Running XP, using the wireless zero configuration service, I need to find out the MAC address of the access point that I'm connected to. Netstumbler and similar programs can give me a list of all APs in range, but can't seem to tell me which AP was connected by WZC. How can I get the MAC of the AP that Windows chose?
I have a network with many APs and sometimes Windows connects to one that's broken or possibly a rogue unauthorized AP. I need to figure out the MAC of the offending AP, at which point I can either identify it from a list I have of APs or use NetStumbler to find it by walking around and watching the signal strength.
On Fri, 18 Jan 2008 23:59:00 +0000, Mark McIntyre wrote in :
Readily available on all platforms in a college environment, and very easy to configure and use.
On the contrary -- with WPA Enterprise, each user has unique credentials, and all sessions are isolated with one-time keys; i.e., user 1 can't sniff traffic of user 2 even with the unique credentials for user 2.
interesting.... I have a separate AP (just AP, not a combo router) and then a normal router. The MAC of the AP has no reason to appear in any list, since it is never used in an ARP exchange. It only showed in a ARP -a when I explicity Ping'd it.
Nope, not in this case. These Cisco "Lightweight" APs function as bridges. They have IP addresses that, AFAICT, are only used for communication with their central management console. It's similar to what "P.Schuman" described in his post to this thread.
Unlike his situation, the MAC does not end up in the arp table even if I ping the AP's IP address (which, again, is used only for communication with the central management console). This is because the AP's management IP is on a different subnet than its clients, so a laptop pinging it has to go through the gateway (which, btw, is in our server room).
The vendor utility for your WiFi client might offer more connection information. Mine allows me to select a WAP by SSID and has an advanced screen with the MAC address for further clarification amongst same-named WAPs.
One of the free "managers" probably provides a similar tool. Boingo and AT&T Connection Manager come to mind.
That's actually more difficult than it would seem. If you use the results of: arp -a you'll only get the MAC and IP address of the default gateway, not the connected wireless access point.
You could cheat and ping the management IP address of the access point followed by: arp -N "IP_address_of_access_point"
Vista greatly expanded the wireless diagnostic status options with the various: netsh wlan etc... incantations. For example: netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid or something like that, will show the available network connections with the BSSID (MAC address) of the access points. I don't have a Vista box handy to decode the incantation required to extract the currently connected access point.
In order to get the MAC address, it would need to come from the WZC program, or possibly the NDIS drivers for your wireless device. Some alternative drivers and wireless configuration utilities, such as Intel Proset, show the MAC address with the connection info. I think (not sure) the WZC status page (right click on the icon in the system tray or control panel) has the connected MAC address.