Identifying Wi-Fi Signal Strength (Part 3)

by May 7, 2021

In the previous tip we introduced the free PowerShell module Get-WLANs which can access the Windows Wi-Fi framework and return information such as signal strengths. Here is the command to download and install it:

Install-Module -Name Get-WLANs -Scope CurrentUser -Force  

While you can simply use its new command Get-WLANs (as described in the previous tip), the module also adds a new .NET type that you can use once you ran the command. Run this first to initialize the new .NET type:

# "initialize" the new type
$null = Get-WLANs

Next, get yourself a raw “WlanClient” object:

$wc = [NativeWifi.WlanClient]::New()

Now you can dump all the technical details about all available Wi-Fi adapters in your system:

PS> $wc.Interfaces

Autoconf             : True
BssType              : Any
InterfaceState       : Connected
Channel              : 36
RSSI                 : 29
RadioState           : NativeWifi.Wlan+WlanRadioState
CurrentOperationMode : ExtensibleStation
CurrentConnection    : NativeWifi.Wlan+WlanConnectionAttributes
NetworkInterface     : System.Net.NetworkInformation.SystemNetworkInterface
InterfaceGuid        : 7d6c33b7-0354-4ad7-a72f-5a1a5cbb1a9b
InterfaceDescription : Killer(R) Wi-Fi 6 AX1650s 160MHz Wireless Network Adapter (201D2W)
InterfaceName        : WLAN   

The “Interfaces” property returns an array, so your first Wi-Fi adapter is represented by:


It offers a bunch of methods, i.e. to retrieve the list of available Wi-Fi networks in reach. This scans for new networks:

Start-Sleep -Seconds 1

And this dumps the list of networks in reach (including signal strength, frequency and channel):

PS> $wc.Interfaces[0].GetAvailableNetworkList(3)

Dot11PhyTypes               : {8}
profileName                 : internetcafe
dot11Ssid                   : NativeWifi.Wlan+Dot11Ssid
dot11BssType                : Infrastructure
numberOfBssids              : 3
networkConnectable          : True
wlanNotConnectableReason    : Success
morePhyTypes                : False
wlanSignalQuality           : 81
securityEnabled             : True
dot11DefaultAuthAlgorithm   : RSNA_PSK
dot11DefaultCipherAlgorithm : CCMP
flags                       : Connected, HasProfile 


This object model now provides you with a rich set of methods and properties to control and manage your Wi-Fi network adapters. For example, this line dumps a list of available SSIDs and their signal strength:

$ssid = @{ 
  E={ [System.Text.Encoding]::Ascii.GetString( $_.dot11ssid.SSID, 
                                               $_.dot11ssid.SSIDLength ) 

$wc.Interfaces[0].GetAvailableNetworkList(3) | 
  Select-Object -Property $ssid, wlanSignalQuality, profileName | 
  Where-Object SSID

The result looks like this:

SSID                       wlanSignalQuality profileName    
----                       ----------------- -----------    
internetcafe                              81 internetcafe  
internetcafe                              87 internetcafe 2
internetcafe                              87                
DIRECT-fb-HP M477 LaserJet                31                
Guest                                     67      

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