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Jun 28 2012

Why is GainSpan on my Wi-Fi Network?

Every now and then I login to my router at home to do some minor network management tasks and check out what is connected out of curiosity. The last few times I have noticed something called “GainSpand14d95” in the list.

Obviously, this begs the question, what is it?

I could rule out all of the major devices such as PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets as they all identify themselves with familiar hostnames. The Wi-Fi printer has a weird name starting with HP so that wasn’t it either.

What it ended up being was the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi scales that I bought a while ago. The Wi-Fi module inside the scale is provided by GainSpan but the device itself provides no way to change the hostname of the device (nor can you change it using the installer that you can run on a suitable computer). Not a huge security concern as I now know what the device is on the network but understandably could freak some people out if they happen to glance at the list of devices connected to the network.

Fitbit might consider changing the default name to something mentioning “Fitbit” or “Aria” to save people from unnecessary concern.

Update: 09/07/2015:

It seems that GainSpan provide Wi-Fi modules that go inside a myriad of other devices (not just the Fitbit Aria) so you might want to take that into consideration when you are tracking down devices on your Wi-Fi network. Thanks to Sean for that tidbit 🙂

35 comments

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  1. Carsten

    Thanks for this post – help me avoid tracking stuff down for hours and hours! ;]

    I totally agree, would be good if they could change that. I was going to block the durn thing.

    1. Boyd Chan

      Very glad that this saved you some time solving a mystery! 🙂

  2. TechNazgul

    Ditto from me. Had no idea what this was and was not looking forward to tracking it down!

    1. Boyd Chan

      My pleasure!

  3. CoinCrunch

    Same here. I was doing a spot check of my dhcp leases and came across this. Thanks so much for posting this info.

  4. Matt

    I just filed a firmware update suggestion to Fitbit. I suggest others do the same so that the GainSpan reference is changed for a FitBit one!

  5. Anne

    Same here. I was searching the device since weeks.

    Thank for the « unsolved mysteries special Fitbit episode »!

    1. Boyd Chan

      No worries at all 😉

  6. Dale

    Seriously was about to start a massive device hunt.

  7. Dustin Sherrill

    Thanks for your research. I found myself just today wondering what machine that was. Saved me time.

  8. Christopher Brown

    Ah, thank you internet. I had run into the same situation, glad we’re all here to share information 🙂

    1. Boyd Chan

      Glad you managed to find your answer!

  9. Aaron Blair

    Thanks a lot mate! I saw this show up in my client list… but had no idea what it was. It pushed a whopping 4kb of data in the past week, so it wasn’t a huge concern, but was still curious to know what it was and how it got my key!

    Aaron

  10. someone

    After a 45 minute device/mac address hunt on my network, it dawned on me “s**t, is this my fitbit scale?”. Thanks for confirming this 🙂

  11. JImS

    Thanks for the help. Stopped a panic attack.

  12. Andy

    Thank you from me also – I thinking about filtering it via MAC address but you post meant I knew what it was 🙂

    1. Boyd Chan

      No worries!

      FYI – while MAC filtering will stop casual “hackers” from joining your network (if they manage to guess the password) it won’t do anything to stop the more cluey ones as they will just scan your network traffic for a valid MAC address (which is unencrypted over any Wi-Fi) and then use that one to join the network.

  13. Thendore

    Same here. This was super helpful, you saved me a lot of time.

  14. John K

    For me it was a wireless thermostat from Lennox.

  15. Paul S

    I was racking my brain trying to figure out what that could be!! I was even beginning to get suspicious of neighbors’ kid turning hacker-wi-fi-crackers. Then I read your post here and remembered, “WE HAVE A FITBIT ARIA!!!”

    Funny how I take for granted that thing uses wi-fi for my convenience.

    Thanks for your help, Boyd! Have a great day. 🙂

  16. Sean M

    GainSpan produces small wifi chips aimed at IoE devices. Fitbit Aria is just one “user” of these GainSpan chips. Another company that uses them is Lennox in their iComfort thermostats.

    1. Boyd Chan

      That’s actually a good point, Sean – thanks for sharing!

      I’ll update the post to reflect what you’ve mentioned.

  17. Beri S

    Keeping this post alive and relevant. I too was about to do some massive detective work. Ran a quick google search and found this post. Such a time saver! Thank you for posting!

  18. A Shah

    I just saw a GainSpanxxxxxx (last six characters of MAC address) client on my router, lookup yielded a Delta Electronics registration and some info on GainSpan producing low-power wireless chips for IoT devices. Wondered if it was my Aria and stumbled across this; thanks! Fitbit should really label this.

  19. J Martin

    This was driving me nuts after I had upgraded to a new router that shows a map of everything on my network and this popped up. I’d been searching for what this was for a couple of months. Thanks for this posting since I now know it’s my FitBit Aria wifi scale. Yep FitBit should definitely change it’s listed name for routers so it won’t drive people nuts trying to figure it out

  20. Rick L

    Thanks for keeping the thread going. I too just found GainSpanxxxxxx on my network and was about to start tracking it down.

  21. Hayden

    Thankfully this post is a first page result on a search for Gainspan. You have saved me a lot of time, so well done and thank you.

  22. Rodney

    is there a list of default usernames and passwords for the Gainspan product line?

    1. Boyd Chan

      Not aware of default credentials for Gainspan products, sorry.

  23. Edward

    I also found this on my network. It turned out to be my Lennox Smart Thermostat.

  24. Eric

    Searched GainSpan, thankfully ended up here to find my answer. Saw GainSpan using a couple of different software, Who Is On My WiFi and Wireless Network Watcher , the latter actually showed extra text regarding the GainSpan. Found out it was in my repeater.

  25. Christopher

    Same here. Thanks for saving me the time to disable the device only to then have to re-enable it once I figured out my fitbit scale wasn’t working!

  26. Derrick

    When Gain Span popped up on my network I was about to go high to the right and then found your post–definitely saved me some sleuthing and aggravation.

  27. Dod

    Thanks for this! Aria guilty here, too!

  28. Pat

    Many thanks for the info. I was about to visit my neighbors with a baseball bat .

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