Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac

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What is the best way, nowadays, to scan for wireless frequencies given an
entirely Apple household of iPhones, iPads, Macbook Pros, and an iMac?

An Apple-only friend (who lives in the boonies) called just now from
another state with Comcast Internet problems at home.

They're on the $56.95 25Mbps "Performance Internet" plan which advertises
25 Mbps down & 5 Mbps up. They own their own Motorola Docsys 3.0 modem from
Costco.  

They have iPads, iPhones, Macbook Pros, and an iMac.
(Also they have Vonage.)

With an iMac wired to the modem, they're getting 29 down and 6 up
(sometimes 1 up) at around 38ms ping times, but at the various wireless
devices they're only getting half that.

They haven't told me what they get wired to the router (a WRT54G, which
only has channels 1 through 11) but I told them to scan for WiFi signals
(to see if they are clashing with their neighbors).

They don't know how.

They are on iOS with iPhones and iPads & they have a couple of MacBook Pros
which apparently don't have an Ethernet port (nor do they have the adapter)
but they do have an iMac which does have an Ethernet port.

So they're running the *wired* tests using the iMac but I'm trying to get
them to run wireless tests and they're not technical people.

My only question is how do I get them to run a test of the WiFi frequencies
in use where they are.

Googling, I found this which explains for them how to run a WiFi scan on
the iPads and iPhones that they own:
- TIP: Choosing the best WiFi channel using iPad
-
http://forum.music-group.com/showthread.php?6603-TIP-Choosing-the-best-WiFi-channel-using-iPad

But looking for how to run the same test on the iMac or MacBook Pros, I'm
not sure because I don't know what operating system they're on.

For example, here is information for OSX but I don't know how good it is as
I have no Apple computers:
- Any free good software wireless analyzers, like Windows' Netstumbler and
inSSIDer, for Mac OS X 10.8.3?
- https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5073997?tstart=0

What is the best way, nowadays, for this older couple to scan for wireless
frequencies given an entirely Apple household of iPhones, iPads, Macbook
Pros, and an iMac?

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On 12 Sep 2016 02:25:07 GMT, Jolly Roger wrote:

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Thank you for suggesting a Mac app since I have no way of testing them but
the user has an old iMac (which they had to charge up so I doubt they use
it all that often - but it had an Ethernet port) and two Macbook Pros
(which didn't have RJ45 ports).

I will suggest *that* freeware app for them.
- NetSpot: WiFi survey & wireless scanner, By Etwok LLC
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/netspot-wifi-survey-wireless/id514951692

The heatmap in the app description is *gorgeous*, but I wonder who is going
to have a house plan "on" their computer.
http://a2.mzstatic.com/us/r30/Purple4/v4/41/27/b3/4127b302-d96e-3ef0-fe14-fbded3d0f261/screen800x500.jpeg

Nonetheless, all we need are the first few bullet items in the description:
* NetSpot collects and visualizes 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi data
* support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz channel bands
* lots of data collected on every network: AP name (SSID), MAC address
(BSSID), vendor, channel, signal levels, encryption and more

Thanks for suggesting what seems to be a great freeware app for the Mac
that supplements what iOS does with the AirPort Utility for this all-Apple
household.

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
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As if creating a drawing of your own floor plan at all hard to do. Take
some measurements and open your favorite drawing app; done deal. Took me
less than five minutes. And you call yourself a "power user" who knows more
than most "idiot" Apple users... : )

--  
E-mail sent to this address may be devoured by my ravenous SPAM filter.
I often ignore posts from Google. Use a real news client instead.

JR

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac


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imacs do not require charging.

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use wireless.

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On Mon, 12 Sep 2016 16:41:46 -0400, nospam wrote:

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He says he has an iMac laptop.
It has a battery.
But I wouldn't know an iMac from a Big Mac.

I'll ask him.

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That works "if" he remembers his login/password.
And, if he didn't turn off the wireless login.
And if he didn't change the port.

I'm gonna call him at 5pm (oops. it's 5pm. I can call now).

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac

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he's confused, as are you.

an imac is a desktop.
a macbook is a laptop.

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no surprise there.


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there's nothing to remember since he just bought a *new* wifi router.

it'll have whatever password he gives it when he sets it up.

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On Mon, 12 Sep 2016 09:00:18 -0400, Wade Garrett wrote:

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Thanks for that idea, but more information is needed, e.g., the *channel*
that each device is on.

The all-Apple house ran the iPad iOS app named "AirPort Utility" which
showed them that they were on channel 11 while there were 19 others on
channel 11 alone!

19!
OMG. I've never seen airwaves *that* congested outside a college dorm
atmosphere!

All three of the non-overlapping channels were filled with access points,
but, strangely, channel 5 was empty, so I told them to set the *new* router
to channel 5, and then give up on 2.4GHz wifi if they could.

I told them to set the iOS devices and computers to *only* use 5GHz if they
can (dunno if that's possible though).

They haven't set up the new ac 1900 router (the ac 1750 at Best Buys was
$130 and I told them that is just fine but they opted for the $200 ac 1900
just to be safe).

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Thanks for that advice. I can't test it, and usually I find other peoples'
instructions are always less detailed than mine (they skip steps), even
when it's a DIY for fixing a car - I never skip a bolt - but other people
assume a lot.

I sent them the reference though,  

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On 13 Sep 2016 02:08:39 GMT, Jolly Roger wrote:

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Folks may consider adding "optout" for Microsoft Windows 10, and "_nomap"
for Google.

Dunno if Apple respects these opt out keywords though...

Nobody seems to know the answer...
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3774886?tstart=0
 Q: Does Apple adhere to Google's _nomap router location optout?  

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
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Nah. Those of us who understand security implications of them have no
need or desire to try to hide or otherwise obfuscate them.

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In general, and to a much greater extent than both Google and Microsoft,
Apple respects the privacy of its customers enough not to bother doing
anything that would harm their privacy.

--  
E-mail sent to this address may be devoured by my ravenous SPAM filter.
I often ignore posts from Google. Use a real news client instead.

JR

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On 13 Sep 2016 05:08:03 GMT, Jolly Roger wrote:

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1. You do realize that Google's is a *public* database, right?

2. And that the db is updated every moment of every day, right?

3. Therefore, if someone drives by your house with an Android phone in
their pocket, not set up like mine is, and they drive by close enough to
pick up your WiFi signals, they automatically send your BSSID (aka your
unique MAC address) to Google's public database.

Given that, what happens, if you broadcast your SSID (e.g., if your phone
is a hotspot), then anyone in the world who knows your BSSID can tell if
you're at a particular home, if they happen to know the BSSID of that
particular home.

You do know this, right?


Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac

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which is good, so everyone benefits.

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no it isn't.

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that's how the wifi location database is populated, which *helps*
determine location *without* needing power-hungry gps or falling back
to cellular which is not very accurate.

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no they can't.

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On Tue, 13 Sep 2016 01:49:39 -0400, nospam wrote:

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Tell me that it's not true that all you need is:
1. MAC ADDRESS #1
2. MAC ADDRESS #2
3. WiFi Signal Strength

And Google will tell you if those two are next to each other.
C'mon.  

Tell me it can't be done with just that information.

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
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So what? It's certainly not a problem for me.

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Bullshit. The SSID doesn't give them any such information. You're
extremely confused.

--  
E-mail sent to this address may be devoured by my ravenous SPAM filter.
I often ignore posts from Google. Use a real news client instead.

JR

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On 13 Sep 2016 05:30:09 GMT, Jolly Roger wrote:

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Fair enough.

Google gets a *lot* more information than your SSID.
1. They get your GPS location.
2. They get your BSSID (which is your unique MAC address!)
NOTE: This is the address that is nearly impossible to change, not the one
that is trivial to clone!

They get more than that (e.g., they get your SSID) but those two are
unique.

The lookup is free and is an open public database updated constantly:
https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/geolocation/intro

Most of the parameters are optional, but essentially if you know the MAC
address of the person you are tracking, and you know the MAC address of the
location you want to check if they're nearby, then you just make up a
signal strength, and Voila!

You can geolocate anyone!

Here is a sample request with very many *optional* parameters:
{
 "homeMobileCountryCode": 310,
 "homeMobileNetworkCode": 260,
 "radioType": "gsm",
 "carrier": "T-Mobile",
 "cellTowers": [
  {
   "cellId": 39627456,
   "locationAreaCode": 40495,
   "mobileCountryCode": 310,
   "mobileNetworkCode": 260,
   "age": 0,
   "signalStrength": -95
  }
 ],
 "wifiAccessPoints": [
  {
   "macAddress": "01:23:45:67:89:AB",
   "signalStrength": 8,
   "age": 0,
   "signalToNoiseRatio": -65,
   "channel": 8
  },
  {
   "macAddress": "01:23:45:67:89:AC",
   "signalStrength": 4,
   "age": 0
  }
 ]
}

Here are the only mandatory parameters:
{
   "macAddress": "01:23:45:67:89:AB",
   "signalStrength": 8,
  },
  {
   "macAddress": "01:23:45:67:89:AC",
   "signalStrength": 8,
  }

That is, all you need are two real MAC addresses and one (fabricated)
signal strength, and you can find out if two people are in the same
location at any point in time from anywhere in the world.

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On Mon, 12 Sep 2016 23:48:32 -0700, AL wrote:

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Well, your wife also has those things, but she can *track* your whereabouts
using the free public API, even if you told her you were working late at
the office.

All she needs to track you is ...  
a. Your MAC address
b. The MAC address at your girlfriend's house
c. A fake signal strength reading

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac

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without that, location would not work as well.

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changing a mac address is not that hard.

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no.

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On Tue, 13 Sep 2016 01:49:41 -0400, nospam wrote:

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This one is.
It's not the "clone" MAC address.
It's on the other side of the radio.

You have to desolder the chip.
Who is gonna do that?

Jeff Liebermann explained the entire thing in gory detail on
alt.intenet.wireless in the past.

Suffice to summarize that it's not easy to change the BSSID that Google and
WiGLe save to their public databases.

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac

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who cares

having that database is a *good thing*.

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On Tue, 13 Sep 2016 02:19:38 -0400, nospam wrote:

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A friend asked me to consider working with him to write a program to track
spouses. I don't have the skills, so I declined, but, under FriendDA, we
discussed...

The program would be used by spouse 1.
Spouse 1 would enter the phone MAC address of spouse 2.
Spouse 1 would also enter the MAC address(es) of suspected lovers' homes
which spouse 1 would get by driving by the suspected homes.
Lastly, spouse 1 would ensure the spouse 2 was broadcasting the SSID.

That's it for what Spouse 1 has to do.

Any lookup to the Google database will tell spouse 1 "if" and "when" spouse
2 was at location1, or location2, or location3, etc.

These locations can be *any* MAC address, e.g.,  
location1 = MAC address of starbucks on 100 main street
location2 = MAC address of spouse2's boss
location3 = MAC address of pretty neighbor across town
etc.

This would be *easy* to write for anyone who can code, since the Google
public API only needs three things:
1. Two MAC addresses
2. A (fabricated is fine) signal strength

That's all it needs.

Re: Scanning for WiFI like inSSIDer on iOS & Macbook Pro & iMac
On Mon, 12 Sep 2016 18:45:22 -0700, AL wrote:

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I have a couple of kids in graduate school and where they live they have
tons of others nearby.  

One has 50Mbps service from Comcast, as I recall, and she gets almost
90Mbps.

BTW, a trick I learned the hard way is that after 1 year of the
"introductory rate" from Comcast, they raise your bill - and it used to be
that if you called them, they'd automatically give you the introductory
rate again.

I was told recently that they *stopped* doing that in October of last year.
If that's true, then they said they don't lower your rates back to the
original rates.

However ....  

I looked up on Zillow a house for sale in the nearby area of the kid and
called Comcast as a new owner of that house, giving them a bogus phone
number at that address and they told me that the house I chose hasn't had
Internet for two years (lucky me).  

Then they gave me an *introductory rate*, which was *lower* (by a lot!)
than the rate they had just told us they couldn't give us.

I wrote *everything* down (that's where an automatic call recorder excels,
because you can play back all their crazy package names!) and then we
called back on the original Comcast account and argued with them until they
gave us *those* introductory rates.

So, yeah, it took *multiple* phone calls, where Comcast effectively lied to
us (where is Rod Speed when I need him to proclaim a lie?) but we got the
"introductory rate".

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