Lost Mobile When It’s in Silent Mode.
How Can YOU Find a Lost Device When It’s in Silent Mode.
YOU lost your tablet somewhere in my house and have been searching for hours. It’s an Android device, which seems to have Wi-Fi-enabled (responds to pings), but doesn’t seem to react to cloud-based messages. Furthermore, I have Cerberus installed on it, but cannot connect to it. Is there a way of physically finding the device by measuring the signal strength from different locations in my flat? I know it’s theoretically also possible to triangulate a Wi-Fi signal, and even though I have four Linux based Wi-Fi receivers, I don’t know any non-commercial software that is capable of doing so.
Not a direct answer to your question, but Plan B app is specifically for situations where you’ve lost track of your Android device and didn’t have any sort of “finder” app on it. Note: Plan B only works with Android 2.0-2.3.
I know you can get the signal reception using airodump-ng (part of the aircrack-ng tool suite) if you have a compatible Wi-Fi card and a Linux distro up and running. You’ll see something like this with the signal reception listed as PWR (in decibels). If you keep pinging the device throughout this, you should see the airodump-ng screen update much quicker with the MAC address of the device. You should then be able to move around with your laptop, trying to increase the PWR until you find the device.
Something that may work: Go to the hardware store and buy some brass mesh and build a cone. You’ll probably need to layer the mesh, then hold your phone in the middle of the cone. The brass mesh should block all radio signals, so if you get a signal, it’s coming from the direction of the open area of the cone. In theory, you can use this to home in on the device. FYI, the brass mesh is one component in building a SCIF.
Ethernet & More
Some Wi-Fi routers have a signal strength measurement on them. I know DD-WRT has this. If yours does, then you can do something like this:
=> Get a long Ethernet cord.
=> Plug one end into the router and one into your cable modem, internet connection, etc.
=> Move the router around your apartment and see where you get the strongest signal. (Keep in mind, water pipes,metal studs etc can all distort Wi-Fi signals.)
=> Another option would be to make your own directional antenna, kind of like this. You could also check out this page for some useful command line Linux Wi-Fi commands.
One-storied home? You can sort-of triangulate using signal strength alone. You have to assume that signal strength is proportional to distance from the transmitter, which isn’t very accurate, but it could be accurate enough to help narrow down the search space. How to measure signal strength from 3 points in your house:
On a floor plan of the home, mark your three points, and with a drawing compass, swing an arc across the flat with a radius proportional to the signal strength so that the arcs enclose a fairly small space within the home.
If the assumption we made were true (and your measurements and drawing were accurate), your tablet should be within the space between the arcs. It’s not quite true but hopefully not too far off either.
Start your search near that space. Hopefully its location will remind you of where you actually left the tablet. If not, search out from there, possibly repeating the above steps at a shorter distance from this location.
Multi-storied house? Same idea, only now plotting is more complicated by the third dimension. Easier would be to repeat the above for each floor. Now you have two or three more spaces to search but that’ll be more information than you had before.
I know you said no cloud messages are getting in, but I wonder if you could please try Android Lost (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.androidlost&hl=en) and it’s companion app (please check their website), this worked for me flawlessly in the past, I’m not sure what the status/compatibility is as of now (the last device I tried this on was a Nexus S). I don’t know, just check it. Otherwise as I said, wifi analyzers and if you’re kind of tech-savvy then aircrack-ng as suggested in the top-most answer is your best bet