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Thread: inSSIDer showing wrong channel???

  1. #1

    Default inSSIDer showing wrong channel???

    OK, bear with me please.

    A little history first. I've been having router problems (possibly). For 9 months my ISP provided Motorola Surfboard SBG6850 worked flawlessly. Then in mid Aug. my wireless HP Printer started locking up. Had to remove power to shutdown.

    A few weeks later my wife who's computer is connected wirelessly as well complained her system was slow getting data. The HP printer during this time would lock up sometimes 2 or 3 times a day or work fine for days at a time. A speed test showed her internet connection speed was 1/8th of what it should be. Wireless (N) was connecting at the proper speed. I got NetStumbler to see what was going on.

    OK, the ISP decided to replace the Surfboard with another one. It however only connected at 130Mbps wireless speed to my wife's computer, not the 270Mbps that the connection normally was (Linksys WMP300N device). The next day it was connecting at 270Mbps and the day later back to 130Mbps. I was changing control channels (40Mhz band) and Netstubler was showing the correct channel. I realized that that program was old and never supported N speed. I then found iiSSIDer. It had the same data showing and the channel numbers matched.

    Well, the ISP was out of Surfboards and installed a Ubee DDW3610. It appeared to work correctly. Wife's computer connected at 270Mbps. Printer connects fine. So did my iPad and other devices we have (both N and G).

    Now the problem. The channels do not match what the Router thinks it is putting out.

    Conflicting results...

    Router -- channel 11
    Printer -- channel 11
    iiSSIDer -- channel 9

    I found Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector, agrees with inSSIDer, channel 9?

    See the attached screenshots (router is 'admin')... why?

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    Irv S.

  2. #2

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    Hello,

    That is very interesting. I have never seen that before and it is interesting that Wi-Fi inspector also shows channel 9. What does the Wireless network card in the PC you are running inSSIDer on show as the channel of the admin SSID?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richp01 View Post
    Hello,

    That is very interesting. I have never seen that before and it is interesting that Wi-Fi inspector also shows channel 9. What does the Wireless network card in the PC you are running inSSIDer on show as the channel of the admin SSID?
    Odd to say the least.

    The wireless card is a LinkSys WMP300N controlled by its utility. No channels are displayed. The old Surfboard matched the channel the modem claimed, on inSSIDER and the older Netstumbler.

    I have 2 other indicators of it being not on channel 9 as inSSIDer claims, the router itself and the HP Printer. Both of those match.

    My wired computers can't see the channel and the iPad doesn't display it, neither does the Sony Home Theater and the Wii (G speed).

    However, the Xirrus program agrees with inSSIDer, so you could be right, a problem with the wireless card (which I doubt)?

    Odd... I wonder if an Advanced setting on the properties of the card could cause this? I was playing around with these when the card connected at 1/2 speed?

    Irv

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richp01 View Post
    Hello,

    That is very interesting. I have never seen that before and it is interesting that Wi-Fi inspector also shows channel 9. What does the Wireless network card in the PC you are running inSSIDer on show as the channel of the admin SSID?
    I thought the System Info (XP) might show the channel and ran that, didn't.

    I opened up NetStumbler though. It of course doesn't know from N speed and lists admin as G, but it shows the channel as 11?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Program error???

  5. #5

    Default

    Hello,

    Something to try would be to use Windows Connection manager instead of the Linksys utility. You can enable it by going to Control panel -> Administrative tools -> Services. Then scroll down until you see Wireless Zero Configuration. That should start the windows wireless connection utility.

    Then Open Network connections. Right click on you wireless network device and select Properties. Select the Wireless Networks tab and check the box "Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings"

    Then start inSSIDer and see if it shows the correct channel.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richp01 View Post
    Hello,

    Something to try would be to use Windows Connection manager instead of the Linksys utility. You can enable it by going to Control panel -> Administrative tools -> Services. Then scroll down until you see Wireless Zero Configuration. That should start the windows wireless connection utility.

    Then Open Network connections. Right click on you wireless network device and select Properties. Select the Wireless Networks tab and check the box "Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings"

    Then start inSSIDer and see if it shows the correct channel.
    Sorry, this is my wife's computer and I'm not always 'allowed' on it and I'm not sure of much that is on it, but it is running under Windows Zero Configuration. Checked and verified by instructions above. Confusion comes from her using both the LinkSys utility and Network Magic in the past to run the connection. Network Magic is still installed and use for sharing it seems.

    I guess I could switch over to the Linksys utility, but not sure what that would prove or provide. Either the app or Windows has a problem with the signal from this Ubee router it seems? The older Surfboard gave the same results on this h/w and s/w and indicated the correct channel on the app.

    Irv

  7. #7

    Default

    Hello Irv,

    Yeah I am not sure what it would prove either. Seems that if with the Surfboard it was reporting the correct channel. Then I would assume there is an issue between the network card and the Ubee. But what it could be I really don't know. Maybe interesting to see if you change the channel of the Ubee to say Channel 1 does it report a different channel or does it stay on 9.

    Rich

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richp01 View Post
    Hello Irv,

    Yeah I am not sure what it would prove either. Seems that if with the Surfboard it was reporting the correct channel. Then I would assume there is an issue between the network card and the Ubee. But what it could be I really don't know. Maybe interesting to see if you change the channel of the Ubee to say Channel 1 does it report a different channel or does it stay on 9.

    Rich
    Rich, interesting test, drum roll please ::::

    Router -- channel 8
    Printer -- channel 8
    iiSSIDer -- channel 6
    NetStumbler - 8
    Xirrus -- 6

    With the Ubee they (iiSSIDer and Xirrus) seem to be off by 2. I can only go as low as 5 on the 40Mhz upper channel for N. Even there, they are 2 lower showing 3.

    Ah, I think I 'solved' the symptom and the cause!!!!

    My Surfboard had to be replaces as the N network card couldn't connect at more than 130Mbps. To have that happen, the upper 40Mhz bandwidth channel has to be enabled. It was on the Surfboard, but the suspicion was the 40Mhz radio wasn't working. Tech had his N wireless card in his laptop and had the same problem. That is why the Surfboard was replaced with the Ubee (I get a modem/router combo from my ISP with my 40Mbps service).

    So I turned off the 40Mhz bandwidth signal and only used the 20Mhz bandwidth. I can go from 1 to 11 on that. Both iiSSIDer and Xirrus reported the correct channel.

    I'd say those programs have a bug interpreting the 40Mhz bandwidth channel. I would suspect this would happen on any N Speed Router that has that setting on?

    Irv S.

  9. #9

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    inSSIDer 2 (v1 doesn't read detailed 11n info) first parses the information given to it by Windows (SSID, channel number, RSSI, etc.) and then parses the extra 11n info (max speed, channel width, guard interval, etc.) stored in Information Elements (IEs) that Windows passes along from the beacon packet received by the WiFi adapter. If inSSIDer 2 finds a 40MHz flag, it will list the channel as Primary + Secondary (e.g. "1 + 5" or "11 + 7")

    NetStumbler, however, (as far as I know) bypasses the Windows WiFi stack and reads the information directly from the WiFi adapter (which is why it won't work on some WiFi adapters)

    So, it is not a bug in inSSIDer or Xirrus that causes the incorrect channel to be reported.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler View Post
    inSSIDer 2 (v1 doesn't read detailed 11n info) first parses the information given to it by Windows (SSID, channel number, RSSI, etc.) and then parses the extra 11n info (max speed, channel width, guard interval, etc.) stored in Information Elements (IEs) that Windows passes along from the beacon packet received by the WiFi adapter. If inSSIDer 2 finds a 40MHz flag, it will list the channel as Primary + Secondary (e.g. "1 + 5" or "11 + 7")

    NetStumbler, however, (as far as I know) bypasses the Windows WiFi stack and reads the information directly from the WiFi adapter (which is why it won't work on some WiFi adapters)

    So, it is not a bug in inSSIDer or Xirrus that causes the incorrect channel to be reported.
    Sorry, I don't understand your answer? I do know that when channels are bonded you do see the +. You've not explained why when the bandwidth channel is 40Mhz that channel is not shown but the CENTER channel (see URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11n-2009, see 40 MHz in 2.4 GHz) which is the MEAN of the Primary channel (used for b/g devices) and the Secondary channel (used for N devices). If this is the case as you say, then I should be both channels reported, as 7 + 11, not the median of 9?

    Irv S.

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