Something really weird started happening recently: the WiFi on my Technicolor XB6 is getting enabled spontaneously. I have my own mesh network, so I have WiFi on the XB6 disabled. What’s even worse is that my XB6 is also currently in bridge mode! When I log into the XB6, the status screen confirms that bridge mode is enabled and WiFi is disabled, so this DEFINITELY should not be happening. However, my WiFi scanner shows my XB6 with 8 BSSIDs active: my configured/disabled SSID at 5 GHz, 2 hidden 2.4 GHz SSIDs, and 5 other hidden 5 GHz SSIDs.
It might be a coincidence but this started happening right after Rogers launched the Ignite WiFi Hub feature.
I called tech support and they were totally stumped. (Their tools also showed that WiFi was disabled and that my XB6 was in bridge mode.) I power-cycled the XB6 and that did not clear the problem. I disabled bridge mode, then disabled 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi; that worked. I enabled bridge mode again. I then power-cycled the XB6 once more and confirmed that everything was back to normal.
(Normal being that my configured RogersXXXXX SSID was disabled and the UI showed that WiFi on the XB6 was disabled, but there were still 2 hidden 2.4 GHz SSIDs and 2 hidden 5 GHz SSIDs active. Apparently 2 (WPA2 Personal) SSIDs are so that an Xi6 can connect automatically without any configuration; I presume the 2 other (WPA/WPA2 Enterprise) SSIDs are for Rogers field techs. This is not a bridge mode quirk; the same thing happens even with bridge mode disabled.)
Everything was fine for almost one week. Then today, WiFi on the XB6 got enabled again, just as before. That’s why I’m posting here.
I’m going to escalate this with tech support. However, I’m wondering if this is happening to anybody else who has WiFi disabled on their XB6; those with eero’s and particularly those who have their XB6 in bridge mode.
Things are getting even weirder. I currently have bridge mode disabled and WiFi disabled on my XB6... BUT... WiFi is definitely still active.
I tried logging into https://ignitewifi.rogers.com -- it confirmed that WiFi is active (!) even though the XB6 itself says otherwise.
FYI, tech support has dispatched a technician to swap out the XB6. However, I doubt that this will make any difference.
Is there any way to COMPLETELY disable WiFi on the XB6 and COMPLETELY disable the new Ignite WiFi Hub service?
This is certainly a strange occurrence! I'm hoping that when the technician arrives, an exchange of the modem resolves the issue, as I don't believe this to be a firmware related concern at this time. In regards to completely disabling, bridge mode should accomplish that though hidden SSID's may still be visible.
Given that I haven't come across this personally with an XB6, perhaps others in the community could weigh in and provide their insight.
@RogersAndyThanks for the reply. If there is anything else that you can do to look into this further, I would really appreciate it.
For anyone else who wants to try to validate my findings... I installed Apple's "AirPort Utility" on my iPhone and enabled the "Wi-Fi Scanner" option in settings. With Wi-Fi enabled on the XB6, I can see the SSIDs that I have configured in the XB6's settings. (Note the MAC addresses of those BSSIDs.) I also see a bunch of other BSSIDs (with hidden network names) with neighbouring/contiguous MAC addresses on the same channels. These should all appear together because, by default, the AirPort scanner sorts by signal strength.
From day-1, when I disabled Wi-Fi on the XB6, it only disabled my visible SSIDs; those other hidden SSIDs remained active, and initially this caused some interference with my own mesh network because the mesh and XB6 both ended up selecting the same "optimum" channels automatically. I REALLY wished (and still wish) that I could COMPLETELY disable Wi-Fi on the XB6 but I was told that this was not possible. The best that I could do was work around the problem.
At the recommendation of a Rogers support consultant, I tried putting the XB6 into bridge mode. Even that did not completely disable WiFi. (I've left it in that configuration for the last 2 months because the network actually worked better using my own router than with the XB6 in gateway mode.)
Everything has been in a (mostly) happy state until I received the "A Whole New Way to WiFi" email on July 9th. On July 11, I noticed that WiFi suddenly got enabled on the XB6. A reset and manually disabling WiFi fixed things for a while until it got enabled yet again today.
If the Ignite WiFi Hub back-end was responsible for enabling and overriding the modem settings, I hoped that the portal would give me an "off switch". Unfortunately, it could only confirm that WiFi was active, contradicting what the XB6 admin UI was telling me.
After all of today's testing and troubleshooting, I just tried enabling bridge mode again. I still have 9 active BSSIDs. When I log into the XB6, the UI shows that Bridge Mode is enabled and WiFi is disabled. Not good.
I just factory-reset the XB6 and reconfigured it. XB6 is in bridge mode and WiFi is disabled to the extent that it can be, so things are back to "normal" again. Hopefully they will stay that way.
Update: I had 18+ hours of "normal" behaviour. I rebooted the XB6 to see what would happen... and it came up in the same weird state as reported in the initial post. The admin login shows the XB6 in bridge mode with wireless disabled.
@RogersAndyI don't think that this is a hardware problem.
@-G- it doesn't take too much looking around to see the same complaint on other systems. This was reported in the Shaw forum and in a Reddit post from a Comcast Xfinity Xfi user.
Shaws online tech response, finally, after several thread posts, was that the wifi networks were running to support their wifi based tv service. There was no choice offered in disabling the networks.
The Reddit post pointed to the fact that the same problem arose after the users logged into the online Xfi modem control, similar to the recently introduced Rogers Ignite Hub service.
It would appear that Comcast doesn't offer its users any choice on the wifi network operation, they run regardless of the modem state, Gateway or Bridged.
So, it would appear that this is the result of changes to backend processes and settings. Since you've already run a factory reset, and the issue has reappeared, that basically confirms that this is out of the users ability to control. The question is, can Rogers do anything about this within its control ability, or is this due to the modem talking with Comcast and Comcast simply following its own decisions. That's the consequence of adopting a system from another company.
I wonder if its possible for a customer service rep to change the user account settings so that it appears that the user has never logged into the Ignite Hub Control system? Maybe that would prevent the backend system from enabling the modem's wifi networks?
Unfortunately, this should be elevated to the Ignite Product Manager, whom ever that happens to be. He or she has never made an appearance in the forum so, that puts users in a position of not knowing if any of their comments and concerns are ever finding their way to that individual. At this point its up to the forum staff to contact the Product Manager to start the ball rolling.
A Rogers field tech came in today and confirmed the weird behaviour that I was seeing. So, he swapped my Technicolor XB6 with an Arris XB6. I wasn’t terribly pleased about this but he only had Arris gateways in his truck. However, after we installed it, WiFi remained (mostly) disabled so I went with it.
Well, the problem didn’t get fixed. Two hours after the tech left, WiFi got fully re-enabled on the Arris XB6, as before, presumably by the Ignite WiFi Hub back-end. Also, as before, when I log in as admin, the XB6 still shows that WiFi is disabled. Not good.
@Datalink Yeah, I knew that the XB6 could have various WiFi services enabled. (Preconfigured so that Xi6’s can work out-of-the box, Wi-Fi hotspots for mobile customers & field techs, etc.) It’s technically possible to disable all of these features. You can ask. Some service providers will oblige, others will not. However, Rogers REALLY crossed a line with how they rolled out the Ignite WiFi Hub.
As for what the Rogers Support consultants can do, the answer is, not much. Their tools are apparently pretty limited; they certainly can’t provision the XB6 to the extent that they could a CGN3. The other big problem is their technical depth. Some agents are very knowledgeable; most others, not so much.
As for how to deal with this mess, one thought was to configure an appropriate message in the SSID so that it’s visible to the world if Rogers force-enables WiFi. However, I’m better off just surrounding the XB6 with a Faraday cage.
My fear now is where Rogers will take Ignite TV (and related offerings) next.
At the moment, I am NOT happy.
@-G- I don't blame you for being particularly unhappy at the moment. I know that I won't be terribly impressed when this starts to show up in my neighbourhood. This is nothing more than wifi pollution which will make everyone's wifi life just a little more difficult. If the plan is to eventually replace all of the nextbox's with the ignite TV service, every Rogers cable TV customer and their neighbourhood will be affected.
Fwiw, this might not be entirely Rogers's fault. From what I remember, these boxes communicate with Comcast, maybe as part of the licence, and it's possible that Comcast is enabling those wifi networks, leaving Rogers and their customers with no say in the matter. In any event, this should have been tested and figured out long before the Hub Service was enabled. Where's the Product Manager on this one????
Good news! It looks like Rogers made some changes last night and things are now (mostly) back to where they were before.
However, I still think that there is additional work that needs to be done:
- End users need an option/setting in the admin UI to completely disable the radios on the XB6.
- Some users may require that Wi-Fi be enabled on the XB6 but should still have the option/setting to disable the active hidden SSID's and their corresponding services.