- Getting Started
- Network Details
- Signal Strength Over Time Graph
- BSSID Signal Strength Graph
- BSSID and Client Cards
- BSSID Details
- Client Details
- Channel Details
- Battery Health
- Manage Channels Visibility
- Charging Batteries
Did you just receive your Wi-Spy Air and want to see how you can get rollin'? Check out the Quick Start Guide.
The Networks view displays all of the networks currently in listening range of your Wi-Spy Air.
The Networks View allows you to:
- View your network compared to neighboring networks with a graphical view
- View high level information about networks such as SSID, security type(s), signal strength of the closest BSS, max data rate, and number of BSSIDs that are being picked up by the Wi-Spy Air
- Launch into more detailed network information
Networks are plotted on the graph according to their channel number (x-axis) and their latest signal strength (y-axis).
You can toggle between the different 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz ranges of channels using the tabs just below the graph.
Network cards display below the graph and contain a network's SSID (if the SSID is not being broadcasted, then displays BSSID plus hidden text), the highest signal strength found in the ESS, the security type(s), # of BSSes, and highest Max Data Rate for the network.
If your device is connected to a wireless network, the connected network will display at the top of the list with a chain link icon next to the SSID.
Tapping on a Network Card will highlight the card as well as highlight the network BSSes on the graph.
Tap a selected Network Card again to view more details for that network.
The Network Details provides you with high level information about the network; such as: the SSID, security type(s), max data rate, radio phy types, channels being broadcasted on, and the number of clients that the Wi-Spy has detected on the network.
The remainder of the details page is separated between network BSSIDs and clients. Toggling between BSSIDs and Clients will update the information displayed below the tabs.
Signal Strength Over Time Graph
The signal strength over time graph shows network BSSIDs or Clients signal strength.
The Signal Strength Over Time graph allows you to:
- Gauge the proximity of a device (AP or client)
- See network coverage as you move through an environment
- Check for dead spots
BSSID Signal Strength Graph
The BSSID tab also has a graph that lists out the current network BSSIDs and their corresponding signal strength (y-axis) and the channel they are broadcasting on (x-axis).
The BSSID Signal Strength graph allows you to:
- Gauge the proximity of an AP
- Check for dead spots
- Validate appropriate channel planning / channel reuse
BSSID and Client Cards
The cards for BSSIDs and Clients display high level information for the BSSID or Client. Tap on a card to highlight the corresponding lines or bars on the graphs. Tap the graphs to deselect a card. Tapping a selected card will direct you to the BSSID or Client details screen.
Drill down into BSSID Details to get even more detailed information; including: channel width, SNR, number of associated clients, retry rate, and utilization.
The BSSID Details view allows you to:
- View specific information about the BSS (BSSID, security type, vendor name, phy type, channel width, etc.)
- View an AP's Alias so that you know which AP you are dealing with (a lot more convenient than memorizing a BSSID 😎). This is the 'Device Name' that is assigned to the AP. Some manufacturers broadcast this information in beacon frames. If you don't see a device name listed and are expecting one, send us a PCAP and will look at adding it! There are no specifications for broadcasting device name, so it is common that vendors broadcast in different ways.
- View signal strength and SNR so you can determine if signal strength is sufficient for the location you're at versus the noise floor
- View clients that are connected to the BSSID so that you can see if BSSID is being overwhelmed by talkative clients
- View how much WiFi utilization the BSS is taking up
- View how often an AP tries to re-send info - high retry rates may indicate a client is too far away or there is an interferer
Drill down into Client Details to get even more detailed information; including: MAC address, what network the client is connected to, and the vendor name.
The Wi-Spy Air captures management, control, and data frames to see what clients are connected to a Network and BSS. Clients must be talking to the BSS they are connected to for Air Viewer to determine the relationship between the AP and client.
The Client Details view allows you to:
- View what BSSID a client is connected to and on what channel
- View the signal strength, and SNR, of the client to the Wi-Spy Air so that you can locate a client based on signal strength
- View retry rates to see if the client is having issues talking to the AP
- View WiFi utilization to see how much air time the client is currently taking up
Channels is where layer 1 and layer 2 information can be visualized on a single graph.
The Channel view allows you to:
- View layer 1 spectrum to see WiFi noise and non-WiFi interference, and what channel(s) they are broadcasting on
- Plan for what channels to set an AP to at a given location taking into consideration neighboring networks and non-WiFi interference
- See how your microwave and baby monitor completely destroys the 2.4 GHz spectrum
- See how many BSS and clients are on a channel, and what the WiFi utilization for the channel is
Tap a channel card to highlight the networks on the graph. Tap the graph to deselect network. Tap a selected channel to view channel details.
Spectrum Density Coloring Rules
|Less than 15 percent
|A very short signal, like a clap
|15 - 32 percent
|32 - 50 percent
|50 - 65 percent
|More than 65 percent
|Constant activity, like an air horn
The Channel details screen provides more information about the channel, including the amount of retries seen in addition to the number of BSS, clients, and channel WiFi utilization.
BSSes that are on the channel are displayed in cards. Tap a BSS card to view the BSSID details.
MetaGeek Plus subscribers can take advantage of the snapshot feature to gather data and deliver to their my.metageek.com account. In order to activate this feature, log into your MetaGeek account from the menu fly-out.
Add a Site
To add a site, click the plus button on the bottom right of the screen and add in a site name. Include the primary network you are looking at. The system will include any virtual networks that are broadcasting on the same APs as the primary network you select. After you deliver the snapshot info to my.metageek.com, the system will remember the location and automatically bring up the site during your next visit.
Add a Room
After you create a site, use the plus button on the lower right to add rooms for your site.
Take a Snapshot
To take a snapshot for the room, tap the room you want to take a snapshot of and click on the snapshot button on the lower right. Air Viewer will do a scan and prepare the network snapshot.
Upload Site Visit Snapshots to my.metageek.com
Once you have taken all of the site snapshots you intend, tap on the cloud icon on the main Sites screen to send the site visit snapshots to your my.metageek.com account.
Menu, Settings, and Search
Log in to your MetaGeek Account
You can log into your MetaGeek account via the fly-out menu. Select the option to log in and enter your account information. If you do not have an account. there is a link to register for an account. You may also log out of your account from the fly-out menu.
Play / Pause / Clear
The pause and play controls allow you to stop WiFi and Spectrum scanning so that you can browse through the latest sweeps without worrying about new data overriding something that you are interested in. Select the pause icon to stop all sweeps and play icon to resume.
Since Air Viewer collects data as long as the session is open, you may want to clear data out so you can have a fresh view of the environment you are currently in. Select the clear icon, accessible on the top right of the fly-out menu, to clear data and start fresh.
The Wi-Spy Air's WiFi card is powered by the onboard batteries. Make sure they are in good health and properly charged. The spectrum analyzer chipset is powered by the connected device and will be available to capture and display spectrum in Air Viewer even if no batteries are onboard.
The battery indicator has 4 different states:
- Good - batteries are of sufficient charge to operate the Wi-Spy Air
- OK - consider charging batteries as soon as you can
- Bad - batteries will need to be charged or changed immediately
- No Batteries - no batteries are detected in the device
Manage Channels Visibility
Depending where you are in the world or how you architected channel usage for your network, you may not care about all of the WiFi channels that are out there. You can disable channel ranges in Settings so that those ranges do not appear in the Networks and Channels tabs. This also tells the Wi-Spy Air to avoid scanning channels that are disabled.
This section of the Settings lets you control how many sweeps the spectrum density view holds onto. Choose fewer sweeps for more of a real-time feel.
The Channels Graph displays both spectrum and WiFi data. However, Air Viewer is able to retrieve data from the either the spectrum analyzer or the WiFi scanner at a given time. Setting a greater interval for WiFi scans allows the screen to focus more on presenting spectrum data.
The App version number can also be found in the menu fly-out section. You may need to refer to this number when submitting support requests.
If your Wi-Spy Air is connected, the unique serial number for your Wi-Spy Air will be visible at the bottom of the settings screen.
From the main Networks and Channels screens, tap the search icon on the right side of the header to search for Network SSID, BSSID, Client, or AP Alias.
If you are using rechargeable AAA batteries, use the included charge cable to charge that batteries back up. It's easy to do, just plug the USB-Micro end into the port located on the right face of the Wi-Spy Air and plug the USB-A end into an appropriate charging port (such as a wall charger or on your PC).
A blue indicator light turns on when the batteries are successfully being charged. The Wi-Spy Air detects when the batteries are at sufficient charge and will automatically stop charging and the blue indicator light will turn off.
Please remember, only use the Wi-Spy Air's charging port if rechargeable batteries are installed in the device. Do not attempt to charge non-rechargeable batteries.
|Also referred to as Device Name, AP Alias is a name assigned to an AP via the AP's configuration and is broadcasted in the APs management frame beacons. Currently, Aerohive, Aruba, and Cisco AP device names can be picked up by Air Viewer.
|Basic Service Set Identifier (BSSID) is a unique identifier, following the same convention as a MAC Address, that identifies a Basic Service Set (BSS). This is a single Access Point (AP) that is transmitting and receiving wireless information.
|WiFi currently operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrums. Within these spectrums are different channels in which WiFi can operate on. 2.4 GHz has 11 channels (in North America), but channels 1, 6, and 11 are typically recommended to reduce adjacent channel interference. A BSS broadcasts on one channel.
|Most modern WiFi signals are 20 MHz wide. 802.11n allows for 40 MHz wide channels in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. 802.11ac allows for an additional 80 MHz and 160 MHz wide channels in the 5 GHz band.
|A client is a device that is connected to a Network BSS
|Unique identifier for a client device
|Max Data Rate
|Maximum supported data rate. On the network details, it is the highest of all the BSSes that are seen; in the BSSID details, it is the max data rate for that BSS.
|A network, usually described by the SSID, is a collection of BSSes, also known as en Extended Service Set (ESS)
|802.11 protocols supported by the access point or client
|The percentage of packets that had to be resent
|The security protocol that the BSS is configured to support
|The amplitude level (loudness or signal strength) of the BSS or client as seen by the Wi-Spy Air
|Signal-to-Noise-Ratio. It is the signal strength minus the noise floor.
|The Service Set Identifier (SSID) of the Extended Service Set (ESS). Also, commonly referred to as the network name.
|How often activity is occurring on the channel, or how often the channel is being "Utilized". Depending on the context, can be total utilization of the channel or utilization being taken up by a device.
|The manufacturer of the device (AP or client)