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Hello Everyone first post for me and i have a problem with Wifi.what the problem is the in-gated community my aunt is in has a contract with AT&T but they screwed up and didn't run enough lines to all the homes and they said estimated time of repair is within the next 2 years on top of that the contract states no other company can come in and place there lines so she is stuck without internet. but she live on the back wall side and about a football field away there is a time warner hotspot. i can get an account to use that wifi hotspot but i need a device to reach that and connect to it.log into the hotspot and receive the internet and shell it out to multiple PC's or a router in the home threw its RJ45 jack. when i emailed Ubiquiti i was told the PowerBeam M2 and M5 can do just that. so i spent 100 bucks and bought the PowerBeam M2. i have it on top of the roof aimed at the hotspot about 650-700 fetish now the problem is when i connect to the hotspot it says im around 70-90 -dBm around 70 noise. it stays connected for about 4seconds then drops and reconnects right away.i called time warner and the tech says the login auth was working but was getting what is called "Challenge TimeOut" i have the PowerBeam M2 wireless set to " Station " mode with WPA2_AES auth and under the networking part i have had it in "Bridge" mode with DHCP enabled. I Attached 3 images of the PowerBeam M2 GUI settings "Main, Wireless and Networking Tabs ". any help would be great and thank you ahead of time

p.s.s sorry ahead of time to grammer and spelling nazi's :-p

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post-50423-0-21664600-1430383510_thumb.j

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Fetish? (or feet and bad auto-correct...lol) Constant dropping to me seems more like you are getting bleed from their edge of the network, vs actual signal in line of sight and their end of the network signal may be further than you think.

Try enabling channel shifting. Just curious if you are getting signal from multiple other AP's they use locally with crossing traffic, dropping and reconnecting to the same one since you don't have it set to channel hop. Channel hopping and switching to another router in the same coverage area that is part of the same mesh should be automatic, but they will each have their own channel so they don't collide, while sharing the same SSID. (If the AP from the ISP is set to auto for channels, they will also change periodically but most likely, they have multiple devices for the same SSID, all to locked channels, which you would want to roam to each of theirs to get the best coverage vs only allowing to connect to one point - it will switch to the stronger one when needed, but you will see interuption in traffic, but with TCP, should not be more than a small delay between reconnects if good signal)

You may just be too far from the line of sight of their network edge to keep a consistent radio signal even with this setup though; may need a stronger antenna or higher power transmission which I'm not familiar with the device and if you can boost it, but also lowering your speeds may help maintain signal if you choose to use something lower. You can try aiming it at other directions though to see what else is out their, but even at 600-700 feet, you may only be getting bleed from what is realistically further than that away from you, only you can sniff drift without really being able to connect. Not uncommon to be able to see traffic 1,000's of feet away, but no way to actually connect. Monitor mode at like 1mb/s may even prove impossible depending on the distance and equipment.

If you can sacrifice a cheap router, and have a way to power it you could maybe setup a wifi repeater and a cantenna pointed straight back at you somewhere between you and the network edge, but that's more project fun and testing than practical solution if you don't have the equipment and means to set it up in line of sight and know directly where the source is. Could take you a while to dial everything in. Ideally you would probably want one repeater between you and the ISP if that far or further, but your speeds are going to drop drastically the more you try to extend it. Two antennas pointed directly at each other though can probably help more than you just trying to grab the edge of their mesh.

Edited by digip
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Is it just me or does that look mighty busy?

Still, if you have a decent line of sight plus a directional antenna like that dish you bought I'd expected more. Are you sure you aligned it properly?

I would've suspected the cable between the antenna and the radio, but a google of the device shows the radio is actually inside the dish, pretty much right on top of the receiver. It might explain why it's seeing a lot of noise seeping in from the outside, but I don't know enough about signal transmission to be sure. Do you know if some other big-ass transmitter is nearby? Say, a cell tower or one of those GSM things or something?

As they say on the website for your dish: Effective range is 20 km. While that's under ideal circumstances a football field or 2 should pose no problem at all. I'm wondering if you wouldn't have been better served with a cantenna or a yagi in a can - a directional antenna design that also keeps outside influences out.

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Look at your first post screen shots. The antenna reports the signal at .7 miles away(if it is able to measure correctly). That is like 3,000+ feet away from you, not 600-700.

The larger the SNR (Signal to noise ratio) the further you are from the Access Point(or in your case after measuring the SNR, power, and other factors, you get the -90dBm or so display values). The -dBm is really high in this case for all of the AP's you can see from your second post, and anything over -90 is basically like 0-1% of bandwidth for the network if anything, which means no throughput. You can sniff it passively for info, but most likely not connect to any of these without a larger and more amplified setup. As I mentioned before, you probably need directional antennas for point to point line of site at each side of the gap to get a nice signal at both ends, which will help you get connected, and even at a mile away, you can do it, but will be really slow as shit and probably not going to be usable for more than passive monitoring.

You idealistically, want the -dBm around -30 or better for good strong signal(Closer to 0 the better, 1 is right on the spot), and anything lower than -20, is like golden 100% wifi signal for users connecting further away, which is not going to be possible that far from these other access points from what it seems in your images above.

Most this shows me, you can see a lot of access points, but with really crappy signal strength. Most you can do is more or less sniff the outer rim of these networks, but probably not connect without moving closer. You can test this, setting up a home router and connecting to it locally vs trying to bridge to the other ISP's APs. You will be able to see that if pointing to your router sitting next to you, the SNR will be next to nothing and the -dBm 0 or positive values, not negative.

edit: trying to find sime info for you, this link might help

mobile.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netsp/article.php/3747656/WiFi-Define-Minimum-SNR-Values-for-Signal-Coverage.htm

Edited by digip
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oh wow i was thinking the opposite on the signal no wounder lawl. the AP is in my city block and im about 14 houses away from the AP when i stand on my roof i can see the box on the pole, google maps measuring tool says im around 800feet from AP 1 and 850feet from AP 2 .i dont know where the nearest cell tower is.btw thanks for all the info and everything its helping me understand this alot more.

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Wifi, is a fickle cat and she doesn't like her pussy stroked without being fed. Get her at both ends and she'll purr like a kitten..

oh wow i was thinking the opposite on the signal no wounder lawl. the AP is in my city block and im about 14 houses away from the AP when i stand on my roof i can see the box on the pole, google maps measuring tool says im around 800feet from AP 1 and 850feet from AP 2 .i dont know where the nearest cell tower is.btw thanks for all the info and everything its helping me understand this alot more.

Yeah, if you look at the values, they are plotted as integers in the negative and positive range. Larger negative the numbers, further you are, larger positive numbers, closer and/or stronger the signal.

I think part of your issue lies in the AP's on the poles. They aren't pointed directly at you, and are using omni-directional antennas. Ultimately, if you had another antenna like your Power Beam pointed back at you, this issue would probably go away. I don't know how wide the properties are around you(not measuring houses but the average houses plot), but 14 yards at say 80 feet per house plot maybe, thats around 1,000 feet, but if they are tiny lots, less distance. If these houses are all between you and that pole, you're going to get a shit ton of chatter between you and the pole, since it's not pointed at one house. In fact it probably would have to be or no one would be able to use it, which means it's just broadcasting like every other home owners routers are. That's a lot of noise at even +500 feet if all the other neighbors have wifi at home. Even on top of your house(which is probably the best place for a directional antenna pointed at a pole) you are still going to get bleed from all the other houses around you, so again, two pointed at each other would probably be the only way you are going to get this to work over wifi, or, have the ISP's drop another AP on your block somewhere.

Only other suggestion aside from the two antennas pointed at each other, is if you can try 802.11 N on the 2.4ghz (If you go to 5ghz, your distance would be even less - lower frequency, further distance, higher frequency, faster throughput but shorter the distance, ie: cb radios and police scanners in the 33-200mhz range, miles of distance, 2.4ghz, with two directional dish antennas pointed at one another, maybe couple of miles, with omni-directional one antenna or even one directional, probably 2-300 feet max)

edit: cooper posted a link in another thread (https://forums.hak5.org/index.php?/topic/35157-what-is-the-range-of-wireless-signal-strength/?p=260715) to http://www.watchguard.com/help/docs/wsm/xtm_11/en-US/index.html#cshid=en-US/wireless/ap_wireless_signalstrength_c.html which is an even better explanation of what you want to look for with noise and power ratios. I'm not sure from your screen prints which is which but you should be able to calculate the +dBm measurements from the info you have above. I believe it's background noise, minus signal strength, where anything on the positive side 20 and up is probably doable, over 50, you should see solid bars for wifi across the board. Looking at the above, not knowing which is which, I'm guessing doesn't matter much, the difference is still close to +15dBi averages which is probably still too weak for more than authenticating. (one of the time warner ones is 0, and the other +17)

Edited by digip
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