How does fing determine wifi signal strength?

bdc99bdc99 Member Posts: 7
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edited August 2019 in Fingbox
I have my fingbox connected to an Apple Extreme wifi network. Apple reports a signal strength rating that is based on the RSSI, and (as far as I can tell) anything with a signal that is greater than -70 dBm is called Excellent. When I look at the same connections on the fing app, it rates them in percentages. My questions are these:
1. How does fing determine the percentage? Percentage of what?
2. I have connections that Apple rates "Excellent" and the same device connection on fing can be anywhere from 24% to 96%. How do these two measurements relate, if at all?
3. There are devices in my network that are hardwired, yet fing gives me a wifi signal strength rating that is never 100%. Even the fingbox itself, though it is hardwired, has a rating in the low 90s%. Are these meaningful?
Thank you.
[Edit: I was not sure, but maybe this should be posted in the fingbox category instead.]
Pooh

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  • MarcMarc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 2,201
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    @VioletChepil , this questions looks like something you may be best able to answer?
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    Thanks @Marc yes I'm preparing some answers here! Also @bdc99 I've moved this to the Fingbox category! 

    Community Manager at Fing

  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    Thanks for your question and I hope to clarify everything below! More details on the FB Digital Fence are available in this support article: https://help.fing.com/knowledge-base/digitalfence-feature/
    1. How does fing determine the percentage? Percentage of what?
    The strength you are seeing is based on proximity to the Fingbox in the Digital Fence (but I guess the above title in app could add a bit of confusion). These are based on the proximity of range within 15m to the Fingbox from the Digital Fence feature. 100% is very close and lower percentages are further away.  
    2. I have connections that Apple rates "Excellent" and the same device connection on fing can be anywhere from 24% to 96%. How do these two measurements relate, if at all? This is based on the range to the Fingbox from the Digital Fence. So those closest in physical proximity to Fingbox should have higher percentages. 
    3. There are devices in my network that are hardwired, yet fing gives me a wifi signal strength rating that is never 100%. Even the fingbox itself, though it is hardwired, has a rating in the low 90s%. Are these meaningful?
    These are Digital Fence strength values (rather than WiFi signal strength). Is Fingbox ever showing 100%? Our Fingbox for testing is showing 100% so we're trying to understand why yours may not be higher. The test Fingbox is next to the router. Is yours next to the router @bdc99

    More on wired devices: 
    The digital fence shows not only roaming Wi-Fi devices, but also neighbours wired devices that are transmitting to Wi-Fi devices.
    In other words: if your wired device (A) needs to talk to a wireless device (C) through wireless device (B), the Fingbox passive monitoring can see that interaction taking place as (A)->(C) in the wireless packet headers and enlist (A) as seen a device of the Digital Fence. 
    Fingbox monitors all channels, and if some special wireless activity (A)->(C) is observed, it can also know for sure that (A) is wireless. Until those special activities are observed, though, Fingbox cannot tell for sure whether (A) it’s wireless or not, and in order to provide a comprehensive list in the Digital Fence, it must show (A) in the list.
    This is why, on some network setups, a wired device appears in the list among wireless ones. It got us puzzled as well at the beginning, until we figured out the mechanism.
    There are more details on how this works in this thread: https://community.fing.com/discussion/167/wi-fi-signal-details-inside-device-properties-only-these-are-cat5-cabled-devices#latest
    @bdc99 I hope that clears things up for you, but if you need any more details, just let me know! 

    Community Manager at Fing

  • bdc99bdc99 Member Posts: 7
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    @VioletChepil Thanks for your reply. First to answer your question, my fingbox is located within a foot (30cm) of the router. At the time that I write this the fingbox signal strength is bouncing between 80-89% (and I have *never* changed the location of it or of the router). I have seen it as high as 96% but never 100%.
    I appreciate your explanation of the digital fence, it helps me out a bit. Just one thing seems a little inconsistent to me, so maybe I am misinterpreting it. When I use the fing App to look at the digital fence and look at the signal strength tab, adjusting the slider up to 100% says the device is farther away, and moving it towards zero says the device is closer. This seems opposite of what you indicated, so what am I missing?
    Thanks.
    -Brad



  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    Hey @bdc99 when you adjust the range you are specifying that those devices are very close to your Fingbox within the 15m. So this would be percentage based on that proximity. 7% (very near to Fingbox) and 100% (furthest from Fingbox) within the 15m. This would be used to hone on on things that would be inside your house/very close to Fingbox. Our test Fingbox does vary between 96-100% for example. 
    Is there somewhere you can position Fingbox that is closer to the router to see if that changes the signal strength? 

    Community Manager at Fing

  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    If you have a log of the signal fluctuation you could share that screenshot so I can see it too. 

    Community Manager at Fing

  • bdc99bdc99 Member Posts: 7
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    @VioletChepil Sorry, Violet, I'm not an IT professional so I don't keep a log outside of any that is built into the fingbox app. I can't find a way to access it if it is there, though.
    Also, I was able to move the fingbox a bit closer to the router to about 15 cm without seeing a signal strength change.

  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    Hey @bdc99 you can get the Log of the device range directly in the app. 
    Just visit:
    - Fingbox Network
    - Device 
    - Click on FENCE
    - Adjust the signal strength to close (i.e. 10%)
    - Click the device and you'll have a log of signal strength like the attached
    Let me know what you see! 

    Community Manager at Fing

  • bdc99bdc99 Member Posts: 7
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    @VioletChepil Sorry for the delay in replying. I must say I am feeling very inadequate here as I cannot follow your simple instructions. I cannot find FENCE under the device tab in the app, either on an iphone or ipad. I see it only in the PEOPLE tab, and then I can see my devices and adjust the signal strength. I adjusted the strength from 5% through 100% (at about every 10%) and the Fingbox never shows up in the list, so I could not pull up a log.

  • amdyhouamdyhou Member Posts: 8
    First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper First Comment
    When I look at some of my Wi-Fi connected devices on Fing (I have app and Fingbox) the Wi-Fi strength meter just above "Network Details" sometimes shows a very low strength, for example <6%. However when I look at the same device on my Apple AP, it shows the strength as being "Excellent" with RSSI -47dBm and 72Mb/s. Can anyone explain this discrepancy? As none of the devices shown as poor by Fing seem to have any problems, I'm wondering how accurate the Fing measurement is or what exactly it represents? I'm running an Apple Time Capsule as router and access point with 2 Airport Extremes set up to extend (bridge mode). Any thoughts welcome! Thanks.
  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    Thanks @pooh! Yes, I'm going to merge these two threads :) 

    Community Manager at Fing

  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    amdyhou said:
    When I look at some of my Wi-Fi connected devices on Fing (I have app and Fingbox) the Wi-Fi strength meter just above "Network Details" sometimes shows a very low strength, for example <6%. However when I look at the same device on my Apple AP, it shows the strength as being "Excellent" with RSSI -47dBm and 72Mb/s. Can anyone explain this discrepancy? As none of the devices shown as poor by Fing seem to have any problems, I'm wondering how accurate the Fing measurement is or what exactly it represents? I'm running an Apple Time Capsule as router and access point with 2 Airport Extremes set up to extend (bridge mode). Any thoughts welcome! Thanks.
    The above thread should answer your question. I've merged the two threads together to help. 

    Community Manager at Fing

  • amdyhouamdyhou Member Posts: 8
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    Thank you @Pooh for pointing me to the thread and @VioletChepil for response - A clear explanation, though as AP is next to Fingbox (a foot away), and all devices are within 30 feet or so of both, I'm still surprised at the difference - especially when one device which is about 80 feet away always shows as strong (i.e. close to digital fence as I understand it). But I guess such anomalies can be down to the usual things which effect Wi-Fi strength such as walls etc.
    Poohbdc99
  • bdc99bdc99 Member Posts: 7
    First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper First Comment
    Let me know what you see! 
    I fixed the settings and was able to get the log. Unfortunately there were only two entries, but for what it's worth, here's a photo.


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