[Winpcap-users] Sniffing WiFi access points nearby

Gianluca Varenni Gianluca.Varenni at riverbed.com
Wed Feb 23 11:42:41 PST 2011

WinPcap is a software component. With WinPcap you can capture data frames in 802.11 (which are transformed into Ethernet frames with the windows networking stack and/or network card drivers), but you cannot capture data/management frames (e.g. beacons).
AirPcap is a hardware solution (a USB dongle) that allows you to capture all the 802.11 frames on a specific channel (so control, data and management frames).

Have a nice day

-----Original Message-----
From: winpcap-users-bounces at winpcap.org [mailto:winpcap-users-bounces at winpcap.org] On Behalf Of gonzalo diethelm
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 11:36 AM
To: Chris Morgan; winpcap-users at winpcap.org
Subject: Re: [Winpcap-users] Sniffing WiFi access points nearby

> I would imagine something like airpcap would be useful for this. I've 
> recently added airpcap support to sharppcap, http://sharppcap.sf.net

Chris, thanks for the pointer to AirPcap. It seems there is no open / free version available for this product, is that correct?

What is the difference between AirPcap and WinPcap? I understand WinPcap can capture network traffic from any kind of network adapter, including wireless adapters (802.11). Is that right? Would that ability be enough to capture packets coming from access points to which the local adapter is not connected, and sniff the AP's MAC addresses?

I will start trying my hand on the examples provided in WinPcap's documentation. Thanks again for your help.

Gonzalo Diethelm

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