For the entire year I’ve lived in my temporary rental home I’ve been trying to sort out episodic issues on my WiFi network. My ISP is Spectrum, and I have 400 mbits/sec DL service over fiber to the home. I have an Arris 6120 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem. My LAN infrastructure includes an Apple Airport Extreme 3 TB Time Capsule purchased in late 2017 and a bridged final generation Airport Express (8o2.11n) as a network extender. Most of the 20-25 devices on my LAN are on WiFi; the Extreme broadcasts the same SSID on 2.4 and 5 GHz. A few devices have hardware connections to the router; e.g., my OLED 4K TV has a Cat7 Ethernet connection (I use YouTube TV rather than Spectrum, as my TV provider) to the Extreme).
The most frequent puzzle is that the “Nest Guard” CPU of my home security system unpredicably loses it’s WiFi connection for several minutes to an hour or so. Typically this occurs in the first one or two hours after midnight when there is nothing going on that involves direct user activity on my LAN. The disconnects (sometimes described as “Nest Guard offline,” sometimes as “Nest Guard-no WiFi connection”) heal themselves, and the only reason I know they’ve happened is because a log of events on my local security network is maintained by my iOS Nest App, which maintains a rolling 10 day list.
Some 10-day periods are disconnect-free; sometimes they will occur a few days in succession.
Monitoring tools available to me include Airport Utility (latest version appropriate for each Apple Router), iNet Network Scanner from BananaGlue.de, iStumbler, and of course the core tools provided by macOS.
I have a 2017 iMac running fully updated Mojave on the WiFi LAN (never connected by Ethernet) and a 2019 16 inch MacBook Pro running Catalina 10.15.4 (not updated because only beta-releases of SuperDuper are available for later point-releases of the macOS).
The Nest Guard does not support an ethernet connection to the router, and it requires connection on the 2.4 GHz band. I maintain a “legacy” Nest (rather that “Google-Nest” account, just because Google is Google.
I’ve contacted Nest support, and they don’t have specific suggestions other than “interference.” iNet Network Scanner has been less helpful than I’d hoped, because although the program contains screens that list what clients are served by which bands on which routers, I cannot get it to do so for my AirPort Extreme (it does provide that detail for my extender Airport Express).
One of the reviews I read about iNet Network Scanner on the Mac App Store states that the program requires the router to support “snmp” to provide this information, AND states that snmp is not supported by the Extreme routers. I’ve not been able to verify this independently.
So, I don’t have a clue whether my Nest Guard is misbehaving, or whether it’s my Airport Extreme. My ISP has reviewed its service outage logs and tells me that they have no outage reports that match any of the times when the Nest App has recorded a temporary disconnect of the Nest WiFi device.
I’m about to give up on the Airport Extreme and install a WiFi 6 Amplifi Alien router because it has such universally laudatory reviews, but I really have no clue whether that’s going to help, and some concerns that I’ll screw up trying to keep the Airport Extreme on my LAN as a networked hard drive just to do Time Machine backups. That’s another way of saying perhaps the whole problem is “user error” (what I don’t know about networking far exceeds what I do!).
Does anyone have suggestions for other tools that can do what iNet is supposed to (tell me which clients are connecting to which routers, and information about the quality of those connections? iNet states it cannot provide that information for anything other than Airport routers, and for me it cannot even do THAT, so I think an alternative would help. I’d prefer a macOS tool to an iOS tool, but it looks as though Ubiquiti has both impressive embedded software on the Alien Router as well as a very well thought-out iOS app.
Thanks so much in advance for ANY suggestions.