I didn’t know exactly where to create this post, since the report is available on both the AP and the Balance One Core (as AP Controller). It could also be a “feature request”. Feel free to move it to the appropriate section of the forum…
I have been spending some time with the Nearby Devices report on the Balance One Core (AP Controller). I found it absolutely amazing that this report was trying to show me the frequency contention/saturation for so long, and I just kind of ignored it. Silly me.
Once I resolved my channel assignment issues with my APs, I was taken back when I saw that the only entries in there were “Station Probe” entries. All of the “AP” entries were gone. I think it means that my access points are not “seeing” any other access points broadcasting on the same channels near them. Left at their “auto” settings – my APs were reporting all of the other APs in this report (basically, every channel had competition). Since all of my congested channels were all broadcasting the same SSID – I was seeing all kinds of client connectivity persistence/roaming troubles. Just random drops and timeouts when the WAN seemed stable. Once I did some tinkering with the channels - this report is only left with the Station Probes.
I think there may be a way for Peplink to make this report just a bit more useful. It involves devices doing station probes that are already on the LAN. It would be nice to have a way to distinguish “friendly” probes from “enemy”(?) probes. It seems the router “knows” the mac addresses of devices that are somewhere on the LAN/VLAN - maybe it could compare it to what is probing? In addition, perhaps another column could somehow represent how big of a “nuisance” a particular device is being (is it probing 100 times an hour? 1000/hr? 10/day? etc). I really think these two items could help make that report much more useful.
I don’t know a whole bunch about what this “probing” stuff is about – but, it just sounds nasty to me.
If nothing else, I want to establish a baseline for the area around me. My house is stationary, and so are my neighbors – I should have a relatively “stale” report with the occasional UPS guy or FedEx guy possibly “probing” while scanning for “auto-join” networks.
I do appreciate the “Mark” feature, and Peplink does give utilities that allow me to dig for mac addresses (AP Status, Client Status, DHCP reservations, etc.), but I want it to be “easy button” simple. And if it could eventually toast some bread for me - that would be a nice addition too. Am I asking for too much?
This Peplink gear never ceases to impress me. Most consumer grade wireless routers/access points don’t expose any of this information. I just don’t see how folks can be successful without seeing what is going on “under the covers” and “behind the scenes”. I imagine most are content with just a pass/fail type of network. In my world, barely working may as well be broke. Peforming optimally is usually the goal for me.