Prevent Tickets: Low Wi-Fi Signal User Alerting

Prevent Tickets:  Automatically Alerting Users to Low Wi-Fi Signal

Nothing is more frustrating for a support professional than spending time investigating a problem with an application not performing as expected, only to find the problem wasn’t with the application at all but with a low Wi-Fi signal.

One company got so overwhelmed with these types of calls that they stopped supporting Wi-Fi connections altogether and sent all remote workers a 50-foot (15-meter) Cat5 cable with a mandate to use it instead of Wi-Fi. Fortunately, most companies have not found it necessary to take such draconian measures.

It is easy to understand that most users simply do not keep an eye on the little icon (Figure 1) in the corner of their screen that shows their Wi-Fi signal. Moreover, the taskbar may be in hidden mode, or the signal strength icon may not be easily discernible.

Figure 1: Wi-Fi Indicator

Low Wi-Fi in Edge DX

Luckily, one of the hundreds of metrics that Edge DX collects is the Wi-Fi signal strength (Figure 2), which can be monitored for all devices in a tenant from Edge DX’s Devices dashboard.  By hovering over the Wi-Fi widget, you can see signal value at a specific time.

Figure 2: Wi-Fi Signal Strength Widget

While the dashboard is helpful when working with an individual user, manually monitoring hundreds, if not thousands, of devices and contacting the users when their Wi-Fi signal is weak is not a good use of a support staff’s limited time. However, you can automatically alert users when their Wi-Fi signal is weak by using Edge DX actions and triggers.

Pop-Up Notification

Only a single line of code is needed to automatically send a pop-up alert to a user when their signal strength is weak. Below is the line of code entered into the Edge DX script dialog:

“C:\Program Files\Avacee\sip_agent\UserPrompt.exe” “WiFi signal is low. Please move closer to the router”

When creating the script (Figure 3), select the following options: the platform is set to Microsoft Windows; the language is set to Command Script (cmd); and the trigger is set to Custom Action – User.  

Figure 3: Script

Although only single line of code is needed to create the pop-up alert, I included a few others to write to the device’s event dialog to record when it went off. Below is the complete code I used:

[Console]::OutputEncoding = [System.Text.Encoding]::UTF8 # This line is added automatically to help with Unicode characters. Please add your code below 
"C:\Program Files\Avacee\sip_agent\UserPrompt.exe" "WiFi signal is low. Please move closer to the router"
Write-Output("### SIP EVENT BEGINS ###")
Write-Output "Low Wi-Fi Signal has been detected.”
Write-Output("### SIP EVENT ENDS ###")

Automated User Notification

I created an Edge DX trigger action (Figure 4) to use the script. I used the device_status data index to set off the script when the Wi-Fi signal is less than 70 and greater than 1. The ‘greater than 1’ was needed to prevent devices without Wi-Fi from setting off the trigger. In the Custom Action field, I specified the name of the script.

Figure 4: Action

Now, whenever a user’s Wi-Fi signal strength goes below 70, the user will see a pop-up notification (Figure 5) informing them to move closer to the router.

Figure 5: Pop-Up Alert

After rolling this action out, one company said that it had been enacted on an average of 20 times a day. This saved the user from opening support tickets or, even worse, having to deal with substandard performance due to inadequate Wi-Fi signal strength. Of course, the various techniques in this blog can be used to alert end users of other conditions such as running out of CPU cycles, low memory, high CPU temperature, or any of the hundreds of other metrics that can be collected on their system. 

To see a video of this in action, click here. For more information, be sure to visit our Edge DX page or schedule a demo with a ControlUp sales engineer.

About the author

Tom Fenton

Tom Fenton is a Technical Marketing manager here at ControlUp (in addition to an all-around great guy). He’s THE subject matter expert for Edge DX, our physical endpoint monitoring solution, as well as an expert in all things VMware (FACT: he used to work at VMware, teaching their employees about their technology). He creates valuable, educational content for the ControlUp blog, leads deep-dive webinars, and educates our sales teams and other IT professionals with tips and tricks about how to use ControlUp solutions. In his spare time, he writes for and Virtualization Review magazine, and enjoys outdoor sports in the Pacific Northwest. Connect with him on Twitter @vDoppler.