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Sky Q System not playing nicely. Multiple MACs and Devices.
I would like to share my experience with SkyQ and how it impacts upon Fing and Fingbox.
I recently had SkyQ installed – the main box and two mini-boxes (and a booster). I have BT Infinity Broadband. Initially, my infrastructure was an Apple Time Capsule serving as DHCP router and Wi-Fi access point. Three Apple Airport Extremes “extended” my Wi-Fi to the far reaches of my house and garden. Although only a bungalow, the internal walls are real Wi-Fi killers!
The Sky engineer couldn’t understand the complexity of my network and was unable to get SkyQ working in a stable manner after several hours of trying different things, but I agreed to continue to attempt to get it working myself. I had a planned transition from the Apple infrastructure to a TP-Link Deco P9 one, as these units have built-in Powerline functionality which assists where Wi-Fi backhaul is weak.
I now just about (I think) have the SkyQ working, but it causes noticeable havoc with my network and Fingbox. I shall attempt to describe this without going into too much detail about the SkyQ configuration I have reached. You may be aware that the SkyQ boxes generate their own 5GHz mesh on Ch36 at 80MHz. This does not play nicely with other access points. It is possible to change the channel to Ch44 or reduce the bandwidth to 40MHz, but such actions are not recommended by Sky and seem to cause even more trouble.
Now to the real problem… The 4 SkyQ devices in my system (main box, 2 x minis and booster) generate no less than an incredible 20 MAC addresses. Yes, you read that right. 20. 5 per device. But that’s not all… the worse part is that SkyQ somehow assigns different (fictional) MAC addresses to other, normal network devices. So, when I look in my Fing Device List, there are 3 different Fingboxes shown, each with a different MAC address. Two will be greyed out, but if removed they will re-appear shortly. Of course, I only have one Fingbox on my network, and it has only one MAC address. I regularly get “a new device has joined your network” notifications from Fingbox. When I look, it’s a device that was present before but has suddenly been provided with another MAC address by SkyQ, so Fingbox thinks it’s a new device and it now appears twice in the device list; once for the correct MAC and one for the false one.
I don’t know how SkyQ is doing this, but if I disconnect it all returns to normal. Anyone else had so much fun?