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uzzo
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Refers to archived topic: Mystery hidden SSID

[Apologies if I have contravened any conventions; this is my first post here.  Also, please be gentle if the answer to my question is blindingly obvious to you.]

The conclusion of the archived topic suggested the mystery SSID emanated from a Chromecast device.  It cannot be that simple however as I have the same problem, with a Media Hub 3.0 and despite having no tv broadcast devices in the house.  My mystery SSID is called Virgin Media.  It is transmitting within 1-3db of the power level of the SSID I configured, and tracks it as the power level varies with time.  It has a MAC address of the form **:**:**:**:**:**, where aa-ee are identical to the MAC address of the SSID I configured, which begins 40:aa... The MAC address 40:aa:bb can be looked up, the device manufacturer being Arris, who presumably make the Media Hub.  The manufacturer of the MAC address 52:aa:bb apparently does not exist.  The mystery SSID uses EAP, my configured SSID just uses WPA2.

I only noticed this mystery SSID recently, after acquiring WiFi Analyser as part of an attempt to debug my daughter's poor connectivity in her bedroom.  I contacted the Virgin help line, who guided me through a factory reset of the Media Hub.  That eradicated the mystery SSID, but, a few days later, it is now back.

I noticed last night that a neighbour's SSID is also being tracked by a second Virgin Media SSID, so I suspect this is common behaviour.  

What is going on, and should I be concerned?  Particularly, is this stealing my bandwidth, or is it likely to be interfering with my network connectivity?

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uzzo
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Re: Refers to archived topic: Mystery hidden SSID

Apologies: the MAC address appears to have been automatically redacted in my 1st post.  It should have read removed .

 

 [MOD EDIT: Personal and private information has been removed from this post. Please do not post personal or private information in your public posts. Please review the Forum Guidelines]

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Superuser
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Re: Refers to archived topic: Mystery hidden SSID

It is the VM hotspot, allowing you to connect to other VM hotspots when out and about and other VM users to connect to your hotspot. Basically, a bit like BT's FON system.

The hotspot uses it's own seperate Network and dedicated bandwidth and uses WPA2 Enterprise security.

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uzzo
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Re: Refers to archived topic: Mystery hidden SSID

Thanks for the quick reply.

It might have 'its own network', but it is sitting right on top of the same channel I am using, and has tracked a recent channel change.  Does this not cause interference with my network, for which I am paying a not inconsiderable amount?

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Dave_cq
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Re: Refers to archived topic: Mystery hidden SSID

Hi uzzo,

If you are concerned about this you can choose to opt out of the Virgin Media hotspot system.  Sign into My VirginMedia and look at My Profile and you should find the opt-out option.  It will take several days before you see any change because VM have to arrange to transmit to you a different configuration file for the hub.

 

 

********* SuperHub 2ac - Asus rt-ac68u Router - Vivid 100Mbps **********

Electron
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uzzo
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Re: Refers to archived topic: Mystery hidden SSID

Thanks, this is great service!

I'll take a look (though I find the prospect of 'a different configuration file' a little unnerving).

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Superuser
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Message 7 of 11
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Re: Refers to archived topic: Mystery hidden SSID


uzzo wrote:

Thanks for the quick reply.

It might have 'its own network', but it is sitting right on top of the same channel I am using, and has tracked a recent channel change.  Does this not cause interference with my network, for which I am paying a not inconsiderable amount?


It uses the same wireless radio, so the channels will be the same. Wireless networks do not interfer with each other on the same channel as co-channel co-existence software will back off transmission if it senses another network broadcasting on the same channel.

It will compete for airtime with the devices on the main network, a bit like having an extra client on the same network which shouldn't cause a noticable slowdown.

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Dave_cq
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Re: Refers to archived topic: Mystery hidden SSID


uzzo wrote:

Thanks, this is great service!

I'll take a look (though I find the prospect of 'a different configuration file' a little unnerving).


It all happens quite automatically, you don't have to do anything.  The hub will simply reboot itself with the new config when VM send it down the cable.

 

 

********* SuperHub 2ac - Asus rt-ac68u Router - Vivid 100Mbps **********

Electron
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Superuser
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Message 9 of 11
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Re: Refers to archived topic: Mystery hidden SSID

It's probably not a good idea to post your MAC address online so I'm going to ask the @ModTeam remove those posts.

MAC's are automatically redacted as they are unique to your network and as such are regarded as personally identifiable information.

Now that they's out of the way I'm going to answer your last questions simply at first, and then clarify my answers by explaining what is going on.

should I be concerned? No

is this stealing my bandwidth? No

is it likely to be interfering with my network connectivity? Minimally to none

Now lets deal with the important question

What's going on?

I'm going to start by saying, you really should read some of the post that Virgin Media sends your way, they're not all advertising, some do tell you about important changes you should be aware of/

In order to compete with BT in the public Wifi hotspot market, Virgin has taken a leaf out of their book and configured the Hub 3 routers to broadcast as public wifi hotspots.

The hotspot network is isolated from your home network  It runs on a completely different subnet utilising the 10.x.x.x private IP range.  Unlike BT's it is also a secure network, with users logging in using iOS and Android apps and their Virgin Media usernames and passwords.

The Hotspots are broadcast from the Hub 3's with the SSID - Virgin Media. Which if phone support had done their homework - and they never do - they would have been able to advise you of this rather than stupidly asking you to reboot your hub.

Customers were notified of this.

Virgin Media did notify their customers that they were turning on this functionality via letter.  Note it's also possible to turn this off ny logging in to my.virginmedia.com with your MAIN email address and password, and then going to the my profile section.

I personally am leaving mine enabled as a like the idea of being able to use the Virgin Media wifi hotspots when I'm out and about, so I also think it's fair that I should share the love.

It doesn't use "Your" bandwidth.

While I don't have the actual figures used for the hotspot bandwidth I'm going to use some made up figures to demonstrate my point.

The wifi is configured to use a separate service flow to your main DOCSIS bandwidth.  You keep your 200Mb/s  (or whatever you are running) and the hub will have additional bandwidth added. e.g.

Total bandwidth is increased to 220 Mb/s

Using QOS (remember just because they don't let you configure it, doesn't mean the functionality is not there for them to use)

200 MB/s reserved for the home network - (including your guest networks if you use them)
20Mb/s reserved for devices connecting via wifi hotspot.

Effect on your home network.

The effects on the home network itself are likely to be minimal.

1. The range of the hostpots is fairly limited.
2. Because the networks are on the same channel, devices on the two networks are able to co-operate in order to make most effective use of the wifi bandwidth, using mechanisms that are built in to the WiFi standard.
3. As previously stated the network is completely isolated from your home network.  Users on the 10.x.x.x subnet cannot interact with the Hub 3, 192.168.0.x subnet.  In the same way that if you had your own guest network running, users connecting to your guest network cannot see your home network devices either.

Hope this helps.

Tim

PS - Be aware that if you do turn off the hotspot functionality, it can take a few days to action due to the long lease times on the hubs DHCP connections to the Virgin system.

________________________________________


Only use Helpful answer if your problems been solved.

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Message 10 of 11
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Re: Refers to archived topic: Mystery hidden SSID

Is **:**:**:**:**:** a real MAC address?

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