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I am currently developing ONVIF software, and one of my test cameras has presented me with a rather odd network interface.

The camera in question is an AXIS M3045-WV. It's a fairly low-cost (for AXIS) indoor camera that features both wired Ethernet and WiFi network connectivity.

What's odd, is that these two different connections don't seem to be accomplished by two different interfaces, which is the case for every other hybrid device I've used.

Instead, the same MAC address is used for both, and only one will be connected at a time.

AXIS makes it a bit difficult to get into the guts of things, but from my router, I only ever see the one MAC address. If I physically connect the Ethernet cable, then the DHCP says that it's assigning the IP to a certain MAC address.

However, if I unplug the Ethernet cable, and restart the camera, the DHCP server says that it is assigning the same IP to the same MAC address, and it obviously works, as my driver connects. If I then run a GetNetworkInterfaces command, the response is a single interface, labeled "eth0" (the standard for Ethernet).

I've never seen this behavior before. Is there any literature that discusses it? I must confess that I'm a bit disappointed, as I got the camera to test for DUAL interfaces, and it is acting as if there is only one.

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Possibly the PHYs are internally bridged, and only present the one MAC externally. Nothing forbids that, this is a counter example to any assumptions you may have made about WiFi being a different MAC address.

Think about the user's experience. One MAC address goes in inventory, and the camera is deployed via WiFi. When the wireless inevitably performs poorly, plug in an Ethernet cable. It comes back as the same MAC and works, no DHCP or MAC filtering changes.

  • That makes sense. AXIS uses the MAC address as the unit serial number. – Chris Marshall Jul 7 at 17:47
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    I'm not claiming it was accident or design, how the chips were wired together or ease of inventory. IEEE 802 networks are interoperable enough where this is possible. – John Mahowald Jul 8 at 1:20

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