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Wi-Fi Environment Visualization
Wi-Fi Environment Visualization
Written by Josh Peters
Updated over a week ago

The Wi-Fi Environment table in the sensor status page displays the Wi-Fi environment around the sensor from a periodic AP scan. The results include SSIDs, BSSIDs, RSSI values, channel information, and related information you can see by hovering over the (i) info element. The information in the table is now available to view as a chart, helping you visualize your channel plan and see areas free, with channel overlap, or with channel interference.

Wi-Fi environment is now available as time series data for back-in-time views. You can now see the Wi-Fi environment chart for the selected time window on the sensor status page.

The new Wi-Fi Environment has two views: A collapsed view and an expanded view you can access by clicking the full-screen icon.

Filters can be applied to simplify the charts and help narrow your focus to SSIDs, RSSI Signal, Channels, and Channel Widths. By default, filters are applied on RSSI to limit the chart view to show the BSSIDs with the best signal. You can click the filter icon and set the RSSI to your desired level. You can tell when a filter is applied by observing the blue dot on the filter icon.

There are also quick filter buttons for 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz or all

You can also search for specific SSIDs or BSSIDs. Please note the filter rules are applied to the search.

The horizontal scroll allows you pan across the channels

When you examine the table, when you mouse over a BSSID, the graphs will automatically navigate to and highlight the BSSID you are looking at.

The colors of the Wi-Fi Environment Visualization are as follows:

  • Green – The BSSID is currently being tested

  • Blue – A BSSID part of the SSID configured for testing

  • Light Grey – An SSID not being tested

  • Dark Grey (Dashed lines in the chart) – A Hidden SSID not being tested

6Ghz Wi-Fi Environment enhancements (Off band monitoring)

The Wi-Fi 6E sensor has two radios, while one radio is used to test the network as a client - the secondary radio is placed in monitor mode and listens to BSSIDs on the off bands of the SSID under test. Helping give more insight into the environment.

The sensor will monitor up to 10 BSSIDs per target SSID network configured in this way.

The Wi-Fi environment now comes with new measures on these BSSIDs including:

  1. Retry rates

  2. Traffic breakdown - showing what % of frames are management, control or data

  3. Available Admission Capacity(AAC)

  4. 802.11ax Color element information

  5. Client Count

  6. Channel utilization

These new measures now help you see how active your Wi-Fi Environment is, beyond just RSSI levels. Helping you make informed decisions about your network design, AP power levels and balancing on bands and channels.

  • Retry Rate

All packets between a BSSID and stations that are seen are monitored, and any packets that have the retry bit set are counted toward the packet retry %.

A higher retry rate translates to worse network conditions

  • Traffic Breakdown

Traffic Management/Data/Control frames as a percentage of all traffic seen on the BSSID – so you can see if clients are idle, or using data.

  • Clients

  • Available Admission Capacity(AAC)

This field is pulled from the QoS information element and requires that QoS is enabled on your network. It represents data from the Access points perspective, showing how much time in 1 second is available for transitions.

The Higher the AAC the more available bandwidth on the network from the perspective of the BSSID reporting the measurement.

  • BSS Color

802.11ax introduced the concept of coloring BSSIDs to reduce co-channel interference. BSSIDS that are near to each other if on the same band and channel should be coded with different color values. Color values range from 0-255

  • Auth Timing ms(max)

The info bubble will provide the following details:

The vendor name and AP name displayed under the information bubble come from the Information Element field present in the Beacon packet and Probe Response Packet. If you are seeing any missing information in the fields you can take an on-demand packet capture on the sensor and validate the information in both beacons and probe responses. For Aruba APs you should be running or better.

AP name:

  1. In order to see the AP name, typically you need to set your SSID settings to advertise AP name.

  2. Once you enable the AP name, you will also see the AP name under
    Issue Triage Error context

    BSSID test results chart

Sensors do support multivendor AP name display - if your Aruba, MIST, Cisco, Extreme, or Sagemcom(uses Microsoft OUI) AP advertises the AP name in the beacon frames and probe responses, you can now see the AP name in the Wi-Fi Environment section under the (i) element for the SSID being tested, in issue triage context and in the BSSID test result chart when hovering your mouse over the BSSID test results.

Known limitations:

  • The Wi-Fi Environment displays the results of the most recent AP scan within the time window selected. For example, if you have selected the last 24-hour view, you will only see the most recent AP scan. If you are looking at a previous time period, the results will be the latest within that time period. You can mouse over the info element to identify the “last seen” to see what time you are looking at.

  • The results may differ slightly from one AP scan to the next, it depends on whether the sensor received a probe response from the AP.

Related Help Articles:

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