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Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,427
Thanks: 1,911
Fixes: 19
Registered: 22-08-2007

Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

I'm opening this tread to pick up on comments raised here - should plusnet be offering better routers with their broadband? - specifically...
Quote from: Townman
As you suggest, routers tell us a great deal about what's happening over ADSL but dammed all about wifi.  Is there useful information to be had from the CLI interface?

Quote from: ejs
Perhaps the fans of the 582n should answer that question. There's plenty of data available from the CLI, working out what it means is another matter.
...
And a lot of data from the auto channel selection system. I think you should be able to get signal strengths, number of networks, channel utilisation, noise levels on each channel. Of course that's as seen from where the 582n is located. The conditions may not be the same where your computer is. And if the problem is that the other networks can't detect the 582n's transmissions and therefore can't avoid interrupting them, trying to avoid the other networks isn't the only solution.

I'm wondering if between we Bright Sparks we could come up with some rudimentary tests / checks / diagnostics which "ordinary folk" might undertake (with minimal assistance) to "see" what is happening in their WiFi space?  We have relied on inSIDDer however some do not consider that to be overly useful.  ejs has rightly pointed out that knowledge of what the client "sees" is paramount to diagnosing the WiFi spectrum.
I recall some months ago playing around with "netsh wlan" commands in a Win DOS prompt / CMD shell - has anyone else got any experience with this?
Quote
netsh wlan>show networks mode=bssid
Interface name : Wireless Network Connection
There are 3 networks currently visible.
SSID 1 : SKYE8178
   Network type            : Infrastructure
   Authentication          : WPA2-Personal
   Encryption              : CCMP
   BSSID 1                 : 4c:17:eb:ae:81:79
        Signal             : 56%
        Radio type         : 802.11n
        Channel            : 1
        Basic rates (Mbps) : 1 2 5.5 11
        Other rates (Mbps) : 6 9 12 18 24 36 48 54
SSID 2 : townman7
   Network type            : Infrastructure
   Authentication          : WPA2-Personal
   Encryption              : CCMP
   BSSID 1                 : 00:0b:3b:d2:eb:8b << Devolo WAP
        Signal             : 68%
        Radio type         : 802.11n
        Channel            : 1
        Basic rates (Mbps) : 1 2 5.5 11
        Other rates (Mbps) : 6 9 12 18 24 36 48 54
   BSSID 2                 : 9c:97:26:04:cb:90 << PlusNet TG582n
        Signal             : 74%
        Radio type         : 802.11n
        Channel            : 11
        Basic rates (Mbps) : 1 2 5.5 11
        Other rates (Mbps) : 6 9 12 18 24 36 48 54
SSID 3 : PlusnetWirelessJZFFJD
   Network type            : Infrastructure
   Authentication          : WPA2-Personal
   Encryption              : CCMP
   BSSID 1                 : a0:21:b7:87:43:b4
        Signal             : 36%
        Radio type         : 802.11n
        Channel            : 1
        Basic rates (Mbps) : 1 2
        Other rates (Mbps) : 5.5 6 9 11 12 18 24 36 48 54

Quote
netsh wlan>show interfaces
There is 1 interface on the system:
   Name                   : Wireless Network Connection
   Description            : Qualcomm Atheros AR9285 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter
   GUID                   : 5f13e7f9-2427-4069-a5e5-49b50ec58bb4
   Physical address       : 90:4c:e5:b8:d4:ed
   State                  : connected
   SSID                   : townman7
   BSSID                  : 9c:97:26:04:cb:90
   Network type           : Infrastructure
   Radio type             : 802.11n
   Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
   Cipher                 : CCMP
   Connection mode        : Auto Connect
   Channel                : 11
   Receive rate (Mbps)    : 65
   Transmit rate (Mbps)   : 65
   Signal                 : 76%
   Profile                : townman7
   Hosted network status  : Not available

There are dozens of netsh wlan commands and parameters, the two above report the WiFi stations being "seen" and the WiFi station used in the current connection.  The above is  straight cut & paste from a CMD window, so there's no effort required to format this stuff.
Do people think this has a use?  What else might we consider?  It would be great if we could come up with say 3-5 commands which users can poke into their systems and then paste the results into a forum post or ticket so that the support process can be informed with facts regarding their WiFi issue / experience.
Anyone care to consider what might be done in a Lynx environment please?
Note of passing interest, there is another PN user nearby - their "basic rates" list is different to mine.  Anyone any thoughts on if there is any material relevance here?
Cheers,
Kevin
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,364
Thanks: 490
Fixes: 45
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Quote
Anyone care to consider what might be done in a Lynx environment please?

Here's the equivalent Linux command.
Wireless interfaces will be named wlan0, wlan1 etc
The information looks very similar, but perhaps a little more verbose ( but that's Linux for you! Smiley)
Quote
iwlist wlan0 scan
wlan0     Scan completed :
         Cell 01 - Address: 00:FE:F4:61:6E:38
                   Channel:6
                   Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
                   Quality=15/100  Signal level=15/100  
                   Encryption keyShockedn
                   ESSID:"BTHub3-T69T"
                   Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
                             9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                   Bit Rates:24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                   Mode:Master
                   Extra:tsf=0000019395c604b9
                   Extra: Last beacon: 18212ms ago
                   IE: Unknown: 000B4254487562332D54363954
                   IE: Unknown: 010882848B960C121824
                   IE: Unknown: 030106
                   IE: Unknown: 050402030000
                   IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                   IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                       Group Cipher : TKIP
                       Pairwise Ciphers (2) : CCMP TKIP
                       Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                   IE: WPA Version 1
                       Group Cipher : TKIP
                       Pairwise Ciphers (2) : CCMP TKIP
                       Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                   IE: Unknown: 32043048606C
                   IE: Unknown: 2D1AAC011BFFFF000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                   IE: Unknown: 3D1606001100000000000000000000000000000000000000
                   IE: Unknown: 4A0E14000A002C01C800140005001900
                   IE: Unknown: 7F0101
                   IE: Unknown: DD180050F20201018E0003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
                   IE: Unknown: DD2C0050F204104A0001101044000102105700010010470010565AA94967C14C0EAA8FF349E6F59311103C000101
         Cell 02 - Address: 22:FE:F4:61:6E:38
                   Channel:6
                   Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
                   Quality=15/100  Signal level=15/100  
                   Encryption keyShockedn
                   ESSID:"BTWifi-X"
                   Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
                             9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                   Bit Rates:24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                   Mode:Master
                   Extra:tsf=0000019395c6025d
                   Extra: Last beacon: 18164ms ago
                   IE: Unknown: 00084254576966692D58
                   IE: Unknown: 010882848B960C121824
                   IE: Unknown: 030106
                   IE: Unknown: 050400030000
                   IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                   IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                       Group Cipher : TKIP
                       Pairwise Ciphers (2) : CCMP TKIP
                       Authentication Suites (1) : 802.1x
                      Preauthentication Supported
                   IE: WPA Version 1
                       Group Cipher : TKIP
                       Pairwise Ciphers (2) : CCMP TKIP
                       Authentication Suites (1) : 802.1x
                   IE: Unknown: 32043048606C
                   IE: Unknown: 2D1AAC011BFFFF000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                   IE: Unknown: 3D1606001100000000000000000000000000000000000000
                   IE: Unknown: 4A0E14000A002C01C800140005001900
                   IE: Unknown: 7F0101
                   IE: Unknown: DD180050F20201018D0003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
         Cell 03 - Address: 02:FE:F4:61:6E:38
                   Channel:6
                   Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
                   Quality=13/100  Signal level=13/100  
                   Encryption keyShockedff
                   ESSID:"BTWifi-with-FON"
                   Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
                             9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                   Bit Rates:24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                   Mode:Master
                   Extra:tsf=0000019395c8bd80
                   Extra: Last beacon: 18036ms ago
                   IE: Unknown: 000F4254576966692D776974682D464F4E
                   IE: Unknown: 010882848B960C121824
                   IE: Unknown: 030106
                   IE: Unknown: 050402030000
                   IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                   IE: Unknown: 32043048606C
                   IE: Unknown: 2D1AAC011BFFFF000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                   IE: Unknown: 3D1606001100000000000000000000000000000000000000
                   IE: Unknown: 4A0E14000A002C01C800140005001900
                   IE: Unknown: 7F0101
                   IE: Unknown: DD180050F20201018E0003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
         Cell 04 - Address: 00:1F:33:0F:AB:29
                   Channel:11
                   Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
                   Quality=19/100  Signal level=19/100  
                   Encryption keyShockedn
                   ESSID:"SKY63131"
                   Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
                             9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                   Bit Rates:24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                   Mode:Master
                   Extra:tsf=000000025d9d1d81
                   Extra: Last beacon: 17352ms ago
                   IE: Unknown: 0008534B593633313331
                   IE: Unknown: 010882848B960C121824
                   IE: Unknown: 03010B
                   IE: Unknown: 050400010000
                   IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                   IE: Unknown: 32043048606C
                   IE: Unknown: DD180050F2020101090003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
                   IE: WPA Version 1
                       Group Cipher : TKIP
                       Pairwise Ciphers (1) : TKIP
                       Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                   IE: Unknown: DD0900037F01010024FF7F
         Cell 05 - Address: C8Cheesy3:A3:39:97Cheesy0
                   Channel:1
                   Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)
                   Quality=8/100  Signal level=8/100  
                   Encryption keyShockedn
                   ESSID:"TALKTALK-3997D0"
                   Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
                             18 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                   Bit Rates:6 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
                   Mode:Master
                   Extra:tsf=0000007d30683772
                   Extra: Last beacon: 18896ms ago
                   IE: Unknown: 000F54414C4B54414C4B2D333939374430
                   IE: Unknown: 010882848B961224486C
                   IE: Unknown: 030101
                   IE: Unknown: 32040C183060
                   IE: Unknown: 0706474220010B14
                   IE: Unknown: 33082001020304050607
                   IE: Unknown: 33082105060708090A0B
                   IE: Unknown: 050400010058
                   IE: WPA Version 1
                       Group Cipher : TKIP
                       Pairwise Ciphers (2) : TKIP CCMP
                       Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                   IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                       Group Cipher : TKIP
                       Pairwise Ciphers (2) : TKIP CCMP
                       Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                   IE: Unknown: DD310050F204104A000110104400010210470010BC329E001DD811B28601C8D3A33997D0103C0001011049000600372A000120
                   IE: Unknown: 2A0104
                   IE: Unknown: 2D1A8E1117FFFF0000010000000000000000000000000C0000000000
                   IE: Unknown: 3D1601050600000000000000000000000000000000000000
                   IE: Unknown: 4A0E14000A002C01C800140005001900
                   IE: Unknown: 7F0101
                   IE: Unknown: DD180050F2020101000003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
                   IE: Unknown: 0B0502001F127A
                   IE: Unknown: DD07000C4304000000
         Cell 06 - Address: 00:11:F5:80:76CheesyD
                   Channel:6
                   Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
                   Quality=8/100  Signal level=8/100  
                   Encryption keyShockedn
                   ESSID:"SpeedTouchD925E7"
                   Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                             24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                   Bit Rates:6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
                   Mode:Master
                   Extra:tsf=00000007414b3923
                   Extra: Last beacon: 18216ms ago
                   IE: Unknown: 00105370656564546F756368443932354537
                   IE: Unknown: 010882848B9624B0486C
                   IE: Unknown: 030106
                   IE: Unknown: 050401030000
                   IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                   IE: Unknown: 2F0100
                   IE: Unknown: 32048C129860
                   IE: Unknown: DD06001018020400
                   IE: WPA Version 1
                       Group Cipher : CCMP
                       Pairwise Ciphers (1) : CCMP
                       Authentication Suites (1) : PS
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,427
Thanks: 1,911
Fixes: 19
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Thanks MisterW,
Did you accidently post the results of "iwlist wlan0 scan" twice?
Do you think that there is merit in this idea?
Kevin
Community Veteran
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Fixes: 5
Registered: 21-01-2013

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Quote from: Townman

I'm wondering if between we Bright Sparks we could come up with some rudimentary tests / checks / diagnostics which "ordinary folk" might undertake (with minimal assistance) to "see" what is happening in their WiFi space?  

So us ordinary folk are not able to contribute.  Tongue  Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,364
Thanks: 490
Fixes: 45
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Oops, thought it was a bit verbose Embarrassed
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,427
Thanks: 1,911
Fixes: 19
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Quote from: npr
Quote from: Townman

I'm wondering if between we Bright Sparks we could come up with some rudimentary tests / checks / diagnostics which "ordinary folk" might undertake (with minimal assistance) to "see" what is happening in their WiFi space?  

So us ordinary folk are not able to contribute.   Tongue  Wink

Hi npr,
I really was hoping that this might hook your attention - of course you are welcome to contribute - I do not know why your are not considered a bright spark around here.  After all you are the author of most of what is known about TG582n tweaking.  Cheesy  The reference to bright sparks was not intended to be exclusive, but an attempt to see if the group could collectively look at some problem areas and develop some support methods which we can all agree to be useful and the "right way" to do things.  Any assessment of what might be dug out of a TG582n could not be complete without your input.  In the other thread, ejs referenced a number of CLI commands, but as he said, one needs to decode the output.  I guess one thing which would be useful (if it exists) is information relating to what other WiFi stations the TG582n sees and anything related to auto channel swapping - why, how often, which channels etc.
I know that I have seen issues in my setup (two APs) with AUTO channel and some WiFi devices not following the channel swap.  Since fixing the channel the WiFi connectivity for those devices has been better.  That said, my Vista PC has issues picking up the DHCP address (had this ages ago) and is using its in built fall back address.  The TG582n shows the device on its DHCP address but not connected.  It shows nothing on its fall back address.  Possibly not related to wifi issues per sec. however it is related to the dark matters of LAN connectivity issues which I've seen from time to time.
Cheers,
Kevin
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,364
Thanks: 490
Fixes: 45
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Quote
Do you think that there is merit in this idea?
I suspect it may be too much info, unless there a way to extract the useful bits.
TBH I tend to use the 'Wireless analyzer' app on my Android tablet, its so convenient and will give most of the info you need in a user friendly form. Obviously only works if you have a suitable tablet! Smiley
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,427
Thanks: 1,911
Fixes: 19
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Yes, I'm peeved that there is nothing similar for the iPlatforms  Sad
Community Veteran
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Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

For Linux, the iwlist command is out of date, which you might have guessed from all that hexadecimal in its output. The iw command is more modern and helpful.
[tt]iw list[/tt]
Lists the capabilities of your wireless card, the most interesting bit is the 11n capabilities. NB my intel 5100 wifi card can receive faster (2 streams, MCS 15) than it can transmit (1 stream, MCS 7)
[tt]Wiphy phy0
...
Band 1:
Capabilities: 0x1072
HT20/HT40
Static SM Power Save
RX Greenfield
RX HT20 SGI
RX HT40 SGI
No RX STBC
Max AMSDU length: 3839 bytes
DSSS/CCK HT40
Maximum RX AMPDU length 65535 bytes (exponent: 0x003)
Minimum RX AMPDU time spacing: 4 usec (0x05)
HT RX MCS rate indexes supported: 0-15, 32
TX unequal modulation not supported
HT TX Max spatial streams: 1
HT TX MCS rate indexes supported may differ[/tt]
[tt]iw dev wlan0 station dump
Station 00:18:4d:3b:ba:08 (on wlan0)
inactive time: 3393 ms
rx bytes: 74626
rx packets: 1440
tx bytes: 978
tx packets: 12
tx retries: 0
tx failed: 0
signal:   -77 dBm
signal avg: -77 dBm
tx bitrate: 1.0 MBit/s
rx bitrate: 11.0 MBit/s
authorized: yes
authenticated: yes
preamble: long
WMM/WME: no
MFP: no
TDLS peer: no[/tt]
[tt]iw dev wlan0 link
Connected to 00:18:4d:3b:ba:08 (on wlan0)
SSID: Chosen
freq: 2412
RX: 77798 bytes (1501 packets)
TX: 978 bytes (12 packets)
signal: -78 dBm
tx bitrate: 1.0 MBit/s
bss flags: short-slot-time
dtim period: 0
beacon int: 100[/tt]
There are very few packets in the counts above because I'm not currently using the wireless card in my laptop, instead I'm wasting a TP-Link TD-W8970 using it only as a wireless bridge, I'm well aware this is a fairly stupid arrangement.
[tt]iw dev wlan0 scan
BSS 00:18:4d:3b:ba:08(on wlan0)
TSF: 1465891123766 usec (16d, 23:11:31)
freq: 2412
beacon interval: 100 TUs
capability: ESS Privacy ShortSlotTime (0x0411)
signal: -76.00 dBm
last seen: 3413 ms ago
Information elements from Probe Response frame:
SSID: Chosen
Supported rates: 1.0* 2.0* 5.5* 11.0*
DS Parameter set: channel 1
TIM: DTIM Count 0 DTIM Period 3 Bitmap Control 0x0 Bitmap[0] 0x0 (+ 8 octets)
ERP: Barker_Preamble_Mode
RSN: * Version: 1
* Group cipher: CCMP
* Pairwise ciphers: CCMP
* Authentication suites: PSK
* Capabilities: 1-PTKSA-RC 1-GTKSA-RC (0x0000)
Extended supported rates: 6.0 9.0 12.0 18.0 24.0 36.0 48.0 54.0
BSS 00:8a:ae:82:ef:a6(on wlan0)
TSF: 102948352384 usec (1d, 04:35:4Cool
freq: 2437
beacon interval: 100 TUs
capability: ESS Privacy ShortPreamble ShortSlotTime (0x0431)
signal: -85.00 dBm
last seen: 3060 ms ago
Information elements from Probe Response frame:
SSID: BTHub5-RPQ2
Supported rates: 1.0* 2.0* 5.5* 11.0* 6.0 9.0 12.0 18.0
DS Parameter set: channel 6
TIM: DTIM Count 2 DTIM Period 3 Bitmap Control 0x0 Bitmap[0] 0x0
Country: GB Environment: Indoor/Outdoor
Channels [1 - 13] @ 20 dBm
ERP: <no flags>
RSN: * Version: 1
* Group cipher: TKIP
* Pairwise ciphers: CCMP TKIP
* Authentication suites: PSK
* Capabilities: 1-PTKSA-RC 1-GTKSA-RC (0x0000)
Extended supported rates: 24.0 36.0 48.0 54.0
HT capabilities:
Capabilities: 0x1ac
HT20
SM Power Save disabled
RX HT20 SGI
TX STBC
RX STBC 1-stream
Max AMSDU length: 3839 bytes
No DSSS/CCK HT40
Maximum RX AMPDU length 65535 bytes (exponent: 0x003)
Minimum RX AMPDU time spacing: 8 usec (0x06)
HT RX MCS rate indexes supported: 0-15
HT TX MCS rate indexes are undefined
HT operation:
* primary channel: 6
* secondary channel offset: no secondary
* STA channel width: 20 MHz
* RIFS: 0
* HT protection: nonmember
* non-GF present: 1
* OBSS non-GF present: 0
* dual beacon: 0
* dual CTS protection: 0
* STBC beacon: 0
* L-SIG TXOP Prot: 0
* PCO active: 0
* PCO phase: 0
Overlapping BSS scan params:
* passive dwell: 20 TUs
* active dwell: 10 TUs
* channel width trigger scan interval: 300 s
* scan passive total per channel: 200 TUs
* scan active total per channel: 20 TUs
* BSS width channel transition delay factor: 5
* OBSS Scan Activity Threshold: 0.25 %
Extended capabilities: HT Information Exchange Supported, 6
WMM: * Parameter version 1
* u-APSD
* BE: CW 15-1023, AIFSN 3
* BK: CW 15-1023, AIFSN 7
* VI: CW 7-15, AIFSN 2, TXOP 3008 usec
* VO: CW 3-7, AIFSN 2, TXOP 1504 usec
WPS: * Version: 1.0
* Wi-Fi Protected Setup State: 2 (Configured)
* AP setup locked: 0x00
* UUID: 3a2773da-ee61-503a-9f8d-60b4add99799
* RF Bands: 0x1
BSS 88:53:d4:3c:df:08(on wlan0)
TSF: 2105984205156 usec (24d, 08:59:44)
freq: 2462
beacon interval: 100 TUs
capability: ESS Privacy ShortPreamble ShortSlotTime (0x0431)
signal: -84.00 dBm
last seen: 2450 ms ago
Information elements from Probe Response frame:
SSID: TALKTALK-3CDF00
Supported rates: 1.0* 2.0* 5.5* 11.0* 9.0 18.0 36.0 54.0
DS Parameter set: channel 11
Extended supported rates: 6.0 12.0 24.0 48.0
Country: GB Environment: Indoor/Outdoor
Channels [1 - 13] @ 20 dBm
TIM: DTIM Count 0 DTIM Period 1 Bitmap Control 0x0 Bitmap[0] 0x0
WPS: * Version: 1.0
* Wi-Fi Protected Setup State: 2 (Configured)
* UUID: 28802880-2880-1880-a880-8853d43cdf08
* RF Bands: 0x1
ERP: <no flags>
HT capabilities:
Capabilities: 0x118e
HT20/HT40
SM Power Save disabled
TX STBC
RX STBC 1-stream
Max AMSDU length: 3839 bytes
DSSS/CCK HT40
Maximum RX AMPDU length 65535 bytes (exponent: 0x003)
Minimum RX AMPDU time spacing: No restriction (0x00)
HT RX MCS rate indexes supported: 0-15, 32
HT TX MCS rate indexes are undefined
HT operation:
* primary channel: 11
* secondary channel offset: below
* STA channel width: any
* RIFS: 0
* HT protection: no
* non-GF present: 0
* OBSS non-GF present: 0
* dual beacon: 0
* dual CTS protection: 0
* STBC beacon: 0
* L-SIG TXOP Prot: 0
* PCO active: 0
* PCO phase: 0
Overlapping BSS scan params:
* passive dwell: 20 TUs
* active dwell: 10 TUs
* channel width trigger scan interval: 300 s
* scan passive total per channel: 200 TUs
* scan active total per channel: 20 TUs
* BSS width channel transition delay factor: 5
* OBSS Scan Activity Threshold: 0.25 %
WPA: * Version: 1
* Group cipher: TKIP
* Pairwise ciphers: TKIP CCMP
* Authentication suites: PSK
RSN: * Version: 1
* Group cipher: TKIP
* Pairwise ciphers: TKIP CCMP
* Authentication suites: PSK
* Capabilities: 1-PTKSA-RC 1-GTKSA-RC (0x0000)
WMM: * Parameter version 1
* BE: CW 15-1023, AIFSN 3
* BK: CW 15-1023, AIFSN 7
* VI: CW 7-15, AIFSN 2, TXOP 3008 usec
* VO: CW 3-7, AIFSN 2, TXOP 1504 usec
BSS Load:
* station count: 0
* channel utilisation: 6/255
* available admission capacity: 31250 [*32us]
BSS a4:b1:e9:d1:74:5d(on wlan0)
TSF: 183296408 usec (0d, 00:03:03)
freq: 2462
beacon interval: 100 TUs
capability: ESS Privacy ShortSlotTime (0x0411)
signal: -45.00 dBm
last seen: 3833 ms ago
Information elements from Probe Response frame:
SSID: PNW
Supported rates: 1.0* 2.0* 5.5* 11.0* 18.0 24.0 36.0 54.0
DS Parameter set: channel 11
TIM: DTIM Count 1 DTIM Period 3 Bitmap Control 0x0 Bitmap[0] 0x0
ERP: Barker_Preamble_Mode
ERP D4.0: Barker_Preamble_Mode
RSN: * Version: 1
* Group cipher: CCMP
* Pairwise ciphers: CCMP
* Authentication suites: PSK
* Capabilities: 16-PTKSA-RC (0x000c)
Extended supported rates: 6.0 9.0 12.0 48.0
HT capabilities:
Capabilities: 0x181c
HT20
SM Power Save disabled
RX Greenfield
No RX STBC
Max AMSDU length: 7935 bytes
DSSS/CCK HT40
Maximum RX AMPDU length 65535 bytes (exponent: 0x003)
Minimum RX AMPDU time spacing: 8 usec (0x06)
HT RX MCS rate indexes supported: 0-15
HT TX MCS rate indexes are undefined
HT operation:
* primary channel: 11
* secondary channel offset: no secondary
* STA channel width: 20 MHz
* RIFS: 0
* HT protection: non-HT mixed
* non-GF present: 0
* OBSS non-GF present: 1
* dual beacon: 0
* dual CTS protection: 0
* STBC beacon: 0
* L-SIG TXOP Prot: 0
* PCO active: 0
* PCO phase: 0
WMM: * Parameter version 1
* BE: CW 15-1023, AIFSN 3
* BK: CW 15-1023, AIFSN 7
* VI: CW 7-15, AIFSN 2, TXOP 3008 usec
* VO: CW 3-7, AIFSN 2, TXOP 1504 usec
[/tt]
I only included some example scan output, in order:

  • An old 11g netgear

  • A BTHomeHub5

  • A TalkTalk router using 40MHz (aka channel bonding)

  • A plusnet 582n, no telnet tweaks, but set to WPA2 only and with WPS disabled


Some of the more interesting fields are:
ERP: - if it had given NonERP_Present and/or Use_Protection then it shows it is operating with 11b compatibility mechanisms activated
HT protection: gives some idea of what compatibility mode is being used by 11n devices. But I don't think this directly indicates whether things are going to be slowed down by a CTS packet being transmitted before each 11n packet, or if they are going to be slowed down even more by a RTS packet being transmitted and a CTS packet received before each 11n packet is sent.
For the 582n, I can see that the 10.2.5 firmware has webpages called wlan_device.lp which looks like it should show the strength of the signal received from each device, and WIFI_Analyzer.lp which looks like it would be like a built-in version of inSSIDer. Those files are not present in the 10.2.2 firmware. Those files are located in the same directory as all the other files like landing.lp and setup.lp, so someone with a 582n running the 10.2.5.2 firmware will have to deduce the exact URL to access them.
Edit: there's also Signal.lp - presumably I should get out my ADSL 582n and see if it will take the 10.2.5.2 firmware.
For Windows, I'm not aware of any informative yet easy to use piece of software. Advanced users should be able to follow some instructions to capture some wireless traffic using Microsoft Network Monitor, for others to look at (wireshark should be able to open the file). It should not be wildly different to using wireshark to capture some data for investigating traffic management issues. I probably should play with Microsoft Network Monitor the next time I boot into Vista on this laptop. I haven't booted into Vista since May 2013.
For further reading, still somewhat technical, but more readable than the IEEE 802.11-2012 PDF:
802.11n Primer
802.11a,b,g,n Compatibility
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,975
Thanks: 372
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Quote from: Townman
Note of passing interest, there is another PN user nearby - their "basic rates" list is different to mine.  Anyone any thoughts on if there is any material relevance here?

I don't think differences in the two lists of rates are of much interest. I think it's more an 11b / 11g thing. There are two lists of rates because the first list can only hold up to 8 rates.
I also think it's unfortunately slightly less useful to see signal levels reported as percentages. Percentages of what? 100% being some sort of maximum possible received signal level? It may be easier to understand than those negative dBm numbers, but the percentage figures may not be comparable between different devices.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,975
Thanks: 372
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Well, the WIFI_Analyzer.lp page is what I expected. The wlan_device.lp page isn't particularly interesting, but you get to the more detailed Signal.lp page by clicking on the device name you want to look at (Unknown-00-22-fa-14-52-96 in the screenshots).
There even appears to be a firmware upgrade webpage, but don't worry, I blanked out the URL in case anyone would be silly enough to try and use it and then blame me if using this undocumented page bricks their router. I didn't use it obviously, I have no idea if it would actually work, or if it doesn't work at all, or might only work on the dual-bank DANT-1 where firmware upgrades should be a little easier and safer. Not that there is any firmware from Plusnet more recent than 10.2.5.2 FO of course.
All those undocumented pages aren't in the 10.2.2.B ADSL firmware.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,975
Thanks: 372
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

Did people actually want to diagnose wifi performance, or did they just want another handful of plausible reasons as to why any problem can't possibly be due to the 582n?
I found Acrylic WiFi which looks similar to InSSIDer, but without the need to track down the previous free version, and possibly is more advanced in that it has its own driver (like Microsoft Network Monitor) to do packet capture.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,427
Thanks: 1,911
Fixes: 19
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Diagnosing WiFi perfomance / operation

It is something I've sought to consider / explore, as such issues do contribute to some peoples problems whereas in other circumstances all is well.
For the client end, there are some useful tools to view the AP stations, but we have nothing to diagnose what the AP sees.  I would (personally) like to understand more of what is happening within the router, if for no other reason that an on going issue I have with a Vista machine.  From time to time, it will fail to receive the DHCP address allocated by the router over wifi, however if the PC then allocates its "fall back address" (.10) it quite happily works over wifi to the internet.  But that is a bit off topic.
I was wondering what could be achieved with out the need to use inSIDDer, especially since at V4 it is no longer free.  We have numerous tools to look at the ADSL side of the router, but bog all for wifi.
Will look at the tool you've referenced.
All those TG582n graphs look fab, shame PN router firmware is not as up to date - who knows the wifi performance might be better too with that firmware?
Thanks,
Kevin