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Orbi Showing Wireless Devices as Wired in Attached Devices List




I have found that on RBR50 deployments where there are two satellites connected via Ethernet Backhaul, that the Attached Devices List will incorrectly show which Orbi device a network client is connected to, and if it gets that wrong, will often show Wireless devices as Wired in the list.



I have two different physical locations (houses) with exactly the same router setup. Each site has an RBR50 acting as the primary Router and Orbi. Each site also has an RBR50S and an RBR40V (the Harmon Kardon Orbi Speaker). So, I have 3 Orbi devices at each physical site. The two sites are not connected at all. I am mentioning this because I am able to reproduce the behavior I am seeing at two different sites and installations completely.


The two satellites at each location are connected via Ethernet Backhaul and the connection status on each is Good. I am not using 5g Backhaul at all.


The behavior I am seeing is that some of the devices on each network, that are wireless only, such as Amazon Echo Dots, iPhones and other Android phones, are showing up as "Wired" in the Attached Devices List. This is, of course, impossible, since none of these devices even have Ethernet ports on them.


Not all of the Wireless devices show up incorrectly this way. In my observation, it depends on whether or not the device is listed as associated to the correct Orbi access point. Let me give a concrete example.


In site 1, I have an RBR50 in the basement, the RBR40V is on the first floor of the house connected to the RBR50 via Ethernet Backhaul. I have an Ethernet cable also running from the basement out to a detached garage (the distance is about 100 yards). The garage has an RBR50S connected via Ethernet Backhaul as well.


I have a generator with Wireless capability (2.4g only). The range on it is such that it SHOULD only be able to connect to the RBR50S in the garage. When I see the generator in the Attached Devices list associated to the RBR50S in the garage, it correctly shows up as connected via 2.4g. However, at other times I will see the generator listed as attached to the RBR50 and sometimes the RBR50S. When it shows up on the Attached Devices list associated to those other Orbi's, the generator shows up as Wired.


My hypothesis is that the algorithm for determining which Orbi access point "owns" a particular client device is broken. If the client is associated as attached to the same Orbi that it is using as a wireless access point, then it will properly show up as 2.4g or 5g (as appropriate). If however, the "wrong" Orbi picks it up as attached to it, it will show as Wired, because from the perspective of that Orbi device, it is NOT connected to it via Wireless (because it is connected to some other Orbi as Wireless).


This may be an issue with Ethernet Backhaul deployments. I have not tested this using 5g Backhaul to see if the issue persists. But I am able to reproduce it reliably with a random subset of wireless devices at each of the two physical deployments (houses) that I have.


Because one of my RBR50 devices is still under warranty for Technical Support, I did file a support case on Aug 30, 2020. Over the last several weeks I have provided screen shots and additional details to the technical support representative but as of yet no assistance has been provided (or ideas about root cause and resolution). I am presently waiting for a callback from their Technical Support engineers to discuss the issue further (but as they have called during times when I have not been available, I have been unable to speak to them as of yet).


If anyone else is seeing this behavior, please do weigh in on this thread and let me know what your specific details are. For example, if someone can reproduce this with 5g Backhaul or with only 2 access points (instead of 3, like in my setup) it would be useful to further narrow down what the root cause configuration might be.


I will continue to work with Technical Support, but I thought that posting the issue here to crowdsource some additional help would make sense.





Model: RBR50|Orbi AC3000 Tri-band WiFi Router
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