Author Topic: Wi-Fi inspector and monitoring does not work.  (Read 724 times)

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Offline ddabrahim

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Wi-Fi inspector and monitoring does not work.
« on: February 13, 2021, 12:35:46 PM »
Hi.

I am using Avast Premium Security on a Mac and since the first day I am not satisfied with the way Wi-Fi inspector and monitoring works.
I asked on the forum before how Wi-Fi inspector works and I did get a technical explanation from an Avast developer, however I still believe it is not functioning properly.

This is what I would expect to happen:
When I run scan, it should find all connected devices.
When I have monitoring running it should find all connected devices the moment they connect and should not display any device that is no longer connecting.

Instead, this is what is happening:
When I run scan, often it does not find devices I know for certain connected to my network.
When I have monitoring running it is not find devices I know for certain it is connected to my network and often display devices that I know for certain no longer connecting to my network but it is still shown in the list as connected and secured.

I also use Avast Premium Security on my Windows devices and I don't have such problem on Windows, it is much more accurate and much more reliable on Windows.
The Mac version feels broken compared to the Windows version.
Don't know if it a bug or a technical limitation on macOS, but the experience on macOS has not improved in the past few months and I don't like it.

Avast Premium Security version 14.7 (2b2cffda65aa)
macOS Big Sur version 11.2.1
Using Ethernet to connect to my router.

I also would like to take the opportunity to request a feature here to keep a log to see what devices were connecting/disconnecting and when because currently if a device connect to my network that was already connected before, I get no notification, but even if I get a notification I may not notice it if I am not by my computer at the time. So I would like to be able to review a human readable log just to see at what time what devices were connecting/disconnecting to see if something suspicious going on. I realise it is something the average 99% of users would not do, but I think it would be a nice feature.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2021, 01:02:39 PM by ddabrahim »

Offline Asyn

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Re: Wi-Fi inspector and monitoring does not work.
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 10:13:37 AM »
Hi, update to the latest version (14.8): https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=210570.0
Win 8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 21.3.2459.Beta4 [UI.610] - EEK - Firefox ESR 78.9 [NS/uBO/PB] - TB 78.9
Avast-Tools: Secure Browser 89.1 - Cleanup 21.1 - SecureLine 5.11 - Driver Updater 21.1 - CCleaner 5.78
Avast Wissenswertes (Downloads, Anleitungen & Infos): https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=60523.0

Offline ddabrahim

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Re: Wi-Fi inspector and monitoring does not work.
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2021, 11:34:59 AM »
Thank you. I did update to version 14.8 and nothing has changed but the UI.

Just tried it now. I have connected my iPhone, a Fire tablet, Windows laptop and my smart TV to the same Wi-Fi as my Mac, I was reading my emails, did web browsing, YouTube, Netflix, moved files to my cloud storage, edited online documents and I also sync browser activity between my Mac and iPhone so I opened a website on iPhone and then I went to my Mac and told it to open the website I have opened on my iPhone. I even used Siri to do some online search for me and I did stream videos from my tablet to my TV over Wi-Fi.
I have monitoring running and the Wi-Fi inspector did not detect any of this, currently it is reporting there is no devices connected to my network.

I was playing around with my devices about 60 minutes, some of them even downloaded updates. I think it should be plenty of time and network activity for Avast to notice something. But the Inspector saying, no devices connected after 60 minutes general use. I don't know why, when and how but sometime it does pick up the devices the moment they connect to the network but 9 times out of 10 it does not.

If I run a manual scan, it is find most devices most of the time, but not always, sometime even the manual scan does not work. And after if I run monitoring, the Wi-Fi Inspector reporting the devices are connected even if I disconnect them and even after I restart my Mac.
I have an old Laptop running Haiku (an alternative operating system based on beOS) and for some reason, this laptop is not detected at all, not even if I run a manual scan, completely invisible to Wi-Fi inspector.

I have the Firewall enabled on my Mac and in the firewall options I have given permission to com.Avast.hns and com.Avast.proxy to receive incoming connections. Don't know if it necessary for the inspector to work at all but they have the permission to receive connection.

Maybe there is a logical explanation to this and the devices need to do something very specific on the network to be noticed, but it is advertised as get notified if your neighbours connecting or a hacker. So if the Wi-Fi inspector is not picking up general web browsing, video streaming, emails, file sync, messages on my network then how could possibly notice a hacker?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 11:40:40 AM by ddabrahim »

Offline Asyn

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Re: Wi-Fi inspector and monitoring does not work.
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2021, 12:33:20 PM »
Beats me, sorry. Wait for one of the devs...
Win 8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 21.3.2459.Beta4 [UI.610] - EEK - Firefox ESR 78.9 [NS/uBO/PB] - TB 78.9
Avast-Tools: Secure Browser 89.1 - Cleanup 21.1 - SecureLine 5.11 - Driver Updater 21.1 - CCleaner 5.78
Avast Wissenswertes (Downloads, Anleitungen & Infos): https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=60523.0

Offline Radek Brich

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Re: Wi-Fi inspector and monitoring does not work.
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2021, 03:06:32 PM »
Hi,

the network monitoring currently listens only for ARP broadcasts. Avast does not see the traffic on your network - when Avast is installed on a Mac and another device communicates directly with the router, then the traffic usually doesn't go through the Mac. So it's possible that some device stays unnoticed, unless it sends something to all other devices (that is the ARP broadcast).

It's true that we can do better - listen also for other types of broadcasts, probe if the devices are still connected, or even actively search for devices on the network.
We have some of these improvements planned, but they're in backlog for now.

Quote
I also would like to take the opportunity to request a feature here to keep a log to see what devices were connecting/disconnecting and when because currently if a device connect to my network that was already connected before, I get no notification, but even if I get a notification I may not notice it if I am not by my computer at the time. So I would like to be able to review a human readable log just to see at what time what devices were connecting/disconnecting to see if something suspicious going on. I realise it is something the average 99% of users would not do, but I think it would be a nice feature.

Yes, there will be a notification log in one of the next releases (not sure if it manages to get into next one).

Thanks for the feedback.