How FingBox/Fing App actually track/identify devices?

CPKokoskaCPKokoska Member, Beta Tester Posts: 8
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@VioletChepil
As mentioned in my other question, I've owned a FingBox since the IndieGoGo launch. After scanning through other posts, I'm still trying to figure out the following issues:

(1) It appears to me that Fing (the box as well as the App) actually track devices more by IP address than MAC address. I say this only because both always report devices to me based on what was associated with a specific IP when Fing first identified the new device INSTEAD OF by MAC address associated with the device. In other words, if Fing initially sees a device called "Jake's Phone" at ip 192.168.1.35 using MAC address XX:XX:XX:XX:a1:b7 but later sees "Sally's laptop" (a different device/MAC address) at the same IP address, Fing reports "Jake's Phone" as being alive and present instead of "Sally's Laptop". It also reports "Jake's Phone" at each new IP address it happens to obtain via DHCP.

I've mitigated this issue in the past by assigning static IP addressess to all but a few devices on my network, but I'm at a point where that has become problematic and I must revert to DHCP addressing. Ideally, Fing should report the device name associated with it's specific MAC address regardless of what IP it appears at. This would also resolve the problem identified in other discussions commenting about how Fing could support multiple addresses for a single device (ie; many devices today have both wired and WiFi connectivity, and if Fing would track and report based on MAC address instead of IP, it would be easy to support a single device with more than one MAC address (one for wired and one for Wireless).

(2) How can I confirm my FingBox has the latest firmware? I imagine it is entirely possible that the functionality I'm describing above already exists and either I am not seeing it because I'm not using the latest firmware OR I have to reconfigure my FingBox or take some other action manually which I've yet to do (I literally haven't changed much in my unit in over a year - it just works!).

Sorry to bother you with all this if it's already been addressed somewhere in the forum - I browsed for an hour or more and ran out of steam so figured it was appropriate to ask instead of continuing the search ;-) 

Answers

  • PoohPooh Member, Beta Tester Posts: 674
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    edited August 2019

    Going to answer question 2 first.



    Go to that page to find out how to check your current version and how to force an update. I'm on 1.14.5 which I believe is current.



    @VioletChepil I'm only seeing 1.14.0 listed on the release notes, am I missing something?



    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
  • PoohPooh Member, Beta Tester Posts: 674
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    So, now to the first - what happens if you perform a rescan? Does it pick up the new addresses for the devices?


    @Robin - is this something you can help with?

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
  • RobinRobin Administrator, Fing Team Posts: 3,796
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    admin
    Hi @CPKokoska and @Pooh
    For the scan, let me share some insight. The Fing App discovery will identify devices on a best effort basis, based on the information made available by the device, e.g. the MAC address. There are numerous reasons why the device might not be recognized correctly e.g.
    - The DHCP server is not refreshing when speaking to your Fingbox.
    - Limited information being offered by specific devices.
    Some information can be found in this article in relation to this: https://help.fing.com/knowledge-base/cant-fing-see-mac-addresses-ios-11/
    And for Fingbox users, even if you try to perform a rescan, it will not perform an on-demand scan. For Fingbox users, scheduled automatics scans are enabled by default within the time frame of 5-20 minutes, depending upon state change of devices. 
    Can you tell when you perform a rescan, do the devices show correct IP address or not? Also, what is state change auto time set on these devices? The usual default value is 20 minutes. Sometimes, when the device is not in use, it may go to sleep mode and then if the state change is set to the lowest value of 1 or 2 minutes, it can be recorded as offline or out of range. So, when it returns back from the sleep mode, it will be marked as 'Online' and thus providing you with an alert. If the state change alert value is set to more than 20 minutes, then until that time period is finished, that device will still be marked 'Online' and only after that time period it will be recorded as 'Offline', thus providing you with an alert. 

    Robin (Admin at Fing)
    Getting Started? Please refer to Community guidelines & Community User Guides("Helping Hand"). HAPPY POSTING!!!
    Pooh
  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    Thanks for flagging @Pooh yes up to date Fingbox firmware is 1.14.5. I've just re-updated the release notes here: https://help.fing.com/knowledge-base/fingbox-release-notes/

    Community Manager at Fing

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