I'm wondering if there is an easier way to determine of the following parameters of a wifi network. For users who already have say a laptop connected to a wifi network.

  1. Does wifi network support PS-Poll mode (this is a power saving mode for battery powered devices.

  2. What wpa2 enterprise authentication protocol is used (ie peapv0-mschapv2 vs eap-tls)


I'm developing an embedded device that will operate on batteries. I'll need some type of diagnostic that End users can use to determine whether my device will work on their network. Would be great if there was a wifi diagnostic utility out there that someone could start up on a PC or Linux live disk that can get this type of info with out getting their IT folks to have to login to their access points to tell them. Reason being: this generally takes weeks and doesn't always yield accurate info.

I know PS-Poll could theoretically be figured out by making the app do a request to some external site. Powering down the wifi and seeing of it gets a response in beacon frames. But, don't know if such an app exists. It could be done experimentally if said app was able to control the wifi at a lower level...

I'm not sure whether its possible to determine what type of WPA2 authentication protocol there is. Note: I'm not talking about the encryption method such as TKIP vs CCMP.

1 Answer 1


This sounds a lot like what Kismet does but its patina might not be widely accepted.

I can glean a Windows stored WiFi profiles from the Registry under the WZSVC key in XP, 2003 server and Vista. (HKLM/System/CurrentCSet/Drivers/WzSVC or Wlansvc) //you hvave to be ready to navigate the tree yourself since) Since then its been changed to WlanSvc and in 8 and 2012 (haven't tested Win7) I get different and less info when inspecting the key as System like so:

  1. Execute two simultaneous registry editors, one as an admin:

regedit.exe /m

Then as a system either via an AT job or psexec

psexec.exe -i -s regedit.exe /m

Compared side x side and in 2012, I can tune some parameters but view my systems B/G/N parameters. But as an admin, I can view specific connection profiles that I've successfully connected with stored in the specific WLan's GUID

It's not the tool you want but one you'll find interesting, WigleNET's world wide database of found AP's can be queried for detected characteristics based on the AP's detected MAC and after creating a free / spam free ID.

  • Thanks. I'll have to give that a try when I get on a windows box. The parameters shown in the registry though... aren't they what your computer supports? As opposed to what the network your connecting to supports. Also, I'm a bit confused as to what comparing the two registries is for. I'm assuming it'll be obvious when I try?
    – blak3r
    May 10, 2013 at 17:50
  • good luck in your new business, and be prepared for the scathing negative and anecdotal reviews from an uninitiated buyer that describes your devices heightened Wifi security broke whatever legacy print server or oldass remote TV adapter. Those reviews will be the ones that define your product. Your current course has too many issues that I can't begin to address in even 50,000 characters and certainly not in 500. May 16, 2013 at 4:05

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