[Winpcap-users] Vista Wireless Architecture

Gianluca Varenni gianluca.varenni at cacetech.com
Fri Jul 28 23:05:26 GMT 2006

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Coombes, Kenneth 
  To: winpcap-users at winpcap.org 
  Sent: Friday, July 28, 2006 3:17 PM
  Subject: [Winpcap-users] Vista Wireless Architecture

  I understand that capturing 802.11 frames in promiscuous mode in Windows is tricky because of the way Windows NDIS drivers work and maybe other reasons that go above my head.  This makes using WinPCap+Wireshark frustrating in Windows.  However having read about the complete wireless re-architecture in Vista that includes "native driver" support (whatever that means, and see link below) I was wondering if anyone has tested whether Vista with WinPcap3.x or 4.x will overcome this previous limitation.




  Or put another way, I have not read anything on your site specifically supporting Vista currently or in the future (only a snippet that 3.1 may work).  How about giving us a glimpse of what is in development or planned for WinPcap to take advantage of these architecture changes, (if indeed there is any relevance to WinPCap)?  Pardon my lack of technical understanding of drivers.



native wi-fi support in Vista will *probably* enable to capture on Wireless LANs without some of the current limitations. I haven't personally studied too deeply what features will be available to a protocol driver like WinPcap. What I suspect is that in any case at the beginning many Wireless card drivers will still expose the old NDIS miniport interface (ndis 5.1), thus delivering fake 802.3 packets, and will be only later ported to native wifi (= NDIS 6.0?). 

In any case we are definitely interesting in evaluating native wifi and exploit it to better support wifi networks.

As of now, WinPcap 3.1 and 4.0a have limited support for Vista. The limitations are mainly related to dialup support (or better, lack of it) and in the listing of the adapters under some circumstances (we are working on removing this last limitation). Apart from that, WinPcap works on vista in the same way as it's working on XP/2000/2003. 

Have a nice day

Gianluca Varenni

WinPcap Team

  Kind regards,




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