Anyone know of a product (HW or SW) that can tell me which WAP a device is connected through?

Having trouble with inconsistent network performance in our house. I can have an iPhone and an iPad sitting on the table next to me that simultaneously give dramatically different results from Speedtest.,  For example, at this moment, the iPad is getting over 100MB/s, while the iPhone is under 10MB/s.  Both connected to the same WiFi network.  Someone suggested they could be latching on to different WAPs.  We have six in the house.  I was told that sometimes a device will try to stay attached to one WAP even though you have moved to a new location where a different WAP has a much stronger signal.  I am trying to test this, but it is a real pain to try to quickly figure out what WAP the devices are connected to.  Since the problem is intermittent, I need to do it fast and right now I have to go down a couple menu layers to see the connections for each WAP separately.  Wish I could see all the different WAP connections at once the way FING lets me see all devices in my network.  Any ideas?
FerlautoCiaranRobin

Answers

  • RobinRobin Administrator Posts: 2,073
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    Thanks for the post @Joedavis44
    Any advice @kltaylor @Marc @rooted @Pixelpopper




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  • MarcMarc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,278
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    @Joedavis44 , some WAPs have a web interface that will tell you which device is connected to it.  For Example I had a Linksys RE9000 which provided device lists,  Same with some mesh vendors, for Linksys's Velop, there mobile app will tell you which mesh node its connected to.  I have seen the same behavior your experiencing on my Mesh network and at time it takes a device reboot to get it to connect to what I consider the ideal node.  I have a feeling vendor implementation of intelligent roaming is not always all its hyped up to be.
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    OKC
  • PixelpopperPixelpopper Moderator Posts: 120
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    Hi @Joedavis44 you haven’t really provided any information about the hardware you’re using so it’s difficult to advise. However, you could try using Fing to identify all of your WAP devices (ip address) then when your speed becomes an issue for a particular device you just need to check the ip-address that you’re connected to which will identify the suspect device. On iPad or iPhone go to settings/wi-fi (currently connected) the click on the information ( i ) icon which will give you your current IP address and hence the current WAP connection.
    OKC
  • Joedavis44Joedavis44 Member Posts: 21
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    Marc, thanks.  I already know about getting the list of connections that each of my WAPs has.  I can get to that easily.  The problem is that I have 7 WAPs and I am trying to determine immediately if two devices sitting next to each other might be connected to different WAPs.  Jumping between 7 web pages of connections takes time and by the time I have found the device I am looking for it may have switched to the “correct” WAP.  That’s why I was hoping to get something that could list all the WAP connections and I could sort by the connected devices MAC addresses or by the WAP MAC address.  Hard to diagnose an intermittent problem.

  • Joedavis44Joedavis44 Member Posts: 21
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    Hi @pixelpopper - My house is all LUXUL networking gear.  I have a LUXUL Wireless controller XWC-1000v1 and 7 LUXUL WAPs XAP-1510.
    Is that helpful?
  • PixelpopperPixelpopper Moderator Posts: 120
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    Hi @Joedavis44 thanks for the info.
    Having had a brief read through the specs you have a dual-band wi-fi network supported by “in house” software allowing (seamless) transition from one WAP node to another. It is, therefore, perfectly reasonable for your devices to be connected to the same node at different speeds. 
    You’ve probably checked already, but a quick check to make sure that you’re not connecting to someone else’s guest network or the mobile network might save time and embarrassment (you wouldn’t be the first 😉).
    The actual connection speed will vary and be dependent on other devices utilising the node. It is also possible that the devices will connect to completely different nodes from the same location, again influenced by other connected devices and the possibility that the network may have load sharing control across all nodes.
    It’s also possible that there is a faulty node, using the method I described previously would allow you to identify if a specific node is causing problems.
    You mention that the issue appears to be that your iPhone is the device suffering from slower speeds so it might be worth going to Wi-fi settings and change, if not already set, Auto-Join Hotspot to “Ask to Join” & Ask to Join Networks to “Ask.”

    That should keep you busy for a while, good luck.

  • FerlautoFerlauto White Plains, NYMember Posts: 51
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    edited June 10
    Hi @Joedavis44, You are in essence asking, "What is my BSSID?"
    • Microsoft Windows:  Open a command prompt and type:  netsh wlan show interfaces
    • macOS:  Hold down the Command button while you click on the WiFi icon in the Menu Bar

    Annnnddddd for iOS and Android there are other apps ** Coughs ** @Robin 😇 that can determine the BSSID, so it's probably a good idea to add "BSSID identification" to the pile of feature requests for the Fing App.

    MarcOKC
  • MarcMarc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,278
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    Here is an Apple technical article on how roaming works and how an Apple Device chooses a give node.  Posting as an FYI but fascinating stuff... (Sorry it does not actually answer the question)

    "Roam candidate selection criteria

    This information can help you design a wireless network that supports real-time services, like voice and video. 

    iOS and iPadOS select target BSSIDs based on:

    • Whether the client transmits or receives a series of 802.11 data packets
    • The difference in signal strength against the current BSSID’s RSSI

    When the device sends or receives data, it picks target BSSIDs whose RSSI is eight dB or greater than the current BSSID’s RSSI. When the device doesn't send or receive data, use a 12 dB differential.

    For example, the RSSI of the current connection might drop to -75 dBm during a Voice over WLAN (VoWLAN) call. When this happens, the device later searches for BSSIDs that have an RSSI of at least -67 dBm.

    If the call ends and the device stops sending or receiving data, the device searches for BSSIDs that have an RSSI of at least -63 dBm. Note that 802.11 Management Frames and Control Frames don't count as data. "



    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
  • Joedavis44Joedavis44 Member Posts: 21
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    Thanks @pixelhopper.  Devices are all already set to ask about networks.  Irrelevant anyway as my house is not close enough to anyone to pick up their wifi.

    Confused by one of your suggestions.  If I click on the Info button for the current network on my iPhone it only shows me the IP address of my phone.  It does not give me any info on the WAP I am connected to.  From there I have to go to all the WAP pages to find the phone. That is what I am already doing.  I was looking for a shortcut so that I didn’t have to go through the active connection pages for all 7 WAPs.  Please correct me if I missing something in your suggestion?
  • Joedavis44Joedavis44 Member Posts: 21
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    @Ferlauto - Thanks for the tip.  Very helpful on my Mac.  Any recommendations on the iOS apps that could provide the BSSID?

    @Robin - I strongly agree with Ferlauto.  Having the SSID show up in the Fing device details would be awesome.
    Ferlauto
  • PixelpopperPixelpopper Moderator Posts: 120
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    @Joedavis44 hi joe, you’re right to be confused, I was hurrying & got it wrong, I should have waited before replying. Leave it with me, I’ll have another look tomorrow.

  • PixelpopperPixelpopper Moderator Posts: 120
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    @Joedavis44 comments from @Ferlauto may offer the route to  an answer. Your devices may be connecting to the same WAP at different speeds. Most routers, mine included, offer the ability to use separate SSIDs for 2.4 & 5Ghz. I’m guessing that your current setup has one SSID for both, it’s worth splitting them by adding a suffix (e.g. 5 for 5Ghz) then connect both of your devices to the same SSID. You can then check how they perform as you then know they are connecting to the network at the same speed & there should only be minor differences.
    Your Router user manual should give instructions on how to do this.
    Having completed the above, which will disrupt your network initially, you may discover that everything is working as it should, if not please report back.
    FerlautoOKC
  • BrobinBrobin Member, Beta Tester Posts: 8
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    I use an Android app called WiFi Analyzer by Kevin Yuan that gives that info and a lot more.  I used to have the same problem before implementing an AiMesh network using ASUS routers.  Now all the devices 'automagically' switch to the strongest signal while moving about the house.
  • tmorsetmorse Member, Beta Tester Posts: 5
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    I had the same issue but I only had 3 APs to deal with.  I finally assigned them all different SSIDs so I could see what was going on.  Sure enough once my iPhone latched on to an AP it would not switch to a stronger AP on it's own.  Even if you figure out which AP you are connected to there is no way to change it if all of your APs have the same SSID.  Even turning the phone WiFi off and on did not guarantee a switch to the stronger AP.   Your choices are unique SSIDs or replace your current hardware with a mesh network.
    OKC
  • angelo_lopesangelo_lopes Porto, PortugalMember Posts: 4
    First Comment Photogenic
    I had this same problem, devices staying attached to one AP after you have moved to a new location, and I solved it with a Wi-Fi mesh. A first AP is installed and connected to your router, and the other nodes are connected via an App. The App shows whether the location where each node is placed is the best, or whether it should be moved to another location.
    I opted for Linksys Velop, and the Wi-Fi network in my four-story house and garden has never been so good. I have Wi-Fi surveillance cameras in the garden, more than 50 meters away, and they show 100% signal.
    Just search for Wi-Fi Mesh. I don't see any other possibility to solve the problem without having to turn off your device's Wi-Fi whenever you go to another room, and turn it on again, so that it connects to the AP with a stronger signal.
  • GaoGaoGaoGao Member Posts: 12
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    BSSID is the way to go, it is the unique identifier of an access point in a WiFi network. Fing App can display it, see below Fing App on Android, but, as far I can see, don't offer to associate an easy to identify alias name to a specific BSSID. Maybe something Fing can add.

    Note: I hide the last part of my BSSID. The full format should be 00:00:00:00:00:00.


  • 97engineers97engineers Member Posts: 2
    First Comment
    I use an app called Net Analyzer. It does speed test and displays information about the network you’re connected to including the BSSID. When I’m checking speed, I bring it up and, since I leave it set to INFO, it shows me the BSSID right away. I have a spreadsheet listing the BSSID’s of all the access points in the house. I find this a very quick way to determine which AP I’m connected to. I have different SSID’s for the 2.4 gHz network and the 5 gHz network. (In a remarkable display of creativity, I add “2.4” or “5” to the SSID.) I am curious and interested in learning how people used Mesh technology to prevent a device from staying connected to a weaker signal as one moves closer to another AP. For example, I have an outdoor AP in my backyard. I also have an indoor AP in my master bedroom. I have a large window in the bedroom overlooking the backyard. Many times I’ll be outside, physically closer to the outdoor AP, but connected to the AP in the master bedroom AP. I’ll have to get within 5 feet of the outdoor AP to get it to switch.

    I’ve played with the signal strength settings, but it doesn’t help or creates other problems. How can you use Mesh technology to fix this as I’ve read others have? None of my AP’s or router have this technology and I can’t switch routers because I’m on a FIOS network and the router helps with the cable/video side of things.
  • OKCOKC Member, Beta Tester Posts: 62
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    @Joedavis44 comments from @Ferlauto may offer the route to  an answer. Your devices may be connecting to the same WAP at different speeds. Most routers, mine included, offer the ability to use separate SSIDs for 2.4 & 5Ghz. I’m guessing that your current setup has one SSID for both, it’s worth splitting them by adding a suffix (e.g. 5 for 5Ghz) then connect both of your devices to the same SSID. You can then check how they perform as you then know they are connecting to the network at the same speed & there should only be minor differences.
    Your Router user manual should give instructions on how to do this.
    Having completed the above, which will disrupt your network initially, you may discover that everything is working as it should, if not please report back.

    I originally had 'band steering' set on my router, I decided to turn that off and delegate some items that were older to 2.4 and newer iphones to 5Ghz. I also read that 5Ghz didnt have the reach that 2.4Ghz had. I configured all of my devices accordingly and have had a better setup.  https://www.actiontec.com/wifihelp/what-is-band-steering/

  • BrobinBrobin Member, Beta Tester Posts: 8
    First Comment Photogenic
    I’ve played with the signal strength settings, but it doesn’t help or creates other problems. How can you use Mesh technology to fix this as I’ve read others have? None of my AP’s or router have this technology and I can’t switch routers because I’m on a FIOS network and the router helps with the cable/video side of things.
    First, thanks for the Net Analyzer info. I like it!  Second, as far as not being able to switch routers, is that because you have a FIOS modem/router combo unit? If that's the case, you can plug a mesh router into a  LAN port and set it up with unique SSID's and a different LAN IP.  For example, if your LAN is currently using a gateway IP address like 192.168.1.1 you could set use 192.168.6.1 on the mesh router.  You'd then have all your WiFi devices connect to the new SSID and plug any Ethernet devices and/or switches in to the mesh router.  You can then add mesh points as needed throughout the house and have a seamless experience as you move through the house.  I use two ASUS AiMesh routers and two ASUS AiMesh AP's that had a total cost of about $250 to purchase.  The main router keeps the settings and firmware for the others updated automatically.
  • 97engineers97engineers Member Posts: 2
    First Comment
    Thanks for the idea, but my problem is not that bad. I’m talking about a good connection having a speed over 300 mips and. “Bad” one of still around 100. I’m an engineer, we’re always looking to optimize and squeeze the last whatever-it-is out of a system!
  • PoppersecPoppersec Member Posts: 2
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    edited June 24

    Can somebody please tell me what the hell is going on here

  • CiaranCiaran Administrator Posts: 820
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    Hi @Poppersec, you havent provided any details, can you give more information? If the query is seperate from the initial thread, please post a new query/thread. Thanks
    Ciaran (Admin at Fing)
    Getting Started? Please refer to Community guidelines & Community User Guides("Helping Hand"). HAPPY POSTING!!!
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