Anyone else have a TP-Link Archer C5 (AC1200) router that
permanently loses it's connection the moment you unplug
either it or the cable modem (for example, to move it)
or whenever the Internet goes down and comes back up.
Basically, if you interrupt power to the router, it can't
re-establish a connection with the Comcast cable modem.
When I call customer support for Comcast, they tell me
the Internet is working fine (and plugging the computer
into the modem confirms this). Comcast doesn't care what
mac address is downstream of it, so, there should be
absolutely no need for any mac cloning whatsoever.
When I call customer support for the router, they had me
connect the computer to the router and then press the
mac clone button.
On then, after cloning something, does the router work again.
I'm confused what is going on.
TP-Link support barely speaks English so I'm just asking if
you have the same problem and if you can explain what is
really going on.
On Tue, 26 Jan 2016 01:23:40 +0100, Melzzzzz wrote:
I don't think it's comcast because it happens even if I just unplug
the router and modem and then connect them back up.
I can connect to the modem from the laptop and it works so,
comcast is working.
There is something odd in the TP Link router that *requires*
a manual mac cloning just to get it to work.
If someone else experienced this, please explain why this
On Tue, 26 Jan 2016 01:48:27 +0100, Melzzzzz wrote:
Why would the router even *need* mac cloning?
I thought Mac cloning was only for ISPs who REQUIRE a certain static
MAC address. Comcast support told me they don't care what MAC address
is downstream of them, so, it's something having only to do with the
TP-Link "AC" router, I think.
My Netgear wndr3400 "N" router never needed mac cloning to work.
My Linkssys WRT54G "G" router never needed mac cloning to work.
Why would only the TP-Link "AC" router *require* mac cloning in
order to work?
This is my first AC router.
Is mac cloning a "requirement" of the "AC" specification?
If so, they should have said so on the box and I wouldn't have bought
the darn thing. Having to clone a mac just to get a router to work
makes no sense to me.
Does it make sense to you?
PS: What am I cloning anyway? Why?
On Tue, 26 Jan 2016 01:58:50 +0100, Melzzzzz wrote:
I am still confused. Sorry. I just don't get *why* any cloning is needed.
Here is the screenshot of the router setup that is currently working:
I don't want to touch anything.
I just want to understand why/which/what mac address cloning is
necessary to get it working once the power goes down.
The now-cloned MAC address of C4:E9:84:3D:9E:8C is a TP-Link OIC.
It's not the mac address of the Costco Arris/Motorola modem.
So, what I don't get is *who* needs the mac address cloned?
On Tue, 26 Jan 2016 01:48:06 +0000, Ken Cito wrote:
Is *this* the reason that this crazy cloning is needed?
"Some cable companies, for some reason, also authenticate the network card
in your computer. First it will authenticate the Cable Modem, and then when
your computer attempts to get online, they'll check and make sure that you're
still using the same computer/network card/etc that you've always used.
If you've changed your network card or installed a router, they will deny
you access to the Internet. This is why most cable routers have a "MAC Address
Clone" (Use Computer MAC address) feature. If you tell your router to clone
your network card's MAC Address, it makes your cable provider think that you're
still using the same computer/network card to access their services, and
therefore they allow your router on the network."
This description above implies that Comcast is requiring both the MAC of the
DOCSIS3 Costco Arris/Motorola plus the MAC of the laptop computer, which, is
cloned onto the TP-Link router.
Why on earth would Comcast want *two* MAC addresses?
Since they're so easily spoofed, why does Comcast care?
Why does Comcast need anything more than the Costco modem's MAC address?
On Mon, 25 Jan 2016 17:47:27 -0700, Tony Hwang wrote:
Is that the reason?
Mac cloning is *required* for TP-Link routers?
If so, they should say it on the box, 'cuz I wouldn't have bought it.
My Netgear WNDR3400 router and my linksys WRT54G router *never* needed
Why does only TP-Link *require* mac cloning to work?
I don't understand why it would need that just to work properly?
On Mon, 25 Jan 2016 17:53:05 -0700, Tony Hwang wrote:
Router is brand new and up to date.
It's not actually "my" setup.
It's my kid's setup at college.
But I never in my life had to clone a mac address just to
get my Internet to work.
I still don't get why either the modem or the router cares
what mac address it is talking to.
There's nothing special about the mac address.
It's just a bunch of hexadecimal characters.
On Tue, 26 Jan 2016 01:23:40 +0100, Melzzzzz wrote:
I'm slowly coming to the realization that Comcast is the guilty party here.
Looking at this web page, it seems that Comcast might be requiring *two*
different MAC addresses.
That page says:
"If you want to insert a NAT router between your PC and the cable modem,
you might want to avoid changing the client MAC address that the cable
modem connects to, for either of these reasons:
1. to avoid having to register a new client MAC address with your ISP
(if your ISP is one which requires registration of the MAC address
of the connected device);
2. to avoid problems with the ISP's DHCP system not immediately issuing
a new IP lease when the client MAC address changes.
Many NAT routers intended for the domestic market have the ability to clone
the PC's MAC address into the MAC address of the WAN port.
For best effect, you should do the cloning before you first connect the
router to the cable modem. To discover how to clone, please consult the
documentation for your router.
If the router had already been connected to a cable modem, then after
cloning a new MAC address into the WAN port, you must perform the
procedures of Swapping computers on the cable modem.
With the cloned MAC address in the router's WAN port, then as far as
the cable modem is concerned, it is talking to the original PC.
So, it seems that Comcast is the guilty culprit, because Comcast is
*requiring* (it seems) two exact MAC addresses:
a. One (real) MAC for the DOCSIS3 modem, and,
b. Another (bogus) MAC for the "computer" that connects to the modem.
(Where this "computer" is the router itself.)
Is that correct yet?
I don't have comcast, I live in another country. But I'll try to make
educated guesses. :-)
There are several reasons to have to clone MAC addresses. One quite old
reason was that the ISP wanted us to connect a single computer. They
would provide a modem of some kind with a single ethernet socket for a
single computer. They would identify this computer by its MAC address,
and refuse to provide service if it changed. Stupid, IMHO.
But people inserted a router in there, to allow more computers, using
NAT. This router had to make the ISP think that it still was connected
to the same single computer, thus we would clone the MAC address of the
computer into the router outside facing port. And of course, the router
has to remember this (save settings), or on power reset it would not work.
I think that is your situation.
It is possible that it would accept the new (unchanged) MAC address of
the router after sometime, without doing anything. As I said, I don't
know comcast. Try rebooting both modem and router, later connect the
Another situation is that the ISP may identify the MAC address on the
external port of the modem or router connected to the cable, typically
provided by them. If you buy a different router, it will not work unless
you clone that external MAC address. This happens with one provider in
my country, I understand.
On Tue, 26 Jan 2016 04:39:26 +0100, Carlos E.R. wrote:
Thank you for that explanation.
It had never occurred to me that the ISP (in this case, Comcast), was
requiring, for authentication, *two* MAC addresses!
Apparently the second MAC address is that of the router because I
looked up the OIC which shows it to be a TP-Link MAC address:
So, the cable company is *indiscriminate* in that they'll take *any*
Mac address, probably set up at the time we started the service.
Sheesh. Why didn't they just tell me this?
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