prip
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:58 pm
Location: México

Monitoring various Wifi access points

Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:48 pm

Hello Guys, this is my first project with rpi. I'm from Mexico and we want to give free internet access in some public places, like dog parks, soccer fields, etc. this is a community project founded by some of the people that live near this places.

Due to some terrain and regulations constraints we cant use antenas to build a network and building one with cable would be way out of budget.
So the best solution so far is using varios ISP. How ever this makes it hard to monitor the performance of the "network" on all the points.

I want to conect a Rapsberry pi to each AP router, and send the data to a main web server ( maybe an other rpi would work fine?)
to display the data on a web interface, and plot it over time to determine possible problems .

I have atached a basic diagram of how i think the network could integrate.
But i'm lost on where to start.
Maybe Zabbix would be a good starting point? or a complete custom solution would be needed?

I'm a total noob on the subject and will appreciate any input you guys have :)
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epoch1970
Posts: 1757
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 9:33 am
Location: Paris, France

Re: Monitoring various Wifi access points

Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:48 am

What information do you want to trace?
I'm not sure what the Pi can provide and report, since it looks like a) it is external to the AP OS, b) its wired link can go down too.

Maybe some simple "ping status" page would suffice? E.g. https://cachethq.io (there are plenty available, you can build your own too)

Another approach would be social networking. Good telcos merge messages coming from social media platforms with the status report coming from their NOC to best manage the service. This way they prioritise repairs where defaults cause the most trouble to their customers.
So, simply print stickers with a social network account or QR code to contact and declare QoS issues?
Then the filtering algorithm is simple enough:
- 1 single complaint = no true problem or one single person affected, do nothing (sorry).
- 10 complaints received almost concurrently = yes problem, scramble to the site.

HTH
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

prip
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:58 pm
Location: México

Re: Monitoring various Wifi access points

Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:49 pm

I mainly want to trace internet speed and conected users.

The ping solution seems to be the easiest and fastet aproach. But it lacks the info i'm looking for . And im worried of false positives the dinamic ip of the modems could cause.

Now the social aproach using QR s is pure genius! but it wont let us track proactivlythe network for possible issues untill they are affecting the users.

I went ahead and bought the Modem/Router /AP and got a contract wit the ISP, to begin testing with it.
Its a Huawei b310s-518, this use the cellular network, instead of fiber or copper. And i have to admit im impressed with the stability of the signal.
Did a few tests, and i could not comunicate with it, Got no response when sending Pings from my home network or using an online service.

I'm starting to think the best aproach this would be using the RPi to do a speed test X amount of time, check for conected users and send the result to a MySQL ( or similar) DB. and use said DB to show stats on a website.

epoch1970
Posts: 1757
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 9:33 am
Location: Paris, France

Re: Monitoring various Wifi access points

Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:18 pm

Could you make the Pi a client of the local wifi network? Then the Pi could exchange pings/internet access stats with your status server through the ISP network, and if it cannot reach the status server/the Internet it means there is a potential problem with the router:
- reboot the router (via GPIO?)
- reboot itself in case the problem was only with the Pi
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

mfa298
Posts: 1203
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:18 am

Re: Monitoring various Wifi access points

Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:39 am

prip wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:48 pm
Maybe Zabbix would be a good starting point? or a complete custom solution would be needed?
Zabbix could be an option for some of that. It might depend on how you can get information out of the APs. For enterprise level equipment SNMP is the normal way to do that (which zabbix can support) but consumer equipment might not support that so you might have to write some custom queries.

aaronouthier
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:42 am

Re: Monitoring various Wifi access points

Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:25 am

You may also want to look into a project called Kismet or perhaps another one called WireShark.
Kismet scans wireless networks, and is often used for wardriving. WireShark monitors and logs data going through a network. A word of caution, however: Depending on how these programs are configured, they could be used to capture and record network data, including info on what clients are doing/what sites they are visiting. If you set the system up in this way, it my be considered an illegal wiretap in some countries. Kismet can be configured to just get statistics, I believe, and not record the actual info transmitted, but you'll need to configure it specifically for that purpose. Even then, you might be required to notify users of this statistic gathering. WireShark, AFAIK, gathers all traffic & communication and logs it. I would NOT leave this running continually - both for the reasons already mentioned, and also because it will quickly fill your SD card with the logs.

Lastly,, if you wish to run Kismet, it will alter the way the Pi's WiFi functions, so you won't be able to connect to your router via WiFi - You'll need to hard-wire the Pi to your router, in order to connect it to the Internet.

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