# Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?

• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
On Fri, 27 Jul 2007 17:43:12 GMT, bethgreen wrote:
[color=blue]
> Given I know the MAC address of the "best" access point (i.e., highest
> SNR), how do I connect to the desired access point by MAC address
> (given they all have the same SSID).[/color]

I called up the hotel support and they changed the channel of one of the
access points from 6 to 9 (they all have the same SSID).

If we can't connect by choosing the MAC address of the desired access
point, can we at least connect somehow aiming for the channel?

How can we specify the CHANNEL or MAC to connect to given a series of
access points all of which have the same SSID?
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
> How can we specify the CHANNEL or MAC to connect to given a series of[color=blue]
> access points all of which have the same SSID?[/color]

Where is Jeff Liebermann when I need him!

I'm still stuck at the hotel with a lousy signal even though a perfectly
good signal is right next to the one my windows xp computer connected to!
:(

Using netstumbler, I can *see* the best hotel connection (graphed below)
00:00:00:00:00:01 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 9 SNR = 45
00:00:00:00:00:02 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 5 SNR = 36
00:00:00:00:00:03 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6* SNR = 24 <=== I'm here!
00:00:00:00:00:04 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6+ SNR = 22
00:00:00:00:00:05 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6 SNR = 20

Given:
a) I know the MAC address of the "best" signal (00:00:00:00:00:01)
b) I know the channel (9)
c) Yet, I'm connected to the lower SNR signal (00:00:00:00:00:03)

Question:
How do we tell Windows XP to connect to the desired AP MAC
(00:00:00:00:00:01) and channel (9)?
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
bethgreen <bethgreen@yahoo.com> hath wroth:
[color=blue][color=green]
>> How can we specify the CHANNEL or MAC to connect to given a series of
>> access points all of which have the same SSID?[/color]
>
>Where is Jeff Liebermann when I need him![/color]

At the local hospital running pre-op tests. I'm about to have a large
portion of my bank account surgically removed.
[color=blue]
>I'm still stuck at the hotel with a lousy signal even though a perfectly
>good signal is right next to the one my windows xp computer connected to!
>:(
>
>Using netstumbler, I can *see* the best hotel connection (graphed below)
>00:00:00:00:00:01 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 9 SNR = 45
>00:00:00:00:00:02 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 5 SNR = 36
>00:00:00:00:00:03 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6* SNR = 24 <=== I'm here!
>00:00:00:00:00:04 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6+ SNR = 22
>00:00:00:00:00:05 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6 SNR = 20[/color]

Nicely done.
[color=blue]
>Given:
>a) I know the MAC address of the "best" signal (00:00:00:00:00:01)
>b) I know the channel (9)
>c) Yet, I'm connected to the lower SNR signal (00:00:00:00:00:03)[/color]

Try something simple. Go into the Wireless Zero Config connections
list and delete the hotel SSID. Then, scan for new access points, and
pray that Windoze is smart enough to select the strongest access
point. Miracles do happen.
[color=blue]
>Question:
>How do we tell Windows XP to connect to the desired AP MAC
>(00:00:00:00:00:01) and channel (9)?[/color]

You can't do that using Windoze Wireless Zero Config. It only selects
connections using SSID.

What you need is a connection manager that's somewhat smarter than
WZC. I think WiFi Hopper will do the trick:
<http://www.wifihopper.com>
It's a combination connection manager and Netstumber style site survey
tool. After the trial period, the connection manager part stops
working, but it should run long enough to solve your problem.

Bingo. I found this under the features list for the connection
manager.
"Only connect to a network when the BSSID matches that of
the configured network."
The BSSID is the access point MAC address.

Try it and see what it does. I can't try it because I stupidly left
my laptop at the office. Let us know what happens.

--
Jeff Liebermann [email]jeffl@cruzio.com[/email]
150 Felker St #D [url]http://www.LearnByDestroying.com[/url]
Santa Cruz CA 95060 [url]http://802.11junk.com[/url]
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
I know one time I was at a motel and must have been right in the middle of a
few access points because my connection was horrible.. All I was doing was
bouncing between two or three access points.. None of them stayed at a
consistant enough single to stay connected to with windows.. Finally did
some checking with netstumbler and found out the mac accress of the ap that
I used the dell wireless utility which allowed me to specify a mac address
to connect to.. Once I did that everything was fine.

"Jeff Liebermann" <jeffl@cruzio.com> wrote in message
news:lalla3tbuuq3l63j1tieq5ghrkn7d1kkkm@4ax.com...[color=blue]
> bethgreen <bethgreen@yahoo.com> hath wroth:
>[color=green][color=darkred]
>>> How can we specify the CHANNEL or MAC to connect to given a series of
>>> access points all of which have the same SSID?[/color]
>>
>>Where is Jeff Liebermann when I need him![/color]
>
> At the local hospital running pre-op tests. I'm about to have a large
> portion of my bank account surgically removed.
>[color=green]
>>I'm still stuck at the hotel with a lousy signal even though a perfectly
>>good signal is right next to the one my windows xp computer connected to!
>>:(
>>
>>Using netstumbler, I can *see* the best hotel connection (graphed below)
>>00:00:00:00:00:01 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 9 SNR = 45
>>00:00:00:00:00:02 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 5 SNR = 36
>>00:00:00:00:00:03 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6* SNR = 24 <=== I'm here!
>>00:00:00:00:00:04 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6+ SNR = 22
>>00:00:00:00:00:05 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6 SNR = 20[/color]
>
> Nicely done.
>[color=green]
>>Given:
>>a) I know the MAC address of the "best" signal (00:00:00:00:00:01)
>>b) I know the channel (9)
>>c) Yet, I'm connected to the lower SNR signal (00:00:00:00:00:03)[/color]
>
> Try something simple. Go into the Wireless Zero Config connections
> list and delete the hotel SSID. Then, scan for new access points, and
> pray that Windoze is smart enough to select the strongest access
> point. Miracles do happen.
>[color=green]
>>Question:
>>How do we tell Windows XP to connect to the desired AP MAC
>>(00:00:00:00:00:01) and channel (9)?[/color]
>
> You can't do that using Windoze Wireless Zero Config. It only selects
> connections using SSID.
>
> What you need is a connection manager that's somewhat smarter than
> WZC. I think WiFi Hopper will do the trick:
> <http://www.wifihopper.com>
> It's a combination connection manager and Netstumber style site survey
> tool. After the trial period, the connection manager part stops
> working, but it should run long enough to solve your problem.
>
> Bingo. I found this under the features list for the connection
> manager.
> "Only connect to a network when the BSSID matches that of
> the configured network."
> The BSSID is the access point MAC address.
>
> Try it and see what it does. I can't try it because I stupidly left
> my laptop at the office. Let us know what happens.
>
> --
> Jeff Liebermann [email]jeffl@cruzio.com[/email]
> 150 Felker St #D [url]http://www.LearnByDestroying.com[/url]
> Santa Cruz CA 95060 [url]http://802.11junk.com[/url]
> Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558[/color]

• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 06:50:25 GMT, Adair Winter wrote:
[color=blue]
> I used the dell wireless utility which allowed me to specify a mac address
> to connect to.. Once I did that everything was fine.[/color]

I have a Dell laptop. What/where is that Dell wireless utility?
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
On Fri, 27 Jul 2007 22:46:45 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:[color=blue][color=green]
>>Using netstumbler, I can *see* the best hotel connection (graphed below)
>>00:00:00:00:00:01 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 9 SNR = 45
>>00:00:00:00:00:02 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 5 SNR = 36
>>00:00:00:00:00:03 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6* SNR = 24 <=== I'm here!
>>00:00:00:00:00:04 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6+ SNR = 22
>>00:00:00:00:00:05 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6 SNR = 20[/color]
>
> Nicely done.[/color]

By the way, what does the PLUS sign (+) indicate in netstumbler?
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
bethgreen <bethgreen@yahoo.com> hath wroth:
[color=blue]
>On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 06:50:25 GMT, Adair Winter wrote:
>[color=green]
>> I used the dell wireless utility which allowed me to specify a mac address
>> to connect to.. Once I did that everything was fine.[/color][/color]
[color=blue]
>I have a Dell laptop. What/where is that Dell wireless utility?[/color]

If your unspecified model Dell laptop happens to be running W2K or XP,
and it coincidentally arrived with an Intel wireless card, it's
probably also running Intel's client manager which is called "Proset".
See:
<http://www.intel.com/network/connectivity/products/wireless/proset/proset_software.htm>

--
Jeff Liebermann [email]jeffl@cruzio.com[/email]
150 Felker St #D [url]http://www.LearnByDestroying.com[/url]
Santa Cruz CA 95060 [url]http://802.11junk.com[/url]
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com> hath wroth:
[color=blue]
>bethgreen <bethgreen@yahoo.com> hath wroth:
>[color=green]
>>On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 06:50:25 GMT, Adair Winter wrote:
>>[color=darkred]
>>> I used the dell wireless utility which allowed me to specify a mac address
>>> to connect to.. Once I did that everything was fine.[/color][/color]
>[color=green]
>>I have a Dell laptop. What/where is that Dell wireless utility?[/color]
>
>If your unspecified model Dell laptop happens to be running W2K or XP,
>and it coincidentally arrived with an Intel wireless card, it's
>probably also running Intel's client manager which is called "Proset".
>See:
><http://www.intel.com/network/connectivity/products/wireless/proset/proset_software.htm>[/color]

I forgot to mumble that Broadcom and Atheros also have their own
client managers. I guess you'll just have to disclose what model
laptop and wireless contrivance you have if you want a sane answer.
--
Jeff Liebermann [email]jeffl@cruzio.com[/email]
150 Felker St #D [url]http://www.LearnByDestroying.com[/url]
Santa Cruz CA 95060 [url]http://802.11junk.com[/url]
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 17:41:53 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
[color=blue]
> I guess you'll just have to disclose what model
> laptop and wireless contrivance you have if you want a sane answer.[/color]

Inspiron B130. I'm testing out the program you recommended. Having some
issues but will try to work them out.
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
bethgreen <bethgreen@yahoo.com> hath wroth:
[color=blue]
>On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 17:41:53 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
>[color=green]
>> I guess you'll just have to disclose what model
>> laptop and wireless contrivance you have if you want a sane answer.[/color][/color]
[color=blue]
>Inspiron B130. I'm testing out the program you recommended. Having some
>issues but will try to work them out.[/color]

The wireless card is a Dell 1470 a/b/g MiniPCI card.

How to Determine the Program that Manages the Wireless Network
Connection in Microsoft® Windows® XP
<http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dsn/en/document?journalid=775D3C3D35F911DCBD0B9FAC49358330&docid=1F027DB36FD5BA1FE0401E0A551771A2>

It comes with the "Dell Wireless Utility" also known as yet another
screwy wireless connection manager:

If the program I recommended happens to be:
<http://www.wifihopper.com>
there's a few gotchas. It installs itself as a Windoze service. This
sometimes has caused me problems when I have a mess of other
connection managers installed on the same machine. Dive into:
Control Panel -> Admin Tools -> Services
and temporarily turn it off if there's a conflict. Also, don't be
suprised if you lose your connection to some wireless access point.

--
Jeff Liebermann [email]jeffl@cruzio.com[/email]
150 Felker St #D [url]http://www.LearnByDestroying.com[/url]
Santa Cruz CA 95060 [url]http://802.11junk.com[/url]
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
bethgreen wrote:[color=blue]
> On Fri, 27 Jul 2007 22:46:45 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:[color=green][color=darkred]
>>> Using netstumbler, I can *see* the best hotel connection (graphed below)
>>> 00:00:00:00:00:01 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 9 SNR = 45
>>> 00:00:00:00:00:02 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 5 SNR = 36
>>> 00:00:00:00:00:03 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6* SNR = 24 <=== I'm here!
>>> 00:00:00:00:00:04 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6+ SNR = 22
>>> 00:00:00:00:00:05 SSID = hotel1 Channel = 6 SNR = 20[/color]
>> Nicely done.[/color]
>
> By the way, what does the PLUS sign (+) indicate in netstumbler?[/color]

* means this is the network you're currently bound to, and + means that
you've been bound to it at some point since NetStumber was started.

Phil, London.
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
On Sun, 29 Jul 2007 21:37:24 +0100, Philip Herlihy wrote:
[color=blue]
> * means this is the network you're currently bound to, and + means that
> you've been bound to it at some point since NetStumber was started.[/color]

Thanks. This makes sense that a plus in netstumbler means it's not the
access point you're currently connected to, but one you were previously
connected to in the not too distant past.

Given multiple access points with the same SSID (as in a hotel), I still
haven't been able to choose which MAC or Channel I connect to - but I'm
still trying!
• 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM
unix
Re: How to connect to access point by MAC address?
On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 21:29:20 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Jeff Liebermann, you are a godsend!
What I love about you is you seem to genuinely CARE about people enough to
post USABLE links that are specific to the person asking the question yet
which also help all OTHERS who have SIMILAR questions!

They should nominate you for the Nobel prize for nobility!

I'm having problems with my network (intermittent hotel connectivity) but I
will report back as soon as I can!