WiFi issues

So i keep having issues with my sense and its WiFi. I’ve started to notice dead spots in my sense reporting and over the past month I’ve started to notice slow reporting in the sense app as well. I’ve run the network test in the app several time over the past couple days and i keep getting different results. sometimes my sense says it cant connect to the network and sometimes it says it has a slow connection. Is anyone else seeing these issues or is this just me? Also when i log into my router from my computer and look at the devices connected to it i can see the sense device and it shows a full signal even though the sense app will either say offline, 1 bar or 2 bars and always seems to be random. I’ve even seen the sense app tell me that its offline in the Sense Monitor page and still show data coming in when i click on the Now page in the app.

Have you reached out to Support? They can run some additional diagnostics. That does sound a bit odd about getting differing results each time you run the connection test. Not seeing any weird behavior with other devices in your home?

I haven’t heard anything similar from users, so I don’t think there’s any sort of global issue at the moment. I’m certainly not experiencing anything like that. I’ll run it by Support and Engineering.

Mike… I have a hole around September 20th 5:30pm to September 21st 4:30pm. ( right now ) That is about 23 hours. I discovered a hole last week when I was looking at my data in a monthly screen on my desk-top. Just made a mental note of it. Looked at the data on my phone ( Samsung S10+ ) and did not see it. Not sure this is the same hole from last week, but the hole is there this morning. Power Meter…Week… Screen… Gerry

BTW… Did not check any of the WiFi signals…

Using a mesh network? Sense seems to have rather serious issues with mesh: it doesn’t choose its associations very well in a lot of cases, which can cause dropouts.

What’s weird is that it’s not that the signal is ‘weak’ - I’ve had decent success with a “regular” (well, two-node) mesh where one unit is far enough away that it doesn’t really “see” it.

But in a more standard mesh, where it can see a few choices with the same SSID, it just doesn’t handle it very well. Wish it’d get fixed…

Does Sense choose the association with a mesh ? I thought the mesh control sorted out the associations. I know that for my WiFi network, that has multiple SSIDs, Sense is eventually handed back to the closest access point when there are disruptions in the network. But that is the network, not the client device re-associating.

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Indeed, a good routed mesh’s APs have, themselves, to be able to choose the optimal architecture (direct, daisychain, star, whatever) so the connecting devices can’t be left to decide which is the best AP because only the AP’s router knows that. As far as I know. A mesh is often fairly static once it calms down but the airwaves are not necessarily static and a good mesh will redefine itself dynamically when needed and bump APs and devices to different frequencies. Multi-radio APs and devices can also make multiple connection to multiple APs/nodes.

@kevin1 & @ixu - while mesh systems do have ways of “steering” devices to optimal places on the mesh, the formal ways of doing that communication involve parts of the 802.11 spec that aren’t often implemented, especially with relatively “simple” IoT devices (or, rather, the relatively basic WiFi stacks in IoT devices).

As such, most mesh networks “fall back” to other methods, trying to steer by “kicking” devices off the network and refusing connections from certain nodes. That doesn’t always work.

And yes, most mesh networks do quite a lot of internal communication to ensure they’re configured in a optimal state at any given time. Some do this on a per-packet basis (eero is an example of that). Others make on-the-fly adjustments based on their own metrics (Plume, for example) or kind of “overnight” or on failure (Google WiFi, Velop) or, basically, not at all (Orbi seems to be pretty static), since it is (or was) a star configuration with backhaul back to the base.

There are as many different setups as there are brands…

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Good points.

Even on a relatively sophisticated UniFi wifi network 802.11r is still in beta. You need to go to Cisco setups to really drill down into all that on the host side. I assume Sense went with a lowest-common-denominator approach … if the intention is to have Sense wifi connect to any old network that may not implement any of the more sophisticated 802.11 stack advantages then why add cost (?). I agree that in the ideal scenario Sense should have the most sophisticated 802.11 negotiation protocol available but I’m guessing there were some tradeoffs made to keep things simple, cheap and potentially more robust: sometimes you need to (passively) force user technology upgrades and this may be a case of “well if you have an ancient network then it may not work”.

Except here it’s sort of the other way around: “if you have a more modern network this may not work”, which seems like the wrong way to go, to me. :slight_smile:

I don’t disagree but there’s still something of the “lowest common denominator” (not necessarily Sense) to consider:

07%20AM

The same arguments can be made for ipv4 vs ipv6 … and look how ipv4 persists.

Sorry. Not saying they need to support .r or .k or .v, but rather that they should fix the problems in their basic operation with mesh, since the client is, in general, responsible for choosing an AP when retrieving a list of available options.

Agree with this as I recently had an issue where my Sense “lost connection the server” and wouldn’t connect to any AP and I have a 3 AP setup. I had to send it in to get it fixed, super frustrating. But this said I have had similar issues with my Ecobee thermostats jumping around too.

Most companies are modernizing and improving their wifi stacks. On top of that, many mesh vendors are trying hard to recognize “badly behaved” clients and working around their particular quirks.

A good example of the latter is a robotic vacuum from Electrolux. It has a 2.4/5GHz capable chipset, but they only put in a 2.4GHz antenna. But it still broadcasts, weakly, its 5GHz capability and then fails when a modern setup tries to ‘band-steer’ it to 5GHz.

This stuff is all crazy fragile…but given Sense hasn’t provided the ability to wire the network connection, it would be nice if they improved its wireless behavior w/mesh/multiple APs.

Apart from potential “bad client” issues there are some fundamentals for the mesh/network that seem like common configuration traps … one of which (@ritchierich) is creating a multi-AP (or mesh AP) network where the cells are overlapping too much either because of placement or that the receive thresholds are not optimal. Optimizing that is non-trivial in a residential setting, and highly dependent upon your network/mesh/AP hardware, but there are some fairly simple strategies for making sure you don’t have a “silly” setup: balance the transmit power with the physical placement of the AP.

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Regarding AP switching: Sense will choose what it thinks is the best access point on the configured wifi network and connect to that. It reevaluates that decision every so often. The access point scanning code starts scanning every 30s and backs off eventually to every 5 minutes. The monitor may roam to a better network after any scan, or at other times if the current wifi network is unavailable.

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