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Author Topic: WiFi management: Windows tool to automatically enforce a connection?  (Read 3475 times)

brotherS

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Hi,

I have two WiFi networks, a slow one (2.4 GHz) and a fast one (5 GHz). I've already set Windows to prefer the fast one, but it still (too often) gets stuck on the slow one (and then reconnects to the fast one as soon as I open the WiFi settings by clicking the WiFi tray icon). And I can't just not connect to the slow one since the fast one isn't always available.

Is there software to handle this simple task (always connect to the fast one if available) better? Or to at least visually show me (with a tray icon) which network is connected (if any)?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2022, 02:32 AM by brotherS »

skwire

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2022, 02:17 PM »
Hey, brotherS, been a while.  =]

There are a bunch of ways to do this, depending on how pretty you want it.  The default Windows tray icon shows the currently connected wireless network.  You can easily create a batch file that runs the following command to quickly connect to your fast SSID.

netsh wlan connect <FAST_SSID_NAME_HERE>

Create a shortcut to that batch file in a convenient place and run it whenever you check the tray icon and see that you're on the slower network.

If you want something more like an actual application, sure, I can do that, but I want to see if the quick'n'dirty suggestion above suffices.

brotherS

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2022, 03:37 PM »
Hey, brotherS, been a while.  =]

There are a bunch of ways to do this, depending on how pretty you want it.  The default Windows tray icon shows the currently connected wireless network.  You can easily create a batch file that runs the following command to quickly connect to your fast SSID.

netsh wlan connect <FAST_SSID_NAME_HERE>

Create a shortcut to that batch file in a convenient place and run it whenever you check the tray icon and see that you're on the slower network.

If you want something more like an actual application, sure, I can do that, but I want to see if the quick'n'dirty suggestion above suffices.

Hey skwire, been a while indeed! :)

The "whenever you check the tray icon and see that you're on the slower network" thing is what I want to prevent.  8)  The perfect solution would be an app that would automatically reconnect to the fast connection when possible, just letting me know that it happened, but without me having to do anything.

A less perfect - but still very helpful - solution would just show a tray icon (maybe green for fast and red for slow connection), so I could see with a quick glance which connection is active.

skwire

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2022, 04:31 PM »
The "whenever you check the tray icon and see that you're on the slower network" thing is what I want to prevent.  8)  The perfect solution would be an app that would automatically reconnect to the fast connection when possible, just letting me know that it happened, but without me having to do anything.

When it switches to the slow network, does the fast network go missing from the list of choices you see when you click the Windows network tray icon?  Also, I assume the slow and fast networks have different SSID names?

brotherS

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2022, 04:41 PM »
The "whenever you check the tray icon and see that you're on the slower network" thing is what I want to prevent.  8)  The perfect solution would be an app that would automatically reconnect to the fast connection when possible, just letting me know that it happened, but without me having to do anything.

When it switches to the slow network, does the fast network go missing from the list of choices you see when you click the Windows network tray icon?  Also, I assume the slow and fast networks have different SSID names?
Yes and yes.

skwire

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2022, 06:00 PM »
Yes and yes.

  • Is this scenario something you can simulate or force to happen?  That is, do you have control of whether the fast network stays or goes away?
  • Are you free for some prototype testing tomorrow?  I'm on Central Time in the U.S.

BGM

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2022, 09:02 PM »
Maybe try this?  I've used this a lot on a laptop where I constantly had to change network settings.
https://www.netsetman.com/en/freeware

  • Free
  • Tray Icon
  • Switch between network adapters
  • Switch between networks
  • Wifi Management is even a new feature

Features List
https://www.netsetman.com/en/freeware

brotherS

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2022, 10:15 AM »
Yes and yes.

  • Is this scenario something you can simulate or force to happen?  That is, do you have control of whether the fast network stays or goes away?
  • Are you free for some prototype testing tomorrow?  I'm on Central Time in the U.S.
I have control over the network but currently have very little time (I really appreciate your offer!), and there might be a deeper issue... see below.


Maybe try this?  I've used this a lot on a laptop where I constantly had to change network settings.
https://www.netsetman.com/en/freeware

  • Free
  • Tray Icon
  • Switch between network adapters
  • Switch between networks
  • Wifi Management is even a new feature

Features List
https://www.netsetman.com/en/freeware
Thank you, never heard of it. I've set it up and saw something weird in NetSetMan's AutoSwitch tab: while the fast SSID was available again - I could connect to it on my phone - NetSetMan didn't see it (while checking every 10 seconds), and thus failed to connect. After a few minutes, I checked the WiFi connections in Windows, and only then did the fast SSID show up there, and in NetSetMan.

Is there a way to make Windows check for available networks more frequently? I didn't see a related Windows option and Google didn't offer anything useful.

skwire

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2022, 12:59 PM »
Thank you, never heard of it. I've set it up and saw something weird in NetSetMan's AutoSwitch tab: while the fast SSID was available again - I could connect to it on my phone - NetSetMan didn't see it (while checking every 10 seconds), and thus failed to connect. After a few minutes, I checked the WiFi connections in Windows, and only then did the fast SSID show up there, and in NetSetMan.

Is there a way to make Windows check for available networks more frequently? I didn't see a related Windows option and Google didn't offer anything useful.

Based on my tests yesterday, I saw the same behaviour.  That said, you can still connect to a non-visible network, via netsh, so long as you know the name.  Here's my logic flow for a prototype:

1. Program starts up knowing the preferred/fast network name.
2. Program checks what network it's currently on.
    2a. If not the preferred network, set tray icon to red/slow, and attempt to connect to it every n number of seconds/minutes.
    2b. If on the preferred network, set tray icon to green/fast, and check every n number of seconds/minutes to ensure we're still on the preferred network.  If not, go back to 2.

It's a bit of brute method, but it's not resource intensive and should get the job done.


brotherS

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2022, 04:43 PM »
Based on my tests yesterday, I saw the same behaviour.  That said, you can still connect to a non-visible network, via netsh, so long as you know the name.  Here's my logic flow for a prototype:

1. Program starts up knowing the preferred/fast network name.
2. Program checks what network it's currently on.
    2a. If not the preferred network, set tray icon to red/slow, and attempt to connect to it every n number of seconds/minutes.
    2b. If on the preferred network, set tray icon to green/fast, and check every n number of seconds/minutes to ensure we're still on the preferred network.  If not, go back to 2.

It's a bit of brute method, but it's not resource intensive and should get the job done.
Interesting! :) Yeah, that sounds like the perfect logic. I might have some time early afternoon tomorrow (US Central Time), how long should prototype testing take?

Shades

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2022, 05:06 PM »
Something much simpler to try may be the following:
Set your WiFi connection to your fastest WiFi to 'connect automatically',  and the connection to your slower WiFi to 'not connect automatically'. Windows will now not so easily switch between WiFi setups any more. Whenever the fast one is available Windows will switch automagically, yet won't switch back to your slow connection.

Reasoning behind the concept:
After all, Windows does want/need/must/desires to sent back telemetry to Microsoft servers. And it will make sure it has a connection to do just that.

brotherS

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2022, 02:27 AM »
Something much simpler to try may be the following:
Set your WiFi connection to your fastest WiFi to 'connect automatically',  and the connection to your slower WiFi to 'not connect automatically'. Windows will now not so easily switch between WiFi setups any more. Whenever the fast one is available Windows will switch automagically, yet won't switch back to your slow connection.
Yeah, I've tried that for a while, but that results in Windows being offline whenever the fast WiFi is not available, and I don't want having to manually interfere anymore. :)

skwire

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Re: WiFi management: software for Windows 10 with tray icon?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2022, 04:12 PM »
Interesting!  Yeah, that sounds like the perfect logic. I might have some time early afternoon tomorrow (US Central Time), how long should prototype testing take?

No need as I found a USB wireless adapter I could use for testing on my desktop PC.

  • Download the attached file and extract it into its own folder somewhere.
  • Run the WiFiBrute.exe file.  On startup, you should see a new icon in your tray with a yellow circle.  It should then pop up an input box to enter your preferred SSID.  This is case-sensitive and must be exact.
  • After that, it will check to see which network it's on.  If it's the preferred one, the tray icon turns green, and it then checks every ten seconds to ensure it's on the preferred network (if it's available, of course).
  • If the preferred network is not available, the tray icon turns read, and it tries to connect to the preferred network every ten seconds.  Once it's successful, the tray icon turns green again, and you are notified with a standard Windows 10 popup that you're back on the preferred network.

You can exit the application by right-clicking the tray icon and choosing Exit.  It's a very basic prototype right now, with minimal configurable options, so I'm curious to see if it does, indeed, work for you.  Let me know how you get on with it.

brotherS

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  • Download the attached file and extract it into its own folder somewhere.
  • Run the WiFiBrute.exe file.  On startup, you should see a new icon in your tray with a yellow circle.  It should then pop up an input box to enter your preferred SSID.  This is case-sensitive and must be exact.
  • After that, it will check to see which network it's on.  If it's the preferred one, the tray icon turns green, and it then checks every ten seconds to ensure it's on the preferred network (if it's available, of course).
  • If the preferred network is not available, the tray icon turns read, and it tries to connect to the preferred network every ten seconds.  Once it's successful, the tray icon turns green again, and you are notified with a standard Windows 10 popup that you're back on the preferred network.

You can exit the application by right-clicking the tray icon and choosing Exit.  It's a very basic prototype right now, with minimal configurable options, so I'm curious to see if it does, indeed, work for you.  Let me know how you get on with it.
It works! Awesome!

I'm guessing you'll change it so that the wanted SSID doesn't have to be entered every time the .exe is run?

And may I suggest this mouse-over info:
SSID: xyz
Connection enforced: -

which will change to
SSID: xyz
Connection enforced: yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss

once it enforced a connection?

skwire

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It works! Awesome!

Great to hear since it was just a rough prototype.

I'm guessing you'll change it so that the wanted SSID doesn't have to be entered every time the .exe is run?

Indeed.  Again, this was to test functionality.

And may I suggest this mouse-over info:
SSID: xyz
Connection enforced: -

which will change to
SSID: xyz
Connection enforced: yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss

once it enforced a connection?

Sure.  I'll have to condense it a bit, since there is a limited amount of text allowed in that particular tooltip.

brotherS

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And may I suggest this mouse-over info:
SSID: xyz
Connection enforced: -

which will change to
SSID: xyz
Connection enforced: yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss

once it enforced a connection?

Sure.  I'll have to condense it a bit, since there is a limited amount of text allowed in that particular tooltip.

Ah... Are there different kinds of tooltips?

Maybe something like

SSID: xyz
Connection enforced:
yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss

works?

Oh, and I just noticed that WiFiBrute wasn't running anymore, but I didn't see a crash notification while I was at the PC.

skwire

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Ah... Are there different kinds of tooltips?

Tooltips are tooltips, but tray tooltips seem to have a limit to the amount of lines and text they can display.  I'll play around with it.

Oh, and I just noticed that WiFiBrute wasn't running anymore, but I didn't see a crash notification while I was at the PC.

Hmmm...odd.

Somebody needs come up with a better name for this, too.   :P

brotherS

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Ah... Are there different kinds of tooltips?

Tooltips are tooltips, but tray tooltips seem to have a limit to the amount of lines and text they can display.  I'll play around with it.
Cool. The biggest tray tooltip I ever saw had 6 or 7 lines IIRC. :)


Oh, and I just noticed that WiFiBrute wasn't running anymore, but I didn't see a crash notification while I was at the PC.

Hmmm...odd.

Somebody needs come up with a better name for this, too.   :P
A few suggestions:

WiFi SSID Enforcer*
WiFi Enforcer
SSID Enforcer
SSID Pusher*
SSID Ruler*
SSID Execute
WiFi Make It So  8)

*zero Google results  ;)

Ath

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Guess the name should start with a lower-case s, as that's a common prefix for many of Skwire's specialist tools :Thmbsup:

skwire

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Guess the name should start with a lower-case s, as that's a common prefix for many of Skwire's specialist tools :Thmbsup:

Hahaha...only because I'm rubbish at naming these things.   :D

x16wda

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WiFighter - giving its all to give you a better connection!
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

tomos

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I thought WiFiBrute was kind of cute.
WiForce (? not sure what I think of that myself)
Tom

brotherS

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WiFi Wakey Wakey?  :D

Hey tomos!  :)

tomos

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Hey tomos! 
Grüße!
Tom

Shades

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Guess the name should start with a lower-case s, as that's a common prefix for many of Skwire's specialist tools :Thmbsup:

Hahaha...only because I'm rubbish at naming these things.   :D

Some suggestions:
sWiFi
sWiFind
sWiFinder
sWiFound
sWiHi
sWiHigh
sWiFlight
sWiNice
sWiBest