WiFi Tips and Tricks

Hello guys,

In this post, I will share some useful information with you about your WiFi in a question-answer style.

My router supports both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz WiFi. Which should I use?

Both of course. The trick: give the same name (SSID) for both 2.4 and 5 GHz network, and use the same encryption and password. In a word: use the same settings for both.

The reason: the modern mobiles and laptops are smart. They will prefer using the 5 GHz network when the signal level is high, and will switch to 2.4 GHz when the signal level is low because it has larger range (Note: some devices will only use the signal level information for the decision when you turn on the WiFi).
But it will only work smoothly if they have the same SSID.

My mobile is loosing WiFi connection, the signal level is low. What should I do?

First of all, ensure that a 2.4 GHz network is set. This is the default mostly, but sometimes people thinks 5 GHz is more modern and disable 2.4 GHz. It’s a bad idea, because 5 GHz network has limited range.
The second step is to try to move your router to a better place (closer to your mobile). If it is not possible, then consider to buy a WiFi repeater or another router that support WDS (sometimes a separated router is cheaper than a repeater). Using WDS technology, you can extend your existing WiFi network with this second device easily. The repeater will make stronger the original signal and provide you a better WiFi connection on larger range.
Place the repeater or the second router closer to your main router, for example half-distance from your mobile and half-distance from your router.

Which WiFi security should I use?

DO NOT use OPEN or WEP encryption excepting if you want to share your WiFi (and your Internet) with everybody.
Open = anybody  can attach to your network without your permission.
WEP = this is a very old and very weak encryption. Any script kiddie can break it.

Always use WPA or WPA2.

wireless_security

Always use WPA/WPA2

What about WPS (WiFi Protected Setup)?

You should disable it. WPS is a security risk in your network however it is enabled by default in most cases. There are several problems with WPS:

  • It can contain security hole, and most people never upgrade the firmware of the router (if there is any fix at all).
  • Sometimes the manufacturer are using just only a few default WPS codes. That means if someone knows one of them, he can attach to any other router that are using this code.
    The result is the same: if someone breaks your WPS, he can attach to your network without your permission and without knowing your password.

So the best is if you disable it completely and only enable when you need it.

What about WiFi analyzer apps?  Can they help me?

Yes, of course. Using WiFi analyzer apps, you can identify the problems on your network. They can help you to detect possible bottlenecks and visualize the wireless networks around you.

What about WiFi booster apps? Will they fix a bad WiFi connection on my mobile?

No, they can’t. You can find more details about it here. You shouldn’t install any WiFi booster app excepting if you like watching ads…

Why most routers use channel 1-6-11 on 2.4 GHz?

Because on 2.4 GHz, only the 1-6-11 channels are non-overlapping. A router that uses channel 1 won’t interfere another router that is using channel 6 or 11 and vice versa.
So if there is no any other router around you, you can use any channel, what you want.
But if there are other routers, you should choose only between 1-6-11. Which is less overloaded. This is the point where WiFi analyzer apps can help you.

device-2016-02-07-223553

WiFi analyzer apps can help you to find the best channel

What about 5 GHz?

Because 5 GHz networks have limited range, interference does not cause problem usually.
You should select a channel that is not used by everyone else.

My internet access is slow, but I want to measure the pure performance of my WiFi network. How can I do it?

Well, this is a self-promotion, but in that case, you can use my WiFi Speed Test app. Or if you want to use your computer, you can use my simple java-based client: https://pzoleeblogen.wordpress.com/download-my-apps/

WiFi glossary

News (2016.09.02): WiFi Tips & Tricks

SSID: This is the name of a wireless network. SSID is a case sensitive, max 32 alphanumeric character unique identifier. Example: my-network

Access point(AP): Generally, this is your router. A device that allows wireless devices to connect to a wired network using Wi-Fi, or related standards.

AP capabilities: This is the security level of the AP. For example, it can be open (anybody can attach) or encrypted (with different encryption strength like WEP, WPA, WPA2) or even authenticated (username:password). Example: WPA2-PSK-CCMP

MAC address: A media access control address (MAC address), also called physical address, is a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment. Example: 00:00:00:00:00:01

BSSID: MAC address of the access point. This is also an unique identifier. There can be several APs on the same network (same SSID) with different BSSIDs. Example: 00:00:00:00:00:02

IP address: An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, mobile phones) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. Example: 192.168.0.1

Frequency: All wifi networks operate on a special frequency. The most common is the 2.4 GHz (2412-2484 MHz), or the 5 GHz (4980-5825 MHz).

Channel: Each frequency range is sub-divided into channels with a center frequency and bandwidth, analogous to the way radio and TV broadcast bands are sub-divided. For example: 2412 MHz = channel 1. 2437 MHz = channel 6.

Overlapping channel: the networks operate on close channels can cause interference on each other network. This can cause slow wifi data rate. In the 2.4 GHz band, 1, 6 and 11 are the only non-overlapping channels.

Guest network: Sharing your wifi with “guests”. The AP has dual SSIDs, dual security and the guest network is isolated from other networks.

Possible guest network: in WiFi Network Analyzer app, this message shows that it found a network that seems to be a guest network of the connected network.

WDS (expanded) network: WDS allows a wireless network to be expanded using multiple access points without the traditional requirement for a wired backbone to link them. Using WDS you can extend the range of your wireless network.

Possible WDS (expanded) network:  In WiFi Network Analyzer app, this message shows that it found a network that seems to be an expanded network of the connected network.

Link speed: This is the theoretical data rate. The current value of link speed depends on the distance from the AP, the signal strength, supported protocols by the AP and your mobile. In a wireless network, the link speed is always higher than the real achievable speed. Example: 433 Mpbs.

AP latency: This is the latency time of your access point (router) in ms. If someone generates hard network traffic, this value will be high so you can detect it easily.

Signal strength: This is the power of the received signal. The weakest the worst. A good signal is always higher than -75 dBm. If -90 dBm or lower, this is really bad. Example: -52 dBm.

Device-to-AP RTT support: Round trip time (RTT) between the AP and the mobile device over the WLAN is supported or not.

Wi-Fi Direct support: Wi-Fi Direct allows two devices to establish a direct, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection without requiring a wireless router

DFS: Dynamic Frequency Selection. The access points automatically select frequency channels with low interference levels.

No DFS: In WiFi Network Analyzer app, hide the networks that use DFS. The reason: they are using a lot of channels, and it’s not practical to show them by default because the screen will be congested and ugly. You can enable it using this check box.

Useful links:
How to optimize your wifi with Android
WiFi Speed Test guide

Sources:

https://pzoleeblogen.wordpress.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_access_point
http://www.metageek.com/training/resources/why-channels-1-6-11.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11

New (dark) theme for WiFi Analyzer

device-2016-02-07-223553Hello guys,

There is a new beta version in which you can switch to the new dark theme too.
Just press menu and go to settings/theme and select dark theme.

Don’t forget, if you want to try out the beta version(s), you need to opt-in in beta test program. Just click on this link: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.pzolee.wifiinfo

After you joined, you will receive the newer versions on the air.
If you have any feedback, don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

 

More picture:

device-2016-02-07-223524

Promo code for WiFi Network Analyzer Pro and WiFi Speed Test Pro

promotion blue square grungy vintage isolated stamp

 

 

 

 

 

Hello guys,

Hopefully you already know either my WiFi Network Analyzer app or WiFi Speed Test app.

Now there is a special promotion: if you send me your idea about the above apps* (see later), the first 10-10 senders who have the best idea will receive a promotion code for the paid (ad-free) version.

Using this promo code, you can get these apps for free:

WiFi Network Analyzer Pro

WiFi Speed Test Pro

*your idea: something new that would make one or both of my apps better. It can be a new useful feature or something that you would do in other way.
Important: a detailed description is required not only a word. For example, why the desired feature would be good, who would be the target people, how would you use it and similar.

You shouldn’t think in large things, a smaller feature can be as good as a big one, so I don’t expect some saving-the-world functions, just something that would be very practical in the everyday life in these apps.

you can send your idea to this email address: wstbetatester@gmail.com

also now you can communicate with me on facebook too: facebook link

deadline: 29 February 2016 or until there are free promo codes.

WiFi (LAN) Speed Test For Windows and Linux

image

Test LAN speed

Hello guys,

As you may know I have an WiFi Speed Test app for Android-based mobiles/tablets.

Now I created something similar for Windows and Linux. Currently it is in alpha stage, but you can try&test it. In fact this is a network speed test (testing can be done on wireless (wifi) or wired network), but I wanted to keep the same name that my android app already uses.

First of all, I want to highlight this again: this software is intended to test the speed of your _local_ network (LAN), it is NOT an Internet speed test.
You can download the software from here: link. This is a java-based application, so Java (>=1.8) needs to be installed on your computer.

How to use it

After you downloaded it and Java is installed on your computer, just simple start the downloaded jar file. On Windows, double click on the jar file, on Linux (in console): java -jar wifi-speed-test-client-1.0alpha1.jar.
Then it will work very similar as WiFi Speed Test on Android does. No browse button currently, thus you need to give server IP address manually (displayed by the server, see later), and just click on Start button.
You can change the data size to be transferred, tune the message block size and select between upload and download tests.

The server

The above app will not be useful unless you have a second phone or computer to use it as server!
You have to start the server on another computer, this server will receive the data sent by the app. It’s very easy to use, just download wifi_speed_test_server.exe to your other computer and start it. Alternatively, if you are using non-windows based computer, you can start the python version too (Python 2.7 is required, not compatible with Python 3), download wifi_speed_test.py and then start with the next command: python path_to/wifi_speed_test.py.

Don’t forget to enable tcp port 1212 and udp port 1213 if you are using firewall, or temporary disable it for the period of the tests.
For more info about the server, you can find here

Using mobile as server:
If you don’t have a second computer, you can use your mobile/tablet as server. Just download my WiFi Speed Test app for Android to your mobile, start it then scroll down and select “TCP SERVER” tab then click on start.
Either you are using a computer or mobile as server, the server app will display the IP address that you have to give as server address in the java app.

Feel free to contact me if you have any feedback. Thanks 🙂

UDP network test on Android

Screenshot_2015-10-20-21-04-06From the v2.3.0 of WiFi Speed Test app, you can test the UDP speed of your network using your android based mobile. You can download the application from Google Play, but the UDP support is in beta phase currently, that means you can download it from the Google Play Testing site.

Basically, just go to TCP/UDP client tab, and select UDP protocol (highlighted with red line on the picture).

Then change the UDP target bandwidth or let the default. This is because UDP is not a reliable protocol that means it can send packages as fast as possible and then can lose packages with the same tempo. With this option, you can limit the bandwidth and detect the speed where your network is even acceptable reliable and where it is not.
That’s all, give or browse the server, then just click on start (I assume your server already runs, see later), you can test the upload and the download speed too. At the end of test, a result window will be displayed about the sent/received bytes and about the lost bytes. If there are no (or not to much) lost data, you can increase the bandwidth, or you can decrease it in other case.
Also you can set the transferred data (1-1000 MB) and the data size (128 bytes-32KB), just scroll down and click on “Set data size” button.
For more info about this application you can find here

Screenshot_2015-10-20-21-05-30

Unlucky case, the speed is too high, data loss is also high

The server

You have to start the server on another computer, this server will receive the data sent by the app. It’s very easy to use, just download wifi_speed_test_server.exe to your computer and start it. Alternatively, if you are using non-windows based computer, you can start the python version too, download wifi_speed_test.py and then start with the next command: python path_to/wifi_speed_test.py.

Don’t forget to enable tcp port 1212 and udp port 1213 if you are using firewall, or temporary disable it for the period of the tests.
For more info about the server, you can find here

Screenshot_2015-10-20-21-06-06

You can follow the transfer.

LG G4 wifi performance

Hello guys,

I’ve just tested the wifi performance of a LG G4 device. For the test I used a TP-LINK archer c2 ac750 router and my WiFi Speed Test app.

There was only one weird thing, the link speed fluctuated very fast, sometimes it was only 27 Mbps then went up to 433 Mbps then went to 40 Mbps, however the router was only 30 cm far from the device and nothing changed in the environment. Finally I could perform the test at 433 Mbps of link speed.

The results:

Upload speed: 190 Mbps, download: 123 Mbps

Here is the youtube video about the test:

and another one about the fluctuating link speed: