shown in windows network centre with no internet access when connecting laptop via extender. There were no connectivity problems when connecting directly via wireless or via ethernet to the router.

Later I managed to get Windows to recognise the wireless extender network as 'Home' but it was still with limited access message and no internet connection.:mad:

The root cause

The Access control set up on my router and my lack of knowledge about virtual MAC addresses 😉 With Access control disabled on the router everything worked as it should.

I had the correct MAC addresses for the extender set up in the router. There two sets of them that initially surprised me. One set stated on the back of the extender and a virtual set which looks almost the same but the first two characters are changed. Adding all of these didn't help fix the problem because there was more to do............

Thanks to Jeff telling me that when devices are connected via the extender they get assigned a virtual MAC address and this looks almost the same as the actual MAC address but has the first few characters are changed :eek:

When I checked in the attached devices list (ACL off) there was my Laptop and it was also there in the AC list. ..........But I missed that the MAC address wasn't quite the same as for a direct wireless connection to the router :eek: :o:

The fix

So, to get my Laptop to connect with router access control on I needed to add the second 'virtual' MAC address. Adding this second virtual MAC address then allowed my laptop to connect, via the extender, to the router with its access control now on :rolleyes:

Maybe useful to know, maybe not

The Netgear router wireless MAC addresses were not easy to find but again thanks Netgear support (Amjad) I foun them under the repeater settings page for the router. They do not seem to be needed even if ACL is enabled on the extender; I added them anyway :confused:
Message 2 of 5

Re: MAC addresses wrong, inconsistent !!

You rock!

I was ready to return my extender also, after hours of troubleshooting.

Your solution solved my problem.

Thank you!
Message 3 of 5

Re: MAC addresses wrong, inconsistent !!

This thread has had 2,500 views over 1 year and you are the first to thank me. So,,, thanks for the thanks 🙂 Glad it helped. The fix works for anything connected via the extender, not just a laptop.

!! FYI !!
Even a direct wired connection from a device to the extender gets assigned a virtual MAC. The wired connection also causes an additional MAC address to appear in the MAC lists (eg 02:01:03:05:07 with no name). This also needs adding to the access control list of the router.
Message 4 of 5

Re: MAC addresses wrong, inconsistent !!

Thank you so much my dear friend
long live good soul:):):):):):):):):):)
Message 5 of 5
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