Using Android app to test Wi-Fi signal continuity.

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BretAB

New Around Here
Hi SNB Forums,

This is my first thread here. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this community!

Problem: I'm trying to determine if the Wi-Fi circuitry in my wired+wireless router is going bad. In the last couple months I've had increasing incidents of experiencing internet connectivity loss and seeing "Connected, no internet" in the Wi-Fi detail of my Android phone. The normal state should be just "Connected".

What I've tried: Sitting next to the router, and using the Android app "Wifi Analyzer", if set the "Scan Interval" to L2 (the default), and then view the Signal Meter, it pegs the meter at -40dBm and stays there as expected.

But if I set the scan interval to L0 (ie. the lowest setting), the meter stays at -40 for a couple seconds, then bounces around the full meter all over the place, then hits 0 (zero) and stays there maybe a second or two, then bounces around some more, then maybe hits -40 and stays there a couple seconds, and this scenario just continues to repeat forever.

I'm thinking that the bouncing around that I'm seeing at the L0 settings might just be a limitation of the phone (Moto G4+), and/or the app. Then again, the phone and the app might be working perfectly, and I'm seeing continuous intermittent failure of the router's Wi-Fi circuitry.

I will greatly appreciate your thoughts, comments, corrections and suggestions.

Regards . . .
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Welcome.

Does this happen with both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands?

Have you tried looking at other nearby access points. Look at the Channel Graph for each band and observe the behaviour of all nearby APs.

It's not unusual to see the signal strengths going up and down by about 10dBm (or disappearing completely for weak stations).

I've had some android phones that were simply not very reliable when reporting the signal strength.
 

Matthew Patrick

Senior Member
Hi SNB Forums,

This is my first thread here. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this community!

Problem: I'm trying to determine if the Wi-Fi circuitry in my wired+wireless router is going bad. In the last couple months I've had increasing incidents of experiencing internet connectivity loss and seeing "Connected, no internet" in the Wi-Fi detail of my Android phone. The normal state should be just "Connected".

What I've tried: Sitting next to the router, and using the Android app "Wifi Analyzer", if set the "Scan Interval" to L2 (the default), and then view the Signal Meter, it pegs the meter at -40dBm and stays there as expected.

But if I set the scan interval to L0 (ie. the lowest setting), the meter stays at -40 for a couple seconds, then bounces around the full meter all over the place, then hits 0 (zero) and stays there maybe a second or two, then bounces around some more, then maybe hits -40 and stays there a couple seconds, and this scenario just continues to repeat forever.

I'm thinking that the bouncing around that I'm seeing at the L0 settings might just be a limitation of the phone (Moto G4+), and/or the app. Then again, the phone and the app might be working perfectly, and I'm seeing continuous intermittent failure of the router's Wi-Fi circuitry.

I will greatly appreciate your thoughts, comments, corrections and suggestions.

Regards . . .
New Android version? You might need to disable the "WiFi scan throttling" in developer options. It should work fine now...
 

BretAB

New Around Here
Welcome.

Does this happen with both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands?

Have you tried looking at other nearby access points. Look at the Channel Graph for each band and observe the behaviour of all nearby APs.

It's not unusual to see the signal strengths going up and down by about 10dBm (or disappearing completely for weak stations).

I've had some android phones that were simply not very reliable when reporting the signal strength.
Hi ColinTaylor and Matthew Patrick,

Please allow me to answer both of you in this reply. First a correction: The phone used in the original post was a Moto G5+, not a G4+ ( I'll correct that after this post). Now to answer your questions:

Colin, yes, the jumping meter needle also occurs on the 5GHz band. THAT SAID . . . I should have done this sooner: To further my testing I attached a b/g/n N300 access point to the network, and disabled the wireless on the original 2.4/5GHz wireless router. Sure enough, using my Moto G5+ and the app set to L0, the meter jumped around using the AP, just like it did using the 2.4/5GHz wireless router. That might us to think that it's a problem with the app.

Matthew Patrick, the MMoto g5+ is running Android 8.1. I checked Dev Options and unfortunately I don't see "WiFi scan throttling", so I just turned off Dev Options since not using any options right now. Good thing to test though for those who might have that option. But I think I found the solution, or at least a reasonable explanation this morning.

Colin, you mentioned, "...some android phones that were simply not very reliable when reporting the signal strength." That got me thinking: I just happen to have my previous phone, the Moto G4+ (running Android 7.0) sitting here so I gave it a test against the wireless router and the AP. Guess what? Using the same app on that phone, I can test L0 with NO bouncing meter. Whoopee!

So after all this wringing of hands and nashing of teeth, it's a phone hardware/OS issue. The newer Moto G5+ bounces the meter, but the older Moto G4+ has a steady meter. I consider the issue of the bouncing meter resolved. I'd like to continue the thread if it's ok with you. I'd like to know if there's another approach with the same app, or maybe another app that could let me know when "Connected, no internet" occurs, or at least test for it in real time to pinpoint flaky wi-fi transmitter/receivers.

Currently I have a post on another forum to see how Tasker could spawn a notification. I'll link to that discussion later it proves useful. One idea there is a periodic ping of someone's dns servers. That's just a battery draining exercise imho. I have another Tasker idea to pop a notification when the Android system senses the internet disconnect. That will probably be the monitoring solution, once I figure out how to create the right Tasker task and profile.

For what it's worth, here's another option to control Wi-Fi droputs. For security reasons, I don't recommend it, but hey, it's on the internet so it must be good, right? (Not!):
GROUP KEY UPDATE INTERVAL

Thanks again for your help and suggestions. I look forward to anything you think would be useful.

Regards . . .
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
So going back to the actual problem:
In the last couple months I've had increasing incidents of experiencing internet connectivity loss and seeing "Connected, no internet" in the Wi-Fi detail of my Android phone. The normal state should be just "Connected".
Does this only happen on the Moto G5+?

When you see this message appear log into the router and check the Wireless Log. Look at the "Connect Time" for the device to determine whether it has recently lost connection to the router.

One idea there is a periodic ping of someone's dns servers.
This is similar to what OS's (like Windows) are doing when they report "Connected, no internet". I don't know about Android but I suspect it's much the same. Being a Google product I suspect it's trying to connect to 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
 

BretAB

New Around Here
Does this only happen on the Moto G5+?
The problematic G5+ is used daily. The G4+ just sits here charged up without a SIM. I planned to sell it, but lucky for me today, I hadn't yet. What I will do is also check that older phone the next time I get a "no internet"

Good idea to check the router logs. Thanks.

I had to look: Here's a bit about Google's connectivity check if interested:
https://support.google.com/pixelbook/thread/2152494?hl=en

This also just occurred to me to consider: What if the DNS severs specified in the router become unavailable? That's a non an uncommon occurrence these days. Will the wireless Android devices interpret that as "no internet" when they try to resolve a name? Who knows. So I'll set the router to use a bogus primary dns server, no secondary, and see what happens.
 

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