Feature Request - Connection Optimizer

Add a Wizard that anylse the current situation and Propose settings to change.

First step:
This wizard add first advise to connect all devices on LAN and Wireles LAN that should be used with this router and

Step two (optional):
Drag the Wireless devices to the edges of your Home that should be covered by this AP.

Run Optimization test:
Router tells that he runs several tests with several settings with a timeout e.g. 30min. And Inform that Devices may could disconnect while running.

The Wizard propose settings:
e.g.:

  • Change to WPA3 all devices support it without any problems
  • Change security setting x to y
  • Change power setting x to y because z
  • Change timing x to y (only on advanced mode)

Can you describe this?

So this wizard runs after the router has been setup?

Do you mean physically moving devices away from the router?

How would the router know a device supports WPA3 if the user already setup a WPA2 access point that the STA is currently using for testing?

  • So you're only referring to a Wireless wizard - why say "LAN and Wireless LAN"?
  • Specifically, what "timing" parameters are you referring to?
3 Likes

Realistically chances for this to happen are converging towards zero - and chances to find a volunteer (other than yourself) to implement this are probably sub-zero.

Your requests are oddly specific, but targetting very 'unfamiliar' and unexperienced users (only), while at the same time technically unfeasible for the most part (as lleachii has already laid out). At the same time OpenWrt is not great at providing wizards or other kinds of guided setups to begin with (I'm not aware of any at all, even less within its default package set; and there are technical reasons for that, OpenWrt is rather flexible and modular, making it hard for a wizard to do the right thing without being able to tightly control the underlying configuration), for much more basic features or lower hanging fruits.

There is no advisory role here, you either hook them up (enter the wireless credentials or plug in their ethernet), this can only be initiated by the client, the router can only accept or deny (if at all, most of this is L2 (ethernet) or semi-anonymous (randomized MACs for mobile devices)).

As lleachii has laid out, this is impossible, neither does your router know the ground plan of your house (or your garden), nor can it physically move objects. Even if it could, in a dystopian fever dream, I doubt many users would appreciate their phones or TV sets to take a stroll around the block on their own to determine these.

Sounds 'great', unless you think about it. In order to do anything like this, the router would have to have means to control- and operate your clients, all of them, regardless how different they are - but it has neither fingers, eyes nor legs (but you do...). Apart from this, 30 minutes is an awfully long period if time, I can just imagine how much users would appreciate this (rather pointless) dance for their 60+ devices (for what purpose in the first place?).

The router can do WPA3 (unless we're talking brcmfmac or mwlwifi), but it can't know if the clients do - remember, the clients establish the connections, based on what the router offers them. Stupid clients will never consider WPA3(-mixed) APs as viable, so you can't serve those this way - and once they have connected, their parameters are fixed, the router has no means to determine if they could do better. Apart from this, typical failure cases with WPA3 and broken clients vary widely, ranging from failure to detect or connect to more subtle misbehaviour or bad performance/ high battery drain, the router can't know about this (and even less do anything about it).

Thank you, but no, thanks - not at all.

What's 'z'? It doesn't make sense.

What 'timing'?


Maybe provide a proof-of-concept implementation, to make it easier to understand what you want to accomplish and to asses its impact.

4 Likes

My english was not easy to understand. The Idea is to tell the user to start all devices and be sure they are connected with the router.

A router has, obviously, not to know how the physical plan of a building is. May my description was too simple. The goal is to advise the user to drag the devices as far as needed away to determine if there are possibilities to save energy with reducing power consumption and may other optimization I don't know.

for the record. I'm not an OpenWRT Expert here. But I know that a router has no Legs. But I know that a router could may change some settings and check how all devices react on it. If the connection is better the settings is good. If some devices get lost, a setting was bad. I don't know how long it may take thats the cause why I wrote "e.g." my knowledge about english says that these is the short form for "for example".

Isn't that a great example for doing an automatic test and automatically determine if devices could connect WPA3, check their wireless communication and decide based on this? It is not meant to detect if a device has high battery drain on WPA3.

Why not. Why shouldn't OpenWRT not propose better security settings?
802.11w Management Frame Protection could be one of this settings that OpenWRT could check. And may say:

802.11w Management Frame Protection is currently deactivated. All your devices support it so you could change it to required. We reccommend to at least set it to Optional.

x, y and z are kind of vars that could be filled with content. It's a bit strange that you could work with x any y.

Anyway. This is and the followed point are example how the proposals the wizard would create could look like. These proposals should be evaluated. I'm not an Expert in Network IT. And also not a DEV. That's the cause why I write a Feature Request and not a Pull Request.

There's no reason for that, they'll come online if/ when needed (I have defined around 300 static leases, some of them may not come online in months - or 'ever' (virtual machines with IP reservations), do you really think I'd go through all of them (respectively install all the various Operating Systems just for that)? Or to phrase it differently, what about the new smartphone your wife buys half a year down the road, how to deal with that one?

all of them...?
Really, forcing this on first boot doesn't make sense, the user will see over time (and range/ performance of different client systems varies widely). While it does make sense to tune wireless transmit power according your environment (especially in a multi-AP environment), this has very little effect on the router's electricity usage. While you can roughly expect 1-1.5 watts per connected ethernet port, only 0.1 watts (2.4 GHz) to 0.5 (5 GHz) watts is allowed to be transmitted over the air (yes, modern 802.11ax cards may require around 10 watts to achieve that, but that's largely independent of the selected transmit power).

Depending on the devices, you may see ~5-25 watts here, the selected wireless transmit power is the least of your worries here.

It doesn't, it couldn't (the router won't know the difference if a device ran out of battery or can't reconnect for other reasons), and it really shouldn't degrade security settings. Policy is set by the admin and enforced by the router, without second guessing it - it's your task as a user to check if that works (both sides are supposed to be IEEE 802.11 standards compliant, even if that sometimes is wishful thinking with some clients). Still, the decisions if you relax the policy or fix/ dispose the client is yours, not the router's.

It can't do that, it'll never know if a device never manages to connect or ends up with bad/ unreliable performance, nor can you account for anything that comes in later (new clients, visiting guests, etc.).

That is easy, select WPA3SAE-only - so far for the advice, reality differs (and it also differs for IEEE 802.11w, which is the major reasons why some devices (clients and routers) don't support WPA3, as this is a mandatory option for WPA3). In practice, very few users have this luxury - anything (proprietary-) slightly older won't support it, IoT, nada - that includes brandnew devices.

Yes, there are some firmware/ hardware side adaptions at play (Mu-MIMO/ beamforming), but nothing you can influence here.

1 Like

Like everything, there is no all or nothing. There is always a trade-off between effort and return. This is also the case here. In your case, I can well imagine that it brings nothing. At the same time, with just a few devices, you might be inspired to make settings that you would never have considered.
Because one thing is important, of course. Running the wizard does not force you to change any settings.

I never said that this should be a Wizard for first boot. This is a Wizard for using if you feel the need for it.