I have a D-Link router and a TP-Link access point configured as a wireless repeater. I would like to know whether I'm currently connected directly to the router or to the repeater. I guess the easiest way to find out is to see if the MAC address of the network I'm connected to is the same as the router's or as the repeater's MAC. However, I don't know the router/repeater MAC addresses and I also don't know what's the MAC address of the network I'm connected to.

How do I find the mentioned information?

I'm using Windows 7.

  • can you log into both router and access point configuration pages via a web browser? It would help if you knew the router and access point IP addresses. Example: would bring you to your D-Link router setup page and would bring you to your TP-Link access point setup page. – CheeseConQueso Jun 18 '13 at 19:59
  • Don't you have to try something with aircrackng to analyze the wlan layer? – rubo77 Dec 6 '16 at 19:49

When using a repeater the repeater usually will have the same SSID as your WiFi AP. However, it will always have a different BSSID (think of it as of the MAC address of a network interface).

So, in order to tell to which device you're connected, you have to find a way to display the BSSID you're (currently) connected to. While I was able to find a command for windows which will show you all the known BSSIDs of a SSID:

netsh wlan show network mode=BSSID

I was not able to display the BSSID which is currently used (eventually someone here is aware of such a built-in command). However, I found a tool which will show you the available BSSIDs and make it possible for you to connect to a specific BSSID: checkout NetSetMan.

Once installed and started, go to "Tools"-->"NSM WiFi Management". You'll see all SSIDs listed and if a SSID has multiple BSSIDs - as it will if it's using a repeater - you can look at those BSSIDs if you hover over the SSID with your mouse.

If you're on Android you can use Apps like "WiFi Analyzer" which will also present you with the BSSID.

  • If your devices are on specified frequencies, you may also be able to tell that way ? – davidgo Jun 9 '15 at 23:25
  • 1
    No, a repeater will always repeat the signal of the AP. Thus, it's using the same frequency as the AP. This in fact seems to be one of the hard requirements for repeaters as defined in the WiFi standards - if your repeater does it differently, it's probably not following the standard or your configured it to be an AP rather then a repeater. – masi Jun 13 '15 at 13:31

On Linux, you can scan the connection with

device="$(ip -o -4 route show to default | awk '{print $5}')"
watch -d -n0,5 iw dev $device station dump

which will show something like:

Station dc:9f:db:f1:c2:88 (on wlp1s0)
    inactive time:  668 ms
    rx bytes:       41304484
    rx packets:     33901
    tx bytes:       2289023
    tx packets:     12030
    tx retries:     2573
    tx failed:      0
    signal:         -46 [-46] dBm
    signal avg:     -46 [-46] dBm
    tx bitrate:     144.4 MBit/s MCS 15 short GI
    rx bitrate:     72.2 MBit/s MCS 7 short GI
    authorized:     yes
    authenticated:  yes
    preamble:       long
    WMM/WME:        yes
    MFP:            no
    TDLS peer:      no

On top you see the mac address dc:9f:db:f1:c2:88 which is the same that is shown on

iwconfig $device

wlp1s0    IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"yourWLAN-SSID"  
      Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.462 GHz  Access Point: DC:9F:DB:F1:C2:88   
      Bit Rate=144.4 Mb/s   Tx-Power=22 dBm   
      Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
      Encryption key:off
      Power Management:on
      Link Quality=64/70  Signal level=-46 dBm  
      Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
      Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:173   Missed beacon:0

but both only show the connection to the wlan networks BSSID

To analyze if your Router is working, try watching the output while switching the repeater on and of.

  1. sit next to your repeater with your laptop.

  2. watch the signal strength if it weakens, when you turn the repeater of

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