Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?

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Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?

My daughter is traveling in Europe with a friend, where my  
daughter has the Nexus 5 while her friend has one of the  
newer iPhones (I don't know which one). Both have iPads also,  
but neither iPad (AFAIK) is picking up cellular. Both  
traveled with a single carryon, so, they have no PCs.

The grandparents are on dialup (they're in their 80's) but
my brother in law lives next door, through thick walls, where
my daughter is reading -90dBM signal strength on InSSIDer  
freeware (installed before InSSIDer started costing $10)  
for the brother-in-laws access point.

They can't connect to WiFi, and it's driving them (typical
American kids) crazy. What I would like to know is the  
headroom over the SNR (signal to noise ratio) so I need to  
have them measure the noise level (at either 2.4GHz or 5GHz).

Do you know an app that provides the SNR or the noise level?

They're currently "surviving" on the fact that my daughter
is on T-Mobile so the personal hotspot feature allows her
(unlimited but slow 3G at best) cellular data to be shared  
with the AT&T iPhone and to both iPads.

My daughter called the free T-Mobile international phone
number 611-equivalent (+1-505-998-3793) and they had her  
turn on roaming, which gave her 3G (at best) cellular  
data (where the T-Mobile plan is unlimited data when in
Europe, but only something like 2.5GB/month in the USA).

I know less about the AT&T iPhone but the friend seems to
have only an 800MB/month plan but she can't connect for  
cellular data for some reason, so she's glomming off my
daughter's signal for the moment (until we sort this out).

I don't know the situation with the AT&T iPad, but the  
T-Mobile iPad only has the free 200Mb/month for life
SIM card, which doesn't work in Europe, so it's a "dumb"
iPad with respect to cellular data (it should work fine
on WiFi though).

Since the T-Mobile Android cellular data is slow (3G at
best according to T-Mobile) and has to be shared with
the AT&T iPhone, I really want both of them on the  
next-door brother-in-law's home broadband router WiFi.

Jeff Liebermann kindly suggested the freeware WiFi
Analyzer, which is as good as InSSIDer so, we have  
both installed now, and that tells us the signal strength
in decibels (my daughter is getting -90dBm but can't
connect to the WiFi access point for some reason).

The reason they can't connect is almost certainly that
the signal to noise ratio doesn't give them the 10 to
12 decibels they need of headroom.

But, that brings up this question because I have no  
idea what the noise level is at their location.

Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for any of
these three types of mobile devices?




Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
On Wed, 1 Jul 2015 04:48:21 +0000 (UTC), "Paul B. Andersen"

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Ummmm... WiFi-SNR perhaps?
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.javali.wifisnr
That catch is that you have to be connected to the remote access point
in order to generate a graph.  Also, dive into "Setting" and check the
"Display results in text" box.  I'm sitting about 3 ft from my AP and
it shows an average of about 40dB SNR.

--  
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
On 01/07/2015 06:52, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
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I use wifi analyzer on Android. I think Apple restrict access to that  
information in iOS so I think most apps are limited on that platform  
unless they're jailbroken.


Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?

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On Android, I had previously already installed this freeware:
1. WiFi Analyser
2. WiGLE WiFi
3. Fritz!App WLAN
4. Fing
5. InSSIDer (no longer freeware)
all of which do very nice things, with lots of bells and whistles, but
none seemed to report the SNR or noise level in decibels.

Your suggestion of WiFi Analyzer is pretty good as it has 5 pages:
1. A real nice hand-held beeping signal strength analog meter!
2. Signal strength graphs for 2.4GHz
3. Running timelines of signal strength graphs
4. Signal strength bars, with security, SSID, BSSID, channel, router, etc.
5. Some kind of channel quality histogram

A picture of each, for those who don't have it, is below, from a test
at home just now on my phone:
1. http://i.imgur.com/W69TFKD.png
2. http://i.imgur.com/dJC8lYo.png
3. http://i.imgur.com/dK82FIW.png
4. http://i.imgur.com/foJ4024.png
5. http://i.imgur.com/gOAhnqV.png

These tools are so useful, especially when debugging a problem from
afar, that I don't know how I lived without them in the past!

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will no longer be ignorant of
what is actually going on, and, I'll be better equipped to  
troubleshoot given the necessary technical data.

Thanks!

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
On Wed, 1 Jul 2015 18:52:15 +0000 (UTC), "Paul B. Andersen"

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And the same for 5GHz.

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Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
e2d9padkjirla1gu7k6u8evo9vcmn1kfia@4ax.com

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For some reason, I didn't *see* the 5GHz graphs, so, that's
why I listed it that way. I only saw 2.5GHz graphs. I didn't
debug why (maybe I just missed them somehow, as I know my  
router has a 5GHz SSID broadcast).

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
On 02/07/2015 06:51, Paul B. Andersen wrote:
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Probably because your device doesn't do 5GHz. I see the same on my Moto  
G which is 2.4GHz capable only.


Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?

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I looked again, I do see the 5GHz channel now, but I no longer see
the 2.4 GHz channel! :)

I figured it out.

Both are on the same screen, but you can only see one at a time.
So, you don't slide to the next screen.

You hit the little button that says 5G or 2.4G at the top left,
and then it gives you lovely little parabolas for each WiFi  
access point it sees.

These little parabolas are GREAT because you can see OVERLAP and
you can see how many decibels they are, even when multiple SSIDs
are the SAME (e.g., I have a wifi repeater in my home with the  
same SSID, so I can see exactly which router I'm connecting to).

I don't know how I lived without this stuff before, but, it
isn't needed, I agree, when everything is working perfectly  
and you have huge signal strength and puny noise levels.

It's needed when things aren't so good, which is what is  
happening in Europe right now for my kid and her friend
with their iPads, iPhone, and Android phone.

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
mn4g0m$cb$2@news.albasani.net

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One more bit of detail.
That little button at top left that says 5G or 2.4G doesn't
show up for more than a second or two.

But, if you tap the middle of the phone, it shows up.

If you ask me, that's not the best user interface, because you
have to actually know it before you'd do it. But, it's easy
enough to do once you know it.

So, with the Moto G, you probably can *see* the 5G graph
also. Another of my kids has a Moto G (first generation), so,  
I can test it tonight when he comes home (he's way more technical
than my daughter, and he is years younger, so he probably  
wouldn't have these kinds of issues that she's having).

At least neither is as slow as the other kid in Europe
with the Apple-only equipment. She's almost not worth
talking to for details, since she expects it all to just
work and, well, it would, if they had better signal  
strength.

At least my daughter is roaming around the place with the  
signal strength meter trying to find the best location to  
get signal (which is something positive, instead of just
moaning that it doesn't work).

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?


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It never shows up for me.

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That doesn't happen either.

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True.





Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
cvm2a8Fk8p7U1@mid.individual.net

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I think I know why now, that Chris has clued me in.
http://i.imgur.com/js1MtBH.png

On my S3, there is both a 5G and a 2G graph of the  
local WiFi Access Points, and the buttons show up to
switch between the graphs because they use the same  
page.

However, on my kid's Moto G, there is only the 2.5Ghz
graph, so there are no buttons at all.

To confirm, on the Moto G, I pressed the graph, and the  
buttons I said existed never showed up.

As Chris said, if the phone can't handle 5G, you get only
one graph; but if the phone can handle both, then the buttons
allow you to switch between the graphs because the use the  
same page.

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
  
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I don't have any button there, presumably because  
there is no 5G service on the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 P5100.

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I don't see that at all.  
  
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Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
cvm2j5FkareU1@mid.individual.net

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Yup. That's what I saw on the Moto G, for the same reason.
http://i.imgur.com/js1MtBH.png

So, I only saw the buttons because my Samsung Galaxy S3 has
both 2.4GHz and 5GHz capabilities.

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
cvm2j5FkareU1@mid.individual.net

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Are you sure?

I have two routers, one hooked up as an extender of the first.
Both have the same SSID, but of course, they're on different
frequencies and they have a different MAC address so the BSSID
for each is different.

On all three tools, I can *see* both in action, although differently.

On inSSIDer, I can see both parabolas, both named the same thing,  
but with different BSSIDs, and, best of all, I see an asterisk  
next to the one SSId that I'm connected to.

On WiFi Analyzer, I see almost the same thing, except there is no
asterisk and BSSID easily seen on that particular graph (it's on
other pages I think).

On WiFI SNR, I see the FREQUENCY and the SSID, and, since the  
frequency is different between the two SSIDs, I can tell which  
is which, but I have to kill and restart the app for that to  
show up (so it doesn't switch on its own automatically).

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?

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Yeah, but only because the wifi extender isn't running.  
  
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My wifi extender is on the same frequency and that's
no big deal because she only uses it for net radio and
her grandson for a bit of minor browsing when he's
there so the half thruput is of no consequence at all.  

I can set it up the other way and can run a CAT5
cable to it too but haven't bothered because I'd
rather not have the small lightning strike risk.  

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Yeah, that's true in my case too since WiFi Analyser can see them both.  
  
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Yeah, I presume I will be able to once she returns and plugs it in again.  
I haven't bothered to power it from my place just for a test.  
  
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I haven't bothered to check it, its obvious which  
is which from the very different signal strength.  
  
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I can't because I can't get into the setting to turn that on.  

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There is a restart in the WiFi SNR menu, presumably for that reason.  

Bit crude but good enough.  

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
cvmopcFp6uaU1@mid.individual.net

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Jeff Liebermann knows more about this than anyone, but,  
I generally call your setup a "repeater" while I call
my setup an "extender".

The way I understand it, my "wired" extender gets me
the same signal speeds (give or take) as the original
router, while your "wireless" repeater halves the  
speed.

Of course, it's a *lot easier* to set up the repeater
because you don't have to run wires (except for power).

I have no idea about the lightning risk though, but I  
have antennas all over the place, so I guess I should
be crossing my fingers.

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?

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Yeah, that's what my wifi extender calls it too.  
  
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Yes, that is correct.  
  
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Yeah, that's why I did it that way.  
  
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I only have an external TV antenna and its just off  
the edge of the flat roof so is only 11' off the ground.  
Some very big trees along the park/south side of the
house and I've never had a lightning strike on those, yet.  

  

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
cvmri7Fps9rU1@mid.individual.net

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One *huge* advantage in outdoor applications of the WISP radios
(which, incidentally, cost the same as a puny router) is that
they have the POWER thing all figured out.

They use 15 to 24VDC power over Ethernet, so, you can easily
go about 300 feet (and you can daisy chain them further).

So, if you have to run wires anyway, you would rather run
outdoor cat5 instead of outdoor extension cords.

The advantages?

1. Same cost as a router
2. 300' of cat5 is cheaper than 300' of extension cord
3. No loss in speed
4. Best of all, signal strength 10x that of a router
   (at least in the USA)

Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?


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The economics is a bit different here because I normally
use what I have got from garage/yard sales for peanuts
with routers and extension cords and don't see long CAT5
very often at all at those, if ever.  


Re: Is there a way to get WiFi NOISE levels for a mobile device?
cvmri7Fps9rU1@mid.individual.net

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Lightning is a strange beast.
It actually mostly comes from the ground and goes *up* into the sky,  
so, in effect, it *knows* where you are at all times.

You don't want to be near where lines of force converge, as in
the tip of anything metal, for example.

At that point, the electric field lines build up, and, zzzzzap,  
the air molecules are rarefied into a plasma (as I understand it).

That plasma is basically a liquid column of electrons, which
allows the current to flow in massive amounts, if only for  
a split second.

Kaboom! By the time you hear the sonic waves from the pulsating
pressure wave, you're dead.

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