wifi sniffer | wifi packet sniffer basics | vendors

This page describes wifi sniffer basics. It covers operation of wifi packet sniffer. The vendors and manufacturers of wifi sniffer are also mentioned.

The wifi sniffer captures and analyzes WLAN packet transmitted over the air by nearby wifi/wlan devices. The sniffer consists of wifi hardware and software application to display the useful WLAN PHY, MAC and upper layer informations.

As we know the sniffer analyzes the entire WLAN protocol stack. There are different versions of WLAN as per IEEE standards 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad. Hence one need to buy the sniffer as per their standard requirements. Refer WLAN MAC protocol which helps at what level of wlan protocol analysis is expected from the sniffer.

WiFi Packet sniffer Application Note

wifi sniffer

The figure depicts wifi packet sniffer. As shown in the setup, wifi protocol analyzer application usually utilize built-in wifi or wlan card or chip available in the laptop or tablet for capturing the wifi packet from the air. One such application freely available is Acrylic WiFi professional. Following are the silent features of this wifi sniffer application:
• Works on windows-7/8/8.1/10
• Displays channel (either 2.4 or 5GHz ), signal strength etc.
• Dislays source address, destination address, BSSID
• It displays frame type (management, control, data) and subtypes (beacon, probe request, probe response, ACK etc.)
• It decodes and displays entire frame data in hex format

Vendors or manufacturers of WiFi sniffer or WLAN sniffer

Following table lists out vendors/manufacturers of wifi sniffer or wlan sniffer software and hardware providers.

Company wifi sniffer/wlan sniffer description
TamoSoft WiFi/WLAN packet analyzer for 802.11 WLAN Traffic
supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, scans for wifi APs and Stations
Fluke Networks AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer PRO
Savvius Inc. OmniPeek
CACE Technologies (Part of Riverbed Technology) AirPcap (802.11 wireless packet capture device) known as wlan sniffer
ACRYLIC WiFi network traffic sniffer, supports windows 7/8/8.1/10


WLAN standards-11a,11b,11g,11n,11ac   WLAN tutorial   WLAN MAC protocol  11a WLAN Physical layer   11b WLAN Physical layer  11n WLAN Physical layer  WLAN 802.11-ac  WLAN 802.11-ad  

RF and Wireless Terminologies