Finding which AP is broadcasting a particular BSSID

skendric
Here to help

Finding which AP is broadcasting a particular BSSID

Given a BSSID, how do I figure out which AP is broadcasting it?

 

I would like to type the BSSID into some Search field in the Meraki Dashboard, and get back the AP name.  Is there a way to do this?

 

 

9 REPLIES 9
ww
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

Tagg  the ap  with ssids names they have configured

OK, so typing the BSSID into Tags works (so long as I remove the colons) ... but I cannot then search on it

 

But typing the BSSID into Notes works ... although if I want to search on it, I have to enter it without the colons ... but once I've done that, i.e. entered the BSSID (sans colons) into the Notes field, then I can successfully search on it

 

Is there a programmatic way to gather a list of all BSSIDs mapped to AP names?  Or do I need to visit each AP individually carrying some hand-held tool which will list the BSSIDs broadcast from it?

CptnCrnch
Kind of a big deal

Use the force, Luke. 🙂

https://developer.cisco.com/meraki/api-v1/#!get-device-wireless-status

 

EDIT: sorry, question was misread. Seems API wouldn‘t help either.

ww
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

All APs are broadcasting the ssid.  Unless  you already used taggs.

GIdenJoe
Kind of a big deal

Only the next to last hex digit differs in the MAC address from the device MAC address.

So if your AP has a chassis MAC of 11:11:11:11:11:01 it's BSSID's will be:
11:11:11:11:11:11 for the first SSID, up to 11:11:11:11:11:F1 for the last SSID.

If you use Ekahau it nicely put's a * at that digit of the BSSID when it sees multiple ESSID's coming from the same AP.

CN
Meraki Alumni (Retired)
Meraki Alumni (Retired)

If you just want the AP name then you can search for it at the top of the page and it should give you the name of the AP there. Unfortunately, the BSSID isn't always predictable, and depending on the model of the AP the pattern will change. However, as a general rule, the 4th and 5th octet of the BSSID will match the 4th and 5th octet of the MR's base mac address. 

 

The API would allow you to get your own list of BSSIDs that you could refer to. 

 

If you would like a list of the BSSIDs displayed on the AP then you can open a case referring to this kb and say that you want to see the BSSIDs in the dashboard itself without needing to use the API. 

 

Another option would be to have Support enable the AP to broadcast the name of the AP in the beacon. If you're on a mac then the tool WiFi Explorer would then be able to populate that. If you open a case referring to this kb, then Support would be able to enable it for you. The device name was removed from MR25.12 firmware "Removed device-name from CCX extensions as default but can be enabled." This has to be enabled on a network by network basis so might be best if you start with a small deployment. If you have hundreds of networks I would recommend calling and talking with Support about the most efficient way of making the change. (They might want to have you spread it over a couple of cases. I don't anticipate it causing major disruption but if you have a strict change window then I would recommend creating the case then calling Support during your change window.) It was removed for a reason, but I've been running it on all of my lab devices at home without any issue.  

 

 

Here is my recap

 

WHAT I WANT

- When I trouble-shoot with my NetAlly tools (AirCheck G2 and EtherScope NG), I want to see AP names, rather than BSSIDs

- Why?  Here is a use case.  Client intermittently connects to AP X and succeeds and then moves to AP Y and fails.  My NetAlly tools show me which AP it is connecting to ... by BSSID.  Now, I want to map that BSSID back to an AP, so that I can examine that specific AP.  One option would be to populate the hand-held tool with a table which maps BSSIDs to names.  Another option would be to search for the BSSID in the Dashboard, retrieving the associated AP name

- At the moment, there is no easy way to map BSSID back to AP, using the Dashboard UI ... no Search will find it.  And I haven't had a programmatic way to build the one-to-many mapping of AP names to BSSIDs

 

 

WHAT I HAVE DONE

- I have asked Support to enable the AP to broadcast the name of the AP in the beacon.  This only covers the SSID beaconing case; it does not cover all the times when BSSIDs appear 'on the air' (i.e. from the perspective of a radio-equipped tool) ... so it helps modestly, but still, most of the entries on a tool which displays all the 'APs' which it can see ... are BSSIDs, rather than AP names

 

- I have opened a case with Support, and they have enabled viewing all the BSSIDs associated with an AP, from the Dashboard.  But this still doesn't make them available via a Search function ... so, given a BSSID, I have to manually click on each AP and then scan the resulting list for the BSSID of interest ... not feasible

 

- I have a "Made a Wish", asking that Search in the Access Points list support searching by BSSID

 

 

TO DO

- Ahh, but the Dashboard API supports the GetDeviceWirelessStatus call, which returns, amongst other things, all the BSSIDs which this particular AP is using:  https://developer.cisco.com/meraki/api-v1/#!get-device-wireless-status

- So, I can in theory write code to loop through my APs, emit this call, gather the result, strip out the BSSIDs, and build a table, for importation into the NetAlly tools, which will allow the NetAlly tools to display AP name instead of BSSID

 

- Now I need to find time to write that code ...

 

 

Thank you to all who helped me work through this.

 

--sk

CN
Meraki Alumni (Retired)
Meraki Alumni (Retired)

I named my access point, BSSID. Here you can see that I'm searching for 9a:18:98:fb:xx:yy, in the results I'm getting a result of the access point BSSID that includes the true mac address of the device 98:18:88:fb:xx:yy. If you have a large organization then this search might not work in order to optimize the page. Is that not working? 

 

BSSID_search.png

 

Not sure what you mean by BSSIDs appearing "on the wire". The BSSIDs shouldn't be appearing on the LAN side of the AP, but I could be misunderstanding you. 

Good point, 'on the wire' is not correct -- I have edit my post above to replace 'on the wire' with 'on the air'

 

But wait a minute, are you saying that you can search the Access Points page for a BSSID and get a hit?  I have been unsuccessful in doing that ... but I'll try more times, if you tell me that you are successful.  [We have <200 APs ..]

 

--sk

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