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How does the TetherBox find devices on my network?
How does the TetherBox find devices on my network?

TetherBox's automatic device discovery and monitoring

Roman Gaufman avatar
Written by Roman Gaufman
Updated over a week ago


The TetherBox utilises advanced device detection capabilities, which are integral to the functionality of TetherX. This allows for seamless detection, configuration, and monitoring of devices across networks.

The TetherBox is equipped with the ability to automatically detect changes in IP addresses, service enablement/disablement, and device health status.

Methods Utilised for Device Discovery

TetherX employs a combination of standard scanning methods and proprietary techniques to identify devices on a network. These methods include:

  • Pinging IP addresses using ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol).

  • Examining the ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) tables of nearby switches and devices including one hop away.

  • Utilising broadcast discovery methods such as WD Discovery.

  • Sending API requests on specific ports, such as 80, 443, 8080, and 553.

  • Sending SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) requests to devices.

  • Conducting traditional port scanning on specific ports of interest.

These methods are intelligently scheduled to achieve a balance between providing prompt results for logged-in users, performing background operations, and minimizing network load.

Does the TetherBox monitor changes in IP addresses of network devices such as cameras?

Network devices, such as cameras, often encounter situations where their IP address may change for various reasons. These reasons can include:

  1. The expiration of a DHCP lease (assuming a static IP is not used)

  2. The reboot or reconfiguration of a DHCP server

  3. Manual changes made by a user, whether intentional or accidental

  4. Power outages that lead to device IP resets

  5. Other unforeseen circumstances

The TetherBox is equipped with a feature that allows it to automatically detect and handle changes in IP address assignments. It does so by identifying the MAC address of each device connected to the network. This functionality has been widely adopted and has demonstrated its effectiveness in preventing data loss in many scenarios.

It's important to note that some network equipment may conceal the actual MAC address of a device, in which case the TetherBox's automatic IP address change detection will not be able to function.

Scanned Network Ranges

The TetherBox scans a range of network ranges automatically. If it detects a device within any of these ranges, it will automatically attempt to identify an unused IP address and join that network.

Here is a table of the default ranges that are scanned:



Typical for Milesight and others

Typical for QVIS/Adata

Typical for Hikvision static IP 24

Typical for Older Hikvision / Dahua

Typical with wifi equipment

Typical with wifi equipment

Typical for Pelco,

Usually the default for many routers

The static range TetherX uses

Is it possible to scan other network ranges?

Yes, it is possible. If, for example, you have added a camera manually that is connected to a network range that the TetherBox is not currently scanning, the TetherBox will automatically scan that range going forward.

In addition, you can specify additional network ranges to scan by accessing the offline interface of your TetherBox and inputting the desired ranges.

How does the TetherBox join other VLANs? - Is there a limit to the number of VLANs the TetherBox can join?

The TetherBox uses various scanning methods, such as ARP scans and broadcast scans, to discover devices on multiple VLANs. It then selects an unused IP address at random. You can view all IP addresses associated with a TetherBox by navigating to the TetherBoxes page, selecting the TetherBox, and switching to the Network tab.

There is a small chance that the TetherBox may select an IP address that belongs to a device that is presently disconnected, but this should be a rare occurrence as recently disconnected devices should still be present in the ARP table of the switch.

In most cases, the TetherBox's automatic behavior should work without issue, but if you ever need assistance with this, please let us know. You can also choose to disable this functionality by editing a TetherBox and selecting the "Disable Automatic Network Scanning" option.

Note: There is no set limit to the number of VLANs that a TetherBox can join.

How to handle a router that masks the real MAC address of the camera?

To ensure that a router or wireless bridge does not conceal the true MAC addresses of the devices connected to it, various actions may be required depending on the device's manufacturer or model. These actions may include:

  • Disabling MAC address filtering or cloaking

  • Disabling (or in some instances enabling) bridge mode

  • Disabling virtual MAC address feature

  • Changing the operation mode from WET (Wireless Ethernet Bridge) to WDS (Wireless Distribution System) mode (if it applies)

It's important to check the device's documentation or consult the manufacturer's support for specific instructions.

The real MAC addresses are hidden on my network by design, what can I do?

The TetherBox is able to connect to the IP addresses of devices, such as cameras, but without visibility of the device's MAC address, it is not able to detect changes in the IP address or device, which can result in inaccurate health reporting. For example, the TetherBox may report that a camera has gone offline when in reality, the IP address of the camera may have simply changed.


It is important to note that for the TetherBox to detect and monitor a device, it must have visibility to the device's Hardware Address (MAC address).

If a network is configured to prevent this, or if the device is connected to the Internet, it may prevent automatic detection and limit the monitoring capabilities of the TetherBox.

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