QCA6174 showing terrible performance when connecting via WPA3-SAE

Eric Park me at ericswpark.com
Sat Apr 27 20:04:16 PDT 2024

On 4/25/24 5:51 AM, Kalle Valo wrote:

> I do not use Network Manager or other connection managers when testing.
> It's much more reliable to use wpasupplicant directly and you get full
> control. I usually create a custom config file and then start the
> supplicant manually. Some pointers:
> (...)

I had some time today to test this, but unfortunately I couldn't figure 
out if wpa_supplicant was using WPA2 or WPA3. Trying to connect via 
`key_mgmt=SAE` caused `dhcpcd` to time out looking for carriers, so I 
guess it was connecting via WPA2. In any case the speed results were the 
same as disabling WPA3 on the router-side.

The reason I'm sending this email despite not making much progress above 
is because it turns out I was chasing a red herring. The real problem 
behind the degraded throughput was 802.11w. The router was advertising 
support for it (802.11w capable but optional), but was not forcing 
clients that didn't have the capability (required mode).

In Optional mode, I was experiencing the degraded performance. But after 
I disabled 802.11w on the router side, the speeds recovered to normal 
levels on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, even connected over WPA3.

So I'm guessing something on the driver's side is signaling that it 
supports 802.11w, when in reality it doesn't or some bug with the 
implementation causes the speed to drop. Or maybe there's an overhead 
I'm unaware of when 802.11w is enabled? My limited understanding of 
802.11w is that the management frames are protected to prevent deauth 

I'm not sure where to begin troubleshooting this, but in the interim can 
I disable the capability advertising on the driver-level? I don't want 
to disable 802.11w on my entire network, if possible.

- Eric

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