[Winpcap-users] About AirPcap and WinPCap integration

Guy Harris guy at alum.mit.edu
Sat Jul 13 12:45:10 PDT 2013

On Jul 12, 2013, at 7:49 PM, Lucas Lira Gomes <x8lucas8x at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm considering buying an AirPCap NX, however I wonder if anyone know if there is a concrete difference, in terms of a higher rate of packet capture for instance or something like that, in comparison with TPLink's Wifi dongles or a common wifi card used for the same purpose of packet capturing via Wireshark.

Unless you're running an operating system that doesn't have "Microsoft" and "Windows" in the name, you can't capture in monitor mode, can't capture packets other than data packets, and can't get any radio metadata about frames, with regular Wi-Fi adapters.

I'd say the abilities to capture traffic other than traffic to and from your own machine, and to capture, for example, management frames, and to get radio information (signal strengths, etc.), is a significant difference for many users.

> Lucas Lira Gomes (llg)
> Linux User #533002

If you're a Linux user, none of the above applies to you:

	1) you *can* capture in monitor mode with most if not all Wi-Fi adapters on Linux, and that will give you radio metadata as well;

	2) there are no Linux drivers for AirPcap adapters.  (Note that AirPcap adapters are *not* regular Wi-Fi adapters; you can't use them to connect to a Wi-Fi network, you can only use them to sniff Wi-Fi traffic.)

AirPcap adapters are only supported on Windows.

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